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Russell H.
Russell H., Service Tech
Category: Marine Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 9535
Experience:  8+ years of professional experience
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My Ratheon auto pilot model ST5000 turns hard to the starboard

Customer Question

my Ratheon auto pilot model ST5000 turns hard to the starboard when auto is activated. Have gone back to initial set up to start over, but nothing seems to stop the auto pilot from going hard over. Is there a replacement part to get it back on track?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Marine Electronics
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting JustAnswer.com. My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.
Some autopilots that steer hard in one direction are suffering from a condition best described as 'broken, needs replacing'.
However, quite seriously, this could happen also, not because of the autopilot, but because one or more of a few factors are not in the right condition for proper operation to ensue:
1. check all connections. Make sure, by unplugging them (all the ones that can be unplugged), all of them that go to the autopilot, that you can inspect them, find them clean and corrosion-free... brush the jack and plug off, inside and outside, with a clean dry brush, then wipe off jack and plug alike, until metal in them is shiny and clean. Then, reconnect properly and well, and turn on the autopilot and all connected things at once, and see if the steering error still occurs.
2. you might possibly have a defective helm sensor, that is telling the autopilot wrong things about the position of the helm or of the boat, e.g. that it is too far to port, regardless of what it really is... leading to steering hard to starboard.
3. And lastly, yes, you might have a defective autopilot, if it just plain continues to steer hard to starboard in Autopilot mode.
Is it less than a year old? then it is protected by Raytheon Marine's warranty, and would be serviced (or replaced) by them, according to the warranty terms that apply to it, for free.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cleaning the connections is a good start, but is there a specific part of the mechanism that I can interrogate to see where the misinformation is coming from?
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
Well, try disconnecting the helm sensor, if it can be disconnected. If the odd behavior continues, it is obligatory and irrespective of the status whether working or not working, of the helm sensor.

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