Garmin auto pilot issues

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

  1. E-Fish-N-Sea

    E-Fish-N-Sea Member

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    In other words the pump is fooling the course computer into thinking your turning the helm. It was putting the helm into free spool and turning off course. After I corrected the problem I now get a "Shadow Drive" message and "You have control".
     
  2. E-Fish-N-Sea

    E-Fish-N-Sea Member

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  3. E-Fish-N-Sea

    E-Fish-N-Sea Member

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    This may help hyd.jpg
     
  4. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    I get what you are saying, I'll have to look at mine again and see if it is indeed plumbed incorrectly. Thanks for chiming in.
     
  5. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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    "I am wondering if all the manufactures are rushing to market with new products that reliability has been sacrificed."

    Generally speaking, I think it's safe to say that since the 2008/2009 financial crisis, not many manufacturers seem to care about the actual quality of their product when it is first shipped. Their actions seem to be more focused on recording revenue growth for the quarter and painting a pretty picture for investors with new product releases. There have been way too many negative product reviews from disappointed customers to indicate otherwise. I think it's a much higher frequency than just a few squeaky wheels trying to get some grease. I've had my share of new part issues like never before.
     
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  6. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Junkman,
    Just following up on how you made out at west marine? I got the new smart pump installed and new wires pulled today. Garmin sent the pump with no power cable. It's getting ridiculous.
     
  7. junkman

    junkman Senior Member

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    They gave me the district manager's phone # saying talk to him and they would make it right. Of course I haven't had a second to scratch my ass lately, so there it sits. I'll be at the boat today and need to check my plumbing, I'm 90 percent sure it's plumbed right,( according to the instructions anyway). Will chime back this evening.
     
  8. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Junkman,
    I also just found out another interesting bit of info today... Garmin made 2 different versions of their CCU for the reactor 40 and 2 different versions of their 1.0L, 1.2L, & 2L pump. Neither are forward or backward compatible with the other. And none of this is or was mentioned anywhere, or by any of the dealer support guys I talked to in the 7 conversations I've had with them. (This does not include the Smartpump) Even though there are 2 versions of that as well.
     
  9. steveinak

    steveinak Captain

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    one thing i've learned from this, stay away from Garmin.
     
  10. Wharf Rat

    Wharf Rat Captain

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    Hey guys, I avoided this thread, as many of you know I'm not a huge Garmin fan when it comes to product support and lifespan, and piling on would be unfair.. I thought. However, I had a situation this week that I had to share.

    Long story short, we have a client with a gorgeously and meticulously maintained True North 38.. Has a full Garmin package; 7616XSV, GMR24 xHD2, GSD24, and a Reactor autopilot.. Leaving today on a 10 day trip to Montauk and then on to Block and Nantucket, he was having some weird issues with the autopilot tracking/following active waypoints/routes. He brought the boat over from Great Neck on Weds AM, I hopped onboard, updated all the software (as the pilot ran fine in Heading Hold, only issue was when he engaged a route the boat would veer off drastically from the allowable Cross Track Error, with strange heading values and course to steer values.

    Software update went off without a hitch, we went back out and recalibrated the compass, tested the pilot and it followed the routes perfectly. Dropped me off at the dock, figured we were in good shape, and I got a call within 5 minutes that he was getting this error 3 times while he was on his way out the inlet:
    [​IMG]

    Strange, as he never had this before the SW update from went from 4.20 to 4.40 on the pilot (if I remember correctly), so I told him to come back, I'd call Garmin to see if we need to do a rudder sensor calibration, re-do docksize wizard, factory reset, whatever. What I got next was absolutely fucking shocking. I spent 1.5 hours on the phone with Garmin's autopilot guru's, and the first thing they said was 'Sounds like a physical issue with the actual physical rudder; maybe a bad bushing, needs to be tightened, maybe the rudder post BROKE. OK.. I figured maybe he was new, so I asked if I could speak with one of his supervisors, as we had zero issues steering the boat manually OR via auto during our prior sea trials just earlier, just this pesky error. I get put on hold for another 20 minutes, he comes back on the phone and says there COULD be an issue with the rudder feedback sensor, or the actual cable. I told him the GRF10 feedback was changed out less than two months ago based on their advice, and after that didn't work, the 10 meter cable was also changed out. No chafed cable, no loose connections, let's try this again..

