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Old 06-29-2020, 04:13 PM   #1
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Wacky Auto Pilot

Yesterday when I thought I had lost steering(auto pilot on), I went through the “ there must be something on my prop” drill. I checked out the prop and rudder and they were all clear. However, my Raymarine auto pilot, when engaged, is now steering/putting me in right hand circles??

Anyone ever has this problem? I don’t have enough experience with the software. For now, I am not using auto pilot until I find a fix.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:22 PM   #2
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I have a Raymarine ST10 auto-pilot. About 10 years old. About once or twice a season, it seems to become "possessed" and starts to do its own thing. I don't know what the root cause is, but the "solution" for me that has worked every time is to simply "re-boot" it. I do this buy shutting off the auto-pilot circuit breaker in my electrical panel. If this doesn't do it for you, then I suggest getting out the manual and going through the setup configuration to see if something got upset. You may have to put your auto-pilot through your annual "learning" routine, even though you're only mid season.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:36 PM   #3
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It sounds like the linkage for the rudder feedback might have come off. Does the rudder position bar graph on the display show the rudder hardover or does it follow the actual rudder movement. Look closley at that first.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:27 PM   #4
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What model AP do you have?

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Old 06-29-2020, 07:08 PM   #5
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My similar experience. Our Raymarine autopilot would suddenly develop a mind of it's own, then just as suddenly appear to function normally. Being a rather novice boater at the time I always blamed myself for having likely mis-programmed or in some way failed to input data correctly. Eventually I had had enough and decided to replace the AP. I did not want to alter all the electronics otherwise so I purchased a refurbished AP. In talking to the tech that did the refurb he explained that APs don't either function properly or not. Instead he explained that a part of an AP could fail while another part function normally. The refurb AP was plug and play and I have never had any further problems. So, if your AP "kinda" works you could be having a similar problem. The refurb guy I found on ebay, was very communicative by phone and email. He preset the AP to the specs of my boat. I couldn't be happier. Can't remember his name but he was located in Arizona, he may still be at it. Good luck
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:14 AM   #6
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That happened to a friend of mine years ago when he had an Autohelm (by Raymarine) autopilot.
He called tech services and they talked him thru a "reprogramming" of his unit.
They said it was because of a certain sequence of buttons he pushed that made the unit malfunction.
After the "fix" it never happened again.
Might be worth a phone call.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:36 PM   #7
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Suggest that you check agreement between "COG" by GPS and "heading" by fluxgate compass. Might be a problem in the compass.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:55 PM   #8
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The older Raymarine/Autohelm fluxgate compasses were known to fail. A common failure would result in a hard turn then the compass would correct it’s self only to fail again 5 minutes later. If the autopilot just wants to make a hard continuous turn then the two most likely causes are a failed fluxgate or some one placed a magnet to close to the fluxgate compass.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:49 PM   #9
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Look around your heading sensor and see if there is anything metal by it. If not then try unplugging the rudder indicator. A friends boat was doing hard right turns. We played with it and on a whim we unplugged the rudder sensor. It started working fine. He never replaced the sensor and the autopilot worked fine ever since.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Retriever View Post
Yesterday when I thought I had lost steering(auto pilot on), I went through the “ there must be something on my prop” drill. I checked out the prop and rudder and they were all clear. However, my Raymarine auto pilot, when engaged, is now steering/putting me in right hand circles??

We had that symptom maybe 4-5 years after AP installation. Turned out the "rudder reference" crapped out. New replacement rudder reference, problem solved.

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Old 07-01-2020, 04:59 PM   #11
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Thanks. How do I locate a rudder reference on my boat?
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:06 PM   #12
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It should be attached to one of the rudder posts. There maybe an adjustment on it.
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:11 AM   #13
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Look around your heading sensor and see if there is anything metal by it. If not then try unplugging the rudder indicator. A friends boat was doing hard right turns. We played with it and on a whim we unplugged the rudder sensor. It started working fine. He never replaced the sensor and the autopilot worked fine ever since.


Where do I find the rudder sensor? And what does it look like? Will check today.
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:51 AM   #14
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IF the AP acts up after a visit to the grocery store , check the location of canned goods , some cans can be magnetic.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:29 AM   #15
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Where do I find the rudder sensor? And what does it look like? Will check today.
It should be attached to the rudder post. It will typically have a small block with a lever attached to the post or to the tie rod between the 2 rudder posts if it is a twin engine boat. There should be a wire coming out of it.
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Old 07-06-2020, 02:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
...some one placed a magnet to close to the fluxgate compass.

BTDT: From Summer 2018


Quote:
Enroute to Meyer's Chuck this morning my autopilot in heading mode made a hard-over to starboard, definitely making me sit up and pay attention. Turned it off and on, got same response....hmmm. switched it at the breaker; no help. Turned it on to see if there was a limit. It rolled out 120 degrees off course...hmmm.

Then I recalled, we are passing a place called Magnetic Point, and sure enough, there's an explanatory chart note...AAH!

So, I hand steer for a half hour or so and it slowly dawns on me that the compass isn't doing anything dramtic...hmm. Hand-bearing compass is equally stable.

I cast an accusatory glance at the autopilot flux detector and realize that while moving stuff off my chart table I had moved my Bose bluetooth speaker (think two-pound magnet) a critical foot closer to the...you guessed it: flux sensor.
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