Sunday, August 15, 2021

Autopilot Upgrade - Mounting the p70s Control Head

 Mounting a Raymarine p70s Controller


The Autopilot Controller for the existing system is mounted on the Starboard side bulkhead adjacent to the Helm Wheel. To reach it we have to bend or sit down to operate the buttons, definitely not the best position for the controller.

This is the New 'p70s' Autopilot Controller. Size wise it is almost identical to the Garmin GMI 20 Instrument already mounted on the Helm Nav Shelf. So I'm making a similar mounting unit.

Sadly, the plumbing business has changed the design of their End Caps for their 3" PVC Pipe. Good news, is that the new end caps are even better. So the new mount is only two parts instead of three for the GMI 20 instrument mount.







The mount is made from 3/4" Starboard and is 6" along it's longest edge (lower left in this pic) and 5" Wide.

The back is made from a 3" PVC End Cap from lowes. $5.35

I drilled out the Starboard with a 3" hole cutter (the internal diameter of the End Cap) 

Secured the end cap to the starboard using 1" #4 philips flat head SS screws.

There's a hole in the lower side of the end cap for the connection to the SeaTalkng cable to the Backbone.





The lower edge of the Starboard is cut at an angle that matches that of the Garmin GMI 20 Instrument so they pretty well match now.

Getting the bezel off of the instrument is a little tricky when the instrument is mounted. I found using a very fine pin Pick it comes off pretty easy.







The finished product, total cost about $10 including screws, Starboard (purchased from Sailorman in Fort Lauderdale by the lb) and the End Cap.

It will be secured to the Helm Nav Shelf using a couple of screws from underneath the shelf into the bottom edge of the Starboard.

Very pleased with this part of the project.

Next part is to install this at the helm and run the cables through the cable glands near the bottom of the pedestal guard. Looks like we'll be doing that on Wednesday.





See you on the water ---- Soon! 

Update - Wednesday August 2021
Well that went well.
This morning I went down to the boat with a plan - reposition the instruments and mount the new p70s Autopilot Control head in it's new holder.


This is the Helm Nav Shelf before today's work.
The Garmin GMI-20 is on the starboard side of the shelf. The GPS mount is centered at the back of the shelf. The Garmin Echo instrument mount is on the port side of the Shelf.

That black line is a zip tie that we use to hold down notes that we keep at the helm like the bridge list for the ICW or the Dock map of the various marinas we visit.

Left side of that picture is forwards, Top is to Starboard and right is aft.








After the work, the GMI-20 is on the Port side and the Autopilot p70s is on the Starboard side.

Not shown in this picture, the Garmin Echo Depth instrument is now located to the Starboard side of the Pedestal guard.

The data and power cables are temporarily secured to the Pedestal guard but are not re-routed to their final position yet. That requires the opening of the cable gland at the foot of the Pedestal guard, pulling the wires up from the aft berth, repositioning them to the shortest side.

When completed the wires will be routed as follows:
Port Side Gland: GMI-20, GPS and Radar Cables
Stbd side Gland VHF remote, p70s, Echo Depth, Autopilot Wheel motor.

First step in that process is to clear out the Aft Berth (our Garage) so that we can get to the old Autopilot's ACU. Remove the old Fluxgate Compass, run new power cables etc. etc. Worth another post.

Again - See you on the Water.


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