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Simrad WP32 problem

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kirkelund View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 August 2012 at 23:09
Hi everybody

I am looking for advice trouble shooting my Simrad WP32 autopilot. (New topic as I didn't find any previous discussion touching the same problem, although I know the WP32 has been discussed before).

Well, my problem is that lately the autopilot have "acquired" a tendency to suddenly stop steering making the alarm go off. Mostly I am able to reactivate it again and it will work OK for some minutes until it stops and the alarm goes off again.

I suspect that one of the buttons has a tendency to jam or go a bit off centre. I will try to remove the cover and give the panel a clean up and give the buttons a closer look.

Otherwise, I am clueless as to what the problem is. Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Ole,

Kirkelund

"Amani"
Lynetten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hanse 342 (grey hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, Jefa rudder - RUD34)
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panos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote panos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2012 at 06:09
Hi,

There are two more possibilities:

1) weak current supply - sometimes the autopilot has a separate current supply from the rest of the instruments with a separate fuse. If for example the fuse is blown the autopilot gets power from the instruments supply which is probably enough for it to function without load but fails the moment any load is applied. The same can happen if your battery is weak or the supply cables or terminals are rusted.

2) increased friction either inside or outside the pilot.

Probably with a voltmeter connected directly to the pilots power cables you can verify or exclude the first possibility.

It is possible to find the cause of the alarm in the manual.


Edited by panos - 22 August 2012 at 06:12
Panos

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kirkelund View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirkelund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2012 at 18:03
Thanks for the reply, PanosThumbs Up

Your suggestions are quite interesting. I didn't know that the autopilot might have a separate fuse and that in case it blows it would get power (and too little) from the supply of the other instruments...hmm. I am a complete ignorant as concerns the electrical systemEmbarrassed

I should notice that the problem also applies when the motor is running, but that is may irrelevant for your first hypothesis?

As for the other hypothesis (friction) I can't detect any and I am not sure how to determine if it is internal of some kind. The autopilot is a wheel pilot permanently attached to the wheel itself, which runs freely.

Maybe I should consult the manual again for information about the alarm - AND check the fusesWink

Thanks,

Ole,
Kirkelund

"Amani"
Lynetten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hanse 342 (grey hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, Jefa rudder - RUD34)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote panos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2012 at 18:20
Try to engage the pilot while in the marina. Then try to force the wheel to turn and see what happens. If the pilot disengages very easy then there is an electrical problem : blown fuse or rusted cables or rusted connectors.
Panos

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kirkelund View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirkelund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2012 at 18:45
Thanks, Panos

I will try that as soon as possible...seems to a very good test of the whole system!

Ole,
Kirkelund

"Amani"
Lynetten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hanse 342 (grey hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, Jefa rudder - RUD34)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirkelund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2012 at 10:13
Hi Panos

Just a little feed back on your advice. I have tried your little test yesterday. While the boat was in the marina I engaged the autopilot. It seem to work allright and it didnt' disengage when I forced the wheel to turn and the problem I experienced when sailing didn't occur. I might have to leave the autopilot on for a little longer though. On the other hand I did the test only on the power supply from the batteries (no motor running). Next time I will take a closer look at the control panel buttons as I suspect one of the buttons has a tendency to get stuck.

I will also check the connections (your explanation concerning the power supply might still be right).

Ole,
Kirkelund

"Amani"
Lynetten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hanse 342 (grey hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, Jefa rudder - RUD34)
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2012 at 10:29
If you allow me to guess, I would think that Panos is right about the autopilot going into stand-by mode because of a bad electrical connection. However, I do not think that it will feed off the SimNet power supply if the 12V cables are disconnected. I think it is designed not to work if it does not get the stronger current.

For whatever my guess is worth.

Johan

Edited by Johan Hackman - 26 August 2012 at 10:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2012 at 10:33
By the way, my guess is based on my having a TP32 that does not go on before I turn on the power to the autopilot on the electic display. It does not go on if I only turn on the the power to the instrumets, i.e. SimNet, to which the autopilot is connected.

Johan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirkelund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2012 at 13:35
I think you are right, Johan

My WP32 probably works exactly like your TP32 in terms of power supply.

Ole,
Kirkelund

"Amani"
Lynetten, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hanse 342 (grey hull, wheel steering, deep draft keel, Jefa rudder - RUD34)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote panos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2012 at 13:49
Sorry for misleading you.
I had this problem with autohelm system. In my boat the pilot gets separate power 24V while the instruments 12V.

I have one more guess for the malfunction: maybe the compass needs calibration. The alarm you get - which disengages the auto mode- might be a out of course alarm caused by the compass.
Before recalibrating the compass ( by the way it is an easy procedure) you can test its accuracy by comparing it against the magnetic one on different directions. The deviation should be less than a couple of degrees, maximum 3.
Panos

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