I have a boat with the typical classic Raymarine instrument fit - mostly ST60 instruments, an S1 autopilot, and a C70 plotter with radar. Unfortunately the plotter has died, and I'm in the early stages of choosing its successor.
Sadly replacing all the other instruments is not going to be feasible, so some conversion is in order and the Raymarine E22158 will probably be the key item. I have a few questions not answered in its manual that I hope folks here might be able to answer from experience.
1) The manual states a maximum of five SeaTalk devices. Is this a real limit, or were they just concerned about power or something? I will have four instruments, an autopilot, the autopilot control head (on the other connector in the pilot, but I think they're the same bus electrically), the pilot wireless remote base, and an E85001 nmea0183 converter feeding a chart table data display. A total of 8 devices on the SeaTalk1, but they'll be powered from the autopilot. Is this likely to be a problem in practice?
2) They're a bit vague about how power works. My default plan would be to keep the two networks separately powered (but ultimately from the same supply busbars) and only connected via the SeaTalk1 yellow data core and ground screen. OK?
3) Does the converter bridge to standard PGNs (and if so, does anybody have a list?) so that I have a free choice of NMEA2k equipment (especially, the choice of plotter) on the new network? Or is there lots of Raymarine proprietary stuff so that in practice I should only be looking at new Raymarine plotters? I'm suspicious in particular of the autopilot control - at present I do command the pilot from the C70 plotter reasonably frequently, and I'd be sorry to lose that facility.
Answers to these questions, and any other general advice, welcome :-)