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Old 02-09-2015, 19:58   #46
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

For what it's worth, I've documented a bunch of the electronics issues that I have encountered, most all with Simrad products, in my blog. Here is a reasonable starting point Adventures of Tanglewood: The Wall of Shame

I'd be very interested to hear if others are seeing similar problems. Most of mine were 100% reproducible.
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Old 02-09-2015, 21:08   #47
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by tanglewood View Post
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.
Tanglewood, thank you for this important bit of information. I will ensure the AP24 is powered up first, via the network. That is my standard methodology anyway.

I have read all of your travails, but had already purchased most of my electronics. Not sure what I would have done if the order were reversed. Love your boat, by the way.
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Old 02-09-2015, 21:14   #48
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
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.

Mark
Thank you Mark for the lucid explanation. The clutch is audibly engaging ( or disengaging ) when the AC42 sends voltage. It's a nice positive click. So, I guess I don't need a relay. Thanks again for explaining it, though.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:32   #49
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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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.
I've been running my system for the last couple hours. Both plotters on with the Diagnostics page up. Radar transmitting in dual range mode. NAIS transmitting. V50 on with AIS activated. Autopilot engaged with Zeus steering toward a waypoint (I'm tied to a dock). Basically everything I could think of up and running. I guess I could have picked a MARPA target, but I didn't think of that.

Anyway, my bus load is about 18%. The HDS Gen2 plotter reports 1 Fast Packet Error. Oddly, that one error appears the instant I open the page. The Zeus2 plotter reports 0 errors, fast packet or otherwise.

Edit:
I checked again (I think it was waiting for me to post). I now have 1 fast packet error on the Zeus and 2 on the HDS. So at least they do appear to be reporting something meaningful.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:13   #50
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

I agree with tdoster regarding the one system at a time verification approach. We have a Navico AP, hydraulic ram, that has functioned flawlessly for 20 years with only one RAM reseal.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:56   #51
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

If you do try the AP24, test install it on a network containing only the AP24, compass, and AC42. Go for some sails to make sure it's completely stable.

You might like the reliability so much that you never connect it to the main network.
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Old 07-09-2015, 14:47   #52
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

I have all new Bandg without problem. A pair of Zeus 2. Pair of triton displays. Radar which had a bad cable but replaced at installation. V90 and h50 vhf. Ais receive only. A point and question. I made sure the installer went over everything with me. I don't believe he installed updated firmware. Given problems people are having should I forego software update?
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Old 07-09-2015, 15:07   #53
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

We have B&g chartplotters zuess2 4gradar hands free module and auto pilot once installed Properly and i mean properly not by local marine tec..use a certified radar tec we have had 6 months of flawless useage ...proper install is key we spent 2 months banging our heads listening to local marine tec saying its installed right just plug and play.....not...
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Old 08-09-2015, 20:06   #54
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Bill:
Have you made sure the software on your Simrad equipment is current?
The AP24 and AP28 are now at 1.3.03 released Aug 2015 to eliminate false error message of "Autopilot Computer Not Found". Apparently happens on larger N2K networks. Here is another related thread.

I did this a few days ago. I also had intermittent Rudder Feedback error messages - where under "Auto" the wheel would still turn freely. I suspected the solenoid that controlled the check valve and was ready to replace it - it turned out that the existing one just had the retaining nut back off. I cleaned it up and loctite'd it. Now running problem free.

PS - love the PSC37 - had one until we decided we needed a bit more room.
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Old 08-09-2015, 20:21   #55
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Bill:
Afterthought - Back in 2011 when we were putting together our N2K network and having intermittent problems with our mix of Simrad / Furuno / Maretron / Actisense / Airmar, I worked with Maretron Tech Support guys and they sent me one of the N2K meters to use and record so they could analyze it back in their labs - maybe you should pursue that?

Otherwise you could troll eBay to look for a used Maretron N2K meter.

