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Old 29-09-2019, 12:12   #1
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Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

Hello,

Just Looking for validation or a little advice on adding AIS and our trusty RPI Powered Nav computer to a Raymarine fit.

The boat is a Beneteau 411 Celebration and has the standard 2004 vintage RL70C Plus at Chart table and Helm Station it has a Raymarine Fluxgate fitted and 4kw Analog Radar and ST60Plus TriData and Wind at the Helm Station with a hydraulic Autopilot and ST6001Plus controller.

We are wanting to put our trusty RPI Powered Nav Computer (qtvlm and OpenCPN) on board and want to fit a Digital Yacht AIS transponder https://digitalyacht.co.uk/product/ait5000/ which is also a wifi server for the boat data.

Our thought was to not mess with the Raymarine fit at this stage as all seems to work as it should. And we would need to save a bit of cash to do a refresh of the system. We are also massive Open Source advocates and have been sailing with OpenCPN and Rpi on our previous boat for years.

On order to get data in and out of the Seaktalk 1 network and into the Rpi we had the thought of using one of these https://digitalyacht.co.uk/product/st-nmea-usb/. We also have a Raymarine E85001 bought a few years ago for another boat project that never happened.

Ideal would be to use this device to receive all ST 1 Data and send Route and other navigation data to the RL70C PLus units and Autopilot data to the ST6001 Plus using the Seatalk 1 network.

Ideal also would be that we simply used the chart table RL70C Plus as a radar display device and the Helm unit to display various heading and other nav data.

Essentially this is our plan.

The Rpi would have 2 USB connections, one from the AIT5000 with the AIS/GPS and any other multiplexed data and one from the ST to Nmea interface bringing all of the Raymarine Seatalk data.

We would then use the combined data streams to drive qtvlm or OpenCPN and then send back the Autopilot data to the ST 1 network hopefully via the ST to Nmea Interface that should be picked up by the ST6001Plus controller and hopefully life is good.

The AIT5000 is also a wifi server and we can consume the NMEA data via mobiles and tablets anywhere we want. So may need to also feed in some of the ST1 data somehow.

Can anyone see any issues with the plan and does anyone have any suggestions as to how to simplify or de-risk the above or advice on the various components and how to interface to them and use them in this hybrid fashion.

All suggestions and advice welcome.

Cheers
Spart
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:23   #2
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

Anyone?

Cheers
Spart
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:01   #3
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

You have everything in your head and put it in words in your post.
For the outsider it would be easier if you could draw a schematic of your installation. In the above post a lot is left to the imagination of the reader.
Maybe to much.....
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:57   #4
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

Will add to my list of TODO. Just wanted to pick the brains of experienced ST and NMEA people that may lurk around this forum.

Cheers
Spart
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Old 05-10-2019, 13:46   #5
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

The RLC70c is now 3 generations old and I don't think it supports AIS.

Updating this lot could get expensive really quickly. Perhaps you might be better off with two networks. One the existing components incl radar with a feed of NMEA1830 for the ST60 data to the Digital Yacht and then perhaps via wifi/USB to overlay AIS on Open CPN.

Pete
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Old 05-10-2019, 14:36   #6
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

@pete7

Yes that is the plan to run 2 seperate data clouds with bridge between then for data interchange.

Network 1

Seatalk 1 as per the standard fit.

E85001 to AIT5K (or Digital Yacht ST1 to NMEA) NMEA 4800 in/out

All boat data is muxed to the wifi server internally in the AIT5K

OpenCPN will take its feed from the wifi cloud (we can filter out any course/route/AP stuff to avoid a loop) including AIS data at High speed.
OpenCPN will output via the USB connection this will also send the data out to the Seatalk1 network to get to the AP.

So hopefully we get the best of both worlds teh ST60's are rock solid when they work which these seem to. We can use the RL70C at the chart table and Helming station to display the radar and course info waypoint info etc. The ST6001+ AP controller will get what it needs from the OpenCPN output to AIT5K and back through the ST1 network and we have a fully capable marinePI nav computer doing the realtime display of course etc. Hopefully life is good.

