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Old 04-08-2014, 17:52   #1
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Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

We just put about 4000 nm on our new AC42N/ZeusTouch7/AP24/Triton/HLD2000L Mk2 combo from Mexico to Tahiti.

The system works really well and we love the wind hold function. It works really well of course other than when it doesn't. Every once and a while we get a "rudder response failure".

During the failure you can hear the pump whirring but you can still move the helm without resistance so it is as if the solenoid is not engaged. If you turn off the a/p power and restart after a few minutes it is as if nothing has happened.

No correlation to sailing conditions, sail trim, etc. Happens most often if changing between modes - ie auto to wind to nav etc but not always.

Talked to Navico twice now and they suggest waiting until we get to New Zealand where the tech I talked to said they would replace the AC42. Still 3000nm to go or so so would be nice to get it fixed earlier.

I have:

-redone all the commissioning steps
- checked the physical connections for the drive and rudder reference.
- checked the wiring.

Any thoughts out there ?

Cheers,

Max
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Old 05-08-2014, 20:13   #2
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

If I remember correctly this error is shown when the autopilot controller tells the rudder to move, but it doesn't. In the two cases of this I've seen it was air in the hydraulic steering lines. I would guess the same thing would happen if the clutch in a mechanical drive didn't pull in or the steering arm was slipping on the rudder stock.


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Old 16-12-2014, 20:57   #3
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Well we made it to New Zealand safely but the autopilot drive did not make it all the way there ... We had a final "Rudder Response Failure" indication and the drive stopped working completely.

I checked the drive although it was getting the right voltage at the drive nothing was happening. The brushes were okay but interestingly the hydraulic fluid was black.

Our old Robertson HLD2000L drove the rest of the way to New Zealand from Tonga.

After some hassle, Navico is replacing the drive for us.

Thanks,

Max
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Old 08-07-2015, 15:18   #4
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Re: Simrad/B&G AC42N Rudder Response Failure

Bula from Fiji,

Update: Still getting occasional "rudder response failures". Sometimes in a big following sea which I think is the drive legitimately being overpowered. The other times though are in benign conditions especially on changing autopilot modes or trying to reset the autopilot after accidentally shutting down the active control head.

Shouldn't be due to the Triton as that is now updated and the problem was predated by the installation of the Triton Pilot Controller. The drive unit was replaced.

Details: For the No Rudder Response failure I checked the voltages (note we are at anchor so the baseline battery voltage varies with wind and sun):

- At the AC42N the solenoid terminals showed 12.99V at battery v of 13.0 and the drive terminals 12.2V at a battery voltage of 12.9 when using NFU to move the rudder from side to side. The power input to the AC42N was 12.85V with a battery v of 13.05V.
- At the input to the drive unit the voltages were: Drive unit 11.85V with a battery voltage of 12.81 (while under load of the NFU command)and solenoid voltage of 11.50V for a battery voltage of 12.78V under load.

- All the connections seem solid and no evidence of corrosion.

- As the fault is intermittent I have not been able to repeat the fault while at anchor.

Also, double checked that there is no play in the steering or rudder feedback.

Any thoughts out there in internet land ?

Vinaka,

Max
SV-Fluenta.blogspot.ca
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Old 08-07-2015, 15:32   #5
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

I bought a new HLD2000L with an intermittant failure in the bypass solenoid--symptoms were similar.
When it failed, I was 2 days out of Hawaii bound for Santa Cruz, and was able to swap out the solenoid with the one on my old HLD2000L--end of problem, and Navico gave me a new solenoid when I got home.
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Old 08-07-2015, 15:39   #6
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I bought a new HLD2000L with an intermittant failure in the bypass solenoid--symptoms were similar.
When it failed, I was 2 days out of Hawaii bound for Santa Cruz, and was able to swap out the solenoid with the one on my old HLD2000L--end of problem, and Navico gave me a new solenoid when I got home.
That was my suspicion but we have now replaced the whole drive and solenoid.
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Old 08-07-2015, 16:17   #7
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Maybe heavier gauge wire from the AC42 to the drive?


Our AC 42 has a "Virtual rudder feedback" option. Which can (I think) allow the pilot to operate without the rudder feedback unit. I've never tried it, but it might be worth a go?
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Old 08-07-2015, 16:37   #8
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

I was getting similar intermittent error with our HLD2000MKII Split, with an AC42 and RF25 RFU.

We wound up doing the following:

1) the split unit has the reservoir / motor connected to the ram with hydraulic hose. In our case, our boat builder installed the hoses in a vertical plane (like hot wheels loop the loops for those of you familiar with this American toy from the 60s). I reoriented them in a horizontal plane so that any air could rise up to the reservoir. I flushed the system with new hydraulic fluid.

2) the mechanical linkage to our Edson tiller arm was less than ideal w/some slop in it. Our Simrad has a rod end bearing to accept a 12mm pin. We ordered the proper 12mm pin and took our Edson arm to a machine shop to have a proper 12mm bore.

3) I had a Simnet RF25 RFU. Connecting that to our N2K backbone required the Simnet to Micronet adapter - which I think exceeded the "legal" limit of an N2K drop. I replaced the RF25 with an RF25N that already has a micronet connector on it and eliminated the adapter.

4) I worked w/a local Simrad dealer to make sure our AC42 had the latest firmware.

With all the above done, we are no longer getting the error - knock on wood, but I will subscribe to this thread to see what you guys find.
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Old 08-07-2015, 17:34   #9
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Wow, so many owners with similar experiences. I wonder how many owners have AC42 computers, and other Simrad/B&G components, that work correctly out of the box.

