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hydra 2000 connection to pc

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by nm, Apr 12, 2005.

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  1. nm

    nm Guest

    last sunday I tried to connect a laptop to the instrumentation of a boat
    with a B&G Hydra 2000 system.
    I downloaded a paper from b&g site:
    where they use a cable named 135-0a-160
    since i don't have such cable, i cut a serial cable and connected the
    wires (according to the pins specified in the table) to the nmea processor
    i started several serial port sniffers (also one written by me), but, of
    course, it didn't work :(
    i tried to use only pins gnd, rx and tx, tried also to swap rx and tx, but
    still nothing
    tried also on several different ports of the processor
    my port sniffer sometimes reads strange characters, so I thougth that the
    cable referenced in the document may have some electronics inside, but I
    couldn't find any useful info about that
    anyone can help me out on this?
  2. Check the baud rate, AFAIK the nmea sentences require the rate to be set no
    faster than 4800.
    You should find the settings in your software package.
  3. Wout B

    Wout B Guest

    The fact that the control signals RTS and CTS are wired, suggests that
    flow-control is used. Actually, from the wiring method they recommend not
    'real' flow control, but to detect if the computer is present. Make sure
    DTR at the computer side is on (pin 4) and is connected to pin 7 at the
    Hercules 2000 side.
    Instead, you can also try to connect RTS (8) and CTS(7) at the Hercules side
    and connect 4 to 8 (DTR and CTS) at the computer end.
    There is no reason to connect pin 4 and 6 (DSR) unless your software checks
    The baudrate setting is of course also important.
  4. nm

    nm Guest

    thanks for the reply
    i'll check it out next time
  5. TomS

    TomS Guest

    You say you have a Hydra system. Do you also have a Performance processor?
    The pdf you are refering to is describing how to make a cable for your
    performance processor.

    About a year or two ago B&G made came out with a separate Hercules main
    Previous to that the difference between a Hydra and Hercules system was that
    a Hercules system
    had a Performance processor, Hydra did not.
    Today a Hercules system uses the Hercules main processor and can also have a
    Performace processor.
    The Hydra system has a Hydra main processor but can also have the same
    performace processor.

    If you do not have a Performance processor you need a NMEA FFD to be able to
    connect to NMEA
    equipment (also computers=RS232). The main processor (weather Hercules or
    Hydra) does not have NMEA nor RS232 connections.

    If you have a Performance processor:
    The performace processor has two NMEA outputs, two NMEA input one RS232
    input and one RS232 output. Total 3 inputs and 3 outputs. Only two inputs
    and outputs can be used at a time. This
    can be configured from a FFD (see B&G website, Hercules manual).
    The RS232 output is kind of unusual, this can be configured to 9600bps,
    7bits, 2stop bits etc, which might seem unusual. Also the port does not
    output data all the time and not in NMEA format. The data must be requested
    with special commands (all this described in the Hercules manual). Some
    programs speak this "strange language" such as Deckman for Windows, MaxSea,
    Raytech Navigator etc. The higher end navigation/tactical programs, not your
    ordinary Ozi, SeaClear or such.

    Hope that this made it a little bit clearer :)
  6. nm

    nm Guest

    the processor has no "performance" label on it, so i assume it is a normal
    processor (there's no RS232 port on it)
    i have a FFD display, but didn't find much info on how to connect nmea
    equipment to that ...
    thanks for the reply, now it's a BIG bit clearer
  7. As suggested by Wout B, connect together pins 4 & 6, and pins 7 & 8 on the
    RS232 plug. (You don't have to take the plug apart if its moulded, trace the
    wires and split the cable, then join the wires using a small nylon
    connector.) Use a 35mm film canister with holes dtrilled in the lid and
    bottom to conceal the joins (enclose the nylon connector within the

    If flow-control is needed, this will get round the problem.

    Remove 'nospam' to reply.
  8. TomS

    TomS Guest

    First the pdf you are refering to is for a cable to connect a performance
    The RTS and CTS signals on a performace processor can be shorted, no need
    for handshake.

    Now to your system:

    FFD's are availabel as regular NON-NMEA FFD's and NMEA FFD's.
    In order for the system to talk to the outside world you need a NMEA-FFD if
    you do not have
    a performance processor, wich you say you don't.
    The type of FFD should be printed on a label on the back. Or you can check
    the nuber of wires:

    Data on green
    Data on white
    Supply +12V on red
    Supply 0V on black
    Yellow (if connected via a pushbutton to 0V/black) acts as the page key

    NMEA FFD Has the above plus:
    NMEA IN A on brown
    NMEA IN B on blue
    NMEA OUT A on violet
    NMEA OUT B on black

    The NMEA FFD output can be read with a computerconfigured with 4800bps, 8
    data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control.

    Connect the FFD's brown wire to your 9pin serial ports pin3
    Connect the FFD's blue and black wire to your 9pin serial ports pin5
    Connect the FFD's violet wire to your 9pin serial ports pin2

    And the PC will be able to communicate with your B&G system.

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