Autopilot

Any comments, questions, stories about HR 29, this is the right place.
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Re: Autopilot

Postby Chris » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:45 pm

Tom,

I assume the pictures show the original concept with the exhaust clamps?

I would feel something more substantial clamped around the shaft like a 'split collar' with an arm welded to it may prove more able to cope with the torque from the drive.
tillerarm-big.jpg
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The stainless steel 'split collars' are readily available and chopping a piece of stainless to shape for the steering arm is not particularly difficult for a friendly engineer. This is certainly something I would fabricate if I could rustle up the money for the EVO.

Counter bore a couple of dimples into the rudder stock and tap machine screws through the collars to lock them more securely.

I wouldn't have thought this would need to cost that much either. Hope this of use.

Cheers

Chris

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Re: Autopilot

Postby pnp » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:42 am

Hi Tom,

I would be very interested to hear your comments regarding the EVO pilots' performance. Especially under heavy weather running conditions. Do you have a spinnaker on your boat? I've had some experience with a mini 6.50 runing under spinnaker and the nke gyro pilot and it was a dream as the autopilot was steering the boat better than I could :shock: Completely different boat concept though...

Cheers, Panos.

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Re: Autopilot

Postby Martijn » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Hi there Tom, After checking out your auto pilot arrangement you contributed to the ever growing todo list. I do not complain cause it's a great idea and improvement to self steering without a mess :) . So now you got me triggered and consider a similar arrangement but would also like to know how it performs. Can you elaborate a bit about:

- Performance when sailing a 'run'?
- Where did you put the controls?
- Does it influence hand tiller steering?
- How do you unlock for tiller steering?
- Performance in heavy weather?
- Cost of all parts needed including pilot?
- Energy consumption?

BTW: Great picture of all the screens!! Can you also exchange stocks in your control room ;)

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Re: Autopilot

Postby Antti_DD » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:33 pm

Hi Panos, I don't have experience on Raymarine's Evo pilots, but I would like to comment the downwind sailing performance in general a bit. As you mentioned, Mini 6.50 has a totally different concept to HR29. I guess that a flat-bottomed light weight cruiser/racer has pretty optimal hull form for the autopilot in downwind conditions, whereas a more 'heavy' displacement cruiser with a deep hull (and less optimal surfing qualities) is much heavier on helm. I have found that this is the case with HR29 and also the traditional hull is more prone to roll. Also the rudder hung on full depth skeg is unbalanced compared to the balanced spade rudder of the more sporty boats. I don't mean that 29 would have bad downwind sailing qualities, which she doesn't – she is a very directionally stable boat and remains under control also in heavier winds. However, I think that the question is not only about whether Evo is up to the task (which I believe it is) but about the increased power consumption in comparison to lighter boats.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

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Re: Autopilot

Postby Martijn » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:02 am

Antti, This is exactly the same difference as I experienced between my previous Dehler and the HR29. When sailing down wind I now use a ST1000 and it is constantly in motion finding the right course. Not only the battery runs down fast but the ongoing noise is disturbing a pieceful sailing day. Now in my case I find myself using the AP most of the time sailing down wind so would be interested knowing which system is the most convenient for that.

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Re: Autopilot

Postby pnp » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:11 am

Hi Antii,

I completely agree with you. The sailing characteristics of the two boats are completely different. Not better or worse, just different. This in turn puts different requirements on the autopilot. So what I would be interested to hear really is how these newer autopilots handle the HR29 sailing characteristics, how well do they handle the effects of a running sea and if in fact they are a viable alternative to hand steering in conditions where older autopilots do not perform. I'm intuitevely discussing about downwind/crosswind conditions since, as you have said elsewhere, upwind is much less of a challange for the autopilot with the correct sail area and trim.

The issue of power consumtion with these autopilots is a very serious one. The assumption that these autopilots in lighter displacement yachts consume less power than what they would consume on a heavier displacement yacht may not be correct per se and should be examined (not compared). In any case, I believe they could only be used effectively for longer periods of time if they are combined with an alternate power source on the yacht, for eg a solar panel. Again it would be very interesting to validate my thoughts with actual usage information from Tom.

