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Installing power circuits for marine electronics
03-21-16, 09:31 AM (This post was last modified: 07-17-19 10:38 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.

When setting up power circuits, it is important to understand which devices are designed to be powered via their network interface. Raymarine Multifunction Displays (MFDs), radomes & open array pedestals, fishfinder sounder modules, AIS receiver/transceivers, and VHF radios are neither designed to be powered via their communications interface(s) nor to supply power to a SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone. These products are designed to be powered via their respective power cables, power leads, or power terminals. Autopilot Actuator Control Units (ACUs) are likewise not designed to be powered via their communications interface but some are capable of supplying power to a SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone. While the ACU200 and ACU400 are capable of supplying power to a SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone via the ACU's communications interface, it is generally considered to be a best practice to not power a SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone in this manner. Instead, it is recommended that the system's SeaTalkng / NMEA 2000 backbone be powered from a dedicated, switched 12VDC power circuit which has been connected to a SeaTalkng Power Cable. The SeaTakng Power Cable will be connected to a spur socket which is located at the approximate midpoint of the backbone's LEN load. The SeaTalkng backbone should be protected with a 5A breaker / fuse.

Of Raymarine's currently and recently manufactured products, the following are designed to be powered via their communications interface:

- Instruments:
----- i40 Depth, Speed, BiData, and Wind
----- i50 Depth, Speed, and Tridata
----- i60 Wind and Close Hauled Wind
----- i70 & i70S Multifunction Instrument Displays (MFIDs)
----- Tack Tick MicroTalk Gateway

- Autopilots:
----- EV-1 & EV-2 CCUs
----- p70, p70R, p70S, and p70RS Autopilot Control Heads
----- S100 & SmartController base stations

- GPS Sensors:
----- Raystar 150 GPS Sensor
----- Raystar 130 GPS Sensor

- Engine Gateway
----- ECI-100

- Video Cameras
----- CAM200IP
----- CAM210
----- CAM220

- Thermal Cameras
----- T200 Series (T200, T203, T220, T223, T250, T253, T270, T273)
----- JCU

Please note that Raymarine MFDs feature a last power state memory feature, permitting the MFD's to be also be switched ON/OFF via the power circuit supplying the MFD(s). On my own boat, I utilize this feature to switch all of my electronics ON or OFF via the breaker panel. To support doing so, 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. Third party fuse blocks, such as those produced by Blue Sea Systems, may be used for such purposes and to locate these fused circuits in a location where they may be easily be accessed.

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Fuse / breaker recommendations for protecting circuits supplying power to Raymarine products may be found within the respective product's installation instructions.

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.

Raymarine Digital/HD Digital Radomes and HD/Super HD Radar Pedestals will go into sleep mode when a MFD is not sensed within the Raymarine Ethernet network. However, after the MFD is switched ON, then the radome or open or open array should detect the MFD and respond to the MFD's commands. It is considered to be a best installation practice that radomes and radar pedestals be installed on a dedicated breaker or dedicated switched power circuit permitting the radome or pedestal to be switched ON/OFF without affecting the power state of the system's other devices. Should the radar not awaken after the MFD is powered ON, then the radome or pedestal's power circuit may be switched OFF and then ON again to permit the radar to re-boot and then sense the MFD. Unplugging the Digital Radar Cable from the radome of open array pedestal and then reconnecting it may be used as a testing method to verify whether it restores operation of the radome or pedestal.

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Raymarine recommends that its marine electronics be electrically 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 under-powering the marine electronics may cause one of more of the marine electronics products to reboot/re-start, and in some instances, clear data (calibration information, settings, etc.) stored within the device's memory. 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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