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Diagnostics - a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFD SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 Buffer
09-26-16, 01:00 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-17 04:32 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #1
Diagnostics - a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFD SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 Buffer
Diagnostics - a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFD SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 Buffer

At the time that this FAQ was posted, the SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 diagnostic buffer of the a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFDs was limited to displaying and logging raw, untranslated (hexadecimal) data received by and transmitted by the Data Master MFD. Accordingly, if seeking to investigate a problem regarding SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 communications within a system, it may be necessary to interface a NMEA 2000 bus analyzing tool (ex. Actisense NGT-1-USB w/Actisense NMEAReader PC software, etc.) as a spur device to the SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone to monitor and obtain detailed information concerning the system's SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 communications. As many NMEA 2000 bus analyzer products (ex. NMEAReader) convert the raw SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 data into translated data, such analyzers can be quite helpful in analyzing and identifying problems, and should be part of a properly equipped installer's / troubleshooter's tool kit. This is particularly true for SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 communications problems involving third party devices (ex. engine system gateways, tank level sensors, fuel flow sensors, etc) having a NMEA 2000 communications interface.

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As an example, the most common cause for failure of a Raymarine MFD to display data from a NMEA 2000 source of engine, tank level, or fuel flow sensor data is failure to configure the sensor's Instance Number (may require a third party display or third party computer application NMEA 2000 communications interface ... it is accordingly recommended that the device manufacturer be consulted regarding how to assign a NMEA 2000 Instance Number to the device(s)) in accordance the NMEA 2000 convention for instancing engines, tank level sensor, fuel flow sensors, etc.. In the NMEA 2000 convention, the port-most engine, tank level sensor, and fuel flow sensor will be assigned Instance Number "0". The engine, tank level sensor, and fuel flow sensor located closest to the port engine, tank level sensor, and fuel flow sensor will be assigned instance "1". The engine, tank level sensor, and fuel flow sensor located closest to and starboard of the engine, tank level sensor, and fuel flow sensor assigned instance "1" will in turn be assigned instance "2" ... and so on. Raymarine's a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFDs feature support for interfacing up to five engines, fuel tank level sensors, and fuel flow sensors. As Raymarine products are neither designed to calibrate nor assign NMEA 2000 Instance Numbers to third party sensors having NMEA 2000 communications interfaces, it may be necessary to perform such calibrations or assignments using a third party display or a computer which has been interfaced to the SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone and is running software from the sensor's manufacturer.

The list of supported NMEA 2000 PGNs may be found within the appendices of the latest version of the LightHouse MFDs Operation Instructions. Executing the command sequence HOME->SET-UP->MAINTENANCE->DIAGNOSTICS->INTERFACES->N2K/STNG->BUFFER->DIRECTION->BOTH; START BUFFER from the system's Data Master MFD (HOME->SET-UP->DATA MASTER) will cause the displayed buffer to list the direction (TX or RX), time, and message content of all SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 communications being transmitted and received by the MFD. When seeking to diagnose a problem with received data, it can be helpful to first configure the buffer to display only received (RX) SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 communications by setting the buffer's Direction setting to RX. If requested, the buffer may be recorded to a microSD memory card by using the buffer's START RECORDING feature. Generally, it will only be necessary to record a minute or so of data for diagnostic purposes. Recording may be stopped by using the buffer's STOP RECORDING feature. The following file will be created and saved to your microSD memory card when buffer recording has been commanded:
----- N2K_yyyyyy.log (where yyyyyyy is the log number).

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