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Simrad AP16 rate compass option

Old 07-19-2005, 08:30 AM
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Default Simrad AP16 rate compass option

The Simrad website says that a rate compass can be substituted for the pain in the a$$ rudder feedback unit. I have had the rudder feedback unit fail twice and am looking for options. Has anyone done the upgrade??
Old 07-20-2005, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

A friend who recently had one of the new system AP 26's installed was expecting to have the "Virtual Rudder Feedback" but ended up having to have the hardware RFControl installed anyway because the VRF software presumably for the junction box was not available yet. Tightlines , BOE or Simrad should be able to update that 2nd hand info. However , a rate compass instead of basic fluxgate supposedly will dramatically reduce slow speed drop-out sometimes blamed on the RFC. I should know soon....
Old 07-20-2005, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

The newest version of the software for the AP16/26 units supports a mode called "outboard" that allows the unit to function without a rudder feedback sensor but only if it has the rate compass installed. This just became available. If you have had your Simrad autopilot for more than a few months, you would probably have to pay for the new software upgrade to get this capability. It has to be installed by a dealer because it involves both a new chip for the computer and an upload to the display head that requires a special connector and software. I think it would be pretty costly -- more than the cost of a new linear feedback. Also, swapping out your fluxgate compass for a rate sensor would be quite expensive too -- it costs $200 to substitute the rate compass on a new system, but the standalone price is more like $500.

You want the rate compass in any case on a new installation because it dramatically improves the steering performance of the autopilot.

Simrad's dealer guidance says the rudder feedback units should be installed anyway if feasible because then the virtual software can serve as a backup. Also, if you don't have a feedback sensor, the unit will not display rudder angle.

The newest versions of the linear feedback unit are sealed better and have a much lower failure rate than the original ones, which crapped out early and often (I went through three in four years). If you have an inboard or I/O, the rudder feedback units are not a problem at all and very reliable.
Old 07-20-2005, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

Nomans - 7/20/2005 6:56 AM

The newest version of the software for the AP16/26 units supports a mode called "outboard" that allows the unit to function without a rudder feedback sensor but only if it has the rate compass installed. This just became available.

You want the rate compass in any case because it dramatically improves the steering performance of the autopilot.

Simrad's dealer guidance says the rudder feedback units should be installed anyway if feasible because then the virtual software can serve as a backup. Also, if you don't have a feedback sensor, the unit will not display rudder angle.

The newest versions of the linear feedback unit are sealed better and have a much lower failure rate than the original ones, which crapped out early and often (I went through three in four years). If you have an inboard or I/O, the rudder feedback units are not a problem at all and very reliable.
The problem I have with the RF unit is the size of my motor well. Motors need to be turned fully to stbd. when tilting or the RF unit get knocked out of whack. My electronics guy said my control head and brain need to be returned to Simrad for a soiftware update before I can go virtual.
Old 07-20-2005, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

I see you posted while I was editing! Any Simrad dealer can do the software upgrade. There is a kit for it they have to order. But I suggest that you call Simrad headquarters in Washington and complain a lot about your unit not working and see if they will authorize a free upgrade for you before going to a dealer. I have always thought the outboard cylinder mount for the linear feedback was very poorly designed.
Old 07-20-2005, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

Nomans- Do you have any take as to whether the rate compass is possibly any less susceptible to malignant influence by somewhat nearby metal objects than the basic fluxgate? It's hard to keep all such items far enough away in my present set up & as you know I am about to switch out to the RC-25? Did you ever get the "Outboard Mode"SW installed finally?
Old 09-27-2005, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

I have a brand new AP16 with the "virtual feedback" as there is simply no room to install a feedback unit behind my diesel engine. So far so good. It holds a razor straight line but I have not yet had it in rough water.
Old 09-28-2005, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

Nomans - 7/20/2005 7:03 AM But I suggest that you call Simrad headquarters in Washington and complain a lot about your unit not working and see if they will authorize a free upgrade for you before going to a dealer. .


I called Simrad and without any complaining at all they told me the upgrade is FREE. You do have to send them the computer and control head though. I'm sending mine in after December when I pull the boat.
Old 12-14-2005, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Simrad AP16 rate compass option

Hi docj,

can you tell a little more about your AP16 now.
How does it perform at slow speeds, following seas, rough seas ?

Thanks

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