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Old 29-07-2013, 17:37   #16
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

You can update them yourself using your computer and this: Simrad ST10 Simnet to USB Kit

You will need to also download the programming software for your computer.

The updates and programming software are posted under the "support" tab on the B&G Triton webpage: Triton Display I just check that out every once in a while.

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Old 05-08-2013, 14:34   #17
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

I have had exactly the same problem with my system, which is similar to yours, with two Zeus plotters, six Tritons, and a B&G pilot control pad.

My problem has not been as annoying as yours -- has not occurred all that frequently. But there is clearly a bug which causes a conflict between different devices trying to control the pilot. More annoying than the occasional "no pilot control" error to me was the inability to invoke Nav mode from the keypad, and the complete non-functionality of the keypad for dodging in case Nav mode is invoked from the Zeus.

On to of this, my Zeuses crash from time to time, something my old Raymarine plotters never once did.

Despite all this, I like the Zeuses and Tritons extremely much. I just spent a month and 1000 mile with them, and loved them to death. I am hopeful that this is just a software bug which will be eventually cured with an update.

I have not yet started updating anything -- maybe next week will try. By the way, you don't need a Navico dealer -- you can do it yourself over the Internet.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:49   #18
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Well I finally got out on the water last Thursday and, damn-it, the error came back. I motored for 20 min out of the marina then sailed for over an hour before I got the first error message (no pilot control head). After that it continued to pop up several more times. So the upgrade to my OP40 managed to give me a little bit of hope, then continued frustration. B&G engineers need to fix this but it's impossible to know if they are even getting this feedback, and if they care.
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Old 26-09-2013, 13:16   #19
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We are having a similar issue and the units are going back for replacement. We also received some of the earliest units made. The Tritons randomly give the "no autopilot computer" alarm whether the AP is activated or in standby. However, we have the AC24 AP control head in the system, so while the Tritons give the alarm, nothing actually goes wrong with the AP. I "solved" this by simply turning off that alarm in the Triton setup.

While we also have the pilot keypad, I have not installed it yet. Our alarms occur without the keypad present on the network.

B&G also suggested it was the network topography and wiring that was causing the problem (I also installed ours myself). So I created a short network containing only the Simrad AP and the Tritons using all Simrad network components and wired exactly like the sample network given in the Triton manual. The problem still exists, but that shut them up about the network being the problem.

We also have another problem with the Tritons. In night lighting mode with the light level turned to either "2" or "1", the displays randomly go blank (completely dark). They are still working, and pushing the light button "wakes" them back up. This is very reproducible and keeps us punching buttons all night to keep them awake.

Strangely, this problem does not exist in any other light level or in daylight mode in any level at all (even "2" and "1").

Mark
So I sent in our 3 Tritons and B&G sent me 7 brand new ones back (that story is on another thread).

The lighting issue remained on the new ones. After really twisting B&G's arm to actually try reproducing that problem, which was readily and 100% reproducible in my hands , they finally told me that yes, they can get it to happen also and that they will be issuing a software update to correct it.

As for the "no autopilot computer" alarm, the new units haven't been installed very long, but I have not notice this alarm occurring yet.

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Old 19-11-2013, 09:40   #20
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Navico has issued a firmware update for the Triton Pilot control pad that fixes the "no controller" error. They also added the "No-Drift" mode functionality to it.

Still waiting for the firmware update to fix the display lighting bug on the Triton.

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Old 19-11-2013, 12:00   #21
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Thanks Mark. They e-mailed me the day the release came out hoping I could test my problem immediately, but only a couple hours earlier my boat was hauled out for the winter. Bummer.

My last post on this situation was in May. Unfortunately I had quite a frustrating sailing season with this autopilot problem, which was exasperated even more by the less than effective support from Navico. I ended up calling/e-mailing/pestering the president of Navico North America to get my voice heard and get some attention. The head of warranty service and the head of North America support then each spent a fair amount of time with me on the problem including reviewing my network schematics and sending me some replacement components to swap and test (to no avail). While my design met all NMEA rules they were suspicious the problem was in my configuration. One likely problem was I had a single 12v power tap in the middle of my backbone so I changed that to Maretron's dual tap. Frankly I don't know why the single one was in my design as it's easy and obvious to give the network more power, especially since I have 20 unique NMEA devices connected. Anyway, this didn't solve my autopilot error, although it did seem to become less frequent.

