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Old 10-05-2013, 02:14   #61
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

Ekh, then I would have to power up the whole network just to check my battery state. Yes, I have admired the Maretron DC monitor, which has some pretty cool features, but it doesn't replace the simple battery monitor which every boat needs.

So I'm sending it in for service.

I keep remembering what the electrical guy in Cowes told me years ago -- Victron gear is lovely, but the El-Cheapo Sterling stuff actually fails much less often. These words are ringing in my ears now.
When I checked into this, I think every function of the Victron was supported by the Maretron? Power up the network? You can leave it running for ever... power consumption is nothing compared to solar generation. I even keep the DSM250 display on at low brightness.

I want battery monitor data on N2K so that I can integrate alarms into a single alarm system. I bought the Victron N2K module for the BMV600 but it was dead on arrival. Still in the process of replacing but it is taking too long so I may go the Maretron way.

How are all your sensors working? Yanmar status?
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:16   #62
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
When I checked into this, I think every function of the Victron was supported by the Maretron? Power up the network? You can leave it running for ever... power consumption is nothing compared to solar generation. I even keep the DSM250 display on at low brightness.

I want battery monitor data on N2K so that I can integrate alarms into a single alarm system. I bought the Victron N2K module for the BMV600 but it was dead on arrival. Still in the process of replacing but it is taking too long so I may go the Maretron way.

How are all your sensors working? Yanmar status?
Well, if you have solar, and sail in a sunny place, I guess you can leave the network running. My boat is rarely connected to shore power, and I don't have solar, and don't sail in a sunny place, so power conservation is the norm for me.

Sorry about your DOA Victron module, but I'm not surprised -- the Mean Time Between Failures of all my Victron gear is probably 14 months

I am still recommissioning my boat after her refit, so haven't finished putting the N2K network together, but am massively pleased so far. The part of the network I haven't commissioned yet is the engine room stuff -- fuel flow, temp, Yanmar. The Yanmar monitor is connected but for some reason not giving me any data. It is passing through data to the regular instruments, and the module shows up as functioning normal on the network -- but no data. Haven't had time to fiddle with it yet.

Everything else, more or less, seems to be working well, and most of it simply worked out of the box with no fiddling. The Airmar CS4500 ultrasonic log worked perfectly straight away despite the data being transformed twice from pulse to NMEA0183 to N2K. It has very fine resolution and reads down to fractions of a knot, useful if you want to know the current where you are anchored. I am not quite confident in its accuracy, however. Need some more experience with it to know for sure. One disappointment is that when I tried motoring at high speed, it went crazy. As I passed 10 knots, it started to read 35 knots boat speed. I am guessing that if I exceed hull speed, I'm getting air under the boat which messes up the readings. This is very bad since one time when you really, really need accurate boat speed data is when you are surfing down wind beyond hull speed.

The Airmar H2183 is superb, incredibly stable, and gives heel, pitch, and ROT data. It's great to have good heading data on the network.

I've had some trouble with my pilot, but it seems to be not a network problem. When it has been working, it has been lovely -- with a very different steering style from the old Ray pilot. Seems to steer a steadier course with much less rudder input, as if it anticipates the boat motion.

The B&G Tritons are unbelievably good. The only problem is that there are so many useful screens, that I'm a little frustrated having only four of them in the cockpit. One will be busy being the pilot control head, whenever the pilot is active (which is all the time on my boat), which leaves only three. I have been using them as Wind, Speed/Depth, and the marvelous Steering Compass. The last of these shows heading as a strip at the top, BTW in a window center left, COG in a window center right, XTE in the middle, with a graphic representation of XTE below. BTW is also represented with an arrow on the heading strip. But there are other screens I would like to be able to see. I'm thinking about maybe ditching the backup Ray wind instrument I left over from the old system and putting in one more Triton.

One problem I'm having is that the Martron DSM250 for some strange reason doesn't always display Ground Wind. It displays apparent wind just fine, but sometimes if there is no COG on the network (because we're moored and not moving!), ground wind drops off, which is frustrating. It needs to use heading when there is no COG on the network, but is not smart enough, apparently. I think I will write to Maretron about it.

But all in all I am extremely pleased. It was an agonizing choice this fall to buy new sails, or to do the standing rigging plus electronics. I chose the latter, and so in lieu of new sails, had my old sails reconditioned by the North loft in Cowes. They turned out better than I could ever imagine possible -- those guys are magicians. They recut the sails, and now the shape is almost like new, a total transformation. I will get at least a couple more years out of them, I think, so this turned out to be a great decision.