Cheers,
Panos.

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Re: Autopilot

Postby Antti_DD » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:37 am

Panos, I think that it all comes down to the kind of sailing that you are planning to do with the boat. Especially as you posted a question about the watermaker (of which I don't unfortunately have experience), this gives me a feeling that you are planning to do some serious long-distance/blue water sailing. As you said, the autopilot would require investments in the alternate power sources, which add up to the costs. On the other hand, having possibility to generate extra power with wind generator, solar panels, fuel-cells etc. is a good thing when on anchorage too, so they are not just for powering the autopilot

I guess that you have probably read the 'Windvane topic', so you already know my opinion on this self-steering question ;)

To my knowledge Tom's pilot is brand new, so he might have not yet had a chance to test it out in action. But I guess, that many of us here in the forum, would like to learn about his experiences. Also, if I remember correctly, Gonzalo's Nunui has SPX-5, so maybe he could give us an idea about the pilot's downwind performance.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

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Re: Autopilot

Postby tomblix » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:07 pm

Hi guys

The interest in autopilots I think indicates that this is an area where our boats really haven`t been up to speed. I really hope my project will prove sufficient, but as Anti says - I won`t really know until the end of this month at the earliest. What I can say this far is (in addition to what I`ve said in earlier posts) is that the tiller movement is slightly affected. It`s a bit heavier to operate manually, but in my opinion not significantly. There is some sound coming from the motor in the aft compartment when the cylinder moves in and out - both in standby operation and on auto. The control is on my swing arm and is very basic. Auto with all its functions and standby to operate manually. The swing arm will allow to operate all electronic controls from inside (bad weather sailing, conditions permitting…..) and I didn`t have to make a big hole in the boat :P

Energy consumption is between 18-36 watts. My way of handling this has been to expand the battery bank to 400Ah and installing an Efoy 80. This feeds the batteries 80Ah pr day (or a continuous 40 watts). This should provide me with enough power to keep me going, but if something should come up, I will have several days of power in the battery bank as a reserve. My total energy consumption isn`t really very high. Nav, lights, two coolers, radio, and that`s it. If Anti doesn`t mind the uploading shit, I can provide a few more pictures (battery bank, Efoy, ACU) if there`s an interest?
Best regards from Tom

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Re: Autopilot

Postby Antti_DD » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:52 pm

Hi Tom, thanks for the info. I think that there is definitely interest in the forum towards your upgrades on the battery capacity and your new fuel cell kit. So no problem at all with uploading the photos, just post them on FB and I'll post them here...
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

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Re: Autopilot

Postby tomblix » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:43 am

Hi all
I`ve posted a few pictures of my installations on my FB page as promised. You`ll all be able to see the solutions I`ve chosen without any detailed explanations from me, expect for maybe two things. On one of the pictures of the ACU200 you`ll see a little black "dot" that you don`t see on the other picture. That`s a 9mm hole that I drilled to be able to see the light inside saying if the power is on or off. Better than having to take the cover of every time I want to check. Another picture shows a switch on the backside of the control on the swing arm. This is what`s called the "sleep"-function, and is just a circuit with a switch plugged in designated points on the ACU. I just cabled it all the way to the swing arm instead of having the switch by the ACU all the way up in the front cabin. When this circuit is closed, the power on the system is on, when it`s disconnected it`s off. There is however power on the Seatalk-system at all times, regardless of this switch, which is really to disconnect the power from the pilot motor. A good idea, if you ask me!
I`ve also posted a few pictures of the Efoy. I had to twist it a bit sideways to be able to get the heat ventilated down into the keelswine (is that the english word for below the floor??)
Finally you see a picture of the new battery bank.

So now we`ll just have to rely on our excellent system administrator to copy them from FB to the forum….Thanks Anti!

edit: 5 photos added /Antti

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Best regards from Tom

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