Mar 5, 2021

Electronics on board of Mini 6.50

Published by: Maiko Kiis
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Cover photo
To cross the ocean alone, each of us needs to have a reliable set of electronics which will allow us to always have information about the location and course of the yacht, vessels around, and ensure the accurate operation of the autopilot.

As we said previously, there are serious equipment limitations in the mini class. But on the other hand, it must provide sufficient security and autonomy.


So what do we take on board out of electronics and communication devices?


  1. GPS. Only the simplest GPS navigators that do not have built-in maps are allowed.
  2. AIS transmitter. We must pass information about ourselves to all surrounding ships, as well as be able to obtain information about them - course, speed and risk of collision.
  3. Stationary VHF radio station. Mandatory with the Distress button, linking to the MMSI number and maintaining a dual radio watch.
  4. Accordingly, we will have an antenna-splitter (if it is not built into the AIS). And the antenna itself must be installed on top of the mast to provide the widest possible transmission and reception area.
  5. Alarm clock with a siren - normally it is an electronic alarm clock connected to main power system and equipped with a very loud and nasty sound signal so as not to oversleep.
  6. Barometer.
  7. Shortwave SSB radio, which will allow to receive a simple weather forecast transmitted by the race organizers.
  8. Spare handhelds: GPS-navigator and VHF radio. After the blackout, I will take a spare battery-operated alarm clock with me too.


What about autopilot?


The most popular autopilot system used on mini is produced by Nke marine electronics. There are some differences in the possible configuration for serial boats and protos. Trying to achieve limited cost of the yacht the most advanced sensors and processors are prohibited for serial boats. On protos there are no such restrictions. Therefore, the kit on each boat can be different. The photo shows an almost complete range of NKE equipment.

On Mini we will take on board:
  1. The processor itself - a computer that will collect information from all sensors, recalculate and display it, react to adjustments you entered and transmit a signal to the autopilot drive.
  2. A couple of screens where you can see various values ​​and work with the autopilot settings.
  3. Autopilot linear drive. Almost all minis use electric drives. The drive must be powerful enough to steer the boat even in harsh conditions.
  4. Various sensors: compass, wind speed and direction, log, echo sounder, GPS, rudder and mast position (angle) sensors, barometer.
  5. Remote control.
  6. Logger, which will allow you to record all data from all sensors, on the basis of which you can compose a speed polar.

All those things will greatly help us in steering, analysis of situation on the water and weather conditions, and also allows us sometimes to sleep.

Electricity consumption will also be decent! The consumption of all working instruments is 1.6 A, and with constant operation of the autopilot - from 3.5 to 5.5 A. Electrical system and the charging method will be discussed in the following publications.

This post first appeared on Irina Gracheva's Facebook.

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