inneedofadvice

Quadrant disconnect

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I don't have an answer but curious what you're trying to accomplish.

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That is, I'm pretty sure, an "ALPHA" autopilot. They have decided to retire as of Jan this year. Their stuff was basic, but worked well. The drive arm featured a locking pivot in the middle which, when released, took all the drag of the motor off of the steering effort.

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29 minutes ago, ryley said:

I don't have an answer but curious what you're trying to accomplish.

I want to be able to put my tiller pilot ram on standby without removing it from the pin. 

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got it. my raymarine has a clutch, but it's definitely an interesting idea.

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Yes, that is an Alpha autopilot setup.  The design is quite simple, and any competent machinist should be able to fab one up fairly easily.

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5 minutes ago, jamhass said:

Yes, that is an Alpha autopilot setup.  The design is quite simple, and any competent machinist should be able to fab one up fairly easily.

The competent machinists in my area require vast sums of money to pique their interest. If I had better pics I think I could modify a quadrant myself to work.

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The sketch is a bit incomplete and therefore misleading.  In actual practice, the Alpha bits are a tiller extension which bolts above or below an existing quadrant.  The actual quadrant is not shown.

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So the uppermost component shown is not a quadrant or something similar?

edit: in rereading your reply, I see what you're saying. I was just thinking that with a quadrant as a starting point I could make some sort of pivot and spring loaded set up that would be drop into a notch. Would certainly be easier with a set of drawings or even a picture of the mechanism.

DRIVE%201.gif

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I'm was a machinist at one time. Alarm bells ring when you say "fab one up fairly easily." Looks like an all-day project to do right. 

That area of the boat is not accessible while underway? 

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I hate to say it, but the idea of a latch seems like the weak point in this design.

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3 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

That area of the boat is not accessible while underway? 

It is so it would be easier to monitor if I had it right. I'm just looking for an option to the cockpit aerobics required to line up the tiller and pin in fresh conditions. Could always drop a couple boat bucks on a linear drive or similar with little or no resistance when on standby.

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2 minutes ago, ryley said:

I hate to say it, but the idea of a latch seems like the weak point in this design.

They seemed to have had success with it while they made it so the designer must have found a way to overcome any issues.

I found an archived thread on it and the responses were pretty positive.

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The only issue I.ve ever heard is that you have to re-align the two parts to get the pin to work (re-lock the arm) So a bit of trouble, esp if you don't know what position drive arm was in when last disconnected. Usual practice is to make sure rudder was centered when you pull the dis-connect, so you can center helm & re-connect easily 

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10 minutes ago, longy said:

The only issue I.ve ever heard is that you have to re-align the two parts to get the pin to work (re-lock the arm) So a bit of trouble, esp if you don't know what position drive arm was in when last disconnected. Usual practice is to make sure rudder was centered when you pull the dis-connect, so you can center helm & re-connect easily 

From reading reviews, I believe when you release the cable it applies pressure to the 'key' until it finds the 'keyway' and locks in.

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Ran an older Alpha setup for many (10+) years.  No (zero, nada ...) issues with the mechanical disconnect.  Changed the Morse cable once.  

Yes, I easily see a day of machinist's time.  I guess what I intended to say is that any competent machinists (including many hobby machinists) would have no issues (complex setups, special tooling, etc).  I could make up a pretty accurate "working" prototype out of wood in a day or two.

Finally, re locking the dog in place:  You pull on the actuating cable while wiggling the helm at center position.  Its quick and easy.  Works best when you remember to disengage the dog with the helm centered.

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6 minutes ago, jamhass said:

Ran an older Alpha setup for many (10+) years.  No (zero, nada ...) issues with the mechanical disconnect.  Changed the Morse cable once.  

Yes, I easily see a day of machinist's time.  I guess what I intended to say is that any competent machinists (including many hobby machinists) would have no issues (complex setups, special tooling, etc).  I could make up a pretty accurate "working" prototype out of wood in a day or two.

Finally, re locking the dog in place:  You pull on the actuating cable while wiggling the helm at center position.  Its quick and easy.  Works best when you remember to disengage the dog with the helm centered.

Don't suppose you kept a pic or two?B)

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Have you asked Edson Marine, they do make tiller arms for autopilots.

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16 minutes ago, RImike said:

Have you asked Edson Marine, they do make tiller arms for autopilots.

I haven't asked, but I've searched their site and if they have it, it's not easily found.

