How far is the autopilot from the information/power sources and what gauge wire did you use between them?
I'd have to check on the boat for the wire size; all wires are speced for less than 3% drop at the maximum circuit draw, probably 12-14 AWG in this case. Since this happens when the device is on standby, I tend to think that's not the issue. However, you're right that it might be very reasonable to double-check; I will do this the next time I'm at the boat.
I'd also have to check the distance; the distance from the pilot to the instruments is probably about 10', mostly on a Seatalkng spur cable. My understanding from the manuals is that this is totally OK. Everything other than the pilot is all in the same compartment/bulkhead, very close. The only thing remotely weird about the setup is that I don't have a knotmeter attached to the network.
I've tried rearranging the Seatalkng data cables to see if this had some effect, and it didn't.
What do you mean by 'jog'?
By jog, I mean manually extend or retract the tiller using the control head. The manual says not to force the ram in or out, and the dealer said that there is no clutch that can be disengaged in standby. That poses a problem when trying to engage the autopilot, since the length of the arm generally is not correct when I need to physically place it on the tiller pin. So what I have to do is steer way off course until the tiller is in the right place, then put the autopilot on, and then hit 'Auto' and hope the pilot corrects before I slam into the bulk freighter docked at the edge of the channel.
Is there something fundamental that I'm not understanding about how tiller pilots work?
This is just what they do. If a forum post potentially makes them look bad they apparently just delete the posts. (I have written proof of this from Raymarine if anyone feels the need to
On at least this occasion, it appears to have been a mistake. I received back this comment from the moderator today, in response to a private message:
I have looked into your account and don't see an inquiry in the system. We don't purge any inquiries in the system, unless they don't follow the forum rules or there is a duplicate created by the member by accident. Please re-submit your inquiry and we will make sure you are responded to. I apologize for the confusion.
Of course I am positive I originally posted it, as it is in Google's web cache, so who knows what this means.
In any case, I've reposted it: SPX-5 wind data on p70, and other autopilot issues - Raymarine Technical Forum
I also contacted Raymarine's Facebook page, not so much for tech support, since that doesn't seem like the right venue, but to let them know I was having serious problems with their service. I received the following response:
Thanks for posting, and sorry to hear you are having trouble. I sent a copy of your message over to technical support. Someone will be in touch shortly.
I'm not holding my breath that this will be resolved by my overnight sailing trip this weekend, but I suppose we'll see. In part, I suspect that some component might just be defective, which would make me sad, since everything is new.