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Old 14-07-2014, 02:22   #1
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Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

Hi, hoping someone might be able to help with the following. I've just bought a 2005 Fairline Targa 34 with Raymarine ST6001 autopilot and G series course computer (which is also interfaced to a Furuno Radar and chart plotter via SeaTalk).

The problem is, that after switching on the instruments, after about 20mins in standby the ST6001 head beeps and displays "NO PILOT". Pressing any buttons results in "SEATLK FAIL".

If you switch off everything for a few minutes (right back to battery switches) and then switch everything back on, it goes straight to "SEATLK FAIL".

Oddly though, if it is switched off for several hours or more and then rebooted, it works fine (until another 20mins or so passes by). Almost as though something is overheating??

However, if you actually use the autopilot (rather than leaving it in standby) then it seems to work fine. It's only after you leave it in standby again that the problem occurs.

I'd put up with it except that I've a 25 minute river run (which you can't use the pilot on) before I reach the sea, by which time I then can't use the pilot!

I've done the usual initial fixes. I've checked the SeaTalk wiring, I've swapped the order which the other instruments are daisy chained on the SeaTalk bus, and I've also swapped the SeaTalk ports around on the course computer (what I mean is that the course computer has two SeaTalk outputs/ports and I've tried the ST6001 on both, makes no difference).

I'm beginning to think it must be the ST6001 head, but one last thought is that is might be due to the Furuno system that is paralleled on the SeaTalk bus in case there is a compatibility issue?
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Old 14-07-2014, 05:53   #2
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

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Originally Posted by aquacruise View Post
I've done the usual initial fixes. I've checked the SeaTalk wiring, I've swapped the order which the other instruments are daisy chained on the SeaTalk bus, and I've also swapped the SeaTalk ports around on the course computer (what I mean is that the course computer has two SeaTalk outputs/ports and I've tried the ST6001 on both, makes no difference).
You've done the same initial troubleshooting I would do.

I suspect that integration with the Furuno is over NMEA 0183, not SeaTalk (unless there is an external SeaTalk to NMEA 0183 converter), so it is unlikely to be related. Still, it should be easy to lift the connections between the A/P computer and the Furuno and see what happens. Fast and easy possibilities no matter how unlikely are good to check.

Do you get A/P status data on the Furuno? If so, what does that say when the control head shows a failure?

I would check the cable between computer and control head but that isn't consistent with operation in AUTO as described. I'd make sure the software for the computer and the head are both updated to the latest version. If that doesn't fix it then ship the computer and the head to Raymarine for service. You'll be beyond the point of DIY.
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Old 14-07-2014, 07:24   #3
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

As Auspicious stated this does sound like an internal failure in either the ST6001 control head or the course computer. The only thing I can recommend is to isolate the AP from all of the other electronics, especially any other SeaTalk devices. After that you might try to sweet talk a dock mate with another ST600x control head to swap out your control head and see if the problem is in the course computer or the ST60001.
If you haven't already done so, you might post this problem on the Raymarine forum.
Unfortunately sending these units to Raymarine for repair doesn't make financial sense as their flat rates for out of warranty repair are generally more than the cost of a used replacement on eBay.

Good luck,
John
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Old 14-07-2014, 07:28   #4
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

which chartplotter do you use ?

mine (Ray E90w) can display the status of all connected seatalk equipment and can reset them if/when needed

does the ST6001 and/or A/P show a status on the plotter screen when its working or malfunctioning ?

that may help to determine what the issue is ?
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Old 14-07-2014, 11:29   #5
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

If the Furuno unit is actually connected to the Seatalk yellow wire then that could be your problem. I don't think Furuno speaks Seatalk.

The order of connections to Seatalk yellow wire does not matter. They are all in parallel anyway.

It sounds like some device is holding the yellow wire at ground. This will produce the error you see. The trick is to find where that is happening. It could be inside one device but more often it's water in a junction box or cable somewhere.
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Old 14-07-2014, 14:13   #6
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
You've done the same initial troubleshooting I would do.

I suspect that integration with the Furuno is over NMEA 0183, not SeaTalk (unless there is an external SeaTalk to NMEA 0183 converter), so it is unlikely to be related. Still, it should be easy to lift the connections between the A/P computer and the Furuno and see what happens. Fast and easy possibilities no matter how unlikely are good to check.

Do you get A/P status data on the Furuno? If so, what does that say when the control head shows a failure?

I would check the cable between computer and control head but that isn't consistent with operation in AUTO as described. I'd make sure the software for the computer and the head are both updated to the latest version. If that doesn't fix it then ship the computer and the head to Raymarine for service. You'll be beyond the point of DIY.
Thanks everybody for your helpful advice. I've been down on the boat all day trying to isolate the problem....As you suggested I have disconnected everything from the course computer (Raymarine SmartPilot S1) except 12v power and single SeaTalk to the ST6001. It's been on all day, and so far there is no issue with the autopilot. Obviously it won't work since all the outputs and inputs are disconnected, but the NO PILOT and STLKFAIL is cured.