Or, at least the theory is good.....

Cheers
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Old 05-10-2019, 14:40   #7
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparticle View Post
The ST6001+ AP controller will get what it needs from the OpenCPN output to AIT5K and back through the ST1 network and we have a fully capable marinePI nav computer doing the realtime display of course etc. Hopefully life is good.

Or, at least the theory is good.....

Cheers
Spart
Not sure Seatalk or Seatalk 1 can transmit data in different directions, I thought it was one way, but happy to be proven wrong. Give it a try and see what happens.

Pete
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Old 05-10-2019, 15:41   #8
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

E85001 doc says it is bi-directional. Digital Yacht ST-NMEA interface also states its bi-directional. So as long as we filter any sentences we don't want looped back. Essentially anything OpenCPN sends out theory is it should work and hopefully we should avoid any
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Old 05-10-2019, 18:15   #9
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

Review the RL70C supported NMEA sentences vs what you want to do...the number of supported sentences is small. It does not just convert all SeaTalk sentences to NMEA as you might suspect.

Another option is to convert the SeaTalk sentences to NMEA directly.

YakBitz has products to do either (pass on the NMEA out or convert SeaTalk 1)

http://www.yakbitz.com/
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Old 05-10-2019, 18:16   #10
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Not sure Seatalk or Seatalk 1 can transmit data in different directions, I thought it was one way, but happy to be proven wrong. Give it a try and see what happens.

Pete
IIRC the RL70C is out only, buy the ST series APs have an NMEA IN port.
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Old 05-10-2019, 19:00   #11
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

I did not understand your setup exactly but if AIT5000 is indeed $1000 I'd pause right now. You have a million options, most of which will likely be better than the Digital Yacht and much cheaper.

I used to have their iAIS, bought it for WiFi, was not the right decision. Sold it on eBay and replaced it with my own setup, explained below.

First of all, if you have existing Raymarine Seatalk network, use E22158 (Raymarine Seatalk1 to Sea Talk-Ng Converter) to create SeatalkNG network (it is essentially NMEA2k). It only costs $85 and boom, you have an NMEA2k network with Seatalk NG connectors. Now you have options. E22158 comes as a kit, so you don't need anything else for this part, though you may want to have a backbone cable and additional connectors.

For AIS, you can get a transceiver for around $500-600k easily (Vesper Marine XB-6000 or AMEC CAMINO-108 or the newer AMEC Widelink B600 for SOTDMA), add another $100 for WiFi (though I wouldn't, more below). All these will integrate with your NMEA2k network easily. BTW, don't buy an AIS without talking to Milltech Marine (or at least looking at their website), they are the experts in AIS.

To get everything onto Raspberry Pi, just use this board: https://www.elektor.com/pican-2-can-...r-raspberry-pi for 40 pounds. It will connect to your NMEA2k (assuming you don't want to send signals back, though I believe it can do it too), and to your Seatalk network via E22158. If you didn't buy a wireless AIS unit and want to make one now, you can do it on the Raspberry Pi for free. I developed a bunch of utilities to do this (https://github.com/itemir/rpi_boat_utils). These are fairly straight forward but still requires you to know a bit about computers and tech. If you don't care, spend a bit more and buy the wireless version out of the box.

If PiCAN2 does not work for you (too complicated or you need a proven bidrectional connector, look for an Actisense NGT-1-USB, more expensive but more robust).

All in all, you can have a new NMEA2k/SeatalkNG backbone, a good wifi transceiver (with SOTDMA if needed), integration with your Raspberry Pi and a wireless network, for less than $1,000. This is precisely my setup right now.

Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:23   #12
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

@Tenedos


Thank you for the information. Certainly a lot to think about.


The reason for looking at the AIT5K is the convergence capabilities. We have been using DY products for years and foudn them to be rock solid. AIT2K on the existing boat.



This one allows us to have NG AIS, LS NMEA and HS NMEA + N2K and a wifi server in one unit.


I appreciate there will be other device son the market.


