The Octopus rotary mechanical autopilot drive (model MDR-40) is an automatic pilot drive system which makes it easy and economical to install an automatic pilot on smaller powerboats steered with mechanical push pull cable steering systems and small sailboats with access to a quadrant or tiller. The unit is powerful and fast - capable of delivering over 300lbs of cable thrust, with a normal H.O. to H.O. time of 15 seconds.
The drive unit either replaces or is used in conjunction with common brands of mechanical rotary and rack & pinion steering helm units, it incorporates a drive motor, a solenoid clutch and offers rudder feed back (RFB) capability.
• The MDR40 drive is based on the MORSE 290 rotary helm unit and accepts MORSE 304415 and Teleflex SSC52 rotary cables without modification. If the vessel is fitted with a TELEFLEX \u0091Safe T\u0092 or \u0091Big T\u0092 or UFLEX \u0091T71\u0092, T73NR\u0092, \u0091T81\u0092 system, a simple cable end adapter must be fitted to the cable before installing the drive. If the vessel is fitted with a rack and pinion type steering system (or other brands of rotary system), the MDR40 drive can be used, but the steering cable must also be replaced with a MORSE 304415 or Teleflex SSC52.
• The MDR40 drive unit is designed around the MORSE 290 Rotary Drive Helm manufactured by Morse Controls of Hudson Ohio, USA. To meet A.B.Y.C. regulations, this type of steering is recommended for use on vessels with a maximum speed of 40 m.p.h. The MDR40 should not be fitted to vessels, which exceed this speed.
• The MDR40 drive unit should not be fitted to boats where the maximum horsepower of the engines exceeds the maximum horsepower rating for the vessel as stated on the vessel manufacturers tag.
• If the existing steering system on the vessel is a NFB (no feed back) type. The MDR40 drive, which is NOT a NFB helm, can be fitted, but it is STRONGLY advised that the helmsman be formally familiarized with the operational characteristics of the new helm.
In the event of UNCONTROLLED automatic steering or other EMERGENCY situations, automatic return to MANUAL steering is provided through the operation of a built in slip clutch. It is STRONGLY advised that the helmsman be formally familiarized with this MANUAL OVERIDE procedure.
• The MDR40 drive is designed to produce a maximum cable push\/pull of 300lbs, which requires a peak power of 60 watts. This makes the unit very capable of handling the vast majority of cable steered vessels. However some vessels fitted with push pull cable steering systems have very stiff steering or steering which is heavily loaded in one direction due to hull design and engine considerations. Generally speaking, the MDR40 will steer vessels that do not require more than a 15-lb force on the rim of a 14-inch diameter steering wheel to hold a course, this equals 105 in\/pounds of torque. If the steering wheel input torque exceeds this figure, the MDR40 is not a satisfactory drive system and we would suggest that the vessel be fitted with a hydraulic linear actuator drive system.