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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive
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Thread: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-18-2013 01:16 AM
PaulinVictoria
Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

You do realise that you don't actually have to put the battery in the fridge right? Just the wires that go to the unit, the fridge seal should be able to cope with that although that does depend on which seal it has. This one works fine

but this one can be a little touchy
04-18-2013 12:07 AM
jimgo
Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I thought about that. I could pre-chill him, and see what happens after I apply power, but I'm not putting a 12v battery in my fridge.
Lazy.



You could always go with something like this: General Brand A23 12V Alkaline Battery (2 Pack) B&H Photo Video
04-17-2013 02:53 PM
BubbleheadMd
Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

I thought about that. I could pre-chill him, and see what happens after I apply power, but I'm not putting a 12v battery in my fridge.
04-17-2013 02:30 PM
Captainmeme
Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

I'd measure and record the voltages on the power pins of the ICs, plus sides of electrolytic caps, and outputs of any 3 pin voltage regulators. Also I would feel each transistor, IC and cap noting any one of them that felt warm/hot.
Let it sit, power on until the malfunction occurs then go back and measure the voltages and feel the parts.
The other thought is if there is a single chip microprocessor, it may have a problem
in reading its program when the temperature rises, it reads a bad instruction, program
goes off into the weeds and doesn't recover until power cycled and cooled down.
If you go the freeze-it troubleshooting route, a short blast is all that is needed. Don't encase the components in a block of ice. You wouldn't have a refrigerator around where you could run otto to see if the malfunction occurs at a lower ambient temperature?
04-17-2013 02:05 PM
BubbleheadMd
Re: Wanted- Otto, Dead or Alive

Quote:
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.
04-17-2013 02:00 PM
Captainmeme
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.
04-17-2013 01:37 PM
hellosailor
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.
04-17-2013 01:22 PM
BubbleheadMd
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.
04-17-2013 12:24 PM
Captainmeme
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.
04-17-2013 12:02 PM
BubbleheadMd
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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