Official AXIUS Thread

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by ANYTIME, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    This new thread is to discuss and learn about the new Axius drive system.

    We test drove ANYTIME in early May 2008, a couple of weeks before the DEMO DAYS weekend at Prince William Marina. The Admiral, who enjoyed driving our previous 290 Amberjack with V-Drives absolutely loved her feeling of control with Axius. She was able to successfully dock the Axius boat on her second attempt and easily maneuver around the narrow fairways of the marina. She told me that this was going to be our new boat!! Right after the test drive, we went to contract, knowing that we wouldn't be able to take possession until the end of May, after the DEMO DAYS ended and they could complete all the pre-delivery processes.

    We have had only one minor problem with the Axius system, a software issue that caused an occasional Vessel View alert. It ended up being a software timing issue that has been corrected in the latest update by Mercruiser.

    Our system has been updated to include AUTOTRACK and WAYPOINT TRACKING, but the SKYHOOK function is still not operational. The software implementation is complete, we are just waiting for a new Sea Ray unique cable to be shipped from Sea Ray, which should be arriving in the near future.

    The folks at Mercruiser tell me that the Axius system is being included on many of the Sea Ray boats for 2009. This being the case, I think this Forum is the ideal venue to discuss all aspects of this system.

    Please share your experiences, problems, questions, concerns and other issues with us.
     
  2. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Old and New AXIUS Control Pads

    The recent Axius updates included replacing the dashboard Axius Control Panel. Here is a clip from the original manual describing the old panel:
    [​IMG]
    And here is a clip from the latest manual with the new panel:
    [​IMG]
    The pads to "Turn" will turn the boat 10 degrees to either port or starboard. To turn in 1 degree increments, the joystick is moved momentarily in the direction of the desired turn.

    The "TRACK WAYPOINT" pad enables Axius to maintain the desired track to the next waypoint. This function operates in conjunction with the GPS Chartplotter.

    The "Waypoint Sequence" pad enables Axius to track a Chartplotter route. Note that while in the "Track Waypoint" mode...before when nearing the next waypoint while on track, Axius requires a confirmation via the Vessel View system before changing course to the next waypoint. While in "Waypoint Sequence" mode, Axius will "assume" that is is safe to change course and automatically track to the next waypoint.

    Also, I have been told, but could not find it in the documentation that Axius will not execute a course change in excess of 90 degrees. If this occurs, Axius will emit 2 warning beeps. I am not sure if it will remain on the original course or stop the boat. (I am still learning the system.)

    The "Response" pad sequences values from "1" to "3" to let Axius know how aggressively it should try to maintain track. In mild conditions, the normal setting is "1" while in very severe conditions, the setting may be advanced to "3".

    If the Admiral is feeling up to it, we will go out on the water and learn more about Axius. Either post a question or you may PM me if you want a private response.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  3. gerryb

    gerryb Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 12, 2006
    Somers Point, NJ
    "On Vacation"
    2006 40 Sundancer
    E120 Radar & Garmin 5208
    QSB5.9 380 Cummins
    Sam, I understand the conclusion on skyhook was to enable a safety bypass at the transom door. The skyhook system will only work when the door is closed. I'm assuming this is the cable you refer to you in the original post. Probably also need some type of circuit assy at the door to detect when contact is made. You should also be getting a few warning stickers if understand correctly.
     
  4. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Thanks for sharing your information.

    I have no information on sensing the opening/closing of the transom door, I haven't seen nor have I been informed of any sensors being installed there. The technician told me that the only additional update to enable SKYHOOK is installation of the unique Sea Ray cable that will enable the previously mentioned warning beep.

    There is a label below the new Axius Control Pad listing the precautions to be taken when using SKYHOOK.

    I note it interesting that Mercruiser provided a DVD to watch when the updated my system that only addresses the safety precautions to observe when using SKYHOOK.