At this stage we did not want to get into the new (well for us) STNG as we do not have any STNG devices. But wanted to ensure when we got around to it we would have a future proof device (AIT5K).



The RL70C Plus units for us are just a bonus to display Radar and route data. The MarinePI would be the Nav Computer our thinking was to make the ST1 connection via the Course Computer Raymarine 400 then the bridge would be essentially in the heart of the ST1 network and all device would then get the richer data with route/Course/AP sentences.


We could make a connection directly to the ST6001+ via its NMEA in terminals but wanted to avoid this and route everything via the existing ST1 network. That way the MarinePI is simply reading (and filtering) from the wifi feed and sending only the Route/Course/AP related sentences back via USB.


Another option is to connect the MarinePI to the ST1 to NMEA bridge directly receiving and filtering various ST1 data (get rid of the old Raystar GPS sentences) and sending the Route/Course/AP and AIT5K GPS data from openCPN with openCPN getting its main feed from the AIT5K (AIS GPS etc.)



Just trying to make it as simple as possible with as few devices as possible. If you are willing I would be happy to have a PM session with you to learn from any issues you came across and interested in your experience with DY as it sounds like you had problems which in the 5 plus years we have used DY products we have had none and they do what they say on the tin.


Cheers
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:45   #13
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Review the RL70C supported NMEA sentences vs what you want to do...the number of supported sentences is small. It does not just convert all SeaTalk sentences to NMEA as you might suspect.

Another option is to convert the SeaTalk sentences to NMEA directly.

YakBitz has products to do either (pass on the NMEA out or convert SeaTalk 1)

YakBitz



Thank you for the information. It seems the ST1 to NMEA device is essentially the same as the Raymarine E85001 bridge we already have albeit with a USB presentation. They are very cheap in comparison to other vendors though.



Cheers
Spart
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:18   #14
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

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sounds like you had problems which in the 5 plus years we have used DY products we have had none and they do what they say on the tin.
To be very fair, I have nothing against DY products. The iAIS unit I had, had the best AIS receiver capabilities among all the AISes I have had. I did not like the network/Wifi capabilities. Configuration was prickly (there was no interface to configure it), it was running on an odd IP network subnet, a lot of easy usability pieces were missing (lack of some basic things like DNS, mDNS, etc). If it were me, I would have designed the network component entirely differently. That being said, I am a network guy, and a developer by heart, so when it comes to TCP/IP stack and applications built on it, I have opinions and I wear a different lens

Taking a step back though, when you combine several different functionalities on a single box, this is what happens. You can find much better wifi routers (even with LTE, etc.) but they won't have AIS. You can find great AIS devices but who knows what they will do with networking. With DY, wireless piece was not good on iAIS for me. And I thought the price was high considering what I got (I could have bought a AIS transceiver for the same price). Overall wireless and networking are easy and cheap problems that are already solved. When you integrate it onto something, you get a subpar experience and you end up overpaying it.

This is all your call but when making an investment, I'd recommend not making it on NMEA 0183 or Seatalk 1. They are already gone. We all use them with our legacy equipment but IMO new investments should only be made on NMEA 2k. If not in this round, you will need it in the next round. So a basic convertor like E22158 will do it for you (SeatalkNG is basically NMEA 2k with different connectors) and allows you to invest in NMEA2k only.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:22   #15
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Re: Recently acquired Beneteau 411 Raymarine pathfinder fit need AIS

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Thank you for the information. It seems the ST1 to NMEA device is essentially the same as the Raymarine E85001 bridge we already have albeit with a USB presentation. They are very cheap in comparison to other vendors though.



Cheers
Spart
I think other vendors are just way over priced for what they offer because its for a boat. Ive cracked open the YakBitz and its ESP8266 based...you can buy these tiny single board computers with WiFi for less than $10...why should such simple things like an NMEA converter or WiFi Bridge cost hundreds?...the software is not complex.

The YakBitz is also surprisingly small, and super easy to set up.

Ive been running one for a few seasons now...zero problems.
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