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Old 23-04-2019, 18:38   #1
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St5000 linear drive going bad?

I canít find any information on proper maintenance on my auto pilot actuator. All works fine, however the ram is squeaking as the tube goes in and out. Can I use lubricant? What maintenance can be done on the ram?
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Old 23-04-2019, 21:38   #2
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

Here's what the manual says. Not very helpful
Quote:
Maintenance
Please make the following checks before each passage:
• Ensure that all connections and mountings are secure.
• Ensure that the drive is aligned correctly.
• Ensure that cables have no signs of wear or damage.
• Check for unusual noisy operation, such as clicking or grinding noises, or unusual vibra-
tion. If any of these are detected, the drive must be taken to a Raymarine authorized ser-
vice representative before further use.
• Ensure that the drive is not wet or exposed to water.
• Ensure that the swivel joint and rose-end are lightly greased with waterproof grease.
Note: The drive should be serviced every 2 years or 1000 hours of use, whichever comes first, by a Ray-
marine authorized service representative.
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Old 24-04-2019, 04:22   #3
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

Thanks Paul. Not sure who to go to for servicing or what service they would do.
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Old 24-04-2019, 08:14   #4
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

You could send it to Raymarine and they could service your wallet
There's not much to these drives. It is pretty straight forward to take it a part for an examination. Some have plastic gears that wear.
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Old 24-04-2019, 09:39   #5
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

First, I'd wipe some motor oil on the ram and see if it makes a difference. I've seen a dry ram squeal against a plastic edge. If it's still complaining then un-connect either the quadrant end or and anchored end pivot and have the electronics drive it in and out. This will unload it and make it easier to determine if it's an end attachment or something inside. If it's inside it maybe needs some parts. All this is easy to say, not easy to do. I spent 3-hours on a service call, deep in a Beneteau locker last year on a hot August day. Thought I was gonna die.
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Old 24-04-2019, 13:50   #6
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

If it is a linear drive be careful if you decide to open it up - the lead screw uses a large quantity of tiny ball bearings. It is usually possible to buy a new motor, and at least for the top tillerpilots includes replacement (nylon) planetary gears with the motor kit.

I don't think RM repairs these drives, beyond the motor kit. Pricing for replacement drives for the tillerpilot is so high that it is better to just buy a whole AP through a discounter. I recommend buying a servo drive from other sources as they are commonly available at a fraction of the "marine" price. Also, Octopus Drives make some nice drive units you might look at if needing a replacement. Just make sure that your controller can provide enough current for the new drive, or add an H-bridge driver for the higher loads if needed.

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Old 24-04-2019, 14:23   #7
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
If it is a linear drive be careful if you decide to open it up - the lead screw uses a large quantity of tiny ball bearings. It is usually possible to buy a new motor, and at least for the top tillerpilots includes replacement (nylon) planetary gears with the motor kit.

I don't think RM repairs these drives, beyond the motor kit. Pricing for replacement drives for the tillerpilot is so high that it is better to just buy a whole AP through a discounter. I recommend buying a servo drive from other sources as they are commonly available at a fraction of the "marine" price. Also, Octopus Drives make some nice drive units you might look at if needing a replacement. Just make sure that your controller can provide enough current for the new drive, or add an H-bridge driver for the higher loads if needed.

Greg
Hi Greg,

What is a H-bridge driver and how I get one?

Cheers.
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Old 24-04-2019, 15:42   #8
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

First off you probably won't need an H-bridge. You may have noticed that RM has various controllers that can handle different sizes of drives, and the prices go up steeply with power output. They differentiate the drives into "type" 1, 2, and for hydraulic only 3. You will have to check what type drives your ST5000 can control (there are a lot of different 5000's that have been made over the years). If the drive has been powerful enough then just replace with one of similar size; if not then the output will need to be high enough for the new drive. If possible you should get the spec for drive current output from the manual, or if not infer from the drive type what current can be provided. If you need a higher output then you will have to amplify the output; an H-bridge with sufficiently large transistors/heat sinks can do this. An H-bridge has three output states: off, plus on one lead and negative on the other, and then reversed output. This should cost $25 or less for the small circuit board, plus box. Here is one with 30A max output: https://www.ebay.com/itm/232298788978 Here is the last thread we discussed this: AC12 autopilot running higher output linear drive

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Old 24-04-2019, 18:05   #9
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

Thanks for the responses, tried the motor oil on the ram. Seems to like that! Letís see how long it will stay quite. The unit is definitely getting on in age, but once the sails are balanced, she loves to work.
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Old 24-04-2019, 23:07   #10
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Re: St5000 linear drive going bad?

Hello,
Raymarine have flat rate repair for autopilot. Not cheap, but you will not have to look for repair kit.
Some parts are no more aviable. The special bearing, on the shaft, can be dismantled for cleaning. Be careful not lto loose the 50 balls that are circulating inside it. To replace them inside, glue the ball bearing with grease. Don't use gease with charges like "Molikote", normal bearing grease is OK. If necessary, you can find the SS balls by FKS. After I did that it was working like new. Good luck !
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