Teleflex Marine Optimus 360, N2K & CANbus cool!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    I’ve been hearing rumors for a year or two that this kind of steering would be available for outboards. Had always wondered how they would accomplish the feat.
    Obviously there’s a lot of hardware involved in making the system work. Gotta believe it’s going to be extremely expensive especially for a retrofit.
    Has anyone heard what the system price will be?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I live in near Mercury’s R&D test facility, I’m pretty sure Axius is coming to outboards in a short period of time as well. They have a big ugly hull with a plywood/2×4 helm built up, and I believe it’s the Axius test rig.
    Longevity of gearboxes is a valid concern, but I think with any cone clutch drive the worst wear is just a slightly faster wear of the cone clutches… and if you have money for Axius, you have money to have them lapped or replaced when they only last 15 years 🙂

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Jeff, I got this from Teleflex:
    “The Optimus EPS system has an MSRP of $6250 and includes the new electronic helm, two smart cylinders, two hydraulic steering pumps, pump control module, CANtrak Display, harness, oil, hoses, misc.
    The Optimus 360 has an MSRP of $17,995 and includes all of the above, plus the electronic shift and throttle control, joystick control, two shift and throttle actuators, and additional harness and cables.”
    Of course installation is on top of that, but during the demo the Teleflex guys said that the total cost is much reduced if it means you can use a mechanical outboard instead of an electronic model.

  4. Jeff says:

    Well the $17,995 was sort of in the ballpark of where I thought this system might be priced. I was thinking between $15,000 and $20,000.
    But something just struck me and that’s the word “mechanical.” So if I’m reading this correctly this system wouldn’t work with the newer electronic shift/throttle motors like the Yamaha’s etc? If so that’s strange as you would think they would want the system to work with current engine technology versus older. Am I understanding this correctly?

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Jeff, you can see the mechanical shift and throttle cables in the top diagram and lower photo. It’s probably true that Optimus 360 would be simpler and maybe cheaper if it could run electronic shift and throttles (which are all CANbus related too, I think)… but that would require cooperation with each outboard manufacturer, and I’m not sure electronic outboards are more common than mechanical ones. Also, if that Axius outboard report is true, it’s probably safe to say that Mercury won’t be giving Teleflex Marine access to its SmartCraft controls any time soon 😉

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just as autopilot manufactures figure out how to get rid of those pesky failure prone outboard rudder reference units, the knob steering companies bring them back again in force!!!

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I think the Optimus rudder reference sensor is pretty innovative too. You can see it bolted onto the front of the “Smart Cylinder” and I’m pretty sure it involves no mechanical parts, let alone exposed ones, because it’s just a linear electromagnetic sensor that measures the location of a magnet in the steering rod. It would be nice if a Teleflex Marine engineer confirmed this, but that’s my recollection.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Someone named Lee tried to call me about 360 but didn’t leave a complete phone number. Please try again or email..

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