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Old 16-12-2011, 13:12   #1
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Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

Greetings Folks,

Well, as part of my "getting ready to leave" package, I'm finally going through all my stuff and finding out various things...

Like turning on my AIS which has an antenna for the first time... and hoping to see targets on Maxsea..

No joy!

I know the AIS is receiving signals as the "RX" light flashes... and I'm pretty sure these are being put on the N2K network... but they aren't getting displayed on Maxsea TZ.

I've used the connection wizard on Maxsea as well and sure enough, it doesn't "see" an AIS source.

Further compounding the problem is the fact that the Maretron USB100 product page doesn't mention anything about sending AIS info either...

Any thoughts on how if this setup is supposed to work and if not, how I'm supposed to get the AIS target info out of the N2K network into Maxsea?

Or did I just spend a tonne of money for nothing. :\

Thank you!
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Old 16-12-2011, 14:31   #2
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

Ah, the things they don't tell you about N2K.....

I have to make some assumptions about your connections based on what you stated.

Maxsea TZ is connected to a Maretron USB100?
Does Maxsea TZ support the N2K data from the USB100?

Looking at the USB100 data sheet, it's not clear that Maretron allows 3rd party software access to their N2K data. Or if they do, it's not clear the Maxsea TZ is compatible with it.

It appears that the USB100 DOES NOT gateway the N2K AIS PGNs into 0183 AIS sentences, so that option is out.

BTW, I did notice that Maxsea TZ is listed as 'beta testing' the Actisense NGT-1, it may be an option - check with Maxsea.

It looks like the NAIS-300 does output both N2K and 0183, can you get the 0183 data into the PC on an additional port? This might be the cheapest option. (probably needs to be HS 0183 - 38.4)
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Old 16-12-2011, 14:43   #3
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

Hi, Thank you for the quick reply!

Quote:
Ah, the things they don't tell you about N2K.....

I have to make some assumptions about your connections based on what you stated.

Maxsea TZ is connected to a Maretron USB100?
Does Maxsea TZ support the N2K data from the USB100?
Yes, Maxsea TZ is on a laptop, connected to the USB100.

So far, all navigation info from the other N2K instruments show up fine - SOG, COG, Heading etc... just no AIS (and I haven't tried controlling the AP with it yet)


Quote:
It appears that the USB100 DOES NOT gateway the N2K AIS PGNs into 0183 AIS sentences, so that option is out.
Sucks bigtime!


Quote:
BTW, I did notice that Maxsea TZ is listed as 'beta testing' the Actisense NGT-1, it may be an option - check with Maxsea.
I'm hoping to use the existing gear if possible. The boat looks like an electronics shop already.


Quote:
It looks like the NAIS-300 does output both N2K and 0183, can you get the 0183 data into the PC on an additional port? This might be the cheapest option. (probably needs to be HS 0183 - 38.4)
I believe Maxsea only wants to listen on one serial port though - which is a problem since all the other data comes through the USB100 (which appears as a virtual COM port)

I do have a spare Simrad AT10 though... hmm...

It would be such a shame though to have all the data on the network, nicely done - and then go back to the stoneage to a bunch of serial cables carrying a single chunk of data though just for AIS. :\

I wish there was a non 0183 solution! At the moment, I have zero 0183 aboard....
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Old 16-12-2011, 14:52   #4
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

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Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
.......At the moment, I have zero 0183 aboard....
I'm not so sure. I believe it's 0183 between the USB100 and the PC.
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Old 16-12-2011, 14:55   #5
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I'm not so sure. I believe it's 0183 between the USB100 and the PC.
Actually, you're correct on that count, but I wasn't counting it since it's over USB. :P

*grin*
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Old 16-12-2011, 15:03   #6
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

Quote:
Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
I believe Maxsea only wants to listen on one serial port though - which is a problem since all the other data comes through the USB100 (which appears as a virtual COM port)

I do have a spare Simrad AT10 though... hmm...
I don't think the AT10 will help. I quickly perused the data sheets on both the AT10 & AT10HD and neither mention the VDO/VDM AIS sentences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
It would be such a shame though to have all the data on the network, nicely done - and then go back to the stoneage to a bunch of serial cables carrying a single chunk of data though just for AIS. :\
I agree! I think N2K was poorly thought out from the beginning and support of it simply sucks. It's half-assed at best.
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Old 16-12-2011, 15:09   #7
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

[
Quote:
QUOTE=DotDun;839584]I don't think the AT10 will help. I quickly perused the data sheets on both the AT10 & AT10HD and neither mention the VDO/VDM AIS sentences.
Bah...


