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Minn Kota auto-pilot problem fixed

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I thought I'd post this since it was pretty useful information to know.

I have a new (in 2002) Minn Kota trolling motor with auto-pilot. Ever since I got it I have had problems where it would start spinning out of control while running - sometimes wrapping the cord around itself.

I emailed Minn Kota and they told me to have it serviced because the compass needed re-calibration.

When I took it in the service tech said it had a bad circuit board. It wouldn't calibrate correctly so replaced that piece and now its fine.

That's when he told me the interesting stuff.

Apparently, he said that auto-pilot will only work correctly if the boat stays with 10 degrees of level - so obviously even medium sized waves will upset the auto-pilot.

He also said that the compasses can have problems if they go through a lot of vibration or are exposed to water/moisture, but the water/moisture problem usually didn't happen since that part of the unit is sealed.

However, he did say that if you are rough with your trolling motor and just drop it into the water instead of being gently, and slam it back up again too, it can over time cause the auto-pilot to need re-calibration. Apparently some guys have to get this done every year.

Just what I learned today...

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Thanks for the info.
My 1997 auto pilot just started doing that last fall. I thought that I was going to have to replace it. it only does it when facing north or south, no other direction.

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My new one went a whole 8 hours before it needed to be serviced. I get it back tommorow, no parts needed to be replaced just an overvoltage condition on something. Anyways, didnt cost me a penny with the two year warranty. I know guys that pound the snot out of theirs and theyre still going strong..I hope mise serves me as well. Cause I am NOT easy on things. lolol Good fishin!!... Paul

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Paul Rohweller
Pine to Prairie Guide Service
218-962-3387
N.P.A.A. 425
http://fishingminnesota.com/pinetoprairie

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yeah, I also found out the hard way, that you must unplug before charging. I fried my circuit board. FYI they are pretty easy to change out.

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For the record, the reason I posted this was so other people do not go through what I did! smile.gif

I hope that everyone who posts a problem and fixes it posts the solution for everyone else. It will hopefully save at least one other person time and $$$!

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