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Full Version: [CA] Ev300 and solenoid hookup
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I have contacted the maker of the solenoid valves/hydraulic steering system. I am 100% sure that the the negatives and switching sides of the two (port & starb) solenoids are correctly hooked up. But, I am having issues with two alarms that are coming up repeatedly, rendering the pilot useless in the ocean. The two alarms are “DRIVE STOPPED” and “AUTO RELEASE”.

Is it possible that I need diodes?

(your manual incorrectly shows the grounds as + & - But obviously they are both - )

It seems like the P70r thinks there is rudder movement once Auto is selected. (kinda like it sees feedback from the installed rfu. But I do not believe there is any actual movement occurring)

Installing diodes certainly won’t hurt anything.

I have 1N4004’s, but thought 1amp rating could be too small.

Welcome to the Raymarine Forum Oregoncme,

Diodes are fine. The rating s/be 3 amps. Make sure vessel type is correct (stern drive incorrectly selected will give you an Auto Release).

I believe that the cause of the reported symptoms is that a rudder reference transducer has not been interfaced the system. A bad Rudder Reference can give you Drive stopped. Unlike other Evolution autopilot applications where a rudder reference transducer may be optional (I always recommend that a rudder reference transducer be installed), when an Evolution autopilot is used with a solenoid system, a rudder reference transducer must be used. Detection of an interfaced rudder reference transducer may easily be verified by placing the autopilot into Standby mode examining the rudder bar displayed on the autopilot control head, rotating the helm to port and to starboard, while verifying that the displayed rudder bar indicates the correct rudder motion. As you have suggested, the Evolution autopilots feature a virtual rudder indicator which will indicate approximate rudder deflection when the autopilot has not been interfaced to a rudder reference transducer and has been placed into Auto or Track mode.
The rfu was installed and is working perfectly.

The diodes are my only hope at this point.

I was hoping that a pair of diodes would stop the oddity that is obviously going on. There is no add-on joystick or additional manual rudder pieces in parallel. I am going to connect it at the ACU300 outputs and see if it cures the problem. Im using 14/2 at 8' one way to each solenoid.

Thanks Chuck for your assistance.
Chuck, is there a hard over time that is required with this solenoid autopilot?
I do have an rudder reference unit attached and is working correctly. I’m concerned that it’s moving too slowly.

An intermittent drive stopped might mean there is a delay in the turning of the rudder. The solenoid may open quick enough but something is stopping the helm from moving quick enough. The Pilot needs to see Helm/Rudder Reference movement with 2 seconds of applying voltage to the ACU motor output. If it is over this, Drive Stopped or Auto Release could trigger.

It could be air in the hydraulics, a mechanical linkage problem or if it is controlling an electronic steering system it might be the propagation delay in that system. We have had similar problems with Hamilton Jet systems where the solenoids or relays are switching in quickly but the steering take up is slow. Some electronic steering systems design in a soft start that is not good for pilot control. - On that particular boat, Hamilton adjusted their software to react quicker.

Accordingly, you may be onto the correct path in solving the problem. Please see the diagnostic flow chart below:

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