Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby rmcnees » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:19 am

I have a Navnet 1842C Plotter connected to an Autopilot-500. Two conditions have occured. First, when I enter a Waypoint and then use the Autopilot, I receive an error on the autopilot that reads: Nav Data not present. The second problem began more recently when attempting to use the Autopilot to follow a heading. I don't receive an error message but the boat turns hard to the port and then hard to starboard then back until I turn it off. I don't know if the two problems are related but thought I'd post this in the hopes of someone much smarter than me being able to suggest an answer. I had contacted Furuno some time back and after several attempts to elicit information I received a curt response about some cable. Most cables are not clearly marked and NONE of the cables appears to have a number consistent with the curt response from Furuno. I believe it was something like replace cable no. 115 or something. Any thoughts would be most appreciated.
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Re: Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby Johnny Electron » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:45 pm

If the cables aren't marked and you don't what is what, then a guy on the phone wouldn't be able to see it any better. It sounds like it is time to contact a local dealer. I am sure they can resolve the issue. Here is a direct link to our dealer locator.

https://www.furunousa.com/en/company/find_a_dealer
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Re: Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby rmcnees » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:37 pm

While I readily admit that I am NOT a qualified marine electronics technician, it was nothing short of rude and incompetent for a Furuno rep to first provide links where I can buy cables without taking the time to help diagnose the problem.

I have taken a close look at the cables and indeed believe that at least one of my problems is a bad cable. It appears to be the white cable from the "Heading Sensor" to the Autopilot {Controller}. Touching the wires immediately triggers the Autopilot to go into a beeping scenario reading "Heading Lost" .

Given that running "rudder tests" also creates errors AND I still receive the error NAV data not found when attempting to navigate to a waypoint I almost feel like throwing the entire system out and starting from scratch with hardware that is supported by the manufacturer and isn't always so fast to recommend "contact our dealer". Could I have these problems with another manufacturer? You bet! However, it is AFTER one states symptoms that the true measure of a company can be assessed. If it is determined that a dealer is needed, great bring in the dealer. However, before that happens I'd like to attempt to understand what is going on and what steps MAY be taken to correct them.

In my humble opinion, Furuno makes NO such efforts. Rather, "customer service" seems to take the easy way out and instead of attempting to assist its customers, simply refers them to the dealer. Well, under the category of venting a little, if the hardware didn't use 3rd world wiring and connection technology, I MAY not be having ANY of these issues. WHY would the wires fail? They are certainly well tied and are immovable. Do these same wires go inside of helicopters and other aviation equipment that vibrate like a boat?
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Re: Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby Johnny Electron » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:19 am

We like to keep this forum focused on assistance and keep a positive tone. If you have complaints about the free tech support you received, please contact the tech support supervisor or manager. This forum is not for axe grinding. We have many wonderful people here who can provide answers but we will need some basic information to work with. Without drawings, it is best left to your local dealer to investigate.
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Re: Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby C-Bass » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:17 am

Good morning rmcnees,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Lets first take a look at your initial issue.

No Nav Data. As you explained when you activate a route on your 1834 plotter it should send this information to your NavPilot 500 from one of the ports on the back of the 1834. Depending on what port is being used to output the data it also needs to have specific NMEA0183 data sentences turned on. If you don't know what port is connected to the NavPilot 500 then you will need to trace out the wires that interconnect these two units. My guess it is going to be port 2 from the 1834. If you could please verify this information it will help us with the next step.

The next step will be to confirm the data port is outputting the correct NMEA0183 strings at the right baud rate. We need to first see what port is connected to the NavPilot 500.

The next issue to confront is the heading. You mentioned below that when trying to use the vessel in "auto" mode to keep the vessel at a specific heading it weaves to port and starboard. This could occur from a couple of different things. The heading may not be correct or the heading sensor may need to be re-calibrated. You can check the accuracy of the heading sensor by getting the vessel up to a reasonable speed and compare it with the COG from the GPS. If the vessel is not a planing vessel it will be best to check this value on a slack tide with minimal current and wind that could add to the vessel crabbing making this test not valid. If you could report back to us the difference in heading vs. COG with minimal influence from wind or tide crabbing that will help determine if the heading sensor needs to be calibrated again. Please keep in mind, the heading sensor is a flux gate compass and periodically will need to be re-calibrated if the vessel travels north or south over a large distance. Also the heading sensor can be affected by anything that puts out a large current like a pump or motor that creates an electrical field. Anything metal that is moved closer to the compass or away from the compass can also change the calibration of the compass.

You could also have a rudder reference unit that is failing, this could cause issues while underway and could also lead to a failed rudder drive test.

Couple of follow up questions.

1.) What kind of vessel are you running? Sport Fish, Sailboat, ect.
2.) What kind of drive unit are you using? Reversing Pump Set, Solenoid, JEFA Drive ect.
3.) If hydraulic steering, what is the size of the ram for the steering gear?
4.) If using a reversing pump is the pump a 12vdc or 24vdc pump? Is it wired to a 12vdc or 24vdc breaker?
5.) If using a reversing pump, what is the size of the pump? How much fluid does it push?
6.) How long have you been using the autopilot? Has it worked int he past or has it never worked right since you have been using it?
7.) If it worked in the past, what led up to the issues that you are facing? Storm, Lighting, service by technician, tried to reprogram the unit ect.

You mentioned below that the heading sensor to the autopilot cable may be bad. You said touching the wires send the heading sensor into a non-working mode? There should be no extra wires available to short together. If you can touch wires together then the heading sensor has not been installed correctly or the wires have wiggled free from the connector. If the wires have wiggled free from the connector it has been my experience they were most likely not terminated correctly to begin with. What specific color of wires were you able to short together? In order to short these wires together did you first have to remove them from the blue WAGO connector?

