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Old 11-09-2015, 03:29   #1
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Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

With the new evolution I am constantly getting a low battery alarm even though after the alarm I check my batteries and they are both near 100%.

Does anyone know what could be causing this? I usually call Raymarine for problems but they didn't have the answer to this one.

I had the autopilot and some other device on the same circuit and I changed the autopilot to have its own circuit. I thought that had made it better but then today I started getting the alert again. Usually happens when I go from stands to auto, and it probably happens five times an hour.

Not good. What could I be doing wrong? Is it too small of wires? I think they are 16 gauge which is what the manual recommended for running under 23 feet. The tiller arm is probably only 6 feet away.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:00   #2
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

It sounds like a voltage drop between battery and autohelm. An easy check is to run temporary wiring from battery direct to autopilot. If this solves problem then cause will be a bad connection or too small cable or something on same circuit drawing power. Any corrosion in a terminal can cause voltage to drop.
Does it happen when batteries are being charged with either solar or motor.
what sort of drive unit are you using
Could also be when refrigeration cycles on.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:14   #3
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

I just reread your post you mention tiller arm . Does your unit plug in as if so plugs are notorious for bad connections. Also fuses are a common source of poor connections

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Old 11-09-2015, 13:57   #4
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

Ok, yes, you need more details.

I just hooked it up, so all new wiring. The wires from the computer unit that controls it, because this tiller pilot doesn't have the computer in the drive arm but has a separate computer and a separate compass that link to the seatalkng network.

The ar has two 16 gauge wires direct from its socket in the cockpit to the computer. The computer has a seatalkng cable to connect to the network and two 16 gauge wires direct to my circuit breaker. On the red wire to the circuit breaker there is a fuse. I'm not sure what size. It could be something small, like a 5. So maybe I need a bigger fuse? The unit isn't supposed to draw more than 2.5 amps, but since I always get the low battery message on startup maybe it draws more starting up? Although I think I remember having getten the low battery message other times too.

Raymarine says my multi function display software is out of date and I need to update it. I am going to do that today, but doubt that is the problem. I'm going with voltage drop.

Should I increase the gauge of the wires? Change to a larger fuse? What steps would you take in order of priority to trouble shoot?
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Old 11-09-2015, 14:15   #5
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

How long are the wires both ways to the unit. I would suspect either the wires are too small for the length or a loose connection. Dont change the fuse till you figure out your load.

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Old 11-09-2015, 16:27   #6
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

the wires to the unit from the computer are about 6 feet. the power wires from the computer to the circuit breaker are about two feet.

16 gauge is what the manual recommended but I agree they could be too small, but the holes they go into, in the socket are also very tiny, they won't accept anything too big.
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:35   #7
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

You might find the update fixes problem , they may have adjusted the alarm set points.

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Old 11-09-2015, 16:58   #8
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

I'm updating as we speak(hopefully). It didn't work last night so I got a new micro card and am following their instructions and it should download. I'll report back either way.
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:59   #9
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

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Old 11-09-2015, 17:33   #10
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

Do you have the exact model numbers for the components then I can check wire sizing. Most tiller units can draw 7 amps so there might be a wiring problem

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Old 12-09-2015, 01:24   #11
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

It is still doing it after the update. It changed from saying low battery to low ship's battery. And again I checked and the batteries aren't low.

It ran fine after the initial startup however. It functioned as an autopilot without giving me the warning again. Only when I switch from standby to manual. And not everytime either.

Some tiller units draw seven amps? For big boats? This is a smaller one.

I don't know if this means anything but my multi function display shuts itself off whenever I start my engine.
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:02   #12
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
It is still doing it after the update. It changed from saying low battery to low ship's battery. And again I checked and the batteries aren't low.

It ran fine after the initial startup however. It functioned as an autopilot without giving me the warning again. Only when I switch from standby to manual. And not everytime either.

Some tiller units draw seven amps? For big boats? This is a smaller one.

I don't know if this means anything but my multi function display shuts itself off whenever I start my engine.

So what should I try today? I have al day to test it out and fix it.
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:02   #13
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
It is still doing it after the update. It changed from saying low battery to low ship's battery. And again I checked and the batteries aren't low.

It ran fine after the initial startup however. It functioned as an autopilot without giving me the warning again. Only when I switch from standby to manual. And not everytime either.

Some tiller units draw seven amps? For big boats? This is a smaller one.

I don't know if this means anything but my multi function display shuts itself off whenever I start my engine.

So what should I try today? I have al day to test it out and fix it.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:55   #14
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

Start checking wiring connections. Run some larger wires directly from the battery to the autopilot. The AP can't check the voltage at your batteries. It can only check the voltage at the AP. It only takes a momentary glitch in voltage to cause the alarm, something you will not see on a multi-meter.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:31   #15
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Re: Raymarine Ev tiller low battery alarm

If your electrical system is normal then you will have a feed from the battery(s) to a distribution panel and then individual feeds from the panel to users. The voltage drops will occur in the main feeds (both positive and negative) and the individual feeds (+ & -) You need to determine what the critical volatge is, what and where the various volt drops are.

First, measure the autopilot and seatalk voltages local to the unit with a DVM between local negative and positive. Ideally, record the voltages at which the pilot trips into standby. If you have a peak hold DVM use that. Hopefully that will confirm that low voltage reading. A fully charged healthy battery is about 12.5V and you would not want any less than at least 12V in any circumstance of loads during normal sailing

Next, connect a DVM on say 2v range between the battery positive terminal and input to switch panel then between the switch panel and as close as you can get to the autopilot drive supply positive and Seatalk positive. Ideally, you want to capture the situation which trips the autpilot into standby.

Repeat last for the negative side, battery negative to switch panel negative, switch panel negative to the pilot and then seatalk negative supply.

You can extend the DVM leads if too short with any cable as the DVM draws virtually no current.

That should show if there is a problem with undersized cable and other components and hence point to a solution. Failing that, you are looking for transient problems.
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