Then an endless process of elimination started trying to identify any bad actor. In three places I have a drop cable going to a Maretron multiport tee with 3 or four devices hanging off each tee. Navico was very un-trusting of these tees and recommended I test those legs first. After many iterations I found that one of these legs, which had four Tritons attached to the tee, seemed to cause trouble. When I took that entire drop out of the system my error seemed to go away. So then I spent many hours rewiring my back bone so each of those four Tritons was on a direct drop and the tee was out of the loop. Went for a sail and dammit, I still go the error but much less frequently. I still had one more Maretron tee in my system but temporarily bypassing that one still didn't make me error free, and it would easily take a full day to rewire my backbone to replace this particular tee (in my pedestal at the helm). So now I was really frustrated and knew I was chasing the wrong problem.

Finally I got the idea to call Maretron. The rep there was incredibly helpful and generous with his time. They have a tool call N2Kanalyzer that you run on your laptop and connect to the backbone via their USB100 interface, which I had. This tool is pretty amazing as it can identify every device on the network and show you what traffic it is sending/receiving, what it's NMEA certification is, and a lot more. It clearly identifies pairs of devices that are in conflict with each other. I had about a dozen conflicting pairs. You can also save all this to a file which I sent to them and Navico for analysis. Long story short is that Maretron's analysis is that, first, the Tritons are not NMEA certified so their protocols could be questioned, but more importantly they are incredibly chatty on the network. You would think a display device would pretty much only receive data, but the Tritons all act like repeaters and send out data. For example each one sends out wind data several times a second. The Maretron guy maintained his professionalism at all times but his message was pretty clear that this was a bad design by Navico and very likely the root cause of my confused autopilot. "They really need to fix their stuff, that is your only hope."

Too me this all makes sense. In my troubleshooting it wasn't the fact that I took a Maretron tee out of the system, it was that I took 4 Tritons out of the system that gave me better performance. When I put the 4 Tritons back in the error returned. Duh... None of this has been confirmed by Navico, so I might be wrong and they might defend their chatty design. They have gone strangely quiet since I sent them the Maretron data and analysis, and my urgency has diminished with the season over so I haven't followed up. Frankly I'm tired of dealing with it and just hopeful the latest upgrade fixes my autopilot from randomly disengaging. I did respond to the e-mail telling me about the upgrade asking what they had changed but got no response. Maybe they are tired of me too.

Oh how I wish I had called Maretron much earlier (like 16 months earlier), or that someone in this circus - any of the Navico guys (including the local tech that came aboard last year to sniff around) or my dealer - had suggested I use the N2Kanalyzer tool to get real data. I'm flabbergasted no one made this suggestion, especially my dealer who has been included on everything and should have been helpful. Of course I'm also a fool for not knowing I had this ability all along. Either that or a fool because I expected help after the sale. I invested a huge amount of my time, plus had the cost of new backbone bits, in the misguided discovery.

Won't know until next May. For now it's time to sharpen my skis...

John
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:07   #22
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

[QUOTE=colemj;1394915]Navico has issued a firmware update for the Triton Pilot control pad that fixes the "no controller" error. They also added the "No-Drift" mode functionality to it.
Ahoy Colemj,
I'm a bit confused. Isn't firmware updated using a software update?
How does one update the firmware otherwise? I thought the functions of the Pilot Controller were controlled by either the Triton display and/or the Zeus Touch MFD.
As of now, the Zeus Touch and Triton software versions noted on the B&G website are not new updates ( Jan. 2013 for the Triton and July 2013 for the Zeus Touch ), so I can't imagine that is what is being used as an update for the Pilot Controller functions. Have the updates not been posted yet?
I have all of these on my boat ( 2 Tritons, 2 Zeus T7s, a Pilot Controller and a TP32 tillerpilot ) and would appreciate some clarification.
Thanks,
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:24   #23
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Sorry you had so much problems John,

Somehow, I seem to have made contact with a person at Navico who has been very responsive. I contact their general support email, but the same person responds to me every time. Maybe all of us are assigned a person and I got lucky?

