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Old 21-03-2015, 18:40   #1
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Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

So I have a very simple N2K network set up on my boat. It's a GPS and a 3-function transducer hooked up to an Actisense NGW-1 which converts to NMEA 0183 and plugs into a computer. Everything was working fine but the GPS would occasionally cut in and out. It never lost signal for more than a second or two so I had just chalked it up to interference or something. Then one day the computer stopped getting all signal from the N2K network. The Actisense would turn on but the LEDs would blink in the pattern that meant it wasn't getting signal from either side. I was still able to use the Actisense software on the computer which would detect the NGW-1 and even send signals to it (which would make the 0183 LED blink normally for a few seconds) but nothing else.

All of that led me to think something was wrong with the NGW-1 so I emailed Actisense and one of the first things they asked me to check was that the N2K network was getting power and functioning. I turned everything on now the NGW-1 doesn't light up at all, like it's not getting power. I put a clamp meter on the N2K power cable where I could isolate one wire and it seems to be getting power there but I'm not sure how to check that there's power anywhere else. I also only have the computer as a display so I don't know how I could check that the rest of the network is working.

This is getting pretty frustrating so any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 21-03-2015, 19:54   #2
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

Have you tried disconnecting each of the input legs to the N2k bus, one at a time? Do you have 2 terminators on the bus, one at each end? Other than that you should be able to check the voltage at the cable pins on the drop to the NGW-1. That's all I can think of.
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Old 21-03-2015, 23:01   #3
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

If you have done all the above then I suggest you reload the firmware.
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Old 22-03-2015, 03:36   #4
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

A photo or sketch of the network would be very helpful. Where are the terminators located, how does power come in, etc. Just to eliminate the simple problems.
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Old 22-03-2015, 10:24   #5
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

Have you checked your ground (-) connection for your GPS?
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Old 22-03-2015, 11:29   #6
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

Do you have anyone nearby with N2K displays? ie tritons or maretrons?
Disconnect your gps and take it to them over to check with a "good" system.
Same with NGW-1. Quick & easy.
Check one thing at a time on acti reader or gps manufacturers software.
Sounds like a bad connection. Try pushing the drops into back bone and putting slight torque/wiggle on the junction with tightening collar loose whilst checking output in reader.
Gentle of course.
Check, swap out terminators.
I would gladly help as have spare triton and NGT-1, but its a bit of a hike...
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Old 25-03-2015, 06:58   #7
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Have you tried disconnecting each of the input legs to the N2k bus, one at a time? Do you have 2 terminators on the bus, one at each end? Other than that you should be able to check the voltage at the cable pins on the drop to the NGW-1. That's all I can think of.
I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting everything, including switching which device plugs in where, and that didn't help. I do have the two terminators as well. Everything was working fine for awhile and the network is so simple so I'm pretty confident everything's installed correctly. I'll upload a sketch or something soon.

Can you explain how I'd check the voltage on the cable pins? Like do I check at where the connector plugs into the backbone? And is a certain pin the ground or what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
If you have done all the above then I suggest you reload the firmware.
How would I do that? Right now my computer doesn't even see that the NGW is connected so I can't send anything to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anchorman View Post
Have you checked your ground (-) connection for your GPS?
Can you explain how to do this? I'm pretty new to this stuff if you couldn't tell, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lateral View Post
Do you have anyone nearby with N2K displays? ie tritons or maretrons?
Disconnect your gps and take it to them over to check with a "good" system.
Same with NGW-1. Quick & easy.
Check one thing at a time on acti reader or gps manufacturers software.
Sounds like a bad connection. Try pushing the drops into back bone and putting slight torque/wiggle on the junction with tightening collar loose whilst checking output in reader.
Gentle of course.
Check, swap out terminators.
I would gladly help as have spare triton and NGT-1, but its a bit of a hike...
Yea I thought of that but I don't know anyone who's got any N2K stuff. Around here I seem to be on the cutting edge of sailing technology, which isn't saying a lot unfortunately.
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Old 25-03-2015, 16:03   #8
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Re: Help troubleshooting my NMEA 2000 network

The NGW-1 is powered from the NMEA2000 network. Your first check should be the power source for the network. Make sure all the connections to ships power are good.

As Tanglewood said, a sketch/diagram would go a long way to helping us help you.

By the way, what manufacturer of NMEA2000 cables/connectors did you use?
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