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Old 08-11-2010, 11:38   #1
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Simrad Class B AIS via Simnet to NX40 Connector ?

I've asked Simrad via their web question form but I think they are giving me stock answers without really understanding the question. I hope someone here might already have gone through the installation.

The Simrad class B AIS has a Simnet connector. We have a Simnet cable that will reach from the AIS to the connectors on the back of the NX40 chartplotter. The instructions for the chartplotter states to connect the AIS via "Simrad Y-Cable for NX Series AA010115" which is for an NMEA/AIS interface Simrad Y-Cable for AIS AA010115 . That y-cable is not wired for a Simnet connector.

At this point I think I have three separate possibilities:

1 - The NX40 is simply not compatible with the Simnet connection from the AIS.

2 - I need to cut the Simnet connection off one end of the Simnet cable and wire it to the non-connector wires on the AA010115 y-cable after I figure out which wires in the Simnet cable to use.

3 - There is an adaptor cable that is still AWOL.

Any wise insights to share ?

Thanks,


-Sven
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Old 08-11-2010, 13:11   #2
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And why not just call them and ask? Chuck
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Old 08-11-2010, 13:25   #3
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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
And why not just call them and ask?
I don't think I said that we weren't trying that too.



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Old 08-11-2010, 13:46   #4
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Nx40/45 and simnet

I have had a similar frustration with my
Simnet autopilot (the ac48/24 I think is the model number) and my nx45.

The simnet/nmea2000 support on the nx series is done by a translator as far as I can tell (a unit takes the 2000 messages and translates to 0183 format)
This is sub optimal as there have been no updates to add support for radar, ais, or autopilot via simnet- you need to plug them in using the big non-nmea2000 plugs in the back of the unit (or in the case of the autopilot you can't get it to send waypoints via nmea2000 as far as I can tell).

If you do get things to work please post what you did- I would love to know and am considering getting ais at some point! (and I'd hate to upgrade an almost new chartplotter). I wish simrad offered some kind of upgrade path- it's annoying how limited the nmea2000 support is on my unit.
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Old 08-11-2010, 14:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kismet424 View Post
I have had a similar frustration with my
Simnet autopilot (the ac48/24 I think is the model number) and my nx45.
It makes it even more frustrating that we bought the NX, the AIS, the broadband radar, the triducer all together so that they would work together. The autopilot and wind instruments were next on the list but not until we get past this stumbling block.





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Old 08-11-2010, 15:15   #6
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Sven,

We just did a Simrad installation (radar, AIS, autopilot, chartplotter, depth sounder, etc.) on our sailboat and while we used one of their NSE chartplotters that are SimNet / N2K compatible, I think I may be able to help you with your question.

In looking at the diagrams for typical NX installations on the Simrad website, in every case they have the SimNet cable plugging into an AT10 Universal Converter that translates the N2K messages into NMEA 0183 for your NX40. I know that in addition to the standard heading / speed / depth type info, the AT10 does translate AIS messages as well because we are using one to provide AIS information to the VHF radio that happens to be the sole NMEA0183-only instrument on our boat.

As an aside, I was extremely pleased at how nicely the Simrad products integrated with themselves and with the non-Simrad N2K instruments as well (in our case Airmar GPS/Heading Sensor, Airmar Depth/Speed/Temp transducer, Volvo Engine N2K Interface and Maretron tank level sensors). Everything is playing very well with each other and we have had no problems.

I hope this helps,

Steve
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Old 08-11-2010, 15:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kismet424 View Post
I have had a similar frustration with my
Simnet autopilot (the ac48/24 I think is the model number) and my nx45.

The simnet/nmea2000 support on the nx series is done by a translator as far as I can tell (a unit takes the 2000 messages and translates to 0183 format)
This is sub optimal as there have been no updates to add support for radar, ais, or autopilot via simnet- you need to plug them in using the big non-nmea2000 plugs in the back of the unit (or in the case of the autopilot you can't get it to send waypoints via nmea2000 as far as I can tell).

