Problem solved. I hope.
Just when I thought I've hit a wall, I came across an outfit called Dean Marine Electronics out of Jacksonville, Fl. I called and Buddy, the proprietor, was very helpful in explaining to me what maybe wrong with my AP and what I needed to do. He also emailed me a pdf of the manual for free. What amazing service and I was just asking if I could buy a manual.
What happened was that I lost all the settings in my unit, as if it were just installed and needed an initial set-up. I went through the rudder and compass set-up and it seems to be working now. But I'm left wondering how it got reset to factory settings in the first place, especially that the steps to accomplish that requires a series of button inputs including a simultaneous push of two buttons. I also wonder if it will lose the settings again. I guess time will tell.
Time to send Buddy a nice tip. Hope this helps those that might be in the same situation one day. Buddy also has some Cetrek parts (limited) and does repairs as well.