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Pypilot working on my Nicholson 44
#1
Hi,

just want to report my setup. We did the first testing at sea today ....... happy ....

Boat
Nicholson 44 from 1977,

Former Autopilot:
Robertson/Simrad x300, with two Controls/Displays. The LCD's where getting bad ....
(I guess before that there was a Neco-Autopilot/Curse-computer)


Drive:
Neco Marine 17DR8-24Volt
Spocket with chain to the cardanic stearing.
It is a brushed compound-wound DC-Motor with electromagnetic clutch, I guess from the 70's.
It changes diriection by reversing the polarity to the amature and keeping the polaity to the series- and shunt-coil.

Motor Driver
Chinese Arduino-Nano clone, close to the Raspberry Pi with Pypilot Motor.ino software and a Pololu G2 1367
Motor-Driver inside the Neco-Drive (former watertight Relay-Box on top of the drive). They are connected btw. eachother with a shielded cable (only) 3-wires (common GND, RC, Clutch).
The clutch is activated by a 5v/24V , (chinese/relay) the relay gets activeated by the Nano (Pin11) and the Relay is powerd by the Pololu 1367. (I will change this to an SSR-Relay later).
For safety reasons ther is a cable to the helm witch interupts/activates the clutch.
There are two Reed-Contacts (Normaly Open) to tel the limits of the stearing. They go to the Pololu Driver and worke fine.
I tried PWM  and for now I have the setting at Pypilot Min-Speed=50% Max-Speed=100%

Course Computer
Raspberry Pi with Openplotter/Pypilot,  GPS and IMU 9255. Later I will add the windsensor data. 
The system for now is headless. Access is via VNC-Viewer from the Mobile phone or tablet or laptopp.

Sea trials today:
Setting: "Simple Autopilot" and Compass, Gains: I=0.00690 D=0.16750 P=0.00330
On compass mode (under engine) it works good also I have do a lot of more testing on this ...



To thanks to Sean and all who have contributed to this Project.

Andreas
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#2
Thanks for sharing!!! Do you have any picture?
  Reply
#3
(04-03-2019, 01:58 PM)Sailoog Wrote: Thanks for sharing!!! Do you have any picture?

I will do some this week and post them .....
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#4
Great write-up! As our boats and needs are all so different, the more detail we can get about configurations that work, the better!

My own efforts have been delayed as my old Autohelm wheel drive was slipping, and some repairs I attempted didn't work. I ordered a newer Raymarine Wheel Drive on ebay - I just don't know where to start cobbling together a drive system, yet.
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#5
As prommised here some photos:

first and most important ..... the boat:
   

then the first (working!) setting with simple relay-h-bridge (2xrelay) the two others are for the clutch (engage and safety interupt):
   

Then test with the pololu G2 1367 (top left in the photo) testing with red/green LED and PWM (see Osziloscope)
   

The Neco-Drive with the Pololu and Clutch relay inside the top (I will re-paint the drive .... later ;-) ...) :
   

And at latest a phone-screenshot from the first testsail working arround the gain's:
   

Save sailing to all
Andreas
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