Re: wind data to Raymarine ST 6000

John Clark

Hi Nick,
    sorry for the tardy response...just started new job and am in process of buying a house...  On my SM with a Hydra2000 system the FFD with NMEA was installed however the NMEA output from the FFD was not used, so the two NMEA leads were folded up and taped to the back of the display.  The FFD Display is the device that generates and transmits the NMEA data.  Someone here said it is the violet colored lead, I think that is correct.  .  

As far as steering to wind (STW) I did exactly what you are trying to do.  I have a newer Raymarine AP (EV-400) with the ACU 400 actuator control and an Es78 chartplotter, I suspect the ST6000 will behave the same.   

. I ran the NMEA output from the FFD direct to the chartplotter on the helm and it feeds the signal to the AP via the Raymarine network. Incidentally my Furuno AIS transponder(thanks you SV Tritin) located at the nav station uses the same wire to send AIS data to the chartplotter.  I have had no issues with the dual usage of the same wire. 

 I have sailed maybe 2000nm in the STW mode. In sail to wind, the system is for the most part great. I use it primarily sailing close to wind.  Other wind angles are more forgiving so I use heading mode otherwise.  As one person said here,  sudden wind shifts can outmaneuver the pilot.  I have had this happen once or twice.   I always sail with the preventer rigged so other than looking like a sailing rube there is no damage to the boat or sails.  Stronger wind is better.   In light wind when the motion of the boat affects the apparent wind angle the AP still works but I suspect it is cycling at least a little bit futilely chasing the moving mast...but it does hold course to the wind. (note it is not a lot of motion of the wheel but I can tell it is having trouble making up its mind.)

Regards,  John

SV Annie  SM #37
Brunswick, Georgia

On Sun, Apr 14, 2019 at 8:54 AM ngtnewington Newington via Groups.Io <> wrote:
Hi Gary,

The plot thickens, all very interesting. At the end of the process, if the view is that the response of the autopilot to wind shifts is too slow to be practical I see no point in the exercise.  I have the wind data I need to see on the B&G  displays, which is enough. 


It is interesting this whole exercise. When I fitted a new speedo, I looked at various options but Richard at Tinley electronics advised me to go for the paddle wheel as the “Baud rate” is important for updating the speed data so that true wind is calculated accurately. He said that some other speedo’s would be slower to update the processor……etc etc. I suspect that the wind data to the autopilot needs to be at the correct Baud Rate for it all to work well.

On my last boat I had B&G system Hydra 2000 system and B&G autopilot. I could set it to steer say 35 degrees to the apparent wind and she would helm the boat up wind following every lift or header. Or run square downwind without gybing accidentally.

 I may well try splicing or actually just sharing some terminals for the FFD NMEA output that become processor input terminals on the processor to the Auto input and see what happens.

Thank you for the information. It looks like I will have to play around and see what I get.


Amelia AML 54-019 La Palma

On 14 Apr 2019, at 13:33, Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver@...> wrote:

Hi Nick:  What I have to say applies to my 2001 vintage B & G 2000 FFD (full function display), B & G Hydra 2000 processor, and Raymarine ST7000+ autopilot.  I am going from my Cadd drawings from 18 years ago. NOTE:  There evidently are NMEA FFDs and non-NMEA FFDs 

There is a nine conductor cable that runs from the NMEA FFD to the Hydra processor.  In my case the NMEA wires were NOT connected to anything at the Hydra processor.   Amel had hooked up the supplied Furuno GPS to the Hydra NMEA processor Inputs, but there were no other NMEA inputs connected.  

In that 9 conductor cable from the NMEA FFD the violet (NMEA Output Signal) and black (Ground) wires are the NMEA OUT from the FFD, and the brown (NMEA Input Signal) and blue (NMEA Input Return) are the NMEA input TO the FFD.  My confusion at the time was because there are NMEA terminals on the Hydra processor but they are hooked up to the Amel installed Furuno GPS only.   I spoke to Pochon (Amel's electronics sub-contractor) shortly after the the time we took delivery of the boat and they instructed me to hook things up the way I did, that being,  splicing wires to the violet, black, brown and blue wires and running the NMEA out and NMEA in (from the FFD) to the auto-pilot computer. I do have a note that the NMEA shields should ONLY BE GROUNDED AT THE TRANSMITTING END OF THE CABLE. 

 Based on aviation ARINC 429 data bus (similar to NMEA data bus) NMEA data wires can be paralleled, so I think in retrospect it should have been possible to have those NMEA wires from the FFD go to the pins 21/22 and 26/27 of the Hydra, I am not sure why Amel didn't hook it up that way. 

In my case I ran two, 2-conductor twisted pair shielded aviation grade tefzel wires from the Hydra and ran them to the autopilot computer NMEA input and output lugs.  It has been 18 years since I did this but I vaguely remember that there was some sort of setting in the FFD programming or perhaps it was at the autopilot,  that had to be set (something like a node designation) or something.  

Joel at the time told me, and my experience has born this out, that winds can change too dramatically to allow the auto-pilot to steer to the wind (a squall comes, the boat jibes and damage is done).  So I only display the relative wind at the helm and use the heading mode of the Auto Pilot to actually do the steering. 

I hope this gives you some clues and doesn't further muddy the waters. 


Gary S. Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 #335 (2001)
Puerto Rico

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