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Old 24-10-2013, 10:09   #1
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Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

Hi all,

I'm planning on fitting a new AC42 Simrad autopilot to my 12m Bowman. I will also fit an RC42 rate compass and an RF25 networked rudder feedback unit. I'm trying to choose between the AP24 and AP28 display units. For nearly double the price, I can't discern much difference between them from the Simrad website.

I'd appreciate any info on whether the AP28 unit is worth the extra bucks. We are normal cruisers, occasionally want to sail a wind angle rather than a compass heading, don't normal connect the autopilot to the GPS.

Any other comments on this system would be welcome. Has anyone fitted one and found any problems? I'll be hooking the computer up to an older Raymarine linear electric drive.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 24-10-2013, 10:31   #2
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

We have the Simrad AC42/AP24 and also had your question when researching them.

The difference between the AP24 and AP28 is that the AP28 has a steering knob, a larger display, and the data on one of its pages has a graphic - where on the AP24 those data are presented as numbers.

In other words, they have identical functionality, except that manual steering is done by a knob on the AP28 and a button on the AP24, and they present identical data, with the exception of a single graphic on the AP28 instead of the numbers on the AP24.

Both displays are multifunction devices that display all data on the network using multiple user-customizable pages in addition to their primary AP functions. Neither are good looking MFD displays compared to the newer small dedicated ones like the B&G Triton or Raymarine i70.

Our AC42 controls a Raymarine linear electric drive.

We love the system and have had no problems with it.

Mark
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Old 24-10-2013, 11:08   #3
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

We also faced that question. We went with the $300 knob rather than the less costly solution. After a couple of years the $300 is forgotten and the logic of twisting the knob left or right is fully intuitive and natural.

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Old 09-11-2013, 11:22   #4
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

I also have an ap24/ac24 combination. It is pretty fine and you can use all the ac24 functions with the ap24. By the way I also have an NSS which is capable of the same results (no need of the ap24)
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Old 24-11-2013, 09:17   #5
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

Hi Steve, the difference between the two units is quite small. As previously said the biggest difference between the two are the steering knob... the dial that's on the AC28 is convenient and intuitive but at the same time the AC24 is too, it just incorporates buttons instead. The other difference is the display size and the graphical interface but again the difference is not drastic. The AC28 claims to have a slightly better steering algorithm but I doubt you'd notice much of a difference between the two. Functionally you're getting pretty darn near the same unit, but interface wise the AC28 has a slight leg up with the display size, control knob, and (supposedly) better algorithm.

You can check out the following links to check them out yourself to compare the two, or hit me up if you have any questions!

Simrad AC28
Simrad AC24
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Old 24-11-2013, 10:25   #6
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

Are you sure the algorithm is in the AP24/28 display and not in the AC24 control unit (processor) ?
Because when is switch off my AP24 and use the NSS8 instead , I feel no difference...
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Old 24-11-2013, 20:12   #7
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

You are spot on, thanks for the correction!
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Old 24-11-2013, 21:17   #8
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

I have a preference for the course change buttons on the AP24 over the knob. Maybe it's a personal quirk but I have trouble turning knobs the right amount while there's no ambiguity in a button push.

My most frequent adjustment when sailing is to avoid a lobster trap (there are approximately 87 billion traps in Maine and all are precisely on my intended course). Pressing a 10 degree turn button once takes much less thought than turning a knob the right amount. After clearing the trap, pressing the opposite 10 degree button returns to course. I don't have to even remember what course I was on. If I realize I need more or less turn I can fine tune it with a few 1 degree pushes.

Two other things to consider in your choice:

The RC42 compass is an older design. There are several newer compasses such as the Airmar H2183 that claim better performance in a seaway.

Simrad has recently released the OP10 autopilot controller that can be used with an IS40 display. The IS40 display is a much better than the display on the older controllers. Especially at night, the old controllers are very hard to read if dimmed enough to save your night vision. I've not seen or used the new display but would consider it if I was buying new.
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Old 28-07-2014, 19:45   #9
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

So you can't control the AC12/42 from a triton display? It must be from either triton controller or AP24/28/NSS?

Can you do the dockside initial setup (Stops, sources etc) using the controller and a triton display?
Just realised, this is an old thread..............duh!
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Old 29-07-2014, 07:59   #10
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by lateral View Post
So you can't control the AC12/42 from a triton display? It must be from either triton controller or AP24/28/NSS?

Can you do the dockside initial setup (Stops, sources etc) using the controller and a triton display?
Just realised, this is an old thread..............duh!
No, you cannot operate the AC12/42 with just the Triton display. You must have the Triton control pad/Simrad OP10, the AP24/28, a suitable chartplotter (Simrad, Lowrance, B&G). I think Simrad also makes a remote that would work too.

You CAN do the full setup and commissioning of the autopilot using just the Triton display. The controller is only for normal operation of the AP.

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Old 29-07-2014, 09:03   #11
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Re: Help with Simrad Autopilot choice

Has anyone looked at the new BandG H5000 autopilot. Just reading about it in total high tech. lust.
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