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Old 07-04-2016, 04:25   #151
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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thanks for the clarification
my concern was that I was giving him advice on how to program the newer unit with the easier and more user friendly softwareas you found in the st6000+ onwards series,a vast improvement with predictive software,so the AP "learned"to anticipate minute coarse changes.

the older units such as RC has were some of the first digital units Autohelm produced after their very successful series of analog auto pilots.

so instead of having buttons to push and knobs to turn for fine tuning you were faced with a very clunky series of menu commands for control and no predictive programming,relying on brute force,and action/reaction feedback from the heading unit and rudder reference unit for its micro processor!

a bit like modern cars ,as opposed to the older ones where you could still lift the bonnet to see what the problem was
So, do I have the older clunker or the newer model with airbags?
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:38   #152
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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So, do I have the older clunker or the newer model with airbags?
from the software menu you quoted,you have the clunker!


though if your control head is the same as the one in the picture,you have the slightly upgraded model with better graphic display
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:12   #153
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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from the software menu you quoted,you have the clunker!


though if your control head is the same as the one in the picture,you have the slightly upgraded model with better graphic display
Well, if the new set up you have suggested works, I might upgrade to the new Evolution model with the ABS breaks and side airbags. $2000 will get me the entire Evolution system with even a new ram. My ram was $1400 alone.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:23   #154
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Well, if the new set up you have suggested works, I might upgrade to the new Evolution model with the ABS breaks and side airbags. $2000 will get me the entire Evolution system with even a new ram. My ram was $1400 alone.
here is an article I found regarding the ST4000 and ST4000+ calibaration you might find useful

link Taming The ST4000 Autopilot | Bristol Sailboats

The calibration settings seem to be more voodoo art than science.

Likely, this was because the ST4000 models were introduced when designers were still working out the rough spots with computer technology. They kind of got it right, but not always, and not for every kind of sailboat.

So Raymarine gave you access to calibration settings for the autopilot, but with very little instruction, apparently hoping you would work out the answer for your boat over time.

Raymarine has never been much help on this, either. The company does not have any magic numbers for your particular sailboat.

Even on sailing discussion lists, people seem reluctant to share what their settings are, either because they’re not entirely satisfied with the performance or they’ve opted to accept whatever performance they get.

Here is a link to the owner’s manual with basic instructions for the 4000+.ST4000+ Wheel and Tiller Owner Handbook

You gain access to the calibration settings by pushing the standby button for a long time, maybe 20 or 30 seconds. When the calibration lock screen appears, tap the +1 and -1 buttons at the same time. Use the display button to move from screen to screen.

After five years of fooling around with an ST4000+ on my Bristol 30, a full keel with attached rudder model, here’s what I’m doing:

The key settings seem to be rudder gain, response, autotrim and drive type. I have rudder gain at 2, response at 2, autotrim at 4 and the drive type at 2.

I have no explanation for the rudder gain and response settings, except that they work. Autotrim determines how quickly the autopilot responds to course changes; I often sail in gusty and choppy conditions, and maximum autotrim works best, even though it uses more amps

Drive type 2 is supposed to be for hydraulic steering, but works much better on my B30 than the mechanical setting that would seem to be the proper one. Why is a puzzle. I picked this up on a Catalina web site, where several owners cured ST4000 problems with this calibration setting.

It’s also a good idea not to have the autopilot on when you start your inboard engine. The spike can jar the autopilot and cause it to reset. Raymarine says it doesn’t do any damage, but Raymarine is in the business of selling new autopilots.

It’s smart to remember that these are fair-weather autopilots, not designed for when the wind and seas kick up. They are easily overpowered in gusty conditions — or even when you don’t have the sails set properly — so it’s best not to strain the equipment by expecting them to handle a job they weren’t designed for.
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Old 07-04-2016, 17:40   #155
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
So, do I have the older clunker or the newer model with airbags?
Apt analogy, Rustic Charm.


Note that Takata air bags have now killed 10 people in the US and 1 in Malaysia. The latest death in the US was a 17 year old woman in Texas killed in March 2016 (she was driving a 2002 Honda Civic which had not been recalled and reequipped with a new airbag).


And that's just the known kills. I've not seen a list of wounded. And it's hard to believe that Takata air bags only kill in the US and Malaysia, no?


