Curious if anyone can shed some light on this issue...
We recently replaced our Raymarine autopilot
computer because the old one was fried.
This morning while underway under sail we had the autopilot steering
for about 5 hours in about 20kts of wind
. I then noticed that our Vesper XB8000 AIS
wasn’t transmitting or receiving.
I went below, checked connections, looked OK. Breaker not tripped. Volt meter on panel showing around 12.3v in the batt bank. I ended up pulling the power wires from the ais
unit and testing with a voltmeter - the voltage was fluctuating from 12.x down to 2-3 volts every couple of seconds. It seemed to correspond with the autopilot drive unit engaging. Time to shut off the autopilot.
Thinking this meant the autopilot had basically drained our house battery
bank (600ah golf cart batts), I had my wife hand steer and turned on the engine
to charge them up. I figured our 300w of solar
would not be enough to charge them up in any reasonable amount of time if they were so low that the autopilot drive was causing such a huge voltage drop.
With the autopilot off and the engine
on the power wires to the AIS now say about 13.8x. I reconnect them to the ais, but the unit won’t power on. When I stick the voltmeter probes into the butt connector connecting the ais unit to the power wires it shows that same low voltage of 2-3v, but now constant at just 2-3v.
I remove the butt connectors and disconnect the ais, check the power wires again coming direct from the panel and they read 13.8x. Reconnect to the ais, the ais wont turn on and the same wires show 2-3 volts.
I’m super confused. Any ideas what is happening here? Now I’m concerned that some sort of power issue fried our old autopilot and is on track to fry other gear