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Old 23-01-2015, 13:44   #1
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Attaching ram to quadrant

For folks with quadrant mechanical steering and linear autopilots...

If you attached the ram directly to your quadrant, how'd you do this?

I suppose I could weld a stud at the right place on the quadrant but I'm not sure how strong that would be. Maybe someone has a better idea.

-Chris
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Old 23-01-2015, 14:10   #2
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Often a plate is bolted across the quadrant and then a hole is drilled into the plate and the ram end is attached.
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Old 23-01-2015, 14:17   #3
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Another option is a tiller arm that clamps on the rudder post immediately above the quadrant.

Mark
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Old 23-01-2015, 14:21   #4
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

The preferred method is an add on tiller.

http://www.pyiinc.com/jefa-autopilot/tillerlevers.html

http://www.edsonmarine.com/marinesto...ndex&cPath=105

Or you can bolt a plate to the quadrant as stated above. Don't weld on the quadrant though, they're almost always a casting.


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Old 23-01-2015, 15:21   #5
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

we didn't have enough space on the shaft to add a tiller above or below the quadrant.

so we did as described above: cut a metal bar to go across the quadrant (ours is a 3/8" thick 3" wide stainless, bought from mcmaster-carr, should last long enough), bolted it to the quadrant in 4 places (yes, that meant drilling 4 holes in the quadrant) - friction alone wouldn't be enough to push the quadrant, it would slip.

in our case, the quadrant cross-section has a bit of a T-on-the-side-shape to it, and the metal bar was filed to fit into the "corner" of the T (so that it pushes on the side of the T of the quadrant, rather than pulls on the holes in it).

our quadrant is bronze, so the dissimilar metals impact should be minimal. in any case, there's enough thickness to go around.

the other important aspect is mounting the foot of the drive. that is usually attached to a base which is in turn attached to the hull somehow. i bonded a 3/4" plywood + 6 layers of triaxial cloth (using WEST epoxy) directly to the hull, which on our boat is about an inch thick below the waterline, so that's safe. on more modern boats with thinner hulls (like the J-s), this would sometimes result in the linear drive ripping through the hull - to prevent that you need to re-enforce the mounting location with a few more layers of fiberglass.

hope that helps (and sorry i don't have photos)!
anton
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Old 23-01-2015, 15:46   #6
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

also - not sure which ram you ended up going with (i saw your other thread on this); we ended up going with a L&S (lecomble-schmitt, LECOMBLE & SCHMITT - hydraulique de marine, pompes, v?rins et directions hydrauliques pour bateaux (LS France - Site officiel) available in the US from pyiinc) which i found a decent deal on ebay (it was new but defective, so i had to rebuild it: take it apart and replace some o-rings). i have a spare b&g type 1 which is one piece (also bought new on ebay a couple of years ago), which i may end up parting with if my LS installation proves reliable enough.

whereabouts do you sail? (we're in Mamaroneck NY, which isn't stricktly speaking New England but not terribly far.) the yawl in your profile looks beautiful - is that a wooden concordia by any chance?
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Old 26-01-2015, 09:38   #7
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Thanks everyone.

My quadrant is bronze, built at a time when cheoy-lee was making all their own castings, I imagine there are significant problems welding (unknown) bronze alloys? I hate the thought of drilling holes in it, but it sounds like that's the way to go. (Adding a separate tiller would be a little tight, plus it would require machining additional keyway onto the rudder post.)

Antoha - haven't decided on an autopilot yet. I'm pretty disappointed in Simrad's tech support (*remarkably* short responses that typically address only one of several questions) but it looks like one of their split configuration hydraulic ram would work out.

I'm in Narragansett bay, and she's a Cheoy lee built Rhodes Reliant. Fiberglass hull, all the woods up where the sun can get at it.

Northeast 38 is a gorgeous boat as well!!!
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Old 26-01-2015, 10:02   #8
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

I had to replace my hydraulic ram in NZ with a ram from a different manufacturer with the same (approx) volume but a different configuration: the cylinder was larger, the throw length different, and the mounting was different (both in mounting pattern and in "height" from base to the center of the arm).

The boat already had hydraulic steering and the ram was used by both. Not very fail-safe but that's what I had. Any way it was one of the very most challenging projects I have ever done. The problem was getting the geometry right. The cylinder drive rod should be very close to exactly in parallel to the orientation of the quadrant (a tiller arm in this case but the issue is the same). And it has to be the right distance from the arm at center.

My particular job was complicated by having to work upside down and through a small hatch with the mount over about 2 feet and under the aft berth bottom. In theory it is not difficult but getting it right was tough. When it was all done I was pretty proud of getting it right but it was a bear to do.

