PerfectPass Question

JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 39 Baller
Last year I installed PerfectPass Stargazer Wake Edition S on our 2002 Sunsetter - I figured it was accurate enough for myself at 15 - 22off. My wife isn't comfortable using it so we really haven't skied with it this year but I was playing with it just cruising the lake tonight and here is my question: How long should it take PP to 'settle in' to the set speed or RPM? In RPM mode mine is taking around 13 seconds from dropping the throttle on a start until it throttles back to the setpoint, is this normal? Tonight it was cloudy so GPS lock was sketchy but in GPS mode it seems to surge badly - I tried adjusting the pull factor but it didn't seem to matter much but the GPS signal wasn't the best.

Thanks for any suggestions or help.


  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 218 Baller
    There was a GPS puck update that addressed a rollover issue. If the puck had the old software then locking on is an issue. It could be leading to your surging and engagement issues. Ours was a mess with the old software.
  • JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 39 Baller
    How would I know if mine was effected? We got the system in Sept/Oct of last fall direct from PP. Once the RPM settles in it holds solid it just seems to take too long to do so.
  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 192 Baller
    The latest version of PP Stargazer is 9.21 as of July 2021. Since version 9.12 which came out a year or two ago fixed the lock in speed and made the system lock in very similar to a zero off system.
    Having said that, this is with 3-event, not wakeboard edition. The wakeboard edition I believe does not use the RPM at all.
    If your master module is fairly new, I believe you can order a "stick" from PP to upgrade your master module software to 3-event and this will help tremendously with slalom and help with the lock in quickly, and no surging as it uses both GPS and RPM to govern the servo.

    And FWIW, here's a little story: (I have a 2003 Sunsetter LXI)
    I ordered PP Stargazer about 10 years ago. I forget the exact year. It was 3-event with version 8.x of the software. It worked, but had the classic problem of locking quickly with a short setup to the course, and surged at around ball 2-3 of the slalom course.
    A few years ago, I upgraded to version 9.0x (with a software upgrade stick) and was then able to modify the background settings which fixed the surging issues in the course. Yay!
    Then last year I upgraded to 9.12 and this made the lock in similar to zero off. So I had a pretty sweet system. No surging in the course, and locked in quick.
    This year, I thought I would try to get closer to a zero off pull and ordered the PP zbox unit. PP said my Master module was too old and I would require a new MM that could handle the voltage needed with zbox. Okay.
    I guess I just wanted to clean up my segment times and have the "accelerometer" aspect as part of the system. At first, it felt like a harder pull, but it kept the boat running how it should. Kinda like how when zero off first came out... most guys hated it because it was a less forgiving pull, but eventually you prefer it as the boat "holds" the speed it is supposed to run at.
    Anyway, for the non-tournament skier, yet shortline skier, the non zbox stargazer 3-event system with version 9.12 or higher will be awesome and you'll love it.

    Okay, so now I upgraded my system from 9.12, to 9.21(with zbox with a new master module) and I'm left with a spare 3-event master module with 9.12.

    My buddy across the lake has a 2000 Sunsetter LXI.
    He has Stargazer wakeboard edition. Not sure which software version, but he had the dreaded surging in the course and frustrating lock in times. So, I thought to myself that we could swap out his master module with my now spare 3-event at version 9.12.
    (Scottish Whiskey was part of the transaction)
    We go to hook it up and try it out, but he had no rpm sensor cable. Balls!
    Okay, so we order an RPM sensor from PP and install it.

    We take it out, map the course, run the autocal baselines. Run a non-skier pass.
    Boat locks in beautifully and it is night and day difference!
    Run some skiers and nothing but smiles.
  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 218 Baller
    I made a serial cable to hook up the puck Tom’s computer and checked and upgraded software. Manual, including wiring schematic and software is on the Garmin site. Since you got it directly from PP, after the update, I think it would be assumed that latest puck software was flashed.

