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Old 17-03-2015, 10:12   #76
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Caelestis,
I cannot speak about the Zeus and other B&G/Simrad stuff...ask Dockhead about all of that...
But, as for the Raymarine, Vesper, and Icom gear...that I can help with...

While I am a firm proponent of separate / dedicated GPS receivers for DSC radios (and of course all AIS transponders are required to have their own dedicated, built-in GPS receivers), I understand the temptation to use your existing GPS data and send it to the DSC Radios...

My opinion / recommendations (in descending order):
a) Install/use a separate, dedicated GPS receiver (such as a Garmin GPS 76, 78, etc.) for your position data, for your DSC radios...
(it's cheap, easy, NMEA 0183 output, doesn't require another "GPS antenna" topside / on the rail....and allows you to always have position data to your DSC radios, should other devices / systems on-board fail or be non-functional...)

b) Use your Vesper Watchmate 850 NMEA output to drive the DSC radios...BUT...
---You can use the MNEA 0183 4800 baud output to drive position data to the radios....green(+) and white(-)
---AND also send NMEA 0183 38400 baud "AIS data" to your new plotters...gray(+) and yellow(-)
(while this arrangement isn't quite as "redundant" as "a" above, it does allows you to run just the Vesper 850 and Icom M-504, both 24/7, and not use much energy....and still doesn't require any Raymarine autopilot, nor B&G equipment to be on and functioning...)

c) You could further complicate things by: either trying to take NMEA data out of the S3G (which would work, assuming your S3G is being fed GPS data???)...or taking NMEA data from the B&G gear....or you could install/use a NMEA mux, etc. etc....

Understand that ALL of the above options will work....
Option "b" is the least expensive and least obtrusive....with option "a" being only slightly more "robust"....
So, I recommend either "b" or "a"....(but, I do not recommend any of the options in "c", as these would just further complicate things, cost $$, and give you more possible points of failure...)
I hope this helps...





Now as for how-to hook-up your new B&G stuff, as I wrote above I don't have experience with them....but Dockhead does, so I'll defer to him on this....
But, I assume you had Raymarine s/w/d??? On a SeaTalk bus???
And, had the ST-60 Maxiview's showing this data, along with the S3G autopilot data??
If this is the case, then you may not be able to use the Maxiviews with the new B&G Tritons??
Again, not sure here....and especially not sure as I don't know what you had previously and how that was wired/connected, and how/what you wish the Maxiviews to show now...
But, in a nutshell, you will probably need a SeaTalk to SeaTalkNG converter to allow to fully use the Maxiviews and also possibly send autopilot data (if desired) to the B&G devices... The GOOD news is that the Vesper and Icom stuff is all easy-peasy, plug-'n-play!!!


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
This is all correct (which we count on from John ). Only thing to add is that the Zeus units OUTPUT NMEA0183 as well as input it, so you can hook up the Zeus output to your radios and Bob's your uncle (and that's what I do).

You CAN hook up an old Garmin GPS receiver instead -- maybe a nice way of repurposing an obsolete unit. Means you have independent source of position data for the radios' DSC functions in case you lose your main network. Downside is more clutter at your nav table, and maybe more significantly, the old receivers don't work as well without a clear view of the sky.

I just use the network output. I have three different sources of position data on my N2K network (primary: Simrad GS25, backup: built-in GPS in the Zeus Touch; tertiary: built-in GPS in the AIS unit, which is output over NMEA0183 to one of my Zeuses), so loss of one receiver won't be fatal. Only if the whole network goes down, in which case I have bigger problems.

YMMV.
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Old 17-03-2015, 17:35   #77
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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Originally Posted by dsteinfeld View Post
So I'm also considering the B&G Zeus2 (9"), and with all the discussion of AIS, I'm wondering if I should stick with the Simrad AIS transceiver (since buying before the March rebate ends nets me a free WiFi gofree), or go with my original plan of the Vesper XB8000. The additional features of the Vesper (plus its reputation) make it very attractive.
Doug, buying the Zeus2 before the March 31 deadline already nets you a free WiFi GoFree. I am going with the Vesper XB8000 due to excellent reputation.
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Old 17-03-2015, 17:54   #78
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
sailjumanji, et al,
I originally thought I didn't have anything to contribute to this discussion, but I do hope this has helped...

Fair winds...

