Re: Maretron Electronics experience?



I can not comment specifically on the Maretron brand other than by reputation (good!), but I have a lot of experience with NMEA2k network.  It really is plug and play.  Mostly...  

Raymarine Seatalk NG is one special case. They use the NMEA2k protocol, but with their own proprietary connectors.  We integrated a Raymarine AIS system into our mostly B&G network without a problem just by using an adapter cable.  Simrad does the same thing with different connectors. Adapters are available for all.  

The good news is that the cables are really simple, just four wires, two for power, two for data.  You can splice them without a problem if you end up with connector frustration.

Other than occasional issues with connector matching, I have never had any problem with instruments talking to each other over the NMEA2k network.

If you are thinking about the WS0100, you might want to seriously look at the line of ultrasonic wind sensors from Airmar.  Some of them are designed more with sailboats in mind.  They understand heel, and true vs apparent wind, and other such details.  I used one with a B&G based NMEA2k network on my old boat and was very happy with it. Some of these also include gyro compass data so you can use them to supply heading data to your AP.  All over the NMEA2k network. In my past experience Airmar's tech support is excellent, and worth a call to help you decide between the many models available.

Along with wind, temperature, compass, gyro rate, barometric pressure, pitch, roll, yaw, GPS data, some of them incorporate a dew point sensor.  That has a reputation as a bit fragile, so might not be worth spending extra on unless you are a real weather geek!

Bill Kinney
Sm160, Harmonie
Freeport, Bahamas

---In amelyachtowners@..., <sailor63109@...> wrote :

Recently on a trip from Georgia to West Palm Beach FL our Furuno plotter at the helm died, this is the second Furuno helm plotter to die in a year.  The Furuno at the nav desk has taken to going "blip" and resetting itself.  Neither of these things inspires any confidence so we've decided to bite the bullet and replace much of the electronics.

In looking at what's available I liked the Maretron DST110 Triducer for depth, speed and temperature.  I'm not sure if it will fit yet, but Delos plugged it into their existing thru-hull.  I also like the Maretron masthead unit WS0100 for being solid state, no moving parts, and being a weather station to boot (air temp, humidity and barometric pressure).  Both of these are NMEA 2000.  I know there's been a lot of discussion on the speed/depth sensors, but those discussions were based on keeping the Hydra, I'm going to ditch it in favor of a new system.

I wonder, is NMEA 2000 really going to let me plug in different manufacturers and be successful? I understand it's the stated goal, but is it practical?  If I were to go with a B&G Zeus 3 (and 4G radar) and the above Maretron sensors (and maybe the small Maretron multi-function displays to replace the B&G) it should work, right?

I plan on keeping the Raymarine Autopilot (S3G) system and using a multiplexer/converter to port it over to the chartplotter.  By keeping the S3G I should be able to use the Raymarine Fluxgate Compass and rudder sensor for the whole system (right?).  

My Raymarine VHF died on this same trip, so instead of trying to save it, I'm going to replace it with a NMEA 2000 black box.  The B&G V90 does both VHF and AIS, one unit, one aerial.

I'd appreciate any experience with the Maretron instruments, and whether the mix and match approach seems reasonable.  Any hints or suggestions are also welcome.

Wanderer, SM#477

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