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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 06-24-2001
duffer1960's Avatar
Catalina 38 Avantura
 
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Autopilot

I just took a quick look at autopilot prices and they aren''t as expensive as I thought. But I have a question; is an electronic compass contained in the unit (or come with it), or does that also have to be purchased and installed seperately to interface with the autopilot?
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Old 06-25-2001
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Autopilot

Duffer...

You don''t say whether you''re looking at a below-decks (''component type'') a/p or a cockpit mounted one. In either case, an a/p needs a flux-gate compass (on older models, it could have been a different type) in order to orient the a/p. Below-decks units are sold in ''pieces'' and you must spec such a compass as part of the package; tiller type & other cockpit mounted units have the compass built into the unit (or its comes as a separate but included item, as with the CPT a/p).

Jack
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Old 06-26-2001
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Autopilot

A self contained tiller pilot has included inside it a fluxgate compass.
Abelow decks autopilot has a separate one that is to be mounted as close to the center of the boat as possible. Some of them are modular units that let you pick the type of unit that actually pushes the quadrant, so depending upon the type of boat it is bieing installed in the drive may be upgraded. A heavy displacement crusing boat on the high seas WILL need a larger ram than is normally sold in the package. a smaller bay sailer could probably get by with the manufacturers package.
Sv
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Old 06-26-2001
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Autopilot

Then, can I assume that the compass would also be in, or come with, a pedestal mounted, belt-drive/wheel drive a/p, like the Simrad or Raytheon ST400 units sold on Sailnet?
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Old 06-28-2001
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Autopilot

Roger that
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Old 06-28-2001
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Autopilot

Compare the two autopilots (Simrad & Raytheon) and it is apparent that the Simrad unit is more robustly designed and manufactured and has more sophisticated software (fuzzy logic) to compensate for waves and boat movement. IMO, Raytheon, known by the trade name Autohelm is resting on its laurels. Compare the ease of installation, power consumption and torque of these two units and I''m sure you come to the same conclusion that I did.
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