Seatalk...whotalk..metalk...please talk?

Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Well, I did it. I bought a 1997 Catalina 380 and one of the things I had on my C-30 was a chartplotter (depth included). It was a Humminbird, but it was very convenient. The new to me boat has wind, depth, auto and gps, but no actual chart plotter.

I have some question concerning current setup of instruments and the potential addition of a new chartplotter.

Currently I have an older Autohelm wind transducer with Autohelm Wind Control Head (ST50….transducer has hex shaped wind cups). Please note that this control head has Tru/App on the left button instead of the Cal button per the ST50+ manual…so I am guessing on the correct model#

There are 2 Autohelm GPS Control heads (one on nav pod and one at nav table), the current GPS antenna does not work.

An Autohelm Speed and Depth Control Head at nav pod with appropriate transducers in hull.

Newer P70 Raymarine Autopilot Control Head at nav pod. The autopilot CPU is a Smart Pilot SPX-10 and a Raymarine flux compass. There is also an Autohelm rudder sensor hooked to system. It appears that there are blue SeatalkNG connectors tied to the autopilot system.

After a lot of thought, price wise, I would like to install an Axiom 9-9 to the nav pod. I would install the appropriate transducer for depth and temp and then hook up as many of the current instruments as possible.

Despite hours of online research, my knowledge of Seatalk, Seatalk2, SeatalkNG and the NMEA 1083/2000 is VERY limited and I am still not comfortable with all of it.

It has occurred to me, that the new Axiom will take care of speed and location so the old ST50’s might conflict with each other if they were part of a total Seatalk “x” system? If so, I was thinking I could install them at the nav table as back up?

What is the correct seatalk system I’ll need to connect the autopilot (Raymarine P70), wind (Autohelm ST50) and Axiom MFD?

I have signed up for membership in the Catalina 380 Association but am waiting on enrollment, so I am limited in my ability to access their forums. I have explored the Raymarine forums to death…

Thanks for any guidance. I know this has been talked to death, I just want to be absolutely sure of what I will need to correctly connect them.
Budget wise, I will not have the funds to replace the older Autohelm control heads this year as I have 'sunk my wad' on the boat and getting her from Wisconsin to Rochester.

Chris

CAN'T WAIT FOR SPRING!!!!! Been a long time since I've thought that.
 
Aug 7, 2018
179
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
CAN'T WAIT FOR SPRING!!!!! Been a long time since I've thought that.
[/QUOTE]

Congrats on the new boat. Sounds like you have a big project to square away. Good luck with it and welcome to Rochester, whats the boat name, we'll look for you on the water.


David
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Hi Dave, she'll be called Toole'n Around. I bought our C-30 from Kaitlin Marina. Her name as Tom Kat. Great boat, just time to move on.
We dock the C-30 in Irondequoit Bay, but the 380 will have to go on the River because of her height.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,123
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Congratulations on the 380. Nice boat!

It sounds like you already have a SeaTalkng backbone as part of your auto helm as STng backbone connections are blue. Your new Axiom will need a "DeviceNet F 15.7" to Spur" cable (RM Part #A06045, about $30) to connect to the backbone. The Axiom, at least the Axiom 7, does not have a spur connection on the device itself.

The wind and depth transducers are powered by their associated displays. The transducers themselves do not output any of the SeaTalk signals. To power the transducers and convert the signals to SeaTalkng you will need a RM ITC 5 (RM Part #E70010, about $215). This box powers the transducers and outputs the signals to the STng network. It converts paddle wheel speed transducers, depth transducers, wind transducers and maybe one more I can't think of at the moment.

Your wind transducer probably isn't compatible with the ITC 5. Pretty sure the ST50+ is but the ST50 is not. Luckily the new transducer will plug into the mast head connection block of the ST50. I had to upgrade mine.

Pretty sure the order of SeaTalk is SeaTalk- SeaTalk1- SeaTalkng. I know RM makes a conversion connector for SeaTalk1 to put those signals on STng network. I don't know about SeaTalk to SeaTalk1 or SeaTalk to SeaTalkng. I do know the Axiom has GPS built in and will put the GPS data on the network for use by other networked devices. A separate GPS antenna should not be needed.

You might want to check out the RM I70S display head. You can customize up to 10 display layouts, with up to 6 data displays per screen. It will display any data on the SeaTalkng network. You no longer a dedicated display head for wind, one for depth, one for speed, etc.

Of course the Axiom will display most of the data but number of data overlays on the chart screens is limited and all the data is not available on the for the overlay display. You have to go to the Home Screen and choose another display screen. With the I70S you just scroll up or down to look at the additional data screens that you customized to look how you want them to look... Yes, I really like the I70S displays.

