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Old 05-01-2014, 18:59   #1
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Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

I know of someone in the Caribbean now that is having issues as he is making his way North. Seems my suggestions are not what is wrong.

The following is our communication re the unit.

HIM;
"While motoring along I set Otto to steer while I raised the main. Course he held course for about two minutes, then turned off to port. I went back, straightened things out and tried it again. As with most things, if you repeat the same process you will get the same result, so Otto held course for about two minutes, then turned off to port. I had someone else steer while I raised the main. I tried a couple more times to get Otto to steer with the same result."

ME;
Most likely a loose/corroded wire junction – bet you know that.

Or 1. Rudder feedback sensor. 2. Course computer. 3. Fluxgate compass.

Less likely is someone put some metal near the compass.

HIM;
Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, it is a Raymarine wheel drive SD6000, (I think he means ST 6000) installed new last year, it lasted the season and quit ten miles from the marina in Ven with a total of 171 hours of use. I sent in the course computer, they checked and said not us. I wanted to send in the control head, but when I talked with them on the phone, again, not us. So I took the wheel drive unit off and when I removed the motor small copper parts fell out. I now have a new motor and the wheel again drives, but it will not hold a course.

As all connections are a year old, have all been removed and reinstalled in the past couple of months, I doubt there is any corrosion. Also the fluxgate compass is a long way from anything metal. It all worked last year, so I doubt it is the installation. Which is one of the problems, I installed it, so the dealers do not want to have anything to do with it and Raymarine keeps saying, it is your power source, not us.

When I swung the compass the system told me it had 2 degrees deviation, which is about right, so I think the fluxgate is working.

It does not have a rudder feedback sensor.

During the year there are only a few places where Otto would be nice, but the trip back from Ven, 3-5 days it is necessary.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Tomorrow I will try to communicate with the Raymarine online forum, which has been less than helpful in the past.

I notice the newer units manuals do not provide any real troubleshooting help in the form of voltages to check, schematics etc.
http://l-36.com/read_pdf.php?file=ma...#39;s%20manual'
Other than pulling the board and looking for bad solder joints, I am not sure what to look at next.
And I thought all the units had to have a rudder position sensor.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:32   #2
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Dang,
anybody?
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Old 09-01-2014, 18:13   #3
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Did he set the belt tension right? Might be slipping.

Too loose + raise sail = weather helm = more work for autopilot = unable to maintain course.
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Old 09-01-2014, 18:20   #4
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Also, how does the belt look? Missing teeth from the gear could have damaged it if he did not replace it.
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Old 09-01-2014, 20:54   #5
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

i have had good support from raymarine recently. reccomend you call them, send your pilot to them in NH, they can probably help you out.
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Old 09-01-2014, 22:42   #6
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

When the pilot veers off course, does the rudder position on the control head disagree with the actual position of the rudder?

This is what happens on mine. My best guess is that the motor is missing steps in "rough" seas. Since I too don't have a rudder sensor to provide encoder feedback, I think the system gets out of whack. I'm going to try and install a rudder sensor in the spring to try and remedy.

It's a shame really. Wheel pilots are such a potential convenience, but they universally seem to have cheap motors and flimsy drive mechanics.
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Old 09-01-2014, 22:59   #7
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

About rudder sensors... Yeah RM did away with them a short while back. I'll bet some engineer of theirs figured that since the control hardware could count motor steps, and each step was X degrees of a wheel turn, why not eliminate the encoder (rudder sensor) and save the company $. Problem is, these cheapo systems are easily overpowered by moderate-light conditions, and the motors lose steps.

If this is your friend's problem, one thing he can try is to keep an eye on the rudder position indicator on the control head. If it 'drifts' out of whack, go to standby, then re-engage the pilot. That will reset the computer WRT the rudder position.
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Old 09-01-2014, 23:10   #8
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

I've been having similar troubles - even sailing on a close reach in moderate conditions the autopilot is giving up "beep beep beep."

I did have an unexpected hardware reset when the panel switch for the AP was turned off accidentally. Wondering if I need to put the AP through it's "learning" algorythm again? The AP fluxgate compass disagrees with my magnetic compas and GPS compas by about 8 degrees. Not sure if that could be a symptom - as long as the AP compass is consistent with itself (I have no other systems talking to the AP other than the fluxgate and its own computer).

My system also is lacking the rudder position sensor - not enough clearance on the quadrant to install them. The RM installer told me they weren't necessary.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:33   #9
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Raymairne did away with the rudder feed back when they put the gyros in the course computers. The computer uses the gyro to maintain course and really does not care where the rudder is.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:24   #10
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Might be a stupid question, but since he did replace the motor, is it wired correctly and not backwards? First time it was broken, second time it wasn't correctly installed, but failure modes the same?
Years ago my Brother had an autopilot installed on his sport fisherman, it would hold course for a minute or two, then turn hard one way or the other and the autopilot would disengage. Everything passed when returned for testing. Took me awhile to figure it out as everything was wired correctly.
Turned out the flux gate was mounted upside down, so heading were reversed of course.
It would hold heading until a heading change was needed, it would input that, which was the wrong way so of course it would disengage.


Is it possible for the motor drive to be wired backwards in this case?
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:27   #11
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Just had the same issue with an identical unit. Mine started misbehaving at the end of a brutal 14 day passage. The symptoms were erratic behavior and a change in both the feel and position of the clutch lever.

Opened the wheel-drive and found it to be caked with salt crystals.

The fix is to clean and lube or purchase a new wheel-drive. Replacement drives can be had for $4-500 from a Raymarine dealer.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:13   #12
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

Thanks now have some things to try - Check units compass deviation correction, heading alignment, check rudder gain, rudder gain, make sure the wheel drive is cleaned and lubricated and tighten slack if necessary.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:30   #13
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

I'm not so sure that the course computer no longer cares where the rudder is. On my control head, there is a display along the bottom that tells where the course computer THINKS the rudder is (or more accurately, how hard over the rudder is). This gets progressively out of whack with where the rudder actually is, until the display reads that it is all the way over, then the pilot stops trying to work, and beep beep beep...

My assumption (and I may well be wrong) is that the computer is keeping count of motor moves, and displaying that on the control head as rudder position (my compass always reads correctly). If instead (or in addition), it's reading from a rate gyro, that would indicate (at least for my issue) either a bad gyro, or a poor design to include a gyro not up to the task. Since the thing works fine in very calm conditions, I'd suppose the latter.

Working in a rudder sensor seems to be a good idea in any case. Hopefully the thing will ignore the gyro.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:48   #14
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

The manual says: 'RUDD BAR: This shows the rudder position, and is the default setting.
Note that a rudder reference transducer is required for accurate rudder
position information.'

A lot of the calibration settings only apply if there is a rudder sensor. This implies that the unit still works with the rudder sensor. A Dockside Rudder Calibration function apparently configures the helm drive speed if there is no rudder sensor. I'm going to have a look at this tomorrow.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:53   #15
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Re: Raymarine wheel drive SD6000 issue

You're reading the manual??

Isn't that cheating?
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