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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old ST4000 autohelm connected to seatalk that I would like to replace. I see Raymarine x-5’s and EV-100’s. I don’t know much about auto pilots, they both look
the same to me, can someone offer any insight as to the difference between them or why you would choose one over the other?
Thanks



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Consider a CPT The mechanics are stronger than the two you mention although the electronics are not as sophisticated.
 

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Don’t know what the size of your boat, but I gave up on wheel pilots for my 35 footer. It’s more money, but it you want a serious autopilot, go for the below deck version. My old Autohelm wheel pilot was not reliable and would eat sheer pins, even though the wheel had a light touch. If you are single handing, a reliable autopilot should be considered a safety issue.
 

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This is the Raymarine part number you need T70152. Be sure you aren't exceeding the max displacement. Maximum recommended laden boat displacement: 7,500kg (16,500lbs) Many wheelpilots are installed without a rudder reference sensor. I would highly recommend you install one if you don't have one. They aren't terribly difficult to install, you just have to get the geometry right.
 

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If the 4000 works with your boat, the X5 and and EV100 should work fine. Displacement is not the best determinant if the Wheelpilot will work but how much force is needed to turn the rudder. A boat with heavy weather helm may not work with a wheel pilot even if it's lighter displacement while a heavy boat with a light helm may do just fine.

AFAIK the only difference between your 4000 and the later auto pilots is the control electronics. The newer pilots are able to learn to some extent and much more flexible in modifying the response to meet different conditions. The actual wheel drive appears to be the same for all of them. Know the X5 and the 4000 plus don't have any different capabilities. Both will not work on a boat with a heavy helm under sail. Will probably do fine under power.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The boat is about 8500 lbs, and I’m not crossing oceans. The 4000 had no problem turning the wheel, do the newer unit still connect to seatalk ? I’ve got an old chart plotter that is still working.
 

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I like the ev 100 for the money. Boat is 11,000 lbs and it does a good job... up to a point. Not for ocean passages in blustery conditions. I thought that the 4000 was a belt drive? The ev100 is a direct drive wheel pilot. The controller (P70) is a real advancement in technology. Your sailing venue and the type of sailing that you do will determine if a below deck AP is worth the significant displacement of coin that will be necessary to purchase and install one of these over the wheel pilot. In my case it wasn't. If I had more cash on hand and less projects clamoring for what little there is then perhaps I would have went for the EV200 below deck unit. Just another compromise......
 

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I have an old ST4000 autohelm connected to seatalk that I would like to replace. I see Raymarine x-5’s and EV-100’s. I don’t know much about auto pilots, they both look
the same to me, can someone offer any insight as to the difference between them or why you would choose one over the other?
Why do you want to replace it? Is it broken? If broken, is it the control head or drive unit? If it’s slipping, it might just need a simple adjustment or internal cleaning. New belts are discontinued by Raymarine, but readily available from 3rd parties on ebay. The newer gray drive units first came out with the ST4000+MkII, but work fine with the original ST4000 control heads. They’re quieter and more simple/reliable than the older black belt-driven drive rings. I believe the gray drive rings are the same as used on the current wheel drive models.

Figure out what’s wrong first before you buy new. It might be simple to fix.

FYI, I’ve owned both the ST4000+MkII (on prior boat) and ST4000 (on current boat). MkII was nicer than ST4000, but not enough to justify upgrading my current one. A new $20 belt fixed all my problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It works for awhile then suddenly steers me way off course for no apparent reason. I’ve tried replacing the flux gate compass but it didn’t fix the problem.


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It works for awhile then suddenly steers me way off course for no apparent reason. I’ve tried replacing the flux gate compass but it didn’t fix the problem.
Close-hauled, following seas, or both?

Have you adjusted gain and response?

Did you calibrate by driving around in circles?

All these are things you’d need to do with a new autopilot.

Have you checked in at the Raymarine product support forum?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It happens under any conditions including perfectly flat seas motoring. It will run flawlessly for maybe a couple of hours. Then suddenly without warning will make a hard turn and go off course like 70 or 80 degrees. Yes I have done the go around in circles thing but still have the problem, no I have not been on any Raymarine forums, I didn’t think I would get much support for a 25 year old wheel pilot, but maybe I’ll check it out. I’m at a point where I’m happy to just replace it, but was wondering if there were any pros or cons to consider between the previously mentioned models.

Regards


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FYI, I’ve owned both the ST4000+MkII (on prior boat) and ST4000 (on current boat). MkII was nicer than ST4000, but not enough to justify upgrading my current one. A new $20 belt fixed all my problems.
I have read about the ST4000. It appears to be a problematic unit. Even a decade ago people were replacing it. If it works for you no reason to replace it but if it gives you fits no reason to work too hard to get it running.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have read about the ST4000. It appears to be a problematic unit. Even a decade ago people were replacing it. If it works for you no reason to replace it but if it gives you fits no reason to work too hard to get it running.


That’s pretty much what I was thinking. If all it needed was a belt then fine I would fix it but I think my issue is deeper than a simple fix. We went on a day sail today and I tried it in the wind vane mode and it was fine so it still has some usefulness, but I still want to replace it.


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When it suddenly goes off course by 80 degrees, does the autopilot direction setting change to the new course? You really should post your issue on their support forum. I’ve never had a problem getting diagnostic help due to age of my instruments.
 

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It happens under any conditions including perfectly flat seas motoring. It will run flawlessly for maybe a couple of hours. Then suddenly without warning will make a hard turn and go off course like 70 or 80 degrees. Yes I have done the go around in circles thing but still have the problem, no I have not been on any Raymarine forums, I didn’t think I would get much support for a 25 year old wheel pilot, but maybe I’ll check it out. I’m at a point where I’m happy to just replace it, but was wondering if there were any pros or cons to consider between the previously mentioned models.

Regards


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watching this post because I have the same issue with my ST4000.
It works fine for 1 hour or 2 then stops and the off course alarm goes off. Push stand by, then auto again it works for 10 seconds then stops. Hard to diagnose what the issue is, getting hot? The motor (drive unit) is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
watching this post because I have the same issue with my ST4000.

It works fine for 1 hour or 2 then stops and the off course alarm goes off. Push stand by, then auto again it works for 10 seconds then stops. Hard to diagnose what the issue is, getting hot? The motor (drive unit) is fine.


You can still get a replacement flux gate compass but that doesn’t sound like a compass issue. I thought I read somewhere that the newer drive units work with that control unit, but if you’re sure your drive unit is ok that won’t help you. If anything goes wrong with the control unit, you either can try to find a used one online and and take a chance or spring for a new wheel pilot. I believe my issue is in the control unit, and I have no interest in a used one. Let me know what you end up doing.


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