I have been struggling with the exact issues as described. Simrad, to their credit, have been very responsive. That doesn't make it a pleasurable experience to go through the trouble shooting, calls to tech support, removal and shipping of suspect components, re-installation of same, and subsequent testing, failure and resumption of the cycle all over again ( yes, I'm frustrated ).

As of now I have spent many hours testing, removing, replacing, first, the RF25N rudder sensor, and now the AC42n computer. I am now waiting for the replacement computer to arrive. If the problems don't end, I will be at my ropes end.

I hope that the hassles end up worth it. The items that work are great.
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Old 08-07-2015, 18:08   #10
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Our Simrad AC42/AP24/RC42/LF3000 with Raymarine Type 2 linear drive has worked perfectly from the day it was installed (early 2012). The Triton and Triton pilot pad also has worked perfectly with this system.

The only difference from the systems mentioned above is that we have the LF3000 linear rudder feedback and a Raymarine drive.

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Old 08-07-2015, 18:27   #11
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Maybe heavier gauge wire from the AC42 to the drive?


Our AC 42 has a "Virtual rudder feedback" option. Which can (I think) allow the pilot to operate without the rudder feedback unit. I've never tried it, but it might be worth a go?
I am pretty confident that the rudder reference is good but more suspicious of the wiring to the solenoid and the power to the AC42.
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Old 08-07-2015, 18:35   #12
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

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Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
Wow, so many owners with similar experiences. I wonder how many owners have AC42 computers, and other Simrad/B&G components, that work correctly out of the box.

I have been struggling with the exact issues as described. Simrad, to their credit, have been very responsive. That doesn't make it a pleasurable experience to go through the trouble shooting, calls to tech support, removal and shipping of suspect components, re-installation of same, and subsequent testing, failure and resumption of the cycle all over again ( yes, I'm frustrated ).

As of now I have spent many hours testing, removing, replacing, first, the RF25N rudder sensor, and now the AC42n computer. I am now waiting for the replacement computer to arrive. If the problems don't end, I will be at my ropes end.

I hope that the hassles end up worth it. The items that work are great.
So frustrating - how did you get them to agree to replace the AC42 ? I wish I pushed harder when I was in NZ to do that as harder now that I am in Fiji. Cruising full time with young kids the autopilot is rather critical to our sanity.

Getting the dead drive - very dead - and less than a year old drive replaced in NZ was a study in frustration. I got Defender in on it to try to pressure them and then had to drive to Auckland with the drive in a bag and walk into and around their Asia Pacific HQ until someone asked me what I was doing. At that point I thought I was either going to get arrested or get my drive replaced. I found the head of Tech Support for Navico Asia Pacific (who was great and was aghast that tech support had ignored by emails from sea and the run around I received when I got to NZ) and he got me a new drive.
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Old 08-07-2015, 18:40   #13
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by arisatx View Post
I was getting similar intermittent error with our HLD2000MKII Split, with an AC42 and RF25 RFU.

We wound up doing the following:

1) the split unit has the reservoir / motor connected to the ram with hydraulic hose. In our case, our boat builder installed the hoses in a vertical plane (like hot wheels loop the loops for those of you familiar with this American toy from the 60s). I reoriented them in a horizontal plane so that any air could rise up to the reservoir. I flushed the system with new hydraulic fluid.

2) the mechanical linkage to our Edson tiller arm was less than ideal w/some slop in it. Our Simrad has a rod end bearing to accept a 12mm pin. We ordered the proper 12mm pin and took our Edson arm to a machine shop to have a proper 12mm bore.

3) I had a Simnet RF25 RFU. Connecting that to our N2K backbone required the Simnet to Micronet adapter - which I think exceeded the "legal" limit of an N2K drop. I replaced the RF25 with an RF25N that already has a micronet connector on it and eliminated the adapter.

4) I worked w/a local Simrad dealer to make sure our AC42 had the latest firmware.

With all the above done, we are no longer getting the error - knock on wood, but I will subscribe to this thread to see what you guys find.
Thanks- glad to know we are not the only ones. Navico is quick to say that it is my fault.

1. Not applicable us with the HLD2000L.
2. No slack in the quadrant.
3. We have the direct wired rudder reference
4. Interesting. How did they update it ? Can it me done through the MFD ! I just updated the Triton and Triton Pilot Controller through the MFD. Wish we had a local dealer !
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Old 08-07-2015, 19:37   #14
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Fluenta, I am sorry to hear about Navico's lethargic response to your troubles. While I have had my own frustration with the equipment, I have had nothing but positive interaction from Navico here in the United States.

It took a few steps for them to eventually replace the AC42N. I was testing voltages and the clutch action on my DD-15 drive while talking it through with the tech support guy and the computer failed to consistently engage and disengage the drive clutch. The tech guy said "it's the computer" and that was that. There was no suspicion of inadequate voltages by that point, as I was giving him the voltages, correct responses from the clutch when bypassing the computer, etc.

My main gripe is all of the time, work and frustration to have to troubleshoot a new installation and have it come down to multiple faulty new parts. FWIW, I am quite experienced in electronics and electrical stuff and, though I went through the normal electrical and network troubleshooting, nothing was amiss with the installation

Colemj, I very glad to hear of your experience. As I mentioned before, I love the system and will relish it even more when everything works properly.

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Old 12-07-2015, 16:31   #15
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Re: Simrad AC42 Rudder Response Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluenta View Post
I am pretty confident that the rudder reference is good but more suspicious of the wiring to the solenoid and the power to the AC42.
You really need to eliminate any possibility of suspect wiring or low voltages before you can be sure the AC42 is the problem.
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