Garmin auto pilot issues

Discussion in 'Marine Electrical / Electronics' started by junkman, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    So I went with a few peoples recommendation to out fit the BHM with all Garmin. Phantom radar, GPS and auto pilot that uses the GPS instead of a dedicated AP compass. Because of the size of my N-50 steering cylinder I had to buy a larger pump to handle the extra volume. Reactor 40, so I installed the whole thing as per instructions, did the set up wizards and cannot get it to hold a heading without shadow drive interruptions that allow the boat to go off course and does not return to the original heading. Tried steering a route and same deal. Anyone gone through this that can shed some light on WTF is going on here??
     
  2. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Junkman,
    I like the Garmin displays and radars, but have had a lot of issues with their autopilots. I literally just told them on Monday I would never sell or install another one. The support has been horrible even as an authorized retailer. To the point where I am considering giving out my dealer number to my customers so they can complain. Anyway to address your problem. The shadow drives are very finicky and seem to cause an issue constantly and I typically do not recommend they be installed. They are "optional".. Can you tell me what pump do you have?
    The automatic tuning has never worked on any of the garmin auto pilots I have worked on. (Troubleshot 4 that other installers bailed on and 1 that I recently installed) I have only had success with the manual tuning but it takes anywhere from 3 -6 times and a lot of tweaking. Maybe Wharf Rat will answer with some additional info. He seems to have a lot of knowledge... Also what heading sensor do you have? Is it round or a box with 3 connectors on it?
     
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  3. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    I will have to dig out the paperwork to get the exact pump #s. I'm not feeling too good about a resolution as it seems as though back pressure from the rudder is causing shadow drive interference. That being said I have also run the sea trial wizard twice and still have an offset for north when I turn it on. Was kinda hoping one of these guys have been through this and could shed some light. I do not have an auto pilot helm control or rudder indicator and I'm sure that's not helping. Thank You for your reply and let's hope it is an easy fix.
     
  4. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Junkman,
    For a single steering ram you should have the 1.2L pump. You may also need an “Unbalanced” cylinder kit depending on what steering ram you have. If you have the “smart pump” then I’m told by Garmin that none of that is needed and it’s plug and play... I am still working through issues with Garmin on the Reactor and will keep you posted as I make progress. An email to a supervisor is going out today as the support tech I’ve been dealing with is very cocky and arrogant as well as unresponsive.
     
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  5. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    Thanks for the response, yes 1.2L pump and my cylinder is a Wagner N-50 that is balanced I believe, straight ahead is in the middle of the ram travel . 19 cubic inches of volume. What should I put the settings at for the dockside wizard as far as percentage goes? Nice to know it's not just me with this carry on. Let's see how Garmin steps up.
     
  6. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Try starting at 50% and do the manual tune, than increase at 5% intervals. (This can be frustrating if there is a lot of boat traffic) lol. In all 5 Garmin AP’s I’ve tuned, all had to be done manually.
     
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  7. Wharf Rat

    Wharf Rat Captain

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    Do you not have the rudder feedback sensor installed?
     
  8. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    Hi Wharf Rat, I was told there was no need for it, I bought the 1042xsv GPS, 2.1 l GHP 10Hydac,Reactor 40 Hyd w/o core pack. No rudder sensor or helm control.
     
  9. Wharf Rat

    Wharf Rat Captain

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    Fucking Garmin.. There was almost a brawl at the NMEA conference years ago when one of their techs swore that rudder feedback units were a waste of time and money.. Their whole pilot background is from when they purchased TR-1 and their Gladiator pilot, which was huge in Florida with all the center consoles as they used 'Virtual Feedback' so the first couple of Garmin pilots didn't even offer a rudder feedback sensor, and were basically useless on any inboard application. They finally learned their lesson, but still for whatever reason are putting out bullshit that it's not needed..

    If it's an inboard, you absolutely NEED the GRF10, AND you need to order an extension cable for it, as it only comes with like a 1' cable. The only time you won't use the rudder feedback sensor is if we're talking an outboard or I/O application.
     
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  10. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    So If I get a GRF10 And extension cable does the sensor need dedicated power? If I cut out the shadow drive will it work any better? I am seriously thinking of dumping the whole garmin AP system and getting a Simrad,but not sure if it is financially practical given I'm already plumbed and wired for garmin. What say you Chris?
     