Here is a good thread by @HMT2 on SeaTalk. SeaTalk NG Demystified
 
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Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Thank you Ward, appreciate the time! And the i70 suggestion...
Chris
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,079
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
:plus: the itc5 will take the signals from older units and place the data on the backbone. I connected a transponder to the itc5 unit. The unit powered and converts the transducer signal to be used on the seatalkng backbone. I connect a gateway to the backbone and then use the gateway wifi to see the depth data on my iPad, iPhone and laptop.

The itc5 will connect other sensors to the backbone as Ward identifies. :thumbup:
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
:plus: the itc5 will take the signals from older units and place the data on the backbone. I connected a transponder to the itc5 unit. The unit powered and converts the transducer signal to be used on the seatalkng backbone. I connect a gateway to the backbone and then use the gateway wifi to see the depth data on my iPad, iPhone and laptop.

The itc5 will connect other sensors to the backbone as Ward identifies. :thumbup:
What do you mean 'gateway'?

I looked up the itc5 from RM. It appears I could connect the legacy transducers for depth and speed and also the autohelm rudder sensor to and then back out through Seatalkng. Not sure what the gateway is, but sounds intriguing.

Also, the new Axiom 9 has it's own transducer for depth and temp. It doesn't need a speed transducer because it relies on it's internal GPS antenna to calculate SOG (I assume).

Would having 2 different depth transducers conflict with each other? Would the speed transducer have a conflict with the internal 'math' of the chartplotter speed?

Will setting up the seatalk and the seatalkng give me the opportunity to hook up the Autohelm GPS control head over the nav table?


Actually John, after reading your post, I looked up the itc5 again on RM.

Raymarine iTC-5 Instrument Transducer Converter

It appears to actually have a schematic of what I'd like to do (minus some of the equipment)

Thanks!
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,079
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
what the gateway is, but sounds intriguing.
Not part of the itc5. It is a feature of the Vesper AIS XB 8000 transponder that I run on my boat. Connected to the backbone it provides data to other displays via wifi.
It doesn't need a speed transducer because it relies on it's internal GPS antenna to calculate SOG (I assume).
SOG and speed through the water as provided by a speed transducer are two different measurements.

You can be powering at 5 knots on the speed transducer but only doing 2 knots SOG (speed over ground). Your instruments are telling you there is a 3 knot current running against you. :yikes:

Yes the itc5 can solve some challenges.
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Thanks John. I get the SOG vs speed through water...didn't think about it that detailed!

I did a quick schematic. Would this be close to what I'd need? Seems to match the RM guide.
 

Attachments

Oct 22, 2014
16,079
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Looks about right. I did not do the math, but there is a need to have balance in the system with regard to the power supply. Your model is using the ACU to provide power to the backbone. All of the attached displays of the sensors are using that power. You need to be sure or nearly so that the power to the backbone is adequate for the display units or they will rebel. "I don't have enough juice. I am quitting and I'm taking the system down with me."

Note that some of the examples in the install manual have a "red" seatalkng cable connected that supplies power to the backbone.

I am not an expert. I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express once, so I know enough about the details to know I need to be cautious.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Yes, RM has the autopilot as the sole source of power, I was going to also do the math and see if I needed to add my own red power supply somewhere in the middle of the chain.
 
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Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,123
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
@Team118
Raymarine used to run a forum for questions and answers about their products. They closed the forum but it is still available for view only.
The search function still works.
Here's a sticky you will probably be interested in: Interfacing Seatalk to Seatalkng
From there you can search for additional threads that help to answer your questions.

A couple points from what I learned installing my system a couple of years ago:
  • Transducers connected to a SeaTalkng system via ITC5 can only be calibrated by using a i70S display head. An Axiom cannot calibrate or set offsets for these transducers.
  • The transducers that come boxed with Axioms were transom mounted transducers, which aren't suitable for sailboats. Raymarine told me the transom mounts are lower power transducers that are not recommended for interior mounting and shooting through the hull. See this link: Transducer Selection
  • You can have multiple sources put the same data on the network. Instruments using that data allow you to set the source for that data. IE: my fixed vhf radio has a GPS antenna and the Axiom has an antenna. I can choose whether the Axiom uses the radio for GPS or its internal GPS.

