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Old 10-06-2018, 08:42   #1
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Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Dear All,

My autohelm 6000 has worked trouble free for many years. However, since a few days it does a strange thing when being used, it goes into stand by mode sporadically on its own. It will beep and then goes into stand by and no longer steers the boat.
Any ideas on why and to fix it?
Thank you for your help

Liber
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:06   #2
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

I would check the obvious things first like all the wiring for really good connections particularly the power and return wires, even to measuring the voltages at the control head and drive when its working.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:18   #3
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Pete7, thank you for your feedback. I cleaned up the connections at the computer control head already. It seems to have improved the problem but it has not gone away completely. I did not dare open the computer control head, just the exterior connections. Where else should I look?
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:36   #4
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Well the other end of the wires were they connect to the switches. Also the drive does it have its own power supply and again at the other end particularly any earths etc. Any joins in the wires also see if you can measure the voltage when its working to see if the problem is a voltage drop. You could even jury rig from batteries to control head with HD wires as a temporary test.

However, you have to accept these systems are getting on. 18 months ago I tried to put together an ST4000 system from old parts. Despite my best effort on the bench I could get it to work properly so bit the bullet and bought a new EV100. More than I wanted to spend but solved the problem and meant I wasn't trying to fix something at sea.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:25   #5
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Yep I know he is getting old, but I am trying to avoid the expense of a new one...
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:35   #6
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

I know and you are right to try all the options. The bad news is the parts are quite valuable on the second hand market. I sold a 6000 control unit in working order for 200 last year and there was quite a bit of interest for it on e bay.

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Old 10-06-2018, 13:10   #7
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Try metering your wires order replaceing all the wires if terminals were bad maybe internal corrosion of the wires maybe the problem.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:21   #8
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

I have been able to have that issue almost solved on my ST6001 (it still does it from time to time) by adding a capacitor of about 33 microfarad (cannot remember the exact value, but it is not that important) between the + and GND. This somehow stabilized the voltage and makes the control unit happier.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:23   #9
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pirate Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

I have the same unit and when mine does the same thing it is always drop in voltage because either the bilge turned on while sailing no motor on or something else puts a load on and drops the voltage. below 11.8 I think.
I bet you that is what is going on in your case.

Ernie on the Mary Jane
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:18   #10
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

I’ve had the same problem it’s drawing too much current and gets hot check all your steering gear
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:11   #11
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Strangely, my ST6001 dropped into standby today. It does this about once a week. It's not a major problem which is why I have not tried to fix it. I am certain that it's a momentary volt dip caused by the fridge starting up, the only other loads were from the instruments, we were sailing with solar keeping the battery bank above 13v and at 199% charged.
The DC panel is a few meters from the house bank, which allows a dip at the panel when load users start up. Fitting a capacitor as others have suggested should fix the problem. The simplest way would be to fit a car boom box capacitor in the DC panel which you can get in stupid sizes of up to and beyond 1 farad which have suitable packaging for that.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:16   #12
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

It’s a long shot, but my AP would go into standby apparently by itself - turned out to be our toddler who would look at the cockpit plotter (on the aft side of the table) while holding on to the lower corners of the unit. Left thumb brushed Power, bringing up t he AP control menu. Right thumb hit Standby softkey.
Disabled the “AP integration “ feature until she got older and the problem went away.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:25   #13
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Should read 100% charged!
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Old 11-06-2018, 13:34   #14
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Thank you all for your help. What is strange is this has never happened before and it happened when the engine was on so no voltage drop. I cleaned the wire connections and it seems better although not totally gone...
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:05   #15
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Re: Autohelm 6000 Stand by

Last year we got a beep and "LOW BATT" condition when it would go to standby. We were under power and I could check the battery voltage through my Garmin (N2K) which was always above 12.5v. Checked and cleaned all wiring connections and the system seemed to be happier but not completely. I have a wind vane system which also was not happy so, I checked my steering cables and had to replace cables and conduit - wheel turns "like butter" now and I thought that would solve all issues, but not yet.
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