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Old 06-23-2018, 07:06 PM   #1
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Autopilot woes

Took off today on a 4-hour trip and the autopilot would not engage. The unit is a Cetrek Powerhelm 770. When I push the "auto" button, it doesn't engage and a message "do rudder settings" appears. I don't know what it means since I don't have a manual nor could I find one. Also, the bearing display is 180 degrees off and the rudder position shows "stop" after the number 2 when I turn the wheel to both starboard and port. I was hoping that someone here might have a manual or familiar with this system.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:01 AM   #2
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Here's a link to the manual of a similar product. While the instructions and options may not be exactly the same, there should be similarities that help you make progress. I didn't see the 770 manual available online but didn't look too hard.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:11 PM   #3
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Thanks Greg. I came across that one too. I went through it again and found nothing that addressed my issue. The Cetrek 770 must not be very popular as I'm having a problem finding anything on it online.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:04 PM   #4
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Check connections, check the flux compass, Shut-off and restart. I opened up my old autopilot and hosed it down with Deoxit and now it works fine. Oh, if I put something metal on the dashboard the boat hangs a right turn. No more metal coffee cups!
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:11 PM   #5
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Thanks Ken. I was going to chase wires today when we got back to port, but I only got as far as checking the rudder sensor to make sure it wasn't knocked out of position. I will check the flux compass next. 4 hours at the helm staring at the compass and chartplotter today made me lazy. I now understand why there are boaters out there with redundant autopilots.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:37 PM   #6
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Problem solved. I hope.

Just when I thought I've hit a wall, I came across an outfit called Dean Marine Electronics out of Jacksonville, Fl. I called and Buddy, the proprietor, was very helpful in explaining to me what maybe wrong with my AP and what I needed to do. He also emailed me a pdf of the manual for free. What amazing service and I was just asking if I could buy a manual.

What happened was that I lost all the settings in my unit, as if it were just installed and needed an initial set-up. I went through the rudder and compass set-up and it seems to be working now. But I'm left wondering how it got reset to factory settings in the first place, especially that the steps to accomplish that requires a series of button inputs including a simultaneous push of two buttons. I also wonder if it will lose the settings again. I guess time will tell.

Time to send Buddy a nice tip. Hope this helps those that might be in the same situation one day. Buddy also has some Cetrek parts (limited) and does repairs as well.
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