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Interfacing B&G MFD with Raymarine X5 autopilot?

Jan 21, 2018
19
Ericson 30+ Milford
Looking for advice as I upgrade the old electronics on my Ericson 30+.

Currently have a Raymarine X5 autopilot that is working fine. Remainder of instruments (wind, depth, speed) are basically not working. Have an Openplotter Raspberry Pi system providing GPS to VHF as well as picking up AIS on SDR.

Would like to upgrade to plotter/MFD, add wind and replace speed/depth. I like the B&G Vulcan series MFD because of the support for sailing/racing. Wondering if anyone has experience connecting the Raymarine autopilot to this device so that I could have steer to waypoint and windvane functionality. I know that I would need to have a converter to get the X5 on N2K network (it has original SeaTalk).

Also any experience people have had with the B&G instruments would be great, particularly the wireless wind sensors.

Thanks!
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,328
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
How is the RM AP controlled? If it has its own controller that is capable of using waypoint and wind data, then it should be a fairly easy process to send the B&G data to the AP controller. However, most APs (and radars) use proprietary information to control the AP. Mixing and matching is not always possible. (I looked but couldn't find any manuals on the RM site.)
 
Jan 21, 2018
19
Ericson 30+ Milford
The Raymarine X5 is the computer that controls the AP motor. It has NMEA1803 and Seatalk inputs.
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,328
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The Raymarine X5 is the computer that controls the AP motor. It has NMEA1803 and Seatalk inputs.
Check the manual to see what data the X5 can read and see what data the Vulcan can send, it they match, it should work. However you will need to convert the NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 or Seatalk. There are cables and bridges to do that.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,454
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
most APs (and radars) use proprietary information to control the AP. Mixing and matching is not always possible.
As stated some boaters have pulled their hair out or gone grey trying to solve this equation. The manufacturers have not been helpful.

Note that the 0183 data set has been mostly a listening data set with the talker sending data to the MFD to listen and display.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,159
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I purchased a 183 conversion cable for my tiller pilot to vulcan's N2K connection. The Vulcan ap controller overides my tiller pilots controller when you put it on "standby". From the WM customer desk we called BG tech to verify the correct cable. Flawless.
 
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BarryL

.
May 21, 2004
776
C&C 110 Mt. Sinai, NY
Hello,

I have a Vulcan MFD, Raymarine Evo 100 wheel pilot, and Raymarine ST60 speed, depth, wind.

All interface quite easily an nicely and do share information. For the depth, speed, wind instruments I used the Raymarine Seatalk to Seatalk NG converter. For the Vulcan to Evo 100 I used just a converter plug. My Vulcan gets wind information and can calculate true wind. The Evo 100 can steer to a wind angle, a compass hearing, or a waypoint provided by Vulcan.

It was all very easy to do. I don't know about the X5 but I bet it will work just as easily.

Note that I can't CONTROL the Evo 100 with the Vulcan. I can only activate the Evo 100 with the Evo controller. I CAN select steer to wind, or steer to heading, or steer to waypoint.

Barry
 
Jan 21, 2018
19
Ericson 30+ Milford
All this is very helpful. Seems like it should all be doable. I've found out that the X5 can act as a bridge from ST to NMEA 1083 so that I should be able to feed the VHF from the X5 and feed the X5 from the Vulcan. Here is the schematic of what I am now thinking. Certainly open to further suggestions.

1606178347874.png
 
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Oct 22, 2014
13,454
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Michael.
Your plan shows 2 NMEA 0183 connections to the AP CPU. Looking at the wiring diagram do you have enough connections for the for the two units you want to add? As I read the wiring diagram it appears to connect to a single NMEA 0183 unit. Then pass the data on to a SeaTalk backbone system.
 
Jan 21, 2018
19
Ericson 30+ Milford
If I understand the manual correctly, there are 4 connections for the NMEA: 2 wires for in, 2 wires for out. Was thinking the out would go to the VHF and the in would come from the RaspberryPi/SDR for AIS. If I can't get that to work, would figure out a connection from the Pi to the N2K backbone.
 
Jan 11, 2014
6,328
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
If I understand the manual correctly, there are 4 connections for the NMEA: 2 wires for in, 2 wires for out. Was thinking the out would go to the VHF and the in would come from the RaspberryPi/SDR for AIS. If I can't get that to work, would figure out a connection from the Pi to the N2K backbone.
Take a look at the Digital Yachts website. They manufacture all kinds of different gadgets to get electronics to play nice together. Since you have a Pi, you might be interested in their Signal K translator.

 
Oct 22, 2014
13,454
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Was thinking the out would go to the VHF and the in would come from the RaspberryPi/SDR for AIS.
I think of the structure like a train track. With the train only running in one direction.
Wiki describes it thus using the term Talker and Listener.​
The NMEA 0183 standard uses a simple ASCII, serial communications protocol that defines how data are transmitted in a "sentence" from one "talker" to multiple "listeners" at a time. Through the use of intermediate expanders, a talker can have a unidirectional conversation with a nearly unlimited number of listeners, and using multiplexers, multiple sensors can talk to a single computer port.​

I am confused as to what signals are being sent to the VHF and what is the source?

Typically an AP would get commands from an MDF to turn. The MDF computer would talk and the AP would listen.
 
Jan 21, 2018
19
Ericson 30+ Milford
That's my understanding as well.
The signal I want to go to the VHF is the GPS lat/long so that the DSC emergency calling works.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,454
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I looked up the connection and the radio is not accessing Nmea 0183. It is looking for the GPS signal directly. I understand that to be an antenna. The instructions actually identify the compatible GPS antenna.

Here is the page out of their manual.

68AA978B-78FD-47FC-81F9-61343E5407C6.jpeg
 
Jan 21, 2018
19
Ericson 30+ Milford
It is definitely NMEA 1083. I currently having it working with a connection from the Raspberry Pi which uses a GPS dongle and a USB-RS422 converter that I connect into the GPS jack for the radio. Radio receives and displays lat/long perfectly. I think that the GPS accessory is a GPS receiver that sends NMEA to the radio. That seems consistent with the manual. I could just leave it this way but was trying to simplify somewhat.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,454
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
You know the sailors advise... If it is not broken don't go trying to fix it. You'll never get away from the dock.