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Interface ES128 to Robertson AP via NMEA 0183
08-05-16, 11:55 AM
Post: #1
Interface ES128 to Robertson AP via NMEA 0183
I have a Robertson AP200DL autopilot manufactured around 1988 on my boat. This season I upgraded to an ES128 MFD along with radar and sonar.

The Robertson has a 2 wire NAV receiver connection, and supports NMEA 0183 XTE-mode, @ 4800
Messages APB, APA, XTE, RMB or XTR

I have connected:
The Yellow wire on the Robertson “NAV IN” to Yellow (positive) on ES128.
The Green wire on the Robertson “NAV RET” to Brown (Neg.) on ES128.
I believe this is correct to have the ES128 talking out port 1, and the Robertson listening.

What must I do on the ES128 to actually send messages out of port 1 at 4800 to the autopilot?

Thanks, Richard
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08-08-16, 08:51 AM
Post: #2
RE: Interface ES128 to Robertson AP via NMEA 0183
Welcome to the Raymarine Forum Richard,

Please note that the Autopilot Controls feature (i.e. remote controlling of autopilot (i.e. engaging TRACK, AUTO, STANDBY modes via the MFD's user interface) of Raymarine's MFDs is exclusively supported in conjunction with compatible Raymarine MFDs. When interfaced to compatible third party autopilots, control of these autopilot modes must be commanded via the third party autopilot's control head.

No configuration settings of the MFD need be configured other than to have the MFD's NMEA 0183 port configured to NMEA 4800 (assuming that the autopilot supports NMEA 0183 v2.1 or higher communications protocol). When properly interfaced, a compatible autopilot may then be commanded to track to a waypoint/cursor position by commanding the MFD to Go To a waypoint/cursor position or to follow a route and then command the autopilot into Track mode (or the corresponding mode supported by the third party autopilot) via the autopilot's control head. In addition to Raymarine proprietary communications protocols, Raymarine's a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFDs are additionally designed to support the following marine electronics industry communications protocols:
- 4800 BAUD NMEA 0183 v2.1 (and higher)
- 38400 BAUD NMEA 0183 communications
- NMEA 2000

Regarding the terminals of your third party autopilot, the descriptions provided are not consistent with standard for NMEA 0183. As such, it is recommended that the manufacturer of the autopilot be contacted for clarification of the autopilot's communications interface terminals. Additionally, products produced within the time frame of your third party autopilot may have used a version of NMEA 0183 communications protocol earlier than v2.1. Correspondingly, it is recommended that the manufacturer of the third party autopilot be contacted to verify the version of NMEA 0183 communications protocol supported by your autopilot as well as its communications BAUD rate. If the autopilot supports a version of NMEA 0183 communications protocol earlier than v2.1, then the MFD would be unable to communicate with the autopilot unless a data bridge (see products from Actisense, Noland Engineering, Brookhouse, etc.) supporting and matching the version of NMEA 0183 communications protocol supported by the autopilot has been installed between the MFD and the third party autopilot.
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