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Steady Pass Airguide Retrofit


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Up in Canada we already had our first long weekend, the boat runs great and had great time despite the waters being 16c (61f). We have no problem holding speed for wakeboarding, none of us are really good enough to notice the differeces in speed anyways. Wakesurfing we have some trouble holding a constant speed.

What can you do?

PP or zero off are well known/precise but cost around $1500 CAD for the whole system. Steadypass is an indie alternative powered by a atmel 2560 chip and a custom made board. For $550 USD you can get the whole kit assembled. Includes guage (lcd display,custom board, rotary encoder, gps antenna and water resistant housing), servo with throttle linkages inside a water resistant housing and various sensors for temperature readouts.

Its great value for money and Dima does a great job packaging everything in that price. I personally just dont like the guage and wanted to retro fit board into an old airguide originally on the boat. i messaged him through his website (http://steadypass.com/) and he agreed to sell me just the LCD, encoder and his custom board for $200 usd + shipping. what a bargain.

 

here is the progress so far:

 

here is the kit i got. the black wire is a water temp sensor he threw in

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disassembled the airguide and milled out a window in the aluminum dial with a 3/16 cutter, couldnt hold it in the chuck very well. you can see on the bottom it moved a little as i was cutting.

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hooked it up a 12v power supply to test how everything is functioning and so far so good. the glass is a little dirty a cracked a bit. but the whole reason im doing this as opposed to getting a new dial is to maintain the retro look and so that all the guages are a part of the same set with same bezels.

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Next steps:

-the guage itself still needs a bit of work. i want to put some retro airguide logos back on the dial. seal up the unit w/ epoxy. figure out whoch knob i would like on the encoder, hopefully something retro looking. and clean up the glass as best i can.

-servo to throttles linkages

-installing it on the boat

-testing it

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It hurts to see a perfectly good Airguide destroyed, but nice work on the conversion.  Airguides are like gold for the 90's ski boat owner.  Even with PP (or ZO) I still have a couple of Airguides on my dash.

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You need to put on a "Marriage Saver" sticker before you consider this install complete.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Made some progress on the motion system this week...

 

-got a linear actuator powered by a pwm servo (actuonix L16 100mm stroke 6v 63:1 gear reduction). It’s not the fastest/strongest unit, but it should be just enough for the system.

-made a housing for it out of 1-1/2” x 1-1/2” aluminum. Milled out a pocket inside of it to fit the actuator, drilled and tapped its mounting point.

-for the Bowden cable I went the cheap route. I know I could of just bought the necessary components, but I’m trying to keep this project under the budget of $400.  So I used what was available to me. It’s 3/8” p.u air line tubing with 1/8” npt air fittings going to the housing and throttle linkage plate. Inside is a steel cable with a jacket typically used for emergency pull-chords on manufacturing machinery. The elbow and couplings are made from 1/2” aluminum round stock. Drilled and tapped for 10-32 set screws to resting the steel cable. The elbow has a 5/16 shoulder bolt to let it swivel. All of which was drilled by hand. So yes I know hardly anything is square on the couplings. I put plenty of white grease inside the tubing before running the cable through. Moves smoothly, my biggest concern is going to be the flexibility of p.u line. We will see how well it works. I also need to run permatex on the housing of the LA. Apparently they are quite sensitive to moisture.

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- the bubble glass on my air guide was cracking up, and unfortunately cracked into two pieces during transport. I made a new glass out of 1/4” lexan and a hole saw. The little encoder knob I pulled off an old fender amp of mine that stopped working and I haven’t had time to fix yet. It’s looking much better imo.

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-my plotter fried an IC/chip, I’m assuming from static. So I didn’t get to make the little emblems on the gauge yet.

-planning to put this stuff into the boat this weekend and test it out. 

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