OCC Forums

Raymarine Pilot Problem


By simoncurrin - 14 Mar 2012

We have a Raymarine inboard pilot with linear drive controlled by the S3g course computer and networked via Seatalk to an e120 plotter. We have developed 2 problems after 5 years of faultless use:

1. For no reason at all the drive disengages despite plenty of battery power and this can happen in all wind and sea conditions both under engine and sail. The system will reset and then do the same thing a few minutes later and that cycle can be repeated many times. It will then work faultlessly for days. It 's irritating, inexplicable and dangerous.

2. More recently, despite full calibration it screws up the heading data regardless of whether that data is coming from the Raymarine Flux Gate or whether it comes from a selected "go to" waypoint.

Anybody any ideas? My guess is that the course computer is the root of the problem. I haven 't tried Raymarine yet because I thought I 'd check out the collective wisdom of the OCC first. Any suggestions gratefully received.
By alshaheen - 15 Mar 2012

Hi Simon. We have much the same set up although I think our course computer is older (2000 model). I know it is now obsolete and Raymarine don 't carry any spares! We have a C80 plotter.

We have had exactly the same problems over several years and it has always been cured by re-programming the EPROM in the course computer. In fact, because of the obselescence of the unit I bought a secondhand course computer and carry it as a spare.

We have had 3 problems:
When steering happily on auto, the "set point" suddenly changes by 90 degrees, with very aprupt alteration of course! This hasn 't happened recently.

When steering on auto, the unit drops out for no apparent reason and reverts to Standby-By mode.

The heading info from the fluxgate compass gets scrambled for no apparent reason. This can be cured by re-calibrating the autopilot controller and swinging the compass.

On one occasion, crossing from Beaufort NC to the BVI in very bad weather, a crew member got thrown across the cabin and hit the 12 v distribution board, turning off many circuits, including the instruments and autopilot. After that tyhe autopilot would not re-set at all and eventually we had to get the EPRPM replaced. The disturbance to the EPROM seemed to have been caused by switching off the unit under load.

Raymarine have never been of the slightest help in sorting out thse problems! Good luck! John
By simoncurrin - 15 Mar 2012

John that 's really useful. I have tried re-swinging and re-calibration so far to no avail. The S3G is now obelete too so I had come to the conclusion that the most reliable option was to buy a new course computer and send the old one back to Raymarine and, hopefully, get it fixed to carry as a spare. Not a great advert though for Raymarine. I wonder how many others have had problems with Raymarine course computers?
By alshaheen - 16 Mar 2012

Simon. before forking out for a new course computer, why not see if you can get a Raymarine agent to re-programme the EPROM and perhaps buy a spare EPROM. I got my spare cousre computer secondhand from a Raymarine agent who had taken it out of a boat where he had fitted a new one! We got our EPROM re-programmed in the BVI - not a lot of use to you.
By RobbieW - 16 Mar 2012

Interesting and useful, I 'll have to look into getting a spare EPROM for the S3G
By simoncurrin - 16 Mar 2012

So Robbiew have you had the same problem too?
By RobbieW - 17 Mar 2012

Not yet but it could be good insurance if the price is right and its a user swappable item.
By simoncurrin - 10 Jun 2012

The S3G went off to Raymarine who did a software upgrade on it and promised me that that would fix the problem. So far so good and we have not yet had any unpredictable disengagements which is a huge relief.

The heading data remains a puzzle and from time to time pirouettes through 360 degrees for no discernalbe reason. We have always been careful to keep possible magnetic fields away from the bulkhead on which the compass sender is mounted and in this position it has given reliable service for many years. In the end though I removed the compass sender and repositioned it and, to date, all is OK. Some magnetic gremlin must be at work!