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Old 25-09-2006, 10:40   #1
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Raymarine Fluxgate Compass

Earlier this year, I purchased a Raymarine Wheelhelm and shortly thereafter, the fluxgate compass gave up the ghost.
After asking around, I found three other people at the marina had their fluxgates fail.
Raymarine has been helpful.
Does anyone know of a design flaw or do you know of others with fluxgate failures?
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Old 25-09-2006, 12:22   #2
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As a solid state gizmo, it should have a working life of well over 100 years "if properly designed, engineered, constructed, and installed".

I can only think it would go kaput if water got into it (design/manufacture defect) or improperly designed (i.e. part failure or voltage problem).

Is Raytheon/Raymarine replacing them under warranty?
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Old 25-09-2006, 12:36   #3
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It's not entirely solid state. There is a little fandanglely thingime bobin that wobbles around on a gimbal yoke system to maintain verticle oriantation. This is connected by fine wires and then a flat copper tape ribbon.
That's how the majority work, just as to the very latest Raymarine, I am not sure if it will be the same, but I do imagine so.
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Old 25-09-2006, 12:46   #4
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Raymarine has been very responsive and will replace the unit - I'm just wondering how may people this has happened to. I know of four counting me.
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Old 25-09-2006, 21:05   #5
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I've always wondered about the reliability if the units. There is nothing to protect the internal compass from getting banged around during shipping. I would think a good drop would finish it. They don't sound like they are oil emersed.

There should be some sort of pin device to remove once installed to protect the compass like on record players and scanners.............._/)
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Old 26-09-2006, 00:49   #6
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Given the GPSness of today's technology, should the ol' fluxgate compass be pretty much iobsolete these days? Enlighten a foolish wretch, please.
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Old 26-09-2006, 03:22   #7
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GPS is pretty useless to maintain a course. It can only tell you where you have been with some delay. I have attempted to use one as a compass with less than desirable results. If you are following a latitudinal or longitudinal line, it is just OK, but if you are trying to maintain any other course, it is difficult. A compass is much easier and even works when not moving.
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Old 26-09-2006, 03:49   #8
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I have ordered a new replacement and will open the failed one because I just gotta know.
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Old 26-09-2006, 04:25   #9
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Alan is right on. They are wound. And yes, drop them and they will break. VERY fine wires and foil. They are not in any type of bath (oil or otherwise). The idea of a compass is that you don't need a signal from a satalite or a computer to figure it out (that, and what Jentine pointed out).
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Old 27-09-2006, 17:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jentine
GPS is pretty useless to maintain a course. It can only tell you where you have been with some delay. I have attempted to use one as a compass with less than desirable results. If you are following a latitudinal or longitudinal line, it is just OK, but if you are trying to maintain any other course, it is difficult. A compass is much easier and even works when not moving.
I was kinda assuming that one would have access to a pedestal or bulkhead mounted conventional compass for manual steering... but I take your point...
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Old 27-09-2006, 19:01   #11
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i fixed a failed one at sea

i called raytheon and we determined that one of the soldered wires on the connecting block inside the compass came off the block -microsurgery but i fixed it..
the fluxgate compass tells your autopilot what direction you are heading. it also helps with a chart over radar overlay.
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Old 28-09-2006, 02:23   #12
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Originally Posted by Jentine
“GPS is pretty useless to maintain a course...”

If a compass only gives you a bearing direction, and a GPS only gives you a track history ... the GPS might be utilized to confirm the actual course made good resulting from a Compass heading steered. Seems, to me, a pretty good combination of useful information.
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Old 28-09-2006, 04:00   #13
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The two lots of info, being GPS input and Compass input, are married together within the brain of the CPU. The Compass tells the CPU which which way is up in basic terms. The GPS info can only tell the Pilot what to steer to. But the Compass gives the pilot it's "Fix". another way to expain it would be to have say an ordinary compass at your helm, but it has never been "swung" and is totaly inaccurate. You may "steer" the boat to a heading, but the heading is meaningless if your North is not actually North.
By the way, the fluxgate compass onmy Pilot came packed in Polystyrene to protect the gymbal and pendulum.
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Old 27-10-2006, 16:30   #14
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Fluxgate

You can buy a lot of GPS units for the price of a fluxgate compass. Now that the Europeans are putting up GPS satelites which are compatible with our receivers they are a lot more reliable ( politically) , especially for the same amount invested. They give you all the info you need.
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Old 27-10-2006, 23:40   #15
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If replacing a fluxgate I'd look at one with a Rate Gyro as well, which are becoming more common. Take that boat and wave action wobble out. A lot less work, hence power used, for the auto pilot as well.
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