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Old 14-12-2010, 11:45   #1
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Intergrating Raymarine Units

I'm planning to add a few electronic goodies to my yacht and I want to check to see if I am understanding correctly how I need to do this so that I am buying the right stuff.

My boat currently has the Raymarine ST60+ Tri-data & wind display, plus a ST6002 autohelm unit on the starboard helm. I want to add some instruments to the port helm as well. For now I am not sure if I will duplicate the ST60's or get a single ST70, but at the moment I am leaning towards the latter.

I am also adding The Raymarine wireless smart controller and replacing my VHF with a DSC unit.

I have tried to draw up a "wiring" diagram of how I believe the units are currently connected and how I think I need to add the new equipment.

Please excuse the pre-school quality drawings as I was doing it on my ipad on a flight. I never managed to find a good program for drawing boxes and lines, so this is more like a "finger painting"

If I understand it correctly, one of my ST60 units should probably have a free seatalk port which I should be able to connect the ST60's or ST70 to. I could then connect the smart controller transmitter to the free seatalk port. I do understand that for the ST70 to be integrated the ST60 units must remain connected to the sensors.

I noticed that my autohelm unit had a free seatalk and nmea connector, so alternatively I guess I could connect the new units via this seatalk connector.

For my Standard Horizon VHF unit, I assume I just need to connect it to the nmea wires coming from the Garmin 550 map.


Beyond these changes there are a couple of other things I want to add that I am even less sure about.

I want to set-up my Macbook so I can use it for navigation. I would prefer to run it as a Mac rather than using windows (currently have XP using VMware) so I guess I need MacEnc and perhaps even get iNavx for my iPad that currently has Navonics on it.

I would like to display data from the instruments, so I guess I need to connect to the Raymarine units via NMEA, so I guess I need something like this 1121 - ShipModul MiniPlex-2 USB NMEA 0183 AIS - 1121 - Electronics - NavStore - Your Pro Marine Source - Detail

Whilst I know that I can get the GPS signal to my Mac using the Garmin unit, I think I would prefer to have a separate antennae in case the Garmin dies. For this I guess I need to get a gps antennae that connects to a USB port??

Finally, I want to add AIS and display it on both the Garmin unit and the Mac. If the AIS can be sent to the iPad via wifi from the Mac then it will be a bonus. Alternatively I could get the Digital Yacht AIS receiver that has WIFI, but I sort of feel that if I am going to splash the cash on AIS I might as well spend a bit more to get a transponder instead of just a receiver.


Am I on the right track or at least the right ball park??????

I'd hate to buy lots of equipment and then discover I should have got something else to get it working the way I want......
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Old 14-12-2010, 12:08   #2
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Having sailed with the a boat fully using ST70's ( two on each helm), Id say go for the ST70, it displays far more data .

Be careful. Raymarines NMEA connections on their autopilots are primarily meant to allw data in and out from chartplotters, lost of standard NMEA sentences are not supported, ( check the manual ). IN some cases its very spare.

If you want to "decode" seatalk, then buy the Raymarine Seatalk NMEA bridge.

Note you will want a NMEA feed from the multiplexor to feed the DSC VHF. AIS units normally have there own GPS as thats required by the spec.
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Old 14-12-2010, 13:48   #3
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Also see Brookhouse.com multiplexers
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Old 14-12-2010, 14:16   #4
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The Brookshouse iMux-ST looks like it might be what I need (want)

With the AIS GPS, does that mean that I need to install a GPS antennae for the AIS unit and can my Macbook get the position from it giving me a backup for the Garmin?

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Having sailed with the a boat fully using ST70's ( two on each helm), Id say go for the ST70, it displays far more data
In bright sunlight are they as easy to read as the analogue wind instruments and the big simple LCD numbers?
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Old 14-12-2010, 14:20   #5
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When crossing between islands in the Caribbean I had all most instuments go off. It turned out that there was a short in the GPS wire that would blow the fuse in the controller, which would then stop power to the ST60 instruments.
I just changed the wiring to have a separate power supply to the ST60 instruments, so if something does short the controller at least I still have depth/speed/wind. Since you are installing new instruments I would suggest the same. It was in one of the Raymarine manuals.
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Old 14-12-2010, 14:29   #6
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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
The Brookshouse iMux-ST looks like it might be what I need (want)

With the AIS GPS, does that mean that I need to install a GPS antennae for the AIS unit and can my Macbook get the position from it giving me a backup for the Garmin?
Yes, you will need to install a separate GPS antenna along with the VHF antenna for the AIS. This will usually come in via a 39.6kb nmea channel like the AIS data, instead of at the normal rate, but is perfectly usable by most charting programs, or by using the multiplexer to change the baud rate.
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Old 14-12-2010, 14:39   #7
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aside from the fact you lose redundancy, is there any other issue with using a splitter to share the VHF antennae between the radio and AIS?
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Old 14-12-2010, 15:58   #8
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It's not a radio shack $3 splitter!

