Autopilot Install - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 21 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: Autopilot Install

Pedestal-mount "pods" are common items at swap meets and used boat part stores. I bought a 3-unit one for $5 at a swap meet last year, and have seen the singles for not much more at Second Wave (a used boat store in Seattle). You don't need to pay hundreds for a new one.

My motor-control wire runs through the pedestal itself (there was a small hole added near the top to fish it out). The control wire to the P70 control head runs through the pedestal guard, along with the wires for the chartplotter. All three wires necessary for the plotter can fit in the 1" pedestal guard, but it's a really tight fit and I needed to install them in a specific order.

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post #12 of 21 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: Autopilot Install

If left to my own devices I think that I would have mounted the control head at the helm. But my boat came with it mounted on the bulkhead. It seemed odd to me at first, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

I find that aside from engage/disengage time, all adjustments are made away from the helm.
  • Get the boat on course.
  • Engage the drive at the helm. this looks the wheel
  • Walk over to the control head, and hit "Auto" to activate the AP.

After that I do all of the tweaking underway from the cockpit, away from the helm.
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: Autopilot Install

I completely agree with this concept. When I have the autopilot engaged, the last place that I am is at the helm. I have a nexus autopilot with a remote on cord. I just have that thing near me usually on the high side of the cockpit.

I like the idea of using the control head as a display. Get the wireless remote, it will be one of the best purchases you ever made....


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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
If left to my own devices I think that I would have mounted the control head at the helm. But my boat came with it mounted on the bulkhead. It seemed odd to me at first, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

I find that aside from engage/disengage time, all adjustments are made away from the helm.
  • Get the boat on course.
  • Engage the drive at the helm. this looks the wheel
  • Walk over to the control head, and hit "Auto" to activate the AP.

After that I do all of the tweaking underway from the cockpit, away from the helm.
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post #14 of 21 Old 02-24-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Autopilot Install

All of the advice has been great. Another thought:

I typically singlehand as my wife is busy wrangling the two kids. Other than dodging crab pots or avoiding traffic, I do a lot of steering from *in front* of the wheel. This is especially true when I need to adjust the headsail or trim the jib sheets while tacking/jibing by myself.

I hadn't thought about the companionway mount which would be easy to reach when maneuvering. There are two existing holes already there from older instruments.

Weine's description of reaching around to find the buttons sounds like what I would have to do if I mount on the pedestal guard.

A remote sounds nice. Probably outside of the budget for the year but something I might splurge on.

Josh
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Autopilot Install

Just follow up:

I finally finished the install. In the end I found a deal on an enclosure and mounted the control head on the pedestal guard. Routing the wires was probably the worst part of the install.

Will let everyone know how well it works once I turn everything on in the spring.

Josh
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-30-2014
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Re: Autopilot Install

Here is a three-part blog on installing the Ray X-5 with p70 control head, with initial test video.

I have subsequently come to admire this unit. It does require attention to sail set and choice, but with familiarity--and use of the 1-through-10 control settings--it steers well even in higher winds, and is remarkably capable downwind.

Installing the Raymarine SPX-5 Wheel Pilot with P70 Control Head--Part 1 - Blogs - EY.o Information Exchange

Last edited by Christian Williams; 03-30-2014 at 08:49 PM.
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Autopilot Install

Nice work.

Wow. Now I am super not happy. I just wired my control head to receive 12V from the control unit. Looks like I will be rewiring that... Thanks for the heads up. I can't imagine how many hours of troubleshooting time and frustration you just saved me.

Josh
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-30-2014
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Re: Autopilot Install

Probably too late to help, but I mounted mine at the helm in a pod. I tapped into the power for my radio, but still had to run a line to the main unit which is in the back of one of the aft berths.



The Control unit is on the left, ran the power line thru the pedestal from the pod on the rights side which houses a radio. The line from the control unit to the main computer runs down the pedestal thru a rubber hose. I ran all the electrical lines thru a small rubber hose inside the pedestal so they would not get tangled with the chain steering. It may seem difficult at first for tacking but you only need to hit two buttons to bring the rudder over and after awhile you know which two to hit and you can do it from in front of the pedestal. There is really not much else to play with once you get the unit tuned into your boat. I don't sail by the AP, only use it to help me in maneuvers when I single hand.
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-17-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Autopilot Install

Christian

I am rewiring based on the revised diagram you highlighted in your blog. Powering both the unit/SeatalkNG and the control head separately is a pain. Did you install inline fuses on each with a single switch? The different current ratings make this annoying. Seems illogical to have a switch for each. My switches have the built in fuse. Considering a 15A fuse on the switch and an inline fuse of 10A and 5A for unit and control head/SeatalkNG, respectively.
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-17-2014
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Re: Autopilot Install

I used an inline 5A fuse for my Seatalk NG network on my 10A electronics circuit (protected with a circuit breaker). This isn't what Raymarine recommends, but it has worked well for me. The autopilot (X5) and plotter (e7d) are on the same circuit. VHF is critical, so it gets it's own circuit.

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