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Old 08-02-2016, 12:44   #1
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ST-60's what to do?

This is the story, I have ST-60 Tri-data instruments I guess you call them, they all work and even look nearly new as they have always been kept covered, but I wanted to integrated the data to NMEA 2000 and connect that to my Zeus plotter.
Now it's my understanding that this can be done, not really meant to work, but it's possible.
But the ST-60's are out of date, no longer supported etc., so it's sort of throwing good money after bad.
What is there available from SImrad / Navico / B&G to replace my ST-60's?
I sort of like having a dedicated wind instrument, speed I don't really need a standalone for that, but depth is nice to see big numbers and know how shallow you are.
Plus and this may sound silly, but I have three holes in the boat, with no idea of how to tastefully fill them should I go to one or maybe two MFD's.

Then there is the just how useful is integrating them into the Zeus? Should I just leave well enough alone?
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Old 08-02-2016, 13:06   #2
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

Raymarine produce a Seatalk to Seatalk ng converter for this purpose - they claim it to be MNEA 2000 compatible. Part number E22158.
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Old 08-02-2016, 13:07   #3
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

Since you have ST60, one has to assume your wind vane and depth xducer is RM as well, connected directly to the ST60s.

The path forward is to either move to N2k sensors or install the RM ITC-5 that connects your analog sensors (no trip up the mast) and outputs N2k. Some don't like the ITC-5 but it does have the advantage of using your in-place sensors and/or cheaper analog ones in the event of sensor replacement. (price an analog depth xducer vs. a N2k depth xducer)

Once you have the sensor data on N2k, the Zeus will be able to display it. As far as replacing the ST60s, your choice is plentiful, Navico Tritons, RM i70s, Garmin, etc. Find the one you like the most. AFAIK, the RM i70 is the only one that has an AIS display/alarm.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:33   #4
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

Does your Zeus plotter not have an auxiliary input for NMEA 0183 data?


Our plotter is NMEA 2000-centric but also handles 0183 sentences via the separate input...


-Chris
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:41   #5
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Does your Zeus plotter not have an auxiliary input for NMEA 0183 data?


Our plotter is NMEA 2000-centric but also handles 0183 sentences via the separate input...


-Chris

I don't know, I had just thought put everything on 2000. 0183 is easy though, just two wires?
I'm not real smart when it comes to this, gut feeling is next year when the stick is down, replace everything with NMEA 2000 stuff, and spend this year saving up for that, as opposed to networking the ST-60's, which are old and un-supported?

But then do I really "get" anything from having them networked? Is there any real benefit?
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:51   #6
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

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I don't know, I had just thought put everything on 2000. 0183 is easy though, just two wires?
I'm not real smart when it comes to this, gut feeling is next year when the stick is down, replace everything with NMEA 2000 stuff, and spend this year saving up for that, as opposed to networking the ST-60's, which are old and un-supported?

But then do I really "get" anything from having them networked? Is there any real benefit?

Yeah, I wouldn't waste much money on supporting an old system...

But if it works and a connection is easy, it could certainly tide you over for a while. Might even be a good while.

Given the data from a tri-data instrument is pretty cut-and-dried, displaying it on your plotter could be very easy... if the plotter has a way to accept/process NMEA 0183 sentences directly. And yes, could be simple wiring, I think, although you might need to "customize" the ST-60 signal wiring into the Zeus input connector. Your plotter's user's manual (or installation manual) should address?

Now, all that said... I have one of our tri-data instruments connected to our plotter. That only means I can display depth/speed/water temp in a "data box" on the plotter. In my case, that's useful while trolling because I can keep my eyes on the plotter and fishfinder, without having to redirect my attention to the tri-data instrument display.

OTOH, it's only a slight improvement. Partly because it's easy enough to glance at the tri-data display from time to time. And partly because we have redundancy of that data, on the fishfinder.

So... what improvement would it buy you, displaying tri-data on your Zeus? How much improvement would that be?

-Chris
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:20   #7
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

They can be converted to 2000 you need to convert them to Sea Talk NG then Sea Talk to nema 2000. The adapters are below.

SeaTalkNG Networking Cables | Raymarine

Raymarine SeaTalk1 to SeaTalk NG Converter Kit
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:58   #8
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

I would try the seatalk to seatalkng converter and the N2000 to seatalkng converter cable. I would not recommend the iTC-5/I70 solution. I have the iTC-5/I70 package and have a significant problem with it. It is subject to Radio interference. It is the Victim of such interference, not the cause. Every time I get near a radio transmitter I loose wind data and sometimes depth data. I believe it is the iTC-5 that is the problem as all other data on the Seatalkng bus is perfectly fine. Only the sensors from the iTC-5 are scrambled. I am currently sitting just outside of fresh creek in the Bahamas about 1000 yards from the Batelco tower with no wind speed and wind direction off 90 degrees. I don't know if the problem is from the Batelco tower of some emission from AUTEC. I have had this problem in Marathon near the VOA towers and in New York in Port Washington near the WCBS tower. By near I mean within 3 miles of these big transmitters. I am currently directly in line with the Batelco microwave dishes which though of lower power are more directional.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:04   #9
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

