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Old 02-06-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
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Any nmea / electronic experts here?

I'm trying to hook a Horizon 2150AIS to a Ray E80 plotter. Made all connections as required & all worked fine, AIS data was received by the E80 and correctly displayed. I turned off the equipment after playing with it for an hour and when I later turned it back on the AIS data from the radio was no longer being received by the E80 plotter.

Verified all connections, double checked all settings on both units to no avail.

Question: If i put my meter across the nmea input to the radio I see rapid voltage fluctuations from a few tenths volt up to 5 volts, when I do the same test to the AIS output from the radio I see only a few tenths of a volt fluctuation. I realize this is a crude test but shouldn't the fluctuations be similar between the nmea input and AIS data output???? Note the AIS continues to work/display fine on the radio it simply does not output it or perhaps the E80 can no longer read it. There are numerous strong targets on the radio AIS display so it is not a case of no AIS targets to output.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:28 PM   #2
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Check your chart plotter has the correct baud setting for the listening port.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Kangeroo View Post
I'm trying to hook a Horizon 2150AIS to a Ray E80 plotter. Made all connections as required & all worked fine, AIS data was received by the E80 and correctly displayed. I turned off the equipment after playing with it for an hour and when I later turned it back on the AIS data from the radio was no longer being received by the E80 plotter.

Verified all connections, double checked all settings on both units to no avail.

Question: If i put my meter across the nmea input to the radio I see rapid voltage fluctuations from a few tenths volt up to 5 volts, when I do the same test to the AIS output from the radio I see only a few tenths of a volt fluctuation. I realize this is a crude test but shouldn't the fluctuations be similar between the nmea input and AIS data output???? Note the AIS continues to work/display fine on the radio it simply does not output it or perhaps the E80 can no longer read it. There are numerous strong targets on the radio AIS display so it is not a case of no AIS targets to output.

Thoughts anyone?
unless something has changes since I was an installer...all NEMA voltages should be in millivolts...not 5 volts.

I could be wrong as AIS came out after my stint...but it still sounds wrong.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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AIS to E-80

Check E-80 NMEA port at 34,800 BAUD
Check connections: E-80 NMEA green input negative to AIS green output, E-80 NEMA white input positive to AIS white output.

Aso see Raymarine suggestions connecting 3rd party AIS to Raymarine systems:

http://www.raymarine.com/knowledgeba....cfm?view=3792

Good luck.

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Old 02-06-2014, 03:57 PM   #5
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I had the same problem on my GX-2150 to my Standard Horizon CP300i plotter & had to go in & re-set the baud rate, took awhile to figure it out because it had worked fine.

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Here is a pic I took to remember what was correct if it happens again.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:47 PM   #6
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Psneeld, you well could be right, I forget how I had the meter set, may have been millivolts. The important point I think was there was a lot of random activity on the Nmea Input to radio but almost no activity on the output. If the AIS data out is in fact nmea, logic tells me I should be seeing way more activity there or at least comparable to the nmea in.

Ron, I like that plotter, 3 nmea ports eh? My E80 has one!!! What was Raymarine thinking.

Many thanks to all, the baud is set to 38K on both units, wiring is per S.H. techs and Raymarine, remember it did work as wired initially. Thanks for the link Steve, will check it.

S.H. techs have the radio now but so far it works just fine on the test bench. Coincidence, something jiggle in shipping back or fault with my E80? Very frustrating.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:06 PM   #7
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I don't think your idea of activity may be correct....but like I said I'm not really an AIS guy...

but here's my cut...position info from a GPS is rapid and constant...a lot of AIS info I thought was determined in minutes...not parts of a second like GPS info and that position info is a pretty long sentence. The info out of a AIS isn't all that much but more importantly I think...it's not constant but either in bursts or just normal but at a realty reduced rate.

All that said..if you are having a problem right after doing something...like many...I go back and start all over again to see where/when the problem begins again....

If nothing works...like plotter to radiomand it did before...any chance you touched a hot wire to a NEMA wire? I heard that's bad...but not sure what it does and if it's universal to all equipment.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:30 PM   #8
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As an afterthought, I just realized that the nmea into the radio is 4800 baud and the AIS port "out" from the radio and AIS port "in" to the E-80 is 38K baud. This may explain the different level of activity seen by my meter.

So much for that being a possible lead...... I think....maybe.

