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Old 30-10-2011, 07:26   #76
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Greg,

To clarify, as far as I know, an integrated autopilot operating in the "Track" aka "Follow Route" mode will not automatically change course for the next waypoint when it reaches the current waypoint. At least mine wouldn't, and I wouldn't want it to.

As it approaches the current waypoint, it will give a beeping signal to alert you. You then push a button instructing it to make the turn necessary to aim for the next waypoint. The only course changes the AP will make in the "Track" mode are those necessary to offset crosstrack error due to setting currents or leeway.

The advantage of the "Track" mode is that it allows you to do your route planning in advance of the trip and load it into the chartplotter, so you have less (potentially distracting) things to do once underway.
FWIW,

Our Navman 3100 gives one the choice of automatically changing course at a waypoint or having an alert signal sound to encourage the operator to do it.

I suspect that in this competitive world other pilots might do the same.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 30-10-2011, 07:45   #77
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Careful, Jim. You're going to get the Luddites stirred up!
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Old 30-10-2011, 08:15   #78
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Careful, Jim. You're going to get the Luddites stirred up!
True, but Luddites, like martinis, are better stirred than shaken!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 30-10-2011, 12:13   #79
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Raymarine has the option to follow a route with multiple waypoints.
Never personally used that function
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:17   #80
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

i change my pilot by meself to where i decide to sail, and the rest of my stuff reads it all without comment--perfect crew personnel.....they are spozedly integrated but i am not gonna change anything--i like this method.
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Old 31-10-2011, 11:18   #81
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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Raymarine has the option to follow a route with multiple waypoints.
Never personally used that function
Also having the AP on lets me go forward in the cockpit to get a better view around the boat. Sitting at the tiller on a heeled boat does not give the greatest view.
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Old 31-10-2011, 13:53   #82
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

dont forget that there are occasionally other boats out there and you might want to actually look around before changing course
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Old 23-11-2011, 08:39   #83
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

The issue is more subtle....

Its about how automation of the process can stifle cognitive awareness.

This has happened first, and most acutely, on the aero side of the aeronautical divide.

As aircraft have become more automated, otherwise highly competent flight crews have demonstrated a puzzling disconnect with the fundamentals of flying when under stress...



And over the last decade, the US Navy has had several serious navigation
mishaps that were a direct cause of too much reliance on EDCIS




And, while this ship could find and shoot down an object the size of a basketball at the edges of space, it strayed onto a reef in perfect conditions outside its own home port!




Now I am no Luddite. I believe we should all use the latest technology to its full advantage. However, there is a a lurking danger in modern nav and control systems...

They do their job "too" well, and its all too easy to be come complacent. It'll sneak up on you. Doubt me? Then the next time you go sailing, keep your chart plotter and "Otto" off, and notice how much you immediately miss them.

Those screens are our generation's version of The Sirens:




Invite them aboard at your risk....
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Old 23-11-2011, 17:18   #84
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Very well put!
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Old 24-11-2011, 08:06   #85
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

Very much in accord with my thinking. Humans are intrisically both lazy and prone to magical thinking. My evidence? The popularity of "reality" TV and international finance come to mind. So do the various spectacular failures of shuttles and nuclear plants in the last 30 years or so.

If you reduce the number of "inputs", the brain must supply the connections in order to analyze the validity (or lack of validity) of the picture being drawn situationally. In a real sense, if you have to connect SOME dots, you get to draw that picture. If you are merely shown a picture without thinking about it, there's frequently less in the way of critical assessment.
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Old 24-11-2011, 09:07   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate
G'Day Greg,

One thing to note: it isn't necessary to have an "all-in-one" instrument to have your autopilot linked to wind or GPS -- a feature we also use. Stand alone instruments can also be thus linked.

I share your distrust of having all your instrument eggs in one basket, and further, I've noted that such conglomerations draw quite a lot of power compared to individual sailing instruments. So, as far as we've gone with instrumentation, stand alone has won out.

Cheers,

Jim
Amongst other things this reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of networking. Networking was invented as a way off improving the redundancy of systems.

In a stand alone system failure of one part of that system renders that whole system unusable. Let's Constrast the situations.

Boat one

Separate depth, wind , log display, gps. autopilot. standalone chart plotter and standalone radar.

A failure of any display head removes the feature. You loose the radar display you loose the radar. Wind display fails , then the wind info is gone.

Now let's look at a modern integrated system like say Raymarine

Boat two

So we have. Depth wind log transducers fed into a couple of display devices including multi function units like the S70 displays ( recent boat I was on had no dedicated instruments but had 4 s70s). We then have a MFD at the chart table and wheel and an autopilot connected in. One ( or) more GzpS devices can be active.

