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Old 26-03-2014, 16:42   #1
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Simrad/B&G GoFree

I bought a regular Simrad GoFree wifi unit, for $200 from a nice family marine electronics shop in Portland, Oregon, and I'm glad I did. I realize I could have used a standard wifi router, but the perhaps $150 premium for the Simrad unit was well worth it, in my opinion. For one thing, the expensive Ethernet cable with the special connectors is included. To use a regular wifi router, you will need to buy this cable, hack off one end, then somehow crimp an RJ45 plug to it. Which I don't think is going to be very easy, because the Simrad Ethernet cables are not made like regular Ethernet cables, and the color coding is different.

OK, and then you've got to somehow rig up a power supply. More cost and hours of hassle.

Then you've got to set up the router.

You save all this with the Simrad router, and plus it is a waterproof, marinized unit which is going to be much less susceptible to condensation and salt air damage. Well worth it, in my opinion!


The only problem is that GoFree doesn't seem to be working properly. The almost total lack of documentation reminds me of my adventures with the B&G Tritons. I have downloaded the app to my Android phone, connect with no problem, select the Zeus T8, and get a nice mirror of the Zeus screen. But I can't control anything -- the touchscreen doesn't do anything, and there is no menu and no other kind of control which I have been able to find.

Anyone else encounter this?
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Old 26-03-2014, 16:59   #2
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

P.S., I updated the software on the Zeus T8 to the latest version 1.1-43.115 software.
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Old 26-03-2014, 18:21   #3
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

The phone apps only work as repeaters. To control, you need an iPad or android tablet. (Per info on the Simrad site and tha android download description).
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Old 27-03-2014, 04:11   #4
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethflkys View Post
The phone apps only work as repeaters. To control, you need an iPad or android tablet. (Per info on the Simrad site and tha android download description).
E voila! Thanks very much!
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Old 27-03-2014, 04:59   #5
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

don't you need Tier 2 to control things !

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Old 27-03-2014, 05:20   #6
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
don't you need Tier 2 to control things !

dave
What's "Tier 2"?
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Old 28-03-2014, 21:35   #7
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
What's "Tier 2"?

http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US...oFree-Toolkit/

Dave


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Old 29-03-2014, 07:57   #8
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

Tier 2 and up are required for third party software design. GoFree apps are in house product, so they (Navico) have free access to those.
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Old 29-03-2014, 17:37   #9
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

I was at the Defender show Thursday…Navico's display had a go free set up with a Simrad unit and an iPad you could play with to control the Simrad MFD. Very cool! I want it! (Next year…)
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Old 30-03-2014, 20:26   #10
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

BTW If you haven't already figured it out - The GoFree also pushes an NMEA 0183 datastream from the NSS that can be used by iNavx, iRegatta, SeaIQ, OpenCPN, etc. You need to get the address/port in the NSS by going to settings -> network -> NMEA 0183.
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Old 31-03-2014, 05:26   #11
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbfein View Post
BTW If you haven't already figured it out - The GoFree also pushes an NMEA 0183 datastream from the NSS that can be used by iNavx, iRegatta, SeaIQ, OpenCPN, etc. You need to get the address/port in the NSS by going to settings -> network -> NMEA 0183.
Wow, I had not figured that out! Very cool!

So I put in the IP address and port of the NSS (that is, Zeus Touch) into the INavX program so it knows where to find the data?
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Old 31-03-2014, 08:33   #12
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

Yes. Get the address and port from the Zeus. Then enter in the TCP/IP settings in iNavX. The connection type is TCP.
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Old 31-03-2014, 09:57   #13
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

That is superb -- thanks! Will try that.

Another GoFree tip: the older software for the 3G/4G radar is not compatible. I found out the hard way when I tried to power up the radar, and the system said "No Radar". You have to update the radar to the December, 2012 version of the software if you don't have it already.
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Old 31-03-2014, 11:27   #14
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

My only MFD is a Triton. Will Go-Free work for me?


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Old 31-03-2014, 12:42   #15
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Re: Simrad/B&G GoFree

Additionally (and possibly superfluously), the nmea-0183-over-tcp datastream is what navico term "tier one" data and as alluded to by goboatingnow in post #5, it's unidirectional (out from the MFD), so no controlling your AP from OpenCPN etc.

Also, as far as I can tell from the manuals (I could be wrong), there's not a way to tell your gofree MFD to use a fixed IP address (obviously those with routers supporting static assignments based on MAC address can overcome this). This means the IP address your MFD tells you is not guaranteed to remain the same although in practice with the same kit powered up on the network each time it probably will be. GoFree is supposed to remove your concern about network addresses: software really using the protocol should automagically determine the datasource from announcements made on the network. However there's not all that much stuff (although there is some) outside of Navico's own software which really supports that: Mostly it's a case of doing as pbfein recommends.
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