Getting my heading to display straight up on MFD

Discussion in 'Electronics Q&A' started by Mightychan, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Mightychan

    Mightychan Member

    141
    Oct 8, 2016
    Panama City FL
    2005 DA 420, AB Dink
    Cummins 6CTA
    I have an 05 420DA with original Raymarine electronics. I have played with various display settings, course up, heading up, etc, but can't seem to get my heading to consistently display straight up on the MFD. I have noticed that my MFD and my compass show the same number, but my autopilot is often off by 30 degrees or more, so I suspect the problem might be there. Perhaps the autopilot is providing incorrect heading info to the MFD? I don't have a manual so am not sure how to calibrate it, but I imagine that it can't be hard. Am I on the right track or should I be looking somewhere else? Thanks, all!
    PXL_20210119_231856003.jpg PXL_20210119_231842021.jpg
     
  2. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    You have the older AP, and the heading info comes from a Fluxgate compass. It is likely installed in one of your center bilges down in the cabin. Try this.

    1. Make sure you don't have anything ferrous/magnetic stored near that fluxgate compass, no tools, cooking pans, anything metal. At least 3' clearance.

    2. Recalibrate your fluxgate compass. It should be within a couple degrees. I cant tell the model of your Pilot controller or your AP course computer...post that up, it will help to find the right proceedure.

    upload_2021-1-24_11-44-50.png
     
    Mightychan likes this.
  3. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    And then after you calibrate the compass, you need to align the heading to COG on the MFD. That is in the manual too.

    I find that mine needs to be aligned periodically when the radar overlay starts to misalign to the chart slightly. I suspect there is some magnetic interference with the mounting location of my fluxgate compass. I may play around with its location and see if that helps too.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  4. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    Just an alternative. I dumped my fluxgate compass, and my Ritchie, replacing it with a KVH digital. Tied that to the autopilot, and all of my problems went away.
    kvh.PNG
     
    Groucho and dtfeld like this.
  5. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Interesting. Does that work with older Raymarine gear?
     
  6. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Yes...its MEMA0183.
     
  7. mquiet

    mquiet Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    So if you lose your electronics, do you lose your compass as well?
     
  8. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    Not sure if it's relevant, but I had an intermittent problem with the heading on my Garmin. It was sometimes off by 15-30 degrees.

    I finally figured out that the heading sensor was mounted too close to the windshield wiper control module wiring. The magnetic field from the wiper module was interfering with the heading sensor. Moving the heading sensor a few inches fixed it.

    If a recalibration doesn't help consider checking your heading sensor for a source of interference. I think wires could be a prime source (maybe a wire became loose and moved?), or a big chunk of iron near the sensor.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  9. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    A friend of mine has a "new to him" 420DA and experienced the same issue but is was constant, not intermittent. We found that he was in the habit if laying his hand-held VHF on the dash when it wasn't in use. When he started parking it in the cabin, the problem went away.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  10. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    No. It is self contained, but has a digital LCD display, and a NMEA 0183 output.
     
  11. mquiet

    mquiet Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    So when tied in, it will show what the monitors are showing for heading...I get. But when they go down, it also has the magnetic s to convert back to "old school" magnetic? That sounds fantastic.
     
  12. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    847
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    The KVH Azimuth 1000 compass has been around since the 90's, I had one on my first boat. I ditched the Ritchie compass in favor of this device and used it for my heading sensor on a laptop that was running Nobeltec charting program at the time. Fantastic device that works flawlessly but I am surprised that they haven't updated it to N2K and still operates on 0183.
     
  13. Agentman

    Agentman New Member

    17
    Oct 4, 2019
    44 Sundancer 2007
    Cummins QSC8.3
    Remove anything metal from the Glove compartment. The compass is under there. I had this exact issue.
     

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