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Old 09-03-2007, 08:46   #1
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Need Feedback on Autopilot problem

In short I'm sure I'm not the only one who after purchasing vessel, found out the autopilot didn't work.

The system put on in the late 90's..had very limited usage..The unit a rather powerful "Navico PH 8000'..pretty well suited for my boat 23,000 lbs..I don't want to purchase an entire new system..."Money doesn't grow on trees"..
The hydraulic system looks to be in absolute new condition..the fittings hoses etc..ie the Hydraulic pump and lift Actuater...look in pristine condition..tucked away in watertight..weather tight area.

The specific problem is this..The electronic core pack.The power goes ino the connector from battery...but doesn't come out same connector to actuate the pump....I did as manual procedure..By pass and direct power to pump...worked fine..so the hydraulic system as suspected seems to be fine..

I took the panel off..brought it to a friend who professionally fixes motherboards..Overall view..corrosion factor on motherboard..ran circuit test..replaced some transistors etc..but no luck..when I hooked up pump wire to board....no power on circuit

So I guess the P8000A Electronic core pack is shot..

Of course I did not get far enough to see If The heading sendor unit is working..or the feedback unit or control unit are working..since they are actuated by electronic core pack.

I called up and found out that Navico went out of business: Still Angry they make expensive Equipment and run...

On occasion I found that core pack selling on E Bay..?..Wondering forking out money worth it..not cheap.."Don't want to pee away money if it doesn't work"...because I don't know then if...Feedback unit..Heading sending unit or control unit working...

plus I don't think I'm the only one with this situation..

I've gotten too close to the problem at this time to make a sound decision. regarding this matter..Therefore I'd like to hear from members who have or had experience with autopilots to comment..before I take a course of action

Thanks
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:32   #2
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'corrosion factor on motherboard'

As a retired electronic tech, I'd say you're probably ok buying another core pack on eBay as long as you can get a 'guaranteed not doa' from the seller.

these days, most electronic equipment (especially marine) dies from environmental trauma such as you described rather than poor quality parts.

I have a Navico chart plotter which works fine, but the case plastic died from sun exposure. The result was rain leaks which caused it to quit working. After taking it apart and drying it out, it worked again. I did this several times before using duct tape to waterproof the seam!

Good luck.

Steve B.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:17   #3
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Just to be clear, the Autopilot and the Hydraulic stearing are two seperate items. So if you replace the pilot, a new one will work on the stearing just fine. If that is what you meant by expensive.
However, if it is purely the pilot you find expensive, just so we can advise, what sort of money do you want to make as a absolute limit. Because the best decision is to replace the pilot. The new ones today do som much more that somethign of that age and will use far less power in doing so. The hydraulic pump requirements would stay the same of course.
As the post above suggested, if it is just a controll pack you need, then yes, this would be your cheapest way to go. But you don't or won't ever know the life expectancey till you see the PCB or unless the sellor can take a photo of the guts or varify and guaranttee it is in tiptop condition.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
Just to be clear, the Autopilot and the Hydraulic stearing are two seperate items. So if you replace the pilot, a new one will work on the stearing just fine. If that is what you meant by expensive.
However, if it is purely the pilot you find expensive, just so we can advise, what sort of money do you want to make as a absolute limit. Because the best decision is to replace the pilot. The new ones today do som much more that somethign of that age and will use far less power in doing so. The hydraulic pump requirements would stay the same of course.
As the post above suggested, if it is just a controll pack you need, then yes, this would be your cheapest way to go. But you don't or won't ever know the life expectancey till you see the PCB or unless the sellor can take a photo of the guts or varify and guaranttee it is in tiptop condition.
What I meant is that the baby I don't think has to be thrown out with the bath water...meaning...My own best thinking is..just the electronics need replacing..Not the EXPENSE of an entire new system.."Has anyone else ran into this or a Navico problem..."Has anyone been there with similar problem
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:54   #5
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I moved the thread over to this forum - Tom, you'll find simillar experiences throughout this forum - mine included. I had to redo almost the whole system (new). But, this allowed two others to pick up my good parts to fix their units. Hope you have the same good experiences as the two who purchased my control units. Good Luck!
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Old 10-03-2007, 00:16   #6
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I seem to recall that Navico was bought or merged with Simrad.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermal
I seem to recall that Navico was bought or merged with Simrad.
That's right but it doesn't mean anything...with regard to replacing the broken parts..ie electronic pack..that's what's confusing

