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Old 19-11-2013, 15:37   #31
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
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
That you only get a single beep is interesting - mine beeps continuously until I clear the error. My autopilot never shuts down when this happens - it just keeps doing what it was doing. The error seems only temporary. In fact, I simply disabled it permanently in the alarms setup menu and never have noticed it since. It probably is happening, but it has no effect on the AP.

To be fair to Navico, I suspect any manufacture will first want to consider a network installed by the user not using their specific gear. However, I was disappointed that they kept getting stuck thinking Maretron's multiport box was the equivalent of drops on drops instead of a series of tee's.

Their website has always been confusing. It is actually getting much better over the past 2 years, and is WAY above Simrad's and Navico's websites. Hopefully they will continue to improve it.

Does your depth show problems on your chartplotter also, or only on the Triton? Have you monitored it with Maretron or Airmar's software programs to see if it does the same? It may be a problem with the transducer. Is it the Airmar triducer with depth and speed in the same package? I have heard of several problems with them.

Mark
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Old 19-11-2013, 15:50   #32
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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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.
OK, I didn't know when you reported it and thought it was when you posted here.

I did not know of any previous software updates to the control pad. In fact, I am pretty sure this most recent one is the first.

I don't think it is the AC42 because I only get the error on the Tritons and not the AP24 control head. In other words, the Tritons will be squawking the error while the AP24 is perfectly happy. Also, it doesn't happen on all Tritons at once - they seem to randomly get the error individually at different times.

And even when it does sound an alarm, the autopilot keeps working happily along. I permanently disabled the alarms and have had no AP issues.

I suspect it is simply a timeout issue and aggressive error reporting. Since they noticed it and fixed it on the control pad, I bet they will roll it into the next update of the Triton software.

Mark
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Old 19-11-2013, 16:35   #33
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Colemg, I was not talking about your problem when I wrote my last post. The OP has a serious problem when the autopilot kicks out due to some unknown and so far unfix-able problem. The system on the Vendee Globe boat I mentioned was B&G although the autopilot may not have been.
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Old 19-11-2013, 17:09   #34
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

I understand that. I have the same gear he has and mine does not kick out - just sounds an alarm at random times and the AP always keeps working like nothing happened. However, it seems like the problem has been recognized, is known, and possibly fixed now.

B&G make a lot of different gear, and their racing stuff is WAY out of the cruising league. The Vendee boats using it are not using the gear we are. Any problem they have isn't relevant at all here, and doesn't really even reflect on B&G as a company outside of the narrowly-specific racing community. It is like saying someone on the F1 circuit is having a problem with their Honda…

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Old 19-11-2013, 22:15   #35
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Mark, my mistake. The previous upgrade I was thinking of that meant to fix this problem was to the Simrad OP40 wired remote control here: New Simrad OP40 Software Version 1.2.00.00 - Simrad Marine Electronics

A regular sub-plot to my saga was the "next upgrade will fix it" syndrome. The focus was on the OP40 for a while which didn't work at all with the first version of the Zeus. There were also two Zeus upgrades while I've owned them. The very first Pilot Keypads (mine) had a hardware problem and needed a complete replacement. That in fact was the very first attempt to fix my issues. And there was the Triton upgrade. Each upgrade did seem to change/improve my autopilot issue a little bit and gave me hope, but none solved it. I'm hesitant to call this current upgrade the fix until I try it. In fact I think if I read back through my extensive tests/reports that I took my pilot keypad out of the system entirely and still got the error. Back to my guess that the problem is in the AC42. I hope I'm wrong.

Navico also suspected that my NMEA version rudder sensor could be at fault so they sent me the direct wired model to try. Installing/wiring that was one of the more painful jobs with no positive result.

Basically I've been the busiest guy on Navico's QA and troubleshooting team in 2013.

To compare symptoms, all 8 of my Tritons and 2 Zues's get the alarm at once. It is so fast however that if you're not looking at a Triton the message is gone before you can read it. It lingers a moment longer on each Zeus so I can usually catch it there. They are clearly logged on the Zeus error log page. The log is useful to show how random and numerous the alarms are throughout a day. The consistent millisecond nature of this fault was my biggest point to Navico. There autopilot shouldn't barf on such a brief conflict, it should be far more tolerant. My theme was "just count to three" before you do the radical and dangerous thing of disabling the autopilot.