Even though I routinely run N2KAnalyzer, I didn't think of recommending it to you - sorry for that oversight.

Yes, the Tritons are chatty because they are designed to pass data onto other instruments. Our Furuno chartplotter is the same. The major difference is on the Furuno, I can turn this off or choose which data to forward. The Tritons need this ability also, since I can't imagine why one would want multiples of them all reproducing network traffic.

I actually suggested to Navico that some of the problems appeared to be that the devices were missing network data because they were too busy talking and their timeouts for their alarms were too short. In other words, they would miss a single instance of data and then cry about it. It appears that the fix for the control pad was to lengthen the time that it listens for data before crying alarms.

Yes, Navico also blamed my network for our lighting problem - as well as telling me that the Maretron multiports were breaking N2K drop cable standards. I shut this down quickly by making a network consisting of a power tee and a single Triton and reproducing the problem immediately.

And to be fair to Navico, the network errors I was getting were not due to the Tritons afterall - it was due to the Maretron wind instrument. The humidity sensor in it went bad and started throwing all kinds of dreck on the network.

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Old 19-11-2013, 12:28   #24
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

[QUOTE=muttskie;1395072]
Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Navico has issued a firmware update for the Triton Pilot control pad that fixes the "no controller" error. They also added the "No-Drift" mode functionality to it.
Ahoy Colemj,
I'm a bit confused. Isn't firmware updated using a software update?
How does one update the firmware otherwise? I thought the functions of the Pilot Controller were controlled by either the Triton display and/or the Zeus Touch MFD.
As of now, the Zeus Touch and Triton software versions noted on the B&G website are not new updates ( Jan. 2013 for the Triton and July 2013 for the Zeus Touch ), so I can't imagine that is what is being used as an update for the Pilot Controller functions. Have the updates not been posted yet?
I have all of these on my boat ( 2 Tritons, 2 Zeus T7s, a Pilot Controller and a TP32 tillerpilot ) and would appreciate some clarification.
Thanks,
Bill
Yes, they call it software - sorry for the confusion. The pilot controller pad is a stand alone control unit for the Simrad/B&G autopilots. It doesn't require a Zeus, Triton or Simrad control head at all. So it also has software in it.

Here is a direct link to the download of the new software for the pilot control pad: Triton Pilot Software Update

You can install the software update using your Zeus.

Mark
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:40   #25
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
Thanks Mark. They e-mailed me the day the release came out hoping I could test my problem immediately, but only a couple hours earlier my boat was hauled out for the winter. Bummer.

My last post on this situation was in May. Unfortunately I had quite a frustrating sailing season with this autopilot problem, which was exasperated even more by the less than effective support from Navico. I ended up calling/e-mailing/pestering the president of Navico North America to get my voice heard and get some attention. The head of warranty service and the head of North America support then each spent a fair amount of time with me on the problem including reviewing my network schematics and sending me some replacement components to swap and test (to no avail). While my design met all NMEA rules they were suspicious the problem was in my configuration. One likely problem was I had a single 12v power tap in the middle of my backbone so I changed that to Maretron's dual tap. Frankly I don't know why the single one was in my design as it's easy and obvious to give the network more power, especially since I have 20 unique NMEA devices connected. Anyway, this didn't solve my autopilot error, although it did seem to become less frequent.

Then an endless process of elimination started trying to identify any bad actor. In three places I have a drop cable going to a Maretron multiport tee with 3 or four devices hanging off each tee. Navico was very un-trusting of these tees and recommended I test those legs first. After many iterations I found that one of these legs, which had four Tritons attached to the tee, seemed to cause trouble. When I took that entire drop out of the system my error seemed to go away. So then I spent many hours rewiring my back bone so each of those four Tritons was on a direct drop and the tee was out of the loop. Went for a sail and dammit, I still go the error but much less frequently. I still had one more Maretron tee in my system but temporarily bypassing that one still didn't make me error free, and it would easily take a full day to rewire my backbone to replace this particular tee (in my pedestal at the helm). So now I was really frustrated and knew I was chasing the wrong problem.

