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Old 01-18-2022, 09:03 PM   #1
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Simplified hydraulic steering

need a simple solution for hydraulic steering.

My thoughts....

Reversing auto pilot pump and homemade reservoir of some kind.

Reversing momentary switch. right/left off

Am I missing anything?
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Old 01-19-2022, 06:51 AM   #2
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A belt to the engine with an auto power steering pump is very reliable.

The autopilot pump might be a fine get home .

Solenoids can operate the auto pilot from the PS pump using the existing steering cylinder..
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ofer View Post
need a simple solution for hydraulic steering.

My thoughts....

Reversing auto pilot pump and homemade reservoir of some kind.

Reversing momentary switch. right/left off

Am I missing anything?
I went through the same considerations when rebuilding my steering system. 99% of the time I'm either on autopilot or steering through autopilot either with a jog lever, knob or buttons. The issue is, "what's your plan for a failure of the autopilot pump, computer, or rudder feedback"? I chose to rebuild the helm pump for redundancy.

Ted
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:47 AM   #4
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I went through the same considerations when rebuilding my steering system. 99% of the time I'm either on autopilot or steering through autopilot either with a jog lever, knob or buttons. The issue is, "what's your plan for a failure of the autopilot pump, computer, or rudder feedback"? I chose to rebuild the helm pump for redundancy.

Ted
This system would be the secondary backup system to main steering. I know i can do it with an autopilot system and a lever which i already have as my main setup and i use 99% of the time.

I was hoping to skip a new AP setup and just go with a much simpler system since it is a redundant system only.

wasn't sure if it's as simple as i described or i am missing something.
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:49 AM   #5
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A belt to the engine with an auto power steering pump is very reliable.

The autopilot pump might be a fine get home .

Solenoids can operate the auto pilot from the PS pump using the existing steering cylinder..
I am assuming that this is for his backup outboard steering, if so the main engine wouldn't be available to drive a automotive style power steering pump.

A reservoir from a hynautic steering system would serve the purpose of the home made reservoir that ofer proposed. They have a sight glass for easily checking level and are relatively cheap.
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:57 AM   #6
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I am assuming that this is for his backup outboard steering, if so the main engine wouldn't be available to drive a automotive style power steering pump.
.
Exactly!

Thanks, i just didn't want to mention the OB since it could derail this post. you did it for me so it's not my fault now
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:08 AM   #7
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Exactly!

Thanks, i just didn't want to mention the OB since it could derail this post. you did it for me so it's not my fault now
Yup, I'll accept my role in that. But in all seriousness, a system like you are proposing could work fine and then you even have autopilot functionality for slow ride back to civilization or if nothing else it could maintain your bearing while you make emergency repairs to the main engine.
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Old 01-19-2022, 12:47 PM   #8
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Wonder if anyone makes an electric linear actuator that would work. Do the outboards driven by computers still use hydraulics?

Ted
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Old 01-19-2022, 12:54 PM   #9
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I'd though of doing something like that. The stumbler for me has always been. How am I going to turn off the pump when you get to the end of travel? You don't really want to just ram into your rudder stop or have the pump continue to run when you're at the end of your stroke. You need some sort of limit switches, it's not really practical to think that I'll just let go of the button when I get there.
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Old 01-19-2022, 01:39 PM   #10
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I'd though of doing something like that. The stumbler for me has always been. How am I going to turn off the pump when you get to the end of travel? You don't really want to just ram into your rudder stop or have the pump continue to run when you're at the end of your stroke. You need some sort of limit switches, it's not really practical to think that I'll just let go of the button when I get there.
It is straightforward to configure with an autopilot, the computer uses the steering input that you provide and a rudder position sensor or a "virtual position sensor" to keep track of that. The ram also has a stop and bypass valves to prevent damage. No need to reinvent the wheel, just incorporating existing tech.
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Old 01-19-2022, 01:56 PM   #11
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Wonder if anyone makes an electric linear actuator that would work. Do the outboards driven by computers still use hydraulics?

