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Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

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Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:31 am

I have received more than one email and even a phone call about the Auto Pilot on 'boat'. The original thread I posted on the subject has lost all it's images because I needed to wipe out my Google account.

I was wondering if you guys would like me to post here the full instructions step by step on what I did with pictures. I guess i will put the pictures on TINYPIC this time. I hope that preserves them - the Achilles heel of this site has always been the image part - since this site has no space for images on it's server we are all hosting pictures all over the place and they tend to get lost.

If there is no interest then I will just mail instructions to people as they contact me.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby fouz » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:58 am

Post it up. Will save you time in the future everytime someone PMs you. You send link to the thread.

I don't have a :macm: But wouldn't mind seeing it for ideas.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby paul I » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:29 pm

Same here. Please post it. I would love to do something like that on my :macx:
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:32 pm

Okay - This will take a few days to complete so anyone interested will need to check back as i will add to this post as I can.


The tiller piston is only attached to the boat on one end > it hangs from the motor well:
The spot where it mounts is determined by the center of your piston travel (will explain)
Image



The other side of the piston is free to move about:
The rudders are free of the Pilot so there is no restriction of movement
Image


When you want the piston to control your steering you lower the piston onto your rudder arm:
A guide is needed to make the piston drop in the same place every time.
Image


So, that’s the basics – let look at the steps for making this happen . . . .
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:03 pm

Let’s start with the ball and sleeve parts:
I tried to use parts we can all get at the Home Improvement stores. It’s all off the shelf stuff.

The ball is a solid nickel drawer pull made by Brainerd. Here is the catalog number for the ball:

Brainerd PN0239W-SN-C Knob

Image
https://www.atgstores.com/cabinet-knobs ... =brainerd#

The ball has a shoulder on it and that shoulder needs to be grinded off using a dremel tool or a hand grinder. The knob is only 3 bucks to if you goof it up it’s easy to replace.

The ball needs to be round with no shoulder. Carefully grind off the shoulder where the ball stud is - it needs to have a nice straight stud with no shoulder.

For the threads that go on the bottom of the ball you will need a ½ by close or 3/8 by close threaded nipple from the plumbing department at the store. A close nipple is about 1 inch long so cut the nipple in half so it’s about ½ inch.

You will be securing that nipple to the bottom of the ball with a screw and a washer:

Image

The ball has a threaded hole in the bottom so use a screw with a washer to secure the nipple to the bottom of the ball. When it’s done it will look like the ball in the picture above.

If all is done right it will screw into the end of the piston like this:

Image


I will try to post more later today - this part of the mod might be able to be replaced with a standard gate lock (you know - the ones that automatically lock the gate when you close it) but that is not tested yet.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:28 pm

The socket FOR THE BALL is a 1-1/4 inch EMT set screw connector.

When you pick out the ball at the store take it to the electrical section and test its fit into various EMT connectors – if your ball is 1.18 inch it will probably go into a 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 snugly. If you used a larger ball like a 1.58 you would need a 1-1/2 or 2 inch connector.

Just size the ball and the connector together at the store. A ball around 1 inch is the best.

Use a good quality, steel connector – DON’T USE A POT METAL CONNECTOR.

Image


You will need to grind a slot in the side of the connector so that it can slide into the sleeve at a right angle. Then after you have that slot done you need to grind another slot in the other direction to allow the stud on the ball a few degrees of travel. The resulting slot in the connector would look like a cross or an upside down T depending on how deep your connector is:

Image
click on this picture an magnify it to see the slot - I grinded it out with an electric hand grinder with a 4IN wheel on it.

I will next show how this rudder arm is made:

Image

.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Harrison » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:52 pm

Boat,

This is great stuff, keep it coming! :)
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:21 pm

Okay, the tiller arm is just a piece of 2 inch wide aluminum stock you get in the hardware department at Home Depot or Lowes. The thickness is not real important and I’m pretty sure the standard is like 1/8 inch thick. Just get something that will not be flimsy when cut to 14 inches long. Just don’t use sheet stock – it’s too thin – use bar stock. They all have flat Aluminum bar stock in pieces about three feet long – Buy one.

Aluminum Bar Stock 2 inches wide by 13 inches long by *appox 1/8th inch thick.

You can grind the edges so they are smooth and round like I do, but it’s not necessary to make things work:

Image

Drill the big hole in the end so it fits the threaded end of the EMT connector – that’s where the EMT connector will go.
Don’t drill the two small holes yet – we will set their position later.

Now, you need a working system that looks like this that you can move around on the workbench – make sure everything moves freely and the ball fits well and releases well here on the bench before you try to install it. You can hone out the fitting with sandpaper if it’s sticky or flare it out a little – the key is to get this release system working perfect on the bench first. You should be able to lift the piston with one finger out of the sleeve with no issues and it should drop back in just as easy – but don’t make the fit so loose as it will put any play in the system. Sand or grind the ball and make adjustments as needed here:

Image

Makes sure the arm has 30+ degrees of travel to allow the arm to swing. The reason I grinded the slot into an upside down T is to keep the ball from sliding out when the rudders are not dead amidships – that is a safety feature you may not need.

Once you have that part of the mechanism working well it’s time to look at the mounting block for the tiller ram.

