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Munch

Upgraded to Stargazer Perfect Pass and it Doesn't Hold Speed

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Munch

I have a 2004 Malibu LSV Wakesetter. I have kept it in cherry condition. A month ago the original perfect pass went out. It was the original Perfect Pass model driven off the paddle wheel. It just quit holding speed. 

After taking it to the Malibu dealer and discussing, I decided to upgrade to the Stargazer model (they no longer make the paddle wheel only model).

The dealer installed the Stargazer model and returned the boat... but it doesn't hold speed.

When set at at wakeboard speed (21 mph), the boat runs to 28 mph before the perfect pass kicks in. It then takes 5 - 10 seconds to slow down to the set rider speed of 21 mph. And then even at the set speed, it fluctuates between 18 and 24 mph.

It is a terrible experience.  

I took it back to the dealer. They checked it. Said they made "adjustments" and gave  it back to me.

Still the same problem. Initial pull is way too fast. Too slow to respond to rider speed. And fluctuates 2 - 3 mph on either side of the set point.

I brought it back to the dealer and we went through the drill again. Same result.

I told the dealer there is no way that the GPS Stargazer model should perform worse than the paddle wheel model.

He is trying to convince me that this is how it works. 

I need some help from the crew as I don't understand the mechanics around this, but find it hard to believe that the GPS model would provide a worse rider experience than the original paddle wheel model.

Any thoughts here?  

The original paddle wheel model took over right at speed and rarely fluctuated. Does the GPS Stargazer not do this?

I never had an issue with speed fluctuation with the paddle wheel model. Does the GPS fluctuate? (I am on a lake not river. I did look that one up)

Would love some feedback and thoughts... thanks!

 

 

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MLA

Best advice, contact Perfect Pass themselves. Ive done paddle wheel installs and Stargazer installs but not a conversion from paddle wheel to GPS. I do not know whats involved. Whats left over from the original system? 

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Munch

Some other thoughts I left out of the original post...

Could this be a servo unit issue?

Could this be a bad GPS unit?

How would I check these things?

 

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Munch

MLA - the dealer said he only had to replace the actual dash unit. That everything else hooked up the the original wiring and set up. 

So, to answer directly, everything else is original except the dash unit.

 

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Cazan
16 minutes ago, Munch said:

MLA - the dealer said he only had to replace the actual dash unit. That everything else hooked up the the original wiring and set up. 

So, to answer directly, everything else is original except the dash unit.

 

Your best bet is to call Mark at PP.  They have great customer service. I just sent my old unit back to get tested and now I’m about to upgrade to stargazer so I’m interested in what the outcome is. 

Edited by Cazan

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Munch

Cazan - Thanks. I sent them an email. I will update the site once I find the issue as I didn't see anything on this topic.

In looking through all the PP documentation on their site. It looks like I need to do a servo motor test. 

Still looking for info or advice if anyone has it.

 

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MLA

Where did they locate the GPS receiver? In front of or under the windshield? 

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SkiPablo

Do the Rpm test. If it holds within 10 rpm the servo and cables are good.  Start there. 

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Munch
19 minutes ago, MLA said:

Where did they locate the GPS receiver? In front of or under the windshield? 

In front of the windshield... is this correct?

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Munch
16 minutes ago, SkiPablo said:

Do the Rpm test. If it holds within 10 rpm the servo and cables are good.  Start there. 

Thanks. Will do.

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MLA
5 minutes ago, Munch said:

In front of the windshield... is this correct?

That should be the best place to get a clear view of the sky. 

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Munch

Still looking for answers from anyone that has a Stargazer unit...

1) The original paddle wheel model took over right at speed. Does the GPS Stargazer not take over at speed? Should it run up 5 mph and then take 5 - 10 secs to take over? (we are throttling to get it close, but it either reads "speed up" or goes well past before engaging).

2) I never had an issue with speed fluctuation with the paddle wheel model. Does the GPS fluctuate 2 -3 mph on set speed? (I am on a lake not river.)

 

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SkiPablo

No it should keep it within 1/2 mph.   

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Woodski

@Munch:  As noted above, you will need to check the components for proper function.  The earlier versions of Stargazer have issues locking and holding speed and are very operator sensitive, for example giving a fair amount of throttle results in overspeed.  In those versions of SG, specific parameters were changed, baselines and weights to improve the system response.  A significant question, what software version got installed?  You want version 9 and not any previous version, so I would check that.  It should come up on the start up screen.  V9 does a much better job of speed control.  Also, you can run SG in classic mode, check the operator manual for details.

There are several PP SG threads on Ball of Spray with details on setup optimization.

Edited by Woodski

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Murphys

Have you checked the Kdw setting?  This parameter may be adjusted in order to tailor the pull characteristics of the system. My Perfect Pass Stargazer system  is several years old. The factory Kdw setting was too high for our boat and resulted in the speed control hunting. Lowering the setting value resolved the issue. 

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Gary Pelletier

Munch - had a similar experience that you had a couple years back. Installed Stargazer and the speed was all over the place - and after locking in. Ensure you have at the latest software version - think it’s 9.12. Mine originally came with v8 - Mark at Perfect Pass sent me an upgrade stick and solved my problems immediately.  Also suggest you recalibrate the speeds with simulated boat loads. 

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Intheday

Think there is an ability to reverse the setup for the tachometer reading that might fix your problem.