The following is an extract from Steves raymarine link. "When attached to an E-Series display AIS data, just like all other NMEA data, is bridged across the SeaTalkhs navigation network and is accessible on all other E-Series Multifunction Displays." I wonder if this is an issue, in my situation my Ray GPS provides the nmea data to the E-80 plotter via seatalk which in turn is fed to the radar via seatalk. In my case my older radar can not process AIS data and as seatalk is a two way communication I wonder if the AIS data received by the radar is not being somehow kicked back to the radio and plotter as bad data causing the E80 to reject it?? Probablly a dumb idea but I'm grasping at straws here.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
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One other thing I'll add while working on it I had to wait for a tow to get within range to know if everything was working. The 2150 has a icon on the screen that indicates it is receiving GPS info. The CP300i will only shows anything if the 2150 is picking up a AIS signal to send to it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:11 PM   #10
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Capt,

I don't think you can split the baud rate on the NMEA input and output ports on a E-80. If the NMEA in port on the 2150 is set to 4800, then the E-80 NMEA in and out are set to 4800. In that case you won't see any AIS data getting to the E-80. If both ports are set to 38,400 then it should work. The 2150 will eventually sound an alarm if you lose GPS data coming in. I would need to research my books, but I believe you can verify the NMEA out connection from the radio to the E-80 by polling a DSC radio with a position request. If that radio responded the 2150 would then send the appropriate NMEA sentences to the E-80 which would display it. I have never tried it since I don't know of many people who use the DSC capability of their radio.

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Old 02-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #11
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NMEA 183 is RS422 although it's designed to be compatible with the much more common PC serial ports which are RS232.

RS422's voltage levels are +5v/0v.
RS232's voltage levels are +13v/-13v.

Equipment made for NMEA 183 is supposed to be able to handle +/- 15v for safety reasons. Any millivolt levels are way out of scale for anything that is NMEA 183.

The problems encountered with these types of interfaces are one of three things:

1. The wiring is wrong. Transmit/receive pairs must be reversed between devices - receive on one goes to transmit on the other and vice versa.

2. The baud rate isn't set the same.

3. The sentences transmitted aren't compatible for the functions being shared or things like checksums aren't configured properly.


One of the best ways to figure out what's happening is to find a way to plug the transmitting device into a PC with a serial port (hard to find) or a serial-to-USB converter (easy to find). Open up Terminal or some free serial dump program and see what's actually coming across the wire. Without being able to do that, figuring out the problem is just hit or miss - look carefully at the wiring and configuration and hope for the best.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:20 PM   #12
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I just, in the last few weeks hooked up the same radio to a 4210 Garmin. Make sure as well you set the 2150 to the same baud. As the Raymarine is a newer GPS both should be set to 34800. I wasn't getting anything until I remembered to change the baud on the radio. In addition, with the leads from the GPS being so small how are you connecting them to the radio? Did you crimp or soldier or both? I soldier and crimped insuring a good connection with those little gauge wires. Also make sure you have the wires set up correctly from receive (GPS) to send (VHF) etc. Is it possible you didn't pair them up properly? I only say this because I did that mistake. (Easy enough to switch). I used a bus bar to make the final connections as I want/may need to expand the network from/to the GPS down the road. If the wires are reversed from the GPS/VHF it's possible your getting information just to the wrong location.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:05 PM   #13
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The best thing I ever did for NMEA 183 was get a NMEA multiplexer with a USB interface to my computer. It came with the software to read the messages coming across the data ports. With the demise of Win XP and Hyperterm, you had to look for a third party software package and with the loss of real serial ports and having to look for adapters I finally decided it was time to forgo DB9 connectors. The only NMEA 183 exclusive device I have left is the GX2150 and I run that into an NDC-4 multiplexer. Everything else is NMEA 2000. I probably should replace it with a NMEA 183 to NMEA 2000 gateway then it would be very simple but I already own it.

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Old 02-07-2014, 10:12 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the great help guys, much appreciated. I think I've covered every suggestion but I feel stupid to admit that the one thing I didn't do as Tom & Active Captain suggests, was to run the 2150 output to my laptop to see if it could read anything. I use fugawi which has a nifty built in sub-program for displaying the nmea sentences received. Dumb, don't know where my head was. In any case, this is precisely what the S.H. techs have done & report that so far the radio is outputting the AIS data just fine for them on the test bench.

The real irritant here is everything worked perfectly "as wired" with the "current settings" for about an hour. It was actually pretty creepy spying on what another boat was doing from miles away.

ActiveCaptain, thanks for clarifying the voltage levels, I certainly was not seeing anything like either RS422 or Rs232 voltage levels on the AIS output from the radio and it was tracking several nearby targets at the time. Perhaps this is because the meter can't respond fast enough to 34K baud?

I can't help but think this is some sort of signal rejection issue whereby the radio stops outputting the AIS data stream under certain conditions such as signal strength or the plotter rejects the data because it is unreliable. After all, if your tracking other vessels to avoid a collision, certainly there must be some built-in parameters to insure the integrity of the data being processed.

