Originally Posted by donradcliffe
Alpha may save some power by not using a clutch or bypass solenoid, but the units use a lot more power because their brains are dumber than a fence post. The motor is constantly running as the boat fishtails across the ocean.
That's not accurate.... you can adjust the yaw to limit the "corrections" the pilot makes.
There are multiple factors which are included in the "steering" algorithm... including rudder feed back and data from the fluxgate compass
. In bouncy conditions the compass
input needs to be damps as it is not representing the heading accurately... the compass will move way more easily than the boat. To mitigate this the fluxgate
should ideally be in the center of mass of the boat... obviously the bow and stern move laterally way more than the center of mass. If the compass placement is less than ideal... the compass will show more "false" fluctuations in heading and the pilot will make more "corrections".
Note that a pilot usually does not have the ability to move the rudder as much as a helmsman does. It essentially makes small corrections to maintain heading. When the boat is being tossed about by seas small corrections don't cut it and so the boat CAN trace an S course. This would be true for any pilot which has a limit on rudder range.
can essentially dampen the corrections and the pilot doesn't respond to every wave....kinda.
The same issue is seen when on a beam reach and you are hit by a gust... the boat will round up and needs a fast response on more rudder to prevent rounding up.
APs don't think and they don't see weather
and wave trends. A person at the helm
can and should.
My experience with the Alpha is positive and it's been driving Shiva for more than 25 years. My boat in moderate conditions and good sunlight can run the AP and the instruments
on 2 - 55 watt solar panels
... something like a 3 amp draw.