I’m in the process of building an autopilot for my old motorboat, It’s a slow/fat boat going about 5 knots with a diesel engine. I have experience building drones, electronics, and just started learing arduino. I promised my old grandpa to visit him with the boat but it’s a 40+ hour drive over a big lake and the problem right now is that as soon as you release the steering wheel the boat will deviate… And since i’m a student i don’t have the money to buy an autopilot system for the boat, and the idea of getting to build my own autopilot really sound like a fun challenge!
“if you cant afford it, build it”
The plan is to build my own and be available to control the rudder/steering wheel, the motor rpm will be set manually. This is only for open calm water and with constant supervision.
Right now i’m in the process of determining of what motor to use for the steering wheel, i’ll be driving it via belt drive, and it has to be frictionless while not engaged to not interfere which makes servos and stepper motors out of the question. So right now I’m looking at both Brushless and brushed motors which i have a lot at home. (the plan for the future is to have a hydraulic system with hydraulic pump)
I have some small questions that i hope i can get some help with here!
I’m guessing it would be good with some kind of rudder positioning potentiometer to not burn the motor, Is it possible to hook to up to a pixhawk 2.6.8 and have a brushless motor turning the wheel without any super expensive controller? Or is there really a need for that? Could i just program it to turn really slowly maybe?
Should i go with a brushed motor instead? I’ve seen some simple/cheap boards where i can plug in an external potentiometer for rudder positioning.
Is there any mode for boats which makes it hold it’s heading or is it just waypoints?
How hard is the programming in mission planner? From what i can tell it looks to be the same as the old drone configurators.
I really appreciate all help i could get, been sinking my head down in to this for the past month but i cant find answers on these specific questions.
Thanks a lot in advance!