Ted
fly by wire is only available for the higher HP outboards Honda just interduced it for their 115 and up. OH its very expensive as in thousands.

the rest have an hydraulic cylinder available.
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Old 01-19-2022, 01:59 PM   #12
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I'd though of doing something like that. The stumbler for me has always been. How am I going to turn off the pump when you get to the end of travel? You don't really want to just ram into your rudder stop or have the pump continue to run when you're at the end of your stroke. You need some sort of limit switches, it's not really practical to think that I'll just let go of the button when I get there.
yes very good point!

for now, i will rely on rudder feedback display. after I proof my project i will install an AP with lever.
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Old 01-19-2022, 03:00 PM   #13
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Sure, works great if you incorporate the RAI limit stops, but the OP was just pump and buttons.
AFAIK, bypass valves are usually set 1000 psi, sure it's ok to hit it occasionally but I doubt if any system was intended to have a situation where you hit it and have sustained pressure. Also seems like the majority of pleasure boats have no mechanical rudder stops, so you're going to be banging into whatever does mechanically stop your rudder and continue to force it.
Also by the time you've actuated the bypass valve you've probably put about 800 psi into your system that it's not use to.



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Originally Posted by Gdavid View Post
It is straightforward to configure with an autopilot, the computer uses the steering input that you provide and a rudder position sensor or a "virtual position sensor" to keep track of that. The ram also has a stop and bypass valves to prevent damage. No need to reinvent the wheel, just incorporating existing tech.
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Old 01-19-2022, 03:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sean9c View Post
Sure, works great if you incorporate the RAI limit stops, but the OP was just pump and buttons.
AFAIK, bypass valves are usually set 1000 psi, sure it's ok to hit it occasionally but I doubt if any system was intended to have a situation where you hit it and have sustained pressure. Also seems like the majority of pleasure boats have no mechanical rudder stops, so you're going to be banging into whatever does mechanically stop your rudder and continue to force it.
Also by the time you've actuated the bypass valve you've probably put about 800 psi into your system that it's not use to.
Good points, I'm assuming that he would be using a jog lever that is compatible for the autohelm computer it is communicating with, not just analog switches directly to the reversing pump. Assumptions are dangerous and I should have asked.
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Old 01-19-2022, 03:37 PM   #15
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What you are proposing is indeed just a jog level. It's nothing more than two switches, one of which activates when the lever is moved in each direction. It just turns on the steering pump in the commanded direction, and stops when you let go of the lever. No intervening AP is required, but at least a rudder indicator is useful, if not essential.
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Old 01-19-2022, 04:51 PM   #16
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What you are proposing is indeed just a jog level. It's nothing more than two switches, one of which activates when the lever is moved in each direction. It just turns on the steering pump in the commanded direction, and stops when you let go of the lever. No intervening AP is required, but at least a rudder indicator is useful, if not essential.
thank you! that's what i will do for now.
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Old 01-19-2022, 07:27 PM   #17
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What you are proposing is indeed just a jog level. It's nothing more than two switches, one of which activates when the lever is moved in each direction. It just turns on the steering pump in the commanded direction, and stops when you let go of the lever. No intervening AP is required, but at least a rudder indicator is useful, if not essential.
You are far more experienced at specing out boats than I am, but to my knowledge, most jog levers are operating with low amperage/current and the autopilot computer serves as both a solenoid to provide higher amperage that the pump requires, this also will provide the logic to prevent slamming against the end of the ram's travel. There are also hydraulic jog levers that are directly controlling the flow, but this would require a constant pressure pump like a automotive style belt driven ot pto driven pump.
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:13 PM   #18
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Sure, works great if you incorporate the RAI limit stops, but the OP was just pump and buttons.
AFAIK, bypass valves are usually set 1000 psi, sure it's ok to hit it occasionally but I doubt if any system was intended to have a situation where you hit it and have sustained pressure. Also seems like the majority of pleasure boats have no mechanical rudder stops, so you're going to be banging into whatever does mechanically stop your rudder and continue to force it.
Also by the time you've actuated the bypass valve you've probably put about 800 psi into your system that it's not use to.
Bypass valves are usually adjustable for actuation pressure as are hydraulic power
units for max operating pressure. The ram itself can be spec'ed with soft stops.
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:58 PM   #19
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I've not seen rams with soft stops, can you provide a link? I've installed Kobelt, Seastar and whatever Tony Athens sells and not seen anything related to soft stops.


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Bypass valves are usually adjustable for actuation pressure as are hydraulic power
units for max operating pressure. The ram itself can be spec'ed with soft stops.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:18 PM   #20
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I've not seen rams with soft stops, can you provide a link? I've installed Kobelt, Seastar and whatever Tony Athens sells and not seen anything related to soft stops.
I realize that the standard hydraulic steering rams may not provide this but
I'm referring to the cushioning commonly available on industrial cylinders to
reduce mechanical shock. These could be used if ofer decides to 'roll his own'.
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