John
Ha Ha, John. Thank you for your little to contribute! Very interesting about the autopilot data not coming thru SeaTalk, but requiring NMEA0183. Since my pilot is just a non-gyro S1, I think it will just avoid taking anything into the network - or direct to Zeus2 - from the autopilot. I MAY continue to feed the autopilot controller the GPS waypoint data, as I find this useful when motoring. For heading data, I am going to take Dockheads recommendation and just install the GS25 compass/GPS in a NMEA2000 network to the Zeus2. That will provide GPS to both the Zeus and the VHF. I am going with the Vesper XB8000 AIS, which will have a dedicated external GPS antenna. That will be on the NMEA2000 network as well, so can be a secondary for Zeus2 if the GS25 fails. I got a confirm from B&G that Zeus2 can log a call thru the Icom 506 VHF if connected via NMEA2000. It should be as easy as opening the target menu on the Zeus2, and selecting. I am really looking forward to this, as it is a PITA traveling on the ICW and always looking ahead to see what tow is coming around the bend, look on the chart, find the mile marker, and then try to raise them via VHF. I am not going to buy the ICOM with the AIS receiver, as this is just unnecessary if I already have a transceiver, and I don't want the Zeus2 to be confused. May or may not be an issue.

Might see how effective the GS25 would be under a slanted window, partially blocked by a hardtop, which will be much easier routing of cable. Already have to find a separate spot for the Vesper GPS. And then the network of cables and t-fittings, vesper transceiver and antenna splitter - it is going to take some planning to get it all organized before attaching permanent. And the Zeus2 is going on the c-bracket, but I have found thru-bulkhead NMEA2000 and Ethernet fittings so I can leave on small jumper cables that attach to the bulkhead fittings, and not be concerned about breaking Zeus2 fittings connecting and disconnecting them. And when not in use, the Zeus2 can be locked below.

Only other alternative MIGHT be a NavPod, if I can move other instruments. But not sure how secure that single, stand-alone unit is that attaches to a flat surface. Looks like a small TV set, that swivels. If I could be sure that someone would not try to steal it and destroy things, I would just go with that. Otherwise I really don't want to risk that happening while out of country on a cruise.

thanks again to everyone that has provided input. The wealth of info on this board is multiples greater than anyone I have found at West, etc.
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Old 24-03-2015, 21:23   #79
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Ok, I am going thru some wiring planning, and have a question about how the radar should be powered. There are three wires: red, black and yellow. Says that the yellow needs positive voltage for the radar to operate. Choices for hookup are:

  1. Common the red and the yellow, and connect to a fused switch. Radar will power on in standby when power is applied. When switch off, radar will draw no power.
  2. Hookup red direct to positive, and install yellow on a positive switch. The radar will turn on when the switch is activated. When switch is off, radar will draw minimal power (~1 mA)
So in 1 above, how do you start the radar? Is it a menu choice on Zeus? Simple to access?

Choice 2 appears to be the fastest way to get radar on and working.

Thoughts on which way to go?
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Old 24-03-2015, 21:41   #80
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

I believe that with either way you wire it you will still have to hit/tap/select a transmit button on the display. On the radar page its the first thing that pops up when you hit the "menu" button. Look at the top of page 21 of the install manual/guide for a reference.

For the record I wired mine using method #1. I also have my Zeus tied to the same circuit. When I hit the breaker for "Electronics" I have both on and ready to go. I suppose that probably cost me a little bit of power whenever I'm not using the radar and it is in Standby mode and I could save that power if I had the yellow wire on its own switch. I'm not to worried about that currently. Whenever I want the radar to "spin" or be on I have to hit the transmit button.
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Old 24-03-2015, 22:16   #81
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Its not real clear. I read the installation instructions again, and was thinking that option 2 would result in the radar being on standby until the switch was pushed, at which time it would go to transmit.

Although I already purchased my radar, it is not going to be installed on the mast until June. We are planning to pull the mast, change out the rigging, and at that time put in another conduit to accommodate the radar cable. (the existing conduit is already full) And it will certainly be easier to install the unit when the mast is on stands.

In the meantime, I am trying to get everything together to do the install of the Zeus2, the AIS, VHF, networks, and electrical system addition for all of it. Unfortunately the boat is four hours from here, and the major hardware suppliers an hour in the other direction. I suspect this will take a bit of second and third trips to the store before finished.
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Old 09-04-2015, 22:46   #82
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

News from the Sail Pacific show . . the next software update from B&G will place apparent wind on the sailsteer (like it already exists on the Triton).
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:07   #83
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

I have just installed a Z2, NNEA2000 backbone, B&G AIS-400 transponder and B&G VHF V-50 radio with H-50 wireless handset. This is part of a complete refit pending haulout and re-rigging.

