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How to use the tack function
#1
Hi there

I do not have  a sail boat, I use pypilot as an autopilot with my fishing boat to keep a course when we are trolling on the Great Lakes. It works perfectly for this except it is missing what most commercial available autopilots for fishing have. The ability to turn the boat using pre configured commands.
For example, we often go from 60' of water out to 80' and back in a grid pattern. So it would be helpful to be able to just hit a button that would turn the boat SLOWLY say in a 250m radius (configurable) arc 180 deg, Port or starboard, and then in some situations we will run along shore for a while so to have an option to turn the boat 90 deg port or starboard. 

I have been told by Sean that the tack function may be a stop gap until i find someone who could develop these options for me, problem is I have no idea what any of this means... 
Could someone help me with what the config settings mean regarding the tack function and suggest how I might adapt the tack function to turn the boat 180 deg to port for example?
And if anyone is interested in developing this plugin I would be willing to entertain remuneration for your time.


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#2
The pypilot plugin for opencpn does allow you to configure the angles... So you could put +- 90 there. If you put 180 I don't know what it will do, + or - won't affect which way around the boat goes (yet) so it would be better to have +-90 buttons, and use them a second time once the boat has turned sufficiently so that it will continue to turn the right way.

The lcd display with remote allows you to configure the big/small steps. So you could change the +- 10 button to do +- 90. I'm not sure this is what you want. Eventually you are going to need more buttons. The next version of pypilot hat has 8 main buttons with 7 more extended buttons as well as supporting RF remotes, and these remotes typically have 4 buttons but I'm trying to design one with 8 that runs on aaa batteries.

In the next version (I hope to make a beta image this week) All the buttons can be reconfigured. I'll add the +- 90 course as possible actions.
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