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Old 03-16-2015, 12:12 PM   #1
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Attaching auto pilot arm to rudder shaft

What is your arrangement for this ? Do have a separate yoke to attach the auto pilot arm to rudder shaft . Mine is not vey good to say the least .
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:10 PM   #2
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Sometimes you can attach it to the existing rudder quadrant. Other times you have to make a new arm or quadrant.

I use spherical rod ends to allow for the movement and any slight misalignment.

https://www.midwestcontrol.com/image...1575-47030.jpg
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:08 AM   #3
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PM, are you referring to the autopilot's rudder position sensor, or an arrangement that actually moves the rudder?

If the latter, what arrangement do you have now?
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:00 AM   #4
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Here's a photo of our set up Pack Mule. Basically a stout rudder post fitting and the auto pilot hydrallic ram attaches with a swievel connection. The small diameter white and black rods on the other side is for the rudder angle indicator sending unit.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:12 PM   #5
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Correction Pack Mule, the white adjustment rod is the rudder angle indicator sending unit connection. It attaches to the top of the quadrant with a swivel ball fitting that is hose clamped to the quadrant. It has never failed or gone out of adjustment even though I had qualms about the way it was configured.
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoalwaters View Post
PM, are you referring to the autopilot's rudder position sensor, or an arrangement that actually moves the rudder?

If the latter, what arrangement do you have now?
The arm that moves the rudder . That is the only arm for auto pilot that I have .Am I missing something from mine ? I have never even tried the auto pilot .I think it is a Sitex .
Mine has a small thin straight piece of stainless steel that has a 90 degree bend in it that is hose clamped to the square top of the rudder post , then the arm from auto pilot the with swivel connector is attached to that . I'm thinking I should make a yoke with a square hole with split in it and bolt to tighten it around the square part of rudder shaft , then attach the arm to that, something heavier .I'll try to get pic tonight .
That's a nice set up HiDHo
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The arm that moves the rudder (is) the only arm for auto pilot that I have. Am I missing something from mine?
There is normally a fairly hefty arm that turns the rudder plus a little rod connected to a black box that tells the autopilot what the rudder position is and/or how much it has moved. A picture or two would certainly help.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:20 PM   #8
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Ok I feel really stupid now . NOW I understand how the autopilot works . The small arm is the rudder signal arm . I thought the big arm was just for manual steering . The auto pilot motor drives the hyd steering and takes over . If I would have thought about it I wouldn't feel so stupid now and wasted your time today . Thanks guys !!! Maybe I should stick to woodworking .
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:57 PM   #9
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Here's mine...
Pretty simple and clean.

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Old 03-18-2015, 09:54 PM   #10
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Nice set up , your right clean and simple . Thanks
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:11 AM   #11
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Steve, I need to purchase an autopilot system; the old one that came with the boat was very old with dc electric motor and some belts, Went into the dumpster. The steering system I have is Hynautic and the two helm pumps and reservoir are at Southern Charm for a rebuild. I junked all the copper lines and am going to use hydraulic hose, Can you recommend a system?
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:38 AM   #12
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Steve, I need to purchase an autopilot system; Can you recommend a system?
Not sure I'm a good one to make recommendations..This is my first powerboat with Auto and my Raymarine is probably 8 years old. Works flawlessly though and I have a wireless remote for driving from the bridge. This question has been asked before with many good responses. Search "autopilot" and see what you find if no one else chimes in..
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:30 PM   #13
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Making sure it interfaces with your chart plotter is probably the biggest requirement. That's where I would start looking if I were going to mix and match a new autopilot. I had neither when I bought the boat so it was easy to just go to a single brand for everything. My tiller arm had to be drilled and tapped for the rudder indicator, and looks exactly like Heron's. A little scary at first but turned out excellent and has performed flawlessly.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:10 PM   #14
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We have hydraulic steering and a Sitex AP with a reversing hydraulic pump to move the rudder. The Sitex interfaces with our Raymarine chart plotter. Can't turn it on and off from the chartplotter but other than that it works great. For a new install I would go with all the same manufacturer for the chartplotter and the AP.


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Old 05-19-2015, 11:38 AM   #15
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Thanks guys. So I think the smart place would be to start with a qualified marine electronics guy and buy everything from him. I've always had Garmin on my boats and in commercial aviation so I'm inclined towards them but I could go with Raymarine or Simrad I guess.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:48 AM   #16
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NEMA connections are relatively simple so brand is generally meaningless...unless so far out of generation, mixing may be a problem...even with the same manufacturer. Just check NEMA sentence requirements.


Hydraulic pumps are universal at least for all the APs I have installed...right size and power, good to go no matter the source.


So the compass, rudder indicator and "brain" are easier if all the same brand but even they can be mixed and matched if you are willing to do the work.


Robertson (SIMRAD) APs reigned supreme for many years...but now most do the job just fine. I have been to/from Florida many times on Raymarine pilots...easily over 20,000 miles on them without even a burp. The best? Heck no but who is? In my mind any one of them that works fine for you and fits your budget is the correct one.


Most people never use much more than auto to steer a course or track to GOTO a waypoint/follow a route.


All the fancy search patterns and trolling patterns and other bells and whistles may be useful to someone...but I would say most never use other than the basic features.
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:54 PM   #17
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My rudder sensing arm was rigged with a hose clamp set-up so I drilled and tapped it slightly forward in the rudder arm. It works fine but now registers a port rudder angle when there is no rudder angle. Looking for method to adjust this out easily(not trial and error). Any experience out there?
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
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My rudder sensing arm was rigged with a hose clamp set-up so I drilled and tapped it slightly forward in the rudder arm. It works fine but now registers a port rudder angle when there is no rudder angle. Looking for method to adjust this out easily(not trial and error). Any experience out there?
Shorten (or lengthen) the actuating arm...should be simple. Disconnect and move the AP arm until you have a neutral reading. That's where it should be connected to the steering arm.
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