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post #34 of Old 12-04-2012
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Re: Autohelm ST4000 Plus problems

Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
Hello All:
I am new to posting and am excited to see that other owners have similar issues.
I just purchased my first boat, an Ontario 32 in September. I love the boat but there are a few electrical issues I will have to address. The Autohelm has power to the control unit but nothing engages at the wheel.
Does this sound like a simple cable issue? In truth I have dug very deep into the problem, just thought I'd through it out there.
It to is an Autohelm 4000

Thanks in advance
Hi, 90% of all electronics problems are cabling and connection. There is a wire from the control unit to the drive motor. First check all connections. It is quite easy to accidentally nudge the connector to the motor, and the connector or the wire can break inside. You can disassemble (quite hard) the connector by pushing the two pins on its side and pulling apart. Disconnect the cable from the drive and use a voltmeter to check the voltage while pressing the 1 or 10 keys (or just after switching on, it drives the motor for 3 secs for even drive belt wear). You will probably see only 2-3 volts indicated, as the driver uses pulses, so don't expect 12V to show up there. If you get voltage there, you can check the motor, by directly applying 12V there. If you get 0V at the cable end, is not good. Check the output on the back of the instrument, the same way. If you still get 0 there, it's instrument problem. Otherwise cable.
The cable as available ready made, but you can fabricate one, it uses Conxall/Switchcraft micro-con-x type connector on the motor end.
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