For a few months now I've encountered an odd issue with my auto pilot system. The control unit is a standard Raymarine
is connected to a custom-made chain-quadrant, driven by a Yaskawa brand 12v servo (?) motor
The issue is this: Leave the boat
for a few weeks, come back to it, the auto pilot servo is engaged, steering
at the wheel
Temporary solution: Turn on power to the boat
, toggle auto pilot power (hitting auto/manual on the control interface), and wiggle the wheel
- the servo will eventually disengage. This can take 5~10 minutes - wouldn't want to try this during an emergency
where steering is required ASAP!
(I am thankful I always check steering before backing out of my slip! So is the guy who owns the catamaran
parked behind me!)
My question for you all... I would like to understand how/why a mechanism that requires 12v to engage would mysteriously engage when sitting idle without any power applied.
My slip is not atop an ancient indian burial ground.
I don't suspect this is an issue with anything other than the innards of the servo motor
. The motor (and system) were installed by the boat's previous owner. He told me these motors, "...are frequently found being used for auto pilots on Japanese fishing
boats." There are four wires going into the motor - 12v +/- and two wires for servo control signal from the autopilot
The motor looks something like this:
Which appears to be a "print motor."
Anyone have experience with this sort of thing? Suggests on diagnosing and troubleshooting the issue?
Unless advised to the contrary, I'm hoping to open up the motor and see if it might just need cleaning
in-and-around the engaging mechanism.
Thanks, in advanced for any feedback or advice!