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Old 10-24-2014, 10:16 PM   #21
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Don't want to derail the thread, but for the life of me I can't find out how to edit the sea state filters. Anyone know how to?
On the AP20/21/22 you double-tap the "NAV (Setup)" key, then tap the ">" key until you see Seastate Filter, then adjust by turning the knob.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:20 PM   #22
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On the AP20/21/22 you double-tap the "NAV (Setup)" key, then tap the ">" key until you see Seastate Filter, then adjust by turning the knob.

So I just use the MAN ones till I find which ones best for the situation? I don't know if there was a way to edit these or not.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:53 PM   #23
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So I just use the MAN ones till I find which ones best for the situation? I don't know if there was a way to edit these or not.
The Manual Seastate Filter settings adjust Deadband and Filter Time Constant. I believe I read somewhere that the maximum Deadband range is +/- 6 degrees. The Filter is Adaptive so I assume these values change dynamically when in Auto mode, but the fixed settings are not accessible that I have ever found. You can view them in the System Data pages though. I think they are established during the Seatrial Autotune or Parameters setup, but that is just a guess.

Hope I didn't confuse you as much as I just confused myself . . . .
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:12 PM   #24
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The Manual Seastate Filter settings adjust Deadband and Filter Time Constant. I believe I read somewhere that the maximum Deadband range is +/- 6 degrees. The Filter is Adaptive so I assume these values change dynamically when in Auto mode, but the fixed settings are not accessible that I have ever found. You can view them in the System Data pages though. I think they are established during the Seatrial Autotune or Parameters setup, but that is just a guess.

Hope I didn't confuse you as much as I just confused myself . . . .

Thanks for info, next time we get in interesting seas I'm going to try and remember to play with it .
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:17 PM   #25
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These are also worth looking into, think we might end up with one of these. Definetly easier to mount then a big satellite compass up on the stack, that needs a totally un-obstructed view and custom mount.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:20 AM   #26
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Peter ,The battery is in the processor box which is normally mounted in the pilot house. Standard 3v lion CMOS type batt soldered and hot melted in place. 3-5 yr svc interval. Not a big deal.

Ted, what does your wake look like? Does the pilot always arrive at its destination? What does the wake look like when you turn the pilot off? A boat is always moving in three dimensions. Charts and compasses with the exception of the sat compass only measure in 2 dimensions but we still get there. If you want to know how good a job the pilot is doing look behind you there's always a trail. You can also go below and watch the steering system to see if it's over or under steering relative to the sea state. I'm betting you just need some tweaking instead of breaking out the wallet.



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Old 10-25-2014, 01:22 PM   #27
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I've got a Simrad HS70 sat compass, and like it in principal, but it has issues at the moment. I also have an RC42 rate compass as a secondary, and have needed it. I'd say the AP steers slightly better on the HS70, but not a ton better. The HS70 outputs roll, pitch,and heave which is nice. I think there is a ibg difference between a FLux Gate and a Rate compass, though the terminology may differ a bit. The key I believe is whether the device outputs rate of turn, or just heading. I think the rate of turn helps the AP a bunch.

The HS70 has a bunch of N2K problems adn they are supposedly fixed in v1.6 of the FW, but I haven't been successful in loading it so far. I managed to get a contact in Simrad engineering who has been helping me, but simrad's normal tech support is less than useless.

That said, my installer has done a bunch of Furuno SC30 installs and has had no end of trouble with them. They sound even more problematic than the HS70. The Furuno SC50 seems to have a better performance record, but has an internal battery that needs to be replaced as some unknown interval, and replacement involves return to factory or use of a soldering iron, not to mention pulling it down off the mast.

If you are OK with a single heading source then I'd just get an RC42 and be done with it. It's a less elegant solution, but much more reliable assuming it's installed away from magnetic sources.

We have SC50s installed in fleet of 40ish something high speed vessels. They are really good stuff.

In one of our boats that was launched in 2006, I know for sure the internal battery has not been replaced since the SC50 was installed 8 years ago. Maybe the longevity of the battery is caused by the SOP to never power down SC50? All electronics stay powered ON when boat is docked to save time to get the boat ready for action in the shortest possible time.
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:07 PM   #28
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I replaced ours after 6 years not because the alarm menu said to but because I wanted to change it on my schedule. We also never power down unless anchored somewhere where it looses it's fix. It's just a hearing aid battery mounted to a circuit board, much like you would find in a desktop computer to power the CMOS which usually last 10 or so years. Furuno says 3 to 5 but obviously you can go longer.


