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Old 09-07-2011, 12:45   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cocoa, Florida USA
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 3
Autohelm 300 Course Computer

Hi All,

My course computer is not sending power to the clutch on the hydraukic linear drive when in auto. Bypassing the course computer and connecting 12V directly to the clutch engages the clutch and keeps it engaged at all times unless switching power to the unit off. The drive operates normally and will steer the boat with this configuration.

My questions are:

1. Can I bypass the course computer and keep 12V to the clutch without overheating the clutch? It is uncomfortably warm to the touch when engaged.

2. What signals the clutch to engage when in Auto, the course computer or the flux gate compass?

If the answer to question 1 is yes then I will bypass the computer and power the clutch seperately with jumper wire and a "Kill" switch for manual override. Any answers or comments are appreciated.

Werner
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Old 09-11-2011, 13:21   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Randers, Denmark
Boat: Endurance 37
Posts: 20
Re: Autohelm 300 Course Computer

Hi Werner
Did you succed, by passing your clutch. I have nearly the same problem, so i would like to hear about your experience
kind regards
lars
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Old 09-11-2011, 14:22   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cooktown,Australia.(only to collect my mail)
Boat: Fastback 32 cat.
Posts: 158
Re: Autohelm 300 Course Computer

I have had problems with the plug and socket conections (output side) on my autohelm st3000,cleaning solved the problem.It is not obvious that it is a plug and socket.Autohelm 300 may be similar.
Ian
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:44   #4
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Location: Cocoa, Florida USA
Boat: Westsail 32
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Re: Autohelm 300 Course Computer

Hi Lars,

Yes, we finally got around to it a few weeks ago. The clutch receives its power from the course computer which is where our problem is. We connected the clutch positive to a hot source through an existing unused switch in the cockpit which just happened to be located under the autopilot power switch so that it may be turned on when the autopilot is in AUTO or STANDBY. It means developing a procedure where if a manual course correction or tack is required, the clutch switch must be turned off. The Autopilot can be left in AUTO or STANDBY for manual course correction. We have done a functional check at the dock and everything checks out OK. Sea trial will have to wait until we resolve a starter problem, hopefully in the next week or so. I'll let you know how it all works out. This is on my son's Columbia 50 and I have stressed to him that he should only use the autopilot when established on course and not to use any track function as in the "heat of the moment" forgetting to manually turn off power to the clutch might be problematic and that this is a temporary fix until the course computer can be properly repaired. But you know how those "temporary" fixes have a way of becoming permanent.

Werner
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