When is it time to replace your autopilot? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #31 of 51 Old 10-16-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
We've had the ST6000+ for several years and it has performed well. We did experience random failures and 'S' turns a number of months ago. Went through the manual and followed the setup proceedure - not much luck. Turned out that since our boat was in salt water, some of the wire connections started to corrode - they're simply spring loaded connections on the controller unit. Cutting back any place that there was exposed wire solved some problems. The autopilot also hunts something awful if the rudder position sensor is NS. Make sure that's working. The flux compass location is important as well since if it's swinging is too great, it'll also cause 'S' turns. Lastly, the autopilot disconnecting is an indication that the unit is operating outside it's parameters: too great a compass change, inaccurate rudder position or too great a load on the servo will all cause the autopilot to disconnect. Basically, it disconnects when the various inputs no longer agree. Ours does beep when it drops off. And it's behaving flawlessly again now.

Lastly, I'd not chuck it just yet. There's a number of things to be checked first. Also, there's always the devil you know as opposed to the devil you might install as a replacement.

Cheers,
Mike
mlahrkamp is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #32 of 51 Old 10-16-2007
Senior Member
 
djodenda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Posts: 1,699
Thanks: 1
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Simrad Problems

Hi!

I think I know what is wrong with your Simrad autopilot. On my Simrad, the buttons stick. That is the rubber button sticks against the plastic housing. Try wiggling it. The reason that it is confused is that it thinks you are trying to tack it continuously. I had a similar problem, however , my port arrow button was sticking.

Worth a try...
djodenda is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #33 of 51 Old 10-16-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
One thing you might look at which would be considerably cheaper than a whole new system would be to add a gyro to your Autohelm (Raymarine). My guess is that you have just a flux gate compass for determining the heading now. A compass is damped sufficiently that in a chop the boat can get quite away around before the pilot will bring it back. The gyro will respond faster.
tkohrs is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #34 of 51 Old 10-16-2007 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
teshannon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,713
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
     
Ml,
I think the ST6000 is the newer Raymarine unit. Mine is an Autohelm 6000 which I believe is much older. At any rate it does not really disconnect but rather hunts excessively. I'll have a look at the rudder sensor tomorrow, that's a good thought.
Dj,
My problem is with an Autohelm unit, not a Simrad.
teshannon is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #35 of 51 Old 10-16-2007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Long Is.
Posts: 329
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
I am not impressed with Simrad. Their customer service is poor. The reliability of the hydralic drive is poor. The local dealer agrees with me that it should not be failing so soon, but cannot persuade the manufacturer to do anything about it. Their electronics seem satisfactory (after I fixed some installation problems - one of which was a fresh water pump on the other side of a bulkhead from the fluxgate. When it kicked on the boat would go 45 degrees off course.). but the hydraulic drive unit has been a disaster.
gc1111 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #36 of 51 Old 10-16-2007 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
teshannon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,713
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
     
tk,
I do have a fluxgate compass. Can a gyro be retrofitted and do you know of experience with one. I'm not familiar with that type of installation.
teshannon is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #37 of 51 Old 10-17-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
autohelm 6000

We've used this autopilot extensively for 8 years. It's a reliable, low draw unit. Our only problem with wandering was when the rudder position sensor was diconnected. Otherwise, I'd buy again. (22,000 lb.)
Bob
sailpilot253 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #38 of 51 Old 10-17-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
linear versus hydraulic drives

Camraderie,
Big boats have hydraulic drives because many already have accessories that are hydraulic. (bow thrusters, windlasses, steering). Since they already have a source for hydraulic pressure, the very reliable hydraulic drive makes sense. On smaller boats where no such source exists, it would be very expensive to install a hydraulic pressure source just to power an autopilot. The linear drives have become very good, and while the hydraulic system is probably somewhat superior, the additional cost can't be justified.
sailpilot253 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #39 of 51 Old 10-17-2007
moderate?
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 16
     
SP253...perhaps you misunderstood...linear hydraulic drives are quite affordable and frequently used on underdeck autopilots on cruising sailboats and require NO other part of the boat to be hydraulic. See the picture above.
What I was comparing those to is SCREW type linear mechanisms which are not found on larger, more capable drives because they are inadequate to the task.
Here is an example of a screw type linear drive like you should have. See post #7 for an example of linear hydraulic...and welcome by the way!
camaraderie is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #40 of 51 Old 10-17-2007
Member
 
kjsailingSpring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: PA and San Diego
Posts: 51
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Anyone's autopilot excessively loud?

I have an autohelm ST4000 and it is incredibly loud when engaged. Is this normal? The noise comes fromt he mechanism turning the wheel and since I sail mainly in choppy seas, it is always readjusting itself and making noise. Normal?

Thanks for any input -

KJ
kjsailingSpring is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Summer Time Reading SailNet Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 06-16-2001 08:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome