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Jim Hebert

NMEA-2000 and SeaTalkNG

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I may install a NMEA-2000 network backbone in my small boat. The backbone will most likely use NMEA-2000 wiring and T-devices from Lowrance or Evinrude. As far as I can tell, I believe Evinrude uses Lowrance devices for their NMEA-2000 components. I also believe that LowranceNET is now on-board with the official NMEA wiring standard DeviceNet, or at least close enough to it that it can be interconnected with no problem. I also think that LowranceNET devices with the RED plastic are the newer more compatible style. (And just to make things interesting, the most recent packaging of LowranceNET devices had them all in BLACK plastic!) If this is all reasonably true, then:

Should I want to connect a Raymarine SeaTalkNG device to my small boat NMEA-2000 network, some sort of adaptor is needed. I am not clear on where the adaptor is employed. There seems to be two possibilities:

ADAPTOR IN BACKBONE
Is the SeaTalkNG to NMEA-2000 adaptation placed in the backbone? In other words, do I have to splice in a Raymarine T-connector and use a Raymarine drop cable to the Raymarine device?

--OR--

ADAPTOR IN DROP CABLE
Is the SeaTalkNG to NMEA-2000 adaption placed in the drop cable? In other words, do I only need an adaptor for the drop cable, one end compatible with SeaTalkNG and the other end with DeviceNet and LowranceNET?


The Raymarine Sea Talk REFERENCE MANUAL lists:

Part Number A06045
DeviceNet female adaptor cable
Connects SeaTalkNG products to NMEA2000

--and--

Part Number A06046
DeviceNet male adaptor cable
Connects SeaTalkNG products to NMEA2000

From close study of the illustration, it looks to me like the adaptor parts have the SeaTalkNG connector which is used in the backbone. If that is correct, I would appreciate confirmation, or if not, correction.

If my assessment is correct, it appears that to interconnect SeaTalkNG to my DeviceNet backbone, one needs:

1--SeaTalkNG T-Piece P/N A06028
1--SeaTalkNG DeviceNet male adaptor P/N A06046
1--SeaTalkNG DeviceNet female adaptor P/N A06045
1--SeaTalkNG spur cable 3-feet 3-inch P/N A06039

I looked for some prices on these parts without finding a listing. I am afraid that buying them as parts is probably going to be expensive. I'd appreciate a pointer to where the prices (in US-dollars) might be listed.

Also, it seems like a lot of extra nonsense to interconnect two products that are supposed to be compatible. I don't understand why Raymarine has gone their own way with their SeaTalkNG devices instead of using the DeviceNet devices.

14 Replies

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  • Jim,

    You want the A06045 (DeviceNet female adaptor cable, "Connects SeaTalkNG products to NMEA2000") adaptor cable, which drop directly from a STng device to a standard NMEA 2000 tee. Works fine.

    The exception is the new Ray AIS 500, which comes with an STng drop cable permanently installed. In that case you need to cut the cable and use a female field-attachable N2K connector.

    STng connectors do not have gender, which is nice, but the white drop connectors are different from the blue backbone connectors.

  • PS The Etec electronic gauges are made by Lowrance but that doesn't mean they work exactly the same way Lowrance gauges do. I believe Evinrude includes some non N2K standard commands and info in their "own" gauges:

    http://www.panbo.com/archives/2006/03/more_lowrancenet_and_a_nmea_2000_gotcha.html

  • Ben--Thanks for the advice on the proper Raymarine Spur cable to use. I will give it a try. It makes more sense that the adapation between SeaTalkNG and DeviceNet occur in the drop cable. However, it is not at all clear from the SeaTalkNG Reference Manual what approach is used.

    I am aware that certain engine alarm functions are exclusively shown on the BRP/Evinrude I-Command gauges, even though they appear to be otherwise very similar to the Lowrance versions.

  • Ben--Based on some contrary advice and a closer look at the SeaTalkNG Reference manual, it looks like the proper cable to use to connect a SeaTalkNG device to a NMEA-2000 backbone wired with DeviceNet connectors would be the

    DeviceNet male adaptor cable
    Connects SeaTalkng products to
    NMEA2000 Part number: A06046

    This adaptor has a DeviceNet connector with pins ("male"). That's what you need to plug into a DeviceNet T-connector as the drop cable.

    As it turns out, I could not get either of those cables to resolve the ambiquity, and I made my own by cutting some other cables in half and splicing them.

    It would be good to have a confirmation of exactly which Raymarine adaptor is the proper cable.

  • Sorry, Jim; I get gender confused sometimes! Plus the SeaTalkNG Reference manual says that both the female and male adaptor cables connect "STng products to NMEA2000." That's misstated. It should say that the A06045 female adaptor cable connects "NMEA 2000 products to an STng backbone."

