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Old 02-09-2015, 10:33   #31
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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B&G has serious software flaws that they don't seem to know how to address, and they aren't taking tech support issues seriously. They seem to think that some level of failure is to be expected, and if resetting the system gets it working for a few hours then that's good enough.
My sentiments exactly! The attitude of blaming Maretron components is particularly lame.

What can we, as consumers, do? I call tech support regularly.

And how many are out there suffering silently with expensive equipment that doesn't work?
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:59   #32
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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The attitude of blaming Maretron components is particularly lame.
Just for balance, we have had two problems with our system and both were caused by Maretron components (bad GPS and then bad wind instrument).

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Old 02-09-2015, 11:01   #33
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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All 2014 new B&G system, Zeus T7, AC42 AP, V50 VHF, Airmar triducer, B&G wind. All factory cabling, integration stock, no additions by me.

Chartplotter crashes on boot with B&G chart chip in if you press accept before waiting 1 minute. No resolution or response from B&G on this other than update firmware (it's latest).

Same V50 problem as everyone else, where you have to turn off AIS or the AP will drop if you turn on the VHF while it's engaged.

Wind instrument drops offline randomly. Triducer drops off line randomly.

B&G has serious software flaws that they don't seem to know how to address, and they aren't taking tech support issues seriously. They seem to think that some level of failure is to be expected, and if resetting the system gets it working for a few hours then that's good enough.
I just tested your descriptions of your Zeus2 and V50 problems on my system.

I turned the Zeus on and hit "Accept" and "Yes" (to load the charts from the chip) as fast as I could. It loaded the chart and behaved normally. I have the C-MAP MAX-N NA-Y022 charts.

I engaged the AP and turned on the V50 (AIS was enabled). The AP did not alarm or disengage.

Just offering those data points in the hope that they help you diagnose the problems with your system.
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Old 02-09-2015, 13:46   #34
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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What if you pair that AC42 with the old fashioned Simrad AP24 controller? I really like the dedicated turn 1 and 10 degree buttons. This combination is pre-Navico. Back when Simrad equipped North Sea fishing boats. Almost 10 years of hard use has made it as close to bullet proof as you'll find. That's what I do. Sure it's monochrome with 1990's graphics - but it steers the boat great and never skips a beat.
This idea is appealing. I wonder about conflict with the Pilot Controller already on the network. And, of course the two Zeus2 MFDs.

Does anyone know about the possibility of conflicts between these devices as autopilot managers? Would it be solved by instancing properly?

I am not inclined to separate the entire A/P system from the network, as I want the functionality allowed by incorporation.
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:35   #35
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

We have the AP24 and a Triton pilot controller and there is no conflict at all with them.

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Old 02-09-2015, 14:41   #36
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Thanks Mark. Very helpful to know.

Did you have to ensure one had instancing priority over the other?
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:50   #37
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Did you have to ensure one had instancing priority over the other?
Ummmmm, good question. I'm not sure how they are instanced right now. The whole system minus the controller was installed and separate instances applied to all the gear - then I added the controller and don't think I ever considered re-instancing it in light of the rest of the system. At least I don't remember doing so.

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Old 02-09-2015, 14:55   #38
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Well, that implies no conflict I guess.

I think I'll try installing an AP24 in my companionway NavPod in the place of one of my Tritons. Heck, it's only half of a boat buck.
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Old 02-09-2015, 15:17   #39
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Did you have to ensure one had instancing priority over the other?
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Ummmmm, good question. I'm not sure how they are instanced right now. The whole system minus the controller was installed and separate instances applied to all the gear - then I added the controller and don't think I ever considered re-instancing it in light of the rest of the system. At least I don't remember doing so.

Mark
Instances? Why? Maybe I'm displaying my ignorance, but I haven't touched the instance settings on my network. Everything is default, which is 0 except for the Triton Pilot Keypad (255) and the iTC-5 (32).

My understanding of instances (please correct me if I'm wrong) is if you have multiple of the same data sources. Like tank senders or battery monitors. There should be no need to change them otherwise. So you would instance the two Zeus2's, because they transmit GPS, but that should be it. My 5 Tritons are all instance 0, but they're not data sources, so they don't need it. Pilot controllers would not be data sources either. Also, instances numbers also do not imply priority. Am I wrong about this?
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Old 02-09-2015, 15:30   #40
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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I just tested your descriptions of your Zeus2 and V50 problems on my system.

I turned the Zeus on and hit "Accept" and "Yes" (to load the charts from the chip) as fast as I could. It loaded the chart and behaved normally. I have the C-MAP MAX-N NA-Y022 charts.

I engaged the AP and turned on the V50 (AIS was enabled). The AP did not alarm or disengage.

Just offering those data points in the hope that they help you diagnose the problems with your system.
Jay, thanks for the input. I have a Zeus 1 and the Navionics charts, so perhaps the problem is specific to them. The chip has nothing but data files on it, and the problem does not occur if I wait about a minute before pressing Accept. It's odd, to be sure.