    The guy I talked with at Mercruiser also confirmed that the primary delay in implementing SKYHOOK has been to take all the steps to avoid litigation in the event of a serious mishap occuring when/if SKYHOOK is activated without adhering to the appropriate safety measures spelled out in the labels, manual and DVD.

    The Admiral told me she doesn't want to use Skyhook after watching the DVD. My only intentions for using it are while waiting in line at a gas dock or drawbridge.
     
  5. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Here is a screen shot of the SKYHOOK display in Vessel View:
    [​IMG]

    The captain can use Vessel View to see in "real time" what his exact position relative to where he was when he activated Skyhook. If he is beginning to move farther from the center of the cross-hair circle, he should alert all occupants that there may be some abrupt starts, stops or turns. I haven't yet been on a boat that had Skyhook active, so I can't relate any first-hand experiences.

    Here are some of the Axius labels:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  6. tmhudson2

    tmhudson2 New Member

    885
    Aug 30, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Thanks for the detailed discussion, Sam. It will be most interesting to see how much an Axius-equipped boat will depreciate on the used market compared to one not equipped with Axius. My gut tells me that for the first few years at least, the Axius boat will have a slower rate of depreciation.
     
  7. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Gee...I hope so...because this was a "rare" Axius boat, I didn't get as good a deal as I would have on a near identical V-drive boat.:smt089
     
  8. skolbe

    skolbe Active Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    320 Sundancer, Mercury 310 Sport Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    Wow, I had such a hard time getting my TV fixed through the dealer. I can't imagine them playing with Axius, if I had a bug. Interesting, can't wait to see how the system performs over the long haul. Skyhook would be nice when locking through.
     
  9. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    I have been very impressed with the dealer's level of service. They replaced both TV sets, one of them a 2nd time due to dad DVR video. When possible, they do the service at my marina which is 10 miles away.:smt038
     
  10. mawyatt

    mawyatt New Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Clearwater, Fl
    2008 Sundancer 38DA
    8.1L Mercruisers
    I think SR uses a sensor on the transom door to enable the hatch raising system, at least on our boat this is the case. If the door is not closed the hatch will not raise.

    Mike
     
  11. mawyatt

    mawyatt New Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Clearwater, Fl
    2008 Sundancer 38DA
    8.1L Mercruisers
    Sam,

    Do you know how Skyhook gets the heading information? GPS doesn't provide heading when stationary.

    Mike
     
  12. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Axius has its own heading sensor built into it.
     
  13. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    The transom door on the 08 310 Dancer does not utilize a latch. In the hinge assembly, there are notches in the fully open (both ways, open to the inside or the outside) and closed positions. To open or close the transom door, you lift it straight up about one inch and swing it to the open or closed positions where it will then just drop down onto the notched setting. I suppose there could be a magnetic sensor on the outside edge that activatesa magnetic switch in the fully closed position, but I didn't notice it. It is possible that it will be installed along with the new cable assembly.

    I will post what I learn when Skyhook is fully implemented.
     
  14. mawyatt

    mawyatt New Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Clearwater, Fl
    2008 Sundancer 38DA
    8.1L Mercruisers
    Sam,

    Thanks for the reply. Can you open the engine hatch with the door open? If not then somewhere there is a sensor for the transom door.

    Mike
     
  15. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Today has been the first day in a long time that we have been able to get to the boat. The Admiral has been under the weather for a while and we don't use the boat unless we can do it together.

    The transom door does not have to be closed for the engine hatch to open. I verified this today.

    I will report on our experiences with the Axius update sometime next week.
     
  16. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Yesterday we spent 5 to 6 hours on the Potomac River testing and learning about Axius Premier, the Axius configuration we how have, less SKYHOOK. The trip took us from Quantico VA to Alexandria and back. We chose that route because there are a few long runs and many short runs between the waypoints. We thought it would be a good environment for our "shakedown" cruise.