In this case I can loose one of any of the display heads ( or all but one of the S70) or even loose a MFD yet my system remains fully functional with no loss of functionality. In fact I could loose all the display heads and be left with one MFD and still retain full system functionality. As most MFDs can now control the autopilot , I could even loose the control head and still retain ALL the functionality

This argument doesn't even touch on information that can only be presented by the fact of integration such as VMG , radar chart overly, tidal vector calculations. Etc etc

If I build my network properly especially 2K. I can even ensure that shorts in one section do not affect other critical sections.

Finally I can easily and cheaply install redundant transducers and gps senders so that even sender failures can be overcome without any system wiring changes. ( this is effectively impossible in the standalone systems)

All current modern electronic systems are network based. From your car to aircraft to modern manufacturing production plants. There's a reason it is so. !!!!

It's amazes me that old duffers come on and make completely hypothetical assertions or that good electronics leads to laziness. The aircraft industry will tell you that the switch to glass cockpits has significantly increased safety as it removes the tyranny of scanning the dials and allows pilots to focus on overall situational awareness.

Rather then be bombarded with the individual outputs of multiple systems, integrated systems allow intelligent alarming removing the need to watch the dials and hence sailors can pay more attention to "sailing" the boat.

Whether or not you work up routes, merely drop waypoints ahead or just let the autopilot steer in a direction. None of these removes the need for vigilance and the deployment of grey matter. The sea punishes rather quickly those that don't.

Dave
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Old 24-11-2011, 09:17   #87
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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy

Perhaps my review of the book "Black Wave" will illustrate my problems.

The sea is a dynamic place. A little bit of help on the helm is welcome, certainly, but that should only free up the prudent skipper to keep a better watch for other ships, course deviations, sleepy whales and awash containers.
That comment is true irrespective of the level of electronic integration on board.

Quote:

I have yet to see an awash container. Everything else, I've seen.

APs slaved to GPSes are great only if the skipper has confidence that there are no, and I mean no, obstacles or dangers between the setting of the waypoint and the arrival at same.
NO it does not. Irrespective of whether the autopilot is slaved or not or just steering a course or in fact if a crew man is steering, the prudent skipper never assumes the route is safe. Constant vigilance is maintained and required by law.

Quote:

Pardon me for suspecting, as a student of human nature, that this might breed a certain complacency in the sun-dappled skipper on passage.

Better I (personally) have to fiddle, tweak, replot and recalculate in a sort of hands on, pushing the +1 degree button on occasion, squinting at the sea sort of way, rather than to assume there is no impediment to my AP following my GPS's course like a good little robot...that doesn't give a damn about being drowned.
Again this is a completely generalised assumption thrown out as fact. I suspect their are many things that vie to take the skippers attention away from the task in hand ,,,, sun dappled or not. Those people that do so allow it , will in most likelihood, become complacent for all sorts of reasons.

Again in your last statement. All good skippers retain active control the vessel, maintain an appropriate watch and deploy and use all the instrumentation and devices that are available to them to aid in their successful and enjoyable voyage.

Dave
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Old 24-11-2011, 09:58   #88
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

seems that some know how to use their systems while others are afraid of their system becoming SkyNet

I don't really understand the thinking that says if you use your autopilot (what difference does it make whether it is integrated) that you aren't watching where you are going? Sometimes I like that my AP keeps the course WHILE I'm looking around (some people cann't hold a course worth anything)
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Old 24-11-2011, 22:27   #89
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Re: Why Integrate the Autopilot ?

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That comment is true irrespective of the level of electronic integration on board. .....

Dave
Dave, I'll grant you that the system that you describe has sufficient redundancy to provide good reliability.

However, the OP's original question concerned an "all in one" setup. My take on this is that it contains ONE big MFD head with all the transducers linked to it. Should it fail, no instruments at all are available. That's the situation I was referring to.

The system that you describe sounds pretty good until one prices all those gadgets, and tries to budget power to run all of it. Not gonna happen on my boat, and I believe the same applies to Greg, but I could be wrong about that.

Finally, I think that comparing a modern airliner's cockpit instrumentation to a typical cruising yacht, where installation and maintenance are done by amateurs might be misleading in terms of reliability. All those licensed technicians that swarm about the jetliner every hundred hours or whatever are a far cry from a bunch of yotties in a remote anchorage trying to sort out why the depth sounder ain't working... again.

I come from a pretty hi tech background and I like bells and whistles, but I think restraint is important in the reality of the cruising life.

YMMV

Jim
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Old 24-11-2011, 22:37   #90
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Jim, sorry to tell you, but in the case of a
Raymarine integrated seatalk system all instruments can and do operate independently of the MFD. commercial aircraft have fail safe systems with much redundancy built in. Unless you have personal experience of using such a system your comments , as well as other posters, are little more than opinions of armchair sailors.
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