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Old 21-11-2011, 02:17   #1
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Increasing the Speed of Autohelm 3000 Motor

Hi Friends.
I installed an autohelm 3000 autopilot system to my boat.
My steering system is hydroulic and 5.5 turns lock to lock.
But the electric motor is slow a little bit for a 5.5 turns wheel.
It work good but because the amount of turn too much, the motor reacts slowly and this situation causes problem.
When I think about how to solve this problem, I found 2 solutions.
First one is to smaller the wheel drum (Half size). and the second one is to speed up the motor (I don't know how to do it )
I would like very much to hear your opinions about this situation.

Best Regards and Good Sailing
Murat
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Old 21-11-2011, 06:04   #2
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Re: Increasing the speed of autohelm 3000 motor.

Murat,

Like you my boat has hydraulic steering. Some years ago I had exactly the problem you are having now. I solved the problem by increasing the size of the drive wheel on the motor unit.

It has been a number of years since I made this modification. I did use this autopilot for a number of years and it worked very well. The unit was sold some years ago and I now have a hydraulic autopilot. Due to the unit being sold and the length of time since I made this modification I can't give you dimensions or provide photos of the modified unit.

The following assumes that your 3000 autopilot is constructed the same as my unit was.

What I did was to make a mold for the new drive wheel using a piece of pipe, a piece of wood, some glue, some screws, a short length of spare drive belt, micro-ball filled epoxy, WD-40, and the old drive wheel. The inside diameter of the pipe needs to accommodate a short length of drive belt with a proper set of teeth. Tape made need to be used to shim the pipe so that the piece of drive belt fits snugly. The pipes inside diameter must also be small enough so that the drive belt will not slip off the drive motor.

Use a six inch (or so) square piece of wood as the base for the mold. Mark the approximate center of the wood and center the pipe on this mark. Cut the piece of drive belt to size and glue it to the inside of the pipe (teeth pointing inward and shamed as necessary) so that the belt edge matches the bottom edge of the pipe. Drill a guide hole at the center mark on the wood piece for a screw to hold the old wheel in place. Glue or screw the pipe to the wood so that the old drive wheel is centered in the mold and the belt end of the pipe is against the wood. Spray the inside of the mold with WD-40. Clean the old drive wheel to ensure that the epoxy will stick to it. Use a screw to tightly attach the drive wheel to the wood. Mix the epoxy and micro-balls. Pour the epoxy mixture into the mold making sure that it is even with the top of the old drive wheel and that there are no voids. Once the epoxy has set the new drive wheel should just pop out of the mold.

Remount the 3000 autopilot with the new drive wheel and away you go!

Good luck,

Paul
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Old 21-11-2011, 06:33   #3
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Re: Increasing the speed of autohelm 3000 motor.

Hi Paul.
Your idea is very good.
Instead of smallering the wheel drum this may be done.
It would be very nice if there was a picture of this but I think I understood it.
I thank you very much for this good idea.

Best Regards
Murat
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Old 26-11-2011, 01:55   #4
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Re: Increasing the Speed of Autohelm 3000 Motor

Hi Everybody.
I solved the slow autohelm motor problem at the end :-)
I was in between, whether to small the wheel drum or increase the diameter of the motor gear. I made the first one after I did think too much.
I should have decrease the diameter of the wheel drum in order to increase the amount of wheel turn. I searched the industrial estate here to find a gear which is diameter is the half of the existing one. I found a special aluminyum gear exactly the half diameter of the existing wheel drum. This gear is being used in industrial sewing machines I think. I payed about 27 USD for the gear. I went to a turner than with the boat's wheel and gear in my hand :-) I payed another 27 USD for the mounting of the gear to the boats wheel. But there was a last problem to solve. The belt in my hand was longer and a little bit thick now. I found a shorter very thick belt and made it cut in to four pieces. Now I have 4 belts. I paid only 12 dollars for all the belts.
When I got back to the boat and installed the wheel with the new gear and belt on it. The wheel was turning twice as much. I tested it about 10-15 minutes and there was no problem now.
I especially thanks very much to paul for telling his past experience to me and giving me his valuable time to help me.

Happy good Sailing to Everybody

Murat
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