I want to put a hydraulic ram with a new AP on the new boat. This thread is useful for getting some thoughts out on how to connect the ram to the steering post. I have a cable "true" quadrant but don't want to attach it direct to that. But it is almost impossible for me to get back in to there with all the equipment crammed in there by the previous owner. But what else is new.

I'll be watching this thread for ideas.
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Old 26-01-2015, 17:55   #9
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

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That's how little space I have around the quadrant: 3/4" above and below it on the rudder post; spoke with Edson if they can make smth custom and they said no way a key of less than an inch is going to hold. So I drilled the quadrant itself. Really didn't want to, but had little choice.

The alternative would have been a sprocket drive: not linear but going to a gear on the steering wheel axle to be added to the one driving the quadrant already. I wanted redundancy - in that setup, it's the same cable that ultimately is the only link. But when I spoke with the Jefa folks they encouraged me to go that route, especially if all I do is coastal sailing and not offshore. Maybe I should have listened to them, we shall see. But they make very nice looking mechanical (not hydraulic) equipment I was considering, especially their direct drive (same as simrad dd15 or whatever it's called). They however said that for my application that's overkill and their linear drive (same as garmin type a) would be a better fit.

Simrad and others don't really make their own drives from what I understand; they "take them into the programme" so you would probably get more of a response from the manufacturer of the drive itself (I don't know who makes their hydraulic drives; I know hy-pro makes them for b&g and raymarine, identical units; accu-steer is for furuno and those are professional grade - again, not first hand just heard).

I also wouldn't skimp out on the drive - the rest of the installation is so much work and cost that 2k for a quality drive is probably warranted. But I did keep looking on eBay for a couple of years, sometimes deals pop up.

Anton


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Old 26-01-2015, 18:14   #10
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Well, the ones above are pretty common.
I have a slightly different system. Fortunately I had enough rudder shaft protruding from the circular "quadrant", complete with keyway. I had a SS tiller arm made to fit that, and it also bolts (thru exisiting threaded holes) to the outer rim of the quadrant. That bit was pretty standard. Next bit is slightly unusual.

My steering gear is accessible thru a hatch and floor panel in the rear of the cockpit. The space around it is not huge, and I could not get a standard, off the shelf ram to power it due to this space restriction. So, I designed and had made a ram - the rod itself is mounted to a pivot on an athwartships bulkhead. The BODY of the ram is mounted to the tiller arm, so the body slides up and down the arm which is fixed. This is the reverse of most systems, but it means that the length of the whole unit does not change - it is the length of the ram rod.
The body of the ram attaches to the tiller arm with a 24mm SS pivot and brass bush, and is held in by a bolt with split pin.
Just in case anyone is struggling with a space restriction, this might give them another idea! :-)
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Old 26-01-2015, 19:31   #11
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I had to replace my hydraulic ram in NZ with a ram from a different manufacturer with the same (approx) volume but a different configuration: the cylinder was larger, the throw length different, and the mounting was different (both in mounting pattern and in "height" from base to the center of the arm).

The boat already had hydraulic steering and the ram was used by both. Not very fail-safe but that's what I had. Any way it was one of the very most challenging projects I have ever done. The problem was getting the geometry right. The cylinder drive rod should be very close to exactly in parallel to the orientation of the quadrant (a tiller arm in this case but the issue is the same). And it has to be the right distance from the arm at center.

My particular job was complicated by having to work upside down and through a small hatch with the mount over about 2 feet and under the aft berth bottom. In theory it is not difficult but getting it right was tough. When it was all done I was pretty proud of getting it right but it was a bear to do.

I want to put a hydraulic ram with a new AP on the new boat. This thread is useful for getting some thoughts out on how to connect the ram to the steering post. I have a cable "true" quadrant but don't want to attach it direct to that. But it is almost impossible for me to get back in to there with all the equipment crammed in there by the previous owner. But what else is new.

