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davesfriend

Quick auto pilot question.

27 posts in this topic

I don't know if I am using this thing incorrectly or what. I tried it out the other day. I believe it is a minkota 55lb 24v with auto pilot. You press the auto pilot and it is supposed to keep the boat going in that direction, right? When I pressed the auto pilot it went a little way in a straight line then it started to do 360's on me. Did I do it wrong, maybe I don't understand how this thing works.

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Take the motor in for repairs. Constant pounding on the bow of a boat plays havoc with the compass board in the auto pilot. More then likly the compass board will need replacement. I have seen where the autopilot needs a simple tuning by a qualified technician to make it work properly, but compass board replacement is the most likely problem.

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Is this a common problem? I'm on the fence about getting a new bow mount with the autopilot. The motor is pretty big bucks, is the repair big bucks as well?

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I kinda figured something along that line. Any idea on how much? Chances are with how little I use the electric having a 4 stroke kicker on it, I might just leave it. It controlls just fine with the foot pedal. Once again, thank you guys for your answers.

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Not a coomon problem but one that does happen. I have had 3 auto pilot bowmounts and the only 1 I had problems wich was my 1st one about oh 10-12 years ago. My new ones work better. Not as fast in correcting as I would like but they are way better than running without auto pilot. I combine it with the co-pilot and its a great combo. No more foot pedal and cord in the way.

It does sound like the compas went.

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Call around. I think the guy that had my boat before me paid a little over 200 to have it fixed.

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I've had 2 AutoPilots. One for 11 years that only needed a foot pedal and wire connection cleanings. The new one, only 2 years old, had the compass board fail. The repair guy asked where I store it in the winter. I said in the unheated garage. He said the vial on the compass board that contains a mixture of a light oil and water can freeze and break if it gets cold enough. He said its a common problem with the newer motors. I will be storing mine inside this year. It was covered under warranty, but the part is ~$125.

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when/if your compass board goes out will turning off the auto-pilot get you thru the day or trip, in other words with the auto pilot off will the head still spin?

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Yes, the compass only controls the auto-pilot feature. Turn off the ap and you can still control it with your pedal.

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With the auto pilot off it only spins when you "tell" it too with the foot pedal. So, I think I will just use it this way for now, if I do use it. Thank you guys.

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When you turn the AutoPilot off, you can control if fine manually.

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Mine has occasionally acted funny and turned on its own when the battery was bad/or low on charge. I always pull it off and bring it downstairs for the winter.

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It is perfectly fine to keep the compass outdoors during winter. The oil will NOT freeze during a MN winter.

On the other hand, if a seal would go out in the lower unit and water would intrude and freeze, then there would be issues.

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Erratic AP steering is from one of these:

low voltage (does the AP steering act up after a few hours of running the motor? then probably a voltage issue.)

broken wire in coil cord

AP compass defective (it is not recommended to tune the current compasses on the current motors.)

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Before you bring it in. Make sure your batteries are both charged and in good condition. Clean the connections.

When engaged, be sure your shaft is plumb or as close as can be.

Compasses can be re-calibrated, there is no guaranty how long that will be good for. If you have an older model, the newer compasses are improved and you will notice a quicker response time with corrections made in smaller incriminates. I've found replacement parts of Minn Kotas have gone down in price. So

what you'll pay to have yours re-calibrated vs a new compass is a no brainer.

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thank-you, i have not had a problem with my terrova, but i'm sure if i did it would be on a week long trip with no access to fixing it. so turning off the ap would be a great option.

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Who, me? whistle

Yes.

Cool. I actually made a power drive conversion for my old Minn Kota 65 a few years before Power Drives came out on the market.

Of course I didn't do anything with it, which explains why I still don't have enough money frown

Just think, I could have been your boss wink

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It was mentiond you can re-calibrate the compass, how would one do this? Is it model specific? I do believe that I need to clean the connections although it works flawlessly manualy. Also if I re-calibrate it, will I need to do this every time I reconnect it. I remove it from the boat alot. When I go out trolling or panfishing it just is in the way.

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Anyone that knows would stand to lose their job if they told you.

I'm going to guess and say you'll adjust the Potentiometer.

Or reprogram the EPROM.

While I've done both on other devices, I haven't tried that on a compass. The flash you might as well forget about doing yourself.

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katoguy,

The repair shop in Bloomington said the vial that held the water/oil mix had cracked and the fluid leaked out. What would have caused this if it didn't freeze and crack, a faulty part? I assume the replaced the whole board.

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I would guess that the sonic weld on the compass halves leaked?

How old is this motor? I do recall of some issues a few years ago where the compass case was brittle. When the screws that hold the emitter detectors were screwed into the compass case the brittleness showed up. I believe most were caught in production. This would not show up as a leaker, however.

Yes, the entire compass & compass board are replaced as an assembly.

The calibration procedure that Surface Tension is referring to deals with the pots. The emitter detectors use to lose power over time (like a light bulb dimming/losing intensity over time), thus requiring pot adjustment to make up for it. The detectors have been upgraded so they don't "dim". Also, when you start adjusting the pots, the pots are also more apt to change setting on their own (vibration). Again, not recommended as it would be a continuing issue to adjust the pots.

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