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Ray i60 on bridged Simnet-Ray N2K network

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We successfully run a Ray EV-100 wheel pilot and anemometer/wind direction combo, and a Simrad NSS8, GS-25 antenna and RS35 VHF, each on their own N2K network properly connected and terminated.

Now, when we bridge them the networks, everything is visible, and data flows well, with one exception: the i60 will not display its own Ray wind data until we remove/re-connect the drop cable from the Ray bus to the i60; it then works fine for 15-20 minutes, and then loses the data and disappears from the NSS8 Device List. With the networks unbridged, the i60 performs as expected. The bridging wiring has been double-checked.

Raymarine says they know of no report of such behavior on the i60 and they agree that properly connected, the setup when bridged should work fine..

Anyone have any pointers about what we might do to de-bug & perhaps solve this?

3 Replies

  • Dan, what do you mean by bridged? Are you using a bridge device like the one from BEP CZone or did you simply remove two terminators and one power drop and use a new cable to make the Raymarine and Simrad backbones into one backbone?

  • We used cut and spliced Ray and Sim cables between a Ray 5 connector unit and the Sim connector bar (6 or 7 terminals - not sure of the proper name for those).

    The original was using a Ray cable in the end position but I later tried just a standard drop cable with only the blue/white wires connected just for the data and a terminator in the open position on the Ray bus; caused the same problem.

    I have this sense that there's an impedance mis-match or maybe the AWG of the wires is too small but no way of checking those things. During the 15-30 minutes it works all the sentences seem to be read properly by both the Sim and Ray devices.

  • Hi Dan,

    Frankly, I'm surprised that your "bridged" system is working as well as it is, as what you're doing seems well outside the norms for CANbus and NMEA 2000 network architecture. I suspect that you might see other problems over time or if you add anything more to either network.

    I've gotten away with mixing NMEA 2000 type cables and connectors in all sorts of odd ways but it never occurred to me to try bridging either way you tried it. And I'm surprised that Ray tech support approved it. Is it possible that they thought you were using an actual electronic bridge meant for connecting two separate networks, like the CZone product I mentioned?

    The alternative to using a device like that is to get all your devices dropped from one backbone with one power supply and terminators at each end. Splicing Raymarine backbone to SimNet backbone is probably a poor idea impedance wise, especially as Simrad is moving away from it. In fact, I think that all three of your Simrad devices have standard N2K male ports so for the drops you could use female Raymarine adapter cables like these:

    Splicing a standard N2K cable to a Ray spur cable should also work fine, as probably would modifying a Ray spur cable with a field installable female N2K connector like this:

    The wire colors in the SeaTalkNG spur cables nicely matches those in standard N2K cable though you'll find that the power wires are larger gauge (which is good thing as networks get bigger).

    Raymarine has a good manual about designing SeaTalkNG networks and there are good manuals about the slightly different architecture of regualar N2K networks available from Maretron, Garmin, and others. You won't see much about bridging, though, as it's rarely done except for very large networks.