I have a SPX-5 on a Catalina 30.  I also have a 2000plus and it works great.  I have not been able to get the SP-5 to work yet.  I recently replaced the Fluxgate compass with a new one and checked the resistance. as suggested and it passed the test.  The unit works on wind and at an angle but it is erratic. There are two problems.  The system will not calibrate.  I was able to change the heading angle but now the unit does not read the compass output.  The st2000plus gives me a good reading on standby.  The SPX-5 gives only one angle, from 317 to 342 Deg.  all the way around.  I don't know if this unit is under warrantee.  I purchased it on Ebay and have not yet gotten it to work.  I need your help.  Thanks



Tags: Compass, SPX-5, problems

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If your test confirmed a "good" compass, then I would recommend you focus on the location of the fluxgate compass.  Make sure it is mounted on a vertical surface and there isn't any ferrous metal or electronic equipment within 3 feet of the location.

I tried several locations.  One location was at the helm where the ST2000 works perfectly.  I tried turning the boat again this morning on standby.  The readings where only in  the high 300's and the low single digits.  I am trying new locations.  Does this test failure indicate a problem with the compass or the computer?

Well the compass test really measures good wire connections within the compass, and if those are good, then the issue is usually with the course computer.  One other test that might be helpful, where you already have tried many locations.  Take the compass off the mounted location and just holding it in your hand away from everything and oriented like it is mounted on a vertical surface, rotate the compass with your hand and see if you can see the 360 degrees of the compass rose, make sure you rotate slowly like it was amounted on a bulkhead location.  

Hi,  I rotated the compass in my hand as you stated.  I also did this with the ST2000.  The ST2000 Calibrated and displayed a good 360 degree range.  I did this to the SP-5 in the same location.  The SP-5 compass does not calibrate or display a good 360 Degree range.  It displays degrees only in the 310-360 and lower single digit range.  I presently have it located in the V-birth against the bulkhead and will try the middle of the v-birth.  There should be no interference there.  Additionally, I thought the gyro on the SPX-5 did not allow one to test the compass by rotating it.

Hi,  Looks like the compass location was the problem as you stated.  I sailed from Vineyard Haven to Block Island today.  I did not even set up the SPX-5 to use it.  I set up my trusty ST2000.  Problem is the ST2000 can't do the job that needed to be done today, so I got the SPX-5 and used it on Wind and it handled the boat beautifully.  Yes, it searches allot but this is the big plus with the SPX-5.  The response can be set high which is what's needed for a sailboat with a racing/fin keel.  Tried lower responses and it did not work.  Was able to micro sail to the apparent wind to 1 deg.  Don't need my whisker pole any more.  Anyway,  when I got to Block, I put the boat into a turn and it displayed a full 360 degree circle.  I think it will calibrate now.  I had just placed the compass in back of the cushion against the bulkhead.  Would there be any problem with location it under the v-birth at the top back of the compartment?  The compass is sealed so the moisture should not effect it.  Thanks for your help.

Hi,  I tried to calibrate the SPX-5 but it did not calibrate even thought the compass displayed what appeared to be a consistent 360 degree output on standby.  Another problem developed.  The shear pin on the motor to drive on the tiller actuator went.  Can I get a replacement shear pins from Raymarine.

Hi,  Took the electric piston for the spx-5 apart.  Looks to me like the shear pin was not installed all the way in because only one surface was sheared.  It would have sheared in two cross sections if it was installed all the way in.  The pin looks like a standard spring loaded shear pin that I can get at a hardware store.  Please confirm. 

Hi,  I wanted to find out how much it would cost to fix my SPX-5 computer.  I am the second owner even though the unit had never been installed so I thing the unit is out of warrantee..  I also wanted to know how long the warrantee for repaired items is for.  The repair schedule says the cost of repairing the SPX-5 computer is $350.  I just paid over $200 for a fluxgate compass that am not sure works.  I feel it is probably better for me to cut my losses and return the compass to West Marine for a refund and not get the computer fixed.  Just give up on it! 

The warranty on the X5 is two years from date of purchase.  The warranty on service work is 90 days.  It is hard to give a cost for a repair without seeing the X5 course computer so the $350 cost is the worst case scenario.  I would recommend sending the X5 into the service center, so it can be evaluated by a service technician.

Raymarine Service Center

9 Townsend West

Nashua, NH 03063


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