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Old 10-24-2021, 06:37 PM   #1
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Auto pilot conversion

Hi all,
Currently on my boat I have a old wood freeman 500 auto pilot. Occasionally for no reason it pulls hard to port when Iím underway. Itís not a handy problem to have if Iím loaded with crab pots or outback salmon trolling.
If some one has a gist on that it would be appreciated.

Hereís my current thought. I have a Simrad AP35 with the J300x junction unit. Through my current googling Iíve landed here. Iím curious if I get the rc25 compass.
Can I hook it into the current woody drive motor and rubber feed back?
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:50 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. A lot of the new autopilots can use the existing drive units. I am going to do just that with my new pilot.
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tomakris View Post
Hi all,

Currently on my boat I have a old wood freeman 500 auto pilot. Occasionally for no reason it pulls hard to port when Iím underway. Itís not a handy problem to have if Iím loaded with crab pots or outback salmon trolling.

If some one has a gist on that it would be appreciated.



Hereís my current thought. I have a Simrad AP35 with the J300x junction unit. Through my current googling Iíve landed here. Iím curious if I get the rc25 compass.

Can I hook it into the current woody drive motor and rubber feed back?
Many of the Simrad APs can work with reversing motors. Most will require a specific Simrad rudder feedback unit. You might find an rc45 compass on eBay or Craigslist.
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:07 PM   #4
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Thanks, I think I’ll do that.
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:10 PM   #5
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Yes, I’ve been googling for the parts. The cables are the hardest to find. The Manuel’s show pin locations and set up so I may just have to get the pins and make the cables up.
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomakris View Post
Hi all,
Currently on my boat I have a old wood freeman 500 auto pilot. Occasionally for no reason it pulls hard to port when Iím underway. Itís not a handy problem to have if Iím loaded with crab pots or outback salmon trolling.
If some one has a gist on that it would be appreciated.

Hereís my current thought. I have a Simrad AP35 with the J300x junction unit. Through my current googling Iíve landed here. Iím curious if I get the rc25 compass.
Can I hook it into the current woody drive motor and rubber feed back?
From the Simrad Compass Manual: "RC25 is a ďRobnetĒ compass that substitutes the previous RFC35R Rate Compass. It comes with 15m (49í) cable with Robnet connector and is used with the following autopilots: AP50, AP35, AP20/21/22, AP11 and AP300X."

The RC25 is the preferred compass for use with this series of autopilots. If the compass cable has the original Simnet connector, just plug it into the back of the AP35. Alternately, you can connect the individual cable conductors to the J300X Main PCB, TB15. These will definitely all play well together. You will also need a Simrad RF300 rudder feedback unit.

As for your connection to the Wood Freeman AP, I can't say. The J300X has the standard 12VDC contacts for a reversable pump as well as individual solenoid contacts if required by your drive unit. Don't forget to perform the Dockside settings to select the fluxgate compass, and the Seatrial settings. All of this is covered in your AP35 Manual.
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:13 AM   #7
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Thanks Larry, I’ve been umming and arrring about this but I’ll go ahead with it. The ol woody also has the issue of sensitive crystals in it. I can not run my modern high power vhf on high power. Ol woody will start veering. At least it stops me from yapping to much on the radio
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:11 AM   #8
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This thread from July is relevant and may be worthwhile reading for you.
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...rea-58725.html
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Old 11-14-2021, 03:00 AM   #9
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If you end up going with the more modern AP, I'd be interested in your unused parts for your Wood Freeman 500. Mine is a model 500B and I've been futzing with it for weeks. No luck so far.
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Old 11-14-2021, 12:22 PM   #10
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Hi Skag,
I’ve actually got boxes of old woody parts. What are you after?
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Old 11-14-2021, 12:47 PM   #11
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Tomakris,


I have a Simrad RC42 Rate Compass that I'm removing from my boat. Believe it's NMEA 0183 compatible. Worked find with the AP 24 autopilot. I'm removing it because I'm going Garmin.



Let me know if that would help.
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Old 11-15-2021, 12:32 AM   #12
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Tomakris,
My boat makes a hard left whenever I turn the unit on. My rudder angle sensor feels loose inside and a few other connectors look corroded. The manual also refers to a “wood freeman test meter” that I’ve been looking for for a couple months. It really looks cool and I’m committed to get it working, but wanted to just start swapping parts until it functions. Mine is a 500B. The compass says 500B1, serial# 4482A. I’m in the San Francisco area. Email: ccatton@yahoo.com.
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