Quote:
I agree! I think N2K was poorly thought out from the beginning and support of it simply sucks. It's half-assed at best.
It's bizarre though - it looks like a really boring, dead simple protocol.. How can they fsck it up? I think the datalink layer is borrowed from the CAN bus or somesuch - so pretty ubiquitous.. and it's just broadcast.. nothing exciting at all.

If Maretron wanted to, they could just relay the AIS PGNs... surely it's not that hard... but why not I wonder...? Less work or a market decision?
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Old 16-12-2011, 15:15   #8
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

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Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
..... (and I haven't tried controlling the AP with it yet)
Caution! This could be yet another can of worms (or worse!). It appears the USB100 supports conversion of RMB to 129283/4 (MSTZ to N2K). But this may still not be enough for the autopilot. If Maxsea TZ sends BTW in 'true' the AP is going to need magnetic variation (127258). It's very possible the AP may look to the USB100 ONLY for magnetic variation since that is where 129283/4 is coming from.

I recently got involved troubleshooting a similar case where the AP was 0183 behind a AT10 and the CP was N2K. The AT10 refused to gateway mag. var. from the CP and the N2K GPS wasn't putting out mag. var. Had to change the GPS to one that produces mag. var. because of the stupidity of the AT10.

This and other things are why I'm really disappointed in the N2K specs. and the various implementations of the spec.
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Old 16-12-2011, 15:21   #9
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Caution! This could be yet another can of worms (or worse!). It appears the USB100 supports conversion of RMB to 129283/4 (MSTZ to N2K). But this may still not be enough for the autopilot. If Maxsea TZ sends BTW in 'true' the AP is going to need magnetic variation (127258). It's very possible the AP may look to the USB100 ONLY for magnetic variation since that is where 129283/4 is coming from.

I recently got involved troubleshooting a similar case where the AP was 0183 behind a AT10 and the CP was N2K. The AT10 refused to gateway mag. var. from the CP and the N2K GPS wasn't putting out mag. var. Had to change the GPS to one that produces mag. var. because of the stupidity of the AT10.

This and other things are why I'm really disappointed in the N2K specs. and the various implementations of the spec.
Oh no! Now I'm going to cry.

Oh well... off to the boat again to sort out a diesel filter air leakage problem. :\
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Old 16-12-2011, 15:48   #10
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There sure is some trouble with N2K but this here is more related to the conversion between N2K and 0183.

I am now feeding AIS over 0183 to a Furuno nn3d which bridges it onto the Ethernet based NavNet. Maxsea takes that and shows the targets 100%.

With the USB100 I can't get my Simrad/Robertson AP to accept a goto. A display does show it so that PGN gets transmitted, but I need a 2nd USB100 to analyze the network. Will do that soon.

I am holding off on a N2K AIS until I know for sure it'll communicate class A & B over N2K to the Furuno.

There is also 0183 to the VHF...

cheers,
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Old 16-12-2011, 16:33   #11
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
There sure is some trouble with N2K but this here is more related to the conversion between N2K and 0183.
Comparing the 0183 & N2K architectures, it's easy to understand how/why each one is like it is. But, designers of 'replacement' protocols need to consider the transition, and that's where the purveyors of N2K fell short, IMO. (CANbus vs. Ethernet is yet another argument!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I am now feeding AIS over 0183 to a Furuno nn3d which bridges it onto the Ethernet based NavNet. Maxsea takes that and shows the targets 100%.

With the USB100 I can't get my Simrad/Robertson AP to accept a goto. A display does show it so that PGN gets transmitted, but I need a 2nd USB100 to analyze the network. Will do that soon.
AFAICT: You are sending AP info from NavNet3D on N2K and your AP is 0183 connected via USB100.

Looking at the USB100 user's manual table 1.
http://www.maretron.com/support/manu...B100UM_1.4.pdf

N2K AP PGNs are 129283 & 129284. Per the USB100 manual, they are not supported. So, unless there is an update for the USB100 that is not reflected in the manual, I think you are out of luck.

