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Old 08-04-2013, 12:45   #1
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Simrad Autopilot Problems

My new N2K network is now more or less fully operational. Just waiting for the other Zeus to be delivered so I can do the binnacle, but I've got the cable pulled to the scuttle and 3 Tritons installed and working there, and have all the engine room equipment installed and connected. Hurrah!

One problem I've had, however, is that the Zeus at my nav table won't connect to the network except through a Simnet joiner. You are supposed to connect it directly using a Simnet-to-N2K pigtail, according to the instructions, but it doesn't work that way.

The other problem I've had is that I have been unable to commission the autopilot. I get through the rudder feedback calibration ok, but when I try to perform the rudder test, I get an error "AP clutch overload".

The documentation says this means that the clutch (actually, a bypass valve) is drawing more than 3.3 amps or is shorted. But I measured the current draw -- only 2 amps -- and not shorted -- voltage normal.

Navico tech support tell me, despite what the documentation says, this means the AC42N computer can't handle the current of the Raymarine bypass valve (I have a Raymarine Type III reversing hydraulic pump and large hydraulic ram mounted to the quadrant, which is supposed to be compatible with the Simrad pilot computer). They have instructed me to install a relay.

Well, that's annoying. The pilot computer was supposed to be compatible, and there is no obvious violation of the specs. It's not so hard to wire up a relay but still annoying.

Anyone else experience this problem?
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Old 08-04-2013, 16:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
My new N2K network is now more or less fully operational. Just waiting for the other Zeus to be delivered so I can do the binnacle, but I've got the cable pulled to the scuttle and 3 Tritons installed and working there, and have all the engine room equipment installed and connected. Hurrah!

One problem I've had, however, is that the Zeus at my nav table won't connect to the network except through a Simnet joiner. You are supposed to connect it directly using a Simnet-to-N2K pigtail, according to the instructions, but it doesn't work that way.

The other problem I've had is that I have been unable to commission the autopilot. I get through the rudder feedback calibration ok, but when I try to perform the rudder test, I get an error "AP clutch overload".

The documentation says this means that the clutch (actually, a bypass valve) is drawing more than 3.3 amps or is shorted. But I measured the current draw -- only 2 amps -- and not shorted -- voltage normal.

Navico tech support tell me, despite what the documentation says, this means the AC42N computer can't handle the current of the Raymarine bypass valve (I have a Raymarine Type III reversing hydraulic pump and large hydraulic ram mounted to the quadrant, which is supposed to be compatible with the Simrad pilot computer). They have instructed me to install a relay.

Well, that's annoying. The pilot computer was supposed to be compatible, and there is no obvious violation of the specs. It's not so hard to wire up a relay but still annoying.

Anyone else experience this problem?
Use a solid state relay by the way

Dave
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Old 08-04-2013, 17:50   #3
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Re: Simrad Autopilot Problems

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Use a solid state relay by the way

Dave
Thanks, I will do.

From Farnell, of course, with whom you got me acquainted!

An exemplary Internet merchant -- 1000's or 100's of thousands of SKU's, every conceivable electrical or electronic device or component, delivered free next day (even on the Isle of Wight!) if order goes in by 20:00 -- wow! Talk about just in time delivery. Since shipping is free you don't rack your brains trying to put together rational order sizes -- you just order whatever you need, whenever you need it. It's addictive and means you end up spending much more -- very clever people.
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Old 08-04-2013, 18:16   #4
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Thanks, I will do.

From Farnell, of course, with whom you got me acquainted!

An exemplary Internet merchant -- 1000's or 100's of thousands of SKU's, every conceivable electrical or electronic device or component, delivered free next day (even on the Isle of Wight!) if order goes in by 20:00 -- wow! Talk about just in time delivery. Since shipping is free you don't rack your brains trying to put together rational order sizes -- you just order whatever you need, whenever you need it. It's addictive and means you end up spending much more -- very clever people.
Yep, It's the Amazon.com formula, where anything I order in the "Prime" program is delivered within the US for free.

Farnell goes back a long way, very well established. I don't even remember when I first ordered something there.
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Old 08-04-2013, 18:17   #5
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P.s. why don't you pull the plug from that solenoid valve and see what happens? The Autopilot should accept that there is no clutch connected (I have it manual)
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:44   #6
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Re: Simrad Autopilot Problems

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
P.s. why don't you pull the plug from that solenoid valve and see what happens? The Autopilot should accept that there is no clutch connected (I have it manual)
The pump just runs without moving the rudder.

The bypass valve is normally open; it has to be energized to direct hydraulic fluid to the ram.

Yours is manually actuated? Why do you have it set up like that -- is there some advantage?
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:30   #7
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The pump just runs without moving the rudder.

The bypass valve is normally open; it has to be energized to direct hydraulic fluid to the ram.

Yours is manually actuated? Why do you have it set up like that -- is there some advantage?
So it does not give the error message in that case? Sounds like their tech is right then... they must have engineered it like that with a documentation problem.

We have cable steering with a huge bronze quadrant, so the hydraulics is only for the auto-pilot. The bypass valve is controlled with a morse-cable and also often used just to lock the wheel in position.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:39   #8
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Re: Simrad Autopilot Problems

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
.....The documentation says this means that the clutch (actually, a bypass valve) is drawing more than 3.3 amps or is shorted. But I measured the current draw -- only 2 amps -- and not shorted -- voltage normal.
....
While you saw only 2 amps, the msg probably comes from the detected peak draw at clutch close time. This is probably not your problem, but I had similar issue with a Furuno AP and clutch output. Turned out to be a poor connection. Once the connections were cleaned and setup tight, the high draw msg went away.
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