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Re: [campernicholson] Neco Autopilot Problems

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  • Graham Norbury
    John, Although I ve not messed with a Neco before, general autopilot troubleshooting principles apply. i. First determine if the drive unit is working
    Message 1 of 4 , May 31, 2011
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      John,

      Although I've not messed with a Neco before, general autopilot troubleshooting principles apply. 

      i. First determine if the drive unit is working correctly.  You should be able to disconnect it from the controller, apply 12vdc to the drive wires and make it move either left or right depending upon polarity.  Quite possibly you may also need to power up the clutch circuit before the drive will engage.

      ii. After verifying physical function of the drive, the next most likely cause of it going hard-over is incorrect drive polarity.  Swap the two drive wires and see if it sorts itself out.  Of course, this only applies if the unit never worked for you.  If it was working, and suddenly quit, you can skip this check.

      iii. Next up is rudder position sensor if equipped.  Usually this can be tested with an ohm meter.

      iv. Finally, you have to suspect the control unit and/or compass.  Basically the control box is trying to steer the boat but not seeing any corresponding course change, so it progressively applies more rudder until reaching the physical limit.  Internally you might check the controller for blown power transistors or dry solder joints.

      Regards,
      Graham

      On 05/31/2011 2:25 PM, john crosby wrote:
       

      I have problem with the Neco autopilot on my Nic 35. As soon as I switch it on it just turns the boat in a tight circle, to port if my memory serves me well, regardless of the compass bearing I set it on and without having any wind/waves issues affect the boat. Moreover, when I look at the autopilot motor in the starboard locker, the 'arm' sticking out of the box just keeps moving slightly in and out by few inches. I've looked at the compass forward and that's turning fine and points accurately according to the boat's heading. Does anybody know what might be the problem and, more importantly, how to fix it? I would like to get it serviced, but I'm not sure I'll find someone who can service a Neco - the boat is based in Spain (Sant Carles Marina on the Ebre Delta). Any advice will be gratefully received! Thanks.

      regards John Crosby
      Boreas J - Hull No. 178


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