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post #1 of 14 Old 07-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Raymarine X-5 Help

Hey folks, looking for some advice on my autopilot.

I bought a Raymarine X-5 wheel pilot for my Catalina 270 about two and half months ago. Installed it, got over a few hiccups and it worked beautifully for a about a month. Then, after an hour or so of use, and up to this day, it would slowly wander off course under sail until the Off Course alarm goes off. It's pretty much done for the rest of the day then, won't stay on course at all.

Steps I've taken:

- Sent the course computer to Raymarine. they have verified it's not defective and is working properly.
- Checked the Fluxgate compass. Deviation is about 3 degrees and the boat always KNOWS where it is. The problem arises when it won't go there. As in, you set a course for 240 and eventually, it will be 40 degrees off; you press standby and, sure enough, it says 280. So, the compass is correct, it knows where it is, it just refuses to go there.
- There are no other energized devices around the computer or the controller. I have shut everything off but the autopilot and I still get the same results.
- Checked the voltage at the computer. Consistently getting 12.6ish off batteries and over 13 with the engine on (but in neutral) so the alternator is engaged.

The only other thing I can think of to do is maybe install the optional rudder sensor, but the biggest feature of this pilot is that it's not supposed to need it.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Mike
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-14-2010
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Did you calibrate or adjust the rudder position sensor? IF that isn't calibrated properly, the autopilot will think it is steering a straight course, when it isn't...and that can lead to the boat turning

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post #3 of 14 Old 07-14-2010 Thread Starter
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There is no rudder position sensor. The internal gyro is supposed to replace it. I redid the AutoLearn calibration numerous times, but it doesn't help.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-14-2010
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Is there an "X" seriew, Wheel Pilot, for boat over 17,000lbs?
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-14-2010
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Sarabee—

The X5 goes up to 16500, past that you need the strength of an underdeck design.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-14-2010
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Mkeller—

How do you have the autopilot set in terms of tracking, seastate compensation, etc.

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post #7 of 14 Old 07-14-2010
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Are you absolutely positive there's no magnetic interference (including EMF) near the fluxgate? Any ferrous material will affect it. The effect will not be linear - meaning it won't happen on all headings equally.

Go through the turns again and compare the deviation to what is published on the chart in the area - it should be the same.

The reason I would focus on that when I installed my first fluxgate I had similar issues until moving the flux gate against the inside of the transom in the stern locker. That put it as far from the keel and galley as possible.

Steve
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-15-2010 Thread Starter
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Sailingdog: I have modified every single setting in Dealer Calibration with no appreciable change in performance. Rugger gain, counter rudder, etc.

Steve: I definitely hear what you're saying about the fluxgate but I think it's ok. When I first installed it, it was too close tot he macerator and I couldn't even get a deviation. I changed that and I get a deviation of 3 degrees. Like I said, the heading is always correct. It KNOWS where it is going, it just won't go there.

I'm starting to think the drive motor may be overheating. The issues started right around the time of the recent warm weather. I also had the issue where I had to reverse the drive motor wires at installation so it would turn properly.

Mike
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Yes, but the drive motor overheating shouldn't cause the autopilot to veer off course. One question, does it veer off course to both port and starboard or only to one side??

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-15-2010 Thread Starter
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I thought that if the drive motor was overheating that would explain why the motor stopped making corrections, but it was just a guess.

Interesting question about which way it "wanders". Now that I think about it, it MIGHT always wander to starboard. I recall that the true course always seems greater than is what is set (ie, set for 200, but off course to 250 before I catch it). Any idea what that would mean?
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