SailNet Community - Reply to Topic

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Autohelm Wiring Issue
 Not a Member? 


Thread: Autohelm Wiring Issue Reply to Thread
Title:
  

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

Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

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:

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.



Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


Topic Review (Newest First)
08-29-2009 07:05 AM
floatsome I'd suggest drawing a schematic for the boat's current wiring, and then start updating. Start drawing the charging system/engine/house main supplies, and then track down the smaller circuit connections. Check wire condition as well as routing. Consider revising the wiring to properly sized and serviced ground and positive busses rather than opportunistic attachments to whatever. Only one sufficiently large ground cable to the engine is a good idea in my amateur opinion, not ground wires attached to the nearest nuts and bolts on the engine. It's a bigger job than it seems, but pays big dividends in reliability and peace of mind.
08-21-2009 07:14 PM
flatracker
I think your ground connection

You said your ground connection was origionally to the fuel tank, which is of course the first no no. After you had the new tank installed, and dangling wires, no auto pilot. Then a hook up and a display, but no drive motor. I think you have a poor ground connection, that allows enough current for the display, which takes very little power, but not enough for the motor, which takes 3 or 4 amps. I am in total agreement that you should go over all the wiring. Anyone who would use a fuel tank as a ground, would do just about anything.
08-18-2009 04:54 PM
hellosailor Hesper, if you don't have the installation manual it should be available online. Find out how it is SUPPOSED to be wired up, then make your wiring be the same way.

At a certain point it will call for plus-and-minus power connections and quite possibly a ground as well. If there's no common ground bus in your boat, this is a good excuse to run one, at least as far as the autopilot and instruments.

A spool end of tinned 'ground braid' or tinned large-conductor wire (or "machine cable" which is similar to battery cable) can often be found as surplus on ebay for reasonable prices, so you can be generous with where and how you run it.
08-18-2009 04:19 PM
btrayfors Yes, each device should have it's own negative return wire going back to a negative bus somewhere. Only exception(s) would be for devices that should be wired directly to the batteries (bilge pumps, SSB radio, etc.).

There should only be ONE big ground wire running to the engine.

Bill
08-18-2009 03:59 PM
Hesper Bill,

Thanks for your comments. I know my information is sketchy, but I haven't really had time to crawl around the engine room yet and I am a total ignoramous when it comes to electrical systems. Are you saying that every device should have a wire that goes back to the negative terminal on the battery (or, more likely the bus on the fuse panel)? I always thought that a ground could be, for example, to an engine block. I probably need to do some reading.
08-17-2009 06:07 PM
btrayfors From the clues you provide -- which are really very little to go on -- it would seem that someone attempted to use the metal tank as a source for the negative return for the autopilot.

That's a no-no. Autopilot motors (and, in fact, virtually all connected devices aboard) need their own positive and negative feed wires. It's generally not OK just to "connect to a ground somewhere."

Also, the "wires unattached" in the plural is worrisome. Normally, there'd only be a single ground wire.

With more info on your setup, it might be possible to diagnose the problem if the above isn't it.

Bill
08-17-2009 05:29 PM
Hesper
Autohelm Wiring Issue

When I bought my good old boat, it came with a Raymarine ST4000 autohelm. Wires (grounds, presumably) ran to the metal fuel tank. Probably not a great idea, but whatever. Last winter, I had to replace the tank as it sprang a leak and the yard guys put in a plastic tank.

Since then, the Autohelm doesn't work. Looking below, I saw wires dangling unattached, so I attached them to various screws that seemed to be used as grounds for other wires.

Now, when I turn on the Autohelm, instead of darkness and silence, the controller lights up with the correct compass heading, but when I engage it, I get a few clicks from the neighborhood of the wheel, but nothing else.

Anybody got any bright ideas?

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:33 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.