Finally I got the idea to call Maretron. The rep there was incredibly helpful and generous with his time. They have a tool call N2Kanalyzer that you run on your laptop and connect to the backbone via their USB100 interface, which I had. This tool is pretty amazing as it can identify every device on the network and show you what traffic it is sending/receiving, what it's NMEA certification is, and a lot more. It clearly identifies pairs of devices that are in conflict with each other. I had about a dozen conflicting pairs. You can also save all this to a file which I sent to them and Navico for analysis. Long story short is that Maretron's analysis is that, first, the Tritons are not NMEA certified so their protocols could be questioned, but more importantly they are incredibly chatty on the network. You would think a display device would pretty much only receive data, but the Tritons all act like repeaters and send out data. For example each one sends out wind data several times a second. The Maretron guy maintained his professionalism at all times but his message was pretty clear that this was a bad design by Navico and very likely the root cause of my confused autopilot. "They really need to fix their stuff, that is your only hope."

Too me this all makes sense. In my troubleshooting it wasn't the fact that I took a Maretron tee out of the system, it was that I took 4 Tritons out of the system that gave me better performance. When I put the 4 Tritons back in the error returned. Duh... None of this has been confirmed by Navico, so I might be wrong and they might defend their chatty design. They have gone strangely quiet since I sent them the Maretron data and analysis, and my urgency has diminished with the season over so I haven't followed up. Frankly I'm tired of dealing with it and just hopeful the latest upgrade fixes my autopilot from randomly disengaging. I did respond to the e-mail telling me about the upgrade asking what they had changed but got no response. Maybe they are tired of me too.

Oh how I wish I had called Maretron much earlier (like 16 months earlier), or that someone in this circus - any of the Navico guys (including the local tech that came aboard last year to sniff around) or my dealer - had suggested I use the N2Kanalyzer tool to get real data. I'm flabbergasted no one made this suggestion, especially my dealer who has been included on everything and should have been helpful. Of course I'm also a fool for not knowing I had this ability all along. Either that or a fool because I expected help after the sale. I invested a huge amount of my time, plus had the cost of new backbone bits, in the misguided discovery.

Won't know until next May. For now it's time to sharpen my skis...

John
Wow, I thought I had system peculiarities. I, too, created a Maretron network, though a bit less complicated than yours. I did not, however, use drops upon drops as you have described with your Tritons. Each component has a specific drop off the backbone. I used the Maretron Network design software to create the network. It is quite balanced and seems to work fine other than what I perceive to be flaws in the B&G software for the various B&G/Navico units. I have Airmar, Maretron, Garmin and Vesper sensors/components on the network, in addition to the B&G/Simrad ones. The only inconsistencies occur with the B&G/Navico stuff (!!) Like Dockhead, I was just hoping B&G/Navico would get their software act together. Your experience is not encouraging, though
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:43   #26
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

[QUOTE=colemj;1395101]
Quote:
Originally Posted by muttskie View Post

Yes, they call it software - sorry for the confusion. The pilot controller pad is a stand alone control unit for the Simrad/B&G autopilots. It doesn't require a Zeus, Triton or Simrad control head at all. So it also has software in it.

Here is a direct link to the download of the new software for the pilot control pad: Triton Pilot Software Update

You can install the software update using your Zeus.

Mark
Ok, got it. Thank you very much for the help, Mark
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Old 19-11-2013, 13:24   #27
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Wow, starting to make NKE look better all the time. Raymarine, back a few years ago, was the baddie. It seems they may have gotten their house in order. Now it looks like B&G and Navico need to get things straightened out.

Maybe that boat in the Vendee Globe that was saying they were having problems with the B&G autopilot were correct after all. They had to drop out of the race. They claimed it was firmware problems but I never heard any follow up to the problem.
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Old 19-11-2013, 15:12   #28
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Thanks for the inputs.

