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Old 31-12-2018, 07:52   #1
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Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

I have a Bene 36.7 with a Raymarine Wheel autopilot. Bought the vessel last year and never got it working. From the controller screen, it appears that the system knows that the boat is not keeping course, but no action is taken by the motor. Is there a documented trouble-shooting guide? Can you provide electric inputs into the motor directly to determine if the motor is inoperable?

Thanks in Advance.
Brian
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Old 31-12-2018, 08:04   #2
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

you can "jump" the motor to see if it operates

you can also connect a meter to the outlet wires from the controller to the drive to see if power is being send to it

if you don't have the system documents go to the Raymarine site and get them
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Old 31-12-2018, 08:46   #3
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

I assume "jump the motor" means applying some DC current to it. Anywhere this is documented? Once I get the boat out of storage and can get the model of the pilot, I will definitely see what I can find on the the raymarine site.
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Old 31-12-2018, 10:04   #4
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

It's just a motor!

And it is documented, but I'm not looking up for you and retyping it.

How do you know how to operate the AP if you didn't read the manual? Is it a wheel drive or "below deck" unit. If its a wheel drive did you engage the clutch? Can you hear the motor operate? Did you check the course computer output fuse?

Since you haven't looked up the manual I would bet the answers to above is - I don't know.
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Old 31-12-2018, 10:48   #5
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

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Originally Posted by brianbeyyoung View Post
I assume "jump the motor" means applying some DC current to it. Anywhere this is documented? Once I get the boat out of storage and can get the model of the pilot, I will definitely see what I can find on the the raymarine site.
Had a problem with our old autopilot, an AP 11. Used a multimeter to test the current coming from the control unit to the motor. The wires at the motor were receiving signals. Then disconnected the wires and used a set of jumper wires, something you should probably have on board and can easily be made for next to nothing, to connect the motor wires directly to the battery. The motor did not turn in either direction. Picked up a used motor and ran the same test, hooking directly to the battery. The motor spun normally. Swapped the motors and never had another problem with the autopilot. As SB said, it's just a motor. Either it doesn't have current getting to it or current is getting to it and it doesn't know what to do with it.
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Old 31-12-2018, 11:07   #6
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

Brian, please start with some pertinent info. What model autopilot? Raymarine has made a LOT of different combinations of autopilot controls.
The earlier units had only a head unit, no separate course computer or actuator box. The later units had at least one othe “box” component besides the head unit. The manuals for ALL of them are available on the Raymarine web site. All of them have troubleshooting sections.
Of course, as mentioned above, the motor of a wheel pilot is a simple DC brushed motor, not a stepper, not a servomotor, not a gear motor. So if you apply 12-18 volts DC to the motor, it should turn. If it does turn, then you have to check the DC output (marked Drive at the control). If you have output there, check wiring from there to the motor. That should get you started.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:32   #7
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

I looked up on the Survey and it indicates that the Autopilot is a ST4000+. I will have to get the associated documents from the Raymarine website as they were not provided. Thanks for your troubleshooting advice Brewgyver.
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Old 02-01-2019, 00:50   #8
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

Try pressing the +10 and -10 buttons with Raymarine this usually makes the motor run.
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Old 03-01-2019, 22:08   #9
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

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I looked up on the Survey and it indicates that the Autopilot is a ST4000+. I will have to get the associated documents from the Raymarine website as they were not provided. Thanks for your troubleshooting advice Brewgyver.
The ST4000 and + models drive the actuator directly from the head unit, there is no separate course computer or actuator. The components are the head unit, the fluxgate compass, the drive, and if wheel steered a rudder position reference sensor.
Here's a link to the manual you need: https://raymarine.app.box.com/s/nwf2...ile/3273045071
The manual has all the info you need. Check all the connections on the back of the control unit. It has a NMEA0183 input, and if it's not connected you can connect the NMEA0183 output from a chartplotter to send waypoints and GPS data to the AP.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:44   #10
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

Brian, just be aware that this kit is now getting on a bit and there have been several generations with improvements in between.

I spent an interesting winter in my shed two years ago trying to get all the parts bought (some given) separately to work nicely together. I eventually gave up because even on the bench it would only steer one way.

Since I wanted something reliable for single handed sailing, I bit the bullet and bought into the latest version the Evo 100 at £1200. 2 years on and it is a super bit of kit for smaller yachts, which brings me on to my second point. Whilst the Bene 36.7 is a light boat if you fill it with crew on the rail or a boat load of family stuff you will be close to the limit for the wheel drive. Depends really on what sort of sailing and were you are going with the boat, but the under deck solution is twice the price.

The good news is there is a strong demand each Spring for individual components so you should get a good price on the likes of e bay, especially if you are willing to ship internationally. You probably have $500 worth if they work okay.

The bits I had were sold and that funded half the purchase price of the new Evo 100.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:14   #11
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

It's true that the Evo series is a MUCH better AP, mostly due to the new multi-axis sensor. If I was starting from scratch, that's how I'd go.
However, there are probably still thousands of the ST 4k series still working in sailboats up to 36 feet. Mine was on the boat when I bought it, with the GP tiller drive that is incredibly strong, but there was no plotter. When I added a Raymarine e7D, I was very gratified to only have to connect two wires to couple it to the AP, and it works flawlessly.
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Old 04-01-2019, 17:43   #12
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

If you know your way around a soldering iron you can take the st400 apart look for four large transistors, the big flat kind. they will be arranged next to each other on the board in an H Bridge configuration.


They will be the largest devices on the board after the microprocessor. Most likely two NPN and two PNP. Check the numbers on the casing with any electronic parts catalog and order a handful of each. they are inexpensive. Then desolder the old ones and resolder the new ones. This all assumes that motor is working.


also check also check for any burnt-out capacitors.


Easy peasy.
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Old 04-01-2019, 20:53   #13
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

Hm, The service manual and schematics are on line somewhere....
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Old 04-01-2019, 23:47   #14
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

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If you know your way around a soldering iron you can take the st400 apart look for four large transistors, the big flat kind. they will be arranged next to each other on the board in an H Bridge configuration.


They will be the largest devices on the board after the microprocessor. Most likely two NPN and two PNP. Check the numbers on the casing with any electronic parts catalog and order a handful of each. they are inexpensive. Then desolder the old ones and resolder the new ones. This all assumes that motor is working.


also check also check for any burnt-out capacitors.

Easy peasy.
I think this model had Mosfets, I have some lying about somewhere having needed to replace a burnt out one once. I recall that the most difficult part of the job was the removal of the heat sinks which appeared to have been screwed on using some form of thread locker.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:20   #15
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Re: Unresponsive Raymarine Autopilot

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I think this model had Mosfets, I have some lying about somewhere having needed to replace a burnt out one once. I recall that the most difficult part of the job was the removal of the heat sinks which appeared to have been screwed on using some form of thread locker.
Probably is Mosfets in the 4000's. The older autohelm 2000 & 3000 (what I have) had darlingtons. Mosfets are newer but work the same in motor switching applications.

Still the mosfets are probably N and P channel type (works the same as PNP and NPN) when using as a switch in 12v systems. Pretty much requires an H bridge with two N channel mosfets and two P channel Mosfets.

Attached is the service manual for the St4000 freely available on the web as well.. Page 9 has the schematic. I put a red box around the four transistors. Do check for a burned out capacitor as well.

Odds are it's the four power transistors. This as when you turn the wheel with the autopilot engaged, the motor generates a reverse voltage that can damage the H bridge transistors. Don't ask me how I know
Attached Files
File Type: pdf st4000 schematic.pdf (1.43 MB, 4 views)
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