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Old 11-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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Compass for Robertson autopilot 200DL

Any of you guys have a Robertson autopilot 200DL. My RFC250 compass (obsolete) does not seem to be working correctly and am trying to find a replacement. There are no used ones to be found anywhere. I'm told that a replacement was the RFC35NS (NS=Nmea, Sine/cosine), not surprisingly there does not seem to be any of these left anywhere either. The only other one that may work is an RC37 but not certain of this as I do not understand sine/cosine enough to determine compatibility.

Does anyone have a 200DL system with a RC37 hooked up to it? or any alternative suggestions...... other than junk it.
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Old 11-09-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
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Does anyone have a 200DL system with a RC37 hooked up to it? or any alternative suggestions...... other than junk it.
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Old 11-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
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I'll be removing my AP200DL in about a month, and installing a new AP. Everything works perfectly. If you can wait a bit, we can chat about the compass.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for that Walt, unfortunately it is only Nemea output. The Robertson needs sine/cosine output. These manufacturers are really irritating, I do have a B&G fluxgate on my multifunction display outputting sine/cosine but even in this there are different formats and it is not compatible,

Peter, it is a very kind offer and I would most certainly take you up on it but are you sure you would want to part out the system versus selling it complete. Not sure which way would fetch the best price but either way I am keenly interested and confident we can work something out.

Just out of curiosity, what system are you buying and do you need to change out your ram cylinder & pump?
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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There is a used RFC250 on Ebay right now for $100, it is item number:141109940162

There is also a new replacement unit for $495 in GB. It is item number:310726654919

Good luck!

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Old 11-09-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Capt., I'm installing the Raymarine Evolution EV-100, controlled by my RM e125 and e127 MFD units. The current ram cylinder and pump are being used- per Raymarine, the parameters are within specs and should work fine.

I'll be ordering the EV100 perhaps this week, and will advise on the removal of the AP200.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:01 AM   #7
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Well, a month later, i finally got the EV ordered- as soon as it's received and installed, I'll have the componentry for the AP200 up for sale.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Hi Peter that's great, give me a heads up when the time arrives and what you would like to get for it complete or by component. If I happen to have any spare cash at the time I might grab some or all as spares.

For the benefit of other Robertson autopilot owners, I ended up getting a new replacement Simrad RC37 compass which effectively upgrades the entire system with nmea in/out and greatly increased steering control. The RC37 was/is available as a kit with plugs and instructions to upgrade from the RFC250 compass. Prices varied wildly from $350.00 to $1000.00 so shop wisely.

Also, a priceless resource for advice and repair is Rich at Robertsonrepair.com
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Capt Kangeroo View Post
Hi Peter that's great, give me a heads up when the time arrives and what you would like to get for it complete or by component. If I happen to have any spare cash at the time I might grab some or all as spares.

For the benefit of other Robertson autopilot owners, I ended up getting a new replacement Simrad RC37 compass which effectively upgrades the entire system with nmea in/out and greatly increased steering control. The RC37 was/is available as a kit with plugs and instructions to upgrade from the RFC250 compass. Prices varied wildly from $350.00 to $1000.00 so shop wisely.

Also, a priceless resource for advice and repair is Rich at Robertsonrepair.com
Hi Capt,

I too am in the process of adding an RC37 to my AP200DL to replace the failing RFC250.
I wired today and connected but could not get a steady heading it just kept cycling from 45..180..270..000.. Any advice would be appreciated. I re-wired to SINE/COSINE per the drawing but noticed you said you used the NMEA? Thanks
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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Hello tmcdaid, not sure I like the sounds of that. I'm afraid your a bit ahead of me, I purchased mine about a month ago and had it shipped to my boat in Florida. I plan to instal it next week when we get to the boat.

My comment about nmea was to highlight the fact the RC37 had nmea input/output, the earlier replacements for the RFC250 did not.

You are correct in setting it to sine/cosine. It seems to me I read something about that cycling issue you noted. Is it possible it has to be calibrated to get it settled down on a heading? If all else fails drop Rich a line at robertsonrepair.com

Also keep your eye on this thread. When I get down to the boat this week I'll post back here how my install went.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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Thanks Capt,
I will continue my research and look for your reply when you hook it up. My boat a GB32 is on the hard for the long winter but I did try the calibration by manual rotation but no luck.
I love the AP200DL and hate to replace it. Rich has been very helpful and he did say it should lock on in a few moments to ship heading. A wiring check is next.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #12
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Tmcdaid, you still lurking around here? I am down at the boat & installing the compass tomorrow. I note the wiring colours of the RC37 do not match up with the old RFC250 and also noted that the instructions are for integrating other models to the rc37, not the AP200. Where did you get your wiring schematics from? I am pretty sure I can figure it out but having some verification of the connections would be nice.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:50 AM   #13
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Hi Capt Kangaroo,

Hope I'm not to late to save you some frustration
The wires match up with the exception of the
Red from rfc250 and the green 2.5v ref both mate
to the offset v/2 on the rc37. Hope that helps.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:26 AM   #14
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tmcdaid, many thanks for the tip, I did study the drawings for the RC35 which has the same colour code as the RC37 & found the red & green had to be connected to the same point. I am delighted to report the system now works great. Next task is to repair a leak at the uniflow valve..... it never ends! I am quite looking forward to seeing how much of an improvement in tracking there is & now that the pilot has nmea in/out I'm hoping I can get it talking to my plotter & radar.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:34 PM   #15
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Great glad you got it working. Let me know if you get it talking to your plotter because i have never been able to get my Garmin to comm with the AP200DL.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:48 AM   #16
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Like SeaHorse II said, you have to try Azimuth 1000. I have one and worker well, but but I chenger for a Garmin and now I have a good NMEA 2000 working
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:02 AM   #17
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OK- the Evolution is in, and the Robertson is out. Parts available are listed in the classifieds. Shoot me a PM with any questions you may have.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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I gave my Robertson as a gift for a couple who is also crossing the Caribbean and has no autopilot. is better than nothing
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