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Old 31-05-2016, 01:19   #1
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Wiring Electronics Networks

Hello friends,

I'm about to start the fun stuff of our refit on Redemption, and would like to get some feedback from the brain trust regarding wiring it up.

Firstly, I am fully aware of wiring, crimping, shrinking, and fusing, also I have all the proper tools for the job. Secondly, I know how to wire components up in the basic sense but that's not what I'm after. I have/will run Maretron's N2K builder program to make sure cabling/voltage requirements are met.

To start off, I have a Furuno 9" TZ Touch chartplotter(to be at helm), a Maretron DST110, Maretron WSO100, SH2150 VHF, and a Fusion BB300 stereo. All of these are N2K, sans VHF which is 0183. I want to expand this down the road with a Furuno radar(connected to said chartplotter), Furuno autopilot, and a Vesper XB-8000 (no particular order). Also, I have a newly installed Blue Sea circuit panel with extra breaker spots so no need to skimp there.

I'm inquiring because, I'm not sure if I should have a separate break for the chartplotter and the N2K network or on the same breaker? Does the radar go on its own breaker or no? Does the Vesper have its own or is it powered by the network? I just know there are different ways of doing this and I'm looking for the "best" way, if I may, so that everything works well. I have read where people can power down certain things while at anchor vs underway.

That said, for those who have wired their system, how did you wire it? If you could do it differently, how would you change it? Just looking for some real world experience for those already cruising with their electronics.

I appreciate, as always, your feedback regarding the matter.

Ronnie
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Old 31-05-2016, 07:39   #2
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Re: Wiring Electronics Networks

I like to power the N2K backbone separately for two reasons. First is that there are typically devices on it that I want to have on while at anchor, yet other devices that I want to turn off. So thinking that through and making sure you can separately control at-anchor vs underway etc. can be helpful.

The second reason I like to power the N2K backbone separately is for service. Hot plugging devices is fine, but if you need to work on the backbone you might need to power it down. Also, things go wrong on N2K and cycling power is often the way to get things working again. It's nice to be able to cycle N2K without having to reboot your chart plotter.

All the AIS devices I've seen require external power, and I suspect the Vesper is no exception. I also like to have it separately switched, so first choice would be a breaker on your panel. With some sort of switch, you can turn it off to save power while at anchor.

Where is your GPS? For a good anchor watch and alarm you need a GPS, depth (not mandatory, but very useful I think) and some display device with an anchor watch function. I like Maretron's in N2KView, and have used the equivalent in their DSM display devices though they are a bit harder to configure and control. Another nice thing about using one of the maretron devices is that you can set other alarms like depth. I also use boundary circles in Coastal Explorer. And if things are really tight and holding questionable, I'll leave a radar on too with a VRM just touching the shore so I can tell at a glance if I have moved.

But getting back to breakers and separately switching devices, other than the initial cost and breaker panel space, I think there are only benefits to individually protecting things with breakers.
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Old 31-05-2016, 07:46   #3
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Re: Wiring Electronics Networks

It's the best practice power the NMEA backbone separately and protect with his own breaker (normally under "electronic").
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Old 31-05-2016, 20:39   #4
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Re: Wiring Electronics Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanglewood View Post
I like to power the N2K backbone separately for two reasons. First is that there are typically devices on it that I want to have on while at anchor, yet other devices that I want to turn off. So thinking that through and making sure you can separately control at-anchor vs underway etc. can be helpful.

The second reason I like to power the N2K backbone separately is for service. Hot plugging devices is fine, but if you need to work on the backbone you might need to power it down. Also, things go wrong on N2K and cycling power is often the way to get things working again. It's nice to be able to cycle N2K without having to reboot your chart plotter.

All the AIS devices I've seen require external power, and I suspect the Vesper is no exception. I also like to have it separately switched, so first choice would be a breaker on your panel. With some sort of switch, you can turn it off to save power while at anchor.

Where is your GPS? For a good anchor watch and alarm you need a GPS, depth (not mandatory, but very useful I think) and some display device with an anchor watch function. I like Maretron's in N2KView, and have used the equivalent in their DSM display devices though they are a bit harder to configure and control. Another nice thing about using one of the maretron devices is that you can set other alarms like depth. I also use boundary circles in Coastal Explorer. And if things are really tight and holding questionable, I'll leave a radar on too with a VRM just touching the shore so I can tell at a glance if I have moved.

But getting back to breakers and separately switching devices, other than the initial cost and breaker panel space, I think there are only benefits to individually protecting things with breakers.
Thanks for the info, I think I'm picking up what you're laying down. I will have the network (WSO100, DST100, possibly a Maretron DSM screen) on its own breaker, "Electronics". This will also come in handy when I just want to use our laptop with OpenCPN hooked up to the network as well. I'll have the chartplotter on its own breaker. You asked about GPS, that Furuno unit has its own GPS built in. I'll have the radar on its own breaker as well since it will come later on anyways. The Vesper AIS unit will go on its own as well so I can monitor it without anything else on if needed. It has its own GPS that comes with it I believe so that will be nice. The SH VHF is already hooked up with its own breaker.

Thanks again for the advice. I can't wait to turn everything on, that is always such a nice gratifying moment for me
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Old 31-05-2016, 20:54   #5
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Re: Wiring Electronics Networks

Yes, put the Vesper on it's own circuit so you can leave it on while everything else is shut down at anchor. Pretty much everything else, I have on one circuit. I just shut down the devices from their controls if I want to leave the NMEA bus up.
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:26   #6
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Re: Wiring Electronics Networks

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Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
Thanks for the info, I think I'm picking up what you're laying down. I will have the network (WSO100, DST100, possibly a Maretron DSM screen) on its own breaker, "Electronics". This will also come in handy when I just want to use our laptop with OpenCPN hooked up to the network as well. I'll have the chartplotter on its own breaker. You asked about GPS, that Furuno unit has its own GPS built in. I'll have the radar on its own breaker as well since it will come later on anyways. The Vesper AIS unit will go on its own as well so I can monitor it without anything else on if needed. It has its own GPS that comes with it I believe so that will be nice. The SH VHF is already hooked up with its own breaker.

Thanks again for the advice. I can't wait to turn everything on, that is always such a nice gratifying moment for me
One comment is that by using teh internal Furuno GPS, when that's off there will be no GPS, so no position on OpenCPN. If you plan to use it as a backup in case of MFD failure, it won't be very effective. Also, without GPS you won't have any good anchor alarm.

For these reasons, you might consider adding an N2K attached GPS, installed with a clear view of the sky. It will also be much more reliable than the internal MFD GPS. I have a TZ2 on a 28' open boat, but with hardtop, and the internal GPS is pretty much unusable. For other reason's I installed an external one and it works perfectly.
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