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Old 18-08-2013, 18:42   #31
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post

(...) TP32 (...)
Different era.

You are right about the plain Ray drive. It is OK but it does not last. You do not need to buy a new one as the failing party is almost always those small plastic gears (or else the engine). Both can be had as spares (I think the engine is bough from China now).

I believe you can convert to GP by just replacing the gears. This has been discussed at CF some time ago.

b.
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Old 18-08-2013, 18:59   #32
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GP unit, has integral reference sense and end stop switches, and costs 1/3 the price: 560 lbs. Thrust Linear Actuator

Greg[/QUOTE]

Sounds great. Would you share how to wire it. I want an AP but need to reduce the cost.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:13   #33
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

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I am a bit surprised by the Auto-Tack thing: my old 4000+ unit had an adjustable angle setting, which was good because my Carina doesn't generally tack in 90 degrees. But sure enough, I just checked the manual for the X-5 I now have and there are no adjustments at all. This is with the ST6002 control head. I guess they planned on adding the features with the P70 and then dropped it. I haven't used the X-5 enough under sail yet to know (and remember) how well the autotack works, but I am having my doubts if I can't increase the tack angle.

Raymarine controllers have been very reliable for me, and I believe that is widely true. However, my 30 year old ST2000 could maintain a straighter course than the ST4000 and ST4000+. For some reason I have never been able to tune in the controller properly for my boat. I take it that modern autopilots are tested and tuned on modern, lightweight, fin-keeled boats so perhaps my full-keeled, barn-doored lead mine behaves different enough to not be optimally steered. It is not a problem at sea, but the behavior in places like the Kiel Canal is pretty scary. I am hoping for better with the X5.

While the old compass was clunky it basically got the job done. The serious problems I have had were always with the cockpit tiller drive units. The cockpit wheel drive units are also known to be far less reliable than below deck units. If you are stuck with needing a tiller drive then your choice is between the RM EV-100 system and the Simrad one-piece system (TP32 is the largest). The Raymarine system has permanently mounted controller/computer/compass and only the drive itself is exposed, and (expensive) replacement drives can be dropped in easily. But for 1/3 less than one replacement GP drive alone you can buy an entire TP32 integrated unit, and still get about the same thrust. The Simrad does have some networking ability but I don't remember the details. Personally, I know someone who is designing a drive board that will allow the X5 to power a larger linear drive. The linear drive I am looking at is much more powerful than the RM GP unit, has integral reference sense and end stop switches, and costs 1/3 the price: 560 lbs. Thrust Linear Actuator

Greg
Greg, do you know if the speed of the drive changes? It would be a simple thing to build a relay box to switch the 12 volt motor leads, but if the RM outputs a varying voltage it will be a little harder. Also the feedback pot may not be the same as the RM unit. Do you know the resistance of the RM unit feedback sensor?
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:52   #34
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

More to this, does anyone have a schematic of a pilot drive? The electrical part that is.
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Old 19-08-2013, 12:16   #35
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

To my knowledge all rays autopilots ( certainly the central box versions) can drive either linear drive with 2 wire reversing , plus clutch or two solonoid controlled hydraulic

Hence feeding in the GP unit wouldn't difficult, Ray ( from memory) uses a three wire rudder, ie the pot is a potential divider so actual resistance doesn't matter as longs as its within the range of the drive electronics

The main issue is the lack of clutch. thats a non-starter there has to be a way to disconnect the actuator for manual steering. Thats rules out most off the shelf industrial actuators.

of course merely being an industrial actuator doesnt mean its any better then the Ray one.

if you want reliable , rig up a little hydraulic pump/reservoir unit and a suitable ram.
dave
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Old 19-08-2013, 14:54   #36
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

I'll try to get caught up here.

First, the question of AutoTack: the referenced manual was for the wheel system, not the tiller one. Apparently they are different, or the spec has changed, or there are errors... From the SP-X5 Install Guide:

AutoTack angle
The AutoTack angle is not adjustable. The apparent wind angle when AutoTack is initiated, is mirrored the other side of the wind, on the opposite tack.

This is actually a good result if one has a wind direction sensor. But for systems without a wind sensor (mine) I no longer can use AutoTack. With the 4000 I pressed the 1 and 10 simultaneously, port or starboard, and the programmed tack angle was applied. I guess they want to sell more wind sensors...