I guess the next stage is to start reconnecting things and find out what the problem is...For one thing the old Raymarine GPS antenna was still connected to the S1 SeaTalk port, even though it is not being used anymore since the Furuno system has it's own independent one. I used the opportunity to remove the old Raymarine antenna today, and found it to be FULL of water, all the connections wet too - guess that's not good. That might have been the issue, and I don't need to reconnect it.

There are some other very confusing things about this boat's setup (which I've only owned for a week, so bear with me for not getting all the info upfront). The Furuno is a NavNet RDP-149. I've noted that it is connected to the S1 course computer by NMEA only (as others have suggested, there is no Furuno SeaTalk). The S1 NMEA output is connected to DATA3 on the RDP-149 and the S1 NMEA input is connected to DATA2 on the RDP-149. DATA1 on the RDP-149 is connected to a new Furuno GPS anntena.

Now according to the S1 datasheets, the NMEA output codes for the S1 are very limited. They don't even include depth, sea temperature, or speed through the water....Basically they just give heading, bearing to wpt, distance to wpt etc. And as it stands at the moment, I cannot seem to get the Furuno RDP-149 to display depth, sea temperature, water speed etc despite activating the appropriate codes (DPT>DBT>DBS>DBK for depth for instance) on the Furuno...(I am relying purely on the Raymarine ST60 to show me these readings at the moment, which isn't ideal). So it looks to me like the old owner spent 5000 GBP / $8000 USD (the invoice is aboard) installing this 15" color beast of machine and new radar dome, and all it can do is SOG (from it's own antenna), chart plotter, and radar...from what I can deduce all the other instruments and depth/sonar/fishfinder will be permanently blank. I think he sound have replaced everything, or stuck with Raymarine...

And I can't understand why DATA2 is connected to the S1 NMEA input, as I can't possibly see what useful information the Furuno is going to send to the S1...?? Ah, think I've just worked that one out, the GPS coords in order for the distress button on the Raymarine SeaTalked VHF to work correctly? Seems plausible. And that makes me think that even if there was nothing wrong with the old Raymarine GPS antenna, there would effectively be two GPS coords going into the system which could cause an issue?

Basically looks like the previous guy walked into the marine electronics shop and bought what the salesman was trying to get rid of that day, without any thought of integration. And the installation didn't bother to enlighten him before opening his tool box.

Before considering throwing the lot in the bin I have noted that the ST60 (tridata log, depth, speed) does have an NMEA port. Do you think I could connect the TriData NMEA direct to the Furuno so that it could get the TriData data? And the Furuno does have a spare DATA4 which according to the datasheet I could connect a Furuno Echo Sounder to. I think that could then give me a fully working system...

Two other things I've not mentioned. Ryamarine datasheets state that for non Raymarine devices connected by NMEA then EMC suppressors must be used. It also states that the S1 MUST be spearately grounded to ships ground. Neither of these things have been done (in case that's a factor).

Cheers guys. 21:15pm here. Time for a rum punch I think!
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Old 14-07-2014, 15:26   #7
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

One last thought, would a SeaTalk to NMEA converter enable me to get TriData to the Furuno RDP-149?
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Old 14-07-2014, 15:53   #8
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

The NMEA data, heading and rudder inputs to the course computer can't knock out SeaTalk so hook those back up. The course computer needs to get data from the Furuno chart plotter like XTE and such which it probably gets via NMEA.

The GPS unit, if it uses SeaTalk, can knock out the bus so that's probably the issue (water causing the yellow wire to be almost grounded). The course computer doesn't need GPS data but the DSC radio does for DSC to work. The DSC radio could easily get that data from one of the 4800baud Furuno NMEA outputs. So I don't think you need the Raymarine GPS unit.

I would not go crazy trying to redo all the NMEA ins and outs of the Furuno just yet. Make a diagram of where these go and try to figure out why they are that way. It may make more sense than you think. It sounds like the old Raymarine system maybe didn't work because the GPS sensor went bad. For some reason they took out the old Raymarine display and put in a Furuno. Maybe he had the idea to eventually replace all the Raymarine stuff but who knows. I think you can do some minor adds and get everything talking together. See below:

One last thought, would a SeaTalk to NMEA converter enable me to get TriData to the Furuno RDP-149?

Yes, the ST60 MULTI unit can send SeaTalk data to NMEA and the other way too.

These are the messages ST60 MULTI can convert to NMEA:

Depth DBT
Heading, deviation and variation HDG
Magnetic heading HDM
Water temperature MTW
Water speed and heading VHW
Wind speed and angle MWV

These are the messages ST60 MULTI can convert from NMEA to SeaTalk:

XTE, Waypoint identifier, Bearing & distance to waypoint APB
Bearing & distance to waypoint BWC
Bearing & distance to waypoint rhumb line BWR
Latitude and longitude GLL
Time, latitude, longitude, satellites tracked & HDOP GGA
Cross track error MWV or XTE
Navigational information RMB
Time, date, lat, long, COG & SOG RMC
COG and SOG VTG
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Old 15-07-2014, 02:47   #9
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

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The NMEA data, heading and rudder inputs to the course computer can't knock out SeaTalk so hook those back up. The course computer needs to get data from the Furuno chart plotter like XTE and such which it probably gets via NMEA.