Now I just need to finish the recommissioning list -- the volume of work is just incredible, not to mention the expense.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:40   #63
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

You can set up the Tritons so that they autoscroll through just the pages you want to see. The scrolling time is adjustable. That way, more data is available from a single unit.

I was going to mention at the start of all this to ditch that RM because I knew that once you installed the Tritons, that RM was going to look like a dinosaur turd sitting next to them (and be about as useful), but I was feeling the pain of all that money slipping through your fingers...

Mark
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:36   #64
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Ground wind needs SOG and COG. Heading won't do, as movement over ground is needed. But... either of these values may be 0... and your GPS should output valid zero values when stationary. I have no trouble with my Maretron GPS sensor but when I start the network, I must wait for full GPS lock. Before that, the GPS will output estimated position, which might mislead you to think full lock has been achieved.

About the Yanmar: you must check the setup, especially the #instance value. Did you get the Maretron USB100 with the N2Kanalyzer software? This will immediately show every output value from each module.

When you use a Simrad pilot, you realize what toys other pilots really are. But try to tell that to Ray owners and they kill you Nice to see that you recognize the difference.

I am only getting two Triton displays in the cockpit... one for wind and one for speed/depth. I'm hoping they can do highway mode to waypoint which is the only other view I'll use...
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:15   #65
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

Quote:
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Ground wind needs SOG and COG. Heading won't do, as movement over ground is needed. But... either of these values may be 0... and your GPS should output valid zero values when stationary. I have no trouble with my Maretron GPS sensor but when I start the network, I must wait for full GPS lock. Before that, the GPS will output estimated position, which might mislead you to think full lock has been achieved.

About the Yanmar: you must check the setup, especially the #instance value. Did you get the Maretron USB100 with the N2Kanalyzer software? This will immediately show every output value from each module.

When you use a Simrad pilot, you realize what toys other pilots really are. But try to tell that to Ray owners and they kill you Nice to see that you recognize the difference.

I am only getting two Triton displays in the cockpit... one for wind and one for speed/depth. I'm hoping they can do highway mode to waypoint which is the only other view I'll use...
I have the Actisense N2K-USB bridge, which is supposed to be a lot better than the Maretron one, but I don't need it for this purpose -- the Zeus plotter has a built-in network analyzer which gives every bit of data from every thing on the network -- totally cool. I've got the instance correct, but still doesn't give any data. I have more urgent things to do at the moment, but I will turn my attention back to that and the other engine room modules in June.

Two Triton displays! You're making the same mistake as I did -- I assumed that I would be happy seeing exactly the same data as my old instruments displayed -- boy, that idea went straight out the window when I saw the screens the Triton can display.

I have never used highway screens -- never needed that much information about XTE in my face, especially since in tidal waters I am often sailing not on a rhumb line but to a CTS, but everyone's taste is different, of course. The Tritons have a Highway screen, which I have already deleted. You might try instead the marvelous steering compass screen, which gives you the same data in a much more -- in my opinion -- useful form. At the bottom you have a graphic display of XTE, if you care so much about this information, and above you have a compass tape with a diamond to show BTW. Hand steering is a doddle with this.

Are you planning to use a Triton for autopilot control? It is the very t*ts for this application. There is a separate keypad for command input for the pilot.

Other great screens -- complete navigation data, depth history, wind histogram. Apparently there a new close hauled wind screen -- not in my software version. Will also display engine data and lots more thing.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:28   #66
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

I had a variety of problems getting a DSM250 to display ground wind properly. My setup was a Furuno branded Airmar PB200. The whole problem turned out to be instancing, and more particularly my misunderstanding of how instancing works in N2K.

Because of my data networking background, I jumped to the conclusion that instancing was just another form of source address filtering. More particularly, I was confusing node address (or device address) with instance, largely because I was thinking in terms of source address filtering.

I chased this around in circles for a long time, mostly trying to figure out why my node addresses kept changing and thinking that was the problem. It had nothing to do with the problem. N2K address are essentially arbitrary and can change any time.

Perhaps I'm the only dunce, but just in case others are too... Instancing is the only device identification that is immutable across power cycles and reconfiguration of the N2K network, including N2K devices that come and go as they are powered on/off. Because they are user-assigned, it's really easy to end up with duplicates. Sometimes duplicates don't matter, but other times they do which makes the whole thing even more evil and error prone.

I finally decided to just give every device a unique Instance number. You can have 255 devices on a network, and 255 instance values, so it's easy to give everyone a unique number and eliminate a possible source of elusive problems. Since doing this, all my whacky N2K issues have gone away.

