Some of you may recall
that I have had various problems with my N2K network.
With the help of Navico
tech support, I've just solved
some of them, and thought I would share in case anyone else is suffering from any of the same problems. I've been tolerating these problems for going on two years by now, and I sure would have liked to have solved
The first problem I had is that there was a conflict between the pilot controller built into the plotters and the B&G Triton keypad controller. I was advised that a software
update is needed to solve this. I have done the updates and will report after the weekend whether it worked.
The second problem I had, which has been really maddening, is that the B&G 4G radar
stubbornly insisted on grabbing the wrong heading data, no matter how I set the network. I have two heading data sources on my network -- an Airmar H2183 (supposed to be the best fluxgate
you can buy), and the heading sensor built into my Simrad
GS25 GNSS receiver. I don't use the heading sensor in the GS25, but the bloody radar
insisted on grabbing that heading data. Since the network, including the plotter, has been using the data from the H2183, this made the radar bearings, and radar overlay, not to mention MARPA, all useless. The only solution was to disconnect the GS25 and use the much less precise GPS
receiver (no GLONASS, no EGNOS) built into my Zeus Touch.
I struggled with instance numbers and all kinds of setup parameters to no avail. I updated the radar software
-- nothing. Finally, the Navico
tech support guy (finally got a really good one; the last time I tried this I got a totally clueless, totally useless person, and gave up) pointed me to a radar interface
software update (this being different from the radar firmware).
Voila, it works. I could hardly believe it. And now I'm getting position with accuracy of 1.8 meters instead of 30, as my lovely inexpensive GS25 receives data not just from GPS
, but also from the Russian GLONASS constellation, and with differential correction from EGNOS. Hurrah!!
Rasberries to Navico for shipping
this radar with this glaring defect, on account of which I wasted so much time and nerves. What a screwup!
I hope the pilot keypad problem is similar.
The third problem I had was that my GoFree module would no way work together with my radar. If I had the GoFree hooked up, the radar would not even connect. Result -- I left that valuable piece of kit disconnected for a whole year.
Solution: the same software update. The previous radar software is just some kind of a disaster. With the new software, the problem disappeared, and now I am pulling data onto my IPlod into INavX
, which makes INavX
(which I don't like all that much) just SO much more useful, with all my instrument data on it, and even AIS! Hurrah!
What else did I learn? Setting up instance numbers on an N2K network is really important. I never set them up, because I thought they were needed only in case you had two identical pieces of equipment
on the network. Not so! If two pieces of equipment
give the same type of data, you need to give them their own instance numbers.
Besides that, the Maretron DSM-250 has a mind of its own and doesn't necessarily follow all of the network commands from the Zeus. It is really confused by multiple sources of data on the network, as a result of which, I had different maddening problems with ground wind
direction and speed, gps data, even heading data, on the DSM-250. The superb Maretron tech support people steered me to the solution -- first of all, instance numbers, as above. Second, don't rely on network source selection commands (why not? but that's the way it is) -- Display Setting > Advanced Configuration > Primary Device Selection, et voila -- you put in the instance number of the data source you want the DSM-250 to use.
Big kudos to Maretron tech support -- every time I've used them, always gotten a fast response from a smart person.
As to Navico -- the last time I got the most incredibly stupid person, it made me want to toss my system and switch to Fururno, or something. This time, I got a really response, smart person, who quickly sorted me out with problems I've had for two years. He answered my initial query on a Sunday (!), and responded to follow up questions in nearly real time -- great service
So I'm very happy that it seems I've made a great leap forward with my network. Hate to say that the problems seem to mostly to have been caused by not-ready-for-prime-time software in Navico equipment. But better late than never, eh?