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Old 08-02-2015, 21:26   #1
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Garmin GHP 12 Issue

I have a Garmin GHP12 with a class B drive on my 43' sailboat. It's worked flawlessly for a few years now until recently.

Recently, after engaging the autopilot and then going to standby (disengage - I have the helm) the dive unit will not release the helm despite the control unit being in standby. After 30-90 seconds or so the drive until releases. Until today - It took over 2 minutes and I ultimately turned off the unit at the breaker. After turning it off, and enjoying the sail, I turned it back on and it worked flawlessly again for the rest of the day.

This has happened once before, in October, but only twice and very quickly resolved itself without the problem returning. In October I sailed for 5 days without the problem reoccuring.

I've email Garmin as to the issue and resultion. I'm suspecting a cable. I'm also tempted to do a complete system reset to see if that resolves the issue.

Anyone else run into this peculiar problem?
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Old 03-06-2015, 13:45   #2
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Re: Garmin GHP 12 Issue

well this has been interesting. I was not able to recreate the problem however after contacing Garmin they said it was the ECU controller and sent me a new one. I tested it for a few months before taking off on a trip not long ago. So on the trip the until performed well in rough and calms seas.

Fast forward to the other day and I'm on the boat showing somone the systems. They are curious about the autopilot so I turn it on, engage it and ...nothing. The pump runs but the ram doesn't engage.

I check the wiring.. fine, voltage, good.. fluid, good.

So I call garmin again with the exact opposite problem now. The ram won't engage. So after speaking with a nice rep, who really doesn't know squat, he says he needs to talk wiht an engineer. Ok. He calls me back and told me the engineer feels it's the clutch on the drive unit. Btw, the entire system is made by Hypro out of the UK and it's a HS50.

So the nice autopilot rep tells me "pull it all out and send it in for repair". All of it? Yes. Ok so how much I ask. He tells me $1,300. WHAT!?? A new until is $2,300 and has a 2 year warranty. The warranty I get on this repaired unitl would be..... 90 days. btw, my until was installed in 2011 so it's 2 years out of warranty.

Pissed.... furious. yup and yup. I'm ready to tear out all the garmin stuff.

But I was able to contact Hypro in the UK and will await their answer. It looks like the clutch is easily (relative term) replaceable without removing everything.

I'll update as I hear more.
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Old 05-06-2015, 20:55   #3
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Re: Garmin GHP 12 Issue

Keep us informed!
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:19   #4
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Re: Garmin GHP 12 Issue

Ok.. update from yesterday. Hypro was most excellent. They send me a nice email along with a full color instruction, with pictures, on how to test the system and repair it. It was simple.

Basically the first problem of the drive not releasing was indeed the ECU. The second problem of the drive not engaging was the clutch solenoid. No one could answer if one led to the other.

The test for the clutch not engaging was simply to remove the solenoid, activate it and put a screw diver into the hole where the clutch would have gone. It creates a magnetic field. IF the screw driver is drawn to the soleniod then it's working. Well, instead we put guages on it. We had good voltage going into it but 9v or less coming out. Then we could smell it. Yep, the solenoid was shot.

Cost - About $35.

Garmin did tell me that if the solenoid was bad it probably damaged the ECU too and they would replace under warranty.

Just waiting on parts now and will update when it's all back together. Yeah... $35 vs $1,300.
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