Having very little time for working on ‘Minnow’ today, I was pleased that I was able to make a start at mounting the Autohelm 800.
I partially made a wooden support for the Autohelm. This will require a proper bronze socket for securing the device. I shall have to have another support at the other end. My plan is for the supports to be removable for when I am not using the Autohelm.
My biggest challenge will be designing and making an efficient connection to the steering line. If I cannot come up with a better solution than I had with ‘Faith’s’ setup, I’ll have to be satisfied with it.
Incidentally, I have decided to have the Autohelm on the starboard side, with its rod pointing towards the stern.
Looks very neat, tucked out of the way!
I have a TP10 Tiller Pilot. I think it will do for a yacht up to 10 meters long. It's not that's it's huge but for PUFFIN, it draws to much current and I don't know that i would be able to sustain it's thirst. I am therefore making my own unit with it's own built-in rudder. It will cost less than I can probably get for my TP10 if I put it on eBay!
The basis is a tiny CPMS10 XYZ 3-Axis Compass printed circuit board. It's tilt compensated. The board is the size of a normal 1st Class Postage stamp. The output feeds into an Arduino Microcomputer board, the size of a normal small box of matches. The out from this drives a GIANT Radio Control Servo. A single push button stores the current heading and once locked-in, if there is any change, then the servo turns the aux rudder and hopefully puts the boat back on course.
I will also add an LCD display so that I have another compass to fall back on but in digital form IE: direct reading like 270º. This whole unit will only draw a few tens of milliamps from it's own set of re-chargable batteries and have a small solar panel to make it self-sufficient!
I hope you get your unit working OK. I'm sure you will.
Looks Great Bill....I will be following your lead soon.
Steve...I would love to follow your construction of your autopilot. Is there a webpage you maintain where I could do that?
Hello Bill, 'Minnow' is looking absolutely super. I'm really impressed.
You've done similar things before with your prototype PUFFIN, so I guess you'll enjoy perfecting an efficient electronic steering system for the real thing.
It worked on Glen's 'Zoe' and it worked on 'Faith', so I'm hoping it will work on 'Minnow'.
Thanks. I think 'Minnow' looks better in the photos than she actually is, but I'm satisfied with the improvements I'm making.
The main point of the exercise is to have fun. For as long as I am enjoying the boat, I shall keep her. The prospect of sailing her is a big incentive to continue the work.
I'm looking forward to next season - hopefully, an early start in spring 2014.
Sean, I'm dreadful at keeping my websites, Facebook and blogs up to date but I will try. At the moment I'm posting more to Bill's amazing Blog than any of my own!
I also have one here on blogger.com and promise to try and keep it up to date. I'll post some pictures and details of my miniature Tiller Pilot shortly:
It's here: http://g4mjw.blogspot.co.uk/
Thanks for the address to 'Steve's Stuff'.
I shall be watching your progress building 'Puffin'.
You could be onto a winner with the autopilot.
I like the latest version of 'Puffin'.
If you do the beaching version, will it be easy to launch her off a beach on a rising tide? When Matt designed Paradox he had this in mind - even providing a boarding step attached to the rudder.
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