Jump to content

B&G h3000 autopilot woes


Rupeski

Recommended Posts

Hello, 

I am hoping someone may be able to help. I have a B&G h3000 system which controls the instruments and pilot on my A31. The pilot display (GPD) which controls the ACP1 has stopped functioning correctly and the LCD screen is faint and unreadable and as a result is basically unusable.

Despite the boat being only 8 years old, Navico tell me that the H3000 system is no longer supported and spares are not available.

So that means I either need to a) repair what I have, b) replace it with a used one if I can find one, c) replace it with something else that may be compatible such as h1000 or h2000, d) replace the whole lot with something different, which may need to wait until the winter. 

I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience of these systems, their compatibility or anything for sale that may do the job. 

Thanks! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a hydraulic ram and a pump driving it, you can replace just the head and brain and use the ram, pump, rudder angle indicator and possibly the compass too. I just did this replacing my Simrad AP20 with a b&g triton 2 control and NAC3 ap unit.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the swift reply, yes I do have the hydraulic ram and drive. I also have the brain (ACP1) that works fine too, so replacing the head with a compatible one may be the first option, but it could be a plan to replace the brain too if not and separate from the rest of the system. Thanks for your suggestion 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Had a similar issue with my H3 GPD.  It is a very common problem with the displays getting moisture inside and going bad.  You really only have 2 choices, both of which hurt and neither is necessarily the right or wrong choice,  just what you personally prefer.

1) Replace the entire system with H5/NMEA2K  (or whatever other company you want to use)

2) Buy a used GPD and continue to pump money into an old system that will only get more obsolete as time goes on.  Nothing wrong with this most economical short term solution but at some point it's probably going to go bad again.  Whether it's while you own the boat or someone else is TBD.

I lied, there are actually a couple other options:

3) A&T makes new H3 units such as a GPD.  They shouldn't have the condensation issue but they are expensive (extremely expensive in regular money, slightly expensive in boat money).  Not as expensive as an entirely new H5 system but still you're pumping a lot of money into an obsolete H3 nmea0183 fastnet system.   http://www.aandtinstruments.com/home/products-2/displays/

4) B&G sells an adaptor to convert some of your displays from the proprietary B&G nmea 0183 fastnet to nmea 2K.  https://www.bandg.com/bg/type/spares-and-accessories/cables-and-connectors/h5000-fastnet-interface-746dfda0/   This allows you to slowly convert your system from the old to the new.  It only converts one way though, so you have to keep the H3 processor but you can use H5 displays. You can't use a new H5 display, even with the converter to control your AP though. To be honest I don't remember if the converter would work with an entirely new H5 AP system.  

I ended up doing a little of both, I picked up a used GPD but I'm also using the converter for a couple new H5 displays which I have to say are very nice!  The used GPD displays is just a temporary solution, eventually it's going to go bad again and theoretically over time it will probably become harder to find good used ones.  

One word of caution with the converter, although most things worked very well for me there are a couple strange quirks.  My tide/current calc on the new H5 displays are completely wrong compared to the correct one displayed on the H3 units.  And yes, I've tried to adjust the settings on the H5.   Also, I've lost the ability to switch what info is on my 20/20 displays.  I have to unhook the converter if I want to change the 20/20's.  Maybe it's just something unique to my system, I don't know.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Ok thanks.

 I dont have the pilot display but want to buy B&G acp pilot and drive unit. 

Can I use the pilot without a pilot display? (With zeus 2 og 3 plotter or GFD?

And do I need a new compass or is it ok with halcyon 2000 connected to the H3000 CPU?

