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Author Topic: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting  (Read 4912 times)

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seanmcelligott

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S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« on: December 05, 2007, 10:06:29 PM »

I am almost finished installing a Raymarine S1 Autopilot and found the posts on this site invaluable particularly with respect to the rudder position sensor which gave me a lot of trouble.  The only thing I have left to do is to install the control unit in some suitable place on the pedestal/ above the wheel.  I was hoping to install it in some way that I could swivel it back and forth between facing aft and forward.  But I would also be happy with some kind of pod facing aft but can't seem to find one. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 06:41:07 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Sean K. McElligott
"Ringle" 1988 Hull Number 758
Black Rock, CT

Jon Schneider

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Re: S1 Autipilot control unit mounting
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 04:55:42 AM »

Have you checked bot Navpod and Edson?  It largely depends on which controller you purchased as well as the pedestal stand configuration.  I bought the 8002 wheel controller, which, along with the 7001, is the larger of the units versus the standard ST-sized 6000 units.  I tried both the Navpod and Edson units on my elongated, bent stand (I upgraded to a taller stand from the one originally on my 1990).  Both units were too large to accommodate my current instrument configuration; I wanted the unit mounted just above the compass, but both housings are fairly deep and would prevent removing the cover of the compass.  The Edson housing can actually be put on an arm, which is one of the basic pre-packaged SKUs they offer.  That arm may provide the swivel functionality you're looking for, but I'm not sure it's really meant to.  I didn't want to go with that solution simply because I felt it would interfere with my movement getting around the pedestal on that side.  For the time being, I fashioned a rectangular piece of 1/2" teak (roughly 12" x 7") with a 3 5/8" hole to mount the instrument, and attached it to the pedestal between the two bars by way of Edson U-clamps.  It's not the permanent solution, because, while I've got the usual amount of teak in the cockpit for my vintage, teak on the pedestal just doesn't work aesthetically for me.  I am thinking about re-building this piece out of either white or black starboard or out of aluminum.  I've got all winter to consider it.  Not sure how I'll cover the back of the instrument, which is now exposed.  I could make a box out of either material I choose or could leave it exposed. 
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Jon Schneider
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Stu Jackson

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 06:40:35 AM »

Why does it have to be on the pedestal?  If you require functionality from both forward and aft of the wheel, why not mount it on the coaming, on a line parallel with or just forward of the wheel?  This is where we have our ST3000 control head.  It's functional and useful from both positions and we don't have to bend down to read the display from either side. In earlier discussions about autopilot control units I've questioned the value of placing them behind the wheel, since I feel as a singlehander that's the one place you like to avoid having to be when you are working the boat alone.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 06:53:03 AM »

Stu, I have to say I'm not quite decided on placing the unit behind the wheel myself (and I'm pretty much always a single-hander).  That said, I had my previous AH4000 unit on the coaming, and it was just okay.  I'm not a huge fan of bending down and taking my eyes off the horizon to make an adjustment, and it was always a pain when the controller was on the leeward and my butt was on the windward.  I've worked with my temporary placement on the pedestal for a few months now, and am finding it superior.  Its display is readable from either side and it's easy to reach from either side.  I can make an adjustment without taking my eyes off the horizon.  Plus, I wasn't that keen on punching a 3"+ hole in my coaming (though I had no problem doing this twice in the aft seat boxes for speakers  :?)  And I can always change my mind and revert to the coaming position, but it would be much more difficult to go the opposite way.  As I said in my previous post, my controller has a wheel, so even when I'm forward of the pedestal, it's a cinch to wrap my paw around to make an adjustment without even looking.  So far, so good. 
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Jon Schneider
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seanmcelligott

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 06:57:48 AM »

Thank you both for your thoughtful suggestions.  I have a 6000 control head with 3.5 inch round base.  Fabricating something might be my best bet too.  I had originally thought of installing in the fibreglass next to the engine instruments.  I even bought the hole saw.  But I just couldn't cut the hole (particularly before the thing was calibrated and I was sure I liked it).  It does make sense to have it there so you can use it while singlehanding (which is why I bought it).
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Sean K. McElligott
"Ringle" 1988 Hull Number 758
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Stu Jackson

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007, 07:00:29 AM »

Jon, adjustments on the run with the four buttons have never been an issue, since I never have my eyes on the horizon anyway!  :D  I agree that the size of the control module is a factor.  The smaller older ST3000 is surface mount.  I've only had one person sit on our coaming and I could kill him for sitting right on the head and squashing it so far down into the bracket that it took me weeks to get it off.  Knowing that, I could have mounted it a tad lower but who would've thunk he'd do that?  For some reason we tend not to sit there, ever.  Have no idea why, since we see it done all the time by others and did it ourselves on other boats.

Here's a picture of our location (that's my friend Dave)
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 08:13:42 AM »

Not sure if this helps, but this is what I did on my Catalina 270.  The pod swiveled so could be viewed fore and aft.

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Joe Kern
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Jon Schneider

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2007, 10:20:57 AM »

Stu, the other problem with coaming mounted controllers is that even if you mount them low enough to avoid being crunched by a person sitting on the coaming, the cell phone in the person's pocket will wreak havoc with the device.  I haven't tested this with my new S1G, but I suspect that cell phone interference is no longer an issue since the "real" navigational computing takes place in the corepack, which, for me, is located below in the aft berth. 
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Jon Schneider
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Stu Jackson

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2007, 10:49:56 AM »

Jon, we haven't experienced that problem with cell phones. We keep it sometimes up in the binnacle in one of those white holders shown in the photo.

More likely it's that I hate the cell phone on the boat and could leave it down below and ignore any callers.  That's what I'm on the boat for -- to get away from those peaky calls! :D
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Mike and Joanne Stimmler

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 11:18:03 AM »

I know there are remotes available for most auto pilots and although an added expense, it might be worth considering.
Mike
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Mike and Joanne Stimmler
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BillG

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 02:35:49 PM »

This is a photo of a holder that I built out of teak last winter when I installed my autopilot
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Bill
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seanmcelligott

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2007, 08:04:24 PM »

It is cool to see so many options.  Gtrbone, is that the edson pod on the arm?  The teak one is cool too.  Thanks so much for the pictures.  I did a little more research on the options.  I can't believe the edson pod costs 150 blucks for a 5x5 piece of plastic, but I guess that's boating for you.
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Sean K. McElligott
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Stu Jackson

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 08:31:34 PM »

The May 2004 Mainsheet Tech Notes include an article with pictures by Steve Lyle of his homemade mounts.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Jon Schneider

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 04:41:23 AM »

Sean, not that this justifies the price, but the Edson "Vision" series is actually made out of metal with a plexi front-plate.  Like everything Edson, it's a beautifully crafted piece of equipment outrageously priced.  As I recall (I ordered and returned both in my quest for a solution), the NavPod is plastic, but I'm sure it the high-quality, "marine-tested" kind ;)
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Jon Schneider
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Joe Kern

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Re: S1 Autopilot control unit mounting
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2007, 05:31:12 AM »

Yes, Edson Pod on an Edson arm.  The pod itself swiveled, not the arm.

Joe
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Joe Kern
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