If you do get things to work please post what you did- I would love to know and am considering getting ais at some point! (and I'd hate to upgrade an almost new chartplotter). I wish simrad offered some kind of upgrade path- it's annoying how limited the nmea2000 support is on my unit.
Kismet,

Just a point of clarification. Even in a full SimNet setup, you still have to plug the radar and depth sounder into dedicated ethernet ports on the back of an NSE chartplotter. These types of data sources generate too much network traffic to be supported on a N2K / SimNet bus. So, you need the non-N2K plugs for either of these whether you have your NX chartplotter or a newer NSE version that is fully SimNet / N2K compatible.

As far as your statement about autopilot integration, the AT10 gateway will translate everything you need in both directions in order to fully integrate your chartplotter with your autopilot. In your case, your NX45 chartplotter will generate the appropriate waypoint and navigation sentences in 0183 format that will be translated to N2K by the AT10 and then injected onto the SimNet bus for use by any device that wants it, in this case the autopilot.

As a point of reference, after seeing our Simrad setup, a friend with a Garmin NMEA0183 chartplotter bought a package with the Simrad autopilot, wind instrument and depth/speed/temp transducer and has everything integrating beautifully through an AT10. He was even able to use his original B&G autopilot drive unit, we did the install ourselves with no problems.

I hope this helps,

Steve
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Old 08-11-2010, 15:42   #8
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Steve,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis156 View Post
I hope this helps
Knowing it can be done is immensely helpful.

Figuring out how the "translation" connector fits into the mix is still a question but ...

Do you know if that translation connection is wired (as opposed to plugged) into the fuel monitoring adapter shown in the NX manual ? It looks like the translation device has two female Simnet plugs and a pigtail for power ?

As I said, your post is wonderful news so now we just have to track down the details. Kismet probably has questions too so maybe we can muddle through together.

Thanks !



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Old 08-11-2010, 16:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
Do you know if that translation connection is wired (as opposed to plugged) into the fuel monitoring adapter shown in the NX manual ? It looks like the translation device has two female Simnet plugs and a pigtail for power ?
Sven, the diagram is a bit misleading. The AT10 gets power through the SimNet network. The "pigtail" is actually the 0183 wires that get wired into your chartplotter. On my friends Garmin 0183 / Simrad N2K setup, it was an amazingly simple and straightforward install.

There are two SimNet plugs on the AT10 because the SimNet standard allows you to daisychain SimNet devices. This is in conflict with the N2K standard and you must NOT do any daisychaining if you are going to use a true N2K backbone. On our boat we actually went with a true N2K backbone from Maretron and used N2K/SimNet adapters to connect all of the Simrad instruments and transducers. The daisychaining seems to work pretty well though, and my friends setup uses a pure SimNet network daisychaining components and it does simplify things quite a bit.

I won't go into any more details but am happy to elaborate if you would like more information.

Steve
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:34   #10
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Pyxis, sorry for the long wait between replies, but thanks for the help! I have purchased an AT10 unit and will connect the 0183 out to it. It's odd that Simrad didn't just have the NX45 translate all messages internally in and out through the device (like it does for the gps antenna, depth, compass, etc.), or at least set it up as an upgradable software component for the future. The device reads all my 2000 devices just fine, but i guess the internal unit does a 1 way translation or something.... Anyway, it's worth the 80 bucks to finally have it working 100%. I'll let you know how it goes. I wish the tech support people had just said "It won't work through the nmea2000 hookup you MUST put an external converter on the 0183 output to bridge some messages to the 2000 network".

Thanks for the info!

Now if someone can just bring the temperature above freezing....
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:50   #11
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Good luck, I think it will be pretty straightforward. If you have any other questions I am happy to try helping if I can...
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Old 13-03-2011, 15:59   #12
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Re: Simrad Class B AIS via Simnet to NX40 Connector ?

Just to follow up- I went down yesterday and installed a new AT10 (connected the white NX45 NMEA out wire to the white AT10 NMEA "from talker" wire, and black to the ground, started everything up and it worked like a charm! The autopilot listed the AT10 as the nav device, I set a route for 3 mile harbor from oyster bay (making me somewhat depressed seeing that I'm on the hard still :-) and blammo- hit the nav button on the autopilot and it picked up the bearing etc from the NX45!

Thanks very much to Pyxis and SvenG for their help with this. Really will be nice to set a course and be able to not worry every 10 minutes about drift etc :-)
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