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Sparrow50

Raymarine X-5 Autopilot vs X-5 GP

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My tiller arm gave up the ghost after 18 months on a 7,000 lb boat. Yes, I know. I should have bought an NKE system, but we're talking about a T-Ten here.

 

I can replace the tiller arm for $700, or upgrade via the GP "Corepack" for $1800. I'm being told the GP arm needs the upgraded computer and fluxgate compass.

 

So, the question is, will the GP last longer? work better? Or should I just get 2 regular X-5 tiller arms.

 

Cheers,

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My tiller arm gave up the ghost after 18 months on a 7,000 lb boat. Yes, I know. I should have bought an NKE system, but we're talking about a T-Ten here.

 

I can replace the tiller arm for $700, or upgrade via the GP "Corepack" for $1800. I'm being told the GP arm needs the upgraded computer and fluxgate compass.

 

So, the question is, will the GP last longer? work better? Or should I just get 2 regular X-5 tiller arms.

 

Cheers,

I installed the X-5 Tiller pilot on my J/30 this past spring. It replaced an ST1000+ that was severely under powered and required sails to be well balanced or it couldn't handle the pressure. The J/30 is 6500 lbs and well within the 13,000 lb rating without upgrading to the GP version. A friend installed the X-5 wheel version on a Hunter 33 and has no problem either. The Raymarine compass with the course computer do a good job at compensating for roll and pitch to keep the heading on track. One of the things the X-5 setup / cal does is send the boat through a series of maneuvers to measure the response. This is stored in memory and allows the system to really track well and maneuver the boat without under or over helming. I've also integrated the system with my GPS and wind sensor via the TackTick T122 NMEA interface. It will maintain a constant wind angle if set, or the GPS can drive the boat via waypoints.

 

I'd say no need to go with the GP version for a 7,000 lb boat. Use the extra $ to buy the S100 remote as it also works great. Why are you asking about 2 regular X-5 tiller arms? It only needs a single tiller arm drive motor.

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Backups. The stupid Raymarine tiller drives still leak (usually at the motor end but sometimes at the ram end). A brand new one on our boat lasted < 6 months before water ingress.

 

Currently we have ours with a plastic bag around the cable/motor and a off road shock absorber boot at the ram end.

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Does anyone know if the "GP" has anything different other than the drive unit? (How could it?) Why does it cost twice as much as the non-GP version?

___________________________

 

There was another set of road tests in the Singlehanded TransPac this Summer. The guys are just posting their "what worked, what didn't" comments on the SSS SH TransPac board at sfbaysss.net. It sounds like the X-5 below-deck parts were fine but as posted above, the drive units were the weak spot, as with previous RM models. I've blown up a few drive units myself. A cover helps as long as it's a bit loose and doesn't overheat the unit. Spares are essential if you're going any distance.

 

A couple of us are working on a better mousetrap for tiller-steered boats with sealed rudder tubes - nothing conclusive yet.

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Even the Olson 30 in the SHTP had a ram failure. So it doesn't sound like having a large safety margin in the ram's displacement rating is the answer.

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An Olson 30 couldn't make it to Hawaii with a GP? Give me a break.

 

My standard unit lasted about 2,000 miles on my T-Ten. So, the answer is to carry multiple spares, or maybe cut open your rudder stock tube (above the waterline!) & mount one belowdecks?

Anyone taken the tiller arm apart after it failed? Is it water intrusion? gears grinding & failing? Motor brushes failing?

 

The service guy down here said the GP arm would not work with my standard X-5 Controller and fluxgate. I have trouble believing him.

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An Olson 30 couldn't make it to Hawaii with a GP? Give me a break.

 

My standard unit lasted about 2,000 miles on my T-Ten. So, the answer is to carry multiple spares, or maybe cut open your rudder stock tube (above the waterline!) & mount one belowdecks?

Anyone taken the tiller arm apart after it failed? Is it water intrusion? gears grinding & failing? Motor brushes failing?

 

The service guy down here said the GP arm would not work with my standard X-5 Controller and fluxgate. I have trouble believing him.

 

We run them about 2,000 miles in two weeks, racing downwind in the trades with the kite up - difference?

 

It's been all of the above - water intrusion is most common (which gets to the motor, sending a voltage spike to the controller), warn/busted gears, I had one simply break in half at the seal and drop on the cockpit floor - you name it.

 

Do us all a favor and press the service guy on using the GP drive unit on a standard X-5 computer and 6002 head. This would be useful information to several of us.

