Fluxgate compass problem - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-04-2013
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Fluxgate compass problem

I have a 2007 Hunter 33 that came with a Raymarine autopilot with a fluxgate compass. Last year the compass would freeze at either 24 degrees or 208 degrees depending on the boat heading. For example, if I went in a circle the readings would switch between the 24 and 2008. A tech came to the boat and said it was the computer which he removed and sent back to Raymarine to be refurbished (not cheap). I still have the problem on and off but it is getting to be more on than off. My thought is that if the compass has a gimbal (not sure), it may be hanging up at these two degree positions. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-04-2013
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Re: Fluxgate compass problem

I've had the following problems with that compass, now resolved:

1. I did have the gimbal fail, so I think that is possible in your case.
2. I had an initial installation by a builder that was too close to a deck wash down pump. That thing has got magnets in it
3. After replacing the compass, and moving it to another storage compartment, in my brilliance I put some spares in the compartment which included a motor (with magnets). It went haywire till my wife reminded me what I did.

One test you could perform yourself is to remove the mounting screws, and move the compass around and watch what the autopilot reads for headings. If the gimbal is messed up you'll probably see it. Also, if you are too close to something magnetic, you'll may see that too. You really need to keep anything magnetic far away.

I'm betting it's either something magnetic or the gimbal...

good luck
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Old 09-04-2013
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Re: Fluxgate compass problem

Had a similar problem w/ mine. When I removed the compass it rattled like something was loose. I went to a local electronics installer and he said it's supposed to rattle. Not convinced I took the housing for the fluxgate apart and found a plastic clip in the bottom that is supposed to clamp the wires going into the compass was loose and interfering w/ the movement of the magnet.
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Old 09-04-2013
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Re: Fluxgate compass problem

I paid $180 for a new fluxgate compass to be fitted by a vendor in California (2 hours on the boat plus the cost of the compass) and he relocated it away from the main engine (duh) and it works just fine. Turned out it was the original location, not the compass so now I have a spare.

Sorry - the hidden message in there is that they're not that expensive, if you think it's the compass buy another. If it isn't the compass, you've got a spare.

Oh, sorry, that cost was 6 years ago maybe it's a bit more today.
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Fluxgate compass problem

Looking at the West Marine website, they have a Raymarine replacement Fluxgate Compass for $189.
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