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Old 23-06-2024, 02:29   #1
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Question about Ethernet

I am upgrading my old gen B&G Zeuses to Zeus3 S's. My nav table Zeus is the old non-touch Z8 which has 3 Ethernet ports, and so I did not need a switch or hub. Connected here were -- other plotter, radar, GoFree, and I connected my board computer through the Go Free, which has a second port.


This left me with the problem of how to connect the B&G H5000, which also needs Ethernet. No free port. I had to physically disconnect the board computer from the network and reconnect to the H5000, when I needed that interface.



The new plotters only have one Ethernet port each, so I had to buy the NEP-2 external hub. This has 5 ports. So theoretically I can now connect everything to the hub.


Question is this, for boat networking geeks: Will there be any problem connecting to the H5000 this way? Based on my primitive networking knowledge, I would think not -- every device has its own IP number, right? And the H5000 program on my board computer should find the H5000 hardware on the network, right? And not just when connected directly?


All advice gratefully received!
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Old 23-06-2024, 05:47   #2
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Re: Question about Ethernet

First post ever on this board. Hi all!

Short answer: yes, plug into the hub, and it should work.

Medium answer: I took a quick look at the Zeus 3 manual and it says Ethernet configuration is plug and play. If you can plug it in, it should work. This assumes recent generations of B&G will talk to each other. For something this basic, they should.

According to the manual, it doesn't matter whether the Ethernets are directly connected to a hub or daisy chained through different devices. And as you note, some of the devices have their own built in hubs.

Long answer: A hub or switch makes a physical network connection, plus some other networking layers. IP addresses are at a higher networking layer than a hub or switch uses. IP addresses are commonly assigned by a DHCP server. Probably DHCP is what B&G is using for Ethernet. (It's what they use for wifi.) One can also set IP addresses manually (called a static IP address), but DHCP is far more common now. There are also protocols that can assign an IP address without a server, but that is sort of a last resort and not always supported.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 23-06-2024, 06:51   #3
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Re: Question about Ethernet

With all that money involved, what’s stopping you from just making a proper boat network?

Getting a proper router and running network cables to it shouldn’t take much, plus gives options in the future like starlink, boat wifi for mobile devices etc.

Also won’t cause problems if you decide to update your nav table Zeus
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Old 23-06-2024, 07:47   #4
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Re: Question about Ethernet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ixium View Post
With all that money involved, what’s stopping you from just making a proper boat network?

Getting a proper router and running network cables to it shouldn’t take much, plus gives options in the future like starlink, boat wifi for mobile devices etc.

Also won’t cause problems if you decide to update your nav table Zeus

Well, the whole problem is I am just in the process of swapping the old Z8 with its several ports, for a new Zeus3 S which has only one.


And why is this not a "proper boat network"? I think the NEP-2 is a proper network switch, just marinized with a DC power supply and Navico yellow-plug connectors.


I am think thating I would not want to run life-safety critical connections like my radar with my MFD's, through a network on the Internet used for general purposes. I have a wireless router for that if needed, although I use this little these days in favor of everyone on board using own telephone for Internet access. I'm just about to re-install my Ubiquiti bullet, though, so this may get revived.
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Old 23-06-2024, 08:20   #5
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Re: Question about Ethernet

I agree with keeping MFD networking separate from the rest unless there's a good reason to combine them.

And yes, as others have said, it's perfectly valid to connect every device to the NEP-2 switch and they'll all be able to talk.
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