I guess I'll have to wait and see what the techs at SH find but it isn't looking good at this point.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Kangeroo View Post
I wonder if this is an issue, in my situation my Ray GPS provides the nmea data to the E-80 plotter via seatalk which in turn is fed to the radar via seatalk. In my case my older radar can not process AIS data and as seatalk is a two way communication I wonder if the AIS data received by the radar is not being somehow kicked back to the radio and plotter as bad data causing the E80 to reject it?? Probablly a dumb idea but I'm grasping at straws here.
Some clarifications:

Seatalk is Raymarines proprietary networking that allows compatable devices to share information. You should not confuse Seatalk with NEMA 0183 communication. They are not the same.

I believe you when you say your Ray GPS provides NMEA data to your E-60 Raymarine plotter. This is commonly done by NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000 with the GPS being the talker and the Plotter being the listener. This is probably one way communication from the GPS to the plotter.

You radar connection is most likely a Seatalk connection between the radar and the chartplotter. This is likely a two way commucation in that the radar provides information to and can be controlled from the chartplotter.

Generally speaking your AIS most likely has its own internal or external GPS (seems to be a legal requirement) and is a NMEA 0183 or newer NMEA2000 talker of one way communication..out to anyone that will listen.

Your chartplotter is the primary listener for your AIS talker. It is this port connection that you must get right for it to work. Port assignment and baud rate must be right.

Now comes your DCS radio.....It listens for GPS data, cause it needs to know where you are when the DCS is activated. It also may listen for AIS data so it can display useful AIS information.

If the radio is listening and hearing AIS information and the chartplotter is not..... then the problem logically has to be in the chartplotter connection.

Notice that your problem has nothing to do with your radar.

Hope I have been informative.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:49 PM   #16
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Hi Obthomas, many thanks for that but I may have inadvertently led you astray.

I believe you when you say your Ray GPS provides NMEA data to your E-60 Raymarine plotter. This is commonly done by NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000 with the GPS being the talker and the Plotter being the listener. This is probably one way communication from the GPS to the plotter.

In my case my Ray GPS can output nmea or seatalk but not both. I have it wired to provide the data stream to the E80 plotter via seatalk. (this keeps my solitary "nmea in" port on the plotter free for the AIS radio.

You radar connection is most likely a Seatalk connection between the radar and the chartplotter. This is likely a two way commucation in that the radar provides information to and can be controlled from the chartplotter.

Understood & correct. However, as learned through Steve's link, the AIS data being sent to the plotter via nmea is being converted & bridged to the seatalk buss which is why I wondered if the radar was choking on info it was not built to process and somehow telling the plotter not to accept the AIS data stream.

Generally speaking your AIS most likely has its own internal or external GPS (seems to be a legal requirement) and is a NMEA 0183 or newer NMEA2000 talker of one way communication..out to anyone that will listen.

Not in my case, the AIS vhf radio does not have an internal or dedicated external GPS, the nmea data is being fed to it by the "nmea out" of the plotter. (Note: The seatalk from the GPS to plotter is converted and bridged internally by plotter to provide the plotters "nmea out" to the AIS radio) This data is being accepted by the AIS radio and displays correctly.

Think I'll toss the works overboard & blow the dust off my charts and protractor.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:30 PM   #17
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Capt Kangaroo

With your clarifications it still leads to the connection between your radio/AIS connection to you chartplotter

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Old 02-07-2014, 01:48 PM   #18
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Is the cable shielded if so how did you connect the shield?

That braided stainless coating?

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Old 02-07-2014, 03:50 PM   #19
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Obthomas, thanks again & I completely agree.

Skipperdude, I believe it was shielded but do not recall what I did with it. The way it was wired before I yanked it to send back was as instructed by SH tech support which incidentally was how I had it wired.

I just received official word from SH that the radio is fine, they can find no fault. CRAP! I still think it is a great radio for the $$ and their Tech Support is absolutely first class. I'll have to wait now until I get back to the boat to try anything else but all you guys have given me lot's to think about. Thanks again !!!

I think I'll take Psneelds advice & do factory resets on both units then rip everything out & start from scratch when I get the set back. There are a ton of horribly documented settings within the E80 which may be causing the problem. Either that or screw the E80 which is nothing more than a dash ornament and wire the AIS to my laptop which is what I use for navigating anyway. That is, of course, if the problem is actually with the E80.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:33 PM   #20
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I think earlier someone touched on what's likely causing the problem. Did you say that the VHF wants 4800 baud coming into it, and transmits AIS at 34k? If that's the case then each needs to be connected a different NMEA 0183 ports on the E80. I don't think a single port can have the transmit and receive sides set to different baud rates.

I'd suggest checking the baud rate setting on both the VHF and the E80 and/or checking the documentation for each device in this respect.

As an aside, when talking about SeaTalk beign compatible or incompatible with something, you need to be more specific. As I recall, there are three flavors of SeaTalk as follows.

SeaTalk: Same as NMEA 0183

SeaTalkNG: Electrically the same as NMEA 2000, but with Raymarine proprietary cables and connectors.

SeaTalkHS: Ethernet with Raymarine's proprietary Radar and fish finder data.
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