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Some updates on the AP. I used the remote more than I would have thought. While searching for cobia, or casting into rocks for striper, blues, etc., I use the remote to keep the correct distance from rocks or the CBBT pilings while casting from the front deck. Had more than one boat stop and watch - I guess waiting for me to crash into something, but the remote allows me to control the boat pretty well in moderate currents. Only drawback in since the engine is analog, I can't control the speed from the remote and when I hook up I have to reel in fast to have any chance to keep the fish away from from rocks or pilings.

 

Also, Raymarine came up with an update to code that's supposed to give me some new features (haven't tested those yet). Worked good day one, but the next trip the pilot screen went all white, the A78 (replaced the Lowrance with a Raymarine A78) said it lost the pilot and alarmed. Turned off power from the dash CB like I always did and tried again and again. It would work for 2-3 minutes, then fail. Reloaded code and it worked okay. Failed next trip. Changed how I powered on/off from the Circuit Breaker to the power switch on the autopilot itself and now it works fine. Something in the code doesn't handle hard power off/on like it used to and it now needs to be cut off and on from it's own power switch.

 

Now that I've got an AP, I don't know how I ever went without one. I used to get up at 4 and head out to the Norfolk Canyon on my old boat, troll for hours and get the boat back in around 5pm. I'd do most of the driving (except when it was my turn to reel in fish) and I'd be sore for a day or two from all the driving. Now I can go trolling the same amount of time and the only time I'm sore is if fish keep me busy all day. Almost as good as being on a charter, except I still have to clean the fish and wash the boat when I get in. I just sit back, listen to the radio, rig bait and ride (except for keeping a proper lookout) on the trip out and back.

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I have always said I would not go AP due to the extra pump and hoses that could fail but this thread really has me thinking, I always have people on board that are not boaters and I get the crap kicked out of me from the driving, baiting, etc. In the mouth of the CT River this would be great when alone snagging bunker by the break water and jetties.

 

So I take it the pump has to be near the helm? Trying to figure out where I would put it on my R245, probably starboard as I have an access port, starboard opening for garbage, that I have room to work.

 

I have not updated my a78 yet and need to do it, I like the new options that you have.

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Like almost everything, there are options. The pump connects to your autopilot electronically and your helm via hydro hoses. So, I could have put the pump in my center storage, but it would be exposed to me putting nets, brushes, etc. in and out, so I opted for the console storage area. Not many other places on an R207 to put it as the aft storage leaks by design. Not sure about your boat, but the limits are your NMEA cables, power cables and hydros.

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Don't recall anything prohibiting specifically where to mount the pump/etc, other than convenience. If one opts to mount lines any distance away from the helm tho, I'd sure suggest using something more substantial than the clear plastic lines provided - for safety sake.

 

 

Yes, an AP is an outstanding piece of gear.... 'most' of the time. But then, like anything/anyone helping to drive your precious boat, you gotta keep an eye out as to what it can do at the worst times. Guess the warnings in the manuals about always paying attention and not going below to get another beer is valid.

 

Took some friends out last week to do some fishing & sightseeing in/around Marathon. Kinda rough for them offshore, so we turned around and rubber-necked mansions up some canals and then went to Sisters Creek and thru Boot Key Harbor. AP did a wonderful job thru the twists and turns, with only quick stabs of the controller as we needed to change course a few times. However, just as we almost got to Burdines Marina & Restaurant, it took a dump and did a hard-to-starboard all by itself. Clicked STBY and then out of gear, and then took over and motored up to the dock like I meant to go there all along - with everyone none-the-wiser. As usual, awesome food and terrific scenery.

 

But why it did that is a mystery... til I remembered all the towers (I think they're the Radio Marti propaganda ones?) on Boot Key. Could the EMI interference have led me astray?

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I experienced radio interference when working at a computer site years ago. 50,000 watt transmitter was just down the road and the building had a defective ground causing all sorts of problems. Found the problem when I hooked up my oscilloscope to the communications link and could 'see' the music.

 

I suspect the GPS on your autopilot was led astray. Fairly good article at http://www.cycsa.com.au/_literature_119459/Has_your_GPS_ever_gone_haywire

 

Haven't had the issue you brought up and hope I never do. Most of our radio transmitters are far inshore, but the article speaks to some much more likely causes that you could find at any dock.

Edited by FullThrottle

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Many years ago (and this is not a fishing story, because it woulda otherwise started with.. "Hey, this ain't no bull-sh!t"), I was working with a defense company testing some C-130-airborne 'very' high-power RF transmitter concepts for offshore use. We'd fly down to the Gulf and do our work til pilots told us it was bingo-fuel and we needed to head back to either Dallas or Pensacola. Couple times we weren't finished, so we'd keep going til the last minute. That all stopped when we got complaints that we were opening garage-doors, interfering with tv reception, etc.

 

it was during the CB-radio craze too, completely blew those trucker's minds when we could blanket the entire spectrum.

 

Sorry, off-topic. Reliving my glory-day(s).

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That would be my main concern, the hoses failing and I am spraying hydro everywhere. Being I have a R245 I have options to get close to the helm and have decent access to the pump when needed. I have not messed with NMEA yet but I am in an electronics field so I am sure I can figure it out. I still need more basic items first like radar, looking at the wireless Raymarine units, and need a fridge for the wife.

 

Dogdad being from the Navy I could tell you stories about blowing radio stations out of the water but not on the net haha!

Edited by Scott Wheeler

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