I'll be watching this thread for ideas.
If I understand correctly-you feel you need a second ram & hydraulics,to add a pilot? Redundancy?
It's normal to tee your a/p pump into existing hyd steering system.
You would need 2 electrically operated bypass solenoids(one on each ram),tied into your a/p,if you go with 2 cyls.,I believe. May be simpler to carry a spare ram IMHO.
As you discovered,getting the geometry correct is the toughest part of a ram(& rudder follower) install.
I instd many in my career & here are a couple of diagrams,that show the "rules" for correct geometry.I post them here for benefit of forum.Click image for larger version

Name:	Hyd Ssteering Ram Inst.jpg
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Click image for larger version

Name:	Rudder Followup Inst .jpg
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ID:	96112

Hope these came thru!
The secret is the rectangle formed by (1) c/l of rudder stock (2) c/l of ram att. hole in tiller arm/quadrant (3) c/l of swivel pin at hull att. point of ram (4) a point which is in a line that passes thru the c/l of rudder stock & meets a line that passes thru c/l of ram pivot pin-all angles at 90deg,when rudder is centered & ram is at mid-travel.
This rectangle can be rotated 360deg around the ctr of rudder stock,to allow locating the "hull"end of the ram to be attached STRONGLY to hull or bulkhead.
You can make a cardboard,etc,pattern of this rectangle by using the half-extended pin-pin length of ram for long side,& length of tiller arm (c/line of rudder stock to tiller arm ram pin hole)
The pattern can be notched out for rudder stock and rotated about the stock to find best place for ram-hull att.point.
Same "rules" for rudder followup.
(The followup rudderstock arm is one sold by Comnav Marine & att. to stock with a hose clamp-simple & works well)
The tiller arm & ram horizontal plane should be kept within 5deg of each other.If your rudder stock is tilted,your tiller arm will be tilted.Therefore,the plane of the ram(& it's hull mounting point) should be raised.

Hope this helps the forum
Cheers / Len
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Old 26-01-2015, 19:43   #12
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Tiller arm sources

http://www.chatfieldmarine.com/shop/Rudders/Tiller+Arms.html
Tiller Arms On Buck Algonquin
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Old 26-01-2015, 20:03   #13
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

I was lucky that the key way on our rudder post had been cut upward enough to use an Edson tiller arm above the quadrant . I was able to cut the keyway on the bronze Edson arm on my table saw. (It comes without a keyway ) I just needed to buy a bit of Key


Check to see if your rudder shaft is also cut this way.
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Old 26-01-2015, 20:20   #14
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Good luck tonight with the super storm - looks like that area may be the hardest hit.


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Old 27-01-2015, 09:11   #15
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Re: Attaching ram to quadrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
If I understand correctly-you feel you need a second ram & hydraulics,to add a pilot? Redundancy?
It's normal to tee your a/p pump into existing hyd steering system.
You would need 2 electrically operated bypass solenoids(one on each ram),tied into your a/p,if you go with 2 cyls.,I believe. May be simpler to carry a spare ram IMHO.
As you discovered,getting the geometry correct is the toughest part of a ram(& rudder follower) install.
I instd many in my career & here are a couple of diagrams,that show the "rules" for correct geometry.I post them here for benefit of forum.Attachment 96111Attachment 96111

Attachment 96112

Hope these came thru!
The secret is the rectangle formed by (1) c/l of rudder stock (2) c/l of ram att. hole in tiller arm/quadrant (3) c/l of swivel pin at hull att. point of ram (4) a point which is in a line that passes thru the c/l of rudder stock & meets a line that passes thru c/l of ram pivot pin-all angles at 90deg,when rudder is centered & ram is at mid-travel.
This rectangle can be rotated 360deg around the ctr of rudder stock,to allow locating the "hull"end of the ram to be attached STRONGLY to hull or bulkhead.
You can make a cardboard,etc,pattern of this rectangle by using the half-extended pin-pin length of ram for long side,& length of tiller arm (c/line of rudder stock to tiller arm ram pin hole)
The pattern can be notched out for rudder stock and rotated about the stock to find best place for ram-hull att.point.
Same "rules" for rudder followup.
(The followup rudderstock arm is one sold by Comnav Marine & att. to stock with a hose clamp-simple & works well)
The tiller arm & ram horizontal plane should be kept within 5deg of each other.If your rudder stock is tilted,your tiller arm will be tilted.Therefore,the plane of the ram(& it's hull mounting point) should be raised.

Hope this helps the forum
Cheers / Len
Len, thanks for your comments. I think I must not have been clear enough. My previous boat did have a three line hydraulic steering system (Hynautics). The previous owner had already done the "heavy lifting" in installing a ComNav hydraulic pump and AP so that all I had to do was disconnect the old pump and put in the new one. Both used the single ram.

So when I replaced the ram the plumbing was straight forward. I just had to get new lines it because of a change in configuration and lengths required. The mounting was the only difficult part (other than removing a leaky bypass valve to correct a long term very minor leakage). All worked perfectly after the installation.

My old drive ram was from what is now SeaStar in Canada. They make high quality rams but the key is to spec your requirements carefully as there a many different rams for different purposes and configurations. I could not get that ram in NZ so I ordered one through the local mechanical supplier. The new one was made in France and was a beautiful piece of gear.
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