I am using a 4000+ head unit to control an OCTOPUS MDR40 cable drive to the rudder quadrant. I had space under the deck to mount the unit with a shortened cable.It comes with a built in rudder reference unit,which replaces the Raymarine Unit if wished.
Simrad has an autopilot system using this mechanical cable drive.
"Hi geoffcollins and Davidwf,
I second that recommendation for Octopus Europe.I have also installed this type of linear drive (octopus drive) having obtained a unit on ebay (new) I used a short cable of about 4 feet overall, no bends.The existing Raymarine 4000+ head unit was used and is the result was just magic. (the yacht is a Dufour 36 Cobra draglink wheel steering very light and responsive on the helm) The motor inside the unit is available from Radiospares, if you like to have a spare onboard you could order one.My autopilot now makes tiny movements and uses very little current as a rudder reference comes with the Octopus drive, or keep your Raymarine rudder reference unit if you already had one.Perhaps best to ask Octopus Europe if they have a head unit of their own on the market.Tim Bell is the contact and a most obliging and pleasant person.
Good sailing and boating to all!"
"He who dips his wick must needs pay for oil"