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Old 06-03-2012, 08:44   #1
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Raymarine Autopilot Low Battery Warning

Dear geniuses

I just replaced my old autohelm autopilot with a new Raymarine x30 core pack and control head. The type 2 drive is still original.

Every now and then when it's on it beeps a low battery warning unfortunately. It never stops functioning however this becomes annoying whilst trying to drink cocktails at sunset.

This happens despite the battery's being fully charged.

The wind and speed instruments draw power through the autopilot via seatalk. Do I need to upgrade the power wires to the autopilot? Or is it something more mystical?

Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:47   #2
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

If you are leaving your autopilot on while at anchor and have it set to a heading, it may be trying to correct your heading by driving the pilot drive. With no input into the battery by an alternator, a load from the drive could temporarily lower the seen voltage at the autopilot dropping it below the alarm point. Or you might have an intermittent connection in your power lead to the autopilot.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:02   #3
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

I've had this problem twice:

once the main batteries were going bad and it would happen when some other load started
second time it was a corroded connection at a terminal block

for the most part any time I get something like this I think corroded/bad wire related issue now days
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:24   #4
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I've had this problem twice:

once the main batteries were going bad and it would happen when some other load started
second time it was a corroded connection at a terminal block

for the most part any time I get something like this I think corroded/bad wire related issue now days
Don has a point. Check the voltage with a separtate multi meter AT THE UNIT. The autopilot controler is the first system on my boat to react to falling voltage.

Cold weather (lower volts), bad batteries, corroded cnections--all could be causing that.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:37   #5
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

We've had similar issues, but not very often. Unfortunately, the power leads coming into the autopilot brain (where the power comes into the instruments on our boat) are not spring terminals but screw terminals. After a while, a bit of corrosion can creep in, even though I've soldered the ends of the wires. Then I just go down to the autopilot brain & tighten the screws a smidge (or loosen & re-tighten them) & the problem goes away for another couple of years.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:41   #6
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

remove all terminals in the power run, sand down corrosion and reconnect.
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:21   #7
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Thanks guys!
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:10   #8
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

Another vote for corrosion as the culprit. Have the same problem on mine periodically. Bad connection type for Raymarine to use. Just a little surface corrosion can cause this problem.

But, as suggested, also actually check voltage at the unit.
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Old 06-03-2012, 20:14   #9
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Re: Raymarine autopilot low battery warning

As other stated, the problem is likely corrosion or a loose contact.
However, earlier versions of the Raymarine course computers (T100 & T300) had a problem if the SeaTalk network power lead was connected both to the course computer SeaTalk power lead and an independent 12V power source. In this case if the power source for the computer is turned off and the SeaTalk network is still powered the computer will attempt to pull power from the SeaTalk network. Because of the thin power lead in the SeaTalk cable this could result in a low voltage condition on the SeaTalk network.
I don't know if this issue still exists in the current Raymarine computers, but if you find nothing with checking the electrical connections, then double check that the SeaTalk network can get power only from the computer and not from some other source.
Back with those earlier computers Raymarine recommended that the SeaTalk network not get power from the computer and that the SeaTalk power lead (Red wire) not be connected to the course computer.

John
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