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Old 07-06-2015, 12:08   #1
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Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

At the start of a 4 month cruise my nearly new (purchased several years ago) simrad tp32 did quite a good job.

But about 1/2 way thru it seemed to wander more and more. It still mostly works, but not nearly as good as originally.

It is out of warranty and I'm just wondering if anyone has experience with sending these back for repair. Raymarine has or had a flat rate repair system, but I don't know that simrad does the same?
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Old 07-06-2015, 17:18   #2
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Re: Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

You might want to try the factory reset. They told me in an email...

Bill,
No power to the TP32 press and hold Port. Tack, Starboard and Nav.
Power up the TP32 while holding the buttons in. The LED's on the unit will blink Indication the reset.

Thank you for choosing Navico products!

Navico Technical Support

This spring I had two TP-32s that were misbehaving. Navico sent me these instructions for restoring the factory default settings. That and a compass calibration using the instructions in the owners manual fixed them both. Be careful that you do not change the tillerpilot from stbd mount to port mount. The instructions for fixing that problem are also in the owners manual.
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Old 22-01-2017, 20:31   #3
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Re: Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

Hi:

I purchased two of these, intending to have a backup. Turns out the first unit went fussy in under 4 dozen hours of usage. It will run for 5 of 15 minutes and then shove the tiller hard over, sometimes full extension, other times full retraction. If I had to guess, I'd say a cold solder joint somewhere. Anthony ever crack one of these open?

Even when they ostensibly work, much of the time I can't get them to steer well. Unclear how much of the troubles are due to highly gusty winds, and how much due to equipment deficiencies such as old blown out sails, too much sail up, lack of centerboard down, other unknown effects.

Does not work anywhere near as well as hoped. I give the experience a C grade.

Boulter
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Old 23-01-2017, 01:08   #4
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Re: Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

I did some rough calcs and I estimate my TP32 has at least 1,000 hrs on the clock, often working its guts out in rough coastal work. Quartering swells are hard on a boat which has a dwl of only 20 feet but with a w/l beam of almost 9 feet. Very hard to go in a straight line !! But the TP 32 is priceless compared to the first two Autohelm 2000's both of which had multiple weaknesses, especially drinking rain water and drive belt stripping. I rebuilt both of those things twice before I realised that the TP 32 was REALLY cheaper in the first place. ( bit like buying oats that have been through a horse already). In OZ we pay USD $900 for TP 32's so American buyers are getting great value.
As described by others, doing a factory reset and then a commissioning should be all thats necessary.
I really do doubt that you have a dry pcb joint.
I think you'll be fine if you follow the instruction book ( which really does need a sharp brain....mine often isn't.
If TP 32's doubled in price........still good kit IMHO.
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Old 23-01-2017, 06:16   #5
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Re: Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

In the summer sun our black Simrad tillerpilots get quite hot, hotter than the electronics like. They then become a little crazy. We found that they benefit from being covered with a white cloth or maybe with a damp white cloth. Later I sewed a white cover for mine that not only keeps it in the shade, but also keeps it a little dryer when there is water flying about.
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Old 23-01-2017, 18:33   #6
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Re: Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

Thanks for the tips guys. I like the cover idea. What were they thinking making these in black.
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Old 21-09-2017, 14:17   #7
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Re: Simrad/navico tillerpilor repair

Hi:

Second unit failed mechanically in that the linear actuator shaft began rotating, which leads to it falling off the a tiller pin. Took it apart and found that the actuator shaft was screwed onto it's mating part and locked with red loctite. Cleaned up as best I could and used blue loctite in the field, all I could find at the time. It failed after a day.

Got it home and repaired with red loctite. Used it recently. The loctite held but it went very erratic:. Oscillated +- 45 degrees around nominal heading with gain set to 1 and +- 25 degrees with gain set to 9. This under motor in very calm conditions.

Total hours over both units in the range of 100. Other than some surface scratches and a tiny amount of dust from the drive belt these units are pristine.

I'll try reset next time out, but I think I am just not meant to have a functional autopilot. Likely time to send these back to Simrad with a nasty note. They are well out of warranty, so don't expect they will do anything for me.

Absolute garbage product. Grade now F.

Boulter
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