    I never really had issues with locking with wake S but 9.2 was definitely an improvement with accuracy and faster lock on
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 243 Baller
    edited August 31
    My ‘00 SSLXi with PP would lock in around 6 sec. when I upgraded to zbox and the 9.?? Firmware it went to about 5. I think you need an upgrade.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
    Wow, 5 seconds. That sounds like an eternity on a short lake.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 481 Baller
    i have Wake Edition S on my 2003 Sunsetter (upgraded last year) and it holds well and locks in in about 3-4 seconds. you can overshoot it if you throttle up to much but just pull back the throttle a bit once it beeps. Don't bury the throttle like zero off - just accelerate moderately until it beeps.
  • PeterAKPeterAK Posts: 58 Baller
    Jumping on this thread as it is in the ballpark of my PP question. I added Wake Edition S to my boat, new direct from Perfect Pass in April this year. It overshoots the speed by a few miles an hour and then settles back down to the set speed. This isn't a big deal--we're open water skiers. The issue is when we get to the end of the lake and spin around it significantly speeds up and takes a while to settle back down. Is that normal? Going to check which version my PP has this weekend.
    Milwaukee and Waupaca, WI -- Let me know if you are in the area and want to get together to ski!
  • jpwhitjpwhit Posts: 133 Baller
    If you're using the mechanical throttle servo version, which I think is all they sell now based on the patent dispute with zero off over drive by wire, then there is the simple reality that the mechanical servo takes time to respond and move. When I had stargazer on an older boat, I had to drive smoothly up to the set point until it beeps and stop advancing the throttle at that point. Then you must advance the throttle slowly and smoothly to prevent overshoot. Basically, you can't move it faster than the PP system and mechanical servo can let out extra throttle tension for the speed to not overshoot. It's not like Zero Off, or the older DBW version of PP, where you can just slam the throttle down and expect it to not overshoot. It takes some practice and skill. Once you learn how to drive to the setpoint w/o overshoot, it does a very good job of maintaining speed after that, unless something else is wrong.

    All speed controls will gun the boat in a turn. When you turn, the boat naturally slows down, and it'll add a lot of throttle to maintain the same speed. You need to take over throttle control in a turn and then after the turn drive smoothly back up to the set point, and again slowly advance the throttle to full. With a DBW system, it's more practical to just lower the speed setting some during the turn and turn it back up, but with PP it's really just better to take over manual speed control in a turn.

    For the folks that have Perfect Pass as a marriage saving strategy, and I know I've been there, there is really no comparison to Zero Off. With Zero Off or any DBW, you can pretty much slam the throttle down and the system handles everything else flawlessly. Makes for a very happy wife :wink:

    In some boats, if the mechanical servo isn't setup very well so there’s very little friction and/or the throttle return spring is weak, that'll certainly make the overshoot issues worse.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 277 Solid Baller
    edited September 1
    13s! I'd be half way down the lake by then!

    It sounds like a settings thing, I'd look through the manual and check the throttle spring, do a linkage test/reset and make it re-learn the speeds so it maps the speed vs expected rpm & throttle speed. There are some "k" settings that affect the response time of the throttle motor/servo but I wouldn't change those until you've tried everything else.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    OP, definitely upgrade to 3 event. Secondly, can you describe your "surge"? Under load, as in a reaction to a pull, or just even cruising? How big of a speed swing? If significant, I'd recommend a new (or second) return spring. Yours is 20 years old and it does need to be a strong counter to the servo.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,403 Mega Baller
    @Johnseed @PeterAK - there are a few threads on this site that walk through many of the steps to improve and solve the issues you note, lots of detail so allow time to read. PP does need a strong return spring for good throttle control specifically on the mechanical throttle setups.
  • JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 39 Baller
    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    I'm going to check the linkage and return spring and try 'helping' the system out by backing the throttle down after the start.
    I'm guessing I could pick up a spring at the local auto parts place? Not sure this matters but the throttle does seem somewhat stuff to always has even before PP.

    The surge only happens using the slalom GPS mode. It will do it just cruising or while pulling a skier. Speed set at 32...start, boat might lock or might not then boat surges to like 36-40 and sometimes won't even drop back on its own. Maybe the spring? It doesn't surge like that using RPM mode though.

