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Old 02-08-2011, 03:30   #1
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Raymarine Autopilot Questions

We had a recent close encounter with a lightning strike & have lost our radar & our RayMarine 400G autopilot brain. Since our other instruments are RayMarine, it makes sense to replace our 400G with a RayMarine brain, but I'm having trouble finding meaningful comparisons between them.
  • What's the difference between the X10 & X30 brains?
  • What does the extra $1,000 buy?
  • Is there a more appropriate brain we should use?
Our instruments are a mix of older ST50 (black bezel) & ST60, so communications problems are around (& to be avoided). Other autopilot bits are the fluxgate compass, rudder sensor, an ST6001+ control head & a Whitlock clutch & drive motor. The motor can peak at 10A but usually draws much less.

Will the newer brains work with our 6001+ control head?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:30   #2
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Re: RayMarine Autopilot Questions

The x10 and the x30 will control type one drive units, but only the x30 will control type 2&3 drive units.

The ST6000 control head is good to control both units.

Compatibility with your old instruments should not be a problem. If they are seatalk, they will talk. This goes all the way back to the old autohelm instruments.

I would advise buying the corepack ...with rudder reference and fluxgate. You will most probably (almost certainly) need to change out the rudder reference unit (not sure if this is true for the fluxgate).
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:00   #3
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Re: RayMarine Autopilot Questions

Thanks, Bewitched, but I have a Whitlock drive system, not RayMarine. So "type 2/3 drive units" means nothing to me. I need real specs or real experience. Also, changing the final drive from normal transistors to Darlingtons can't cost $1,000. There must be more to the X30.

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...Compatibility with your old instruments should not be a problem. If they are seatalk, they will talk. This goes all the way back to the old autohelm instruments...
That's what RayMarine would have you believe. In fact, I can't get my ST50 TriData Master to talk to my ST60 TriData slave. The Slave actually passes the depth data through to our Analog depth gauge without displaying the depth itself!

There also seems to be a transducer problem. My old ST50 TriData Master has no problem with either the speed or depth transducers, but the newer ST60 TriData Master can't talk to the old depth transducer.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:26   #4
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Re: RayMarine Autopilot Questions

I dont know about st 50 but I have an x30 and currently have a 6001 control head which I bought in St. Maarten when the 7000 control head quit working. It works fine with either control head and talks to the st60 instruments just fine.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:01   #5
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Re: RayMarine Autopilot Questions

Ok.. can't comment on your whitlock drive.... No experience of that specific set up. My opinion is that building a autopilot system from different manufacturers is inviting problems. I do have experience of a b and g autopilot and a simrad drive ( which are within a single parent co., but possibly not the same technology) in a new build boat. Neither of the technicians from either co. could get it to work, even though both said is should work on paper.

But very surprised that you are having problems with interfacing seatalk. I am running 15yr old Autohelm tridata, navdata and multi units alongside raymarine x30 with St6000 control head and St60+ speed depth, graphic and wind instruments. All is ok. Some don't let you output all nmea data that you would.assume would pass through, but the seatalk bus is ok

Transducer is not made by raymarine. Same product since autohelm days, so don't know what the problem is there either.

Sorry I can't be of more help
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:18   #6
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Re: RayMarine Autopilot Questions

G'Day Jon,

Sorry to hear about the lightning -- the bane of modern electronics!

Can't help with the Ray issues, but wonder which Whitlock drive you have? Ours is kinda old and pretty oversized for our boat, and it draws a hell of a lot of current when loaded. I've seen it blow the internal circuit breaker in our NavMan a/p and it is set at 18 Amps. Point is that the current capability of the RayMarine setup may be the limiting factor, not its ability to deal with NMEA/Seatalk data streams.

Good luck with it, mate!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:34   #7
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I installed an x30 with my alpha drive. At the time I asked Raymarine and they said it would work as long as it was a two wire reversing motor that drew less that 25A and the clutch took less that 3A.

Doug
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:30   #8
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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Originally Posted by s/v Thea View Post
I installed an x30 with my alpha drive. At the time I asked Raymarine and they said it would work as long as it was a two wire reversing motor that drew less that 25A and the clutch took less that 3A. Doug
Thanks, Doug! That's exactly the sort of info I was looking for. I wish they'd publish this sort of info somewhere! Yes, our Whitlock is a 2-wire reversing motor & the clutch draws ~1A. Has anyone else heard or seen similar info?
Quote:
...wonder which Whitlock drive you have? Ours is kinda old and pretty oversized for our boat, and it draws a hell of a lot of current when loaded. I've seen it blow the internal circuit breaker in our NavMan a/p and it is set at 18 Amps.
G'Day, Jim. I don't know which model Whitlock we have. It came with Ocelot when we bought her from SunSail. But it's worked well for 16 years(!) & it's pretty big. Flat motor at the bottom of a big double-planetary reduction gear (which is plastic, so I keep it well greased) with the clutch & another reduction gear above that. I see spikes to 10A (maybe higher) but the fuse on our 400G brain was 40A so it never blew. Sounds like the X30 isn't as powerful if it can only handle 25A. I can send more info if you want.

For those keeping statistics, we've been cruising 16 years & this is our 2nd too-close encounter with lightning. First was another near-miss on a day-charter cat we were working in St. Martin in '85. That one shocked a passenger (we never felt this one) & took out the wind instruments & the VHF (about all the electronics that boat carried) but the VHF came back to life in ~4 hours.
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:42   #9
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Thanks, Doug! That's exactly the sort of info I was looking for. I wish they'd publish this sort of info somewhere! Yes, our Whitlock is a 2-wire reversing motor & the clutch draws ~1A. Has anyone else heard or seen similar info?
This is published both in Raymarine documentation (for drive units and core packs - read each document to see specific voltage/amp specs) and in Q&A/support section of the web site.


