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Old 16-09-2015, 13:05   #61
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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
It would be interesting to see which sensor people with and without problems are using.
RF300 and no problems.
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Old 16-09-2015, 14:29   #62
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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I think my first response to that question would be to question the tech guy on why they sell that sensor.
Ha ha. Given B&G/Simrad's history of releasing to the consumer componentry with unsorted software, I can't imagine a tech support guy would be able to explain.

This is part of my comment about the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. If someone writes initial software for an item it is likely that individual moves on to another project, or company, before it is discovered that refinement/correction is needed. Then whoever takes on the revision has an uphill climb. I think Navico, in particular, is dealing with this with many of their products. Consider the history of the Triton, the Triton Pilot and the Zeus Touch. I was an early adopter of these three on my previous boat. They didn't play well together until a few software updates. Other examples include the Simrad RS35/B&G V50 VHF radio software issues.

I'm not trying to slam Navico. I like their vision. The features and attractiveness of their products cannot be denied. I hope they refine their existing products for a while and slow down the rush for newer, better, more dazzling.
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Old 16-09-2015, 17:50   #63
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
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
Fascinating. We replaced our simnet RF25 with a RF25N, have updated our AP24 and AP28 firmware to V1.3.03 and all has been good.

I did have a "bad" solenoid, but that was a different problem on the drive unit.
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Old 17-09-2015, 11:43   #64
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by arisatx View Post
We replaced our simnet RF25 with a RF25N, have updated our AP24 and AP28 firmware to V1.3.03 and all has been good.
That is interesting. Makes me wonder if my RF25N had a specific problem. Or perhaps the makeup of my network, being different than yours, exacerbated certain weaknesses with the software.

I don't have a control head in the system. I use the Zeus2s, Triton Pilot and the WR10 remote to control the A/P. I was going to install the AP24 that I just purchased, but because the system started functioning properly ( at least for now ), I am holding off on the installation. I may just return it, if it proves unnecessary.

By the way, it was the Maretron tech support person who said the RF25N instancing number was out of NMEA2000 specification. As Maretron is a very well respected company known for NMEA2000 expertise, I had no reason to question the comment. Replacing the RF25N with a RX300 changed everything. Your experience makes the whole episode even more of a head scratcher.
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Old 17-09-2015, 14:22   #65
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
That is interesting. Makes me wonder if my RF25N had a specific problem. Or perhaps the makeup of my network, being different than yours, exacerbated certain weaknesses with the software.

I don't have a control head in the system. I use the Zeus2s, Triton Pilot and the WR10 remote to control the A/P. I was going to install the AP24 that I just purchased, but because the system started functioning properly ( at least for now ), I am holding off on the installation. I may just return it, if it proves unnecessary.

By the way, it was the Maretron tech support person who said the RF25N instancing number was out of NMEA2000 specification. As Maretron is a very well respected company known for NMEA2000 expertise, I had no reason to question the comment. Replacing the RF25N with a RX300 changed everything. Your experience makes the whole episode even more of a head scratcher.
Yeah - not sure what goes here. We do a lot of Maretron gear including their handheld N2K meter, will break that out if my errors resurface.

V1.3.03 of the Simrad firmware update for the AP24 and AP28 was to address the intermittent "no autopilot computer" errors on larger networks. Interestingly, their website has now removed the reference to that fix. Probably their lawyers...

We currently have on the main N2K backbone:

Simrad AC42, Simrad AP24, Simrad AP28, Simrad RF25N

Furuno MFD8, FI105 and FI103,

Maretron DSM 250, DCM-1, (6) TLA-01, TMP-01, USB-01, GPS200

Airmar H2183, DST800, PB200

Actisense NGT-1 and NGW-1
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:30   #66
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
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
Any idea what the difference is between the RF25N and the RF300 other than the cable length?
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:40   #67
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Most of the stuff on my new boat is original from back around 1990. There is an older Furuno backstay radar and a newish (2010) Garmin chartplotter at the nav station. I am looking to start by installing a zeus2 12 at the helm, a rudder sensor, and a new 4G radar. The local dealer wants over $9K to install the chartplotter, GPS antenna, rudder sensor, Maretron cables, and local charts. That price is before sales tax and includes $2400 for labor, it does not include the pod and modifications to the helm angleguard. Did anyone install their own system? The labor seems quite high and the dealer is quoting hardware prices higher than those on the B&G web site.
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Old 18-09-2015, 18:43   #68
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Any idea what the difference is between the RF25N and the RF300 other than the cable length?
The RF300 connects directly to the AP Computer. (Simrad AC42). The RF25N has a micronet connector (not SimNet) to connect to the N2K backbone so that any other device (i.e. Maretron DSM250) can read rudder data.

Do you want to see "rudder angle" on any display w/o having the autopilot on? Then get the RF25N. Otherwise the RF300 is tried and true.
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Old 18-09-2015, 18:44   #69
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by deluxe68 View Post
Most of the stuff on my new boat is original from back around 1990. There is an older Furuno backstay radar and a newish (2010) Garmin chartplotter at the nav station. I am looking to start by installing a zeus2 12 at the helm, a rudder sensor, and a new 4G radar. The local dealer wants over $9K to install the chartplotter, GPS antenna, rudder sensor, Maretron cables, and local charts. That price is before sales tax and includes $2400 for labor, it does not include the pod and modifications to the helm angleguard. Did anyone install their own system? The labor seems quite high and the dealer is quoting hardware prices higher than those on the B&G web site.
Seems high, but if he is competent and will do a quality installation, I'd say go for it. If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, then maybe go that route.
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Old 18-09-2015, 19:01   #70
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Seems high, but if he is competent and will do a quality installation, I'd say go for it. If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, then maybe go that route.
If you have the time, it will be a good exercise to do it yourself. If you run into trouble, Navico techs can give you some input, not to mention this board. That's what I will be doing.
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Old 18-09-2015, 22:14   #71
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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If you have the time, it will be a good exercise to do it yourself. If you run into trouble, Navico techs can give you some input, not to mention this board. That's what I will be doing.
I was a computer tech in the USAF and an instrument tech at a utility company. The only part that scares me is drilling/sealing holes in the boat. If they gave me a decent price on the hardware it would be different but $2170 for a radar that has a SRP of $1999!
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Old 22-09-2015, 16:06   #72
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Any idea what the difference is between the RF25N and the RF300 other than the cable length?
The difference is the connectivity, not the cable length.

The RF25N has a NMEA2000 MicroC connector that allows direct connection to a NMEA2000 network.

The RF300 has 2 wires and a ground sheath that connect directly to the AC42N (or other autopilot computer) autopilot computer terminals. The autopilot computer then senses the rudder position input directly, as opposed to getting this position information over the network.

Clear as mud?
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Old 22-09-2015, 16:13   #73
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

By the way, after replacing the RF25N rudder sensor with the RF300 version, I went for another test sail.

Everything worked perfectly for about an hour... Then it all started again!
"Rudder Response Failure" repeatedly and within seconds of engaging the autopilot

Reset autopilot, successfully performed commissioning steps.
"Rudder Response Failure" within seconds of engaging autopilot. Arrrrgggh!

It's enough to put one off sailing.
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Old 22-09-2015, 20:46   #74
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Has a link to this topic been sent to Navico?


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Old 22-09-2015, 21:56   #75
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Has a link to this topic been sent to Navico?


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