    Hopefully we will get out tonight or tomorrow and try it.
    Like many, I added PP to help my driver(wife) and reduce stress on her but with these issues she still doesn't trust the system and won't use it to pull a skier. The hope is that if I can address these issues she will feel more confident using the PP system. The latency issue does render it a problem on one end of our course...I'd be turning 2 ball as the system kicked in.
  • LarsLars Posts: 201 Baller
    @jpwhit is right, they need some help throttling back. If I have someone unfamiliar with my boat driving I tell them when PP beeps to try to throttle back to 3400-3500 rpms and then PP can fine tune from there.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    I think you're accelerating past the set speed too far which is why it won't come back down. Now, if it's truly locked in (you'll know by the top banner staying highlighted black) and surges, that's a little weird. I'd actually suggest doing a master reset and starting over, using a more judicious approach to the intended set speed. To reset you hold 2 buttons down when keying up but I forget which 2. Also, trying running in wakeboard mode and see if it behaves the same.
  • JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 39 Baller
    edited September 3
    Tonight we tried a couple different things...
    1. I changed the 'pull factor' under the slalom settings menu down to 20 instead of 60
    2. We drove more similar to hand throttle on the pull up - once the skier is up and the boat is planed we throttled down to around the set speed quickly

    The results were - PP worked as it should - no surges and the lag time to settle was much better. Thank You for all the suggestions BOS is an awesome resource!!

    Now, how to convince my wife to trust the PP system in the course...suggestions on that one?
  • 503Kento503Kento Posts: 108 Baller
    Is her concern that it won’t shut down when needed? Assuming so, have her drive in open water and no skier to get comfortable. Have her throttle back and experience how the system disengages. If you boat has a kill lanyard maybe show her how she can use that to shut the while boat down.

    My wife won’t drive at all so my suggestions are merely theoretical 😬
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,805 Mega Baller
    Other thing that seems to work well on the Malibus is to run the "inverted" tach mode. I set mine up that way Day 1 and it locks in pronto without surging.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • WebWeb Posts: 81 Baller
    Long thread for simple solution. With PP, take the skier up with normal hand throttle, get to rpm and then just a bit more.... it locks in fine. Crushing it will overshoot.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
    A bit off topic, but still a PP question. This requires a memory. A guy at our lake has version 6.3 and has no intention of up grading. How do you get to the screen that allows change to the baseline RPMs? We try to do "auto calibrate" , answer yes to both questions and next pass it just recommends the same RPM adjustment and asks do you want to recalibrate. I haven't used PP in several years (read since ZO) and then it was 6.5ng I believe.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 39 Baller
    My wife's concern is lack of feeling in control. Our course is on a public lake and has a short set up at one end and the open lake at the other end...not much room for error and she worries about not being able to adjust things. We went to a larger lake this weekend and the course setup was much longer and she said she almost wanted to try it so there is still hope. Now that we are past Labor Day our traffic during the week is much lower so we will probably try it just open skiing first.
    She doesn't like change and we just made the move from an I/O to the Malibu last fall and now from hand driving to PP...too much too quick. Ironically speed control makes things so much better and easier for both the skier and the fast was that pass? Around 30mph? Could be 28-33mph
  • JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 39 Baller
    LeonL...isn't that version pre-stargazer? Might be a manual on the PP site.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,915 Mega Baller
    @Johnseed ignore the course for now. Just have her with no skier throttle up come to speed and lock in and then back off and settle in.

    Repeat. You might also want to have her "drive by rpm" for a bit with no PP just go to 3200 RPM and hold it. That's much more similar to driving with PP where you want to pull the skier, advance to an RPM the PP will take over and then you're set.
  • EdmundEdmund Posts: 201 Baller
    @Johnseed John, Let me know when you will back at the lake. Pick me up at my dock and I will drive the course for you with your wife observing. Might help her get more comfortable driving. I just had to reset and autocal my PP Stargazer because it was surging; runs great now. Ed
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