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Old 26-12-2018, 00:00   #1
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B&G nmea 2000 problem

Hi,

Some months ago, I updated my B&G electronics by replacing the old AP AC 42 by a NAC3. Since them, occasionally the system shows a message “Ap controller not detected” and the AP stops working, you need to switch off/on the AP breaker and it works again. The problem araises specially when you give a command from the Triton2 controller (+-10) although also when the command is given from the WR10

Equipment on the backbone:
Windvane, Airmar transducer (log & echo), Zeus2, WR10 wireless remote, 2 Ttiton 1, Triton 2 AP controller Triton 2, compass, rudder position. AIS transponder and ICOM 506.

With previous AC42, no problem at all.

I have been in touch with B&G Service and we have try almost everything:
Drop cables, T, terminator replaced...
When you performed a full reset, the AP seems to work correctly for a couple of days, but then, again the message appears.

It looks like the problem always appears when the system is “on” for a couple of hours and never when it is “cold”

I have now disconnected from the backbone the WR10 and the systems looks to work correctly. Same if I disconnect the Triton 2 AP controller.

Originally, the AC42 was monitored and controlled by a Triton1 and a Triton 1 controller. Cause from the Triton1 was not possible to install the NAC3, were changed by Triton2.

The related issue also appears with the AP controller Triton 1, so at first I thought was that the problem, althought B&G guy said that with the latest SW version Triton1 should be no problem. Well I changed to Triton 2 and the problem remains.

All equipments are updated with the latest SW.

Any idea...I’m singlehanded sailor so I need to rely on my AP 100%

Best regards from the Mediterranean

Pol
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Old 26-12-2018, 00:21   #2
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

I’m a B&G tech.
There is an issue on the bus. Check the bus stats and make sure there are no errors, if there are, it might point you in the right direction.
Make certain that the n2k system requirements are met. ( max bus length, drop cable length etc)
Make certain that the bus power cable is near the middle of the bus. Make certain that the bus power is within spec at all times, even when the loads are at Max.
The n2k system, and B&G, are both pretty good, but isolation of the fault is sometimes much harder than a fix. Sometimes it can be a cable.....
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Old 26-12-2018, 01:07   #3
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Thanks Matt,

The diagnosis screen of the Zeus, shows no errors. Bus is on, rate of flow 14/17, lengths are exactly the same as with the previous AC42.

Power supply is at the middle of the backbone (I was thinking of a installing a dc/dc to assure voltage on the backbone) the problem arises when under sail or engine, so I guess is not a drop voltage issue.

It looks like if the backbone, at certain point, had “too many data” and disconnects the NAC...but no other equipment shows errors.

The only thing I have not replaced is the NAC itself, could the NAC be the problem?

Best regards
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Old 26-12-2018, 02:10   #4
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Yes, it could be. Have you logged a support call direct with Navico?
Normally in this situation I’d connect a pc with diag software on it to the bus and see what’s going on. Unfortunately the mfds don’t show everything.
A dodgy nac could fail to respond, or a device on the network can jabber, denying other devices access to the network. This would normally show up in the network load figures though....
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Old 26-12-2018, 06:23   #5
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Thanks Matt,

I’m in contact with Navico support. Today I have sent a NIF file from the Zeus.
More test I performed, more I’m almost sure, the problem comes from the NAC itself.

Best regards
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Old 26-12-2018, 09:16   #6
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Which device is the NAC?
Thanks
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Old 26-12-2018, 09:39   #7
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Auto pilot processor. NAC3 from B&G
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Old 26-12-2018, 10:46   #8
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

occasionally the system shows a message “Ap controller not detected” and the AP stops working, you need to switch off/on the AP breaker and it works again.

This error message sounds like it's coming from the Autopilot.


The problem araises specially when you give a command from the Triton2 controller (+-10) although also when the command is given from the WR10

I think this confirms it's from the autopilot.

It sounds to me like the autopilot controller has a bug associated with run-time and communications. Because it only happens when the unit has been running for a while it's probably the case that either something is warming up and failing or the software has a bug that causes this to occur when a certain volume or frequency of messages has occurred.

