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I swear I am not imagining this...

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I recently bought a new Minn Kota trolling motor with auto-pilot.

It seems that when the battery is low, auto-pilot gets confused. This makes sense with electronics in general, so that is no big deal.

However, I swear this is the truth.

When going W, NW, N, or NE, the thing runs fine. When going E, SE, S, or SW, the autopilot gets confused and starts trying to go in circles, etc.

It is truly bizarre.

Has anyone else seen this? Am I hallucinating? Or ...........?

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You're not alone! I have an AutoPilot that does the same circle deal, but mine is not a direction issue, it just doesn't like waves. When the waves start turning into "white caps" my motor will start doing circles.

I have just learned to turn the (AP) feature off in the big waves. I like the AP in most situations, and have learned to deal with the circle problem. Yours sounds like a problem that would be a little harder deal with. Hard to troll the same direction all day!

If you get an answer/resolution let me know.

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I had problems with my autopilot losing it's mind and trying to go in circles. I found a bad connection in the wiring to the battery, so it was intermittently losing power. Once I fixed that I had no more problems. Maybe it is just a coincidence that you are having the problem going toward certain points of the compass... good luck

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Consultant, I believe you!!! I noticed the same thing with the southerly direction phenom. My autopilot runs all day without fail when I go any direction but south. I asked a Minnkota serviceman (fishin buddy) about it just yesterday. He was puzzled after I convinced him it was getting good juice. We are going run some tests on the workbench. I'll let you know what the fix is.

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I too have had problems with my auto pilot. I had it in for a warranty repair last winter and all he did was to clean up the compass and recalibrate the unit. But I still get some erratic operation under some conditions but not others. I suspect I'll be bringing it back in for another calibration soon.

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Low battery, Bad connection will goof the autopilot. An other thing to look at is the shaft of the moter should be plumb when lowered. Next time your boat is in the water put a level on the shaft and check.

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I have had this problem on two of the three autopilots that I have owned.The only one that I did not have any problems with I bought the first year that they came out.The two newer ones do not adjust direction as quickly as the earlier model either,I just assumed that they have been using cheaper parts/materials.I never noticed the southern directional problem but they both had the circle problem.I noticed that when the sun is out it acts up more often than when cloudy.There is some good advice here that I will try.However you cannot expect you motor to be perfectly level when on the water.Weight distribution,wave action and other factors should be in consideration when designing a product or there should be a disclaimer in their advertising.Any one else having any problems with thier Autopilots that maybee we should let Minkota know about?

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The 2 and 3 prong plugs are crap for connectors.I replaced the main board on one unit and I suspect it blew from that bad connection cutting in and out. I called a dozen places to get price's on the boards. All the shops quoted me the same price. The main board was $150 just for the part. Being a cheap skate I tried to talk them down on the price. I was told Minnkota sets the price for the parts and they would get in trouble for selling them for less. I love my Autopilots but dont like Minnkota for its price fixing on parts.

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Is it possible that your auto pilot is of the fairer sex?? I've heard that directions can be an issue!! Calm everyone, Just Kidding!!

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I also had problems with my AP. Spun only one way. Had to replace main board. Of course that was after a new $50 foot control (guess I got a spare now). Found out what probably caused it was charging the battery with the motor pulgged in. Whoops.
By the way bought it at motor clinic and was pretty easy to install.

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I have had similar problems. I have replaced 3 boards in mine. The first two Minn Kota covered under warranty. The third one was not(incidentally the third one blew just 30 days after the second one) Upon speaking with a rep at JWA(Minnkota distributor) I was told "we sunk enough money into that motor, mabey it is time that you did!" Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Third Time a Motorguide Man!

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