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Old 30-06-2020, 16:12   #1
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Old B&G autopilot

Hey all, I have a full Hydro B&G instruments which all work fine so really do not want to replace any which means keeping to NMEA 0183 if possible. Now ehre is my issue:

I have owned the boat for a bit over a year and the B&G T1 ram (blue) failed on the delivery home. The seals failed and they dont make the seal kit anymore. So I went to a hydraulic place and they replaced the seals, bench tested fine, but failed about 12 hours into a passage (not difficult conditions).

From what i understand from the old owner the pilot was original from the boat (47ft Alu fast mono cruiser ~ 14t) which would make it 20 years old. Good effort. Given the T1 is on the borderline of the boat size I found a T2 ram (black) and thought this would be a good upgrade to increase reliability for our upcoming 2 year cruise through Pacific.

So I installed the T2 but didnt work to push the rudder at all (can hear it work but no movement). So some more reading and I had to upgrade the computer to the ACP2 rather than the ACP1. Found one online and installed and again the ram activates but wont push the rudder.

I ran through the dockside commissioning and the rudder indicator appears to be working (full port 1.5 v - midships 2.31 v full stb 3.12 v) but when activating the rudder time, I get no movement and error 103 which is no response from the rudder indicator, but this is probably because the rudder is not moving.

My next move is to make sure that the wires from the ACP2 to the T2 are the correct size for the load going through them, but any other advice would be very welcome...

Can you do a factory reset on a Hydro pilot?
The B&G T2 manual suggests I should be using the NAC computer but I thought that the linear drive should work for any as long as the output voltage is correct.

I really do not want to have to go to the NAC computer because then its then needing to upgrade the pilot controller to Triton which are all NMEA 2000, which then means it wont take wind input as 0183 meaning I wont be able to use the autopilot via wind angle...

Any suggestions?
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Old 30-06-2020, 16:37   #2
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

I use one of these to move my NMEA 0183 wind and depth data to my newer NMEA 2000 system. All my instruments are Simrad. https://www.simrad-yachting.com/simr...183-converter/
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Old 30-06-2020, 16:39   #3
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

Dave Bourque @Precision Marine. (RI, USA). (401) 662-7317‬
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Old 30-06-2020, 20:26   #4
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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Dave Bourque @Precision Marine. (RI, USA). (401) 662-7317‬
Thanks but I am in Australia...

Most B&G people here just want to sell me new stuff
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Old 30-06-2020, 21:57   #5
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

Maybe the new ram is 24v instead of 12v? 12v to a 24v clutch may not activate it?

.your smaller pilot should still move a big ram. But it might blow the fuse. As the smaller ecu will have smaller current capacity. The fact that both don’t move it. Leads me to the ram.

You should be able to move the ram by putting power straight to it. With no pilot. That’s how you test it. If it has a clutch. You’ll have to power it too to test.

When the pilot is engauged, can you still turn the wheel? You should be able to know if the clutch is engauged or not.


You can intragrate nmea 183 wind data to the new 2000 pilot easily with a converter if you end up with a new pilot.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:00   #6
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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Originally Posted by dralyagmas View Post
Thanks but I am in Australia...

Most B&G people here just want to sell me new stuff
Your symptoms, incl. the 103 fault code for the rudder sensor, sound similar to issues I've recently experienced (and finally resolved) with a similar B&G system. After spending a lot of time troubleshooting the electronics, mine turned out to be leaky seals and air in my ram which a local hydraulic shop was unable to properly repair (after 3 attempts). The mfg. for these rams - old & new - is Hy-Pro in the UK. I contacted them via e-mail and they promptly responded with the authorized repair facility in the US who completely resolved the issues by rebuilding my ram. It wasn't cheap (~$650US) but far less expensive than a new ram (~$2000US). Perhaps they know of a repair facility in Aussie.

https://www.hypro.co.uk
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Old 13-07-2020, 20:28   #7
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Re: Old B&G autopilot -UPDATE

Thanks for the reply - I have an update sort of.

After revising the wiring of the clutch I have the it engaging but not moving the pilot. When I put a multi meter on the positive and negative of the ram power in the ACP2 I get very low voltage (somewhere between 2.5 - 8 volts and it bounces around a bit). Given that this is the power for the Ram could this be my issue? Can I wire the power direct to a battery to test whether the ram works or does the ram require a lower voltage to dictate how much to push/pull. I figured that this would be done by the clutch so the ram power should be constant 12v.

There is no leaks of oil from the ram and its definitely 12v
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Old 13-07-2020, 22:39   #8
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

People already recommended the right things to do but you ignore that. If you do not put good power into the system it will never work. Test with direct 12V from battery to ram. Once you can move the rudder with 12V, you can tackle the rest.

This all is hopeless for your cruising plans and you’re throwing money at it which is a waste imho.
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Old 13-07-2020, 22:52   #9
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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People already recommended the right things to do but you ignore that. If you do not put good power into the system it will never work. Test with direct 12V from battery to ram. Once you can move the rudder with 12V, you can tackle the rest.

