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Installing power circuits for marine electronics
03-21-16, 09:31 AM (This post was last modified: 07-31-17 09:59 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #1
Installing power circuits for marine electronics
Installing power circuits for marine electronics

A best practice for marine electronics installation is to install sufficient circuits to support operation of critical system components in the event of a major power circuit or system component failure. Also, careful thoughts to any unique uses of the equipment (ex. monitoring the VHF radio while at anchor, instrument anchor watch, etc.) should be considered when selecting required marine electronics devices and creating power circuits. Finally, an understanding of dependencies can also aid in determining which devices should be included within the same circuit (ex. the HS5 RayNet Network Switch is only needed when the MFD(s) will be powered ON and as such, would make sense to include within the same power circuit). As Raymarine MFD's and i50/i60/i70 Instrument Displays support a last power state memory feature, the equipment may be switched ON/OFF from a single location (i.e. the breaker/switch panel), eliminating the need to switch ON/OFF equipment via each product's POWER button. This can be especially convenient in larger systems.

The last power state memory feature of the a/c/e/eS/gS-Series MFD, i50/i60/i70 Instrument Displays (operating with the latest available Raymarine product software updates) and Dragonfly displays functions as follows:
- should the product be in the ON state and should the circuit supplying the product be de-energized, then the product will return to the ON state when the circuit is re-energized.
- should the product in the OFF state and should the circuit supplying the product be de-energized, then the product will remain in the OFF state when the circuit is re-energized. Pressing the POWER button of the product will return it to the ON state.

On my own boat, I have installed a breaker panel to create separate power circuits for each of the following:

- MFDs, Network Switches, Cameras, and Sirius Satellite Weather/Radio Receiver
- Instruments (SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone) and GPS external sensor
- Fishfinder Sounder Modules
- Radar Scanner
- Autopilot
- VHF Radio and AIS transceiver

Circuit breakers and fuses are primarily designed to protect the vessel's circuits and device cables, not the circuitry within the marine electronics. If installing marine electronics devices within a circuit which is protected by a breaker/fuse having a higher rating than has been specified for the device(s) being interfaced to the circuit, then it will be necessary to additionally install a fuse inline with each product's power cable to protect the product's wiring.

Raymarine MFDs are neither designed to be powered by, nor have they been designed to supply power to a SeaTalkng/NMEA 2000 backbone. Relatively few products are designed to be powered by a SeaTalkng/NMEA 2000. Some of these have been listed below:
- i50/i60/i70/ST70/ST70+ Instrument Displays
- p70/p70R/ST70 Autopilot Control Heads
- EV-1/EV-2 Evolution Autopilot Sensor Cores
- iTC-5 and ST70 Instrument Transducer Pods
- SeaTalkng/NMEA 2000 Smart Transducers
- SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converter

As Raymarine MFDs, AIS Transceivers, Autopilot ACUs, VHF radios, SiriusXM Satellite Weather Receivers, radomes, radar pedestals, fishfinder sounder modules, and Ethernet Network Switches are neither designed to be powered via a SeaTalkng/NMEA 2000 backbone nor an Ethernet network, these products should be powered using the power cables which these products have been manufactured with/packaged with or via the product's power terminals.

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Raymarine recommends that its marine electronics be isolated from engine starting and other electrical equipment having high current demands (i.e. thrusters, winches, pumps, macerators, engine starter motors, etc.). The temporary high current demands from such equipment can drop the available power (current x voltage) below operating ranges that the marine electronics were designed to operate within. Such instances of underpowering the marine electronics may cause one of more of the marine electronics products to reboot/re-start. Under rare instances the power surges resulting from the operation of equipment having high current demands may adversely affect the performance and longevity of marine electronics.

There are several third products available to isolate the marine electronics from electrical equipment having high current demands. Some of these electrical isolation products additionally feature power conditioning. Some of the more commonly used electrical isolation products include:
- Blue Sea Add-A-Battery Kit
- NEWMAR Start Guard

Customers requiring the assistance of a Raymarine Certified Installer or Installer may find one here.


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