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Old 25-06-2015, 12:10   #1
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Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Is it possible and has anyone successfully done a commissioning of a B&G Triton Autopilot at sea?

I'm planning a solo cruise from LA to Hawaii and back this summer and wanted to be prepared.
My situation is such that I have just switched to B&G with a new 4G radar, wind vane, Zeus 2 MFD, and V50 VHF/AiS radio. The speed/depth/temp. sensor will be done when I haul out and change the housing. (The housing I have now is too narrow, I tried...)

The current (and very old) Raytheon 'Auto helm' works fine by itself and I'm thinking i should leave it alone and just bring the B&G AP controller and the 'Low current brain' with me as back up.
I can add the RC42 Rate-Compass to the system now so it will be there when needed.

From what I read on the autopilot, there is some 'Dockside' programming that needs to be done first and I was wondering if my plan is even viable.

One of the reasons I went the B&G route other than the awesome radar picture is the ability of the autopilot to steer to apparent and true winds and I understand I'm giving it up by not switching yet.

I would very much appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

Ron
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Old 25-06-2015, 13:45   #2
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

I'd consider installing it on your other rudder so you have full redundancy.
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Old 25-06-2015, 14:37   #3
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Keep us updated on how you find the B&G kit.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 25-06-2015, 14:44   #4
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

The dockside setup is pretty minimal and consists of moving the rudders to each stop and pushing a button, then moving them to the middle and pushing a button, then letting it move the rudders a little bit to determine which polarity the wires were connected.

Why not install it, do a full setup including calibration, and then disconnect it if you want it completely off-line?

It will perform much better than your current AP, so why not install it as the primary?

Mark
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Old 25-06-2015, 16:50   #5
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Don't know much about commissioning at sea
BUT be sure you have the updated software from B&G
Last October I was crewing aboard a brand new Hanse with
A brand new suite of B&G gear and we had intermitantl loss
of the AP. Problem was traced to faulty software, known
" Time Out" problem
by B&G, yet they never recalled their New stuff out in the field.
So it's possible you have brand new gear but with faulty software.
There is a thread somewhere here with the correct software
version number
Fair Winds
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Old 25-06-2015, 17:06   #6
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
by B&G, yet they never recalled their New stuff out in the field.
Nobody recalls their stuff out in the field. Most issue updates for the user to install. Others require the equipment to be returned for a software upgrade if the user wants it.

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Old 25-06-2015, 19:28   #7
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Thank you all for the input so far. I didn't think about installing another complete set up on the other rudder since I didn't plan on getting another pump and lines going to the helm but it's not a bad idea.
As to disconnecting and using the current AP as back up and installing the new system now, it just feels strange to disconnect a perfectly good working autopilot. Maybe it's because I'm afraid I won't be able to put it back together if I needed to...
I will give it another look and if it's not too scary than I'll do that.

B&G is not very clear on which Rudder Sensor goes with the Triton system. The 'RF 25N' says it's designed for the big H3000 system so I have not ordered one yet. Any ideas?

On a funny side-note, part of this very expensive re-fit actually came from Walmart... They sell the Lowrance starter kit which I needed for the extra cables.
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Old 25-06-2015, 20:02   #8
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Nobody recalls their stuff out in the field. Most issue updates for the user to install. Others require the equipment to be returned for a software upgrade if the user wants it.

Mark
Fair enough about recalling stuff installed in the field
But if the unit is sitting on one of their dealers shelves
and an update to a serious problem is issued and then the dealer
installs it WITHOUT doing the Update and WITHOUT informing
the purchaser that they must update the software or they
will without warning itermitantly and randomly lose
the AP is just not right.
Below is an exerpt from an email I sent to the owner of the
Brand New Hanse with B&G Gear

"You should be on the following software versions

Zues 2_0-46.1.111
Triton 2_9_0_00_01
Triton Pilot Keypad 1_4_01_00

These can be found for download at

Triton Pilot Software Update

This information was up to date as of July 15, 2014
You should check with B & G to see if there has been any newer releases.
They knew about this issue before your boat was even commissioned
This software update was released in November of 2013"

So a gentlemen takes delivery of a brand new boat
with brand new electronics in May of 2014 and NOBODY tells him
that the software is outdated, unstable and unsafe and a fix
was released by the manufacturer 6 months prior to commisioning.
The manufacture SHOULD be doing a better job For Sure

SO if you buy a Unit tomorrow that has been sitting on the shelf for a year
exactly whose responability is it to update or at the very least inform
the new owner of the NEED to Update the Software??

