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Old 29-01-2017, 19:30   #31
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

Just checking if there has been any new progress since the last post. It's all Greek to me but so was Spanish at one time. Love this kinda stuff. my first post as Corazon. you people brought this lurker out of the dark. Thank you.
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Old 30-01-2017, 05:07   #32
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

Thanks Corazon for giving this a bump!

I missed this thread last summer while I was underway. But it's of great interest to me because I plan to do the same thing for my own Otto.

I have a Simrad hydraulic AP, and the remote control costs ridiculously more than it's worth. For a few dollars you can buy an electronic toy that's far more complex than this thing. It's criminal what these "marine" manufacturers charge.

Interesting that you found the diodes weren't necessary. My biggest challenge is sizing them right for my application. I'm fortunate that there are already terminals on the control board for the remote, I just have to connect to them. Here's the schematic:
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:39   #33
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

Oh happy day! I've had this in mind ever since I saw a picture of that same relay board on ebay. I wasn't brave enough to start shorting connectors on my Autohelm 4000.

The possibilities are tantalizing: a relay board controlled by an arduino or raspberry pi (maybe the one I have running Openplotter and tied into NMEA data), correcting for cross track error, steering an apparent wind course, automating an entire route, controlling it by smartphone or from anywhere in the world, all for no good reason. Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks.

Thanks for this excellent writeup!

Greg
Laguna 33 "Star of the Orient"
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Old 13-04-2017, 18:44   #34
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

BTW on the old autohelm 3000 there are two .01uf electrolytic caps that shunt reverse current to ground. They are grossly undersized to my mind. Mine last year burned up to a chrisp. So I replaces them with two 47uf electrolytic caps from a broken charge controller and it's been working well ever since. I also keep a hand full of TIP120 and TIP 125 daringtons aboard to replace the power transistors if they burn up... again.

On the diode's on the remote. Different autopilots use different methods. The 3000 is a analog unit which I suspect has two analog inputs. and a four pen remote. The 4000 I think has a 5 pin remote and is digital. That means you have one pin at 5v and four pins held at 0v. Bringing any of the four pins high by connecting to 5v sends the signal.

For the 4000 the second remote board without relays should work well.
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Old 30-04-2017, 09:04   #35
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

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Different autopilots use different methods. The 3000 is a analog unit which I suspect has two analog inputs. and a four pen remote. The 4000 I think has a 5 pin remote and is digital. That means you have one pin at 5v and four pins held at 0v. Bringing any of the four pins high by connecting to 5v sends the signal.

For the 4000 the second remote board without relays should work well.


That may be true of the ST version of the 4000, but mine really appears to be all but identical to your controller, and the pinout tests the same. Oddly my relay board seems to have the order of the relays reversed, so I will need to extend more wires and maybe invert it from how I believe you mounted it (face down relays to left). More strangely, I had to reverse the stbd and port wires on C and D relays from what makes any sense to me, I think there is something strange about my relay board, certain connections to other relays seem joined when activated. So now I have left right left right all firing but I haven't confirmed for sure I am getting 10 degree increments in c and d.
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Old 30-04-2017, 09:55   #36
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

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Oddly my relay board seems to have the order of the relays reversed,
Actually I had that same issue. The relays or more likely the remote has the c/d keys backwards. If 10 degrees work then the 1 degrees should work too. Keep fiddling with it.
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Old 30-04-2017, 13:28   #37
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

That is the strange part: the relays trigger (individually) in the expected order labeled on the board.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:00   #38
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

Iím a new member, so hello everyone!
Iíve got Autohelm 3000 with 5 pin socket for remote controller, been trying to ad remote and I think I did something wrong. I connected 5 pins according to scheme that I have found on another forum (1 pin common and four for proper buttons on main unit).
Result is, that motor unit is working when I press button on main unit +1 or +10 one direction, -1 or -10 opposite way. It stops when I release button. I was thinking about changing darlingtons as mentioned before, but I think it isnít problem in my case.
I canít switch main unit in auto mode, after few seconds it goes back to standby. What is interesting, when I disconnect motor unit, it works in auto mode, I mean led ďautoĒ is on.
Do you have any ideas what could I do? Do you have service manual or circuit diagram?
Best regards from Warsaw (in Poland)
Rafal
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:09   #39
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Rafal.
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Old 25-08-2017, 01:27   #40
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

Hi!

This is my version of the story. I modded the china relay remote to reed relays - less magnetic interference. I mounted and wired the board to the keyboard board. Less wiring needed. The +12V were taken from the white power plug. I soldered 2 wires on top of the original cables close to the connector (not the best looking solution). The board fits in really tight but its mounted all together and working fine.

Mine is the Autohelm 3000 (not st either) but with the 5pin remote socket. That doesnt change anything btw. One can also bridge the pins on the remote socket like mentioned here. In fact that is what the nmea/seatalk interface does. Cheap solution. I have such a thing also, but never used it because it su*ks.

I really love the old Autohelm and now love it even more since it has a remote

Take care,
Andy


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Old 22-02-2018, 05:56   #41
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

I'm not trying to hijack this thread, so if unappropriate please point me to the right spot

I'm very interested in this topic as my 'problem' is related but not quite the same.
When I bought my old IOR Halfton boat, it came with a Autohelm 2000 that was (and is, I think) functioning very nicely.
However recently, I redid the navigational network integrating most if the stuff that was already there with a few new bits and bobs to interface all the stuff, and eventually all the data found it way to a raspberry pi running OpenCPN.
The only thing that I couldn't integrate was the Autohelm 2000, as it has no NMEA0183 input, and I couldn't source the radio navigation interface (Z075) that Autohelm once sold as 'interface'.
So finally I replaced the Autohelm with a Simrad TP22+, which did the same job but had NMEA0183 input, so it could be steered by the computer.
And the Autohelm 2000 has been collecting dust in my attic every since.