 

 

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A couple of us are working on a better mousetrap for tiller-steered boats with sealed rudder tubes - nothing conclusive yet.

 

Let me know when you come up with something!

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I just received a response from Raymarine regarding using an X-5 GP Drive Unit with the standard X-5 Computer, fluxgate and 6002 Head Unit.

 

"Yes, the GP drives will work with the standard X5 Tiller course computers, there is no change with the course computer using GP drives."

As we suspected, I'll bet it will work fine. I will place an order for a GP drive unit and report back. Whether it lasts significantly longer is the question. I'm going to tear apart my old standard unit and see what happened to it. This is really frustrating as you'd think they would conduct a MTBF analysis on the components they use. I'll bet they could quadruple the life with little cost difference.

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Good info - thanks.

 

I believe Raymarine's warranties are two years. Before you tear apart the old drive unit you should ask about returning it for a new one (to use as backup for the GP drive you plan to buy?), or maybe they'll give you credit towards the upgrade.

 

I just bought a new X-5 (non-GP) to replace my S1G/6001. The S1G has two SH TransPacs on it and is working fine, but I'll be able to get rid of the rudder reference unit, currently mounted atop the tiller. The X-5 doesn't need one.

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I'd say no need to go with the GP version for a 7,000 lb boat. Use the extra $ to buy the S100 remote as it also works great. Why are you asking about 2 regular X-5 tiller arms? It only needs a single tiller arm drive motor.

 

Is the X-5 compatible with the S100 remote ? I seem to recall to have read somewhere that it is not.

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I'd say no need to go with the GP version for a 7,000 lb boat. Use the extra $ to buy the S100 remote as it also works great. Why are you asking about 2 regular X-5 tiller arms? It only needs a single tiller arm drive motor.

 

Is the X-5 compatible with the S100 remote ? I seem to recall to have read somewhere that it is not.

 

 

The S100 remote will definitely work with the X-5 Smartpilot. I run this setup on my J90 and it works great.

 

Hot Toddy

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I tore into my old autopilot. Water intrusion attacked the motor. I cleaned it up as best I could. Seemed like a small motor (especially for the amount of noise it makes). Perhaps not surprised to see nylon gearing in there. We'll see if it works after scraping corrosion & spraying WD40.

 

Looks like I'll be getting a sleeve of some kind to keep water off the unit.

 

I'll report back on the GP once it arrives.

 

Cheers.

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Here is a solution: Hydraulic above deck, removable from boat in 3 minutes, disconnect from tiller by simply lifting the tiller off a 7/16 pin riding in brass bearing bonded into tiller arm. Using a type1 pump. Interfaced to any of the raymarine tiller pilots via custom electronics that allows the weak drive signal from the X5 (or similar models) to drive the type1 pump. To date have logged about 1000 miles, 500 offshore single handing, similar distance in SF Bay. Plenty of power to drive the 10000# 34' boat. No failures.

 

See photo.

 

Red Skypost-21658-077622400 1286769144_thumb.jpg

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OK, so I finally tested the GP drive unit in place of the standard drive unit. Everything worked just fine. GP unit quieter than the standard unit. Appears to consume the same amount of amperage as the old one.

 

 

Raymarine TillerPilot users take note: Unit arrived from the factory with gaskets NOT tightened down. I could turn the motor to gearing connection 1/2 a turn by hand, and the connection at the motor end by 3/4 of a turn by hand. I believe water could easily have entered the unit. TIGHTEN YOUR TILLER DRIVE UNITS!!! And keep them covered. Water ingress will kill these units quickly!

 

I cleaned up the old one as best I could. It could not be resurrected. It will go into the garage to sit for years thinking I might want the parts someday. Then 5 years from now I'll finally throw it away.

 

Cheers,

 

 

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I'm thinking of ordering an x-5 unit(non GP) as they can be had for 1K with a 6002 head, fluxgate compass, course computer and drive unit. Wondering if there is any follow up info after this amount of time. Good, bad?

Note* I am thinking of this unit as I already have a drive unit that came with my original ST4000 and the redundancy seems like a good idea.

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got one on a 34' open net trimaran (transom hung semi-balanced rudder)

 

works well

 

have the S100 - works well - sometimes too well if I bump a button.

