We have the same S3G autopilot on Beausoleil
, and so far it's been great.
As Paul said, the opto-isolator isn't required, but it certainly won't hurt, as it will protect your laptop
from any induced voltage surges on the link.
5. The S3 gets a variety of info from a varity of sensors, ie Water Temp, Wind info GPS sentences - I assume this is then all included in the NMEA output from the S3?
Here's the key queston: Do you want to be able to receive NMEA data on your laptop
when your autopilot is turned off? If not, then you should be all set. But if you do, then you can invest in a SeaTalk/NMEA converter, or you can get an ST-60+ Graphical Repeater, which can display tons of SeaTalk
or NMEA data - wind, speed, depth
, nav data, gps, etc - with the added bonus of it also doing NMEA-SeaTalk conversion in both directions.
Can we assume that all your existing instrumentation and transducers are SeaTalk? If so, then the above choices are your best bet. If you do have (or plan to purchase
in the near future) more NMEA devices, then a full blown multiplexer like that shown on your opto-isolator link page(the ShipModul units are great devices) allow multiple NMEA talkers to be interfaced into a single
network. As Paul said, multiple talkers are a problem in NMEA 0183
, and is fixed in the newer NMEA 2000
I'm trying to talk the Admiral into purchasing
a third graphical repeater (and perhaps a 4th) for installation
in the aft cabin
(and the midship cabin) so that the off-watch crew can see at a glance what's going on without having to run up to the nav station or out in the cockpit