Some comments on your diagram:
  • SeaTalkng instruments should not be daisy chained per Raymarine. They should be individually connected to the STng back bone via spur cables. Some early display heads had two spur ports for daisy chaining but current models do not. (Something to do with STng meeting specs for NMEA2000)
  • The ST50 instruments are not compatible with a Seatalk to SeaTalkng converter. See this link: Axiom 7 SeaTalkng
  • You can have multiple depth transducers but they have to be on different frequencies in order not to have conflicts.
  • You will need a new wind transducer. See this link: Wind Transducer
  • If your Axiom and P70 AP Head are both helm mounted the 5 way connector allows you to run only one backbone cable to the helm. The instruments connect via spur cable. Removes a lot of wiring from the helm. For that reason alone I would not add a second transducer that needs to be connected directly to the Axiom.
  • You only want one power connection to the STng. One diagram in the documentation that came with my instruments, I think the ITC5, suggest the ITC5 is a good point to make the power connection.

Have fun!
Ward
 
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DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,249
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Does the ITC-5 work with your transducers? The Raymarine site implies it does not:
If you don't have an ST70/ST70+ or i70 in your system, then the ST40/i40/i50/i60/ST60+ displays must be interfaced directly to the relevant analogue transducers
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,123
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
The ITC5 will work with the ST50 depth and speed transducers. It will not work with the ST50 Wind transducer.
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Ward;
Reading your response and looking up the various items you mention, it appears that this fits the bill?

Raymarine I70s System Pack, Wind, Depth, Speed

It adds a new wind transducer, the i70 multi display, a multi-information through hull transducer and the itc5 connector.
This would allow me to install the Axiom 9-9, the i70 and keep the current Raymarine Auto pilot control head in the cockpit.
Drop the dedicated transducer that I was going to add specifically for the Axiom.

Sounds like I add the Axiom 9 and i70. Lose all the other control heads up top.
Install the new wind transducer that will read through the i70, install the new through hull that will read through the i70 AND the Axiom 9.

That's $2,000 all day long....whew.

Would I still be able to use the old Autohelm GPS, Speed and Depth down at the nav table? Or would they be obsolete? If I keep them, do I also keep their associated through hulls (provided there is no frequency conflict?) Or do I just leave those through hulls for the ST50's installed but useless and mothball the ST50's control heads. In that case, would I really need the itc5 then?

Every answer creates a whole set of questions that I can't articulate until I see the new answers....I know a lot of this is on the old RM forum, I just don't know what key words to use sometimes.

Chris
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,070
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
"...I don't have enough juice. I am quitting and I'm taking the system down with me..."
I'm not sure that having everything integrated is the best thing based on the above quote. I wonder if a decentralized system would be better. Handhelds come to mind. A large integrated system seems complicated and vulnerable to me.
 

Ward H

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Nov 7, 2011
3,123
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
@Team118

That's a very nice package. You'll save a lot over buying the system piece meal.

I looked up the specs on the DST800 and found this statement:
"Operates at 235kHz so there is no interference with your 50/200 kHz fishfinder transducer."
So it sounds like you could keep your ST50 speed and depth as secondary systems at the nav station.

I don't know anything about the AutoHelm GPS unit. You said the GPS antenna doesn't work. Maybe if you can find a replacement GPS antenna you can get that working at the nav station.

You still need the ITC5 for the wind transducer. The only way around it is to install a dedicated wind display like the i60 which costs a lot more than the ITC5. ($415 vs $224)

There is one downside to the DST800 Triducer.
In most areas slime and barnacles can foul the speed paddle after being in the water for a week or two. So sailors pull them out between sails or when not really needed. I don't put my paddle wheel transducer in place for casual daysailing, only when I want to see how much performance I can get out of the boat.
I couldn't do that if I had the triducer because I always want the depth sounder installed.
Maybe that's not an issue in your area.

If it were my boat, I would use the existing speed and depth transducers connected to the ITC5 so the data was on the STng network. I would still buy the package because the even taking away the price of $270 for the triducer the package is still cheaper because of the network components thrown in.
I might even install the triducer and use it as a back up.
Your boat, your choice.

If you want the data at the nav station buy a Yacht Devices SeaTalkng WiFi gateway for $190. Then you can use a PC, Tablet or Smartphone anywhere on the boat to monitor whatever data you have on the network, not just depth, speed and location. Think also wind speed, direction, etc.

It's costly to upgrade but that's due to the ST50s being long obsolete. The good news is that package will save you several hundred.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,123
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
@Team118 Here's a link to a thread with information on how someone made their ST50 instruments work with the SeaTalk - SeaTalkng convertor, despite it not being supported by RM. Might be worth looking into.
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
@Team118 Here's a link to a thread with information on how someone made their ST50 instruments work with the SeaTalk - SeaTalkng convertor, despite it not being supported by RM. Might be worth looking into.
Oops...no link?