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Old 01-06-2010, 17:50   #1
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How Long Can I Run My Autopilot Using 2 4D Batteries ?

My combined amp hours with my 2 4D House bank batteries is 420 amp hours. How long should my st6000 autopilot run? My concern is that it quits after only 2 1/2 at sea.!? Do I have a problem? What is the norm?
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Old 01-06-2010, 17:56   #2
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It's kind of hard to say; the draw from the autopilot is related to how much correction it needs to do (due to sails out of trim, generally). Also, draining your batteries down to 0 isn't goin gto be too good for them. I know this isn't very helpful, but without an ampmeter showing the draw it's kind of hard to tell.

I'd recommend:

- make sure your sails are trimmed. the more the autopilot has to correct and rudder, the more power it will use.
- watch your ampmeter. you should see the baseline going out due to nav lights or whatever you have running by default, then flip on the autopilot and see what happens. especially watch what happens when it has to move the boat.
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Old 01-06-2010, 18:31   #3
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I can't imagine a situation with any autopilot, regardless of how badly trimmed the sails are, when you could use 200+ amp running an autopilot in 2 hours - that is inconceivable!

My 6000 autopilot draws 5 amp under full load which is usually momentary. Assuming it makes a 5 second correction, two times per minute = less than 1 amp/hr. your mileage may vary...
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Old 01-06-2010, 18:45   #4
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Even with a motor cruiser running the autopilot 24 hrs a day my amp hours are less than 50 per day. It sounds more likely that your batteries are shot or you have a very large current leakage somewhere.

P.
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Old 01-06-2010, 19:03   #5
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That wasn't 2 1/2 days?

As stated, it really depends on how much current your autopilot drive motor is pulling. This is a function of many variables. Sea state, course correction settings, trim, size of the boat, type of boat! My cat has very little weather helm, so its consumption is a lower than most factors I have seen. Measure your consumption and do the math.
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Old 01-06-2010, 19:07   #6
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The manual says 2-4 amps average - I would go with 3 amps you have 210 available considering a 50% of capacity usage so 7 hours.

Now after a 7 hour sail you need to put 210 amps back in + any other electrics you are using.

http://www.raymarine.com/SubmittedFi...lot/ST6000.pdf
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Old 01-06-2010, 19:09   #7
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Ex-Calif, I think that should be 70 hours. Now that's assuming no other power usage in that time frame.
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Old 01-06-2010, 19:51   #8
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But the ST6000 is just the head unit? He does not state what kind of corepack (Doesn't really matter!) or what kind of Drive unit? Hydraulic? Linear, type 1, type 2? But, shrug?
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Old 01-06-2010, 20:17   #9
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Did we determine if it was days or hours.....

60 hours off of batteries seems unlikely
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Old 01-06-2010, 21:39   #10
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Oops! Moderator math...

70 hours it is.

Yes and a quick rescan of the manual seems that this is the ST6000 itself. Any drive system may have to be added.
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Old 01-06-2010, 22:43   #11
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LOL thats so funny
2 1/2 hours or 2 1/2 days

We have 300 amp hours batteries and a electric drive 6002 and i guess it would run for nearly 24 hours taking it down to 50%.


So if you say its draining 400ah in 2.5 hours you have a problem.
If you are trying to squeeze 2.5 days you are being naughty to your batteries


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Old 02-06-2010, 02:03   #12
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How much work is the drive unit doing? I see my 6002 using about 2 amps, then when it has to 'work' at moving the wheel it will jump to 5A or up to 10Amps for a short period of time. If I balance my sails well then the autopilot power use stays very low. If you have more than 4-6 degrees on the rudder then most likely the autopilot is working too much and thus drains the batteries. You might try changing your sensitivity settings to reduce consumption.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:06   #13
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No solar or wind gen? With 400 watts of solar and a 400 watt wind gen we've sailed for 3 days with no noticeable drop in voltage.
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