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Old 07-14-2014, 06:59 PM   #1
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ComNav 1001 Auto Pilot

Now, on to a new issue, though I'm not sure it's an issue. Took Old School out for a 4 hour cruise yesterday. Down the river and out to the lake; The river has some pretty long straight stretches in it so I engaged the AP. After maybe 5 minutes, I noticed a slight rocking from side to side, not bad, just a little annoying. I could also hear the AP pump going off and on at a good pace, which I don't think it should be doing. When I got out to the lake I performed the "Dockside Setup" per the ComNav manual. Back in gear and headed home, same thing. Hit the adjust button and changed the response from fast to slow which didn't seem to make much difference. Looking behind, the wake had a very gentle "S" curve to it every couple hundred yards or so. I know keeping this ship on a straight course takes some doing, but when in the calm river, it was less annoying to just set the wheel on a course and change it every so often as needed, no AP engaged.
Any ideas on this? Thanks in advance.
Mike
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:04 PM   #2
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Anything near the heading sensor? That's the the #1 reason for behavior like this. Look at the manual for HS placement and related cautions.

Don't be afraid to give ComNav a call either.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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What is the heading sensor, the compass? Or a piece of gear attached to the compass? The only thing that I can think of near the compass is one of those Ray-O-Light flashlights with the big almost square batteries.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:40 PM   #4
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Somewhere there is a heading sensor or compass the send a signal to the 1001 for its compass heading data. We have a ComNav 1001 as well and the signal is supplied from a large brass compass below the floor board in the forward stateroom. The manual say to make sure the compass card is swinging smoothly.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:49 PM   #5
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Yes, I have a compass which gives the heading to the AP, pic attached, AP directly to the right of the compass. I think next time out I'll do a full re-set of the AP, then the dockside set up again. Plus moving the flashlight away from the compass.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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Sound like a plan........yes I would find a new home for the flashlight.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:17 PM   #7
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Did it work satisfactorily before? I have to say, that's a strange place (in my experience) for one; usually they are low in the boat to minimize motional forces. And there is typically a lot of electrical devices at a helm that may interfere. Is that a steel boat?

Very cool looking craft by the way!
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
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IIRC, you can change the speed setting on the propeller button.

I found that a big circle calibration solved any of my problems once every few years or so...
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #9
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On the bottom of your compass there is a cylindrical fitting with a couple of wires coming out of it, held in place with a large brass screw. It follows the compass indications and tells the autopilot which course it is following. Mine was loose which caused my Comnav to lose its mind. Have a look at yours.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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George: Appreciate the compliment, it's aluminum, top & bottom. Sometimes, when its rough, the compass card rocks & rolls and the AP can't keep up so you just hang on and steer by hand. Several months ago it was doing this weird hard to starboard turn when going from standby to pilot. It took awhile to figure it out, a loose connection in the control box; fixed that, reset, and all was well. Now, this minimum rocking. I usually don't use the AP in the river, too many boats, turns, etc. So when out in the lake, or maybe a trip to New Orleans, it's on; due to the usual wind and waves, I might not have noticed this rocking. I'll try the complete reboot and setup then see what happens.
Spy: You can change the speed setting when in pilot mode with the adjust button. And I plan to do the compass circle next time too.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:55 PM   #11
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Xbank: I'll do that, thanks.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:01 AM   #12
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Is your steering hydraulic or mechanical?
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:14 AM   #13
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Hydraulic, Vetus
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Anything near the heading sensor? That's the the #1 reason for behavior like this. Look at the manual for HS placement and related cautions.
A friend of mine had a Bendix AP installed after he took delivery of his new vessel. Every so often the boat would make a 90-degree turn to starboard when the AP was active. After a couple of years, a mechanic doing some service work asked him why the heading sensor was installed in the battery compartment. Seems like every time the alternator kicked in the magnetic field around the wiring made the sensor go bonkers. Fix: move the sensor.
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