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Old 10-27-2016, 04:52 PM   #1
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PowerPilot Autohelm 6000

Well short and sweet. A friend of mine upgraded his electronics to a whole new Raymarine package and in the process removed the old, not sure how old, Autohelm 6000. He has given it to me knowing I have no autopilot at all. So my question(s). Is it too old, should I just chuck it out? If I were to install it does it have to communicate with my Chartplotters both Standard Horizon, CP1010i and CP 300 or is a stand alone unit. Third, is a big job to install and would anyone have the manual? Thoughts?
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:10 PM   #2
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Just judging from the control panel, it looks like it only supports Auto mode which is steering to a heading. As such, there is no need to interface to your chart plotter.

If you can find manuals for it, I don't see what you have to lose by installing it other than possibly some of your time. So what the heck, go for it.
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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OK, here's my 2 cents worth;
Why did he take it out?
was it giving trouble?
just wanted the latest & greatest?
If working ok, I would install it,
Old does not mean dead
Check that the pump can handle your cylinder
What is the heading sensor? a pick-up that is attached to
a magnetic compass or a fluxgate type?

some parts may be compatible with a new pilot if you
replace it later, save on wire pulling?

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Old 10-27-2016, 06:39 PM   #4
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Try this link for a manual:
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/31...helm-6000.html
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted View Post
OK, here's my 2 cents worth;
Why did he take it out?
was it giving trouble?
just wanted the latest & greatest?
If working ok, I would install it,
Old does not mean dead
Check that the pump can handle your cylinder
What is the heading sensor? a pick-up that is attached to
a magnetic compass or a fluxgate type?

some parts may be compatible with a new pilot if you
replace it later, save on wire pulling?

Ted
Ted, he says it worked fine but he couldn't set a route just a course heading one leg at a time. He is a retired commercial pilot and wants everything perfect. I will check the pump flow against my cylinder. I was thinking the round globe in the photo was some sort of compass, not sure about the heading sensor, this all new to me.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:01 PM   #6
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It is an old system, but there is nothing wrong with old. If it worked before it was removed, it will probably work again. Autohelm was the predecessor brand to Raymarine and that name went into oblivion 15 years ago.


As others have noted, make sure that the pump output is compatible with your steering hydraulic cylinder. All the parts look like they are there. If you were to buy a basic Raymarine autopilot today, it would cost $3,000. Here is a Raymarine package that is equivalent to this old Autohelm system- Raymarine Evolution EV-200 Power Vessel Hydraulic Autopilot Pack


It will definitely not interface with any modern chart plotter.


So it is doable, but frankly I would only install it as a DIY project. If you are going to have a pro install it, he will charge the same or more to install this system as a modern one.


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Old 10-27-2016, 07:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
Thanks for the link Folivier
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
It is an old system, but there is nothing wrong with old. If it worked before it was removed, it will probably work again. Autohelm was the predecessor brand to Raymarine and that name went into oblivion 15 years ago.


As others have noted, make sure that the pump output is compatible with your steering hydraulic cylinder. All the parts look like they are there. If you were to buy a basic Raymarine autopilot today, it would cost $3,000. Here is a Raymarine package that is equivalent to this old Autohelm system- Raymarine Evolution EV-200 Power Vessel Hydraulic Autopilot Pack


It will definitely not interface with any modern chart plotter.


So it is doable, but frankly I would only install it as a DIY project. If you are going to have a pro install it, he will charge the same or more to install this system as a modern one.


David
Sounds like DIY is the way to go. David, don't have $K and that's USD's, that would be over $4K Canadian. Do you know if Raymarine will still support this if I have a question or would any parts be available should I need them? How is the sizing done for pump and cylinder, is this in the manual or would I have to go to Raymarine? The fellow I got this from had one cylinder, a bit bigger than mine possibly, which had a double rod end driving two rudders (twins). I only have a single rudder. I know nothing about autopilots as you can tell.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:26 PM   #9
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I have the Autohelm 4000, which is pretty much the same, except it's wheel driven rather than hydraulic.

