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Old 03-10-2012, 05:43   #1
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Electronics -- System Architecture

So I'm finally going to replace my electronics this winter when I have the boat out of the water and the mast out.

I have been disappointed so many times hiring professionals for electrical work that I think I will do this myself -- maybe hire someone just for mounting things and running wires, or maybe not even that.

So that means it will be entirely up to me to choose the components and design the system -- I wonder if I am biting off more than I can chew? Should I engage some kind of designer or consultant? Or maybe it's not rocket science?

Here is what I have in mind:

B&G Zeus MFD's, 8" at the helm and 12" at the nav table
B&G 4G radar on the mast
Simrad GPS sensor on the pushpit

Existing depth & log sensors over NMEA 0183
Existing Raymarine depth, log, wind & closehauled wind displays

New Maretron ultrasonic wind instrument at the masthead over NMEA0183 (so Ray displays can read)

Digital Yacht CLA1000 AIS Class A transponder over NMEA 0183 (it does not speak NMEA2000)
Separate VHF antenna for AIS
Audible alarm for AIS

OK, so far this is fairly straightforward.

What gets a bit tricky is the autopilot.

Simrad AP28 control
Simrad AC42 or AC12 autopilot computer [I have read that they are the same units -- just different labels]
A good gyro stabilized heading sensor which I haven't chosen yet, but maybe the Airmar H2183

I need to be sure that this will work with my jumbo Raymarine hydraulic pump drive and ram. I guess the heading sensor is connected to the autopilot computer, which passes on heading and rate of turn data via Simnet to the MFD's, and from there to the AIS unit via NMEA0183.

The autopilot computer will need wind data -- I presume that the ultrasonic wind sensor is connected to the wind displays via NMEA 0183, from there to the network, and the autopilot computer will get that data from one of the MFD's via Simnet. I am guessing that the existing NMEA 0183 stuff if hooked up into some kind of junction box which is then connected to my nav table MFD -- and I can probably just connect the same wire to the new MFD to get all the NMEA 0183 data into the new network.


The two questions are:

Is any of the gear mis-chosen for this purpose?
How to hook it all up together?

I think I understand how it works but would not like to screw it up.

Any hints about the right way to go about it?
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:07   #2
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Dockhead,

The only piece that I might suggest for your plan is a NMEA multiplexer for data flow. I have a Brookhouse and it seems to moderate flow well. My other suggestion is that once you have the system built, go into each NMEA sender's software and choose the data that you want sent out. Turn off the rest of the data steam so that your system is not over loaded with unnecessary data.

Here are two files of my system.

Cheers

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SV Pacem
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:08   #3
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Thanks, very useful! Did you design and set up your system yourself? Is it realistic to do based on studying the manuals?
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:37   #4
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

You may also want to consider getting NMEA2000 sensors wherever applicable, put them on a N2K backbone and use an Actisense 2000-0183 bridge to provide the 0183 instruments with data. This will help future-proof your boat a bit.

The Simrad AP and compass would also be put on the N2K backbone via a Simnet-canbus cable. Your GPS and MFD will also exist on the N2K side of things.

So an Actisense with a 0183 multiplexer (as AnsleyS points out) will help keep a mixed system simpler, easier to install and troubleshoot, and allow easier upgrades and more choice in the future if you ever want to replace the legacy Ray stuff with MFD's or N2K transducers.

In other words, consider your new electronics decision as designing a N2K network system that also includes some legacy 0183 gear, rather than designing a 0183 system that also includes a bit of N2K gear.

N2K is SO much easier to install, connect and use than 0183. A six year old kid can set up that side of it for you in 30 minutes while you spend 30 days figuring out the 0183 side of things.

As for the AP, those units are not the same - the AC42 provides up to 30A drive output. The rest of the capabilities are the same. Check the current needs of your hydraulic pump to confirm a match.

Also, while the Simrad AP will work just fine without using the Simrad RC42 rate compass, Simrad will not guarantee the autopilot commissioning using another company's rate sender. The Simrad RC42 is a good rate compass and looks exactly like the Maretron one. Exactly enough that I think they are the same hardware. So you may want to consider using an RC42 instead. In the US, Simrad offers package deals on their AP's that are lower in price than the individual components.

