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Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

Old 07-24-2005, 08:08 PM
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Default Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

I bought a used Mako 250 with a Bendix AP2000 (later known as Robertson??) autopilot. This includes a big white unit that fits between the steering wheel and the dashboard. It also has an "IA3000" unit with 3 rotary switches and even a separate remote control unit with a long cable (called a "remote dodge unit").

My problem is --- I can't figure out how to use any of these things! The guy I bought the boat from was the second owner and he didn't know how to use them either.

Is anyone familiar with these units...and might someone have owners manuals which could be copied? I've searched e-Bay and the internet but haven't been able to find anything.

Thanks,
Old 07-25-2005, 08:25 AM
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Default RE: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

Bendix did not become Robertson. They were the predecessor to Benmar.
The drive unit mounted behind the wheel though makes me think you might have an old King.
Old 07-25-2005, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

cravenMH --

Ahhhhh....yes, it was Bendix/King, not Robertson. Do you know anything about the King autopilots, or where I could find manuals?

Thanks!
Old 07-25-2005, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

Try this:

http://www.kingmarineelectronics.com/
Old 07-25-2005, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

If it is like the old First Mate autopilot I put on my '78 SeaCraft in the late '80's , the operator would simply steer to the desired course and lift (or lower?)the long lever with a ball on the end to engage. Lower( or lift?) lever to disengage. If you forgot it was engaged and turned the wheel a shear pin inside the white drive unit directly behind the wheel would shear and had to be replaced and occasionally a fuse (I believe internal) would fail & I would replace that. The shear pin was accessible behind a semi-large flush screw cap on the unit.I had a lot of shear pins & fuses.It was pretty prehistoric compared to today's A/P's but still pretty handy when trolling. Mine had at least 2 rotary switches on the drive unit , on/off & gain/sensitivity( or perhaps those were combined & the other knob was just a fuse holder). I think the optional remote unit just had L & R dodge buttons and was not very useful due to poor response/ lack of control. I can't remember whether the heading sensor was self-contained within the unit or more likely separate on a cable as with today's models. I think the later King type was very similar except it may have the ability to manually overide & turn the wheel while engaged without shearing a pin, could be wrong.
Old 07-26-2005, 04:41 PM
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Default RE: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

cravenMH -- I had tried the guy at that website. He wanted to charge me $50 for copies of the two manuals I needed. He was the ONLY source I found...but I was hesitant to pay $50 when I didn't even know if the units on my boat worked. Thanks!

TTaxi -- Thanks for the info. You're right...the lever that goes up and down and the "gain" rotary switch are both on the white steering wheel base unit. Then there's a separate "box" unit with three rotary switches...one or two say "Dodge"...right and left???? -- maybe I can post a photo or two later. Please check for the photos and see if you can recall any operating techniques from your old unit. Thanks for your help!
Old 07-28-2005, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

IRYB- Have you tried the AP2000 to see if anything happens when you turn the power knob on , wait a few seconds and lift the lever to engage? Just sitting at the dock or on trailer the unit & wheel should "search" slightly with a slight intermittant motor sound . If nothing is observed, look for the fuse holder on the main helm unit & inspect.- I'm thinking maybe 10 amp but that could be way off. It may be some kind of miracle if that nice dinosaur has avoided extinction this long. Sorry, I haven't had a manual in over 10 yrs.
Old 07-29-2005, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

TTaxi - Yes, I have tried to use the unit. I'm not sure about a "power knob" but I did engage the black lever on the AP2000 a couple of times while the boat was running and the wheel began to slowly fade off to the left. I didn't know how to control it so I just moved the lever back to where it was. So it apparently has power and does work. It's probably also always on (I did notice one night that the lights on the "IA3000" unit are always on even when the ignition is off).

There is a rotary "gain" switch on the right side of the AP2000 and that black lever on the left. I think that's all there is on the AP2000?? Then there's the separate IA3000 unit with three rotary-type switches. I can e-mail you photos of both when I get back home. Maybe they'll refresh your memory???

As a last resort, I can always donate it to a museum somewhere.
Old 07-29-2005, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Bendix (Robertson?) Autopilot - How to use?

Can you find the cable that goes to a heading sensor & find that unit? If the boat moves to the side & does not correct to a straight-ish course & you can feel the vibrations of slave motor functioning inside the A/P helm unit , it sounds like the heading sensor is either missing, disconnected, malfunctioning, not aligned with the centerline of the boat & pretty level or quite possibly it's sensors are being corrupted by a metallic or electromagnet influence placed too near the sensor inadvertantly ( anchor, tackle box, electrical wiring powering something else??) I vaguely remember something about the external box you describe as IA3000 which I think was probably just an interface box which provided hookup for the optional handheld remote.
Old 09-08-2010, 02:18 PM
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Default ia3000

Originally Posted by TTaxi View Post
Can you find the cable that goes to a heading sensor & find that unit? If the boat moves to the side & does not correct to a straight-ish course & you can feel the vibrations of slave motor functioning inside the A/P helm unit , it sounds like the heading sensor is either missing, disconnected, malfunctioning, not aligned with the centerline of the boat & pretty level or quite possibly it's sensors are being corrupted by a metallic or electromagnet influence placed too near the sensor inadvertantly ( anchor, tackle box, electrical wiring powering something else??) I vaguely remember something about the external box you describe as IA3000 which I think was probably just an interface box which provided hookup for the optional handheld remote.
would you be willing to sell the ia3000
Old 09-09-2010, 08:18 PM
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Default

Boy a 5yr resurrection of that old thread! LOL

Mike-If that was directed to me , I haven't had that First Mate system for over 15 yrs now since I sold that Sea Craft Sceptre. The A/P's made these days are so much better, but when I put the First Mate on the boat (when it 1st came out...late '80's??) it was the best A/P for small boats by far ...because it was the only one. I was very glad to have it for many years of offshore "work." As I recall, the IA3000 was the ineffective optional cabled remote to the IA2000. I tried using it from the bowdeck to dart GBFT , but the response to the remote was horribly slow.

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