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Masterbus data onto Maretron displays, what's best?  

 

Bill Kearney
(@wkearney99)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
March 1, 2019 10:35 am  

I've got a Mastervolt Masterbus network on my boat.  I'd like to get some of the battery data displayed onto a Maretron DSM410 that's up on the flybridge.  I already have an Mastervolt Easy View 5 display at the lower helm and don't particularly want/need to put another one up on the flybridge.

What's the difference between the 77031800 Masterbus to NMEA-2000 box and the 80-911-0072-00 Masterbus to Czone bridge?

Both appear to accomplish something of what I'm after, getting Masterbus data accessible on an N2K network.  Can a CZone bridge like this be directly connected to a 'regular' NMEA-2000 network?  Or is there some magic proprietary pixie dust that makes it necessary to have something else involved?


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Steve Mitchell
(@stevemitchell)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 85
March 1, 2019 11:48 am  

If you have CZone enabled devices, and in particular, digital switching on the MasterVolt side, then using the CZone bridge would be the best route to go. If you're just looking for MasterBus data to be on the NMEA 2000 network, then the 77031800 is the correct interface. 

I had both on a previous boat, and the one that worked the best for me was the latter. If I remember correctly, the MasterBus to CZone bridge did not pass anywhere near as much data back and forth on normal electrical stuff - it was specifically focused on allowing CZone products on the N2K network to control things on the MasterBus side.

Editor, SailBits.com


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Bill Kearney
(@wkearney99)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
March 1, 2019 12:07 pm  

I've got no switching devices on the Masterbus side.  Just a Mass Combi and some chargers.  It's normal electrical stuff I'm after, so it's the 77031800 for me then.

And, Hi Steve, I'm sure you'll see this cross-posted in a few other places online...


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Steve Mitchell
(@stevemitchell)
Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 85
March 1, 2019 2:59 pm  

Yup I saw something similar on TF I believe 🙂 Hi there. 

You'll still need the USB to MasterVolt interface and the software downloaded on a Windows PC to program the gateway. It does require a password and some other setup pieces to work, which I allude to in my article on the MasterVolt system I built on Grace. You'll have to program each MasterBus bit of data that you want to spit out onto the NMEA 2000 network, and vise versa, for any N2K data you want on MB. Somewhat of a tedious process, but it does work.

The CZone interface can do some of this, but it is really designed for the CZone market, and requires another piece of software as well to configure it.

Editor, SailBits.com


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Bill Kearney
(@wkearney99)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
March 1, 2019 3:05 pm  

I have the USB to Mastervolt interface already.  So... many.. separate... pieces...  it's more than a little aggravating. 

Upside though was discovering a lot of stuff has USB sockets on the back to allow for flash drive updating directly.  Haven't done it yet but the Easyview and some B&G Triton's I've got will do it.  So, yay for small things.


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Steve Mitchell
(@stevemitchell)
Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 85
March 1, 2019 3:28 pm  

I've had this conversation with many folks I've worked with on consulting opportunities, or just in passing. Yes, you can network some of the more fringe-y devices like power systems and the like, but the industry has not made the tools and process streamlined for DIY'ers yet. In fact, I would argue that they haven't made it easy for normal installers! I've worked on pretty much every type of power system there is vendor-wise, and had the chance to learn from installers or on my own, and very few of them are easy to get all connected in the way that instruments and such are in the rest of the marine industry.

It is also very frustrating to me, as pretty much everything else we have on the boat relies on power, yet it is one of the least instrumented systems on the boat. There really should be a lot more that you know about your battery bank besides state of charge - you have tons more info about your engine and on your chart plotter.

The only vendor I've seen that has reasonably easy interfacing is Victron, and theirs has even gotten better in the last year and a half, making the current solutions from MasterVolt and others look really dated. I'm hopeful this trend will continue and other vendors will start baking it into their products. 

There are also a lot of 3rd party products that can monitor the health of your electrical system, battery bank, charging sources and the like, and have networking capabilities. However, they are standalone systems not deeply integrated with Victron, MasterVolt, etc. and have shortfalls as well.  It may be worth looking into a few of those for your situation though, if you're mainly looking for data about your system.

Editor, SailBits.com


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Bill Kearney
(@wkearney99)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 10
March 1, 2019 3:40 pm  

I agree on all points. 

I have a lot of home automation gear and it's likewise rather fragmented.  At least with homes there's a potentially much larger target customer base.  With boats, in all honesty, there's nowhere near as large a potential customer base.

I already have some Mastervolt gear that's not malfunctioning so I'm inclined to stick with it. Were I starting fresh I'd give a harder look at Victron.  I may still look into their Venus box as it has some interesting potential for other things too.  But that's perhaps a whole other discussion.  But for the near term my focus is just being ABLE to see data from the stuff I've got onboard, to start logging it, and potentially set up some alarm notifications.  


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