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Heading sensor, GPS antenna, Compass, and integrated GPS

Old 08-24-2017, 11:06 AM
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Default Heading sensor, GPS antenna, Compass, and integrated GPS

I am confused by the heading sensor, GPS antenna, compass, and the chartplotter GPS. On my boat, I have Garmin autopilot but no heading sensor and GPS antenna. The autopilot works fine. I guess it gets the GPS from the integrated GPS built in the chartplotter. However sometimes I find the bow heading of the boat symbol on the map has an angle with the actual boat heading line. The boat direction on the chartplotter has an angle with the boat symbol.

Do I need a heading sensor? or GPS antenna for my autopilot? What is the difference between the two?

The compass networks with Chartplotter through NM2000. Was it the reason there is a Course over ground and the actual direction difference?

If I would like to make it very accurate, and build a best autopilot system, do I need all the heading sensor, GPS antenna, compass, all networks with chartplotter?

Since the chartplotter already have the GPS built in, do I need to disable it before connect it with the GPS antenna? or the GPS antenna is just an antenna to boost the signal of the GPS built in?

I am very confused. Hope these questions are not all stupid. Thank you in advance for explanation.
Old 08-24-2017, 11:09 AM
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I dont know of an auto pilot that works without a true heading sensor. My bet is that you have a heading sensor
Old 08-24-2017, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
I dont know of an auto pilot that works without a true heading sensor. My bet is that you have a heading sensor
You might be right. I had professionals installed it so I really got no idea if I have it or not.

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