    You are absolutely correct that you need a male devicenet connector at the tee end of every drop (or "spur" in STng talk) because a standard tee has two female and one male connectors. I don't understand why the A06046 DeviceNet male adaptor cable didn't work in your application, but splicing works OK too (in my experience).

    Note that one of Maretron's N2KBuilder many great features is that it keeps track of gender. It does, however, presume a split powertap which is female on both sides. That's how Maretron and Airmar both make them (on the theory that you then can't expose hot male pins if you break open a live backbone).

    So building a backbone with a split powertap means it changes gender at the tap, and all male tee connectors point back at the tap (and both terminators are male).

  • Ben--Thanks for the follow up.

    Re the Maretron power-T: I actually like their approach better than other vendors who use a standard T-device with male-female connectors for the backbone. In distribution of power via connectors, it is not a good practice to have power available on a male connector (that is, a connector with exposed pins). Maretron's power-T follows that general practice.

  • "The exception is the new Ray AIS 500, which comes with an STng drop cable permanently installed."

    on SPX autopilot too. Cut the cable seems to be the better way.

  • I bit the bullet today and connected a SeatalkNG Cable directly to my new Actisense NGW-1 gateway. Stripped wires and used the terminal strip in the NGW-1, then plugged the other end of the cable into a SeatalkNG T fitting..

    It works perfectly, translating everything that is on my SeatalkNG bus to NMEA183.

    I haven't yet tried sending data from MaxSea on the laptop out via SeatalkNG to the Raymarine SPX autopilot - maybe tomorrow.

    To further complicated things I'll be adding a Garmin 750S plotter soon using a Raymarine adapter cable.

    I had a momentary chill of fear before turning everything on - visualising clouds of black smoke behind the panel, but no such luck, it just plain works.

    My recommendation for others who may wish to interface SeatalkNG systems to NMEA2K devices is to use either the Raymarine adapter cables or else get a Garmin (or Maretron) field installable fitting, put it on the end of a SeatalkNG spur cable and go for it.

    The next experiment will be to extend the SeatalkNG backbone using NMEA2K devices. I expect that to work well too.

  • What I've been saying for years, Roy! The Seatalk-to-STng converter also produces valid NMEA 2000 PGNs:

    http://www.panbo.com/archives/2010/08/raymarine_seatalk-seatalkng_converter_nice.html

    (though the ST70 does not seem to consistently output ST data it can display onto N2K). At any rate, no one is going to do this sort of integration with confidence unless Raymarine is forthright about the PGNs its gear do and do not output, which I think they're considering.

  • The SeaTalkNG to NMEA183 via Actisense NGW-1 gateway is working well so far with one exception.

    True wind data from the Raymarine system does not seem to be arriving a the 183 port. Relative wind data is getting through ok. The only MWV sentences received are for relative wind.

    I don't have any way to capture PGN's, only NMEA0183 data.

    Ben - have you noticed anything like this on your test set ups?

    I've written to Actisense and we'll see what they say - they've been very responsive so far.

  • Actisense continues to provide very quick and good support. Vlad, a design engineer, responded to my query within 41 minutes! He acknowledged that there is a firmware bug, said it will be fixed in the next release and pointed me at a beta release of a patch that I can try.

    All in all pretty impressive service!

    A 41 minute response is quite a contrast to some other organizations that can take 3 - 5 days to reply if they even bother to answer at all.

  • Slightly O.T. but, there is lots of valuable information in these posts and worth saving. Other than cut and paste, is there an easier way to print posts?
    It would be great if a printing function could be added to the forum.

  • As far as I can tell, True Wind info is not present on the Seatalk bus, in either Seatalk1 or SeatalkNG, at least in a hybrid system. I have ST60 displays and ST70 pods and displays, and I can only find Apparent Wind data present on either bus. Which means that each display must be calculating its own True Wind data...

  • Ben | October 28, 2010 7:29 AM | Reply
    What I've been saying for years, Roy! The Seatalk-to-STng converter also produces valid NMEA 2000 PGNs:

    http://www.panbo.com/archives/2010/08/raymarine_seatalk-seatalkng_converter_nice.html

    (though the ST70 does not seem to consistently output ST data it can display onto N2K). At any rate, no one is going to do this sort of integration with confidence unless Raymarine is forthright about the PGNs its gear do and do not output, which I think they're considering.
    ==============================================

    Its 2012 and as of yesterday they still have not.......


    I uploaded a video of my discovery and then magix act on my PODS and ST70 network. I eleminated the ST70s and then added them, the problem seem to e the PODS are NOT NMEA conforking and i don't htink have network IDs broadcasting or discoverable by the B&G http://youtu.be/nJz-5z6tyDc

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