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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Rant - Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot

    Success at last! Just in case anybody's interested in the extended saga...

    I was going to demagnetise the original ram but couldn't find a suitable scrap transformer to make a demagnetiser out of. Also, if the ram had become magnetised once then it could happen again so I decided to make a new one out of 316 stainless. I found some suitable tubing on eBay but then found that the internal thread in each end was 19tpi, an unusual pitch which my standard set of lathe change gears couldn't manage. So the first job was making a 38 tooth change gear so that I could cut 19tpi threads. I ended up making a new plastic drive nut as well as the thread inside the original was quite short. Making the drive thread the full length of the nut seemed sensible as it would reduce the rate of wear. Of course this meant that I could have used whatever thread I wanted in the ram as a matching new fitting for the outer end would have been easier to make than a gear, but by the then I'd already cut the thread in the ram.

    Put it all back together and it was a definite improvement but the compass heading was still changing as the unit operated causing it to hunt in and out. After a spot of testing it turned out that the threaded drive rod had also become magnetised and as it rotated it affected the compass. I ordered some 316 stainless studding but when it arrived it too was slightly magnetic. Turns out they'd sent me 304 by mistake, but my researches revealed that even 316 can become magnetic if it is heavily cold worked. Studding is usually produced by rolling the thread which certainly counts as heavy cold working, so I decided to go for brass instead just to be on the safe side.

    Made the new brass drive rod and also fitted a new toothed-belt pulley as the original was a bit cheap and nasty and it was getting chewed up with the constant dismantling. Put everything back together yet again and it worked! Nice steady compass reading as the ram moved in and out, although it does change by about 5 degrees when it nears full extension. I think it's the steel circlip which holds the slider onto the nut getting close to the compass, but that doesn't matter when the tiller is hard to starboard anyway.

    But now I had a new problem - excessive vibration! The brass drive rod had a very slight bend in it which I thought wouldn't matter as the rod is only constrained in 2 places, but turns out it does matter. So took it all apart yet again to get the rod as straight as I could, reassembled it and this time everything worked perfectly.

    So, it's been a ridiculous amount of work and I must have dismantled and reassembled it at least 20 times. I've ended up remaking more than half the internals as well as adding the microswitch mechanism, but it hasn't cost much and it's been an interesting project. I'm (reasonably) confident that it will now carry on working. Time will tell.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Marina
    Posts
    1,775

    Default Re: Rant - Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot

    Sounds like you are the man to go to with any problem with a Raymarine ST1000 autopilot.

    Just imagine how much you would have been charge if you paid a commercial price for labour and machine use.

    When are you putting it to an on the water test?
    If my foresight was as good as my hindsight, I would be a multi-millionaire.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Rant - Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot

    Quote Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
    Sounds like you are the man to go to with any problem with a Raymarine ST1000 autopilot.
    No thanks! I've had enough of them for a while

    Quote Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
    Just imagine how much you would have been charge if you paid a commercial price for labour and machine use.
    True, but that seems to apply to maintaining a boat generally. I enjoy doing this sort of thing for myself and friends, but if it was a paid job it would just become a chore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
    When are you putting it to an on the water test?
    It's going to be a few weeks as the current project is overhauling the engine which was sadly lacking in compression last time I tried to start it. I had originally planned to get away on my next trip at the beginning of May, but realistically it's probably going to be closer to June.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    1,335

    Default Re: Rant - Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot

    Well done that man. And just think, Autohelm could have done this, ooh, thirty years ago? In between the two meetings they forgot to schedule on waterproofing and waterproofing...

    But on the bright side, you can now cut 19tpi threads and so can now make extension pieces for Raymarine and Simrad at reasonable prices, and retire early.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Rant - Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot

    Elbows, your installation is a work of art compared to mine - Venus de Milo vs train-carriage-graffiti.

    In my defence, my cobbled-together dogs-breakfast worked so well on initial sea-trials and has continued to do so for about a hundred hours since, that I resolved to not fix that which appears to be no longer broken. Not because I'm lazy, oh no sir, not me!

    I used smaller 5A/125Vac switches and fitted them with RC snubbers to help cope with arcing damage. Since they should never see stall current (of around 1.5A) and thus carry and break a maximum of somewhere below one amp, I figured this would suffice.

    And Mr Flica, your comments really are both stupid and ill-mannered. Look inside any other mass-produced electro-mechanical device (like my $50 cordless drill) and you'll see vastly superior design and robustness. Raymarine's approach to these items is a disgrace.

    Cheers, Graeme

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