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Old 15-08-2017, 11:24   #1
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Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

I installed a new Garmin GHP Reactor autopilot to my steel sailboat. To get the ap working properly, I added a True Heading Vector Compact gps compass unit to nmea 2000 network. For my disappointment garmin doesn't find the Vector compact. Local Garmin support denies to help and keeps arguing that GHP does not support external heading data at all! There is written in the installation manual, that you can connect NMEA 2000 instruments to it, and HDG (receive) is available. ?????!!!! Anybody else struggling with the same problem?
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:41   #2
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

OK... now I've got some green light from the dealer: Garmin is going to renew the brain/Compass unit /CCU... hopefully I will get it replaced with a new model.
I had to put some pressure before something happened. Let's seee...
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Old 03-01-2018, 19:01   #3
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

the only time I tried a garmin rigged boat with 2 heading sensors the garmin pilot did not see the other one. and would only use it's own. the garmin MFD could pick either.
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Old 03-01-2018, 19:21   #4
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
the only time I tried a garmin rigged boat with 2 heading sensors the garmin pilot did not see the other one. and would only use it's own. the garmin MFD could pick either.
Do not have a Garmin AP but do have a Garmin MFD, the 741xs connected to a Simrad AP and NMEA2000 network. The Garmin receives heading data from the Simrad compass with no problem. The Simrad AP also accepts waypoints and headings from the Garmin with no problem.
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:06   #5
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Yes, Garmin support told that this is a "feature" in Reactor-AP. It does not accept external vessel heading data. Even when I very clearly showed them, that it is not the information given at the installation manual.
Other ways the Reactor with Jefa linear motor seems to be quite strong set up. Although
you must be careful if trying to install it to steel boat. It doesn't keep stable course without double-GPS compass unit. So, waiting eagerly the new generation Reactor CCU to get them working together.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:16   #6
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4kMike View Post
Yes, Garmin support told that this is a "feature" in Reactor-AP. It does not accept external vessel heading data. Even when I very clearly showed them, that it is not the information given at the installation manual.
Other ways the Reactor with Jefa linear motor seems to be quite strong set up. Although
you must be careful if trying to install it to steel boat. It doesn't keep stable course without double-GPS compass unit. So, waiting eagerly the new generation Reactor CCU to get them working together.
Hi Mike,

How do you like the Jefa motor? I've been considering one for an upgrade. This is the linear electric motor, yes? Not the linear hydraulic drive?
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:23   #7
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Yes, it is linear electric drive:
Jefa linear drive unit type I

I'm quite impressed with it: it has power enough even when running and waves on quarter. And boat is 16 ton 42ft.

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Hi Mike,

How do you like the Jefa motor? I've been considering one for an upgrade. This is the linear electric motor, yes? Not the linear hydraulic drive?
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Old 20-02-2018, 23:06   #8
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Some Progress:

It is worth of reading this list and updating the software now and then:
https://www8.garmin.com/support/ch.j...t=010-00705-45

as of February 14, 2018
"Changes made from version 4.90 to 5.10:
Improved reception of GPS data from 3rd party GPS antenna."

There has been lot of improvement and bug fixes yearly, since I purchased this AP.
The dealer has now my Reactor course computer for updates or replacement... and we will see how it works after that.
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Old 22-03-2018, 05:31   #9
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Yippee!

My swedish supplier (Hjertmans) did excellent job and pressurized Garmin too:

Now I got the brain unit (CCU) of the Reactor autopilot replaced without expences to new model Reactor 40. That supports the external heading data... and now there is a new software available too:

"Changes made from version 4.90 to 5.10:
Improved reception of GPS data from 3rd party GPS antenna."
(https://www8.garmin.com/support/ch.j...t=010-00705-45)

So dear Steel boat sailors: If You are purchasing a Garmin autopilot, be careful to get model "40" ... not the old one.
;-)

Very Happy
Mike
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Old 24-03-2018, 12:55   #10
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Oops: Just got more info!
Reactor 40 needs an different version of software. The latest is now:
"Reactor 40 Mechanical/Retrofit/Solenoid software version 2.10
as of February 14, 2018
Changes made from version 2.00 to 2.10:
Improved reception of GPS data from 3rd party GPS antenna."

https://www8.garmin.com/support/ch.j...t=010-00705-49

And the third party Vessel Heading -data implementation is going to be added "next summer" ... soooo :-( still waiting to get this story completed with Garmin.
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Old 15-05-2018, 23:07   #11
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

...and the story is continuing.. ;-)

Still waiting the final software version.
I installed the model 40 CCU and run the wizards to configure it properly.

The software v. 2.10 is much more unstable than the "old" one : pitching makes it crazy… and can’t rely it at all. I tried to tune rudder gain setting lower... no effect to this.

Ohhhh... this is a bit complicated.... :-O

Mike.
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Old 16-05-2018, 03:38   #12
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

I have the same issue. And receiving conflicting information from Garmin customer support, doesn't help.

Installed a Simrad HS60 GPS compass with a Garmin GMI20 display, after Garmin support said I could use this to provide heading to the autopilot and radar. The HS60 was initially seen by my Garmin units, except for the autopilot would not use it as source. (Garmin software from around September 2017).

Then I updated to the Garmin software dated February 2018, and all kind of issues came:
The Garmin units (chartplotter, autopilot..) no longer recognized the Simrad compass. Everything is connected via NMEA2000.
Had to replace the GMI20 with a Simrad display, before the Garmin units again recognized the Simrad compass.

Garmin support claims I was not able to get any information from the Simrad compass into Garmin units, prior to the February software update, which according to Garmin, added support for external sources.
Totally opposite of my experience!

Garmin support also claims that the issue most likely is because of other electrical units powers on/off, and thereby causing problems for the NMEA2000 network. This has been checked and is not the issue.

But: Garmin has eventually achnowledged that the autopilot will NOT take heading information from any other sources than Garmin only, even with the latest software.
This feature will "maybe" be introduced in future software updates - again according to info from Garmin support.

The Garmin reactor heading sensor is very unstable, and a calibration is often required, in addition to a "set North" after every major change in heading. (Say more than about 20 degree change).

After updating to the February 2018 software, the heading sensor is living its own life, and differences between heading and COG changes every few seconds, with the all time high record of 160 degrees difference!
This can introduce interesting effects, especially if using radar overlay.

Have sent the heading sensor back to Garmin for repair and/or replace. (Just like I had to do a year ago, after I had a Garmin service person onboard to check my systems...) Hopefully things work a little better this time.
So far, I am absolutely not happy with the conflicting information from Garmin customer service.
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Old 17-05-2018, 19:01   #13
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Every time I pull up a Garmin AP manual I look at the PGN list. 9 times out 10 I will see "Transmit Only 127250 Vessel Heading".

Garmin can't image why anyone would ever want to use something other than the compass they installed inside their AP.
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Old 22-05-2018, 08:03   #14
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Yes, the new manual does not include the hdg on the "receive" table as it is in my printed paper. And i bought the gadget with that information.
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:41   #15
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Re: Garmin autopilot & GPS compass?

Garmin supplied the new model 40 CCU (the brain unit) to me, mut the autopilot is now so unstable that it is totally useless. Tried all the tweaks recommented in the manual. This first software version (2.10) seems to be disaster. Waiting for the new software that should be released in beginning of summer. The temperature is now +24 here in Finland too, so I gess this IS summer...... ;-)
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