This is not like your Twitter not working
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Old 26-06-2015, 06:06   #9
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
But if the unit is sitting on one of their dealers shelves
and an update to a serious problem is issued and then the dealer
installs it WITHOUT doing the Update and WITHOUT informing
the purchaser that they must update the software or they
will without warning itermitantly and randomly lose
the AP is just not right.
Yes, this is a bit different type of problem. However, it is widespread throughout all consumer devices. If you go to a computer store and buy a computer, most likely you will find much of the software has updates available when you bring it home. Even the operating system could be a version or two behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
So a gentlemen takes delivery of a brand new boat with brand new electronics in May of 2014 and NOBODY tells him
that the software is outdated, unstable and unsafe and a fix
was released by the manufacturer 6 months prior to commisioning.
The manufacture SHOULD be doing a better job For Sure
Once it leaves the manufacture and goes to a retailer, the manufacturer has no control over when it was sold or what software version it was sold with. They have no way of contacting an unknown customer. Many companies do regularly contact customers after the customer fills out the warranty information. Vesper, as an example, sends me emails when they have issued an update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
SO if you buy a Unit tomorrow that has been sitting on the shelf for a year exactly whose responability is it to update or at the very least inform the new owner of the NEED to Update the Software??
As a rule, I look for updates before installing any new gear, and regularly check for them after.

I do the same with computer programs, operating systems, etc.

I guess I believe that it is the owner's responsibility to keep up on this type of thing - unless it is a safety/defect recall, where I think it is the manufacturer's responsibility to get the notice out as most reasonably possible.

Mark
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Old 26-06-2015, 06:10   #10
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat ballou View Post

B&G is not very clear on which Rudder Sensor goes with the Triton system. The 'RF 25N' says it's designed for the big H3000 system so I have not ordered one yet. Any ideas?
Any N2K rudder sensor will work just fine - it doesn't even need to be made by B&G.

The other B&G option is the Simrad LF3000 linear sensor or the RF300 rotary sensor - both using proportional signals instead of N2K.

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Old 26-06-2015, 10:03   #11
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

I have the simrad equivalent. Just follow the instruction boolets, first dockside commissioning and fhen do the seatrial commissioning. Very straightforward
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Old 26-06-2015, 13:18   #12
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

I just installed a Simrad AC42 autopilot, RF25N rudder sensor and a Simrad DD-15 drive unit all controlled by Tritons, a Triton pilot keypad and a Zeus2 MFD. The commissioning is very straightforward and easy.
The RF25N is a NMEA2000 network rudder position sensor and comes with a micro c connector installed on the end of the 18 foot cable. It is for applications that include a direct connection to a NMEA2000 network. There is no direct connection to the autopilot computer (Simrad AC42) with the RF25N sensor. That would require an RF300 sensor, which has the same 18 foot cable with wire ends that are intended to be connected directly to the terminals on the AC42 computer.
Either sensor would work fine. They are functionally identical, other than the way they are connected to the system.
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Old 26-06-2015, 17:50   #13
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Re: Commissioning B&G Autopilot at sea.

Thank you Mark and Bill.

Just ordered the RF 25N Rudder Sensor and this should be the last piece of the puzzle for now unless the current pump also needs to go.
Going to the boat this weekend to learn the ins and outs of the current set up and take pictures as well so I know how to put it back together if need be.
Will keep you posted.

Ron
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