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1 hour ago, inneedofadvice said:

Don't suppose you kept a pic or two?B)

Looked.  No joy.  Only photo adds no value to the prior diagrams, sorry.

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What's your existing pilot look like?  Might be easier to retro a 12vdc clutch than the quadrant modification.  They are used in process controls a bit as well as the automotive industry ac units etc.  Might be something to look at.

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I have a pelagic ram and a Raymarine st4000 ram. Wasn’t aware you could retrofit a clutch. I am interested and would like to subscribe to your newsletter :ph34r:

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If they are using a non specialty motor sometimes you can get a c face clutch that goes on the end of the motor with the same c face and output shaft. It would be a easy retro if available. Not sure if it would eliminate the drag enough though as the gears would still be moving.

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Seems like a interesting project, after giving some thought I'm with jamhass, that it's not outside the realm of a DIYS.  I'm guessing your actuators are opposing.  The Alfa design is fairly basic.  I would probably go with a yolk instead of a single plate on one side. With decent drilling and composite bushings could probably build out of aluminum plate with no welding required.  You can get push pull cables from McMaster Carr as well as levers. Would probably do a pin for locking under spring tension.  You could easily over design it. The whole thing is pretty simple the only fiddling will be the locking portion.

All that said I would do a cost comparison to upgrading the ST unit to one that already removes the drag when disengaged. The Pelagic you can disconnect and treat as a spare.

 

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Raymarine linear drives have almost no drag on steering, don't need this 'breaking' arm.  Hyd drive rams do impart a lot of drag.

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14 hours ago, jamhass said:

Looked.  No joy.  Only photo adds no value to the prior diagrams, sorry.

Appreciate the effort. Thanks 

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9 hours ago, longy said:

Raymarine linear drives have almost no drag on steering, don't need this 'breaking' arm.  Hyd drive rams do impart a lot of drag.

The one I have isn’t a linear drive. It’s basically locked when in standby. I was trying to avoid dropping 2k+ on something I already own. 

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Try searching for old Alpha dealers/repair shops. Some one out there has one sitting on a shelf, you just have to find them

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14 hours ago, solosailor said:

I've built one of these before.   It's not all that complex.

Do you show your work? I have the idea of the concept and think it wouldn't be that hard to recreate but would like to see one that has the glitches worked out. 

 

 

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I built it pre-digital cameras.   I might have a photo somewhere buried but nothing now, sorry.  It was an aluminum arm with the pivoting arm locked in place by a square pin actuatad by the cable.  Here is my 2 minute drawing !

Screen Shot 2020-11-21 at 2.49.28 PM.png

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21 hours ago, solosailor said:

I built it pre-digital cameras.   I might have a photo somewhere buried but nothing now, sorry.  It was an aluminum arm with the pivoting arm locked in place by a square pin actuatad by the cable.  Here is my 2 minute drawing !

Screen Shot 2020-11-21 at 2.49.28 PM.png

Thanks, if Fred from @jamhass link can’t find one I’ll make one. He thinks he has one but wasn’t able to locate it. 

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On 11/21/2020 at 5:40 PM, solosailor said:

I built it pre-digital cameras.   I might have a photo somewhere buried but nothing now, sorry.  It was an aluminum arm with the pivoting arm locked in place by a square pin actuatad by the cable.  Here is my 2 minute drawing !

Couple of questions related to your design:

1. You've put the pivot point near the end of the quadrant as opposed the the Alpha design that has it reversed (see original post). Any reason for this?

2. What did you use as a cable/spring pin mechanism? I assume there is an off the shelf component I can purchase? 

3. Were you able to drop the pin and have the movement of the tiller or AP 'search' for the alignment position until it auto locked?

4. After using, are there any tips you can offer that you would have done differently if you were doing it again?

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I have a rig something along that line where my tiller pilot attaches to my belowdecks Cape Horn vane steering.  I don't use the pilot to drive the rudder or tiller directly but instead let the power of the windvane steering do the work.  The tiller pilot only corrects the orientation of the vane to steer where you want.  VERY low power and the tiller pilot is out of the weather.  It has worked well.

The negative is that I had to place a small deck plate above the attachment point to connect and disconnect it.  I just  reach down and drop the pilot shaft on the the same pin normally installed in the tiller, but instead installed in the vane steerer.  When I want to disconnect it, I just pick it up and have a piece of bungee and a hook located nearby that I hang the tiller pilot from.

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