They are in business to sell autopilots...could care less about my Navico problem
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:39   #8
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Tom, Equipment becomes obsolete no matter whether the manufacturer is still under the same name or not. Once they move on to new stuff and stop supporting the old you either find a way to fix it on your own or replace it. This is a fact of life if you continue boating. Technologies is changing fast and manufacturers no matter who they are will not support old outdated unit forever and continue to manufacture obsolete parts. If you can get your hands on replacement parts that are usable then go ahead and extend the life of the unit "for a while." But eventually you will replace it. Have fun as a boat owner.
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Old 10-03-2007, 16:06   #9
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
Tom, Equipment becomes obsolete no matter whether the manufacturer is still under the same name or not. Once they move on to new stuff and stop supporting the old you either find a way to fix it on your own or replace it. This is a fact of life if you continue boating. Technologies is changing fast and manufacturers no matter who they are will not support old outdated unit forever and continue to manufacture obsolete parts. If you can get your hands on replacement parts that are usable then go ahead and extend the life of the unit "for a while." But eventually you will replace it. Have fun as a boat owner.
I've been on the bridge of many a ship with Sperry autopilots over 20 years old..parts readily available.."Not going to keep a seaman aboard with manual steering...ocean transiting..

This yacht junk all comes down to marketing and screw the boatowner..British companies are "notorious"..for going out of business.."I still can't find info to service my Knosley winches..

You learn the hard way..Keep your electronics down to a minimum..unless you can afford to just pee your hard earned cash away...and don't believe a word of the slick brochures..

As a seaman who has visited most of the major ports around the world...

Boat electronics and a ladies of the night have something in common..They are only useful for a very short time..
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Old 10-03-2007, 17:24   #10
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I have the same system on a boat I recently bought. It is operational but doesn't have the whistles and bells of the new units. Your hydralic linear actuator, if it is the unit original to the system is, very robust, but requires quite a bit of power which limits your new system options. Two dealers I've talked to here in the PNW have recommended Simarad and Comnav both of which are expensive. I would appreciate any comments, recommendations or suggestions of other systems.
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Old 10-03-2007, 19:07   #11
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Tom, Perhaps you and this yacht stuff are not compatible. This is not the merchant marine and you sound like this whole boat owner thing is going to give you a stroke. You will need to get used to it or find a different pastime.
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Old 10-03-2007, 19:12   #12
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hglad, You have one of the best autopilots around right in your own back yard. Have a look here

WH Autopilots
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Old 10-03-2007, 23:20   #13
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Visiting the taxman...

So this is not the place to revise the old joke about the newlywed's enquiry about what to wear when visiting the taxman?
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:16   #14
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Sat What?
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Old 11-03-2007, 14:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
Tom, Perhaps you and this yacht stuff are not compatible. This is not the merchant marine and you sound like this whole boat owner thing is going to give you a stroke. You will need to get used to it or find a different pastime.
I wasn't looking for a critique of my psychological disposition or characterization based upon "Dr. Baier's observations"..from being pissed off at the irresponsible methodology to market and sell this rubbish.."If it worked or I could get parts of an otherwise healthy system..I wouldn't be here..I don"t mind spending the money on repairs..But as been meaningful stated above the actuator is just fine..AND pointed out..that the technology has been around forever..
I don't know what your agenda is..nor care less..The information to the reply above yours "GlIad" was meaningful..You said nothing meaningful..just pissed me off..

Besides being a senior level Merchant Marine officer..I'm also a Graduate Naval architect ..who designed these "Clorox bottles for 20 years."..Sailed and owned for 50..of my 64 years..and surved these things for 20...mostly crap..LOL

In process of getting a new engine so I can sail this bloody thing wherever....The above two paragraphs I say in passing just to point out how off base your characterization was..

If you came up the ladder to a ship bridge with your characterizations to hard information sought..You would have been told ..pack your bags and leave.

Just answer the question.. if no info.."why bother commenting"..Don't add to the problem when solution sought..."What's the purpose.."

Why put your 7knots link here?...If I want to read tales of the So. Pacific I'll access an appropriate forum..I'm sure you are proud of your voyages..But I don't have time..or inclination to be impressed..I want hard info if anyone's got some...to my situation. something concrete to say without personal attack ...I didn't comment the first time "personally" to your derision...I let it go..but not the second time.
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