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Old 04-10-2019, 07:38 PM   #1
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W-H Autopilot

I have an AP-3D autopilot from W-H in Bainbridge, WA. The company owner has slowed down lately and is hard to get a hold of. I need a manual for my unit so I can reset the parameters as the pilot is steering an erratic course swinging through 30 degrees. The control head has a gain knob but decreasing it to nil has no effect. There are no other rudder or pilot terms used in the scrolling menu, only "ADJ1", "ADJ2", "ADJ3", "ADJ4". I think that these adjustments are probably for "Turns lock to lock", "Rudder Speed", etc. but have no way other knowing without a manual.

Does anyone out there have one of these units and might be willing to share the manual?

Thanks

Joe
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #2
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We pulled one of these units off a boat at work, I think I still have it in a box. Let me check and see if I might have put the manual in the box as well.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:24 PM   #3
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I have a WH AP on my boat still. It is a backup, I invariably use the Furuno NavPilot now. About 6 years ago I visited the 'factory', just after they had relocated. I don't have a pdf of a manual, but will check for a hardcopy on the boat within the next day or two.

Will was quite old back when I visited, but still mobile and active with responding to customers. But even then remote contacts, except for a crisis, were a challenge at best. Not very responsive at all. Which is why I visited in person. I can believe he has eventually had to back off a bit. But there were other folks around at the place, and my impression was that the business would continue. If a site visit is feasible then that could be worthwhile.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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Thanks, Stripper and Brian. I appreciate your taking time to look for the manual for this unit. If you can find one, I would love to have a copy.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:52 PM   #5
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I found the "Installation and Operating Manual" for my AP-2 on the boat. Its 22 pages and a sizeable pdf, so I put it in the Library. Here's a link to it:
Trawler Forum - Library - Manuals

I hope you find it of some use.....
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:35 AM   #6
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The compass/heading sensor can be very sensitive. Check to make sure nobody has placed anything magnetic near it. Mine can detect every buried cable on the charts and every flush of the vacuflush toilet! The various sensitivity controls only have moderate impact on the heading, mine is very stable. Iíve used it more than once steering downwind Georgia straight running 6+ feet.

Iím a fan of WH. Sad to hear the owner is slowing down, he was always very helpful and friendly years ago, even then he claimed to be semi retired, but always answered the phone.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:44 AM   #7
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Brian, thank you so much for providing the PDF of the AP-2 model. The glossary of terms is very helpful in understanding the necessary setup and adjustments needed. However, my Model AP-3D doesn't have the Yaw, and Rudder Limit knobs that the AP-2 had, I instead have a Set - Mode toggle that calls up ADJ1, ADJ2,ADJ3,ADJ4 for those functions.

The wiring diagram included answers a bunch of questions that we have and will be very helpful in following the wiring through the boat.

I will go through the Setup Routine provided and see if that helps.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:34 AM   #8
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Our boat is 1200 miles away at the moment, so I don't have access to the AP equipment or the manual. But I'll relate my experience with the W-H unit (can't recall if it's an AP1 or AP2, but it's 1990 vintage).

This probably won't help Joe, but I've only encountered three issues over almost 15 years. The first was when the sensor arm for the rudder position popped off the ball/socket attachment back on the rudder control rod in the lazarette. I'm sure I knocked it off when I was rummaging around storing something back there. Of course the AP lost it's rudder angle and rate input and went stupid. The second problem was a stuck rheostat on the compass assembly in the bilge (cylinder shaped item driven via a tiny cogged belt off a cogged sprocket at the bottom of the compass). I think I got it wet when I was cleaning the bilge. Will turned it around in a day and overnight mailed it back. The third issue was an early learning curve item. As I recall there are three knobs on the control panel for our system. Sea state, boat speed and a rudder feedback control (can't remember what it's called). Anyway, the knob for rudder operating characteristics was set to maximum when it should have been set almost full off. I believe this knob "feathers" the rudder and is a means of softening the input. When set to full on, the system was radically limiting the rudder throw, and the heading would wander back and forth as described in the original post. FWIW.


I echo the sentiment regarding Will...great guy, great product.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:13 PM   #9
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Rufus, thanks for sharing your experiences with the W-H AP. The terms you used to describe the functions are the terms I need to get to the root of. However, not having the same labels or knobs you describe leaves me still looking for the functions of "ADJ1", etc. I found and cleaned up the flux gate today and tested the function at the dock (Small Craft Warning today) and the compass picks up the digital heading but the first steering correction it makes when I call for 2 degrees moves my rudder the equivalent of over a half a turn on the wheel when center to full over is only 2 1/4 turns. Either I need an adjustment of "Numbers of turns lock to lock" (like my old Navico) or some way to control the maximum amount the rudder move to make a course correction. I'm sure these adjustments are there but I have to find them.
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