This all is hopeless for your cruising plans and you’re throwing money at it which is a waste imho.
Wow. I expect that sort of reply on SA but not here...

As far as I can see above no one has recommended the right things to do but run through a number of suggestions to try. I am in the midst of doing that.

I am not sure what you are referring to suggesting that i am throwing money at it, the whole point of this thread is to not buy new stuff ie: throw money at it. So kindly pull your head in.

I have put a 12v battery straight on the ram power and it still gets the same result which is no movement of the rudder, no activation of the ram. This tells me the ram has an issue. But this may also indicate that the ACP also has an issue.
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Old 14-07-2020, 00:25   #10
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

Could be a problem with the pump motor - brushes maybe if it has brushes? Watch the voltage reading as you try to activate the ram with a direct power connection. I have the old black one on a B&G Network system, but fortunately was able to pick up a spare used one some years ago. Needed the spare in the Tasman Sea!
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Old 14-07-2020, 00:27   #11
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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Originally Posted by dralyagmas View Post
Wow. I expect that sort of reply on SA but not here...

As far as I can see above no one has recommended the right things to do but run through a number of suggestions to try. I am in the midst of doing that.

I am not sure what you are referring to suggesting that i am throwing money at it, the whole point of this thread is to not buy new stuff ie: throw money at it. So kindly pull your head in.

I have put a 12v battery straight on the ram power and it still gets the same result which is no movement of the rudder, no activation of the ram. This tells me the ram has an issue. But this may also indicate that the ACP also has an issue.
What? You did not expect to hear simple truth? I did not say you were throwing money away at new stuff... I am saying you’re throwing money away period. You had a T1 ram rebuild then that did not work. Then you bought a T2 ram and that did not work. Then you bought an ACP2 and that did not work. If you believe you’re not throwing money away at it then you’re wrong.

The T1 ram worked fine on the bench but when you put straight 12V to it, it doesn’t move. That is a contradiction. Why would you buy a new conputer when the drive doesn’t move with straight 12V to it? That is not logical.

Smac999 posted about testing with straight 12V and you never gave feed back until after my comment. Now you say the RAM does not move with 12V so why did it move after the rebuild and now it doesn’t?

Just to make sure you do the right thing: disconnect RAM from computer and from rudder. Connect a multimeter to it’s leads, then negative to battery and positive via a switch and fuse. When the switch is activated, the meter should read 12V and the ram move. With polarity reversed it moves the other way. If it does not move and meter shows low or erratic values, your battery or cable is not good. When meter is okay but no movement then back to shop that rebuilt it.
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Old 14-07-2020, 06:19   #12
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post

Just to make sure you do the right thing: disconnect RAM from computer and from rudder. Connect a multimeter to it’s leads, then negative to battery and positive via a switch and fuse. When the switch is activated, the meter should read 12V and the ram move. With polarity reversed it moves the other way. If it does not move and meter shows low or erratic values, your battery or cable is not good. When meter is okay but no movement then back to shop that rebuilt it.
When I did this basic test with my T2 ram, I got 12v to read out on my meter but the ram itself would not move unless I also applied 12v to the clutch. With no power applied the clutch is apparently not engaged so that the wheel remains free for manual steering. Seems to makes sense since better to have no AP than one which you may not be able to disengage. So both the motor and the clutch need to have power applied for the ram to move. At least this was my experience during troubleshooting. As you pointed out, the OP should be sure to have the ram disconnected from both the computer and rudder first.

If there is air in the ram or a leak, this should be evident should the OP be able to get the ram to move. There are also easy ways to check with a meter whether the rudder reference unit (RRU) is working correctly. The voltage numbers for this are listed in the manual (easy to find online).
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Old 14-07-2020, 06:28   #13
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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When I did this basic test with my T2 ram, I got 12v to read out on my meter but the ram itself would not move unless I also applied 12v to the clutch. With no power applied the clutch is apparently not engaged so that the wheel remains free for manual steering. Seems to makes sense since better to have no AP than one which you may not be able to disengage. So both the motor and the clutch need to have power applied for the ram to move. At least this was my experience during troubleshooting. As you pointed out, the OP should be sure to have the ram disconnected from both the computer and rudder first.

If there is air in the ram or a leak, this should be evident should the OP be able to get the ram to move. There are also easy ways to check with a meter whether the rudder reference unit (RRU) is working correctly. The voltage numbers for this are listed in the manual (easy to find online).
Indeed, the clutch needs to be powered as well. Does it have a manual override?
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Old 14-07-2020, 06:34   #14
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

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Indeed, the clutch needs to be powered as well. Does it have a manual override?
I am not aware of a manual override on mine.
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Old 14-07-2020, 15:59   #15
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Re: Old B&G autopilot

Did you re-commision it, where you set the port, starboard and mid points?
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