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Old 04-16-2019, 05:30 PM   #1
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City: Watts Bar Lake, Tn River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: RedBoat
Vessel Model: MS 34T
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Fluxgate Compass

This might be common knowledge - I don't know. But a search doesn't find this discussed so I thought it worth a post.

My RayMarine St8001 AutoSteer course wandered widely, and did not agree with my GPS course. I suspected the fluxgate compass was at fault. "What did I have to lose?" I opened the compass housing to find a coil in a plastic frame mounted in a plastic gimbal. A lead weight hung from the coil to keep the coil level. The coil did not move freely in the gimbal. I used a plastic friendly aerosol solvent to clean the gimbal bearings until freedom of movement was achieved. Reassembled. Post test showed optimum function; 0 degrees average deviation, max error was 3 degrees from GPS. So, before you go buy a new one ....

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Old 04-16-2019, 06:31 PM   #2
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City: Kilmarnock VA
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Not sure how a sticking flux sensor gimbal would cause your pilot to have the wandering issue (usually the fine copper windings for one quadrant will break causing the compass to not read for 45° of 360°) & I can't say I've ever seen or heard of one sticking but if it's working, good for you!

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Old 04-16-2019, 08:11 PM   #3
City: Fairport, NY and Palm Coast, FL
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Good to know. I had no idea some fluxgates even had moving parts!
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