The first thing I've noticed is that the above components require over 1 amp. Since I am on a 50 Ah/day budget, I need to be able to shut non essentials down. The local offshore ocean racing rules require constant VHF channel 16 monitoring with GPS enabled. Thus, ka4wja's suggestion of a GPS input directly to the ships radios is essential to me, and allows me to shut down the rest of the power hogging system.

Also, B&G has a new 7" touch display coming out "within a month". It is basically a "Z2 Light" with no hard buttons, no GPS, no Ethernet (so no radar display) but has WiFi, SailSteer, Autopilot and all the other features of a Z2 7". It's narrower since the buttons on the right side aren't there. There is a small, separate power button. List is $800.

This could replace three Tritons at the helm for a lot less money ($800 vs $1500) but would consume twice the power.

The Vulcan details are now showing up on their web site. I was able to play with one at the boat show Thursday...Seems like the real deal.
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Old 11-04-2015, 20:59   #84
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Smokester,

Which Z2 did you get (size?). I am counting the amps as well, especially on those overnight passages. This is what I have for usage, from the various equipment manuals. (I am starting my installation next weekend)

Icom M506 VHF - Transmit 5.5 amps
Receive 1.5 amps (when noise coming over speaker)

Raymarine S1 autopilot 2 amps average (if not overworking in waves)

Zeus2 9 inch chartplotter - 1 amp
4G radar - 1.75 amp operating (0.24 amp standby)
Vesper AIS transceiver - 0.33 amps
Vesper antenna splitter - 0.07 amps
ST60 multi & wind - 0.30 amps

Then you have refrig and lighting. All of my running lights are now LED. The frig eats up 5 amps when it is running, but luckily only runs sparsely. So maybe it average 1.5 amps. You can see from the VHF specs that if you do much talking, that is going to run down batteries very fast. Or if you are listening to static on the VHF or there is frequent chatter, that is going to be a big user as well.

So excluding the fridge and lighting, that's about 7 amps - with the VHF in receive only.

Note that the B&G tech told me the GoFree WiFi power consumption was 0.5 amp. That was a surprise.

I only have about 300 amp-hours of batteries. For an overnight passage with all of this on, in ten hours I will burn 70 amp-hrs. That's almost one-quarter of capacity. Will have to hope for sunny days to get it back again. One of the power guys at the last seminar I attended said the batteries need to be brought back to 100% charge once per week. That probably means at some time the Honda 2000 is going to have to be run. I have 240 watts of solar and a 30 amp charger for the generator. When I am on the hook, the generator never needs to be run. The overnight passages are a different story. Plus my wife likes to crank up the tunes when its her watch, and that eats up power as well.
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Old 12-04-2015, 13:15   #85
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Sailjumanji,
I have the 7" Z2 for 1 amp also. It has the same resolution as the 9" so if it is used in close quarters and with reasonable eyesight it works.

The B&G AIS-400 transponder Is spec'd at 170 mA average although it will intermittantly peak to 2 A when transmitting. I have a separate antenna for it so no splitter.

The B&G V50 VHF is 250 mA in standby and 1.5 A max on receive.

The GoFree wifi is spec'd at 200 mA. All the above numbers from the brochures.

I have a windvane so no amps there. To steer to a compass bearing there is a small gyro-corrected actuator which substitutes for the wind paddle and uses almost undectectable mA 's.

For minimal night running, all of this plus running lights (LED) plus depth, wind and speed measures about 1.5 Amp. With Z2 brightness off, about 1A and I still get AIS and other alarms. Z2 in standby, same. Z2 off, 900 mA.

Day running minimum, everything else off with only VHF and its own GPS, 300 mA.

These measurements/estimates are pretty approximate and there are some inconsistencies with the spec's which are probably due to my inability to measure precisely below 1A. The minima--1 A at night and 300 mA day--are on the low side given that I actually check my instruments regularly.
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Old 13-04-2015, 08:15   #86
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Smokestar,
Those are some pretty low current draw numbers!


I hope you don't mind my questions....but I'm impressed with your figures, and was wondering how your VHF number was so low (250ma / 0.25amps)...for comparison, my M-602 VHF draws less than 1 amp on receive, squelched...and just about 1 amp on receive, when someone is talking / speaker is outputting something....(spec'd at 1.2 amps Max), but certainly more than 250ma....and when off it draws nothing at all...
So I was wondering what you meant by "standby"...