 

cant remember what the reverse polarity is called but it’s worth googling 

Edited by Intheday

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Munch

UPDATE: 

I took the boat out for 4 hours today and ran a variety of tests...

1) Servo motor test checked out

2) Servo phase test checked out

3) Linkage test checked out

4) Tested the KDW setting at every possible level. It was interesting to note the swing in speed from the set point at each level. After testing every range from a setting of 40 to 90, I settled on 70 as it responded the best to the set point on the initial pull and held within 1 mph while driving straight with no other boat traffic.

The KDW setting mostly solved the swing in mph at speed, BUT it still has major issues settling in. You can't just power up and bring it close... you have to work the stick to nail the speed and then it will finally settle in. AND if there's boat traffic from other boats it loses up to 2 mph then over shoots 2 mph and finally settles in after about 45 seconds. (It's nothing like the old paddle wheel version that would take over and just ride at the set speed.)

ALSO, on turns, it loses all speed and requires you to man the throttle through the turn, out of the turn (as it will naturally go above), and then bring back into speed once out of the turn.

So... the net-net is that there would be no way to pull a rider at wakeboard speed and not man the throttle full time. It really defeats the purpose of Perfect Pass. And I'll say it again, this is a terrible experience compared to the 2004 paddle wheel version.     

Some other notes...

After installation the speed has been completely re calibrated on the boat. (I am saying this by feel because my gauges only have the digital speedometer readout... and 10 years of feel on this boat). I used to wakeboard at 22.0 on the digital display... correct speed now translates (by feel) to 20.5.  At surf speed, I used to ride at 11.7 on digital display... this now translates to 10.0. (interesting note, it held better at surf speeds than wakeboard speeds).

I did run the boat on the RPM setting at wakeboard speed. It held speed much better. It would catch at the desired speed and hold. It still performed poorly through turns. This was interesting because it didn't continue at the set RPM level, I had to throttle up to keep the RPM level. (And the throttle position was way past where I would normally throttle, assuming this is just the reaction of the computer taking over). The other thing to note here is that the digital RPM tach setting level read 2,975 and the analog tach read 2,300. (Calibration issue doesn't concern me but it's notable). The RPM setting provided the best way to ride and maintain speed. 

The final assessment is that there would be no way to pull a rider at wakeboard speed without constantly manning the throttle. The Stargazer at no point takes over and maintains a constant speed. You have to nail the set speed. You have to manual throttle through and out of turns. You have to readjust if there's boat traffic.

The one thing I didn't do was check the software version. Woodski and Gary P make note that V9 software may solve my woes. I didn't see their posts before hitting the lake today.  I will be checking this on Monday. I also have a call and email into Perfect Pass and will hopefully get some guidance from them on Monday.  I will be really disappointed if I ordered a new Stargazer and they didn't send me the most updated software version, but I also hope that is the answer because I'm running out of ideas.

If anyone has thoughts or feedback, please share.

I'll continue to post the results on my end.

Edited by Munch

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Munch
10 hours ago, Intheday said:

Think there is an ability to reverse the setup for the tachometer reading that might fix your problem.

 

cant remember what the reverse polarity is called but it’s worth googling 

Intheday - are you saying to run on the RPM setting? or something different?

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SkiPablo
16 minutes ago, Munch said:

I did run the boat on the RPM setting at wakeboard speed. It held speed much better. It would catch at the desired speed and hold. It still performed poorly through turns. This was interesting because it didn't continue at the set RPM level, I had to throttle up to keep the RPM level. (And the throttle position was way past where I would normally throttle, assuming this is just the reaction of the computer taking over). The other thing to note here is that the digital RPM tach setting level read 2,975 and the analog tach read 2,300. (Calibration issue doesn't concern me but it's notable). The RPM setting provided the best way to ride and maintain speed. 

 

if it's not holding the speed by RPM then you might have an issue in the cable, either the return spring is loose - but you said you did the linkage test.   It should hold the rpm within 10 rpm even in the turns - it gets updates from RPM over 1000 times per second.    

something to check - There is a setting to invert the tach - i would check into that - i've heard malibu's are famous for needing this setting on stargazer.   Look in the user settings - i think this is MENU and UP at the same time.

I don't think you need to go to ver9 to fix this - ver8 should still be fine for wakeboarding - the main thing people go to ver 9 is for the Slalom course.

 

Edited by SkiPablo

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UWSkier

The inverted RPM was going to be my suggestion also.  Given your analog and the PP tach readings are off by 600ish RPM, something is not right.  They should read within 50 RPM of each other.

The upgrade to Stargazer is really really easy.  Unplug the old master module, plug in the new one, and mount the GPS puck.

There have been issues with Garmin pucks in the past.  It's possible that's the issue also.  If you switch the system off and verify the speed readout on the PP gauge vs speed on your phone GPS, are they in sync?

Either way, the guys at PP should be able to fix you up.

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Munch
37 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

The inverted RPM was going to be my suggestion also.  Given your analog and the PP tach readings are off by 600ish RPM, something is not right.  They should read within 50 RPM of each other.

The upgrade to Stargazer is really really easy.  Unplug the old master module, plug in the new one, and mount the GPS puck.

There have been issues with Garmin pucks in the past.  It's possible that's the issue also.  If you switch the system off and verify the speed readout on the PP gauge vs speed on your phone GPS, are they in sync?

Either way, the guys at PP should be able to fix you up.

UWSkier - thanks for the note. I will check the inverted RPM and speed vs phone as well.

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