Good luck.
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Old 15-09-2015, 09:05   #56
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

I am wondering if someone who has a 4G radar could answer a specific question about the guard zone alarm. When something enters the zone, the alarm goes off. If the target disappears (say, a bird, or a wave), does the alarm turn itself off, or does it require acknowledgement? If it requires acknowledgement, how often do you get a "false" alarm? There are some radars on which the alarm turns off when the target disappears, and others where the alarm keeps going until you turn it off, whether the target disappears or not. I am on the verge of getting a B&G radar and would really like to know how this works, in practice. Also, I am planning to simply pair it with a Zeus plotter and wifi, without all the other stuff. Has anyone had problems with a set-up that is this simple?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 15-09-2015, 09:17   #57
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrail View Post
I am on the verge of getting a B&G radar and would really like to know how this works, in practice. Also, I am planning to simply pair it with a Zeus plotter and wifi, without all the other stuff. Has anyone had problems with a set-up that is this simple?
We just got the 4G radar installed - having been delayed for mast standing rigging replacement and adding an internal tube for the radar detector. I have a Zeus2 9". Also on the N2K system is a Vesper AIS, Icom VHF, ZG100 GPS/compass, and Seatalk to Seatalkng converter that gets data from ST60 wind, ST60 depth/speed and S1 autopilot onto the system. I do not have wifi - other than the Vesper feed. Turned on the radar for the first time, and got perfect chart overlay. Played with it a bit but haven't used extensively. So far, no problems.
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Old 16-09-2015, 11:38   #58
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Update.
Ahoy. For any of you interested in the progress of troubleshooting my autopilot system problems, I have found guarded success.

During one of my numerous conversations with B&G/Simrad tech support, one of the tech guys questioned my use of the RF25N rudder sensor.

He asked me why I selected that sensor. I said I thought that, it having a standard NMEA2000 connection to the network, it's use would be more logical than the two wire connection directly to the AC42N autopilot computer of the RF300 rudder sensor, which is the other choice used with my drive unit. While he didn't come right out and say it, he seemed to imply that the use of the RF25N might be an issue. I didn't think much about it at the time because, other than the connectivity, there is no difference between the RF25N sensor and the RF300 sensor.

Later on, I was on the phone with Maretron tech support while I had my laptop connected to the network, running their N2K Analyzer program. Their tech and I went through my network and verified it's status as being correct and without any discrepancies. During this test session, we looked at all of the data coming and going from various components and it was discovered that the RF25N was showing improper instancing that was outside of NMEA2000 protocol ( not priority instancing, other instancing of which there are many that are hidden in the components software ). It was the software of the sensor that set this instancing and was not alterable. It was corruptive data and was causing the AC42N computer to drop offline repeatedly.

Needless to say, I decided to remove the RF25N sensor from the system and use the RF300 sensor instead.

I reset the entire system, including the sources data on the network and the autopilot computer, itself.

I then performed the dockside and sea trial portions of the A/P commissioning process. These went perfectly and now everything works!

I will do further extensive testing in the coming days and weeks, but there was a distinct difference in the behavior of the system during the commissioning. It was immediately apparent that nothing was amiss. Not once did it hiccup, alarm, or show any signs of trouble. Much different from every other session.

Anyway, it will probably take me a while to believe it's working reliably, but I am hopeful.

Maretron tech support was very helpful and and gets an A. They spent quite a lot of time on the phone with me and were extremely knowledgable.

B&G/Simrad tech support gets a C, only because they tried to help. I suspect that, amongst the individual techs, they know about various problems, but the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. There isn't a consistent knowledge base.

Bill
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Old 16-09-2015, 11:51   #59
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Kudos... I hope you continue to have a problem free result.
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Old 16-09-2015, 12:54   #60
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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During one of my numerous conversations with B&G/Simrad tech support, one of the tech guys questioned my use of the RF25N rudder sensor.
I think my first response to that question would be to question the tech guy on why they sell that sensor.

It would be interesting to see which sensor people with and without problems are using.

I'll go second - we are using the LF3000 (essentially the linear form of the RF300) and we don't have any AP issues.

Mark
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