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  #11  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

Thermal issues can be found by spraying the suspected component with freeze-it.
Chemtronics Freeze Sprays

Or a similar product. Use your finger to narrow the suspects down then hit that area with a short blast. Unit come back alive? You may have to spray, power down and then back up incase there is a lock-out or foldback mechanism at work. Processor detects a fault condition then locks out operation or the power supply detects over current then folds back the current .
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

You'll never catch me alive!


(Best of luck, Bubble)
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Last edited by ottos; 04-17-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainmeme View Post
Thermal issues can be found by spraying the suspected component with freeze-it.
Chemtronics Freeze Sprays

Or a similar product. Use your finger to narrow the suspects down then hit that area with a short blast. Unit come back alive? You may have to spray, power down and then back up incase there is a lock-out or foldback mechanism at work. Processor detects a fault condition then locks out operation or the power supply detects over current then folds back the current .
The unit does not power on (warm up), then off (cool down), then on again, with power continuously applied.

Once it powers off, it absolutely will not turn on again, unless you remove power from the unit for at least 2-5 minutes. The longer you remove power, the longer the unit operates before it dies again. That's why I don't think it's a faulty solder. I think it's a faulty component on the board.

What you say about a lock-out may very well be true, but I think it's unlikely. These units are very old, and very simple.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

That's why I'm thinking it's a power supply issue. Most of the rest of the unit will be "off" and not getting power when the power is "off" even if the power is still connected. If it was up-stream from the power supply, then merely powering it off and on again would work. Having to remove the power to get it to work suggests to me that it's in the power supply.

The long wait between power off and power on suggests that it's either an energy storage device (capacitor or inductor) or something that's attached to it. For example, if a transistor is attached to the cap, if the transistor is overheating, the capacitor may not be discharging. The charged state of the cap keeps the transistor "warm" until it finally loses the charge from the cap, at which point the transistor begins to cool and you're able to turn it on again. The same thing could also happen with a bad solder joint in the power supply.

Granted, this would be an academic exercise and won't really help you fix your problem, but I'd be curious to know what happens if, once it turns itself off, you just let it sit. Leave it alone for 20-30 minutes. Does it come back on at that point? I know I'm not patient enough for this to have happened in real life if this were my unit, so I'm just curious if you've tried this (even by accident). At some point, if the unit has powered off, the current draw should be minimal and it should cool down sufficiently (again, assuming this is a thermal issue, which is very common with electronics). If it still doesn't work after 20-30 minutes, but it does work after you've pulled the power, then I agree with you, it's probably not a bad solder joint or even external gunk causing a short. Again, though, I'd look to the power supply, and to some of the components near the input end of the power supply.

All that being said, if you can find a replacement that's in your budget, that's the faster way to do it.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

Jimgo-

I've sailed with it plugged in for over an hour. It never comes back on, once it dies. You always have to remove power in order to get it to turn on again.

I agree with your logic regarding the power supply.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

Have you opened otto up and looked around? Take a look for bulgy electrolytic capacitors and goop leaking from said caps. Pardon my ignorance but doesn't this unit have a 4 position rotary switch of which one position is off? I noticed you said remove power as in disconnect it from the source, instead of turn it off. Why putting the switch in the off position doesn't do the same as disconnecting the power source may be worth looking into.
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

I have had it completely apart, and there are no bulging capacitors. The inside is clean and dry, and free of obvious corrosion.

I think you might be thinking of the old Analogue tiller pilot.
Technically, this is the "Autohelm 1000 Micro". It has 6 buttons, and looks very similar to the newer ST 1000, except that the housing is black vs. gray, and it does not have the LCD display.

The 6 buttons are: AUTO, STBY, +1, +10, -1, -10. There is a single, red LED that indicates power, and operating condition.

That's all there is to it.
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Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

It certainly could be interesting to get an inexpensive non-contact IR thermometer (or good fingertips) and check the temperature of the components inside, after it had died. If something is heating up, the longer it runs (or stays plugged in) the hotter it will get, and the longer it will take to cool off when power is finally cut. So an overheated component is very much worth chasing down.
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

An experiment, turn otto on, disconnected from the tiller, align it so the motor is not activated,(ie, it thinks it is on coarse) let it sit for however long it takes to fail while sailing, an hour or two?, then rotate otto to see if the unit is still active.
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Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

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Originally Posted by Captainmeme View Post
An experiment, turn otto on, disconnected from the tiller, align it so the motor is not activated,(ie, it thinks it is on coarse) let it sit for however long it takes to fail while sailing, an hour or two?, then rotate otto to see if the unit is still active.
Oh, it'll die even if I leave it in Standby mode, where it isn't steering at all. The red LED goes out, and it's totally non-responsive.
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