Having read this topic, I was wondering if it would be possible to design an interface that either connect directly to the tillerpilot (using the connector normally used by the head unit) or connects to the headunit using the connector that would have been used by either the Z075 interface or the remote control. The new interface would take NMEA0183 (old standards, but still supported) data like XTE, course, speed etc and use it to control the tillerpilot.
The reason I would like to keep the existing connections, is simple: I might still want to use the old head unit. When all I want the tiller pilot to do is keep a straight course (because I'm going to change the gib), booting up the computer, gps, etc is overkill ...

I think this should be possible possibly using an Arduino and a couple of relays, but I'm a simple software engineer and not an electronic engineer.

Anyone have any ideas and would be willing to help on this? I don't know about the situation in the US, but I have the distinct impression that there are still a lot of old non-seatalk Autolhelm units out there here in Europe. I think it would make a nice project being able to give them a new lease on life. And ofcourse it would give me a nice back-up for the Simrad TP22+

Sincerely,
Jurgen
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Old 22-02-2018, 09:46   #42
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

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Anyone have any ideas and would be willing to help on this? I don't know about the situation in the US, but I have the distinct impression that there are still a lot of old non-seatalk Autolhelm units out there here in Europe. I think it would make a nice project being able to give them a new lease on life. And ofcourse it would give me a nice back-up for the Simrad TP22+
Can't be done. The old autohelms are analog input and dc logic output. There isn't any sort of computer to decrypt input data. it uses a simple a/d converter to input compass heading and button presses. It's Just a dedicated stand along monolithic controller without any digital input.

The autohelm 4000 and up with seatalk was a completely different (Newer) design with a micro-controller.

It would be far easier just to build a new diy autopilot with NMEA0183. This has already been done, using off the shelf controllers. https://mvcesc.wordpress.com/2013/08...and-autopilot/
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Old 22-02-2018, 12:16   #43
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

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Can't be done. The old autohelms are analog input and dc logic output. There isn't any sort of computer to decrypt input data. it uses a simple a/d converter to input compass heading and button presses. It's Just a dedicated stand along monolithic controller without any digital input.

The autohelm 4000 and up with seatalk was a completely different (Newer) design with a micro-controller.

It would be far easier just to build a new diy autopilot with NMEA0183. This has already been done, using off the shelf controllers. https://mvcesc.wordpress.com/2013/08...and-autopilot/
I know about the Seatalk enabled ones, and that is indeed straight forward.
And I already have bought an commercial (Simrad) TillerPilot, I just was hoping to salvage this one.

You said it can't be done.
Then again Autohelm used to provide that Z075 Radio Navigation interface box that took NMEA and send appropriate signals to the headunit that than controlled the Tillerpilot itself.
Surely there should be a way to minic this behavior, or mimic the signals that are coming from the headunit to the tiller pilot?

Sincerely,
Jurgen
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Old 23-02-2018, 10:00   #44
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

It is probably better to replace the brain entirely and use only the muscle from the old tiller pilot.

What you may be looking for is a project called Pypilot created by Sean Depagnier. It is currently in the process of being integrated with the Openplotter project. Both may be of interest to you.

OpenMarine

pypilot - open source marine autopilot

Sean has achieved what you are describing with three motors:
1) simrad tp22
2) autohelm linear ram
3) raymarine wheel pilot 4000mkii


While the technologies are open, he also sells some hardware on Tindie.
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Old 23-02-2018, 10:26   #45
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Re: Adding wireless remote to a old Autohelm 3000

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I know about the Seatalk enabled ones, and that is indeed straight forward.
And I already have bought an commercial (Simrad) TillerPilot, I just was hoping to salvage this one.

You said it can't be done.
Then again Autohelm used to provide that Z075 Radio Navigation interface box that took NMEA and send appropriate signals to the headunit that than controlled the Tillerpilot itself.
Surely there should be a way to minic this behavior, or mimic the signals that are coming from the headunit to the tiller pilot?

Sincerely,
Jurgen
Yes they had a separate unit /box that interfaced between the nav interface to Autohelm unit. That "black box" took the nav course from the reciever and send left and right input to the old autohelm unit, much like the remote I added does manually. Not at all the same as sending NMEA0183 data direct to the autohelm.

The old Autohelm does not have digital input or a micro processor, or memory and did not know what course it was holding but only compaired x/y headed field strength and making corrections to maintain a analog field strength reading. It used simple analog field strength to control heading without knowing what course it was maintaining

But yes you could build a micro controller to decrypt NMEA0183 signals and then send left and right rudder commands to the old autohelm head unit.

However if you add a compass and rudder position (easy to do) and motor controller (also easy) to the new controller and you can just connect the motor direct to the new controller. This has been done many times by others. It is something I'll ponder when the old autohelm dies to the point I can't repair it any longer.

What I'm pondering, is making a simple motor control board that can interface with a smart phone (any smart phone) and make an app to use a smart phone as the autopilot control interface, (perhaps even with bluetooth). I have several $40 smart phones that seem more then capable of of doing that.

One fellow even has cross track error built into his DIY controller. Quite advanced. Just that you can't send NMEA0183 digital data to the old autohelm as the old units did not have digital inputs or a processor as we thing of one.

But the old analog type autohelm does do a nice job of maintaining course with simple (by today's standard) and in my case discrete parts.
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