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Old 08-06-2016, 15:20   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Alaska
Boat: Universal Litton 36' Trawler
Posts: 2
Autopilots and Open CPN

Hi folks!

I have a 36' trawler in Alaska. My Robertson AP1000 autopilot seems to be dying and I haven't been able to find anything amiss with it.

I'm currently running an older (not vintage but not touchscreen/wifi either) Raymarine C80 plotter with DSM 250 sounder module and radome. It works fine, although the plotter interface and detail leaves some to be desired.

I've started using OpenCPN running on a laptop as a secondary plotter, and I use it for managing all my routes, waypoints, etc as it's much easier to do on a PC. I also have cameras and a custom made PLC monitoring system on the boat, so the PC is multi-purpose. I just use a USB dongle GPS antenna to run Open CPN.

Question is, I'm looking at replacing my autopilot. The hydraulic pump works fine, but something in the Robertson control system/interface is amiss.

Option one is to buy (likely a Raymarine) a whole new autopilot (minus the pump) that may or may not work with my existing C80 plotter. It doesn't have to interface with it, my current Robertson is stand-alone.

Option two is to get parts that might work with a PC and Open CPN. I'm not finding any specific examples out there of get this part and that part and it will work. I don't have a ton of time available right now to mess with it. Any tried and true systems out there that would run on the PC and potentially save some $$ over buying a whole new system?

Any ideas?

Many thanks!
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Old 24-10-2017, 15:37   #2
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Re: Autopilots and Open CPN

If not too late. See https://opencpn.org/wiki/dokuwiki/do...ilot_autopilot
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Old 25-10-2017, 04:00   #3
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Location: Norway
Posts: 571
Re: Autopilots and Open CPN

The Robertson, later Simrad autopilots is in fact very nice autopilots and almost the de facto standard for commercial / Vessels, and also easy to use under all conditions. It should not be to difficult to find an AP9 unit to replace your troublesome AP1000 unit.

I really appreciate the community effort to make a open source autopilot but the tough hardware of the AP9 would for now be a more viable way to go in a small commercial fishing boat like yours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvalancheAK View Post
Hi folks!

I have a 36' trawler in Alaska. My Robertson AP1000 autopilot seems to be dying and I haven't been able to find anything amiss with it.

I'm currently running an older (not vintage but not touchscreen/wifi either) Raymarine C80 plotter with DSM 250 sounder module and radome. It works fine, although the plotter interface and detail leaves some to be desired.

I've started using OpenCPN running on a laptop as a secondary plotter, and I use it for managing all my routes, waypoints, etc as it's much easier to do on a PC. I also have cameras and a custom made PLC monitoring system on the boat, so the PC is multi-purpose. I just use a USB dongle GPS antenna to run Open CPN.

Question is, I'm looking at replacing my autopilot. The hydraulic pump works fine, but something in the Robertson control system/interface is amiss.

Option one is to buy (likely a Raymarine) a whole new autopilot (minus the pump) that may or may not work with my existing C80 plotter. It doesn't have to interface with it, my current Robertson is stand-alone.

Option two is to get parts that might work with a PC and Open CPN. I'm not finding any specific examples out there of get this part and that part and it will work. I don't have a ton of time available right now to mess with it. Any tried and true systems out there that would run on the PC and potentially save some $$ over buying a whole new system?

Any ideas?

Many thanks!
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Old 25-10-2017, 08:24   #4
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Re: Autopilots and Open CPN

OP's choice, but he said the hydraulic pump works, it's the control system/interface that is the problem, and that he's looking at "Replacing his Autopilot"

If the hydraulic pump controller is still good that can still be used. If not, it may probably require more than the 10 amps of the current PyPilot "controller" unit and a more robust one will need to be made, but the actual brains for the autopilot could quite readily be a PyPilot "Autopilot", thus extending the life of the Robertson gear and saving very large costs new autopilot gear.

Petter5 points out that replacement of the AP1000 unit would be a reasonable route to take, however that will likely be more cost than PyPilot. Sean has used his autopilot across the ocean.

Quote:
Question is, I'm looking at replacing my autopilot. The hydraulic pump works fine, but something in the Robertson control system/interface is amiss.
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Old 25-10-2017, 09:56   #5
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Re: Autopilots and Open CPN

First I would clean all the contacts! look carefully at the controller and try to get the existing "brains" working properly.
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Old 26-10-2017, 10:48   #6
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Norway
Posts: 571
Re: Autopilots and Open CPN

This link may be worth trying RobertsonRepairs: Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvalancheAK View Post
Hi folks!

I have a 36' trawler in Alaska. My Robertson AP1000 autopilot seems to be dying and I haven't been able to find anything amiss with it.

I'm currently running an older (not vintage but not touchscreen/wifi either) Raymarine C80 plotter with DSM 250 sounder module and radome. It works fine, although the plotter interface and detail leaves some to be desired.

I've started using OpenCPN running on a laptop as a secondary plotter, and I use it for managing all my routes, waypoints, etc as it's much easier to do on a PC. I also have cameras and a custom made PLC monitoring system on the boat, so the PC is multi-purpose. I just use a USB dongle GPS antenna to run Open CPN.

Question is, I'm looking at replacing my autopilot. The hydraulic pump works fine, but something in the Robertson control system/interface is amiss.

Option one is to buy (likely a Raymarine) a whole new autopilot (minus the pump) that may or may not work with my existing C80 plotter. It doesn't have to interface with it, my current Robertson is stand-alone.

Option two is to get parts that might work with a PC and Open CPN. I'm not finding any specific examples out there of get this part and that part and it will work. I don't have a ton of time available right now to mess with it. Any tried and true systems out there that would run on the PC and potentially save some $$ over buying a whole new system?

Any ideas?

Many thanks!
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