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Old 03-10-2012, 07:40   #5
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Thank you! More extremely useful information!
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:41   #6
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
B&G Zeus MFD's, 8" at the helm and 12" at the nav table
B&G 4G radar on the mast
Simrad GPS sensor on the pushpit
I would consider the new RM c/e series. A lot of functionality for lower price. The new e series allows remote control from an iPad, a friend decided to forego the second MFD inside and just use the iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Existing depth & log sensors over NMEA 0183
Existing Raymarine depth, log, wind & closehauled wind displays
I'm not sure those are NMEA 0183?
I would be tempted to install the RM i70 displays and use the RM ITC-5 for the existing sensors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
New Maretron ultrasonic wind instrument at the masthead over NMEA0183 (so Ray displays can read)
Same as above, I don't think the Maretron WSO100 speaks 0183 and even if it did, I don't think the existing RM analog displays could read 0183.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Digital Yacht CLA1000 AIS Class A transponder over NMEA 0183 (it does not speak NMEA2000)
Separate VHF antenna for AIS
Audible alarm for AIS
I would use the Em-Trak B100 (class b) and display on the i70 or MFD via NMEA 2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, so far this is fairly straightforward.

What gets a bit tricky is the autopilot.

Simrad AP28 control
Simrad AC42 or AC12 autopilot computer [I have read that they are the same units -- just different labels]
A good gyro stabilized heading sensor which I haven't chosen yet, but maybe the Airmar H2183
Why not use the Airmar GH2183 and forego the Simrad GPS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I need to be sure that this will work with my jumbo Raymarine hydraulic pump drive and ram. I guess the heading sensor is connected to the autopilot computer, which passes on heading and rate of turn data via Simnet to the MFD's, and from there to the AIS unit via NMEA0183.
AIS needs heading and ROT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The autopilot computer will need wind data -- I presume that the ultrasonic wind sensor is connected to the wind displays via NMEA 0183, from there to the network, and the autopilot computer will get that data from one of the MFD's via Simnet. I am guessing that the existing NMEA 0183 stuff if hooked up into some kind of junction box which is then connected to my nav table MFD -- and I can probably just connect the same wire to the new MFD to get all the NMEA 0183 data into the new network.
Using the Maretron WSO100, the wind will be on the N2k network, the Simard AP will pick it up from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The two questions are:

Is any of the gear mis-chosen for this purpose?
How to hook it all up together?

I think I understand how it works but would not like to screw it up.

Any hints about the right way to go about it?
Again, don't mess around with 0183, it's a big pain. Rebuild everything with N2k, if a device doesn't support it, don't buy it.

IMO, of course!
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:33   #7
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

I appreciate the superiority of NMEA2000.

But I have a really good set of ST60+ instruments -- depth, speed, wind, close hauled wind -- which cost a lot of money and which work perfectly. It would be many thousands to replace them all.

I guess one thing I could do is just to leave the ST60 instruments as a separate network and leave the existing (recently replaced at great expense) masthead wind instrument to feed them over Seatalk.

Use the new Airmar ultrasonic wind instrument (which I want for weather anyway) to feed the new network with NMEA2000 data (it will need wind data for wind-following mode in the pilot). I don't know if the new network needs STW or depth.

Hmm. Bit of a kludge, but I really don't want to drop another $4000 or $5000 on top of everything else to replace perfectly good ST60 instruments -- the budget is already huge.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:45   #8
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
But I have a really good set of ST60+ instruments -- depth, speed, wind, close hauled wind -- which cost a lot of money and which work perfectly. It would be many thousands to replace them all.
All of that functionality can be replaced by a single RM i70 or B&G Triton for less $500. Or for more flexibility, two of them for less than a grand. And you will gain additional functions for that price - you will be able to display the air pressure and temp from that ultrasonic station, graph any sensor data you want, use as an autopilot control (Triton), use as an AIS display (i70), use as a compass display, use as a GPS display, monitor your engine functions (if you have sensors) - the list of functionality is long for these instruments. And they aren't dedicated - pressing a button flips through any display pages you want.

And some, if not all, of that money you get back when you sell the ST60's...

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Old 03-10-2012, 08:57   #9
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
All of that functionality can be replaced by a single RM i70 or B&G Triton for less $500. Or for more flexibility, two of them for less than a grand. And you will gain additional functions for that price - you will be able to display the air pressure and temp from that ultrasonic station, graph any sensor data you want, use as an autopilot control (Triton), use as an AIS display (i70), use as a compass display, use as a GPS display, monitor your engine functions (if you have sensors) - the list of functionality is long for these instruments. And they aren't dedicated - pressing a button flips through any display pages you want.