The V50/AIS causing autopilot drop-out is very common and reported by many owners. It does not seem to be related to the number of AIS contacts, because it happens even offshore but it doesn't happen when AIS transmitting is turned off. I also have not had problems with the wind and tri-ducer dropping off the network if the V50 is not enabled for AIS, so I'm pretty sure that is just another symptom of the same problem.

It remains unaddressed in the firmware updates as of June/2015. Hopefully a fix will come soon.

I have a SIMRAD RS-35, which is the same hardware as the B&G V50, on my other boat, and it causes no problems for the RayMarine autopilot.

So yeah. Very strange. For now I just live with work-arounds.
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Old 02-09-2015, 16:04   #41
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Instances? Why?
I had to give out instances on our multiple GPS sources. To do so, I was using the Maretron N2Kanalyzer software and it runs an "instances" check and tells you to give unique instances to everything. So while I was at it, I did. I don't think there is any real reason to do so in this case, but it was simple and makes trouble shooting a little easier when things have silly names on the network. Also, should I add something redundant in the future and forget about giving it an instance number (like the Pilot Controller), there is a good chance that it will take care of itself since everything else has different instances already.

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Old 02-09-2015, 17:15   #42
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

On a slightly different subject, but still directly related to the thread, I would like some feedback on the idea of installing a relay on the clutch output of the AC42 autopilot computer.

I have seen it mentioned in previous threads as a way to insure full voltage to the drive unit clutch, but I really don't understand it. How to do it? Is it helpful as a way to prevent the A/P from dropping offline?

Anyone care to explain this to me?

My drive is a Simrad DD15 which is a rebranded Jefa DD1. Identical.
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Old 02-09-2015, 19:43   #43
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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This idea is appealing. I wonder about conflict with the Pilot Controller already on the network. And, of course the two Zeus2 MFDs.

Does anyone know about the possibility of conflicts between these devices as autopilot managers? Would it be solved by instancing properly?

I am not inclined to separate the entire A/P system from the network, as I want the functionality allowed by incorporation.
I struggled with Autopilot Computer Not Found errors on my Simrad NSO, AC12, and AP28. One clear problem I found and was finally able to reproduce had to do with the order in which you power things up. In a nutshell, if you powered up the NSO (remember, it also acts as an AP controller like the AP28) before power on the AC12, the AC12 would be rendered un-discoverable by the whole AP system. You could subsequently power on any component in any order and nothing would be able to find the AC12. This resulted in multiple AC12s begin sent back to Simrad for repair/replacement.

I ultimately discovered that I could recover from the problem by cycling power on the N2K bus. That would "unlock" the AC12 and everything would start working correctly. And as long as I made sure to power on (via it's breaker) the AC12 before powering on the NSO, everything would work fine.

This is/was clearly a bug and was 100% repeatable. As far as I know, it still has not been fixed. This was one of about 25 bugs that I documented and reported to Simrad. After 6 months and no resolution on any of them, I got tired of spending my life F&*king around with their stuff and tore it out of the boat and returned it all.
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Old 02-09-2015, 19:52   #44
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Jay, thanks for the input. I have a Zeus 1 and the Navionics charts, so perhaps the problem is specific to them. The chip has nothing but data files on it, and the problem does not occur if I wait about a minute before pressing Accept. It's odd, to be sure.

The V50/AIS causing autopilot drop-out is very common and reported by many owners. It does not seem to be related to the number of AIS contacts, because it happens even offshore but it doesn't happen when AIS transmitting is turned off. I also have not had problems with the wind and tri-ducer dropping off the network if the V50 is not enabled for AIS, so I'm pretty sure that is just another symptom of the same problem.

It remains unaddressed in the firmware updates as of June/2015. Hopefully a fix will come soon.

I have a SIMRAD RS-35, which is the same hardware as the B&G V50, on my other boat, and it causes no problems for the RayMarine autopilot.

So yeah. Very strange. For now I just live with work-arounds.
In your B&G chart plotters, have you looked at teh N2K Network Diagnostics page? It reports a running tally of various network errors. I found that my Simrad Equipment (pretty much the same thing as B&G) reported a constant stream of Fast Packet Errors. Turning off the AIS (NAIS400 in my case) slowed down the flood, but didn't stop it.

I'd be real interested to know if you guys are getting those same errors.
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Old 02-09-2015, 19:52   #45
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

The AC42 clutch output is 12V and a clutch usually draws ~1A. I doubt voltage drop on the clutch line is the reason your AP is dropping out. If your clutch output can latch a relay, it can drive the clutch directly.

If you want to drive it with a relay, you would connect your AC42 clutch output to the coil terminals of a 12V normally open automotive relay, an auxiliary 12V power source to one set of contact terminals and the drive clutch wires to the other set of contact terminals.

When the AC42 activates the clutch, the relay coil will pull the contacts together and the clutch will be powered by the auxiliary 12V source.

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