Compass off on Autohelm ST4000 - SailNet Community
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Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

I have an Autohelm ST4000.

The compass reading is fine when not in autopilot mode. But when I activate it, the compass reading is about 30 degrees off. So, for example, if I want a course of 100, I have to keep adjusting it until the boat is pointing at 100, but the course on the display is A 130 – and it is unhappy so it keeps beeping. But it does hold the boat’s course at my desired 100.

Is there a way to reset it? Or any other suggestions?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jballou View Post
I have an Autohelm ST4000.

The compass reading is fine when not in autopilot mode. But when I activate it, the compass reading is about 30 degrees off. So, for example, if I want a course of 100, I have to keep adjusting it until the boat is pointing at 100, but the course on the display is A 130 – and it is unhappy so it keeps beeping. But it does hold the boat’s course at my desired 100.

Is there a way to reset it? Or any other suggestions?
Yes..there is a Calbration procedure that is explained in the OP manual.

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/10...s.html?page=95

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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

The actual numbers on the compass are really of little to no consequence for most autopilots. On most, you engage the pilot on the heading you want to be on and the pilot steers by whatever system, on whatever numbers it recognized at that time you engaged it. For all the pilot's compass cares, your boat's compass course could be north and its course reads south, and it will happily direct your boat on the northerly course if that's the heading you were on when you engaged it.
Chances are you won't get it very correct no matter how much you tinker with it, as there is probably some metal around it that will affect its accuracy. If you really care all that much, when you have your guy come down to your boat to swing your steering compass annually (or biannually for some), have him do the autopilot's compass, too. Then you can have two compass deviation cards aboard your boat that you rarely, if ever, refer to.
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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
The actual numbers on the compass are really of little to no consequence for most autopilots. On most, you engage the pilot on the heading you want to be on and the pilot steers by whatever system, on whatever numbers it recognized at that time you engaged it. For all the pilot's compass cares, your boat's compass course could be north and its course reads south, and it will happily direct your boat on the northerly course if that's the heading you were on when you engaged it.
Chances are you won't get it very correct no matter how much you tinker with it, as there is probably some metal around it that will affect its accuracy. If you really care all that much, when you have your guy come down to your boat to swing your steering compass annually (or biannually for some), have him do the autopilot's compass, too. Then you can have two compass deviation cards aboard your boat that you rarely, if ever, refer to.
True, you don't need autopilot calibration as long as you never use auto-tack or track mode, and if you're willing to accept a 5-15 degree turn when you press +10.

But there's no need to hire "your guy" to create a deviation card for your autopilot. The ST4000 does all that automatically and transparently when you follow the calibration procedure and steer the boat through a circle or two. I find I need to do it a couple of times per year, probably because stuff gets moved on the boat that affects its magnetic field.
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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

Thanks. I don't have the ST4000+ - just the ST4000. And I have that manual. But when I press the buttons to enter the calibration mode, my screen does not look like anything in the manual. And I can't switch between the settings.

So I'm thinking that the unit has just done its service and time to replace. My latest trip out the last couple of days rather confirmed this when the unit was showing that it was tracking to a waypoint but the numbers or letters on the display were completely unreadable.

So I guess the EV100 is the next replacement for the wheel drive I have.

Thanks everyone for replying.
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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

Maybe look at it as just an autopilot, using other sources to get actual m/t bearings.
Its is a tool.
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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

Yup.
But the autopilot is upset when it is off course and it beeps this annoying alarm non-stop!
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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000

Quote:
Originally Posted by jballou View Post
Thanks. I don't have the ST4000+ - just the ST4000. And I have that manual. But when I press the buttons to enter the calibration mode, my screen does not look like anything in the manual. And I can't switch between the settings.

So I'm thinking that the unit has just done its service and time to replace. My latest trip out the last couple of days rather confirmed this when the unit was showing that it was tracking to a waypoint but the numbers or letters on the display were completely unreadable.

So I guess the EV100 is the next replacement for the wheel drive I have.

Thanks everyone for replying.
Do yourself a favor and add a rudder reference if you don't already have one. They take a little bit to get installed properly, but they make such a difference with auto pilots.
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