Link to post
Share on other sites

GFD will not have AP function, GPD will.  If I remember correctly GFD=Graphic Function Display, GPD=Graphic Pilot display, or something close to that. The GPD's are nice units, does everything the GFD can but also has AP functions.  Used GPD's will come up for sale on eBay every once in a while.  Occasionally there will be a GFD with a GPD cover/bezel which makes it look like it has AP function but it doesn't.  Make sure to specifically ask the eBay seller if it's a GPD.  I'm not entirely sure but I don't think you'll be able to control a H2 or H3 compatible AP with the zeus, I think only an H5 or other NMEA 2K AP will work with the zeus..  My last boat had a H3 CPU and ACP-1 AP and I was not able to control the AP from the Zeus 3.  Maybe it just wasn't set up correctly for the AP though, I dunno.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hugh is correct, the GFD will not control the pilot but will do the instruments. The GPD does both but they are prone to water ingress and they don't make or repair them any more despite them not being that old. Occasionally one will appear on eBay but they are like gold dust and expensive as a result, plus there is a very good chance it will meet the same fate as your previous one. A&T instruments make a copy that will do the job but they recognise the demand and the value to save the old NMEA 0183 system that owners have and their resulting desperation, so they are hideously overpriced.

However, you could get the GFD to solve your instruments issue and an older 'Network Pilot' instrument from B&G which will drive the ACP 1 which was available as a pilot before the H3000 system. They often appear on eBay and are fairly reasonably priced. Your Haclyon 2000 compass should be fine with your H3000 CPU, that is what I had on my A31 before I had the problems.

I eventually solved my issues by buying a new NAC-3 pilot, the Fastnet Converter and a Triton 2 instrument display and pilot controller. It is a little frustrating to have to spend all this just to get around the problem of a broken GPD but the alternative options are not good and it is considerably cheaper than having to upgrade to H5000 and all the hardware (log, depth, wind, mast repeaters etc). There are some advantages of having the new NMEA 2k system however and it is easy to fit by yourself. The only thing lacking is that is the ability to calibrate the instruments and change the display on the mast repeaters as this was previously done via the GPD. The Triton 2 display will read instrument data via the Fastnet Converter but it will not talk the other way and make changes to instruments. To get around this I bought a relatively cheap NMEA 0183 instrument display (not even as complex as the GFD) off eBay for £80 and it sits down below to just do that job when needed.

Hope that helps

Link to post
Share on other sites

I spoke with a guy who just upgrade from h3000 to h5000 cpu in a j111 with the "old" h3000 acp pilot running without any pilot display. He control pilot via zeus 2 plotter. how is that possible?

Is it possible to use the remote vision in this setup?

 

This is what I got from him regarding update from h3000 to h5000.

 

Items that I kept: 1. Wind transducer 2. Autopilot (already N2K compatible) 3. GPS 4. Chartplotter (Zeus 2)

 

Items that I swapped out 1. Speed/Depth (combined into a single transducer that is N2K compatible) 2. electronic compass (Halcyon 2000 for a new Precision 9) 3. CPU (h3000 for H5000) 4. Mast displays (4 HV 20/20) 5. Added a new MFD that includes additional features like 'start line'

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, x-79 said:

I spoke with a guy who just upgrade from h3000 to h5000 cpu in a j111 with the "old" h3000 acp pilot running without any pilot display. He control pilot via zeus 2 plotter. how is that possible?

Is it possible to use the remote vision in this setup?

 

This is what I got from him regarding update from h3000 to h5000.

 

Items that I kept: 1. Wind transducer 2. Autopilot (already N2K compatible) 3. GPS 4. Chartplotter (Zeus 2)

 

Items that I swapped out 1. Speed/Depth (combined into a single transducer that is N2K compatible) 2. electronic compass (Halcyon 2000 for a new Precision 9) 3. CPU (h3000 for H5000) 4. Mast displays (4 HV 20/20) 5. Added a new MFD that includes additional features like 'start line'

Might be easier to help and give advice if you can tell us what system and components you have on the boat now and what your goal is.  The short answer to the majority of your questions is don't bother pumping money into an old system with old components that are no longer available unless there is a specific reason or goal in mind.  If this is a boat you plan to keep for a while spend the money, get a current system and don't look back. The more you try to piece together an old system with new components the more headaches, problems and money you'll probably end up spending in the long run.  Trying to combine the older H2/H3 fastnet system and the newer H5 N2K systems is like trying to fix a Honda with parts from a Ford or trying to make a Windows program work on a Mac.  You can probably find a way to make it work but you're ultimately trying to force things to work together that aren't really supposed to.  There will also likely be little things (or not so little) that you'll discover along the way that don't work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...