It will cost about the same as an antenna....there are short ones 18" - 36" for about $50
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Old 14-12-2010, 22:36   #9
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Yes the st70 displays are very easy to read in bright sunlight And you can simulate the st60 display of two large number fields as well as all the other display options

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Old 16-12-2010, 00:52   #10
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It's not a radio shack $3 splitter!

It will cost about the same as an antenna....there are short ones 18" - 36" for about $50
Whilst the price of a splitter does not save money, it must save on installation head aches of installing a 2nd antenna on the masthead if I want max potential range??
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Old 16-12-2010, 02:15   #11
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I had a splitter installed for my AIS and about a week later my VHF radio burned out. I am not sure it was true, but the repair person said it could easily be becasue of the splitter not acting fast enough. So I had the VHF repaired and added a new antenna for the AIS. Since then both have worked fine.
Is it possible that the splitter caused this problem?
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Old 16-12-2010, 05:23   #12
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AIS: Splitters vs 2nd Antenna

Good splitters cost several times what a VHF antenna costs (See Milltech Marine for more). Before starting a whole new discussion here, you might want to check the AIS Antenna location / Splitter thread. No real consensus was reached. Some folks like the redundancy & simplicity of a 2nd antenna while others preferred the range & ease of installation of a splitter. I also talk a bit about the pros & cons on our AIS page, including the theoretical range difference.
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Old 16-12-2010, 06:12   #13
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I opted to put a dedicated AIS antenna on the stern rail, and it can double as an emergency VHF antenna if I ever lost the rig. (I have an adapter to convert BNC to PL259 connector). I used a splitter on my VHF for my FM radio and it's not the most reliable piece of gear... already had one fail (don't listen to the FM radio much and might just remove the splitter, as it probably also introduces some loss).

Haven't been concerned about range -- I'm a coastal sailor and only track big traffic within 5 NM, or small traffic within about a mile or two. I've had ships confirm they can see a good signal from me on AIS about 10 miles out, my transceiver is Class B. Maybe I'm visible further but never bothered to confirm or test the limits.
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Old 16-12-2010, 06:40   #14
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Quote:
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I also talk a bit about the pros & cons on our AIS page, including the theoretical range difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
I opted to put a dedicated AIS antenna on the stern rail, and it can double as an emergency VHF antenna if I ever lost the rig.
I agree the stern rail or radar pole if on the stern is the way to go.

Why go thru the trouble and lack of redundancy on the mast, not to mention the weight of the cable aloft and installation PIA.

Next month I working with a group of Ham hobbyist's on developing an inexpensive AIS capable antenna, the goal will be low coat and a short length.

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Old 16-12-2010, 18:43   #15
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Raymarine or Garmin!

You have a mish mash of hardware, maybe you should have all Raymarine or all Garmin. I have Raymarine based on a E80 plotter, my macbook running in windows mode via bootcamp with Raymarine RNC software. Using RNC you can pretty well use it as a second E80, not only that it is much easier to plan routes and load them to the E80 via the Raymarine ethernet. You can also interface your wind instruments if so desired as well as your autopilot. You can also include a AIS input as well as Sirrus weather ( only of any use if you are in the USA)
Why do you need a special antenna for AIS? its just VHF and a splitter will work just fine with your existing antenna. But be careful with AIS, it seems to me that only half of the larger vessels use it correctly, or even have it on. Just last weekend in San Fran bay the coast guard radioed a vessel to ask why the AIS showed it as drifting when in fact it was under way at 12 knots. I'll stick to my radar for the time being, oh, by the way mine is also raymarine which is displayed on the E80 or my laptop, overlaid on the nav screen if I like.
I do have some minor problems with the interfacing, but none to be to worried about, like I can't display a 3d screen on the laptop with the 3D charts I have on the E80. but as I said, I can live with that!

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