The GPS unit, if it uses SeaTalk, can knock out the bus so that's probably the issue (water causing the yellow wire to be almost grounded). The course computer doesn't need GPS data but the DSC radio does for DSC to work. The DSC radio could easily get that data from one of the 4800baud Furuno NMEA outputs. So I don't think you need the Raymarine GPS unit.

I would not go crazy trying to redo all the NMEA ins and outs of the Furuno just yet. Make a diagram of where these go and try to figure out why they are that way. It may make more sense than you think. It sounds like the old Raymarine system maybe didn't work because the GPS sensor went bad. For some reason they took out the old Raymarine display and put in a Furuno. Maybe he had the idea to eventually replace all the Raymarine stuff but who knows. I think you can do some minor adds and get everything talking together. See below:

One last thought, would a SeaTalk to NMEA converter enable me to get TriData to the Furuno RDP-149?

Yes, the ST60 MULTI unit can send SeaTalk data to NMEA and the other way too.

These are the messages ST60 MULTI can convert to NMEA:

Depth DBT
Heading, deviation and variation HDG
Magnetic heading HDM
Water temperature MTW
Water speed and heading VHW
Wind speed and angle MWV

These are the messages ST60 MULTI can convert from NMEA to SeaTalk:

XTE, Waypoint identifier, Bearing & distance to waypoint APB
Bearing & distance to waypoint BWC
Bearing & distance to waypoint rhumb line BWR
Latitude and longitude GLL
Time, latitude, longitude, satellites tracked & HDOP GGA
Cross track error MWV or XTE
Navigational information RMB
Time, date, lat, long, COG & SOG RMC
COG and SOG VTG
Thanks transmitterdan, this is very helpful indeed.

Having just checked again, I actually have the ST60 Tridata, and not the multi, which doesn't have NMEA (I think I'd seen the NMEA on the ST6001 which is just next to it, but that is only an NMEA INPUT so no use in this case).

So what I need is a SeaTalk to NMEA0183 converter. Raymarine do device part no. E85001, however after contacting them they tell me it is no longer manufactured... There is a SeaTalkNG to NMEA converter, and I've also found a SeaTalk to SeaTalkNG converter, and the guys at Raymarine tell me these can be daisy chained without an issue (although I wonder if anyone has tried and if there will be any lag etc...)

Anyway after phoning around all my local marine electronics shops, I've found a dusty E85001 on the back of shelves and have ordered that!

So the plan will be to put everything back together, but without the old Raymarine SeaTalk antenna (which hopefully was the original problem cause) and also without the S1 course computer NMEA IN & OUT connections. Then I'll just have two data connections (In & Out) from the Furuno RDP-149 to the E85001. Hopefully the NMEA out from the Furuno will supply the GPS coords back onto the SeaTalk bus for the VHF DSC, and hopefully the NMEA in will supply ALL the SeaTalk info that I want the Furuno to display (depth, temp, water speed; and of course heading/bearing which is all the Furuno is currently getting from the course computer in the old configuration).

Does that make sense?

Stage two will be to buy a Furuno NMEA echo sounder to get the fishfinder up and running, and I might consider an AIS too.
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Old 15-07-2014, 07:05   #10
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

My opinion is to use the direct NMEA connection from Furuno to the course computer as they are. This is the simplest and most reliable. Then the SeaTalk conversion would be a nice backup.
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Old 15-07-2014, 07:23   #11
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

If the course computer is an old S1/2/3G model it will not output the Tridata info to NMEA. You will need the SeaTalk to NMEA converter for that. If you are not connecting the Raymarine GPS the only NMEA output you will get is heading data.

John
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Old 15-07-2014, 14:17   #12
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

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My opinion is to use the direct NMEA connection from Furuno to the course computer as they are. This is the simplest and most reliable. Then the SeaTalk conversion would be a nice backup.
The problem with that is that the S1 course computer only outputs very limited NMEA words, it doesn't even do depth, speed through water etc, all of which I want repeated on the Furuno.

With the converter I get all the words on the SeaTalk bus. Don't know why the previous owner / installer didn't do this. It arrives tomorrow, I'll post back when it is all (hopefully!) working.
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Old 15-07-2014, 14:19   #13
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

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If the course computer is an old S1/2/3G model it will not output the Tridata info to NMEA. You will need the SeaTalk to NMEA converter for that. If you are not connecting the Raymarine GPS the only NMEA output you will get is heading data.

John
John, that is exactly correct, many thanks for confirming what I thought to be the case and the best way forward - that has given me confidence in an area that is totally new to me!
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Old 15-07-2014, 14:55   #14
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

Leaving the NMEA connections as they are now does not prevent the new box from doing its job. But my experience is that if you want the pilot to steer waypoints (meaning XTE, BTW messages) then it is best not to translate these too many times. If the pilot works now as you want I would not disconnect the NMEA data lines from the Furuno.
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Old 25-02-2015, 23:05   #15
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Re: Intermittent Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot

aquacruise, have you fitted the Raymarine E85001 Seatalk-Nmea converter? How did it go?
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