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Old 09-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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Autopilot Issues

Hola everyone,

My Autohelm ST 7000 died on me over the weekend. It had been acting up for the last few trips, it would hold course but if you hit the 10 degree right or left button it would just keep turning. But this weekend, an hour out of Capitola, it died completely. Tried to calibrate it by doing several 360s in calibrate mode but nothing. Says we are pointed to 135 degrees all the time.

Thoughts?

I like my trawler so much better with autopilot!
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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Try

How to Troubleshoot an Autohelm ST7000 | eHow.com


I like the Eagle a lot better with auto pilot to.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Your autopilot is either not getting a heading signal or it is ignoring it. My Autohelm ST7000 gets its heading information from a small flux-gate(?) compass mounted under one of the forward berths and connected to the "course computer" in the engine room. The course computer makes rudder corrections via a small hydraulic pump in the lazarette. The steering system itself is a Capilano dual station. Assuming you have a similar setup, it might be worth checking that your compass unit, cable and connections are in good condition.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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Greetings,
All good suggestions thus far. Have you put any mass of ferrous metal in the neighborhood of the flux gate unit recently? Anything that could have shifted to influence the flux gate?
You haven't been storing your recovery magnet nearby have you?
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Agree it is not getting heading signal from Compass. Compass is pretty rugged usually wont fail check cable and any electronics connections in between. Look at corrosion at the terminals on the back of the display
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:15 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. connections look good, electrician coming down this week. I'll let you know what it is.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:17 AM   #7
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So I've been waiting on the electrician for a month and a half. This weekend I found it by myself, a bad splice in the line running from the compass to the brain in the middle of the engine room. I'm very proud of myself! And as an added bonus, I calibrated the system and it now matches the compass on the gps system. Victory!
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #8
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Very good show Baggiolini!
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:17 PM   #9
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Glad you found the quick fix....

The Raymarine ST7000+ system on our MT 44 worked perfectly from Savannah south to Ft. L and later through the Virgins over to PR. After a year or so of inactivity... Without warning the rudder reference indicates full right rudder and thus kicks the thing into overload bypass - disconnected the rudder reference sensor but still have the same problem. Called Raymarine for help and was told that it most probably was the 400G course computer. However, raymarine no longer supports this unit but was more than willing to give me a discount on the new version! And no, they will not supply a service manual - "There are no owner servicable parts." You gotta love it. Catch 22 afloat again.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:04 PM   #10
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Go Eric!!! Nice job. What are you going to do with all the money you saved?
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Go Eric!!! Nice job. What are you going to do with all the money you saved?
Terry already spent it!

How goes the yard work?
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #12
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Glad you found the quick fix....

The Raymarine ST7000+ system on our MT 44 worked perfectly from Savannah south to Ft. L and later through the Virgins over to PR. After a year or so of inactivity... Without warning the rudder reference indicates full right rudder and thus kicks the thing into overload bypass - disconnected the rudder reference sensor but still have the same problem. Called Raymarine for help and was told that it most probably was the 400G course computer. However, raymarine no longer supports this unit but was more than willing to give me a discount on the new version! And no, they will not supply a service manual - "There are no owner servicable parts." You gotta love it. Catch 22 afloat again.
Good thing you are a republican voting, yacht owning, 1%er. Pocket change, I'm sure!

I priced out a new autopilot while waiting for the electrician. Couple of house payments.

Check all the connections and follow the wires all the way to check for splices. My PO had sent the compass back to Raytheon for a recall which made me think there might be a splice.

Ebay might be your friend. I bought a second controller for the upper helm off ebay for $400. A crazy amount but a drop in the bucket over a new one.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #13
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Yeah, we retired oldsters have plenty to share with Raymarine. I did find, via Ebay, a person in Brazil who seems to posess the complete list of Raymarine Service Manuals - I paid him his $8 for the schematics and manual and within a couple of hours he emailed it to me in pdf format - I don't speak electro-tech but hope to find someone who does. It has to be something simple - maybe just disabling the rudder sensing circuit. fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be... diesel is just too expensive to really go anywhere that would require an autopilot. Just for grins, the new unit is c. $2400 plus.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggiolini

Terry already spent it!

How goes the yard work?
Lol. Supposed to get splashed by Friday. Hopefully everything will be fixed. Cutlass bearing was supposed to be in today but we didn't hear from them. Typical boat yard experience.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:33 PM   #15
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Lol. Supposed to get splashed by Friday. Hopefully everything will be fixed. Cutlass bearing was supposed to be in today but we didn't hear from them. Typical boat yard experience.
I had to do the cutlass bearing on the outer part of the shaft, in the "support brace" near the prop. Cool to watch them get it out, the ended up heating the brace with a torch before it would slide out.

I believe there is another bearing where the shaft enters the hull but I'm not sure about that.

Are you replacing the same ones I did?
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:31 PM   #16
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Yeah the one in the strut from what I understand. We were also having an issue with the coupling and they "fixed" it but said within 12-18 months the fix will fail and the whole shaft will have to be replaced. They said this was the third "patch" fix and there was no more undamaged shaft to fix it again (to do with them making new holes for the set screws). So someone had fixed it twice before and considering how long the PO had the boat, he probably did both. No mention was made in the sales process, of course. LOL. C'est la vie. So that's on the list for next year.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:06 PM   #17
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Now I'm afraid, I bought an old Hi Star 55 that had a brook autopilot and I fixed. Next 23 I'll go to Fort (I live in Brazil) to make a see trial, and if I don't feel confident, I'll buy a new one. At least the pump is in order.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:35 AM   #18
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Now I'm afraid, I bought an old Hi Star 55 that had a brook autopilot and I fixed. Next 23 I'll go to Fort (I live in Brazil) to make a see trial, and if I don't feel confident, I'll buy a new one. At least the pump is in order.

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For the voyage you have planned a working autopilot is a mandatory item
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:11 AM   #19
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What do you think about the Garmin GPH 10? Any digestion ?

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