The Actisense NGW-1 does support this: http://www.actisense.com/Downloads/D...ue%202.196.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
There is also 0183 to the VHF...
I'm using a NGW-1 for GPS to the radios and Ray's SeatalkNG Wind to NavNet3D via 0183.

Also, I like the Actisense NGT-1 a lot better for troubleshooting N2K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I am holding off on a N2K AIS until I know for sure it'll communicate class A & B over N2K to the Furuno.
I'll let you know in a week or so! I'm installing the em-trak B100 on my boat with NavNet3D on N2K.

em-trak - em-trak B100
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Old 16-12-2011, 21:16   #12
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Hi dotdun,

I normally connect maxsea tz over wifi to navnet 3d. My AP is N2K connected. This all works as expected. But when i replace the MSTZ ethernet (wifi) link with USB from the USB100, then MSTZ loses a lot of sensor data ( mostly maretron sensors) and also I can't get my AP to accept a waypoint. The USB100 manual explains which 0183 sentence(s) need to be transmitted by MSTZ in order for it to send the right PGN. This actually works because a N2K repeater display shows the waypoint in that GPS highway screen. However, the AP ignores it for some reason.

But one of these days a friend here also gets a bunch of gear incl. USB100 and we'll debug and find exactly what the AP wants to see. Probably some nastiness with magnetic vs true bearing to waypoint etc. like reported in this thread earlier.

I am still very positive about N2K.... just look at how much 0183 cabling I ripped out of the boat!

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 17-12-2011, 05:55   #13
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
But one of these days a friend here also gets a bunch of gear incl. USB100 and we'll debug and find exactly what the AP wants to see. Probably some nastiness with magnetic vs true bearing to waypoint etc. like reported in this thread earlier.
It's here! I'll bring it over today.

Mark
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Old 17-12-2011, 06:27   #14
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

I know that NavNet3D sends BTW as 'magnetic' in PGN 129284, we can probably assume MSTZ does the same (since they are actually the same coders).

In the 0183 world, a CP sends either APB or RMB (or both). In either of these, the CP has to declare the BTW are either 'true' or 'magnetic'.

In the N2K world, magnetic variation is sent in PGN 127258, in 0183 is normally sent in the RMC sentence (HDG can also send it).

So your issue could be several things. Looking at the USB100 manual, they only support RMB to 129283/4, they don't support APB nor do they support the RMC to 127258 for mag. var. IF MSTZ only sends APB, this could be the problem.

Or, as you surmise, the AP may be getting a BTW as 'true' from the USB100 and it's not seeing 127258 from the same source, so it doesn't accept the BTW. I have the Raymarine X-10 course computer and with my somewhat limited testing, I have not got it to accept a 129284 with BTW as 'true'. (I have not exhausted all my testing, so I'm not prepared to lay blame, yet!)

We also have to remember that N2K has multiple sources. Like I mentioned in the testing with the Simrad equipment, the AT-10 would only translate magnetic variation from the GPS, it refused to translate 127258 from it's own NSO. That system was a 0183 Simrad AP with the NSO, GS15 GPS, and AT-10 all on Simnet (N2K). Simrad has left their own 0183 APs stranded in this configuration because of a braindead AT-10. The NSO was transmitting 127258, but the AT-10 ignored it. The customer replaced the GS15 with a Furuno 330 GPS and everything is wonderful. My major problem with this was the 'attitude' of Simrad. When we pointed out the problem to them they were very flippant with responses like, 'Just change the AP to a Simnet model' or 'You have a wrong GPS'. When they finally realized I had figured out their flaw, it was then they admitted the problem with the AT-10, but didn't promise a fix for existing customers. Irritating, very irritating.

I'm curious to hear the outcome of your testing.

Also, spend a few bucks on an Actisense NGT-1 USB and NGW-1 ISO, the kicks you get out of playing with them will make it worth the $$! They are way cheaper than Maretron. (I'm not associated with them in any way!!)
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Old 17-12-2011, 06:29   #15
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Re: Maxsea TZ, NAIS-300, Maretron USB100 all on N2K

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It's here! I'll bring it over today.

Mark
I figured it was you!!

How is the electronics rebuild going?
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