    This is where it went from a strange experience to a full homicidal rage. The guy literally had the balls to say "Well, everything breaks at some point.' WTF.. the pilot system is 3 years old, new rudder feedback, RFU cable, software, and again, the boat ran perfectly an hour or so earlier with myself onboard as witness with the owner. Thankfully, I had the phone on speaker so the owner heard this.. he grabbed the phone, asked for a supervisor, and after another 15 minute wait, we got another 'engineer.' This guy said let's go ahead and try to redo the dockside config. Halfway through the dockside, we all of sudden got a a blaring alarm.. ECU CLUTCH FAULT.
    Now, the pilot would NOT engage at ALL. Retried the dockside, same error. Tried realigning the rudder feedback, same alarm. The owner is now faced with a 10 hour trip out east with no pilot, and this guy uses his pilot like an aircraft. The engineer then says.. 'Well, it sounds like the solenoid on the steering system must have burned out.. These things happen.' This was a CourseMaster power assist steering system running off the engine with a solenoid valve, which again, steered the boat fine without the pilot still, so I know he's full of shit. He recommends we purchase and install a SmartPump.. (Again, it's a solenoid steering system.. WTF is a SmartPump going to do?? It's not a reversible SeaStar system.)

    The owner is absolutely distraught, I explain I will at least try to find out what I can to try and find a solution, but at this moment, the pilot does not look like it's going to be fixed. I did some research, I find this ECU Clutch Fault appears to be a death sentence, but I was able to get in touch with the guys in Australia who designed the steering pump system. I ask them some questions about the drive unit, and turns out there is NO clutch or bypass valve, which is what the Garmin experts said was what probably what failed, after we explained the rudder is intact.. So at 9 that night, I call the owner, ask him to go down to the boat, and walked him through each configuration. So far, no ECU CLUTCH Fault. He's desperate, so he takes the boat out to try the pilot out, and.. everything works. No errors, the pilot is running 'perfect' and no errors. Even better, the HDG/COG/CTS are all in line, no hunting, no crazy turns off course, and he's a happy man. Not to jinx anything, but I do pray this system holds up for his round trip.

    I've never in my career been given such lack of support from any company, and this is saying something as I have scars from past Garmin Tech Support and Warranty disasters that could have been avoided. I felt obligated to share as Garmin has convinced the public that they put out 'the best' product in this market, yet they absolutely fail not only when they tell someone with a 3 year old system that they no longer support/service the product and inform them they need to purchase a new MFD/radar/ETC.. But the balls to say 'EVERYTHING BREAKS AT SOME POINT.' I swear to God, if I ever felt like going to Kansas, I'd probably request a meeting with the support department to express my displeasure with a statement like that, but I'd rather be buried alive than to go to Kansas, so I'll just mention this at the upcoming NMEA Conference in Norfolk next month. I don't drink anymore, but after this, I was looking to find a 40Oz Colt 45 to try and dull the pain, but apparently Billy Dee Williams Distribution has a backorder..

    Sorry for the diatribe guys, but I needed to share my most recent experience, for the good of all that come to this forum to try to wade through the marketing bullshit and hype from all the OEMs and Pro-Staffers who got that Garmin shit for free in some cases and at insane discount programs.. Don't believe the hype, don't get sucked into a situation where your limited season hangs in the balance and your only hope is some Kansas engineer who will tell you your rudder has fallen off before they even try to tell you to touch a button... Fucking crazy.. Again, sorry for the language, but I had to share. Good luck all, and YES.. STAY AWAY FROM GARMIN.

    Let's go Mets and Let's go Jets!! I need something to bring me joy! On second thought, those teams probably not going to help, but loyalty is a bitch. Enjoy the weekend DEBF Fam.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019 at 9:18 PM
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  11. steveinak

    steveinak Captain

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    So Chris if you were to recommend a simple pilot system for a 30-35ft boat with lets say seastar or capilano steering what brand would it be ???
     
  12. RCLS2016

    RCLS2016 Senior Member

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    Chris,
    I will not use names but I would bet a paycheck I know the name of the Support Tech who said "Well everything thing breaks at some point"... Its right on par with some of the comments I received. I actually discussed flying out to Kansas to go over my credentials face to face as an installer, after some rude comments from the same guy.
     

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