I have never had a problem with the nylon planetary gears; most frequently the expensive Swiss GP electric motor has failed. Sometimes it seizes up, sometimes the innards explode (really), but always it seems to be an overload problem. The lead screw has also failed, but not nearly as often. So buying the motor kit has usually served to repair a GP drive, and failing that I could often swap in a salvaged lead screw. BTW the last motor kit I bought included the nylon gears.

I have always had the GP unit, so I can't speak to what it takes to convert from standard to GP other than to note that the GP motor is not so large that it needs a larger aluminum cover: that is marketing nonsense. I think you will find that the GP motor will fit, and since the kit includes nylon gears, it should work, but no guarantees.

One problem for going with a non-RM servo is that the power output of the controller would have to be increased, with some sort of an amplifier. After all, that is the main distinction between the different AP systems. Nevermind that using larger output transistors/heat sinks costs pennies while the price difference is $1000 or more... Reset. The output is PWM (pulse width modulated) which is a fancy way of saying that it is turned on and off quickly, and not linearly adjusted. With the 4000 it was a clean on/off so an amplifier or even a relay would work, at least in theory. Apparently the newer systems are not so tidy: the "off" state does not go completely to 0V, which creates a problem for a simple relay or some amplifiers. I know someone who is looking into this and is designing a circuit board, so I will pass him this link and let him decide what he wants to say at this time.

Dave is correct about the rudder feedback (sense); it is not a problem for compatibility.

In my case I am trying to replace the tiller drive in the cockpit, which is a bit different than other cases. There is no doubt that a permanently mounted drive with a clutch is the easiest solution but on a 31' boat I am simply not willing to live with a clutch that draws 1A the entire time that the AP is steering. (I think one outfit - NKE? - does sell a drive that locks the clutch and so only needs power to change state - worth researching.) My plan is to adapt the aforementioned linear drive servo's mounts to fit in the GP mounts so that connecting is a matter of setting onto a (reinforced) tiller pin.

I don't know if the unit I found is "better" than the RM one in some global judgement. It is 1) more powerful, 2) 1/3 the price, 3) includes rudder reference, 4) includes stop switches. Both solutions really need extra water protection (yes water does tend to enter the RM units).

Greg
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:13   #37
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

I should add 5) clutch overload protection. If the RM drive had this I wouldn't be having all of the problems...

Greg
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:14   #38
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

Oh, and 6) metal, not plastic, gears...

Greg
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Old 19-08-2013, 18:26   #39
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
(...) I have never had a problem with the nylon planetary gears; most frequently the expensive Swiss GP electric motor has failed. (...)
Interesting!

The one I repaired had metal gears and Chinese motor. I know the Swiss motor as it was used in some cheapo older models.

What year is your GP drive? What color?

The one I fixed was recent (post 2010) and very dark maroon (not black).

I always wondered if their colors vary by make or by year.

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Old 19-08-2013, 18:31   #40
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

barnakiel,

Thank you for that link. Makes my point. If you look at page 25, you see a diagram that CLEARLY shows the X5 supplying STng connectivity and POWER. This is not correct. The X5 does not supply power to the network. Every other version of the X series does, but the 5 does not. Once again it took calling out the Ray guys on their forum to prove this.

The question I would have is; how can somebody, standing say at a booth at a boat show, even consider the questions to ask? I recall doing exactly that, knowing that my old ST30s were pretty much done, and anticipating all the nice colors of the 70 series and just knowing that some of what I was hearing wasn't correct, but also knowing that I wouldn't know what until after the last screw was tightened.

Cheers
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Old 19-08-2013, 19:17   #41
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

very interesting...