As for the depth issue I think I only get that alarm on the Tritons, not on the plotters. I have an Airmar DST100 depth/speed/temp sensor which may be the one you are saying has been troublesome. An irritating quirk about depth is that I see different numbers on the Triton vs. the Zeus. As I'm sure you know the Triton allows you to put in an offset for the depth of the transducer below the water line but the Zeus doesn't, and it doesn't grab the correct depth from the Tritons. So I have the Tritons set to show me the water below my keel which is my personal favorite way to see it, but the MFDs show me the kind of useless depth of water below the transducer which is 2.4 feet above my keel and 3.6 feet below the waterline. This kind of stuff I can just laugh at as new software nonsense, the autopilot problem I can not.
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Old 19-11-2013, 22:53   #36
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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B&G make a lot of different gear, and their racing stuff is WAY out of the cruising league. The Vendee boats using it are not using the gear we are. Any problem they have isn't relevant at all here, and doesn't really even reflect on B&G as a company outside of the narrowly-specific racing community.
And you know this for sure? How?

Some of those guys are operating on a very low and strict budget.
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Old 20-11-2013, 06:36   #37
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

I would say that historically the racing gear far more defines B&G. I like thinking that heritage trickles down into other lines. It's the consumer gear that is new and doesn't reflect their heritage. As we all know most of the consumer level stuff (ours) is cloned from Simrad, with some nice software differences that make it specific to sailors. Personally I think this is all a good thing and Navico's financial success over the last couple years is in part driven by smartly segmenting their markets and making well targeted products. Just my two cents.

I'll agree with Mark. Look at any picture in the cockpit or on the mast of a professional race boat and you wont see a Zeus or a Triton. If it's B&G it's their top end stuff. As a gadget geek that gear seems oh so sexy, especially all the additional sensors and computer software, but it makes no sense at all for a cruiser like me.
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Old 20-11-2013, 07:07   #38
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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And you know this for sure? How?

Some of those guys are operating on a very low and strict budget.
I know this because until a couple of months ago, B&G only sold high end autopilots under their brand name. If they had our AP's, they would be Simrad branded. And the articles about the Vendee Globe boats using B&G specifically talk about how they had the engineers on the boats custom writing software to handle the conditions they experience and tuned to the characteristics of their specialized boats.

B&G has always been known for, and focused on, their racing gear. Even the strict budget boats go high end in autopilots because there is no other solution for them in the lower end models. B&G and NKE pretty much rule there.

B&G now rebrand the Simrad AP computer and package it with a Triton control pad as a consumer add-on system.

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Old 22-11-2013, 18:36   #39
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

Triton display software upgrade V2.9 is available on B&G site.

"Following a small number of reports that in certain circumstances the back light will turn off unexpectedly when the backlighting is set to low levels (level1 and 2). The latest software version eliminates this problem."

Also included CZone and AC70 compatibility. Hope they also fixed other things like autopilot.
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Old 23-11-2013, 09:00   #40
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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Triton display software upgrade V2.9 is available on B&G site.

"Following a small number of reports that in certain circumstances the back light will turn off unexpectedly when the backlighting is set to low levels (level1 and 2). The latest software version eliminates this problem."

Also included CZone and AC70 compatibility. Hope they also fixed other things like autopilot.
Hmm… Thanks for the heads up. They also have introduced a new version of the Zeus MFDs. ( Zeus 2 ). I hope that doesn't signal diminishing interest in refining the existing Zeus Touch software.
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Old 24-11-2013, 07:52   #41
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

The Triton software update solved our problem.

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Old 24-11-2013, 08:38   #42
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

That's great news Mark! I sure wish the Pilot Keypad upgrade had been released a few days earlier so I could have tested it before I hauled out.

As for the Zeus I was told at the Newport Boat Show that some of the features in the Zeus Touch, in particular the sexy SailSteer screens, will be in a release soon for the Zeus.
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Old 24-11-2013, 09:45   #43
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

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The Triton software update solved our problem.

Mark
Which problem? Display goes off when lighting at lever 2, random "no autopilot computer" alarm or both?

I hope for both...
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:21   #44
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

The display lighting issue. I have never had the no autopilot computer alarm.

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Old 24-11-2013, 17:24   #45
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Re: Trouble with Tritons - B&G displays

I need to edit that. We had the "no autopilot computer" alarms in the past, but I turned them off permanently because they were just nuisance alarms for us. I will need to go in and turn them back on and see if the problem is gone.

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