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Full Version: Smart Controller and Base Station/Seatalk ng
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I just did a complete refit with new Seatalk ng instruments, Evolution AP, sG MFD etc. The old intrumentation died due to a lightning strike. My client would like to keep his Smart Controller and Base Station to control the AP.
I connected the Base Station to a Seatalk/Seatalk ng converter, but apparently there seems to be a problem. The Smart Controller shows the bars for communication with the Base Station alright, but does not get any data from the bus plus it shows "no pilot".
SW version on the converter is V2.01, so should be ok. The LED on the controller indicates that there is no compatible Seatalk device detected.
Also, the base station is not displayed in the MFD list of connected devices.
Is it possible that the base station has been damaged in the lightning and now doesn't communicate via Seatalk, but still establishes communication with the controller?

It is certainly possible that the base station and possibly the Smart Controller (had it been charging/connected to the SeaTalk bus at the time of the Lightning Strike. It is also possible that there may be a problem with the ST-STng Converter. The ST-STng Converter may be tests by interfacing a device having SeaTalk communications interface (ex. i40, i50, i60, i70 Instrument display) to the ST-STng Converter's SeaTalk port to verify whether the test device is able to either repeat data from the system or supply the system with data. Should you not have already done so, it is recommended that the Smart Controller be connected directly to the SeaTalk port of the SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converter ... should it's SeaTalk communications circuitry be operational and the ST-STng Converter be operational, the the base station should be replaced.
I just purchased an Evolution autopilot and have a similar issue: connecting the smart controller to the Sea Talk ng backbone. Previously the base station for the smart controller was wired directly into the SPX 30 computer. I understand I now need to run a sea talk cable from the base station to a ng converter. I think I have two options: install a new converter for the base station or install a sea talk block and tie into my other sea talk instruments before going into my existing converter.

Assuming I am correct so far, and I want to connect to a sea talk block, can I cut a SeaTalk NG cable and wire that to the base station for the smart controller? Or asked another way, since I have to wire the base station (no connector) what cable do I use to connect to a sea talk block?

The reason I am looking at two options is the existing converter is in the helm pedestal connecting my ST 60 instruments and my base station is down below next to my old SPX computer. I am trying to decide if I should relocate the base station to the helm pedestal, that my not be waterproof, or keep it down below next to the auto pilot computer.

I am installing the system on Friday, the 10th, so would appreciate your advice as soon as possible.

Is is not recommended that you do as you have suggested. In this case, it is recommended that a SeaTalk cable be chased from the ST60 Instruments to a D244 SeaTalk Junction Block below deck. The SmartController's base station would likewise be connected to the SeaTalk Junction Block using an appropriate length of SeaTalk cable. A SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converter updated with v2.01 or later SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converter software will be installed as a backbone component to the backbone which the Evolution autopilot components have been interfaced as spurs. Finally, the yellow SeaTalk socket of the SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converter may be interfaced to the D244 SeaTalk Junction Block using the SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Cable supplied with the SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converter Kit. To reduce the number of cables chased through binnacle tubes, you may want consider installing two SeaTalk to SeaTalkng Converters (one in the pedestal and one below decks), which have been joined to the backbone using appropriate lengths of SeaTalkng Bavckbone Cable. Please click here to view a FAQ addressing this subject.
Yes, figured it out this morning. I had a D244 block and tied the Smart Controller base station and the ST60 instruments together. Have spur going from one ST60 to the ng converter. Ready to test the system if it ever stops raining.
You're welcome.
Final comments on my problems/installation. First, the new system is working fine. But, it did not on initial power-up. I was getting a "no pilot" signal on the head unit and no instrument connection to the MFD, just like I did with my previous system.
The only thing left was the cables. I replaced the cable from the new computer to the backbone and it work!. Maybe my old SPX computer is still good and it was just the cable. Who would think a cable would go bad? How could it?

Bottom line, don't forget that cables can go bad.

As you suspect that your old course computer may still be good, you may want to consider sending to Raymarine's Product Repair Center to be bench checked and if found good, sell it on an Internet auction site to recover some of the cost of the new autopilot.
Is there a minimum bench charge? I didn't send it in initially because I thought it was a $975 charge. I guess that was if it needed repair?

At the time of this response, the bench check fee was $45 for SPX autopilot course computers.
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