It’s made of wood – I like a dense wood like mahogany because it takes to the metal grinder real well too for shaping. You need to create a shelf to mount the piston. The piston will hang from that shelf.

Image

The wood piece is made from 3/4 inch thick by 5 inch wide mahogany stock. Walnut or some other really dense wood would also work. It’s made of two pieces screwed together at an angle of 95 degrees.

Why 95 degrees??
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:44 pm

Well, we are all familiar with 90 degrees, right? Look at figure 1 – that’s 90 degrees.

But this shelf needs to fit the front of the motor well, and we all know the motor well does not have 90 degree angle to it. It’s tapered like a bath tub – so the shelf needs to be at the same angle as the wall of the motor well:

Image

Look at figure 2 – that is the reality of the motor well – it’s not straight up and down. Since we need a level surface to hang our piston arm from we need to accommodate for that. You create a shelf with the angle needed to fit between the liner and the motor well – like in figure 3.

Also, on some boats (like mine) there is not ¾ of an inch between the liner and the well so I had to grind down the part of the shelf that slides up in-between the liner and the well so it was closer to ½” thick. You need to check your clearance, and to do that you need to start cutting so this is where your committed.

So, before we even start to cut out our wood pieces let’s look at the front of the motor well from inside the boat . . . .


Image
this picture is upside down and I can't get tiny pic to fix it or see it any other way

You need to tape off the area where you want to to cut to slide in the shelf – but before you do that you need to mark off the spot where the piston will hang. That means figuring out the dead middle of your piston range, and also the dead middle of your rudder range.

All I can offer on calculating this is to take your piston and push the rod into the position it would be if the pilot were in exactly the middle position – you may need to consult the manual to see what the extension length point would be. Then set your rudders at the exact dead center position – I did this by using a protractor against the rudder – or you can measure between the two and a fixed point on the boat – whatever your method – find the dead rudder amidships position for your boat and lock the wheel there. Also mark the top of your wheel with a piece of black electrical tape so you know always know where dead amidships I on your boat.

Then go below and put the piston so the ram at the end is over the middle of the tiller arm and mark the spot on the liner where the tiller yoke would hang on the other end. You can see my black marks in the picture when I did this I did three marks to find the center.

Now you know where to tape off the square cut out for the shelf. AFTER you get the center mark you lay out the square hole for the 5-1/2 inch shelf so it’s roughly in the middle of your mark.

5-1/2 inch wide is just wide enough to make the shelf very strong to resist sideways force yet narrow enough to not interfere with the raising of the piston. Even at 5-1/2 inch wide you might need to grind a groove in the wood to give the piston more room to rise (I did) – you just never know.

Image

I will explain later.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby RussMT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:58 pm

Thanks BOAT!!! I've been too busy to sail this year (been sailing ONCE). But if Vic doesn't come through by Christmas, I'm doing your mod.

---Russ
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Harrison » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:29 am

BOAT,

This is great info. I'm interested in your "disconnect" method.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby npsrangerchuck » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:51 am

Great stuff right there. Some seriously cool engineering.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:11 pm

Harrison wrote:BOAT,

This is great info. I'm interested in your "disconnect" method.


I will get to that next - I think there is enough above to figure out how to mount the piston - right? Can I move on to the "disconnect"? Or does anyone need more info on the mounting?
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Harrison » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:47 pm

BOAT,

Let's move on. I'm interested in your quick disconnect. :-)
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:19 pm

Okay,

First off you need somthing to guide the piston up and down - if it just hangs on the rope there is a chance that swells or waves might make it swing and it will miss the socket when you lower it to engage the pilot.

The guide is a simple piece of aluminum - just take the same flat stock you used to create the tiller arm extension in the previous steps and use the grinder to grind a slot in it so the rope will not get in the way of the guide and stick a pully in the bend so the rope has somewhere to go like this:

Image

I carpeted it to prevent scratching the piston (the piston painted) but if you don't care skip the carpet. The pulley is at west marine.
There is also a hole I put right above the slot to hold the rope that you can't see here (it's not drilled yet) but you will see it in the next pic - you just tie a knot in the rope so it can't slip thru the hole.

Here it is mounted in the boat - you can see how the rope terminates at the hole above the slot - the rope has a knot on the other side so it can't come out of the hole.

Image

At this point all you need to do is pull the rope to lift the piston - you can run the rope anywhere you want - into the cabin - up the rudder tubes to the cockpit - it's up to you - just remember the more bends there are that the rope needs to make the more it can hang up. I have a lot of pulleys in my set up to prevent that but you can also just have the line come out the companionway and lay on the cockpit floor if you want and pull it from there. As long as the rope does not hang up it can terminate where ever you want.

That part of the system you need to do based on your needs. You probably could get up the rudder tubes with one swivel block instead of the two cheek blocks I used, so it's up to you.

Now, about that Ball and Socket thing on the rudder arm - I am thinking that in the final installation I did end up using a 3/4 inch ball with a 3/4 inch socket - but I'm not sure (i forgot :( )

SO

Just for YOU GUYS I am going to go to LOWES today and find the parts I used and take pictures and get catalog numbers for YOU GUYS.

I will post when I get back from LOWES 2morrow.

Image
.
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