I love it. On my boat, it has been extremely dependable. In 3 years of use, it has not let me down once. I certainly appreciate when I've been on deck single handed in gale force winds.
The only time it has "lost its way" has been when sailing in light flukey winds, with speed <3 knots. It gives a loud beeping signal in cases like this (if it is off course more than a few degrees for more than a few seconds)

As others noted, it won't follow an indirect course, but I don't see that as a negative. It makes you review your situation before making a heading change. That's a good thing.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:46 PM   #10
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Autohelm was acquired by Raytheon in 1990 and became Raymarine in 2001. I don't think you can still buy replacement parts, but there are lots of used Autohelms around. I bought a complete 2nd unit as a backup for $50. You can't beat that! (well, actually you did, Allan)
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:21 AM   #11
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Thanks AusCan, sounds like a no brainer. I will check out the pump spec and cylinder and should have it in while on the hard for the winter.
Thanks for all the contributions, just didn't know if I was wasting my time with this unit. Cheers!
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:06 AM   #12
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The price is right and there is nothing wrong with an autopilot that just holds a straight course. I know it worked when in your friend's boat, but it would be a real pisser to instal it in yours and find it doesn't work for whatever reason. Definitely check compatibilty of pump and cylinder. I suggest you then mount the components on a piece of plywood (to represent the boat), and power it up. See if the pump and other bits try to do what they should when the board (boat) changes heading. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #13
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LaBomba,
I have a 6000 installed on my Bayliner 3888 and it works great! It came with the boat thus I have no installation info to help you with. I'm also a pilot and at first was concerned the unit did not "talk" to my chart plotter and track a course. However, I learned real quick there is a huge difference in A/P requirements when flying at 175kts and boating at 7kts. With the Autohelm 6000 I establish the necessary heading and click the auto button. At 7 kts it takes a long time to get to far off course. If, due to the wind or current, I drift a bit off course I can easily click the 1* button a few times to establish a new heading to reintercept the course. Changing the heading 10 or 20* is easily completed by tapping the 10* buttons though if a large course correction is required I suggest you set the A/P to standby, manually alter heading, then re-engage the A/P. Good luck with your project as it's a real pleasure and workload reducer having an A/P.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:35 PM   #14
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L I establish the necessary heading and click the auto button. At 7 kts it takes a long time to get to far off course. If, due to the wind or current, I drift a bit off course I can easily click the 1* button a few times to establish a new heading to reintercept the course.
This is how I use my newer 6001 Raytheon (Autohelm) even though it can be interfaced. I have not done so. Those that run Buoy to Buoy or track a course on autopilot can be a real danger. Many do not keep a watch, thinking the Autopilot will do all the work. Ask the Tesla owners about that!
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Old 10-31-2016, 02:46 PM   #15
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I have a similar system in my Navico/Simrad WP5000 Wheelpilot. It's not hydraulic, just a mechanical belt to the wheel, but it works well. I have the same 1 or 10 degree changes and no interface with the chartplotter. As mentioned above, it takes a long time to drift off course at 8 kts. I find it serves my purposes very well.

My only regret is that I don't have the wired remote to allow my to relax on the bow ro control from the FB while on AP. I keep scouring the web for one laying around, but have not found one yet.

Good luck with the installation! Free is a great price!

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Old 10-31-2016, 02:47 PM   #16
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Thanks Gentlemen, just the type of positive feedback that I was looking for. Now I need to figure out how to bench test it before installation to make sure it all works.
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:14 PM   #17
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I have a similar system in my Navico/Simrad WP5000 Wheelpilot. It's not hydraulic, just a mechanical belt to the wheel, but it works well. I have the same 1 or 10 degree changes and no interface with the chartplotter. As mentioned above, it takes a long time to drift off course at 8 kts. I find it serves my purposes very well.

My only regret is that I don't have the wired remote to allow my to relax on the bow ro control from the FB while on AP. I keep scouring the web for one laying around, but have not found one yet.

Good luck with the installation! Free is a great price!

I did get a wired remote with this one and the socket to plug it in to on the bridge. The only thing is on the remote you can adjust course +1/-1 +10/-10, but you can't put it on Autopilot or cancel from the remote. I would have to go to the main helm to do that. Bluetooth wasn't even thought of yet when these were made I expect.
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