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Old 19-07-2008, 12:22   #1
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B & G Hercules 390 system

Hello, Wonder if anyone can help, we have the Hercules 390/1C system on Ruffian. Recently we lost all the outside displays for wind and speed and the master display unit (mdu) displays wind off, boat speed off, wind angle off etc etc. We have tried by passing the mdu by connecting the input and output bus together but still no displays outside. We have had the computer unit checked out, but still we can not get it working. Anyone out there had a similar problem? Or knows how to fix it.

Many thanks, Ruffians
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Old 19-07-2008, 14:04   #2
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Do you have the Owner's Handbook?

http://www.bandg.com/upload/B&G/Docu...0_handbook.pdf
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Old 19-07-2008, 14:21   #3
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B & G Hercules 390 system

GordMay

Thanks for your reply, yes we do have the owners manuel and have been through it, but we can't find anything to help with our problem.

Ruffian
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Old 19-07-2008, 19:25   #4
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Are these units requiring a separate 12v to make them work? IF they have a daisy chain for the 12 v if the main one was interrupted or shorted none of them would work. IIRC the 12v is supplied in the multistrand cable from the base unit. If this is so I'l check to see if there is 12v where it's supposed to be.
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Old 20-07-2008, 04:28   #5
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defjef,

thank you for your input, but the correct voltage is present at every display unit. I suppose we're looking for a quick fix and perhaps there isn't one.

Despondent Ruffian
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Old 20-07-2008, 04:34   #6
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So you have 12v at all units and the repeaters are totally blank? No back lighting or even default screen?

Are the repeaters in one location?
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Old 20-07-2008, 05:01   #7
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Yes repeaters are all in one location. back lighting works, there is wind speed, allround direction and close hauled and a multi display unit (4 instruments)

A little background, instrument transducers feed a computer control box (the tranducers are wind speed and direction, boat speed and fluxgate compass.) from the computer control unit this gives the ability to display on the master display unit, true windspeed, apparent wind, true wind angle, apparent wind angle, boat speed, vmg to wind angle, trim percentage improvement etc, but all these instruments on the master display unit all read 'off', I think indicating no input from the computer unit. The repeaters are then fed from the master display unit, the digital ones read 'off' the anologue ones don't display.

We have tried to bypass the master display unit, but to no avail.

Ruffian
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Old 20-07-2008, 07:26   #8
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I have an older B&G and from your recent post it DOES sound as if the computer is not passing data out to the to either the main nav station display nor to the cockpit repeaters. On my unit the "computer" is also the main nav station display and with a wiring fault the main unit works, but all or some of the repeaters may not.

From your description it sounds as if there is a fault IN the black box or in the wiring to the nav station. Am I correct in assuming that the repeaters are wired directly to the black blox? or are they wired to the nav display?

Since the unit reads OFF it is powered but receiving no data or there is a fault in the data cable. But since ALL data streams are off it raises the question... how many data wires are their from the black box to the nav station display? If it is one pair of wires it sounds like all the data is contained in a string of NMEA sentences... and your displays can extract the relavent data.

When and how did this fault occur? Was it working before?
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Old 20-07-2008, 10:38   #9
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Thanks for your response.

The repeaters are wired from the master display unit, which is why we connected the in and out data cables together, by passing the mdu, to see if the external displays started working (even though uncalibrated as all the calibration is done at the master display unit.) It is a three core cable but there is additional nmea cabling.

This fault occured whilst we were receiving wind strengths of above 45 knots, (a slight blow!!!) the speed log went off slightly before the wind instruments, we can't remember how long as it was rather stressy, but possibly only minutes. The system was working well before.

Once again, many thanks for all the time and effort you are putting in trying to help us solve this problem

Ruffian
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Old 20-07-2008, 10:46   #10
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Ruff,

It sounds as if you have a fault in the black box. I think you need to take that to B&G for testing. That should be easy for them to do.

One lesson here is that one device can make you very deaf and blind. I had a back up system in case my B&G failed. The B&G never did but the back up packed in and I haven't replaced it. I removed the transducer and tossed out the unit. But Having a system failure out there is one of my fears. We would have GPS data but no wind or depth. Think about getting spares or a back up system.

Good luck. Tell us what the fault was when you find out.
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Old 20-07-2008, 10:55   #11
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Thanks for your help, it has confirmed our thoughts. Will let you know the outcome.

Good sailing.

Ruffian
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Old 20-07-2008, 15:30   #12
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Have you checked the sensor interface wiring - The manual does not make much reference to it, but I have a large diagram in the back of my manual showing this "black box" sitting between the computer unit and MDU (I can scan & send to you if you have not got it...).

On my boat it is located in an out of the way area on an aft facing bulkhead - didn't know it was there until I stumbled on when tracing out some wiring for something unrelated.

May be worth a try....

Good luck - even though the 390 system is getting pretty long in the tooth (circa 1987) - it is still a very good setup and generally very reliable in my experience.

Keep a look out on ebay - componenets do come up from time to time. I bought a virtually complete system I use as spares sitting in the shed just in case...
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Old 21-07-2008, 04:59   #13
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Spirit28,

Thanks for your advice but we have already checked it. We shall keep a sharp eye out on ebay as you suggest. Agree the system is really good which is why we really want to get it working again.

Many thanks

Ruffian.
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Old 21-07-2008, 05:48   #14
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Ruffian,

Sorry I'm pretty much out of ideas - the only other thing I would check (apart from what you have already done..) before throwing up my arms in despair would be to ensure the gold plated contacts on the back of all the black boxes (computer unit, Sensor interface & MDU) are clean & not damaged. I remember from my navy days having to clean the contacts on coding machine rotors once a day with an eraser designed to remove ink to ensure a good electrical contact.

Myles electronics (http://www.myleselectronics.com/) in the US may also be a good for parts & advice.

Also - over on sailinganarchy.com there is a poster called BobC that seems to be a bit of a guru with B & G stuff.

Good luck....

PS - There is also an nmea0183 port on the MDU - you could connect a laptop to it & use hyperterminal to see what is in the data stream comming out..... But if nothing is showing on the MDU display its probably not worth the bother
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Old 26-07-2008, 03:14   #15
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Hi Spirit,
Once again thanks for input but I think it is now a job for B&G, sorry for delay in replying but been on passage and out of net range
Many thanks
Ruffians
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