SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The boat came with the Autohelm 4000, tridata, ST50 speed and depth.

The system seems to work fine except for certain functions that require it to share data with itself like auto-piloting to a given wind direction.

What is Seatalk and how do I know if i have it? There are no cables or devices at the nav station. The boat came with a vintage MicroLogic GPS.

I've downloaded and read most of the manuals.

Given that this is a bit vintage, what older Raymarine GPS might interface with it?

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
If you turn on the light on one instrument all the instruments lights will come on if Seatalk is connected. Any GPS with NMEA should be able to interface with the autopilot and it won't steer to wind direction if you don't have a wind instrument, a tri-data is depth, temp., and speed.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Seatalk is a proprietary serial protocol developed by Raymarine which is used to allow their various instruments and equipment communicate with each other. As CaptTB points out, the autopilot can not steer to apparent wind without a wind instrument that is capable of talking to the autopilot.

Also, most GPS units that output NMEA 0183 serial protocol will talk to your autopilot.

You can probably download the manuals for the gear you have at Raymarine's website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If you turn on the light on one instrument all the instruments lights will come on if Seatalk is connected.
Excellent info- thanks. I have ST50 wind, depth and autopilot. Wind and depth both illuminate when i press the light button on either one but the autopilot does not share.

Does that suggest something is not connected?
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
The autopilot won't come on when the instruments do... that is by design, since most of the time, you want the instruments on, but not necessarily the autopilot, and it draws the most energy.

If you hit the buttons on the autopilot, it should come on. If the GPS is on, you should be able to set a course and see what the heading is on the autopilot. Most of the autopilots have three modes: 1) steer a compass course, 2) steer by apparent wind, and 3) steer by GPS course/route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Actualy, they each come on when I flip their respective breakers- one for the autopilot and one for the depth and wind. Depth and wind are talking to each other as it seems to provide true and apparent wind speed. So seatalk is present and working for those two? Am i correct in assuming it should be able to talk to the autopilot also? Should I be looking for a bad connection?

thanks
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Again, it depends, many times the autopilot isn't connected to the wind/speed/depth instruments, since there is no real need to do so, unless you want to be able to have it steer by apparent wind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
OK, i went to the boat and removed the panel behind the instruments. I have an unused round connector dangling from the wind speed and two empty ports on the Autohelm labeled NMEA. These are flat.

I am beginning to understand. What's the dofference between NMEA and Seatalk. Can they connect with just a cable or is there more to the process?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
Seatalk is Raymarines' proprietary format so all Raymarine instruments can share data, as Dog mentioned. There's "old" Seatalk with round connectors and "new" Seatalk with square plugs, they are compatible except for the connector shape and a new to old adapter is or was available. Seatalk uses 4 conductors or wires, NMEA 0183 is a format which allows GPS receivers to "speak" to instruments from different manufacturers and uses 2 wires. Most GPS receivers use a proprietary format by default but can be programed to output their data in NMEA 0183 to interface with AP's and radios etc.
Newly manufactured instruments use NMEA 2000 which will allow all instruments to communicate thru a common bus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,146 Posts
OK, i went to the boat and removed the panel behind the instruments. I have an unused round connector dangling from the wind speed and two empty ports on the Autohelm labeled NMEA. These are flat.

I am beginning to understand. What's the dofference between NMEA and Seatalk. Can they connect with just a cable or is there more to the process?

You'll need the Raymarine Laptop NMEA to Seatalk interface... its $125 retail and provides the NMEA to Seatalk conversion that you will need. And no you do not need a laptop or pc hooked up. You use this a "Bridge" between interfaces like an auto pilot etc. Most Raymarine stuff need it is Seatalk format - I use a Simrad WP30 where I tie the NMEA inputs to it as out put...on a Raymarine instrument setup. NMEA tie ins can carry enough signal to bridge up to four devices at about less than 6 feet - less than 4 you can get up to 8. Most autopilots are recieve only NMEA in - and therefore easier to configure and work with..
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Actually, Seatalk is only THREE WIRES, as can be seen in this SeaTalk Junction block and older remote connector:



Sorry CaptTB, don't know where you're getting your info from, but it is WRONG.

