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Just Announced - New Lowrance Autopilot

Old 07-16-2014, 07:57 AM
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Default Just Announced - New Lowrance Autopilot

Cliff notes - sounds like it will work with any small cable or hydraulically steered boat. Uses the HDS screen for the display. Has all the features of a big pilot like steering patterns. Will integrate with the Motorguide Trolling Motors for extra control. Sounds pretty sweet!

Lowrance Announces Outboard Pilot

We are pleased to introduce our all-new Outboard Pilot for use with the Lowrance High Definition System (HDS) series. Scheduled for November delivery, this easy-to-use auto pilot system allows quick access steering of the outboard engine — giving anglers an “extra hand,” so they can focus more on their fishing activity.

Featuring integrated control from an HDS Gen2 or HDS Gen2 Touch, the Outboard Pilot can be installed with hydraulic- or cable-steered outboard systems – all with commands coming directly from the HDS display.

Lowrance Outboard Pilot Features

- Steer your outboard motor to a heading, waypoint, route or cursor -- with control from your HDS Gen2 display.

- New Lowrance SmartSteerTM interface (available with HDS 3.5 software release scheduled for September release) provides control of both your cable- or hydraulic-steer outboard motor, as well as the MotorGuide Xi5 Pinpoint electric-steer trolling motor.

- Easily convert saved trails into routes, giving anglers the ability to retrace previous trails from a fishing area and back to the dock.

- Six pre-set turn patterns for more effective fishing/trolling presentations.

- Designed for single-outboard setups, on boats less than 30 feet, in length.

- VRF (Virtual Rudder Feed****** – simplifies pilot installation -- eliminating the need for a rudder position sensor.

- Easy setup – straightforward guide steps you through first-time install.

- Easy-to-install, plug-and-socket connection – with no complex terminal wiring.

- Supported by Lowrance Advantage Service program and a two-year limited warranty.



This new Lowrance SmartSteer interface – available with the free HDS 3.5 software upgrade scheduled for September – provides integrated control of the Outboard Pilot, while saving valuable dash space, as well as the cost of an additional steering instrument. Outboard Pilot Components (variable based on the steering-system requirement):

- NAC-1 Autopilot Computer – The brains behind the Lowrance Outboard Pilot system. It contains the steering computer and electronics for the drive unit motor and clutch.

- HELM-1 cable-steer helm drive unit – This drive unit replaces the manual helm-drive unit on single cable installations. Compatible with Morse 290, 304411 and Teleflex SSC52 cables.

Includes voltage rudder-feedback sensor, and is only compatible with NAC-1.

- PUMP-1 Hydraulic Pump – 0.8L reversible hydraulic pump, compatible with SeaStar manual helm, pumps up to 14ci.

- Point-1 Heading and GPS Sensor– Provides extremely accurate and rapid boat position update, along with heading for accurate boat direction at any speed.

- Auto/Standby Button – Mounts anywhere on dash and changes Autopilot from STBY to AUTO mode with one press.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:12 AM
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HELM-1 is a Octopus mechanical drive unit similar to AP12/14, but without integrated electronics. PUMP-1 is supposed to be a RPU-80 clone. The algorithms are a subset of AP24, but all functions bringing value to a sports fishing boat of 30' or less is supported.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:15 AM
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Yachtjim:
Any info on a price?
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:15 AM
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I am surprised they are using the Point-1 compass as I thought they had listed it as not being suitable for autopilot use.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:19 AM
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Maybe they have tuned the steering algorithms to work better with a lower quality compass. The previous statements where for Simrad pilots.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
Yachtjim:
Any info on a price?
MSRP is $999 for Hydraulic unit and $1899 for cable unit.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:29 AM
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The bad news is that this new pilot will not integrate with Simrad according to what I've heard.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
I'm seriously considering doing a wholesale change to Lowrance due to their interface with the Minn Kota autopilot and now the outboard pilot. I'll be in touch in the near future regarding a complete system.
Motorguide, Minn Kota is Humminbird.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
The bad news is that this new pilot will not integrate with Simrad according to what I've heard.
Well that downright sucks..
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
HELM-1 is a Octopus mechanical drive unit similar to AP12/14, but without integrated electronics. PUMP-1 is supposed to be a RPU-80 clone. The algorithms are a subset of AP24, but all functions bringing value to a sports fishing boat of 30' or less is supported.
The pump is made by a different company, Octopus he said. They couldn't get the price down enough with the people that make the RPU80.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:37 PM
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Even if the pump is made by Octopus it can be a RPU80 Clone, I hope it's not a Octopus design. You can't produce a pump in Norway and include it with an autopilot to be sold for less than a grand, so it was given it was a not a RPU80 produced by Westcontrol Robertson in Egersund Norway (The previous Robertson and Simrad factory which is still producing both the electronics and mechanics for the Simrad pilots)
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:42 PM
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Jim,
Will it work with first generation HDS?

Tawn
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:50 PM
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Wondering if this pilot is using satelittes to calculate the course ! ( just like the Raymarine S1000 ) or does in fact use the build in compass in Point-1 ! Maybe it us both !
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:57 PM
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I'm quite sure it's using the rate compass, it's running AP24 software. And opposed to other low cost pilots it has a decently sized pump
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:04 PM
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Since the rate gyro in Point-1 is considered a little weak, it might be both ! Just a thought !
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
I'm quite sure it's using the rate compass, it's running AP24 software. And opposed to other low cost pilots it has a decently sized pump
A modern and very well working AP, does not need an oversized pump to perform a proper steering

Godnat min ven
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tawn View Post
Jim,
Will it work with first generation HDS?

Tawn
X2. Sure hope this will work with a Gen 1. Anyone know?
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:47 PM
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All indications are that it should work with the Gen 1 HDS units, should be a software update. Also not seeing why it wouldn't work with the Simrad MFDs
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BoemarineBrian View Post
All indications are that it should work with the Gen 1 HDS units, should be a software update. Also not seeing why it wouldn't work with the Simrad MFDs
Take this with an appropriate dosage of salt, because I was talking to marketing people (why don't they bring the engineers to these things???) but he said the autopilot interface is completely new. The autopilot computer looks like a SonarHub. The pump looks decent enough, but they chose an appropriate pump to power the largest single engine hydraulic steering ram.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BoemarineBrian View Post
All indications are that it should work with the Gen 1 HDS units, should be a software update. Also not seeing why it wouldn't work with the Simrad MFDs
Unless the Lowrance SmartSteer interface is implemented for first generation HDS it will not work, and unless the pilot has exactly the same software interface as AP24 it will not work with Simrad MFD's.

I would not expect it to work with first generation HDS and Simrad MFD's. I've actually asked the opposite question, will AP24 integrate with HDS when HDS gets integrated autopilot control, and the answer was no. I have HDS8 Gen2 as main unit on my secondary boat, I also have AP24 on this boat so I was interested in this topic. Luckily I also have a NSS7 on that boat.
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