To get back to your ST4000+ GP arm with an ST4000 control head: there are benefits from that technology compared to the newer tech.


Before moving to one benefit, I'll note that many hulls can be steered perfectly well by an ST4000+ GP arm with an ST4000 (or even ST5000+) control head. The boats there are steered well are those with more 'traditional' hull forms - meaning traditional full keels and their modernised versions with a cutaway forefoot or a swept-back keel and especially when paired with a transom-hung rudder.


The hulls that need the 'more sophisticated' course computers (e.g. the Type 100, Type 300) and ST6000 control heads are the fin keels, especially with balanced fin rudders.


Further, your use of the ST4000 arm on your Flettner rudder (aka trim tab or servo rudder) should not require the sophistication of a course computer.


Now - tada! - the benefit of your setup with an ST4000+ control head with a ST4000+ GP control head:


You could easily add an Autohelm ST1000 or ST2000. You had noted before that your boat has a steel hull. And you thought the steel hull rules out the use of an inexpensive ST1000 or ST2000 (or similar self-contained tiller pilot).

The reason you could add an ST1000 to run your trim tab (which an ST1000 is perfectly capable of doing and which would allow you to keep your ST4000+ GP arm for your tiller and use, when you need to conserve electrons, an ST1000 for your trim tab) is that the ST4000 uses quite simple wiring.


Most folk run an ST1000 by providing 12VDC to it. In your case, you would in addition need to run simple wires from your ST4000 control head to carry the signal from your fluxgate compass (which you have mounted on a mast to isolate it from the magnetic interference of your steel hull). The fluxgate compass signals take priority over the internal compass of the ST1000.

A further benefit is that you would then control the ST1000 arm by pressing the buttons on your ST4000+ control head (i.e. no longer need to use the buttons on the ST1000).




So if your hull, keel, and rudder are 'traditional', the older tech works well. And simple marine wires are all that is needed to connect an ST1000 type tiller pilot to your fluxgate compass and your existing ST4000 control head.


All without a risk of losing your head to an airbag rupture!
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Old 12-04-2016, 18:09   #156
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

Well, we are 60 miles out of Flinders, and Atoll's idea has worked for 140 miles. We don't have much wind so I'm motor sailing and have been for 12 hours now. When our speed drops below 4 it seems to loose its way. I discovered a thing call auto adapt which I turned on and then put my latitude in. That seemed to help. It's still wondering about 25 degrees, but it's sailing a strait line over all.
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Old 12-04-2016, 18:48   #157
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Well, we are 60 miles out of Flinders, and Atoll's idea has worked for 140 miles. We don't have much wind so I'm motor sailing and have been for 12 hours now. When our speed drops below 4 it seems to loose its way. I discovered a thing call auto adapt which I turned on and then put my latitude in. That seemed to help. It's still wondering about 25 degrees, but it's sailing a strait line over all.
Sorry, but I have to point out, if you'd used my design you'd only have to have moved the ram connection from the trim tab to the tiller for the light air conditions. No need to change the polarity on the ram either.

Just sayin'.

(And I can see why you are getting a wander from the current system. It cannot self correct so it has to overshoot its course for the ram to bring the rudder back to centre.)

Sorry, but Lego rules.
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Old 12-04-2016, 18:57   #158
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Sorry, but I have to point out, if you'd used my design you'd only have to have moved the ram connection from the trim tab to the tiller for the light air conditions. No need to change the polarity on the ram either.

Just sayin'.

(And I can see why you are getting a wander from the current system. It cannot self correct so it has to overshoot its course for the ram to bring the rudder back to centre.)

Sorry, but Lego rules.
If you mean your system in the Lego movie? I'm all for it. Just couldn't get that ready before my trip.

And I didn't have to change the polarity for this on of Atoll's.
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Old 12-04-2016, 21:41   #159
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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If you mean your system in the Lego movie? I'm all for it. Just couldn't get that ready before my trip.

And I didn't have to change the polarity for this on of Atoll's.
Sorry, couldn't resist the dig.

Like all good armchair theorists I want someone else to do the hard work of testing my design. (Though finding the right bits of Lego was no small undertaking!)
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Old 22-04-2016, 03:00   #160
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Apt analogy, Rustic Charm.


You could easily add an Autohelm ST1000 or ST2000. You had noted before that your boat has a steel hull. And you thought the steel hull rules out the use of an inexpensive ST1000 or ST2000 (or similar self-contained tiller pilot).

