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[CA11] Upgrading/Replacing x30 Autopilot Computer
11-13-19, 08:53 AM (This post was last modified: 11-13-19 09:50 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #1
[CA11] Upgrading/Replacing x30 Autopilot Computer
Hi all,

We have a 30,000 lb. sailboat with an X30 SmartPilot computer controlled by an ST-70 head unit. The computer throws a current limit error. The type 2 linear drive tests good in both directions, and the rudder position sensor tests good. The problem is therefore in the computer. Problem is, the Raymarine service center says they don't repair the x30 computer anymore, and neither of the 3rd party repair centers they recommended will touch it either. I've seen some working units for sale on Ebay, but they're very pricey.

My question is this: Are there any OTHER course computers compatible with the ST70 head and type 2 linear drive? The guy at Raymarine told me we'd have to replace the whole system (less the drive) with the current model, will cost upwards of $3000. I'm looking for a way to get this done cheaper, since the existing system worked great until it died. There are plenty of used drive computers out there, but I don't know which ones will work with a type 2 drive and an ST70 head.

Thanks in advance!
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11-13-19, 10:11 AM (This post was last modified: 11-13-19 10:25 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #2
RE: [CA11] Upgrading/Replacing x30 Autopilot Computer
Welcome to the Raymarine Forum Carl,

While failure of a mechanical linear drive to move in both directions when directly applying power to its motor leads would certainly identify a faulty drive, movement in both directions would not necessarily indicate that the drive is working properly. Specifically, a marginally working drive unit may move in both directions when tested in the manner stated above, but may draw excessive current when doing so. Should it not already have been suggested and performed, it is recommended that resistance be measured across the drive unit's motor leads. The expected resistance should be within between 1.5 Ohms to 2 Ohms. Should the measured resistance be outside of this range (less or more), then it would be recommended that the drive unit be sent to Raymarine’s Product Repair Center to be bench checked / serviced. Similarly, should the drive unit draw more than 4 Amps when driven in either direction when not loaded (i.e. disconnected from rudder), then the he drive unit be sent to Raymarine’s Product Repair Center to be bench checked / serviced.

Please additionally note the Raymarine's Repair Center has limited capacity to repair SPX30 autopilot course computers at the time of this response. For those currently using a p70/p70S/p70R/p70RS autopilot control head with their autopilot, it woudl typically be recommended that the autopilot course computer be replaced with an Evolution EV-1 CCU and ACU appropriate for the properly sized drive unit installed onboard. Should no fault be found with the drive unit, then the problem would typically be rooted in the course computer's drive FETs, which may be serviced by the Raymarine's Repair Center.

The ST70 Autopilot Control Heads are also compatible with S3/S3G autopilot course computers.

Final note: Raymarine offers both Type 2 Mechanical Linear Drive and Type 2 Hydraulic Linear Drives. Your initial post did not indicate which specific one of these drives has been installed. Generally, twenty percent is added to the vessel's weight in determining its fully equipped weight. Should the vessel dry weight be 30,000 lbs., then its fully equipped weight would be closer to 36,000 lbs, which would be greater than maximum weight supported by the Type 2 Mechanical Linear Drive. However, 36,000 lbs is within the capacity of a Type 2 Hydraulic Linear Drive. Overloading a drive unit can adversely affect performance and life of an autopilot.
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