Can you verify / clarify some things for me??
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
The B&G V50 VHF is 250 mA in standby and 1.5 A max on receive.
In "stand-by" what is the VHF doing?
Is it receiving anything in "stand-by"??


For minimal night running, all of this plus running lights (LED) plus depth, wind and speed measures about 1.5 Amp. With Z2 brightness off, about 1A and I still get AIS and other alarms. Z2 in standby, same. Z2 off, 900 mA.

Day running minimum, everything else off with only VHF and its own GPS, 300 mA.
This is without the wind/speed/depth, etc. and ONLY the VHF and its GPS, but if the VHF is in "stand-by", what is it doing???



These measurements/estimates are pretty approximate and there are some inconsistencies with the spec's which are probably due to my inability to measure precisely below 1A. The minima--1 A at night and 300 mA day--are on the low side given that I actually check my instruments regularly.

I hope you don't mind my questions....but I'm impressed with your figures, and was wondering why the VHF number was so low...
So I was wondering what you meant by "standby"...


Thanks...

John
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:10   #87
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Smokestar,
Those are some pretty low current draw numbers!


I hope you don't mind my questions....but I'm impressed with your figures, and was wondering how your VHF number was so low (250ma / 0.25amps)...for comparison, my M-602 VHF draws less than 1 amp on receive, squelched...and just about 1 amp on receive, when someone is talking / speaker is outputting something....(spec'd at 1.2 amps Max), but certainly more than 250ma....and when off it draws nothing at all...
So I was wondering what you meant by "standby"...


Can you verify / clarify some things for me??



I hope you don't mind my questions....but I'm impressed with your figures, and was wondering why the VHF number was so low...
So I was wondering what you meant by "standby"...


Thanks...

John

Ka4wja,
Thank you for the questions.

The "Standby Current" of <=0.25 A is given on p70 of the BandG V-50 VHF User Guide. It does not specifically define Standby but uses the term to contextually mean the normal listening state where no signal is above squelch.

In the case of my measurement, I am trying to interpolate 1 amp marks on the main panel so my reading is just a guestimate. The display light is set to low (but not off) for this. The radio is silent during this measurement but ready to receive should an incoming call exceed squelch. When the radio's power is off the current reads zero.

The manual, which gives all the specs for this radio, is freely available on the BandG web site.

