ST-6000 Autohelm wiring/ amp draw issue - SailNet Community

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Old 07-07-2010
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ST-6000 Autohelm wiring/ amp draw issue

My Whitby 42 came with the ST-6000 with a very weird wiring configuration that included 2 positive leads hot back to the controller head. I read the manual on this unit and it indicates that it requires a 25 amp inline fuse. I believe that since the breaker box is the old style with spade connectors Vs. the new ABYC required bolt connectors that somehow I am not getting the full current back to the control head. Has anyone out there had any experience with the ST-6000 autohelm and it's actual current draw? I am about to try an inline 25 amp circuit breaker (off the box using the bolt on tabs) to see if it is connection related. I have tried running the ST-6000 off the breaker and with an inline glass 20 amp fuse. The unit powers on in standby but blows the fuse (and breaker) as soon as it is activated.
Thanks
Andy
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Andy,

The Autohelm 6000 in the 12V mode requires a 40A breaker, not 20A. The 20A breaker is for the 24v mode.

The manual for this autopilot shows a variety of screw-clamp connections, not spade. If yours really has spade connections, I'd say these are pitifully inadequate for carrying 40A, and wonder if Autohelm really designed it this way.

BTW, you can find the manual here: Raymarine Marine Electronics - Retired Autohelm Autopilot Manuals

Bill
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ST-6000 Autohelm wiring / amp draw issue

Bill

In reviewing the manual on line for the Autohelm ST6000 it indicates for a linear drive system that a 25Amp fuse should be in line (diagram 40 page 26) but I tend to want to believe your assessment based on what I have seen with my inherited system. I think my issues stems from the 25+ year old breaker system that used spade connectors on the back end of the circuit breakers. These connections were replaced with the bolt on or screwed on connection tabs now sold. I wonder what the implications are of using the 40 amp breaker Vs. the 25 amp and do you have personal experience with the ST-6000? As I said when I went through the boat it appeared that it had been wired with 2 positive wires to the ST-6000 (one to an inline fuse wire to the battery shunt and one to a pull switch). When I put a single wire to either a 20 amp inline fuse direct or to a spade connected breaker and activated the ST-6000 it immediately tripped or blew the fuse.
Thanks again for your help
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingmom View Post
Bill

In reviewing the manual on line for the Autohelm ST6000 it indicates for a linear drive system that a 25Amp fuse should be in line (diagram 40 page 26) but I tend to want to believe your assessment based on what I have seen with my inherited system. I think my issues stems from the 25+ year old breaker system that used spade connectors on the back end of the circuit breakers. These connections were replaced with the bolt on or screwed on connection tabs now sold. I wonder what the implications are of using the 40 amp breaker Vs. the 25 amp and do you have personal experience with the ST-6000? As I said when I went through the boat it appeared that it had been wired with 2 positive wires to the ST-6000 (one to an inline fuse wire to the battery shunt and one to a pull switch). When I put a single wire to either a 20 amp inline fuse direct or to a spade connected breaker and activated the ST-6000 it immediately tripped or blew the fuse.
Thanks again for your help
Without seeing your setup, it's very hard to say.

Are you sure that's a positive wire going to the shunt? Usually, shunts are on the negative side, especially if they are to measure both power in/power out as in most modern battery monitors.

Also, breakers very often go bad, either from physical failure (I've seen several cracked cases) or other reason. As they age, they often will not carry their rated load.

Can't speak to sizing any more than you've already found. The diagram would seem to suggest a 25A breaker, but....???

Bill
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Old 07-08-2010
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Hi Bill
Thanks for the follow up. The 2 positive leads (one from a pull switch - which I removed - and one labeled as secondary power feed on a buss bar) both go about 20 feet to the ST-6000 computer using what appears to be 10 AWG wire. Your suggestion about a possible bad breaker switch is where I have been thinking but I do not know how to check for a faulty breaker.
It troubles me that the control head turns on fine in standby but as soon as load was applied it blew the in line 20 amp fuse and then tripped the circuit breaker. When it was hooked up with the pull switch and second feed it worked OK. I guess what I need to do is get an amp meter to try and measure the load draw when the unit is activated. I picked up a 25 amp new style circuit breaker at Hamilton Marine and I thought I would try testing the system with this in case the issue of loose connection or bad breaker is the issue. Additionally I picked up some 25 amp glass fuses and thought I would try independently the inline hardwired lead without the breaker to see if this worked. I had contacted Raymarine about this issue and they told me that there is only required a single positive lead - I would love to figure this out
Thanks again
Andy
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Yes, you only need one positive feed. And, for a 25A load and 40' long (there and back), it should be AWG6 cable. The "back", presumably, is the negative lead. It, also, should be AWG6 cable.

You only need one CPD (fuse or breaker) and, preferably, one cutoff switch. A marine breaker designed for OFF-ON operation can serve both purposes.

An ammeter is a VERY handy thing to have aboard. To be really useful, it should be a clamp-on type, AC/DC, and True RMS. In-rush current capability is a plus. Also, these clamp-ons can be used as multimeters, measuring voltages, resistances, etc. One of the best deals I've seen -- without spending $350 for a Fluke 337 -- is the MASTECH 2138R which can be had new for $99....see, e.g., Mastech MS2138R AC/DC True RMS Clamp Meter Multimeter - eBay (item 190405140415 end time Jul-14-10 10:08:11 PDT)

This meter performs very well and even exceeds the accuracy of my Fluke 337 on voltage measurements.

Bill
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Old 07-10-2010
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Quick update on ST-6000 wiring

Bill (or anyone)
Last night I went out on the boat and found that what a PO had done was install two 10AWG wires to the same power terminal on the ST-6000 computer. The length of the wire is approximately 12 +/- 1 feet. I installed a marine 25 amp circuit breaker and ran both of these leads to this breaker (ABYC standard with lock bolts on tabs.
My question is this, if this works, I realize that two 10AWG wires do not equal one 8 AWG, and that there might be some resistance increase using two 10 awg Vs. one 8 AWG, but is that the only problem with this configuration since the voltage drop on 25 amp load over 12 feet is 0.6 Volts (= approx. 5% drop)?

This is more of a fundamental question that is : Should you NEVER use 2 wires in place of one larger wire -
Thanks again
Andy
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