  11. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Jeff,
    I'm with Chris at this juncture right now ..."F',n Garmin"
    Just know the GRF10 will NOT connect to your ECU.. The port labeled feedback on your ECU is for the feedback wire from the 1.2L, 2.0L, or 2.1L pump. I learned this the hard way.. If you want to use a rudder feedback I believe it connects to the smart pump.. I will verify that when I get the Smart Pump and get back to you.
    To update you I spent over an hour on the phone with them after you and I talked. After going from polite to very sharp & direct I got them to at least credit me for my customers bad pump and now I can apply it to a smart pump. Since "that is the only pump that will work good if my customer wants to troll" Complete BS from my stand point...The tech support rep even argued with me about their selection guide thats posted right on their website! I would dump the Garmin as well and put the Simrad in or go with Furuno... I really like Garmin displays, radar and I think the sounders are pretty good too but I will never do another Autopilot from Garmin. I've already lost my shirt on this install over information that should be readily available on the website or in the install manual. I would absolutely take it out and do a Simrad or Furuno pilot if I could...
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  12. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    I stand corrected. The GRF 10 does connect to the Smartpump but also depending on what Reactor 40 kit you have. There are 2 different ECU's if you have the one with all black connectors on it the Rudder Feedback won't work with that.
     
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  13. Wharf Rat

    Wharf Rat Captain

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    So here's the deal, at least going forward.

    Jeff, as RC pointed out, sounds like you got the Garmin Reactor 40 Hydraulic Pack PN 010-00705-19 , which is designed to be used exclusively with one of Garmin's hydraulic pumps that have the 'feedback' sensor that gets connected to ECU. They use the pump's flow sensor to try and 'guess' where the rudder is.. 'Virtual Feedback' The ECU you have won't accept the GRF, unfortunately. I know this sucks, but that pilot is really only supposed to be used on an outboard application, where a rudder feedback sensor cannot be mounted. Garmin doesn't advertise/mention this AT ALL, ANYWHERE! On an inboard boat you need to actually use their 'Garmin Reactor 40 Mechanical/Retrofit/Solenoid core pack PN 010-00705-49 , where you would use a any non-Garmin standard reversible hydraulic AP pump, like a Simrad RPU80/160, etc. The ECU that is included with that package DOES allow you to connect the 'optional' GRF10 sensor.. I guess they decided that they just wanted everyone to pay 3 grand for a fucking SmartPump..

    I'd try what RCLS mentioned about trying to tune that thing as best you can, or set the whole thing on fire, or get on the phone with Garmin and demand they take back their shitty pump and ECU, and get one of the 010-11053-30 ECU's, a regular pump, and a GRF10..
     
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  14. Blitzen

    Blitzen Captain

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    Glad this was posted here, I have been researching the new electronics for the new boat and feel that one brand can't do it all. Maybe I'm wrong but still on the fence.
     
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  15. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    So just got off the line with Garmin tech support, they say go back to West Marine and have them sort out the money and order the needed parts. We'll see what happens. Thank You both for your gracious help. I will let you know where it goes next!
    Jeff
     
  16. Tunatown

    Tunatown Captain

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    Furuno....
     
  17. Blitzen

    Blitzen Captain

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    Not so sure about that any longer, a few boats down this way are and have had nothing but issues with the newer Furuno equipment.
     
  18. Tunatown

    Tunatown Captain

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    Oh I have tz14 screen auto pilot ant radar nothing but good stuff so far my second choice would be simrad but every now and the somebody gets a lemon I guess
     
  19. Blitzen

    Blitzen Captain

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    To be honest I don't know what is good any longer, I had the old Furuno VX2 units on the 36 and had no issues but in the world to compete Furuno has had its issues with a bunch of boat up and down the coast.
    I have spoken with a bunch of people who have run most of the brands and the common thread these days is that if you want it to work out of the box go with Garmin. This has completely caught me off guard because I was a Trimble guy back in the day and Garmin was junk back then. I am wondering if all the manufactures are rushing to market with new products that reliability has been sacrificed. I just want it to work and be done with it, who ever makes the unit.
     
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  20. E-Fish-N-Sea

    E-Fish-N-Sea Member

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    Just got done installing a reactor 40 and the shadow drive and it did the same thing. I finally figured out that the shadow drive was on the wrong side of the hydraulic tee. It took me awhile to wrap my head around but it must be installed on the side of the helm and then teed in so no flow in the side of tubing when the pump has control. It activates when the helm is turned and returns control to the captain. Hope this makes sense
     

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