Let me know if you have other questions.
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:37   #88
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Ok, I just finished this installation, except for the radar which is waiting another couple of months for the mast to be pulled for new standing rigging. Maybe some of this will be helpful to others, and OTOH I still have some issues. Just to recap, I installed:
  1. SeaTalk to SeaTalkng converter, to get data from my ST60 multi (depth and speed), ST60 wind, and S1 wheelpilot into the NMEA 2000 network.
  2. Vesper XB8000 AIS transponder and antenna splitter. There is no stand-alone display for this model, and instead the data is presented on the B&G chartplotter (and the small VHF screen). This unit requires the Vesper GPS, and although can feed that data onto the network, cannot rely on other GPS for the data instead.
  3. B&G Zeus2 display
  4. Icom 506 VHF. This model does not have AIS, but it is NMEA2000 compatible. And has large display for my eyes!
  5. B&G ZG100 GPS and compass unit. My Zeus2 sits under a hardtop, and I was concerned that the integral GPS might not work because of it. Plus am hoping the ZG100 compass is good enough for radar overlay (which the specs say is acceptable, but not for MARPA). The wheelpilot also has a compass, but it is not gyro stabilized, and it is a less-frequent refresh rate as well. So decided not to use that data.
  6. A bunch of rewiring, including adding a fuse panel for all of these instruments, a negative bus, and some switches to be able to power down the radar and the AIS from the helm. As currently set up, all of the ST instruments, B&G plotter, and the network are powered up when I flip the "Instrument" breaker on. The radar and AIS are on the same switch. The VHF is separate breaker, as is the autopilot. Most of this is trying to make due with the Seawind panel, without adding more breakers.
  7. Finally, I set up my Zeus display to be easily removable so it can be stored below. The downside to this is that it is connected and disconnected at every use, so possibly prone to breaking or wearing out connections. To avoid this, my power pigtail stays on the display, as does a 1 ft NMEA2000 spur cable. The radar cable is the only one does not have a pigtail, but I will use this much less frequent than the others. For power, I am using a dedicated "cigarette-lighter" style plug at the end of the pigtail, but its made by Marineco and waterproof with positive locking mechanism. For the NMEA2000 connection, I purchased a bulkhead fitting, but was not happy with it. So now I am just using a cable-to-cable connection.
Some things to note, and some issues:
  1. The SeaTalk to SeaTalkng converter is working great. All of my ST60 data is coming into Zeus - including the autopilot data. However, the Raymarine autopilot cannot be controlled by the Zeus, but I am ok with that as the AP controller is right at the wheel as well. Just for those considering this, the converter is considered an extension of the NMEA2000 network so hooks up like a backbone, and not a spur cable. There is no cable available for this, so I purchased a blue-connected SeaTalkng backbone cable and spliced it into a NMEA2000 cable. The wires as small, but the color combination identical. Being a type-A person I used heat shrink connectors, and then used heat shrink tubing over the top of the bundle. Before the final shrink, I tested for continuity using a meter. It all worked.
  2. Zeus requires some setup, and you want to make sure that all instruments are on in the initial setup - so it can find them all. I had a moment of disappointment in the first try, as the cable to the Seatalk instruments was not connected tightly, and it saw the converter but not the data. And in my case, it wanted to use the internal GPS instead of the ZG100. (It actually gave a choice of the Zeus internal, the ZG100, and the Vesper GPS.)
  3. I am exchanging emails with Vesper regarding what I believe is a faulty antenna splitter. When I hookup the Icom VHF directly, I get fantastic reception, and weather channels. Thru the splitter, it is static-filled transmission only 300 yds distant (we checked with handheld VHF). The AIS works beautifully and I get a transmit light on that each time, but no VHF transmit light. I have also swapped the patch cables, but no VHF improvement. I suspect this unit is going back for replacement, but am waiting for New Zealand weekend to end to talk again with Vesper. Just FYI, they quickly responded to my request for technical support, but then the weekend happened!
  4. My other issue - besides bad gasoline, one carb plugged, and a fuel system that needs to be drained and cleaned that is keeping me on the dock and not getting to fully test my B&G system - is an issue with Zeus calling targets on AIS. One reason I purchased the new VHF was so that it would be on the network, and B&G told me could use their menu driven system to make target calls. It is supposed to work by selecting the ship icon on the screen, which brings up its info in a menu, and then at the bottom is a "call" choice. All of this works, but the "call" choice appears to be disabled as the text is not as bright as the rest, and it does nothing when touched. This may be an issue with the Vesper splitter, or it may be a Zeus programming issue. Either way, I have not been able to figure it out yet. It is going to be really disappointing if there is an interface issue that prevents this from working, as it is one feature I will really use in the busy shipping lanes down here.
If anyone has any experience with the AIS issue, would love to hear from you. B&G told me that Icom should interface fine. Does anyone have a working system with non-B&G VHF?
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:30   #89
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Nice job.

On your whole removable approach, I'd be more concerned about contamination of electrical connections from salt water and dirt than I'd be concerned about them wearing out. Hopefully wire caps are available, etc.

Re DSC for the VHF, looking at the PGN list fro the ICOM506, it doesn't receive any "make a call" PGN, so I think you are SOL. Looking at the N2K PGNs, I only see one for DSC calls. The 506 transmits that PGN, but doesn't receive it. It's also unclear whether that PGN is even intended for initiating a call or if it's just for reporting a DSC distress event so it can be displayed on a chart plotter.

The only description in the 506 manual of making a call from an AIS transponder is with the Icom AIS transponder, and that device connects via 0183, not via N2K.
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Old 03-05-2015, 20:12   #90
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Hi Tanglewood,

Thanks for the research, albeit it is a bit disappointing. First, yes I have caps on the NMEA2000 cable and the cig plug has a cover as well. Both of these are under a hardtop in the salon, and behind a nacelle, so exposure is not much of a risk.

As for the AIS calling, I can scroll thru the list of targets on the VHF and log a call that way. But I wonder if I hookup the B&G NMEA0183 to the VHF, whether that would allow the Zeus to log an AIS call. Any thoughts on that?

On another note, a nearby boat showed me the AIS transmission from my boat, and while it has my MMSI number, it is missing all other data (boat name, type, dimension data). Looks like Defender dropped the ball on the programming, and as such, with no identifying info other than MMSI transmittal, it is basically useless if my boat cannot be visually identified. What a disappointment.
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