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Old 14-04-2011, 10:19   #1
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Raymarine Smartpilot Connected to Alpha Actuator

I have a nice Raymarine System installed on my boat along with a 25 year old Alpha Systems Autopilot. I would like to upgrade the system by installing a Raymarine Smartpilot which I already have, the question is can I use the good working Alpha System Linear Actuator with the Smartpilot? It is a 12volt unit and has a feedback sensor.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 14-04-2011, 10:57   #2
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

from reading the various manuals , the answer is yes it looks possible. The Alpha is a standard linear actuator thats controlled by reversing the connections. It looks like it has an " auto declutch" as I see no connections to power a clutch. it also contains the rudder feedback pot.

In the case of teh Ray SPX-10 or 30 ( depending on the current of the arm ). It drives a 12V actuator the same. Its unlikely the rudder feedback pot in the alpha arm will work directly into the SPX pack, so you will have to install the seperate Raymarine rudder reference pot and leave teh alpha feedback pot unused. The SPX provides a drive for a electric "declutch", but as far as I can see teh Alpha doesnt need it.


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Old 14-04-2011, 11:10   #3
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

The Alpha Actuator that I have does not have a clutch, but it does indeed have a feedback pot, it think it would make for a better system if I can use this sensor. Oh, my boat is tiller steered so using a raymarine rudder feedback sensor is not all that practical
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Old 14-04-2011, 11:17   #4
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

the ray unit rudder sensor is wired as a standard potential divider as is the feedback unit in the Alpha. Maybe someone here could measure the Ray marine rudder resistance and see how close its to the Alpha, I cant as the boats 400 miles away! equally teh SPX will operate without a rudder reference and just use the compass heading, but rough weather handling is compromised a bit.

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Old 14-04-2011, 11:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow
the ray unit rudder sensor is wired as a standard potential divider as is the feedback unit in the Alpha. Maybe someone here could measure the Ray marine rudder resistance and see how close its to the Alpha, I cant as the boats 400 miles away! equally teh SPX will operate without a rudder reference and just use the compass heading, but rough weather handling is compromised a bit.

Dave
I understand from a previous post somewhere that the Raymarine sensor is a 5k pot, I don't know what it is on the Alpha Actuator and I too are a long way from the boat to measure it
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Old 14-04-2011, 11:35   #6
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

it doesnt have to be exact anything from about 4K to 10K or more would do, once the SPX rudder circuit doesnt get overpowered driving the resistor.
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Old 14-04-2011, 11:52   #7
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow
it doesnt have to be exact anything from about 4K to 10K or more would do, once the SPX rudder circuit doesnt get overpowered driving the resistor.
Yes, it's a good idea to use one otherwise I suspect the autopilot, a Raymarine S1 and a smart heading sensor will likely work as a "Bang, Bang" system, not good in a good sea.
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Old 14-04-2011, 12:01   #8
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

i have a spare raymarine rudder position sensor . Is this what you are looking for
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Old 14-04-2011, 12:23   #9
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Originally Posted by chris smith
i have a spare raymarine rudder position sensor . Is this what you are looking for
Yes, I might be able to make it work, can you email me with some info?
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Old 14-04-2011, 12:30   #10
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

I have no info. It is a standard item for the type 2 drive .
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Old 14-04-2011, 12:37   #11
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As a matter of interest do I actually need a rudder position sensor if I have a gyro2 in my system? This is a sailboat with a tiller.
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Old 14-04-2011, 14:06   #12
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Re: Raymarine Smartpilot connected to Alpha actuator

No , with a tiller your arm will be the position indicator
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