All of my drives - 4000, 4000+, SP-X5) have black drives. The X5 was purchased in 2009, and the others in the 90's IIRC. There was a change in color of the gearbox, which only shows as a thin line around the drive, but otherwise pretty much identical. I don't think I have opened up the X5 drive; I got it at the beginning of the Erie Canal, and in Lake Michigan I trucked the boat back and haven't used the AP since, so no need to. The other drives and repair kits were all nylon gears. The motors were Swiss branded, and I think they were made there, but not certain of that. I was told that the GP motors were much more expensive than standard as they had bearings and not bushings and longer life (a bit lame...). Having torn a couple apart after failure I can attest that there wasn't a lot to them. The armature is very lightweight - no iron core, with thin windings on the circumference and a lot of air. I wouldn't say that is cheap as it is designed as a servo motor to respond quickly to changes in drive current so minimizing mass is important. One of the motors failed explosively at one of the brushes. Personally I don't think the quality justifies the cost; it is better than a $10 motor with bushings and iron core armature, just not THAT much better.

The colors and markings have varied a little through the years, but the change to maroon is a big deal - woo hoo! Before the cases were always black, and the labels changed. IIRC the AutoHelm brand had red lettering, the Raytheon brand also red, and RayMarine white. As said before, the small visible ring from the gearbox also changed color.

Gary - I share your concern, but for a somewhat different reason. RM chose to cripple the X5 controller, probably in an effort to justify the price difference with the other APs. I didn't know about the power for SeaTalk, but that is not very surprising. The clutch output has been removed, and of course the drive current is limited. They also slowed the compass output from the controller to 5Hz, which is not enough to support MARPA on many MFDs, and is one reason why I bought a Maretron solid state compass and will be avoiding RM products in the future. The X5 is the last of the lot [of RM equipment aboard Carina].

Greg
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Old 19-08-2013, 21:03   #42
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

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Different era.
Interesting. But not a different "era"; it must have been recently discontinued. Before posting I checked on Defender and they still stock the 22/32 products. The current 2013 Simrad catalog doesn't show them, so it seems they were likely discontinued with this model year. That is too bad as they were a good offering.

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Old 20-08-2013, 07:28   #43
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

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barnakiel,

Thank you for that link. Makes my point. If you look at page 25, you see a diagram that CLEARLY shows the X5 supplying STng connectivity and POWER. This is not correct. The X5 does not supply power to the network. Every other version of the X series does, but the 5 does not. Once again it took calling out the Ray guys on their forum to prove this. (...)
This power thing bothers me. I have burnt one brainbox (of the bigger ones - boat 46ft). I connected power at both ends - the instrument chain and also the brainbox of the pilot. The box went mute. We had Ray people at hand (ARC) and they fixed our brain box at no extra cost but warned us NOT to connect the power at both ends.

Now I thought I was a moron but now it turns out I might have gone by the book while Ray technicians already new there was a glitch.

It also seems I have to read all literature very, very well before I get our next AP (EV-100 shortlisted).

b.
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Old 20-08-2013, 08:19   #44
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

Auto tack "trick". On my old boat a cutter I sometimes needed more tack angle for conditions in light air. If you hit the 10 degree course change then hit autotack the pilot will add the two giving a wider tack angle. Can do more than one 10 degree change also to get even wider.
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Old 20-08-2013, 13:18   #45
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Re: New generation Raymarine A/P's

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I'll try to get caught up here.




One problem for going with a non-RM servo is that the power output of the controller would have to be increased, with some sort of an amplifier. After all, that is the main distinction between the different AP systems. Nevermind that using larger output transistors/heat sinks costs pennies while the price difference is $1000 or more... Reset. The output is PWM (pulse width modulated) which is a fancy way of saying that it is turned on and off quickly, and not linearly adjusted. With the 4000 it was a clean on/off so an amplifier or even a relay would work, at least in theory. Apparently the newer systems are not so tidy: the "off" state does not go completely to 0V, which creates a problem for a simple relay or some amplifiers. I know someone who is looking into this and is designing a circuit board, so I will pass him this link and let him decide what he wants to say at this time.



Greg
The "offset" voltage of ZERO volts is easily dealt with using a comparator with a reference level of about 3 volts.

That said, the X5 can drive a Type 1 pump. The unit has over-current protection, hence the "stall" warning one gets when the X5 tiller wand stalls out against a stop. This protects the electronics and the drive motor. I use my X5 to drive a type 1 pump in a clutchless implementation.

NKE has a modulated clutch signal to save power. They engage the clutch at full voltage and then drive it continuously with a PWM signal that lowers the average power. I am not sure how low they go with the power.

Brian
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