last week, went to use autopilot
and got "ACTUATOR FAIL"
I saw that the oil
had leaked from rod seals
and the reservoir was empty.
I rebuilt the cylinder using seals
from Hercules, $27 total.
Feeling pretty proud of myself for fixing my autopilot
I went to install the ram today. I have the split system with motor/pump mounted separate from the ram. Reconnected hydraulic lines, filled reservoir and attempted to cycle motor
back and forth to bleed. That did not work
well so I went home and got a 12V power supply.
I disconnected the motor
leads and the solenoid from the J3000X box. I hooked up solenoid to 12V and could feel it working. Then I hooked up motor leads to 12V supply and pump
happily pushed ram back and forth. I repeated this for 5 minutes just switching the leads and pushing rudder
back and forth.
Great. So then I wire everything back up and get same "ACTUATOR FAIL" message. Grrrr. Numerous attempts produce same result.
I pulled the solenoid (and dumped oil
on my leg), checks out fine on 12v poppet moves perfectly.
I pulled the brushes
in motor and they look new.
I ran it thru the dockside test via the AP11 control and everything went fine up to the rudder
test. Once I centered the rudder the control took over and starts a series of tests. I think I remember it went one way and then "FAIL".
The rudder feedback and compass
appear to work
and read correctly.
Since I had already smashed my finger in the hatch
and was gushing blood and it was raining I decided to hold off in the interest of not offending neighbors with my choice language.
About all I can figure out to test is the voltage at the motor terminals on the J3000x box. Will do that tomorrow. But I verified for 5 minutes that pump
will run on 12v and appears AP11 control head
works just fine.
Starting to think the J3000X box may be bad and not reversing voltage which accounts for actuator fail since the control head
is expecting a change in heading.
All very strange I assume it was due to leaking the oil out and if I fixed and bled system it would work. Not discounting stupidity on my part but I believe the system was bled fine since it had plenty of power running the wheel
back and forth and I verified by trying to stop the wheel
Any other ideas? A used J3000x box is $150 on ebay so I could always fix with credit card but most times I just start throwing parts
vs thinking about problem I end up with lots of extra parts