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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 10-15-2013
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Raymarine compass interference

I have a Raymarine ST5000 plus autopilot. The flux compass is located inside the port settee. On a sail this weekend, the command was real jerky and sluggish. Sometimes it would over-correct to an alarming degree. I have the manual, but could not get it to go into the setting to increase the tracking control. It just goes directly into rudder gain. Has anyone had the same issue?

I had also recently bought a dinghy battery and stored it inside the settee with the compass. Could this have caused some of the interference?
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Re: Raymarine compass interference

I bet it is the battery. It is easy enough to test!
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Re: Raymarine compass interference

Were you tracking North?
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Re: Raymarine compass interference

I have a race on Saturday (single handing) and not sure I'll have time to test it under realistic conditions, but I guess I'll know whether that was it soon enough. I am also planning to increase rudder gain a bit and see how that might help.

I'm interested in hearing more about what happens only when tracking north, though it seemed to occur equally in all cardinal directions.
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Re: Raymarine compass interference

I'm also getting some interference on my compass.

The easiest way to test it is to calibrate the autopilot compass against your regular helm compass in one direction. Put the autopilot compass heading onto the display. Do a slow circle and see if the autopilot compass and helm compass agree in all directions. If not you are getting some magnetic interference.

Ideally the autopilot flux gate compass should be mounted on the centerline of the boat and far from any sources of magnetic interference. It is hard to find the perfect location for that on my boat. I have it mounted under the V-berth, but I'm afraid that it is too close to the water pump (about 2' away).
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Re: Raymarine compass interference

In reading another post related to the compass, it seems they can be very sensitive to things that intuitively might not seem to cause problems, but they were the problem. I'll pull everything out of the settee and do the slow circle calibration. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Re: Raymarine compass interference

Most mag compasses have the most trouble tracking north because you get the most boat interference. Boat needs to be well balance for auto to work, little to no weather helm. And you need to steer within something like within 2 deg. steady of the course to be maintained. And if you have too much play in the steering system,auto won't work well at all. I have the St4000 on my 32' (11500 LB displacement) Bristol keel/CB, with wheel conversion and added the rudder position indicator that is supposed to help with eliminating the back and forth, did not help. CB needs to be down for auto to work well. I find that there is no guarantee that auto will hold. But I love it and use it often, works well for the most part. Useless down wind.
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