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Old 10-25-2014, 08:30 PM   #29
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If you are OK with a single heading source then I'd just get an RC42 and be done with it. It's a less elegant solution, but much more reliable assuming it's installed away from magnetic sources.
The fluxgate compass I refer to above (which seems to hold a track, as measured by XTE, as accurately as my SC-50), is an RC-42, which I should have pointed out also includes a rate sensor. If I had it to do again, I would not have spent the money on a Sat Compass.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:08 PM   #30
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Ok, so an update. Decided to verify what compass my autopilot has. Behind the console I found the cable with masking tape marked "fluxgate compass". Followed it (no small feat) from the pilothouse to the lower level and under the floor just above the hollow keel where the cable ends with nothing attached to it.

Ok let's try again. Go to the AP20 and find 2 cables going into the back. One leads to the junction box. The other takes a long and winding route to the master stateroom closet. Tucked up in the corner is an RFC35R rate compass.

Next I head back to the junction box to examine the cables going into it. Find a cable hooked to the nmea imput. Follow this multi conductor cable in search of another type of heading sensor. The cable ends under the console with an 8 pin connector that connects to none of the electronics in the console. Somebody please explain to me why people have such a hard time removing obsolete wiring from a boat.

So now I'm at a standstill. Probably have another 6 weeks before the boat is back in the water. There is no 12 volt power on the boat, so I can't access any of the settings in the autopilot. Think I need to verify settings are optimal before trying a material solution (buying something to solve a non hardware problem).

Thanks for all your useful input!

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Old 10-25-2014, 11:24 PM   #31
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Ok let's try again. Go to the AP20 and find 2 cables going into the back. One leads to the junction box. The other takes a long and winding route to the master stateroom closet. Tucked up in the corner is an RFC35R rate compass.
Ted,

Since you have a RFC35R Rate Compass, I would examine the compass location and search for and move any ferrous material stowed within 3 feet or so of the compass. I would then record your existing settings and perform a factory reset. Then go through the Dockside setup. Finally go through the Sea Trial and be sure to re-calibrate the compass and run Autotune. I would also spend some time fine-tuning the Parameters and I think you might find the AP20 can still do a very acceptable job of steering.

If not, you can be certain that you have optimized your existing system before spending a lot of money on any new equipment. There are still many satisfied users of the Simrad AP20/21/22 series autopilot in both commercial and pleasure service.

Feel free to PM if I can help you in any way. I have lived with two of these systems for quite a while.

Good luck,

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Old 10-26-2014, 12:52 AM   #32
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Ted,

Since you have a RFC35R Rate Compass, I would examine the compass location
Uhhh, that may be the problem. Sounds like his A/P is not hooked up to anything.
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Old 10-26-2014, 06:58 AM   #33
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Uhhh, that may be the problem. Sounds like his A/P is not hooked up to anything.
It's connected to the rate compass and the plotter at another input point. According to my manual, a second heading sensor (such as a satellite compass) can be connected to the junction box through the nmea input.

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Old 10-26-2014, 05:04 PM   #34
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Hi Ted,

The main difference between running my Autopilot on the Fluxgate (FG) versus the Satellite Compass (SC) is how much the boat wanders along the course I have set. It's a much straighter path running the SC (almost straight) and much more like a drunken sailor driving when running off the FG.

Sea Eagle has two Simrad AP-50's with a switch installed that allows switching heading sources between the SC-60 or RFC-15R fluxgate.

Good Luck,
Exactly my experience.

I added the Maretron SSc compass to get away from that terrible fluxgate. now my ComNav Autopilot has a additional nmea 0183 port on the controller and the maretron has both a 2000 and a 0183 output, so I was able to leave the fluxgate connected and connect the maretron.

Now at the time, I thought I would never use the fluxgate again, as the performance is noticeably better, BUT the SSC is also very susceptible to interference from the microwave and rice cooker.

So the few days I make rice, I switch back to the fluxgate, because unlike those manly folk who hand steer, I don't seem to have the attention span required to steer a straight line for more than 5 seconds.

SO in sum, it depends upon your autopilot connections.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:13 AM   #35
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The innards of my Furuno SC60 satellite compass. Battery is the shiny coin shaped unit on top. The battery is fixed in place with melting glue.

To the left of the battery is the fluxgate compass (Backup in case of missing GPS coverage. Some of the fjords over here are lined with steep mountains blocking all GPS coverage. The Satellite Compass will fall back to the fluxgate under such circumstances and keep feeding AP, Plotter(s), AIS, etc with heading data)
I belive the three identical units below the fluxgate are the GPS receivers for the three SC antennas. Power Supply board to the right. Processor board in the middle. Interface board at the bottom.


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Old 10-28-2014, 12:12 PM   #36
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Looks like the same type of lithium battery that is found in personal computers and some automobile remotes. I know the PC units don't pop out that easily. Not sure why melting glue is needed. Seems like a lot of unused airspace in that box....definitely not designed by Apple.
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