The reason you could add an ST1000 to run your trim tab (which an ST1000 is perfectly capable of doing and which would allow you to keep your ST4000+ GP arm for your tiller and use, when you need to conserve electrons, an ST1000 for your trim tab) is that the ST4000 uses quite simple wiring.


Most folk run an ST1000 by providing 12VDC to it. In your case, you would in addition need to run simple wires from your ST4000 control head to carry the signal from your fluxgate compass (which you have mounted on a mast to isolate it from the magnetic interference of your steel hull). The fluxgate compass signals take priority over the internal compass of the ST1000.

A further benefit is that you would then control the ST1000 arm by pressing the buttons on your ST4000+ control head (i.e. no longer need to use the buttons on the ST1000).

So if your hull, keel, and rudder are 'traditional', the older tech works well. And simple marine wires are all that is needed to connect an ST1000 type tiller pilot to your fluxgate compass and your existing ST4000 control head.

All without a risk of losing your head to an airbag rupture!
Hi Alan,

I've had a mishap on my trip to Victoria. Rather the return solo trip. My 4000 has seized the motor. why I have no idea. And I'm hoping it's still under warranty.

I've made it to the Town of Flinders in Victoria after hand steering for about four hours. I've contacted Whitworths Marine in Melbourne who have an ST1000 in stock which my daughter will pick me up tomorrow and drive it down to me.

Do I need to purchase a special cable to get my fluxgate compass to work with it? I'll post a picture of the back of the control head in a second. It takes both Seatalk and NMEA 0183. I think I have some small spade fittings on board.
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Old 22-04-2016, 03:07   #161
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

I hope you can see this ok
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Old 22-04-2016, 04:22   #162
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Hi Alan,

I've had a mishap on my trip to Victoria. Rather the return solo trip. My 4000 has seized the motor. why I have no idea. And I'm hoping it's still under warranty.

I've made it to the Town of Flinders in Victoria after hand steering for about four hours. I've contacted Whitworths Marine in Melbourne who have an ST1000 in stock which my daughter will pick me up tomorrow and drive it down to me.

Do I need to purchase a special cable to get my fluxgate compass to work with it? I'll post a picture of the back of the control head in a second. It takes both Seatalk and NMEA 0183. I think I have some small spade fittings on board.
it is possible the carbon brush's have worn out on the ram,or need the carbon dust cleaning out,you should be able to unscrew the end cap for inspection of the little motor,i've had it happen lots of times on other models,a bit fiddly but I have replaced brushes before with a spare set that I filed down to size from a set I had for a disk grinder.
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Old 22-04-2016, 06:25   #163
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

Thats a bit of bad luck RC, my 4000 did good duty for many years, though I did have the windvane for most offshore stuff.

You so need to get the windvane part of the trim tab sorted out! Good luck getting it all sorted, then again you could just harden up and sail without any of that soft self steering stuff. Sleep is over rated, and a ketch will steer itself with the wind fwd of the beam happily.
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Old 22-04-2016, 14:58   #164
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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it is possible the carbon brush's have worn out on the ram,or need the carbon dust cleaning out,you should be able to unscrew the end cap for inspection of the little motor,i've had it happen lots of times on other models,a bit fiddly but I have replaced brushes before with a spare set that I filed down to size from a set I had for a disk grinder.
Thanks Atoll, it seems to be a sealed motor. No ability to unscrew the end of it.
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Old 22-04-2016, 15:05   #165
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Re: Raymarine St4000 with Trim Tab Problem

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Thats a bit of bad luck RC, my 4000 did good duty for many years, though I did have the windvane for most offshore stuff.

You so need to get the windvane part of the trim tab sorted out! Good luck getting it all sorted, then again you could just harden up and sail without any of that soft self steering stuff. Sleep is over rated, and a ketch will steer itself with the wind fwd of the beam happily.
Well, my body tells me I need the sleep I must have been pretty tired as I went to bed at 9pm last night and have only gotten up at 6:30.

I struggled to get the main up yesterday in the 20knott winds. It was getting caught on the lazy jacks. And I didn't try the mizzen. I was just to uncomfortable in the rough conditions. But from tomorrow there will be light conditions and should be able to get them all up and I'll see if it holds its course then.
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