Without trying to sound defensive, the NavPilot 500 uses hardware that is standard in the industry. In many cases the hardware in the processor goes above and beyond what you might find with different manufactures. But that is not the point, we need to try and figure out what is going on.

If you could find the answers to the questions above that will give us a better idea of how to troubleshoot the system and put us closer to finding a solution.

I look forward to find out more about your system and hopefully with us working together we can find a solution to your issues.

Kind Regards,
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Re: Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby rmcnees » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:27 am

Thank you very much for your comprehensive and well thought out response. Unfortunately I am 900 miles away from my boat which resides as a vacation home so many of the questions that you ask I cannot answer until I have an opportunity to get back on board.

General information that I can provide now are: The vessel type is a Mako 261 with twin Yamaha 200 HP. The rudder position sensor is attached to the starboard engine. The entire system was wired by a Furuno dealer (I believe and will confirm) in Maryland, however the boat now resides in Hudson, FL. It appears to be a very professional installation but I would admit that I am only now making an effort to understand it. I can see how the autopilot's processor unit is designed to accept input from a plethora of different brands. I can also see where the input from the two wires of the rudder position sensor is attached.

Three things that I did discover when last on board.

1) I noticed that the aluminum mounts for the rudder position sensor had corroded away leaving the sensor unstable. I put wire ties on the RPS to stabilize it and it appears to be in the exact same position as it was prior to the corrosion issue.

2) Wiring....In trying to understand the system I removed the cover on the autopilot's processor unit. There I could actually tell what cables were running from what devices. The cable from the heading sensor has a small fuse in it which I examined and judged to be fine. However, when I touched that group of wires below where they physically enter the processor box, my autopilot began beeping and the error was loss of heading. The wires seemed to have been secured properly, but I'm thinking that one or more of them have a break inside of the insulation because I don't have to touch the wires with much force to set the heading alarms to chirping on the autopilot.

3) When running various tests on the autopilot all passed except the rudder test. As I initiated the test, the engines moved smoothly to port, then back to center. Then an error would occur. The motor is mounted in a clean, dry place and appears to be free of rust, and corrosion. At one point while running the rudder test again, the hydraulic pump moves the engines to the port but then I would hear a noise like the pump was trying to move the engines but they wouldn't move. I aborted the test at that point because it didn't seem like it was going anything good to the system and I noticed a trace amount of hydraulic fluid running out from under the hydraulic steering system. I did verify that the steering box is topped off with the proper hydraulic fluid. If there is another place to add fluid to this system I didn't check it because I wouldn't know where to check.

When I return to Florida where the boat lives, I will revisit the vessel and this post in an attempt to provide you with more information. The the meantime, if you have any other thoughts or questions based on my text above please advise.

Randy
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Re: Autopilot and AutoNav stopped working

Postby C-Bass » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:29 am

Good morning rmcnees,

Thank you for the followup information.

Couple things, the linear rudder reference unit in the past has had issues with corrosion. When an autopilot stops working that is using a linear rudder reference unit that is often times the source of trouble. There are a couple of things to do. First take good photos of the Linear RRU Installation on the engines, take good photos of the inside of the NavPilot Processor where all the wires are terminated and post them to this forum so we can look at what you are dealing with at all points. I have no doubt the the authorized dealer did a good job with the installation, I just want to verify what we are working with. Next we need to get an idea of what version of software the NavPilot 500 O/B is using. Please follow the steps below and report back what version of software. We also need to verify what Linear RRU is installed. It is probably a Teleflex RRU but we need to know the model number, please report back with that information.

NavPilot 500 Software Test.JPG


There are some tests you can run on the RRU to measure the resistance it provides. If you have a multimeter available please follow the steps below to see what the reading are when the engine is in the hard over position.

Please remove the cover of the NavPilot Processor and then power the NavPilot on. The RRU terminal is labeled TB13. When the engine is center if you take a volt meter and put the probes across TB13-2 and TB13-4 you should see around 2.5 volts. Next turn the engine to hard over port you should see .5 volts. Turn the engine to hard over starboard and you should get around 5 volts. Please report back what readings you get.

2.) The heading sensor connection into the pilot processor. After further research it appears the NavPilot 500 came with (2) different cables for the PG500R compass. The cable you mention below has a fuse inline. I found an old service advisory, #04-04T where it recommends that the 2m cable that is fused not be used to power the PG500R directly from the processor. It recommends a different cable that does not have an inline fuse that is 10m. The part number for the 10m cable that should be used is: 000-159-681. Based on what you describe it sounds like there could be a short in the installed heading cable.

3.)When you ran the rudder test you got movement to the port then back to center but the test would not move the rudder to starboard. It is a reversing pump set, so if you motor is able to turn the vessel to port then it should be able to turn the vessel to starboard. This could indicate a couple of things. I believe the brushes in the motor are in a working condition because you get movement to starboard. There could be some sort of clog or plug on the starboard port in the pump manifold. You could always bypass the system test and directly put voltage to the reversing pump wires. This will move the rudder one direction, if you reverse the voltage it will move the pump in the other direction. This test would eliminate a clog in the manifold if you get rudder movement past center in both directions.

Do you know or can you see any signs of teflon tape used on the hydraulic connection points? Without knowing how your hydraulic system is put together we will not be able to guide you on advise with the hydraulic system. Typically if there is a reservoir that can be a point of fill up but the helm pump itself may require some fluid as well.

How does the vessel hand steer? Is it sloppy or pretty tight?
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