Seatalk is Raymarines' proprietary format so all Raymarine instruments can share data, as Dog mentioned. There's "old" Seatalk with round connectors and "new" Seatalk with square plugs, they are compatible except for the connector shape and a new to old adapter is or was available. Seatalk uses 4 conductors or wires, NMEA 0183 is a format which allows GPS receivers to "speak" to instruments from different manufacturers and uses 2 wires. Most GPS receivers use a proprietary format by default but can be programed to output their data in NMEA 0183 to interface with AP's and radios etc.
Newly manufactured instruments use NMEA 2000 which will allow all instruments to communicate thru a common bus.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
The NMEA connections for the Autopilot are normally used to connect the autopilot to the GPS. NMEA 0183, which is what a unit this old would have, consists of two input signal wires and two output signal wires, if it is using the RS-422 wiring, otherwise it might be one input wire, one output wire and a signal ground, if using the RS-232 wiring. The specification was originally designed for RS-422.

You can not connect Seatalk and NMEA directly. However, the Autopilot may also have a Seatalk connector on it. Is it a Raymarine Autohelm or just an Autohelm? If it is prior to Raymarine buying out Autohelm, it probably will not have a Seatalk connector on it.

OK, i went to the boat and removed the panel behind the instruments. I have an unused round connector dangling from the wind speed and two empty ports on the Autohelm labeled NMEA. These are flat.

I am beginning to understand. What's the dofference between NMEA and Seatalk. Can they connect with just a cable or is there more to the process?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
You can not connect Seatalk and NMEA directly. However, the Autopilot may also have a Seatalk connector on it. Is it a Raymarine Autohelm or just an Autohelm? If it is prior to Raymarine buying out Autohelm, it probably will not have a Seatalk connector on it.

I'll have to go to the boat and check. The connector on the remote is the three wire type you posted above.

So, if it is a pre-Raymarine Autohelm, how do I get them talking? Id the answer above correct? Do I need a $125 cable?

thanks-
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
If it is a pre-Raymarine Autohelm, you're probably gonna need to bite the bullet and get the Seatalk to NMEA bridge. My question is what do you want it for?? If it is so you can have the autopilot steer by apparent wind, that is about the only reason IMHO to do it.

I'll have to go to the boat and check. The connector on the remote is the three wire type you posted above.

So, if it is a pre-Raymarine Autohelm, how do I get them talking? Id the answer above correct? Do I need a $125 cable?

thanks-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
If it is so you can have the autopilot steer by apparent wind, that is about the only reason IMHO to do it.

IMHO? Dog, I've been reading this board for a while and I don't beleive there is anything humble about your opinion ;) - But I am grateful for your answers.

Yes, I would very much like to have the autopilot steer by apparent wind. I am a lazy sailor. But I probably would not buy the cable just for that. I have a Sayes Rig too.

thanks to everyone who helped me understand this.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
The Saye's Rig will do a better job of steering by apparent wind on most points of sail, and won't use up any electricity to do so. Why would you want to have an autopilot do a job that your windvane will do so much more efficiently???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well it started as a quest to figure out how all this stuff fit together and why it would not do what the manual said it should do.

The sayes rig needs a sail. I haven't really looked into using it. It's on my list.

thanks
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Contact Scanmar, as they make the Saye's Rig IIRC.
Well it started as a quest to figure out how all this stuff fit together and why it would not do what the manual said it should do.

The sayes rig needs a sail. I haven't really looked into using it. It's on my list.

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
Sorry CaptTB, don't know where you're getting your info from, but it is WRONG.
Same place I get most of my wrong info Dog, an aged memory that pictured a Seatalk plug with 4 wires and forgot there's an old AH control head (post RM) down in the garage I could have looked at.:eek:
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
ROFL... Good response. :) :laugher
Same place I get most of my wrong info Dog, an aged memory that pictured a Seatalk plug with 4 wires and forgot there's an old AH control head (post RM) down in the garage I could have looked at.:eek:
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top