Some time ago I decided to equip my Seascape 18 „Plain Vanilla“ with a number of sensors, a chart plotter and a radio. Goals and reasons for this decision were basically:
- I wanted to use the Seascape also on the Baltic Sea and not just on the Alster lake in Hamburg and felt that a chart plotter and a radion would significantly increase safety.
- Especially if I somehow could receive AIS-information and display them.
- I wanted to help increasing my sailing skills by using objective measurements concerning speed, drift and other dimensions.
- I like toying around with technical things and thinking about and building all this was meant to be a nice, sailing-related occupation during the winter season. It is never too late to have a nice childhood I guess.
- I wanted to do the whole setup with doing as little remaining changes or damages to my boat as possible
Picking the right components
Whoever has tried to connect different nautical instruments from different vendors for sure had to face some issues regarding incompatibilites regarding the different interface standars like NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, Seatalk, Seatalk NG,….
I spent some considerable time on researching what kind of components would interface well while at the same time delivering on the goals mentioned above.
I came up with the following list:
B&G Zeus Touch 7
Central piece of my whole setup. Has nice sailing-related functionalities, is completely configurable and can connect NMEA 0183 as well as NMEA 2000 messages.
Raymarine Racemaster T070 Compass
I went for the Raymarine Tacktick series because most of the components are connected via a Raymarine-proprietary Wifi-protocol (thus less cables) and are also solar powered (thus also less cables and also less battery capacity required).
The racemaster gives directions, has a nice race countdown and can display not only information about the heading but also other measurements. It „coordinate“ all other Tacktick instruments.
Raymarine Wind Transducer T120
Feeds wind information into the network (which is necessary to enable all the nice sailing-related features on the Racemaster and the B&G).
Raymarine Triducer T910 and Raymarine Hull Transmitter T121
Feed in information about the speed through the water, depth and temperature. The hull transmitter is needed in order to „translate“ the information from the Triducer to the Wifi-network.
Raymarine NMEA Transmitter T122
Translates all the wireless information into NMEA 0183 messages which then can be read by the B&G. Works like a charm…
Lowrance Link-8 radio
Can obviously be used as a radio with DSC-functionality (it receives GPS-information from the B&G) but also receives AIS information from ships in the vicinity and transfers those to the B&G where they are displayed on the screen.
I guess I was lucky but the whole setup did not cause one single problem regarding compatibility and has been working ever since I installed it.
Here you find a picture that illustrates the interconnections.
In the next episode of this little series I will talk about the power supply of all this…