    We are experiencing some significant problems with Axius, some of which may be due to inadequate documentation. Here is one of the paragraphs of an email I just sent to our dealer:

    AXIUS DOCUMENTATION – A 19 page document was provided to me following the Axius update. I found the document to be insufficient to fully utilize all the features and functions of Axius. There appears to be system and/or equipment dependencies that must be set for Axius functions to work. In these instances, these dependencies should be clearly identified and explained. Nowhere in this document did I see that I had to depress a control on the Raymarine C80 while in Waypoint Tracking. Axius is a major part of an Integrated System and the Axius documentation leaves out the Axius related information on the systems that Axius is integrated with.

    I will wait for a response from the dealer or Mercury Marine before I publicize the rest of our problems. It is possible that the issues I have raised may be due to a lack of adequate documentation.

    On a positive note, the AUTO TRACK feature by itself is SUPER. It locks onto the current course and makes maintaining a steady course on the river very relaxing.

    I will post more as I learn more.
     
  17. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    This is an update on the Axius installation of our boat.

    We spent a few hours out on the Potomac with Eric, our dealer's technician to verify the reported problems with Axius. Here are the findings:

    1. Documentation is inadequate. Mercruiser is working on it.

    2. The Axius GPS Receiver (located in the GPS Antenna installed to support Axius) has a defective cable harness that is causing intermittent loss of the GPS signal to the Axius computer. This results in the intermittent loss of Waypoint and Waypoint Sequencing Tracking.

    3. Axius is also severly limited in how it performs Waypoint tracking:
    --- When Waypoint Sequence Tracing is working as it should, it will successfully track from the 1st Waypoint of the selected Route in our Raymarine C80. When attempting to use the Raymarine "Reverse Route" function to return to where we started, Axius cannot do this. It will only function with the original, un-reversed route. I have to create a new route with the waypoints listed in reverse to use Waypoint Tracking to return home.
    ---If I attempt to initiate Waypoint Tracking while I am already underway and have already passed one or more of the route waypoints, I am unable to use Waypoint Tracking because Axius will only track from the beginning of an existing route.

    4. I was having problems while docking our boat right after the Axius update. Mercruiser radically changed (for the good) the Joystick response, and I wasn't used to it. We went out into the middle of the Potomac to just practice and learn how the boat responds to the Joystick. When we went back to the Marina, I was able to dock much easier then I was before.

    5. Still waiting for Sea Ray to release cable to activate the Skyhook function.

    Mercruiser is shipping a new Axius cable harness to the dealer and after it arrives, we will retest Axius' Waypoint Tracking functions. I am confident that it will be okay.

    Now if they can get Axius to recognize and use the route reverse function of the C80 and utilize mid-route activation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  18. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Here is an update on our Axius.

    1. The Axius GPS harness was replaced, and this didn't correct the Waypoint Merge/Track problem. Now this function doesn't work at all. The technician is still working with Mercruiser to resolve this issue.

    2. The dealer now has most of the SKYHOOK components, but still hasn't received permission from Sea Ray to install them and activate SKYHOOK.

    We are going to winterize and shrinkwrap ANYTIME on 2 December, so I expect that these issues won't be resolved until next March or April.

    The basic boathandling features of Axius are working as they should as well as the Automatic Heading feature.
     
  19. Presentation

    Presentation Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Wisconsin - Winnebago Pool chain of lakes
    280 Sundancer, Westerbeke MPV generator
    twin 5.0's w/BIII drives
    Sam,

    Thank you for detailing your experiences. Its obvious you are a early adapter and this system is still in the Beta (or possibly alpha) stage and its not ready for the masses. The industry needs early adapters like you to pave the way for the future.


    The above really made me laugh out loud. It brings “you cant get there from here” to a entirely new level.
     
  20. ANYTIME

    ANYTIME New Member

    345
    Dec 3, 2006
    Northern Virginia
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Nothing new to report...I just wanted to resurrect the subject. I am planning to have the shrinkwrap removed and the engines/generator/systems recommissioned at the end of March.

    I contacted the Prince William Marine's technician to alert him that I want them to take our boat back to their facility and correct all AXIUS problems, then call me to sea trial it. He agreed that was a reasonable approach.
     

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