I know because I built my hydraulic a/p system and had to find this info to size it properly.
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Old 02-08-2011, 20:28   #10
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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This is published both in Raymarine documentation (for drive units and core packs - read each document to see specific voltage/amp specs) ...
Thanks, Brak. Could you please post a link to exactly where you found those specs? I've been all over the autopilot & core-pack sections of the RayMarine site & haven't found what I wanted to know. Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2011, 20:37   #11
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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Thanks, Brak. Could you please post a link to exactly where you found those specs? I've been all over the autopilot & core-pack sections of the RayMarine site & haven't found what I wanted to know. Thanks!
Can't recall what I found back then, but just now I looked at Raymarine specifications document for linear drive (they have it listed for both type 1 and 2, it's the same document). It shows amps and voltages required by each type.

I googled for "raymarine linear drive", switched to "support documents" and opened "lineardrive.pdf" (name from memory, but if you repeat the steps - you should find it).

There will be a corresponding table in corepack specification document, installation document etc.

I generally found Raymarine documentation quite complete, though a bit oldfashioned as a .pdf (i.e. not entirely easy to search).
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Old 02-08-2011, 21:36   #12
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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...I generally found Raymarine documentation quite complete, though a bit oldfashioned as a .pdf (i.e. not entirely easy to search).
OK, so their Rotary_Drive.pdf says that a type 1 unit consumes 24-48W (2-4A) while their type 2 units consume 60-84W (5-7A) as a typical average (no max values). Their Linear_Drive.pdf says those units consume a bit less. Both talk about connecting to older brains, not the newer X-series. The Corepack pdf is just a sales brochure with no real specs at all. This seems like pretty lame documentation to me, but I'm an engineer & I suspect you're more into SW sales.

But you did get me poking through the RayMarine site some more, & I found the X-series comparison page I had hoped was there but somehow missed before. In there they say the X10 will source up to 1.2A for the clutch & 10A for the drive motor, & the X30 will source up to 3A for the clutch & 30A for the drive motor. (The other X-series brains are specialty units & aren't appropriate for us.) The only other real difference is that the X30 will support hydraulic drives & the X10 won't.

It doesn't sound like much for the $1,000 difference in price... Unfortunately, while the X10 might work for us, the X30 is probably the more appropriate choice. Now I get to go looking for someone who will sell it to us cheaply & send it to us in Malaysia...

Thanks to all who helped us with this!
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Old 03-08-2011, 14:04   #13
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

G'Day Jon,

Now that you reminded me, I have seen the flat motor type Whitlocks as well. Ours is a regular cylindrical motor with what appears to be spur gears in the reduction part. They listed four sizes in the literature that I got with the boat, and ours was the next-to-largest one. Think that it was designed for trawlers or maybe battleships! It is extremely powerful and has been trouble-free for the 40K miles we've used the boat, but quite the power hog. The bloody clutch draws 2 amps continuous. Ouch!

Anyway, in your situation you might consider using external relays to actually supply the drive, and only ask the control unit to drive the coils in the relays. Adds a bit of complexity but not much expense (if you DIY), and would allow use of the smaller Ray unit.

Just a thought!

Cheers,

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Old 03-08-2011, 16:42   #14
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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OK, so their Rotary_Drive.pdf says that a type 1 unit consumes 24-48W (2-4A) while their type 2 units consume 60-84W (5-7A) as a typical average (no max values). Their Linear_Drive.pdf says those units consume a bit less. Both talk about connecting to older brains, not the newer X-series. The Corepack pdf is just a sales brochure with no real specs at all. This seems like pretty lame documentation to me, but I'm an engineer & I suspect you're more into SW sales.
I am sure you mean this as (hopefully friendly) poke in my direction I wish you were correct. I am an engineer (software, and occasionally - hardware, though not recently). Why Cruisers forum put the label on my account is another story entirely, but surely not because I make any money from PolarView development.


Quote:
But you did get me poking through the RayMarine site some more, & I found the X-series comparison page I had hoped was there but somehow missed before. In there they say the X10 will source up to 1.2A for the clutch & 10A for the drive motor, & the X30 will source up to 3A for the clutch & 30A for the drive motor. (The other X-series brains are specialty units & aren't appropriate for us.) The only other real difference is that the X30 will support hydraulic drives & the X10 won't.
Ah, see - something good came out of that

I am not going to do repeat the process now, but I do remember finding variety of specific specs in Raymarine documentation for the amp draw, hydraulic pump volume and a few other items - everything that was required to properly size a system at the time.

Beyond that, I found that their support would always provide comprehensive information (though not always quickly - from talking to them I got a feeling there were only a few guys doing this).

No relationship with Raymarine whatsoever, in case you are wondering (except I had some of their equipment and it seemed to do what it had to do)
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Old 03-08-2011, 20:36   #15
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Re: Raymarine Autopilot Questions

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...you might consider using external relays to actually supply the drive, and only ask the control unit to drive the coils in the relays. Adds a bit of complexity but not much expense (if you DIY), and would allow use of the smaller Ray unit. Cheers, Jim
Thanks Jim. I received our first autopilot in '87 as a bunch of bits in a bag, partial payment for a job I'd done. After I repaired it & got it running I found that after many hours one of the relay contacts would arc up & stop working. It was always the relay that turned us offshore, so the result was that we started heading inshore! Since we were "one-foot-on-the-beach" making our way up the Mexican coast at the time, I developed a certain ... disrespect for relays...

The X10 would probably drive us OK by itself, but we depend on our autopilot a LOT, so better to over design, I think.
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I am sure you mean this as (hopefully friendly) poke in my direction
Always friendly, Brak!
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