Author Topic: I'm making progress installing my new Raymarine 'Evolution' autopilot.  (Read 588 times)


  • P323
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 225
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
    • GeneSmithStudio
  • Model: P323
  • Vessel Name: ALMA
  • City: Cape May
  • State: NJ
I'm making progress installing my new Raymarine 'Evolution' autopilot.

Having a wonderful Simrad WP 30 for fifteen years that happily communicated with an old Garmin chart-plotter this install has been 'character-building'.

I remember installing the WP 30 in about 40 minutes.

Installing the Raymarine seems like 40 days and 40 nights of freezing rain, at the wheel with a foul current-

The paperwork from the FOUR separate components, wheel-pilot, control box, fluxgate compass, and display seem like they were written on different planets.

And the Sea-Talk NG (Next Generation) wiring "backbone" will not talk to NEMA 0183 without an expensive aftermarket 'adapter'.
The SeaTalk (and incompatible with Sea Talk, Sea Talk NG) is a buffed-up version of NEMA 2000 but with proprietary (expensive) cables that need proprietary (expensive) connectors, and (expensive) terminators like old SCCI computer connections.

I got an app for my phone that senses magnetic fields and the best location for the fluxgate compass (for ALMA) is right under the cabin sole on centerline adjacent to the mid bulkhead. I made a bracket to attach the fluxgate to the hull liner centerline flange. We'll see if this location works-

Instead of drilling FOUR holes into my nice Edson pedestal I re-purposed the Simrad wheelpilot's mounting bracket that is attached to the pedestal with plastic sheathed hose clamps. They have been in service a long time and look new. A simple piece of Aluminum rod turned down to fit the Evo's plastic wheel mechanism locates the pilots mechanism. The motor's wire passes through the spot where the Edson wheel brake lived before it lost its brake lining and quit. I removed the brake entirely. It never held the wheel very well for us.

I made another aluminum bracket to hold the SeaTalk backbone connector 'bridge' and used an existing spot under my galvanic isolator to clamp the bracket. We have no need for an autopilot on shore power so I'm not expecting any interference from the proximity of AC and DC circuits.

Yesterday I was able to finally complete the installation of the components and power up the whole mess. The components are located in the Starboard lazzarette just forward of my shore power inlet. They are set on mahogany stand-offs set in epoxy. I don't drill holes in ALMA often- and this 'kit' hasn't offered a sense of permanence!

I was so apprehensive of the complexity of this install I first put the wheel on the pedestal without the keyway's key- I figured if I had missed something with the hard-over settings the wheel would slip on its axle should the rudder come to its stop before the 'brain' knew.

Actually everything went perfectly.
The motor cable has no polarity- just an "A" and "B" label.
No worries though, the display asks the installer= "Did the wheel turn to Port?" LoL.

No it didn't- but after answering 'no' the brain called "B" "A" and "A" "B"!
I swapped the motor leads so I wouldn’t see THAT message for eternity-
Funny the two wires are “B”lue and “B”rown…

So- I'm ready to complete the setup next trip to the boatyard and I'm looking forward to the Raymarine hyperbole of 2 degree course holding.

Next up? A new chartplotter and a big Raymarine wedding!

A BIG-Bonus is the new lazzarette panels I made from Home-Depot white coated pressed board.
The old pegboard panels were gnarly and these should keep engine sounds, heat and smells where they belong.
If you're sailing past Cape May give us a shout-out!