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Old 26-12-2012, 11:23   #1
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Raytheon Autopilot Questions

My Raytheon ST4000 gave up the ghost recently and I was in need of a new autopilot. I met another cruiser who just happened to have a Raytheon Autohelm 4000 that he was willing to give me.

The wheel drive assembly and the motor look very similar. The control heads are completely different.

Can I use my ST4000 control head and just connect the "new" wheel drive and motor?

The problem was having with my ST4000 was:

1. the lever to engage the autopilot belt on the wheel drive broke.
2. the belt was worn and slipping.
3. now, the motor does nothing when I turn on the autopilot.

The control head turns on and displays the current course but it doesnt do anything when I press "Auto".

I'm windering if I can just mount the "new" wheel drive and motor assembly to my ST4000.

BTW: my knowledge of marine electronice is about as extensive as my knowledge of the inner workings of the space shuttle.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. I really would like to avoid paying a proffesional to instal this if I can avoid it. The brain-trust here on CF has helped me out of most of my other jams. i'm hoping you guys will come through for me once again.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 26-12-2012, 11:34   #2
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

The drive assembly is probably interchangeable. You say your control head 'does nothing' when you press AUTO. That is a problem. The control head will (in my experience) display AUTO with no drive attached.

Sounds like you should replace the entire system.
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Old 26-12-2012, 11:43   #3
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

My display head does display AUTO when I press it.

Correction: The "motor" does nothing when I press Auto.

The display head appears to be functioning.

Also: when it was working, it would engage the wheel when I turned the control head on and turn the weel slightly to port "in standby mode" then disengage until I pressed AUTO at which time it would take over and perform it's duty.

Now when I turn it on nothing happens. When I press AUTO, still nothing. So, I assume it's the motor.

Also, since the latch broke I had to jerry rig a pair of vice-grips to the pin/lever that engages the belt. Sometimes it would slip and angage the belt when I was trying to turn and I would have to force the wheel. (always happened at the wrong time when I didn't have time to wiggle it loose) so I had to force the weel/gears/motor to turn while engaged but not on. I thing this messed up the motor.

If it is interchangable I will try to figur out how to connect the new one to my st4000 since they appear to have differnt connections.

I just wanted to check before I attempted to start.
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Old 26-12-2012, 11:48   #4
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

BTW Daddle,

I just saw your profile. It appears we share the same interests. How very strange.
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Old 26-12-2012, 11:58   #5
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

Here is a uTube video on how to fix the ST4000.
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:00   #6
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

The connections themselves are always a suspect. They are far less reliable than the motor.
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:08   #7
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

Now there's a guy who can get sh*t done. That's good stuff. I'm not quite there yet but I'll make note of this guys solution, just-in-case....
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:15   #8
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

Not only did he develop a unique fix he explains why these particular APs are crap.
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:17   #9
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

well, I'm going to dive right in there and start trying to figure out how to connect the motor first without trashing the connection to the point where I will have trouble if I need to use the new control head as well.

I'm sure I'll have more questions. I really appreciate all the support you guys always give. I hope I'm able to return the favor at some point.

Thanks again.
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Old 26-12-2012, 12:23   #10
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

I agree they are crap but It's all I have right now and I'm stuck in an anchorage until I get something rigged up. I can't go back out in the Gulf of Mexico for several days without something to help me out. I'm single handing and my auto pilot is my only crew.

I can't motor down the ICW because of my mast hight. The next port that I can safely enter is over 100 nautical miles away. The next one after that is about 150 nm.

I don't want to sail for a while then heave-to for rest/food/etc. because I will evenbtuaklly get caught by a cold front if I take too long to get to my next port. Cold fronts in the GoM are NOT my idea of a good time. Been there, done that. Several times. And I don't enjoy it. So, my only option is to play the cards I've been dealt until I can get a windvane.
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Old 26-12-2012, 13:56   #11
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Did you check and see if u had power to the drive? The levet is replaceable as is the belt. I have found them on ebay before. I have a working control head st 4000 ill give you if u need just pay shipping and give me a good cigar or two.but my best advice is to get a new integrated drive unit. It will work with the st4000 head.
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Old 29-12-2012, 11:16   #12
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

The connection for the st4000 and the autohelm 4000 were slightly different (slightly different size). However, it was just a brown and a blue wire. So I just cut the connectors off and used butt connectors to connect blue-2-blue and brown-2-brown.

* I turned the auto pilot on
* Control head displayed "Standby"
* I pressed "Auto"
* The control head displayed "Auto"
* I pressed " + 10
* Nothing happened
* After a few seconds the control head started beeping and displayed "low battery"

I've never seen that displayed before now. Also, started the engine and began charging the batteries. Went through the motions again and it still displays "low battery".

It is going to be a major deal if I have to dismount the control head and I still won't have much of a clue what to do once I get it off without some advice. I really would like to fix this thing myself with help from you guys rather than pay someone.

Advice wanted!!
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Old 29-12-2012, 12:45   #13
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

I pulled the control head off. I'm getting 12.4+ volts. Cleaned all the connectins.

Also, I disconnected the drive motor and hit "Auto" again to see my problem may have been a burned motor.

Still told me "low battery".

I tested the wires going to motor while in AUTO mode.

The volt meter measured varying voltage (0.35 to 0.50)

Any help will be appreciated

Thanks
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:11   #14
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

It's worth checking the voltage at the terminals when its working. A bad connection can give you a normal healthy voltage when no current is flowing but as soon as the AP starts to draw current the voltage can dive. The only way to check is measure the voltage at the autopilot head when its working.

Despite the above advice I am afraid that more often with these units it's not the wiring, but a defective unit.
Raymarine used to provide an exchange for a reasonable price, but with their change in ownership this may no longer be the case.
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:33   #15
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Re: Raytheon Autopilot Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by flink View Post
I agree they are crap but It's all I have right now and I'm stuck in an anchorage until I get something rigged up. I can't go back out in the Gulf of Mexico for several days without something to help me out. I'm single handing and my auto pilot is my only crew.
If you are really stuck and prepared to risk perminatly destroying the unit there are a few tricks you can try that can occasionally work, even if you have little electronic knowledge.

Have very good lighting and some magnification look for signs of dry joints in the solder joints ( google if not sure what these are). Connectors that are not seated properly. Discoloured, distorted or leaking components. Good observation will reveal a lot of problems even if you do not know what you looking at.

Power the unit up with the case off. Take a wooden skewer or matchstick. (Note wood not metal) gently press the components a look for changes in operation.

Check the temperature of components, something that's hot is likely to be defective. Be careful some 12v units can have high voltages an IR thermometer is great.

The above are last ditch methods, but like most cruisers I have been in very remote spots with defective gear and if its not working its sometimes worth having a go providing you accept that the risk that you may be making future, professional repair more difficult, or impossible.
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