 

interfaced to both GPS and Wind

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GP has uprated drive motor. The enemy is water. I built a sleeve from water-resistant canvas that loosly covers the arm. It goes on when the seas are breaking or the rain is falling. My GP has worked well for three full years of sailing so far on my Contessa 32. It does surprise me that with so many boats using tillers again that a better unit has not arrived on the market. I hate Ray-Nav shit....

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GP unit has a Portescap 35NT motor which costs around $300 on the Internet.

See http://www.portescap.com/brush-dc/product-94-35NT2R82.html

and http://avnetexpress.avnet.com/store/em/EMController/Brushed-DC-Motors/Portescap/35NT2R82-426SP-50/_/R-4537706/A-4537706/An-0?action=part&catalogId=500201&langId=-1&storeId=500201&listIndex=-1&page=2&rank=19

 

Normal unit has a Mabuchi RS555 which you can find for ....$4.00 (four dollars) on the Internet.

See http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/DCM-330/3-20-VDC-MOTOR-MABUCHI/1.html

Replacement of the gear wheel is easy. Both the gear on Mabuchi and the Portescap are the same: 14T diam 8.2mm, axle 3.175mm.

The gear wheels of the planetary transmission are the same: some delrin type material, 18T diam 10.4mm.

Diam of motor sleeve is different: see picture: nr8 diam GP is 48mm; nr8 normal is44mm.

Material of end cap assembly nr9 is different: Aluminum for GP; some delrin like for normal

post-61799-0-62388300-1350241130_thumb.jpg

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I don't see how. There's a bulge in the tube to accomodate the larger motor in the GP drive unit. Perhaps if you also had the larger tube and end cap, etc. but at that point it would be getting dicey.

 

The non-GP drive units should be fine for your boat, as they have been for my 5,500# 30-footer. Use the dollars you save to buy a spare (I have three).

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I have

So can you replace the Mabuchi with the Portescap in the field?

I have checked this: yes, actually I think that is possible, diameter and length of the is the same.

The "gear annulus" (see nr4 in drawing) is also interchangeable which proves the entrance diameter of "motor sleeve" nr8 is the same.

I have to correct my comment that axle diameter of the two mothers is the same: the Portescap axle diameter is larger and has two sides flattened.

Strange then why RM uses the larger diameter mother sleeve for the GP model: perhaps in the early day's a different motor was used which only fitted trough a different "end cap" nr9.

For now it seems that the larger motor sleeve only serves "looks": hey! Mine is bigger than yours! Which is fine for me

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So can you replace the Mabuchi with the Portescap in the field?

I have checked this: yes, actually I think that is possible, diameter and length of the is the same.

Wouldn't there be more quality motors around with the same specs, but with a smaller pricetag than the Portescap?

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Sy,

 

Brilliant. Your comments are confirmed. I have a GP and standard unit torn apart on my desk.

 

My standard unit has a Mabuchi RS-555SH. http://www.compucanjes.com/manuales/rs-555sh20.pdf I'm not sure if the RS-555PH is the same, but I've ordered 4. My existing motor's brushes are ground down to nothing.

 

The GP unit has a Portescap 35NT 2R32 228P-20. http://www.portescap.com/brush-dc/product-95-35NT2R32.html

 

Both motors are encased in identical metal sleeves. I believe the Portescap has higher torque and would have much longer life than the Mabuchi, but at $4 each, I'm planning on keeping a few on hand and just replacing when the brushes wear down every 2,000 nm or so.

 

One thing I noticed was my GP unit seemed slower than the standard unit. Given the RPM specs, the standard unit may actually be faster, at least for my 7,000 lb boat.

 

Yeah, it looks like the larger GP unit's casing gives me bragging rights that I don't get to have in other parts of life...

 

Slack On

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Great to hear!

Strange that this knowledge was not shared before.

Please note that Mabuchi does manufacture some different RS555's: http://www.mabuchi-motor.co.jp/cgi-bin/search/e_model.cgi

But I gues that when you order the 12volt type you'll be Ok.

I also found the rpm of the Portescap to be slightly lower than Mabuchi. I wonder what persons whit real knowledge of DC motors can tell us about the real difference between these two motors. Besides obvious things like numbers manufactured there should be some significant diffence!

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From RM service forum on 19juli:

 

We have spares for both the GP motor and standard motor in the EMEA service workshop, based in the UK, direct telephone number 01329246932. Both motors use the same number of teeth on the output shaft because they both fit into the same gearbox.

Our service workshop can supply the motors to you emea.service@raymarine.com

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