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Old 28-08-2005, 15:44   #1
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Autohelm ST 4000

we are trying to get our Autohelm ST 4000 to work. it has 2 major issues. 1) it's compass is off by 240 degrees and 2) even if we say fine, hold that course, it thinks it is on the same course but is actually correcting (to port). seems to be a brain issue. the local "boat pro" knows nothing and the electronics shop wants to sell us new equipment. we do not need sophisticated intercommunication between instruments - would be nice to push a button, hold a course, and be free to quickly tend to something else. anyone have / had this unit and know if there is hope or are we at replacement ? if replacing - anything simple and reliable out there ?
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Old 28-08-2005, 16:34   #2
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The Raymarine web-site < http://www.raymarine.com/raymarine/ > has a lot of useful information, including:
Raymarine ST4000 Owner’s Handbook:
http://www.raymarine.com/raymarine/S...00plus_mk2.pdf
and
Autopilot Answers:
http://raymarine.custhelp.com/cgi-bi...wers.search_nl

They also have a "Flat Fee" repair program (anout $250 for the ST4000)
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Old 28-08-2005, 19:31   #3
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thanks Gord - i'll call 'em monday. capt. lar
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Old 28-08-2005, 20:27   #4
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I assume this is an existing install and the problem is new, and not that you have just installed this unit??
If it's an existing, The issue sounds like it could be in the fuxgate compass sensor.
If it's a new install, ensure you do a "setup". Also watch where the Compass is situated.
Actually, if it is an existing system, anything changed lately. As in, anything metal, thus magnetic, placed around the compass unit??? Depending on the strength of the feild, you have to be careful of anything within say 1m(3ft).
Otherwise, follow Gords advice with the service at raymarine.
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Old 29-08-2005, 01:12   #5
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Magnetic influence

I agree with Wheels, in that the first area of "suspicion" is whether or not someone has placed a speaker or some magnetic material within 3 feet of wherever the flux gate compass is located. Visualize everything located within a sphere having a 3 foot diameter around the compass and look carefully in every space within that volume.
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Old 29-08-2005, 01:13   #6
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Sorry, meant radius not diameter last post

Check.
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Old 29-08-2005, 01:21   #7
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I had a similar problem with my 4000 which turned out to be low voltage. The other thing with the 4000 is to do the auto compensation sequence and then to go through set up and see if there has been an arbitratry 240 degree offset setting.

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Old 29-08-2005, 16:41   #8
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when we first threw all our gear on the boat, i stowed fishing tackle under berth. did not see the compass sensor. that may have changed things. we will go thru calibration drill. other issue is clutch adjustment and i think i will have local tech give me an education and determine if this model is worth maintaining. i find the plastics and rubber components are starting to break down - black residue on sheets, canvas, me. mud wasps also had a nice home inside one of the display boxes. that can't be good. unit is over 10 years old. replacement is apparently more user friendly and about 2k complete. thanks to all. capt. lar
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Old 29-08-2005, 18:48   #9
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My boat was hit by lightning a little over a year ago and so I replaced an older Autohelm 4000 with a new Raymarine 4000 plus. While the systems are pretty similar there were some noticable installation issues. The old system used much smaller cylindrical connectors for the cabling and so you end up cutting bigger openings in the bulkheads to pass the new connectors through. The new system uses a 'rudder angle sensor' which in my case required building a fiberglass bracket in order to be able to place the sensor where it needed to be located.

All of that said I really think that the new system is a vast improvement over the old system, which was nearly useless in a short steep following sea. Also the engaging mechanism on the new system is much more positive.

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Old 29-08-2005, 19:49   #10
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thanks jeff - forewarned is forearmed - i'll try to negotiate stipulated sum if we upgrade and review any drilling or mounting prior to install. capt. lar
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Old 02-09-2005, 02:25   #11
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Question B&G Anyone?

I have been reading the autohelm discussion with interest as I am about to purchase an autohelm for a new boat and have narrowed the choice between Raymarine and B&G. Lots of info about the Raymarine products (thanks!). Has anyone experience with B&G, especially comparative w/ Raymarine?
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Old 02-09-2005, 04:40   #12
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Don't know much about the B&G but if your boat is over 12,000# go with the 4000 plus, that's if you decide on the RayMarine.

I bougt the 4000 tiller pilot for my 14,000# vessel and when it heals more the 15 degrees I have to add a bungee straps to assist with the weather helm load.

I know I should balance out the boat, but for now, I have an old streached out main and hank on foresails. It's a lot of trouble single handing having to run forward to change a sail everytime the wind changes.
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:30   #13
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Hi Uncle Dave, what is the steering, Tiller or wheel? If wheel, what is the system, cable or Hydraulic? If hydraulic, the best system to go for is the Navman. In fact the Navman is a good system for any situation, but hydraulic is dead easy.
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Old 02-09-2005, 12:04   #14
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Autohelm

It's a 37' boat (17,000 lbs displ) with cable steering.
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Old 02-09-2005, 20:03   #15
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Quote:
The new system uses a 'rudder angle sensor' which in my case required building a fiberglass bracket in order to be able to place the sensor where it needed to be located.
The rudder angle sensor is Optinal meh think, but the boat pilot will steer better with it installed.

Quote:
replacement is apparently more user friendly and about 2k complete. thanks to all. capt. lar
The best price out there is $789.99 for the ST4000 Plus MKII wheel pilot...The rudder angle sensor is $200, or $250 extra meh thinks.

Have had problems with my CPT wheel pilot lately and been seriously eyeballing the ST 4000 Plus MKII for my CSY 33...15,200 lbs from the factory, a bit more now that she is loaded.
Right up against the limit of the pilot, but it will be used mostly for motoring across the Gulf Stream and acroos the Bahama Banks.
Sailing is not great around here if ya want to go somewhere.

CSY Man.....Diesel Sailor.
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