N2KAnalyze has a nice feature called "Check Instancing" where it listens on the network for a while looking for multiple devices sending out PGNs with the same instance. It's a very handy way to check your network for this problem.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:04   #67
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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I had a variety of problems getting a DSM250 to display ground wind properly. My setup was a Furuno branded Airmar PB200. The whole problem turned out to be instancing, and more particularly my misunderstanding of how instancing works in N2K.

Because of my data networking background, I jumped to the conclusion that instancing was just another form of source address filtering. More particularly, I was confusing node address (or device address) with instance, largely because I was thinking in terms of source address filtering.

I chased this around in circles for a long time, mostly trying to figure out why my node addresses kept changing and thinking that was the problem. It had nothing to do with the problem. N2K address are essentially arbitrary and can change any time.

Perhaps I'm the only dunce, but just in case others are too... Instancing is the only device identification that is immutable across power cycles and reconfiguration of the N2K network, including N2K devices that come and go as they are powered on/off. Because they are user-assigned, it's really easy to end up with duplicates. Sometimes duplicates don't matter, but other times they do which makes the whole thing even more evil and error prone.

I finally decided to just give every device a unique Instance number. You can have 255 devices on a network, and 255 instance values, so it's easy to give everyone a unique number and eliminate a possible source of elusive problems. Since doing this, all my whacky N2K issues have gone away.

N2KAnalyze has a nice feature called "Check Instancing" where it listens on the network for a while looking for multiple devices sending out PGNs with the same instance. It's a very handy way to check your network for this problem.
Oh Great! It used to be that all you had to be to go sailing was a sailor, fiberglass worker, plumber, electrician, weatherman, and diesel mechanic. Now you have to be a network nerd as well...
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:08   #68
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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Oh Great! It used to be that all you had to be to go sailing was a sailor, fiberglass worker, plumber, electrician, weatherman, and diesel mechanic. Now you have to be a network nerd as well...
Used to be that sailing didn't involve fibreglass, plumbing, electricity, or diesel.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:58   #69
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Oh Great! It used to be that all you had to be to go sailing was a sailor, fiberglass worker, plumber, electrician, weatherman, and diesel mechanic. Now you have to be a network nerd as well...
I thought you needed to be a sailor to go sailing?
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Old 10-05-2013, 13:32   #70
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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-- not in my software version.
What's keeping you? With the Zeus, all you need to do is download the new firmware onto a card, stick it in the Zeus and it will update the Tritons for you.

Nav mode screens attached:

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Old 10-05-2013, 14:22   #71
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

Okay,that's it! I am going to get a wind up radio and a crank for my engine. No China meltdowns or infra red ray guns for me. The only thing inverted around here will be the flag when I am in distress.


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Old 10-05-2013, 15:51   #72
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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What's keeping you? With the Zeus, all you need to do is download the new firmware onto a card, stick it in the Zeus and it will update the Tritons for you.

Nav mode screens attached:

Mark
The lower left one is profoundly brilliant. The lower right one is useless, to the way I use instruments. The wind display is, as everyone knows by now, extremely good, just the digits are a bit small for my installation.
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Old 10-05-2013, 16:23   #73
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What's keeping you? With the Zeus, all you need to do is download the new firmware onto a card, stick it in the Zeus and it will update the Tritons for you.

Nav mode screens attached:

Mark
Yes, the lower left one is great as it has a nice compass added. But the highway display lower right will do too.

Let me tell you how we use this. During tricky approaches I am behind the wheel ready to take over from the AP. Josie is behind the plotter/radar, activating waypoints or next legs of the route etc. I see those appear on steering display and acknowledge on AP when my eyeballing agrees. Or, when I hand-steer, I just follow the steering display as long as I like what I see.

When the maps are accurate, I just press the OK button on the pilot at every turn. This gives me way more time to look around me, follow reef lines etc. while knowing the AP keeps the boat on course.

So, Mark, how to update the atritons without a Zeus, whoever/whatever that is ?
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Old 10-05-2013, 16:26   #74
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Okay,that's it! I am going to get a wind up radio and a crank for my engine. No China meltdowns or infra red ray guns for me. The only thing inverted around here will be the flag when I am in distress.

Todd
No no no, turning the ensign upside down during distress is illegal because it is not one of the allowed signals according to COLREGS! You need to lash a barrel with tar to your lifelines and out that on fire instead! Only on CF
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Old 10-05-2013, 16:33   #75
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

You mean you don't have the fire barrel networked with everything so that it lights automatically when the bilge alarm alerts it?
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