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Old 21-09-2019, 18:41   #1
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Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

My CM 85i powers on , self tests , goes to standby, no error message. Pressing pilot , it does nothing. This is totally new occurrence, it has always worked well since boat purchase 5 years ago. Currently en route from Lombok to FLORES.

unit has power, tested at power cable in junction box with engine on 14.2. Both fuses ok. Not sure where to look next.

Any assistance greatly appreciated. Itís a long haul ahead hand steering
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Old 21-09-2019, 19:17   #2
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

I don't think I can help you much but do you have the manual onboard - if not, it is available here https://coursemaster.com/download/

In my limited experience with CM, they are usually very reliable so that makes it even more surprising that you suddenly have a problem.

Is there any obvious corrosion (even minor) on any of the connectors?

Also you could check for the 6V on the blue controller lead which should be present when the unit is OFF. Mentioned in the manual in 4.3 and copied here

If the system will not switch on, check the main fuse and second fuse, if fitted. Using a voltmeter, check that the correct voltage is applied to the two power terminals and that the polarity is not reversed. A voltage of about 6V should also appear on the blue Controller lead when the system is off. If these conditions are correct, disconnect all cables except the power and Controller and try to switch on. If the self-test message now appears, the fault is in one of the attachments. If these tests do not reveal the problem, another possibility is that the program store (EPROM) has not been fitted correctly or that a pin is bent or broken. If that is not the problem, a service call is required.

One question, does it display the boat's current heading after completing the self test?

Hopefully those more familiar with the CM with chime in with better ideas!
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Old 21-09-2019, 20:13   #3
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Hallo my trusty advisor Wotname! I wasnít sure whether Cousemaster might be your bag, so flew it out there just in case!
Yes I have the manual, and have checked- both fuses ok visually, and tested power to the left side power terminals.

I can see the blue wire going in to the lower row of green rectangles, 2nd from right. Exactly where to I place the voltmeter to test this please?
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Old 21-09-2019, 20:29   #4
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Wotname Yes the coursemaster heading on standby is correct.
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Old 21-09-2019, 23:51   #5
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

With our Cursemaster, not steering was pretty much what it did.

Interestingly, I've encountered a couple of people who were considering shortening their booms, due to their boats rounding up in gusts. Both had Cursemaster "autopilots".

I suggested they try handsteering in gusts. They did, and found there was no real need to shorten their booms. They just needed an autopilot that would actually steer.

Some of the behaviours ours exhibited:

On course, but sounding the off course alarm:

https://youtu.be/zcHn8AFG9-M

10 degrees off course, but little to no rudder:

https://youtu.be/4oNPIg0xcn4

That beeping was a near constant accompaniment to our sailing. It would beep when off course (most of the time) or (rarely) when on course.

I'm quite proud that when I removed the unit from my boat I hadn't put my fist through it. Got very close a few times though...
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Old 22-09-2019, 00:26   #6
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Fortunately my experience with coursemaster has been very good. It’s done many miles in the last 5 years reliably. I am hoping this may be an’easy fix’. - don’t we all haha!

Wotname answering your question, no there is no obvious corrosion anywhere but will check more thoroughly at anchor.
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Old 22-09-2019, 00:32   #7
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nautilus2 View Post
Wotname Yes the coursemaster heading on standby is correct.
Good sign!
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Old 22-09-2019, 00:33   #8
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nautilus2 View Post
Hallo my trusty advisor Wotname! I wasn’t sure whether Cousemaster might be your bag, so flew it out there just in case!
Yes I have the manual, and have checked- both fuses ok visually, and tested power to the left side power terminals.

I can see the blue wire going in to the lower row of green rectangles, 2nd from right. Exactly where to I place the voltmeter to test this please?
Answering your question first:
See attachment
Place the +ve probe of the voltmeter (VM) on the blue wire that is inside the red circle and the -ve probe on the black wire inside the black circle. It should be ~6VDC.
The red circle is the wiring to the controller.
The black circle is the power wiring from the boat’s battery.

