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Old 28-08-2010, 07:50   #1
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ST60+ Wind issue

Our wind display is showing the correct wind speed (true) but the angle on the display only occasionally moves and yet the actual vane etc is moving around. We have reconnected at both ends and even tried a known to be good display unit and the wind direction is not moving. We can calibrate (adjust the angle) but that doesn't help. What should we try next?
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Old 28-08-2010, 14:33   #2
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Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
Our wind display is showing the correct wind speed (true) but the angle on the display only occasionally moves and yet the actual vane etc is moving around. We have reconnected at both ends and even tried a known to be good display unit and the wind direction is not moving. We can calibrate (adjust the angle) but that doesn't help. What should we try next?
Change the transducer.
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Old 28-08-2010, 14:48   #3
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when you say reconnected at both ends, do you mean you have checked that the mast head transducer is properly seated in its mount? That was a problem I had and the symptoms were exactly as you describe.
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Old 28-08-2010, 21:03   #4
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This is a very common problem with the ST-60 wind direction/speed instruments. The masthead unit goes bad quite often and only buying new one will fix the problem. and then for only a while. I have been through 3 of them in 8 years. I wish I had spent the money and gotten a Simrad system.
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Old 29-08-2010, 02:25   #5
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Typically these transducers provide three signal lines corresponding to 120į segments of wind vane position. You can imagine what happens when one fails.
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Old 29-08-2010, 04:58   #6
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The old reliable wind vane - wind angle systems used to use a simple potentiometer where a simple resistance value equaled the angle off the bow. I took apart a Raymarine masthead wand and found it packed with electronics which instead use Phase angle sensing to determine the angle off the bow of the feather. Seems the KISS principle does not apply to marine electronics anymore. The more complicated the system the more they can charge for it. Problem is along with that goes the more it fails to function. So now my primary wind indicates are the simple Davis feathers on the shrouds.
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Old 29-08-2010, 06:09   #7
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The following ST-60 wind transducer test info was sent to me in an email by Raymarine tech support:

ST60 Wind Testing
To perform the check, you will need a multimeter, and a DC power supply. You will need to supply 8v to the masthead across the red and shield connections. Normally the ST50/ST60 display head would be energized and provide this 8V, however in your case, you may need to power the masthead transducer separately.
With the multimeter, check the following:
Set the multimeter to the 20V DC scale.
Test at the connections on the rear of the display head, or at the base of the mast (if you have a junction box installed.)
Red to shield should read 8 volts DC steady. This is the power supply, coming from the ST50/ST60 display head. If the display head is damaged, you may need to provide this power from another source to test the masthead.
Blue to Shield should read anywhere between 2 and 6 volts DC. This is the port side directional element. The voltage changes as the vane turns.
Green to Shield should read anywhere between 2 and 6 volts DC. This is the starboard side directional element.
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Old 29-08-2010, 07:37   #8
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Thanks all - DotDon, Factor, Osisri, Sailfast. We took down the windvane from the mast. We tried to find a schematic of its 5 pins so we could have tested it below the mast, but couldn't find it even online. So we had no way to test it directly. We put some electrical silicone compound to make sure each of the connections were good and then took it back up the mast. Of course, its doing the same thing. Osirissail - looks like we are in your camp.

We left the vane up there, but now wish we hadn't because it sounds like we need to get it back to Raymarine. The price for the display was $500, but that doesn't seem to be the problem. The price for the vane, which based on what I am hearing from you is the transducer, is around $450. The total for both is $850, so maybe we'll do that and just have a fresh set, but I hate doing that stuff. It plays right into the pricing model of these companies. It seems getting wind direction and speed should be a pretty simple thing.

Sailfast - As for testing with the multi meter. Every thing checked OK except the green which was stuck at 3.98. I think the green is the port side wind. All of the other colors varied within the ranges specified.

So anybody got a spare windvane they'd like to sell? I'm in the market.. Thanks for your help guys..

We are trying to decide if we should continue with our plans for an offshore Beaufort to NYC trip next week without wind instruments. Arghh
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Old 29-08-2010, 08:07   #9
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Send it back to Raymarine for service. They'll sell you a new one (they'll call it refurb, but it's new and comes with a warranty) for about half the price of a new one from the chandler.
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Old 29-08-2010, 08:13   #10
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BTW with respect to your comment: "We are trying to decide if we should continue with our plans for an offshore Beaufort to NYC trip next week without wind instruments. Arghh"

I wouldn't consider a windmeter "essential" unless you're isolated by a full cockpit enclosure. It's just nice to have the info, but if you have a simple dodger/bimini all you need to do is stick your face in the weather and look at the water surface and your sail tell-tales to know how (and from where) it's blowing.
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Old 29-08-2010, 09:15   #11
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Send it back to Raymarine for service. They'll sell you a new one (they'll call it refurb, but it's new and comes with a warranty) for about half the price of a new one from the chandler.

I think you are correct.

I have a replacement sitting on the bench ready to go. The screw head was not tight and there was water intrusion = ruined. Don't know if it worked loose or was never tightened on commission.

Overcomplicated I think too.
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Old 29-08-2010, 09:28   #12
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What should we try next?

Put your index finger in your mouth & wet it .... then take it out of your mouth & hold it above your head ... the side of your finger which turns cold ..... etc etc
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Old 29-08-2010, 15:31   #13
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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
The following ST-60 wind transducer test info was sent to me in an email by Raymarine tech support: ST60 Wind Testing
To perform the check, you will need a multimeter, and a DC power supply. You will need to supply 8v to the masthead across the red and shield connections. Normally the ST50/ST60 display head would be energized and provide this 8V, however in your case, you may need to power the masthead transducer separately.
With the multimeter, check the following:
Set the multimeter to the 20V DC scale.
Test at the connections on the rear of the display head, or at the base of the mast (if you have a junction box installed.)
Red to shield should read 8 volts DC steady. This is the power supply, coming from the ST50/ST60 display head. If the display head is damaged, you may need to provide this power from another source to test the masthead.
Blue to Shield should read anywhere between 2 and 6 volts DC. This is the port side directional element. The voltage changes as the vane turns.
Green to Shield should read anywhere between 2 and 6 volts DC. This is the starboard side directional element.
Great information - I have two dead masthead units and I will test them according to the above. Actually I can only test one of them. The other one I smashed repeatedly against the workbench in a fit of rage.
- - If the wind speed function is still working, the wind direction is not of much value anyway. The wind direction varies from masthead to deck level and I use wind generators; Davis Telltales, and the old fashioned put your face into the wind and rotate until the sound in your ears is equal - to determine wind direction.
- - The wind direction is not all that important given the other sources of determining it. Just like the old knotmeter for water speed isn't of much value anymore now that we have GPS and real speed over the ground. As a cruiser I really don't care how fast I am going through the water but I do care how fast I will get to the next harbor which is SOG.
- - I set the autopilot on the course I want to maintain and then trim the sails to get the best speed. It is rather obvious if you are pinching too high and cannot hold your line. Same thing off the wind. You set the sails for best performance and if that is not possible then you alter course enough to be able to set the sails.
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Old 29-08-2010, 15:40   #14
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Likewise a cockpit compass will only show which way the boat is pointing and not the COG.
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Old 29-08-2010, 18:46   #15
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The boat speed versus gps SOG is needed when you have currents or tides. The difference is roughly the current speed.

Calling Raymarine tomorrow...
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