And some, if not all, of that money you get back when you sell the ST60's...

Mark
They look pretty cool -- especially the i70. Hmmm. The budget keeps growing and growing . . .

I haven't made any allowance for the value of my old gear, but I think it should be worth something -- people over here are still using gear like my R80CRC+ MFD, Pathfinder radar, R70RC+ MFD, and the ST60+ instruments. I guess I could flog it all on Fleabay . . .

I do see the value in starting with a clean sheet of paper, pure NMEA 2000 . . .
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:02   #10
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Hmm. Bit of a kludge, but I really don't want to drop another $4000 or $5000 on top of everything else to replace perfectly good ST60 instruments -- the budget is already huge.
No need. You can get SeaTalk to NMEA 2000 converter for about $95 USD.

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Raymarine SeaTalk-SeaTalkNG converter, nice
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:05   #11
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Oh! It looks like you can connect Seatalk instruments directly to an i70 display. So theoretically, I could have one or two i70's, and leave two or three of my ST60+ displays, without any compromises of the NMEA2000 architecture. Cool!
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:44   #12
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I appreciate the superiority of NMEA2000.

But I have a really good set of ST60+ instruments -- depth, speed, wind, close hauled wind -- which cost a lot of money and which work perfectly. It would be many thousands to replace them all.

I guess one thing I could do is just to leave the ST60 instruments as a separate network and leave the existing (recently replaced at great expense) masthead wind instrument to feed them over Seatalk.

Use the new Airmar ultrasonic wind instrument (which I want for weather anyway) to feed the new network with NMEA2000 data (it will need wind data for wind-following mode in the pilot). I don't know if the new network needs STW or depth.

Hmm. Bit of a kludge, but I really don't want to drop another $4000 or $5000 on top of everything else to replace perfectly good ST60 instruments -- the budget is already huge.
I would not put the Airmar PB200 at the masthead and use the GPS or gyro compass function, too much movement up there. Use the Maretron wind at the masthead and put a Airmar GH2183 on the stern rail. Like Mark stated, if Simrad doesn't like 3rd party gyro compass, use the Airmar G2183 and the Simrad compass.

Again, consider a cheaper MFD solution, like the new RM e/c series and a iPad remote control. That'll save more than enough to get the added i70/N2k stuff in budget.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:45   #13
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Oh! It looks like you can connect Seatalk instruments directly to an i70 display. So theoretically, I could have one or two i70's, and leave two or three of my ST60+ displays, without any compromises of the NMEA2000 architecture. Cool!
I believe you will find that is Seatalkng and not Seatalk for the i70. The converter Bash mentions would be very helpful.

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Old 03-10-2012, 09:53   #14
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I believe you will find that is Seatalkng and not Seatalk for the i70. The converter Bash mentions would be very helpful.

Mark
No, if I read the materials right, the i70 will output data to a regular Seatalk instrument - they even show an ST60 instrument. Very cool, very versatile piece of hardware, that i70.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:59   #15
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Re: Electronics -- System Architecture

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I would not put the Airmar PB200 at the masthead and use the GPS or gyro compass function, too much movement up there. Use the Maretron wind at the masthead and put a Airmar GH2183 on the stern rail. Like Mark stated, if Simrad doesn't like 3rd party gyro compass, use the Airmar G2183 and the Simrad compass.

Again, consider a cheaper MFD solution, like the new RM e/c series and a iPad remote control. That'll save more than enough to get the added i70/N2k stuff in budget.
Thanks, I understand not to use heading data from the masthead mounted weather instrument. The Airmar uses its heading sensor to produce True Wind for weather station data, which I want -- very nice to be able to read true wind speed and direction -- and a graphic history of that from the night before -- when you get up in the morning and start planning your passage.

The GH2183 looks very cool, but why would I want that (combined GPS antenna and gyro compass) plus a Simrad compass?

I am inclined against the Simrad compass because it is far less accurate than the Airmar one, which seems to be the best gyrocompass you can buy for less than many thousands. I think that your gyrocompass really needs to be located near the roll and pitch center of the boat, so I would be inclined to use the H2183 in the location where the existing fluxgate is, and a separate simple GPS antenna on the rail.

If the problem with using a non-Simrad compass is just certification, then probably I don't care. If it actually doesn't work right with the Simrad pilot, then that's a different story. I'll try to find out.
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