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Wandering tiller pilot


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Sounds like the internal fluxgate compass gimbal is sticking, happens. The gimbal is there to keep the fluxgate level as any tilt and it loses acurracy. Have repaired a few TPs. There are also calibration settings you might want to try if the helm is moving in a regularly port starboard.

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 There are also calibration settings you might want to try if the helm is moving in a regularly port starboard.

 Thanks crazy, that's exactly what it's doing and it seems to wander less when motoring so that explains the gimbal.

 

Is there a way of recalibrating it?

 

IT - it's not interfaced, most of the time I just steer everywhere, doesn't bother me so much but guess if it worked properly I'd probably use it more.  Do you sell these?

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Old model so no interface. Be Careful pulling it apart as the screws will likely snap off the inside screw threads through age. Once apart, that lumpy bit in the case houses the fluxgate. I use graphite grease but check for movement by tilting the bottom section around a bit. The gimbal should keep it level if not, work the graphite in using a tooth pick and free it up. Don't use CRC! It will effect the varnished windings. I think the button push sequence is the same as the old TP10. Find the instructions and try recalibrating it before surgery!

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It looks similar to my TP 30. If so it is tuneable that is you can tune it for sea state and gain by pressing buttons. The user manual is available online if you search TP 30 user manual. 

Also check the T.P cannot move interdependently of the yacht  what I mean is if  the TP moves the internal compass thinks the boat has changed course when just the TP has moved.  

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Just a thought Muz. Have you run the TP "standing still"? That is, having it powered up, AP engaged and have it somewhere where it doesn't move? (Away from metal objects). There will probably be a little movement of the drive shaft as fluxgates are not accurate but it shouldn't move more than a few cm and return to its orriginal position or not to far back and forth from its orriginal position.

Put a mark on the shaft with a marker pen to see how far it travels. Make sure the shaft is half extended before engaging the AP. Get yourself a magnet and try moving that around the fluxgate, the shaft should move to compensate then return to the position you marked on the shaft when you take the magnet away. If it fails any of that, it's probably toast.

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