I have to give Navico/B&G one somewhat valid excuse. My dealer, as soon as I started having problems, connected me with the local (Newport RI) support rep to help me out. The dealer made it sound like this was a very special gift, that the rep only really helps racing teams on the high end gear, but would help me as a favor to the dealer. The basic idea was I should not pester him, and perhaps worship his time. Anyway he was a very nice guy but had very limited availability and no knowledge of the Zues/Tritons which were new to market. He tried to help sporadically but was basically useless. I continued to have expectations of him for too long but was cautious about abusing him. So I didn't push, and didn't get results. Finally I connected directly with phone support and started getting help. Then a couple promises went unfulfilled and when I called the MIA rep I got a message that he was on vacation for the two weeks. That's when I had enough and called the president. Even that took a few tries before he personally responded, although he obviously kicked the head of support to reach out to me as I heard from him within an hour and he has stuck with me ever since. So I don't think anyone should damn B&G over my case as it was a string of unfortunate events in some ways. Either that or here I go again being too nice a guy. I saw the local rep at the Newport boat show in Sep and he gave me the full rundown of the politics between departments and why he was stuck, and therefore I was stuck. I wish he had told me all that a year earlier.

Now I would pick on them for them trying so hard to deny it was their problem. At first they steadfastly refused to consider it was a timeout issue and that they could change it without creating some bigger risk. I was brutally (but in a diplomatic way) persistent on them that it was the responsibility of the autopilot provider to be be tolerant of network noise, no matter the source, so as not to jeopardize the safety of the boat and crew with a spontaneously disengaging autopilot. I also argued that if the autopilot ever did disengage itself for any reason other then the captain doing it physically then a siren type alarm should go off continuously so someone grabbed the helm. This was the scary thing on my boat. If we didn't hear the millisecond bleep when it went off we could have gotten into a lot of trouble. As it was we always had to have someone close to the helm when in autopilot mode. And very regretfully I couldn't dare go out single handed.

I have a record of about 80 e-mails over 16 months around this problem. That doesn't count phone calls, visits to my dealer, two visits to Navico's US offices in Nashua, NH, and more. Everyone stayed professional, but man was it frustrating.

Mark, thanks for the link for the keypad upgrade. It's not obvious to find it on their website. You'd think it would be on their support/download page with all the other gear but it isn't. You can only find it going through the product/keypad/support links. Dumb. I do like what they wrote up there admitting there was a problem and this upgrade is a bug fix. I feel like my kicking my have helped drive this change.

I'm really hoping to be relaxed next year when the autopilot is working for me. Then maybe I'll tackle my second problem which is my depth reading suddenly goes to zero sometimes, even when I'm sitting still in my slip...

John
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Old 19-11-2013, 15:22   #29
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

To put things in perspective here:
1. The Vendee Globe boat was not using this equipment.
2. The autopilot referenced in all the posts above is a Simrad unit, not B&G
3. There is no problem with the autopilot here
4. The autopilot error message that was occurring was only when using a remote control pad, not the main AP control head.
5. That error was noted and fixed within 3 months of its occurrence
6. The other issue with the Tritons is that the backlight goes out only when set on night mode at level 2 (out of 10). It never happens on any other lighting mode or level. The light comes back on when you push a button.
7. That problem was also noted and fixed - but I am still waiting for the software update to be released.
8. Both the Triton and the remote control pad are new products.

So in summary, the "bad" problems are a nuisance alarm (which can be permanently disabled), and the backlight turning off on only a single one of 20 lighting level options (and it turns back on when a button is pressed). Both of these problems have been noticed by B&G and one of them fixed.

On the other hand, speaking solely for autopilots, NKE is top notch gear but you pay for it and it hasn't been very N2K or integration friendly.

Mark
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Old 19-11-2013, 15:34   #30
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Mark, overall good review but not quite right on #5.

- I first reported the problem in May of 2012. It took 18 months to fix. It's worth noting that the last software upgrade to the keypad, earlier this year, claimed to fix the problem.
- I had the problem regardless of the how I was using the A/P. If I set the A/P on either Zeus, not the keypad, it would still get the error. It wasn't exclusive to the keypad. Now come to think of it this makes me suspicious (and maybe depressed) that the keypad update may not solve the problem.
- Even worse I'd get this alarm even if the A/P wasn't engaged at all. I could be sitting at the dock with the gear on and get the "No autopilot control head" error and bleep on all my screens.

Although I asked, Navico never would tell me what piece of gear specifically initiates this message. My thought, and worry, is that it's the Simrad AC42 autopilot computer, which would make sense, since it has to see a control head all the time. But doing a software/firmware upgrade to that maybe very difficult. I don't know, just guessing.
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