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Autopilot integration on real boat?

(Juraj Dujmović) #1

Hello everyone, newbie here.

I’m long time rc hobbist but i have little to no knowlige about autopilots.
That being said, i need to find a way to integrate gps waypoint and compass autopilot to a real boat.
So, that eliminates the need for any remote control. Shure, i can use tx/rx but sistem must be cost efficient.
Is it possible to make sistem with something rather cheap like pixhawk where user can set gps waypoints, upload it simply to autopilot sistem (android or iOS platform must be used), push a button, set engine throttle and fish without worries ?
Steering would be done with some kind of high torqe engine, like windshield wipers engine, combined with hall effect sensor for rudder steer angle return information.
I know there is little chance i could find pwm controlled high power motor driver that i can plug directly into pixhawk so there is option that motor and driver is controlled with arduino taking commands from pixhawk.

Is something like this done before ? Any suggestions please?

(antimattercrusader) #2

Assuming your using a small-ish boat, I would use a trolling motor and linear actuator for this. It’s not fast, but its good for fishing and not sure I’d advise surrendering control of something fast to a pixhawk with non-guru-level-user. Anyway, with a trolling motor you can use a brushed DC motor controller as an ESC as well, so you have throttle control too.

Just a thought!

(Mika Feldmann) #3

I’m playing around with the idea of controlling the steering of a 44’ sailing yacht while operating under engine. I have a pretty good windvane to handle the sailing steering.

I’m in the early stages of getting things going, but that’s my plan, a 30,000lb manned drone.

I’m planning to test on a small boat with tiny outboard for propulsion, and use a 12V linear actuator (cheap through Princess Auto) switched through a relay board to move a tiller. I’m using what I have laying around for boats before I scale up to a hydraulic steering pump on the big boat.

I’m using an Electronic PWM Controlled Relay 12A (eBay) fed from the PXFmini to scale up the power demands for the steering devices that I plan on using.

I’m in the early stage of things, so the project really hasn’t gone beyond my bench yet.

2 Likes
(wga22) #4

Any update? I am considering the same.