Auto Pilot rudder re-calibration

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JSLExplores
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Auto Pilot rudder re-calibration

Postby JSLExplores » Tue May 29, 2018 2:35 pm

My auto pilot has stopped working properly. 2006 PDQ 34
When I engage the pilot the boat turns to port until the rudder is all the way to port and I'm doing circles.
I have calibrated the compass and was proceeding to calibrate the rudder but the error rate was >7 and the online reference I got was...
"If when centered, the reported rudder angle value is more than seven degrees, then the screws securing the rudder reference transducer should be removed, the transducer's base should then be rotated in a direction which will permit the reported rudder angle to be within seven degrees of the correct value, and then the transducer's screws may be installed to secure the transducer.
Where is the rudder reference transducer? Can I do this myself or should I hire a tech to do this?

I did run into the mud pretty good in Georgia so this may have caused the problem.

Ortolan
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Re: Auto Pilot rudder re-calibration

Postby Ortolan » Tue May 29, 2018 8:35 pm

Most likely ... it is the Ray Marine "rotary rudder reference" thingy, AKA rudder follower. It is located on the starboard side rudder & ours went bad on our 2006 PDQ last year with exactly the same symptoms. When it fails, the autopilot has no idea the position of the rudders, so it flips out.

You can buy a replacement for $200 - $240 on e-Bay or Amazon. Fortunately it is one of those half-hour projects which only takes a half-hour! A couple of screws, re-attach the linkage & splice in the wires.
Russ
Twin Sisters
2006 MV34 - Hull #100
www.esc-pod.com

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AMCarter3
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Re: Auto Pilot rudder re-calibration

Postby AMCarter3 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:45 am

I also had to replace the Raymarine rudder control unit attached to our starboard rudder. It simply stopped working one day -- we could not get it to re-calibrate. It was a simple replacement process and took a bit of testing to calibrate it. We also noticed that the location where it was screwed to its small platform is somewhat out-of-alignment with the rudder post. It puts an unneccessary tension on the lightweight rudder control "arm" from the Raymarine unit. So, we relocated the unit just enough so it works more smoothly now.
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

JSLExplores
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Re: Auto Pilot rudder re-calibration

Postby JSLExplores » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:34 pm

Thanks for the feedback.
In our case it looks like when we hit the mud it loosened up the rudder reference shaft. We just had to center the rudders as best we could an re-tighten.
But, while there we notices some corrosion so this area should be inspected from time to time.
John


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