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Author Topic: Auto Pilot - ST4000  (Read 3667 times)
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Bruce Hanson
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« on: July 11, 2006, 04:51:48 PM »

One more item for the Raymarine 4000 auto pilot repair data base. Since we put in this spring otto would not hold a heading in any weather. I tried all the fixes listed in this site during which I discovered the indicated heading in standby mode was not showing anything reliable in the Eastern quadrant. Last weekend I removed the flux valve and rotated while watching the cockpit display after cleaning connections at the rear of display, still nothing when pointed East (numbers were in the 300's and erratic) Then out of frustration I tried a sharp rap on the side(learned this watching my Dad fix the TV) the heading would momentarily go to the 90's! I then removed the back of unit uncovering the hinged unit with a small ribbon wire going into a socket. I pulled this tabbed unit which had a series of gold contacts. Cleaned this with some aerosol contact cleaner and reinserted, still no easterly numbers. Reassembled unit and then just tried jamming the black cable into the unit and Bingo! East began showing good numbers as well as much smother indications around the rose. At this point we went sailing and it worked Great. I think during the winter freeze our maybe when I was cleaning bilge a load must have been given to the cable causing a poor connection on one of the small wires. My plan is to remove the whole unit with cable and take it to the shop and have all the wires re-soldered to the terminal strip, maybe cut 6 inches off first. Hope this helps
« Last Edit: July 11, 2006, 05:13:03 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged
Tom Lanzilli
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2006, 03:42:02 PM »

I have the ST4000 plus unit and it has been in repair since the start of the season.  My symptom was a battery low alarm, however, some quick troubleshooting told me this was not the case.  I brought the unit into a dealer in May and have not received it back.  The dealer has told me that 2 other units approx 2 years old have the same symptom.  Right now I am not sure if I will get the unit back before the season ends, seems that there is an issue with Raymarine supplying the parts. 

Needless to say I am very frustrated over this.
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Tom Lanzilli
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2006, 01:50:10 PM »

I have an autopilot on my list of things to do this winter.  For those who have installed the wheel pilot type of AP on their boats, are you content with the performance or in retrospect do you wish that you had purchased the more expensive linear type drives?
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Bill
Rock Hall, MD
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2006, 03:52:21 PM »

Bill, I have been very happy with the wheel-type on my Catalina 270 and my new 34.  It seems to have the power to keep the boat on course even in a heavy sea on the quarter in less than perfect weather conditions.  Even when the boat has a lot of weather helm it can keep her on course just fine.   Mine is connected to my chartplotter, wind indicator and depth gauge and the head unit allows you to use it for multiple display pages with data from the other instruments.  It steers a wind course, fixed course and any route I put in the chartplotter.  We used it a ton in the Abacos last month and it handled everything very well.

My understanding is the new ST4000 unti is even more self-contained but I assume it is a similar drive function.

Joe
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Joe Kern
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 06:05:54 PM »

Bill---I've had my ST4000 for almost 3 seasons now and I am satisfied. Usually the only problem I have is with following seas...seems "Ray" gets confused when following seas get over 2'. There are still a few more adjustments I plan to make to see if those correct the problem.
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Last Call
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 09:10:40 PM »

I had stabiility issues with my ST4000 when I installed it. I got the following advice from Raymarine.   After making these changes, I have had trouble free operation for 3+ years.

If you did not get a reading of 10 degrees or less, try re-doing the linearization immediately.  If your Catalina is in the neighborhoood of 2 or fewer turns of the wheel to go lock to lock, change these 4 settings in the Dealer Calibration page in unison to the following:

Rudder Gain to 2
Drive Type to 2
Response to 2
AutoTrim to 2

If your Catalina has less than 2 turns lock to lock, you may eventually drop the Rudder Gain down to 1, but bringing these four settings to 2 initially should get the boat under control so that the other adjustments are just tweaks to your boat's individual handling characteristics.
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Stu Jackson
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2006, 12:23:46 AM »

If you haven't yet, see: http://www.c34.org/faq-pages/faq-autohelmwacky.html

Ray's post is also called the "Catalina Cocktail" by some folks who have come up with these settings.  The C36 Board & website also covered this "feature."
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 07:26:01 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006, 01:46:21 PM »

Here's another rfeerence to ST4000 settings:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=325.0

Another Catalina Cocktail setting, in some more detail.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 07:27:02 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006, 06:35:25 PM »

Gosh, I thought I was all alone with this Auto pilot weirdness.

I am used to the quartering swells causing a course deviation and some zig-zag; I thought they all do that. 

My problem is when I start the engine after sailing for a time, the starting process send a jolt to the fluxgate compass and it no longer reads true.  The change may be over 60 degrees and it doesn't always come back even after 20 minutes or more.

Sometimes shutting of the unit and rebooting will help but not always.  My f-g compas is low in the hanging locker aft of the chart table.
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Stu Jackson
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2006, 01:51:39 AM »

Our older ST3000 also has that problem.  Our simple solution is to turn the autopilot off before restarting the engine, and restarting it again right after the engine starts.  There appears to be a sensitivity to voltage fluctuations in the units.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 10:35:44 AM »

I've got the same problem on engine startup and shutdown.  The voltage change throws the unit into a tizzy.  I hit standby before starting or stopping the engine and then re-engage.  I have a stock ST4000 installed new on the boat in '97.  My fluxgate is unfortunately under the head sink, within twe feet of the engine which I'm sure doesn't help any. 
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Brian Reed
1997 C34 mkII "Ambitious"
St. Mary's River, MD
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2006, 10:12:24 AM »

My fluxgate was originally mounted on the bilge stringer that is even with the water heater.  Went crazy on engine start. I assumed it was the field formed by current in the cables to the starter.  Moved it the bulkhead aft of the holding tank.  Starting problems gone, now it only happens when I transmit on the VHF mast antenna.  Using the handheld or going to standby solves the problem for me.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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Bruce Hanson
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2006, 10:52:24 AM »

One thing to check for those who are experiencing problems during engine start is the shielding ground on the cable between the flux gate and control head. I seem to recall seeing this shielding grounded inside the fg also. I know DC cables don't emit much RF but it is worth a look.
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