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I would try the seatalk to seatalkng converter and the N2000 to seatalkng converter cable. I would not recommend the iTC-5/I70 solution. I have the iTC-5/I70 package and have a significant problem with it. It is subject to Radio interference. It is the Victim of such interference, not the cause. Every time I get near a radio transmitter I loose wind data and sometimes depth data. I believe it is the iTC-5 that is the problem as all other data on the Seatalkng bus is perfectly fine. Only the sensors from the iTC-5 are scrambled. I am currently sitting just outside of fresh creek in the Bahamas about 1000 yards from the Batelco tower with no wind speed and wind direction off 90 degrees. I don't know if the problem is from the Batelco tower of some emission from AUTEC. I have had this problem in Marathon near the VOA towers and in New York in Port Washington near the WCBS tower. By near I mean within 3 miles of these big transmitters. I am currently directly in line with the Batelco microwave dishes which though of lower power are more directional.
I had the same problem with the older RM xducer pods while in Sister Creek near the xmitter...haven't had it with the ITC-5. Never noticed it anywhere else.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:17   #10
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

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I had the same problem with the older RM xducer pods while in Sister Creek near the xmitter...haven't had it with the ITC-5. Never noticed it anywhere else.
Sister's creek is the only place I have lost depth as well as wind. I had no wind readings in Hawks Channel until I was about 3 miles east of the transmitter. I also had the wind problem in Nixon's harbor off of South Bimini, went to North Bimini with no problems, then lost Wind again passing through Nixon's harbor on the way to Morgan's bluff. I could not identify a transmitter there but there may have been something emitting from the airport. When I got out about 3 miles readings returned to normal. In New York wind direction was OK, but the wind speed varied from near 0 to 70+ knots every few seconds even though I got no closer than 1.5 miles.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:22   #11
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

Since your AP doesn't interface with the wind system the rest of the interface issues are rather minor. Controlling the instrument light level or cancelling a depth alarm is just a matter of slipping from behind the wheel (don't trip on that damn AP drive system) or having someone else depress a ST 60 button on the bulkhead.

I have a complete ST 60 instrument set on two different sail boats. Found them reliable, easy to read, long lived (set on my Hunter must be nearly 15 years old).

Probably the most often used network function is cancelling the depth alarm from the 6002 AP display when I am poking around in shallow water. I do use the AP apparent wind function bay sailing, but that is probably not such a big deal for a long range cruiser.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:28   #12
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

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Sister's creek is the only place I have lost depth as well as wind. I had no wind readings in Hawks Channel until I was about 3 miles east of the transmitter. I also had the wind problem in Nixon's harbor off of South Bimini, went to North Bimini with no problems, then lost Wind again passing through Nixon's harbor on the way to Morgan's bluff. I could not identify a transmitter there but there may have been something emitting from the airport. When I got out about 3 miles readings returned to normal. In New York wind direction was OK, but the wind speed varied from near 0 to 70+ knots every few seconds even though I got no closer than 1.5 miles.
Cabling must be an antenna for the interference, you seem to have more issue than I've seen. Sister Creek is the only place I've seen it happen, and it only last about 1/4nm thru the curves close/south of the towers. Never saw it in the Bahamas last year.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:42   #13
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

If you intend to sell them in the end, I might be interested?
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:46   #14
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

Truth is, for me I'm not usually behind the wheel when sailing like i used to be before I got an autopilot.
Where my ST-60's are mounted, it's far easier to look at them to get the data, then it would be to climb behind the wheel and look at the plotter.
Interfacing them would give me two things,
1. there are functions that the Zeus has that I am not familiar with, that require wind data to enable.
2. Since I have the Wi-fi module, I can view the Zeus screen on an Ipad down below, so I could monitor wind velocity and direction down below, currently I have to go to the cockpit to view the data.

I have been given a quote from a Dockmate at the Marina that has started his business doing Marine electronics installs, his quote was $2,500, but may be less or more depending on how much he ran into, this includes integrating the Vesper and my KVH TV as well. KVH doesn't need it, just it will lock on faster if it has a heading and location.

Gut feeling is it's not worth that kind of cash, better to wait until the stick comes down Summer of 17 and replace everything with new then, as that begins our cruising.
I don't see it being worth the cash now.

Now I'm faced with trying to find a nice way of saying it ain't worth $2,500
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:54   #15
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Re: ST-60's what to do?

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If you intend to sell them in the end, I might be interested?

It'll be a year and a half, but I will sell the whole thing if I replace them.
I may say the heck with it, depth is the only thing I feel I really "need" and I have a shoot thru the hull X-ducer to install as my little Zeus has a built in Sonar, so that gives me two sources of depth.

I'm facing the typical wants vs needs, and maybe the money would be better spent elsewhere?

Logic says, go and after you have been gone a year, you will know what your real needs are. It's the waiting that killing me.
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