Do You Need Heading Sensor For Spot-Lock

Do You Need Heading Sensor For Spot-Lock?

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No, the heading sensor is not required for spot lock. 

You must be thinking for a while that what the heading sensor is. Do you just need a heading sensor for spot lock? How does it work or what things are these? You will get all your answers below:  

The Heading Sensor plays a crucial role in how your Autopilot operates. The heading information used by the autopilot to calculate steering instructions is provided by the heading sensor, which can be an earth geomagnetic detector, a navigator, or its electrical version, the electromagnetic fluxgate. 

Spot lock is a GPS anchor system that regulates the trolling motor’s navigation function to ensure a boat’s position is just a few feet of a certain set of GPS locations. 

So, Do You Need Heading Sensor For Spot-Lock? 

Spot lock is based on GPS observations performed by the I-Pilot controller, which is installed inside the Structural – functional of the trolling engine. The heading sensor is therefore not needed for spot lock.  

The heading sensor is required to maneuver your boat 5 feet forward, backward, left, or right by hitting only one button. Some sophisticated autopilot features also need this sensor to function. A heading sensor is not necessary for anchor lock and GPS navigation. 

Benefits of Having a Heading Sensor for Spot-Lock

The effectiveness of radar can be improved by heading sensors. They can also improve autopilots and other nautical equipment functions better. 

A heading sensor will enable the Chartplotter to continuously display an accurate heading. The Chartplotter will rely on a GPS heading (COG), which is only appropriate when the boat is moving, in the absence of a heading sensor. 

A heading sensor is wonderful if you want to enjoy sophisticated functions on your boat. More features, including MARPA target tracking, real motion target trails, and a radar chart overlay that shows where your bow is pointing on the chart, become available when a heading sensor is used with a marine radar system.

It is also comforting to be able to acquire a target on the radar and determine its heading and speed after a few sweeps. 

  • After starting, the heading speedier filter convergence
  • Enhanced filter performance during this phase of convergence 
  • Monitoring of the heading during stationary and almost stationary conditions 
  • After stationary intervals, the filter reconverges instantly. 

The Drawbacks of Not Having a Heading Sensor 

There is no requirement to understand the heading in a conventional GPS-based positioning system. In the so-called “global” navigation coordinate frame, both location and velocity are measured. But when an inertial system is included, a new “local” coordinate frame is created.

To transfer inertial data from the “local” sensor frame to the “global” navigation frame, acceleration meter measurements must be made in this frame. Heading only describes the change that occurs between these two frames.

Consider a flawless inertial system (without GNSS) that is capable of dead-reckoning with 100 percent accuracy. Set this system to move with a constant rate of acceleration in a straight path. Even with a faultless inertial system, the accompanying graphic illustrates how to position error increases quickly as a result of direction inaccuracy. 

It makes no difference whether the heading sensor exists or not because it functions as a Bluetooth and has no bearing on the spot lock. It is now evident that there are no drawbacks to not having a heading sensor. 

How to Use Spot Lock Without a Heading Sensor? 

If you’ve ever wanted to use Spot-Lock without a heading sensor, this part will help you step by step. It is effortless to use.

STEP 1: You must first arrive at the spot where you want to sit before pressing the remote’s anchored key. However, because it relies on satellite data to remain in position, you cannot utilize this capability underneath bridges. Therefore, spot locking is required just outside of any large overhead constructions.  

STEP 2: If you’re planning to implement a spot-lock feature without a heading sensor, turn off the power first. By doing this, you’ll be able to safeguard both yourself and the devices you’re about to connect. 

STEP 3: Be careful to unplug the motor’s foot pedal if one is connected. Because the foot pedal cannot be utilized once the spot-lock is placed. 

STEP 4: The side plates are secured with four screws. Therefore, take out each screw one at a time. There are another four screws that must be loosened to access the port from the instrument cluster. 

STEP 5: You can remove the grommet if necessary by squeezing it down gently. 

STEP 6: The I-Pilot controller installation is about to proceed. And after passing the I-Pilot cable through the grommet hole, run the cable through the coil cord. 

STEP 7: The replacement grommet should then be connected. Put the grommet over the wire after that. After that, slide it up and secure it in place. 

STEP 8: To fix the I-pilot controller, use the four screws that were previously presented. 

STEP 9: To improve things, use the existing zip tie to fasten the I-Pilot cable to the motor coil cord. Afterward, take out the center housing. 

STEP 10: Set the I-Pilot steering cable into the free slot after loosening the cable strain relief linked to the trolling motor’s base with the screwdriver. Last but not least, tighten the cable strain relief so that you may effortlessly slide anytime you wish. 

STEP 11: Now look through the middle housing to find the black and white wires. Then, take the black and white wires from the steering cable for the I-Pilot that you previously had wired. The connectors should be connected. After that, find the other two detached wires and place the heat gun over one of the connectors, being careful to leave no socket accessible. Quickly, raise warmth. then repeat the procedure with the other adapter. 

STEP 12: Reinstall the side plates and central chamber using four screws and the screwdriver. The proper introduction is then accomplished by joining the I-Pilot wire to the motor wire. 

You can get off to a great start by giving your trolling motor a spot-lock mechanism. Utilize this fantastic function of your trolling motor to secure your preferred fishing location. 

How to Choose the Right Heading Sensor for Your Needs? 

There are numerous heading sensor variations. Some models use the newest technology, while others are electronic. Traditional antennas are used by some sensors. The newest technologically advanced system-based sensors, in my perspective, are significantly superior to the conventional ones. because contemporary sensors have no space restrictions. 

Some sources are saying, Dual GNSS Antenna heading sensor enhances navigational accuracy and it’s perfectly extended. Assess which sensor is accurate for your boat and whether it provides accurate navigation. 


In theory, a heading sensor is not needed. However, it does have some perks, and your boat can utilize a heading sensor for those. Your sensor may experience difficulties, but they are quite minor and won’t have an impact on your system.

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  • Ayaan

    Hi, this is Ayaan. I have been fishing since I was a young boy. I love the outdoors and the peace that comes with being by the water. Fishing is more than a hobby to me, it is a passion. I have learned much about fishing over the years, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I am happy to teach anyone who is interested in learning how to fish. I love everything about fishing – the peace and tranquility of being out on the water, the challenge of trying to catch a big one, and the sense of accomplishment when I finally land a fish. I love fishing because it is a way to connect with nature and escape everyday life’s hustle and bustle.

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