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Tinypilot with linear drive installed on my Beneteau 343
Tinypilot and Garmin Class A (Jeffa LD100) linear drive installation on Beneteau 343
The existing 15 year old ST4000+ wheel pilot works fine in calm conditions and is retained totally independent of the new under-deck autopilot.  Anything other than very light conditions and the wheel-pilot belt slips.  I have tightened existing belt and have a replacement belt but are concerned the aged plastic housing will disintegrate upon opening.

A Raymarine EVO-100 wheel-pilot would be an easy replacement but would have same belt drive limitation.  For same price decided on Garmin Class A linear drive (Jefa LD100 with Garmin rudder sense built in) and Tinypilot for controller.
Mounting the linear drive:
There is no room on rudder stock for a seperate tiller arm.  The Lecomble and Schmitt cast aluminium quadrant has arm on front with M14 hole for direct drive connection.  I connected L & S and they confirmed the quadrant is designed for use direct with their hydraulic drive.
I have seen other Beneteau 343 have Raymarine mounted on transom and bracket on back of quadrant.  I looked at this and could do an easier install with drive bolted to bulkhead in aft cabin.

The only drawback I case see with this is the drive is not horizontally aligned with the quadrant.  During drive there would be some vertical force on the quadrant (max 80mm out on 800mm out of alignment equates to ~6 degrees (specs are +/-5 degree) and therefore 0.1X of the drive force ie 40kg max of 400kg LD100 force).

Having a longer pin and a truly horizontal drive would be twisting moment on the quadrant - I am not sure if this is better or worse than the vertical force component?

The quadrant is 23mm thick at back where the steering cable go and 20mm thick at the front with the drive attachment arm is.
The Garmin class A drive has a 16mm large connecting  bush held in place by a 10mm bolt.   I used a $1 Oilite bearing between the 10mm bolt and the 14mm hole in the quadrant (OD 14mm, ID 10mm, Length 20mm).

The base of the drive has four M8 bolts through the 18mm (3/4 inch) rear bulkhead right at the junction between two bulkheads and the locker floor.   I added some 150 x 150 x 5mm Tufnol and 125 x 125 x 3mm stainless epoxied in place to reinforce the drive base mount (although I don’t think these were needed they helped align the drive to be perpendicular to the quadrant arm at center.

A small cutout was made to allow the drive shaft entry to the quadrant and steering cable cover.
Mounting the Tinypilot:
This is inside the cabin at the chart table. 

A separate master switch supplies both the controller and motor drive. I added a small panel with switched 20 amp fused voltmeter + Autopilot circuit, a 12V outlet (always on) and dual USB charge ports off the existing cabin circuit breaker.

6m of Power cable and the serial cable extension is run behind the bathroom to the controller in the aft cabin. The motor controller is under the aft cabin bunk.
I kept the Garmin proprietary sockets on the drive cables and used 1.6mm crimp pins on the cable from the controller ( ).  Garmin could not supply connectors but did supply the pinout.
Controlling Tinypilot is by
1). IR remote
- CH +/- and VOL +/- do the big and small port and starboard adjustment
- "Power" does the engage/disengage autopilot
I point this into the cabin and it seems to work fine most of the time. However, no feedback is received so I don’t really trust it to disengage the autopilot in an emergency.
2). RF remote
wired to the Tinypilot engage/disengage and small step buttons on the PiZero iteself.
I have one remote on a string next to the wheel so can hit the disengage button in emergency
3). Webapp on my phone or table in cockpit. 
This is more for receiving feedback than sending commands. I now have a cycle phone holder to try and so it will be mounted above the wheel.
Unfortunately none of my ancient WiFi iPhone4 or iPad mini can display the webapp correctly.
The Tinypilot drove the boat well with the standard gains.
On my first test sail running before 25 knots and 3~4 foot waves at 8 knots boatspeed was hard to control with some over and understeer.  So I furled some headsail and slowed to 7 knots and the steering was good.

I will try increasing the DD gain a notch to give faster response the slewing on waves downwind.  It seems to consume little power so using a bit more will be fine.

On subsequent 2 weeks sailing in light and moderate conditions the Tinypilot drove well.  The boat felt like it was on railway tracks upwind where the old the wheel pilot would squawk and round up. I am about to have another 4 weeks sailing so will observe performance and tinker a little with the gains.

Please feel free to add suggestions for improvements or criticisms!

My only Tinypilot feature request would be a separate "STANDBY" large button on the webap and also a GPIO so with under-deck clutch based installations it is easier to hit and take manual control in an emergency.

A “document my installation” section would be useful as a lot of people are interested in Pypilot but are not sure where to start in building a working system.

Thanks Sean for providing a system that worked right out of the box (on my living room floor and then the boat itself)!

Photos can be seen

I see you have the older tinypilot as the latest hardware includes an RF receiver as well as 15 gpio pins for buttons instead of only 5. It is possible from more recent software to reconfigure the buttons and remote from a browser. eg:


You can also wire gpio 5, 6, 26 to give yourself 3 more available buttons at least.

There you can configure one of the buttons to perform the "standby" action, look for "disengage" rather than the "auto" function which toggles the state. As for standby in the browser, is it difficult to toggle the switch?

Hi Sean
So with the latest software image I can reconfigure the GPIO on my existing old hardware?
That way I can use my external RF controlled switch to give me the "disengage" button.

Does the new Pypilot HAT fit into the old Tinypilot enclosure?
Next year I may upgrade and include the NMEA0183 to add a wind input.

I do find the toggle unreliable on both my phone and table compared to the alter direction buttons.

Thanks again for a great product.
Yes, you should be able to update the image on the sd card and gain the ability to reconfigure the buttons. I suggest using a different sd card just in case you want to revert easily.

The new hat does not fit in the enclosure I have a different design to fit in the enclosure. Let me know if you want the design for the enclosure to upgrade.

What is unreliable about the toggle? Does tapping it work differently from the direction buttons? It is a different implementation but it should work the same by tapping it, so I am trying to understand what I should change.
Hi Sean
I have a spare Pi-ZeroW and SD card so will have a go with the new software.

Yes tapping the toggle didn't seem to work as well as the direction buttons. I will have another go next week and let you know for sure. Maybe it just seemed that way Smile.

Upgrade of board to new RF and NMEA0183 will be a project for next year. Are there any new features or version of the hardware coming?
It may be just confusing that you tried to slide it but you can just tap it?

The new boards features include ability to use other IR remotes more easily as well as 7 more io pins, nmea0183 port,
backlight dimming, and light sensor for automatic backlight as well as a beeper. I may eventually support configuring these pins as analog inputs to do various things.
On the "Download" page of if find tinypilot_2020_10_27.img.xz

Is this the latest Tinypilot image?

PS: I haven't got around to learning to build my own image yet. That will be a project for the coming winter.
Yes it is for now the latest stable image. I hope to have a new one pretty soon.

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