Have you tried isolating only the instruments in question? The Triton and the autopilot? Let it stay powered up and see if the error occurs on the smaller network. for a second test reset the network and do your best to flood the autopilot with commands.
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Old 26-12-2018, 11:14   #9
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes I tried just the “basic” network and the problem takes time to arise.
If the keypad controller is disconnected and AP controlled from the WR 10 (wireless command) seems to work longer but at the end the problem comes.

Performing a factory reset of the AP (NAC3) and all the equipment “on” the system works fine for a longer period but at the end...message appears and AP disconnects.

I will try Navico to exchange the NAC.

Thanks
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Old 26-12-2018, 11:21   #10
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eureka2 View Post
Thanks for your thoughts. Yes I tried just the “basic” network and the problem takes time to arise.
If the keypad controller is disconnected and AP controlled from the WR 10 (wireless command) seems to work longer but at the end the problem comes.

Performing a factory reset of the AP (NAC3) and all the equipment “on” the system works fine for a longer period but at the end...message appears and AP disconnects.

I will try Navico to exchange the NAC.

Thanks
How does the WR10 communicate with the AP? Which unit receives the wireless signal?
If the system fails with only the keypad and AP, and doesn't fail with the WR10 and AP, that's reason to suspect the keypad.
It's possible the keypad is sending bad messages, forcing the AP to disconnect with the message reported.

I don't know for sure, just using my career skills. Also interested since I installed ab B&G system recently.
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Old 26-12-2018, 11:26   #11
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

I agree it sounds like a bug.


In both the NFD and the AP control head you should be able to view a diagnositic page that will report any send or receive errors on the N2K bus. You should see none, as in zero. If you see any at all, you have an electrical/wiring/termination problem and should fix it. BTW, as best I can tell you should just ignore Fast Packet Errors. I don't even know what they are counting, exactly, and I have never seen a Navico system that doesn't rack them up in large qualitites.


If you aren't getting read and write errors, then don't waste your time chasing phantom wiring problems. Most vendor will send you chasing wiring problems before even considering there might be a design issue.


Navico probably already had you do this, but have you checked to be sure all your products are at the latest software revisions?
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Old 26-12-2018, 11:39   #12
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyrj33 View Post
How does the WR10 communicate with the AP? Which unit receives the wireless signal?
If the system fails with only the keypad and AP, and doesn't fail with the WR10 and AP, that's reason to suspect the keypad.
It's possible the keypad is sending bad messages, forcing the AP to disconnect with the message reported.

I don't know for sure, just using my career skills. Also interested since I installed ab B&G system recently.
WR connects via Bluetooth. Keypad has been changed twice...
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Old 26-12-2018, 11:51   #13
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanglewood View Post
I agree it sounds like a bug.


In both the NFD and the AP control head you should be able to view a diagnositic page that will report any send or receive errors on the N2K bus. You should see none, as in zero. If you see any at all, you have an electrical/wiring/termination problem and should fix it. BTW, as best I can tell you should just ignore Fast Packet Errors. I don't even know what they are counting, exactly, and I have never seen a Navico system that doesn't rack them up in large qualitites.


If you aren't getting read and write errors, then don't waste your time chasing phantom wiring problems. Most vendor will send you chasing wiring problems before even considering there might be a design issue.


Navico probably already had you do this, but have you checked to be sure all your products are at the latest software revisions?
Thanks for your comments, yes all SW are up to date and the diagnosis page at the MFD Zeus an Triton, are showing 0 errors messages.

Regards
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Old 26-12-2018, 14:31   #14
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

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Originally Posted by Eureka2 View Post
Thanks for your comments, yes all SW are up to date and the diagnosis page at the MFD Zeus an Triton, are showing 0 errors messages.

Regards

Bug then. If the network were in any way compromised, you would be getting errors.
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Old 27-12-2018, 04:12   #15
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Re: B&G nmea 2000 problem

Except that Navico have many nac3 based pilots out there, most work fine. If it were a bug, everyone with this config would have the same error. They don’t. If it were my customer, I’d try a replacement nac3 next.
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