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Why is Rudder Feedback for autopilot necessary in inboard application?

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Why is Rudder Feedback for autopilot necessary in inboard application?

Old 08-30-2017, 11:20 AM
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Default Why is Rudder Feedback for autopilot necessary in inboard application?

I have a virtual rudder feedback on my twin outboard, and it works great!

As you might have seen my other post, I have purchased a rudder feedback for the autopilot install on my Albin 28 inboard....but I am wondering why it is even necessary? After all, the autopilot is the same regardless of engine, and I'm pretty sure it can't tell what type of engine I have.,..

Just kinda curious why it would be required for the inboard installation.
Old 08-30-2017, 11:27 AM
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It's not really necessary, but it can be quite a help. With outboards, you can turn around and see their orientation before to put the engine into gear. With inboards, you don't know which way the rudder is facing and would have to turn the wheel hard over to check. Which modern VRF systems do a pretty good job they may still require calibration every once in a while. With a RF sensor, the rudder position is much more accurate.
Old 08-30-2017, 11:56 AM
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Thanks! Good to know. With the floor hatch raised, I can see the direction of the rudder....worse case, it would be a two person job.
I'm just thinking that I could set it up to be a virtual rudder feedback, until I get the RF unit installed. Or if the RF unit failed, I could set up virtual.
Old 08-31-2017, 12:22 AM
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Because pilots work so much better with them.
Old 08-31-2017, 05:26 AM
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Not exactly sure how a virtual rudder position works but I'd guess that the AP would operate much more effectively with a known rudder position.

Also I find it very useful to have the rudder position display on the AP head unit.
Old 08-31-2017, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by andosan View Post
Not exactly sure how a virtual rudder position works but I'd guess that the AP would operate much more effectively with a known rudder position.

Also I find it very useful to have the rudder position display on the AP head unit.


When you are first commissioning the pilot after install, you basically tell it where the center rudder position is, and the full locked positions. So the AP computer can calculate where the rudder position should be ...
Old 08-31-2017, 11:56 AM
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Some boats don't respond well with using virtual feedback and others do especially and older unit with new software that allows the virtual feedback. In most cases using the RF is more accurate and it has to compensate less, meaning it won't weave around as much. Other boats and systems it doesn't make much of a difference. So if it works well without the RF then don't install just return it. Most newer systems are going to virtual instead of RF because the technology is better today than it was a few years back.
Old 08-31-2017, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MAXRPM View Post
Some boats don't respond well with using virtual feedback and others do especially and older unit with new software that allows the virtual feedback. In most cases using the RF is more accurate and it has to compensate less, meaning it won't weave around as much. Other boats and systems it doesn't make much of a difference. So if it works well without the RF then don't install just return it. Most newer systems are going to virtual instead of RF because the technology is better today than it was a few years back.


Interesting. Thanks for that input.


In my case, I figure I will install it. But, since the boat is working commercially and I just do the maintenance on weekends. If I run out of time and don't get the RF25 installed, I would know I can just try to set it up as VRF, and it most likely will work "good enough".


In my outboard, strangely enough the VRF and pilot has always worked fine...except in the last year or two it would no longer do a good job of Depth Contour Tracking. It really wouldn't respond at all when the boat went to a different depth. I probably just have to re-commission....but it was pretty odd.
Old 08-31-2017, 12:31 PM
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I have a simrad AP16 and my LRF failed twice so before I bought another one I put it in virtual feedback mode and it works without the LRF. I think it works better using the LRF but its in the way and it failed twice. So I just stick to virtual since I don't have to worry about it and don't have to re calibrate as often. But in my opinion it tracked better using the rudder feedback but its good enough without it.
The AP16 did not initially have virtual but was updated years later with it and it still works fine. mine has outboards which is why I have the LRF vs the RF. The RF very rarely fails but the LRF is more prone to failure being its always exposed and just not a sealed system.
Old 08-31-2017, 12:42 PM
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I put a rudder feedback unit on my boat with a single outboard and it works oh so much better.

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