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Old 06-01-2015, 01:32 PM   #1
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Testing Autopilot

I tried this on another forum, with no takers.

My boat came "equipped" with the Unipass linear actuator below, neatly wired into the black box shown, with a cable from the box leading...nowhere.

The "head" unit for the autopilot had been removed a long time ago.

Does anyone have access to any manuals on this unit? Or just:

1) How to test the actuator to see if it still works?
2) Is it even possible to connect a new "head" to this old unit?



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Old 06-01-2015, 03:05 PM   #2
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You should be able to send power to the ram and make it go in and out.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:38 PM   #3
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This ram should be in a museum. Only kidding. From what I can tell Unipas was based in Warwick, RI and went out business sometime in the late 70's (maybe)? I'd call ComNav or W-H Autopilots. Both of these small companies were around then and their products sometimes interfaced with the competitors.
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
You should be able to send power to the ram and make it go in and out.
My thoughts exactly. But all I have are colored wires attached to numbered screws. I was thinking maybe someone might have a clue which wires to power up to make it move each way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
This ram should be in a museum. Only kidding. From what I can tell Unipas was based in Warwick, RI and went out business sometime in the late 70's (maybe)? I'd call ComNav or W-H Autopilots. Both of these small companies were around then and their products sometimes interfaced with the competitors.
That might not be a bad idea; find someone old enough to remember. Still, if they're that old, their memory might be even worse than mine

The ideal would be a wiring diagram or schematic or something like that.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
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An electric ram? Wow! If you can take off the black box cover and take a couple photos of whats inside and the back side of the cover. that said, IMHO, its eBay fodder.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:48 AM   #6
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"An electric ram? Wow!"

Electric rams , mounted outside in the weather are the norm for tiller steered boats today.

It is an excellent low cost method of steering , that can be stowed below when desired.

Depending on the load on the system it might work for a trawler .

How to disconnect during manual steering would be the question.

A longer tiller arm would make the system stronger , at the expense of correction ,speed, usually not a problem.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
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This ram should be in a museum.
It IS in a museum. My boat!

But here's the thing; it's already all hooked up in series with the normal (hydraulic) steering ram. I can't remove it without re-configuring the whole system. IF I could get it working, I might have one less component to buy (two, if you count the hydraulic pump) to get a functioning autopilot.

Sounds like I'm on my own with this one. I'll take off the cover of the "black box" and see if I get any clues from that. Failing that, I can take a guess on what the various colors mean, and just try to power up the ram with jumper wires.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:13 AM   #8
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ComNav Marine Ltd. - ComNav Marine Autopilot Systems Upgrades

http://forums.catalina.sailboatowner...d.php?t=102849

There is a guy in the above thread who claims to have a manual for it. You should check and see if he is still around.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:58 AM   #9
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I have a Unipas manual, email me fitzgerrell at yahoo dot com if you still need. You can update with a Comnav if the servo still works. You can remove and replace with a rod of equivalent length if you just want to tidy up.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:25 AM   #10
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I have Comnav and it's very good.
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