Now check the fuses electrically (visual check isn’t good enough). Do this by putting the -ve lead of the VM on the same black wire as above (this is the -ve supply from the battery and placing the +ve lead of the VM onto the fuse end shown in the yellow circles. The large fuse (LHS) is easy but the smaller one adjacent to it might be harder to get the probe onto the fuse end. The black plastic cover should be able to be removed and give you better access. I’m not sure exactly what type of fuse is fitted there and the picture isn’t clear enough to tell however it might look like a small component like a resistor or similar. But it will be a fuse and you should be able measure voltage at the end of it.

Both fuses should be reading the same voltage as the power supply wires ie ~12 to 14 VDC.

Now some questions for you.

1. did the fuses check OK electrically (as described above)?
2. when was the last time the autopilot was working properly?
3. Can you turn the autopilot OFF by holding down the STANDBY and PILOT buttons together for 1 second (sect 2.3 in the manual)?
4. It looks like there is a remote steering device wired in. If so, what model is it - refer sections 1.3 and 3.5.1 of the manual?

The answers will help me to determine what you should do next!

BTW if there are any other readers who are in anyway familiar with this autopilot, please add your thoughts as well.
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Old 22-09-2019, 03:12   #9
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Hi Wotname, not sure if this posted so resending. I have answered Your questions in your text. Sorry it seems a bit all over the place. Thanks for the clear graphic and instructions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Answering your question first:
See attachment.

Now some questions for you.

1. did the fuses check OK electrically (as described above)?

yes both tested at 13.2. Same as battery

Also blue wire tested at 6.3 v with auto pilot on at switch panel but not activated at the display head.

2. when was the last time the autopilot was working properly?
In April tested over 10 mile run after back in the water from slip. All good.

3. Can you turn the autopilot OFF by holding down the STANDBY and PILOT buttons together for 1 second (sect 2.3 in the manual)?

NO


4. It looks like there is a remote steering device wired in. If so, what model is it - refer sections 1.3 and 3.5.1 of the manual?

No remote steering device , but, I am thinking it might be the wiring to the original control head located aft portside near the wheel. The in use display head is located with wind and depth instruments portside of companion way.

The answers will help me to determine what you should do next!

BTW if there are any other readers who are in anyway familiar with this autopilot, please add your thoughts as well.
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Old 22-09-2019, 05:13   #10
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

I assume when you say nothing happening, you mean the pump doesn't run when the pilot switch is pressed. Is it possible its an hydraulic issue? My C85 has a hydraulic bypass valve. When activated, pump can run and steering wheel turns, but rudder ram is isolated
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Old 22-09-2019, 06:09   #11
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Nautilus2, if the original control head is still fitted (located aft portside near the wheel)) can you send a photo of it please?

Quote:
I am thinking it might be the wiring to the original control head located aft portside near the wheel. The in use display head is located with wind and depth instruments portside of companion way.
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Old 22-09-2019, 06:38   #12
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Nautilus2, you posted:
2. when was the last time the autopilot was working properly?
In April tested over 10 mile run after back in the water from slip. All good.

3. Can you turn the autopilot OFF by holding down the STANDBY and PILOT buttons together for 1 second (sect 2.3 in the manual)?

NO



These two answers suggest to me the problem MIGHT be the PILOT switch inside the controller is faulty. Perhaps because it has been sitting unused for 4 to 5 months.

HOWEVER

There is another equally probable explanation. There is some wiring connected to the remote connector in the junction box along with two resistors - see the white circle in this attached image.

Reading 3.5.1 of the manual (copied here)

Note that if a non-Coursemaster switch is used for the STBY/PILOT function, it is connected to grey, orange and green, but it is necessary to fit two 4.7Kohm resistors between orange and brown and between green and brown at the socket.
This suggests there is a remote PILOT / STANDBY fitted as well as the main controller. Possibly this is faulty or the wiring.


Can you give me a description of the wiring attached to the connector in the white circle? How many wires, what pins etc.

We have to determine which path to follow next and any details (pictures?) of a possible remote PILOT/STANDBY switch will greatly assist in deciding the next step.
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Old 22-09-2019, 16:22   #13
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

Morning Wotname , sending photos and diagram.
Photo 1. Diagram of wiring on right hand top and bottom green rectangles
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Old 22-09-2019, 16:26   #14
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

2. Photo wiring up close. The tan coloured cable isnít something that goes to my main switchboard.
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Old 22-09-2019, 16:28   #15
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Re: Coursemaster CM 85i not piloting

3photo. Disused control head . Definitely doesnít work.
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