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Electronic Navigation – New System

This is my new system..
– GPS Raystar 125 (2nd GPS)
– Chart plotter – C120
– AIS (outputting at 38400 to Brookhouse and then to the C120)
– Raymarine 18″ 2Kw Radar

Connecting to a laptop
– ACER Aspire 5022WLMi

– E85001 – NMEA0183/Seatalk I/f box to output NMEA0183 to serial and then via a serial to USB adaptor into the laptop

– Brookhouse Multiplexer to I/f AIS to C120 at 38400 and to output on its built in USB cable straight into the laptop

This means that two independent programs can operate on the laptop both getting data in from the ships instruments

All of this now works well after many hours of head scratching and torn knuckles 😉


AIS Display

This is a shot of the AIS display as I crossed the English Channel (Sep 2006). It was quite busy as you can see…all the blue triangles are container vessels that were going considerably faster than my SOG which as you can see from the display at the top was around 6Kts at that time…



Here you can see that I was less than 1nm away from the approaching vessel on the starboard bow and the vector drawn out in front of the vessel represents 12 minutes sailing at the vessels current SOG – in fact the pop up says that I was 8 minutes from being run down…luckily that didnt happen…!



Connecting AIS - Brookhouse

Its a real nuisance that the Raymarine C120 has only one NMEA port and that once you have set this to receive AIS data at 38,400 bd it cannot then talk/listen to NMEA 0183 data at 4,800 bd.

Having struggled with various configurations I DSC00007 eventually discovered the excellent Brookhouse multiplexer from New Zealand and got one shipped over to England. This is a great bit of kit and after a few false starts I have managed to connect it up very successfully to the Raymarine E85001 interface box – that I had already bought – but now realise is redundant.

The Brookhouse can take in Seatalk and NMEA0183 (old) and NMEA2000 (new and used by AIS) as well as output NMEA0183 or NMEA2000 (eg to the Raymarine C120) and also has a dedicated USB bus to connect to a laptop.

This is how to connect the NASA AIS Engine to the Raymarine C120


For diagrams from the supplier in New Zealand click here


Electronic navigation – Old System

I have upgraded the electronics on Enterprise and I now have two almost separate navigation systems (backup before resorting to charts !)

Firstly there is the ‘old’ system – now 11 years old..
– Raymarine GPS
– Autohelm ST50 instruments (log, wind, depth, multi)
– Phillips navigator Mk8
– Autohelm autopilot 3000 (wheel based)
– All connected on a Seatalk bus

DSC00003The Philips navigator is really good. Its visible under the spray hood, and is always pretty much in agreement with the new system (all Raymarine based) that I run in parallel. Since the cockpit is small I had no room for a new Raymarine screen on the helm – never mind the cost! – so I put the new Raymarine C120 at the chart table and use my trusty old Phillips navigator in the cockpit.