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PMH

Help with Old B&G Wind Instrument

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I have an old wind speed and direction indicator on the top of the mast. I plan to keep the mast in the boat for some time (God willing). I have a bundle of wires (8 or 10) exiting the mast around the deck head. I have two instruments one for speed, one for direction each with a pos. and neg. pole.

Has anyone got a plan for finding which wire goes where? Is there a "black box" that I'm missing? Do I need to supply 12V power from the boat? Any help will be apppreciated.

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No luck unless you supply a LOT more detail on what you have. Pics help too.

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No luck unless you supply a LOT more detail on what you have. Pics help too.

 

 

I suppose if I had a lot more information I might not have needed to ask the question. I'm wondering if, for instance, I would find positive charge on the wind speed wire when the wind is blowing. I hoped perhaps that some one mght have an old B&G set up and be able to tell me that I'm missing the Frabney Hatch (or some goddam thing).

Cheers, P

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PMH put this on the "gear anarchy" forum...more of us techies look at that. But the info you've given means very little as it stands. Band G have used a big range of MHu's over the uears, some of which needed a processor others connectd to the display itself....so the easiest way to get things rolling is to tell us what the wind display itself looks like, size and any labeling.....Hydra, Hercules, H1000, Network ......these narrow down the number of MHU options that you may have. Most of the old MHU's can still be maintained, but others (particularly the C type) are well past their sell by date and if there's any fault with them are probably written off as a bad job at this stage rather pouring money and time into trying to get them wired up. PM me if you can with more info and I'll try and advise the best way forward...

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You might want to contact Jake.Marantz@worldnet.att. He's the top tech at B & G authorized repair facility Wheelhouse Marketing. He's patched together my 1981 vintage Heingist unit; Had a lightning strike 2 years ago and he was able to dig up a gray box to replace my fried unit, and a knotmeter tip to boot. Somtimes you can find parts in consignment shops, or maybe a plea to gear anarchy. 954 229 2460 (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) jf you want to call.

 

 

It would help if you have the gear in hand when you talk to him. You could send it to him for evaluation.

 

I suspect you will need the correct "black box" if you've got 10 wires coming down the mast. The pos and neg are probably for the lighting circuit.

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Do you have the model names or any other information about the "instruments"? I suspect that what you have are two analog displays (dial gauges that may or may not say Syncro on the faces) and those are not instruments. Failing that, you might have Network or even really, really old grey clunky instruments that have been out of production since the 80s or so.

 

We really need more information on what you have to give any serious help.

 

Here's the B&G product information identification guide - see pages 10-16 for wind instruments. Is what you have shown here?

 

 

Good luck!

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I have an old wind speed and direction indicator on the top of the mast. I plan to keep the mast in the boat for some time (God willing). I have a bundle of wires (8 or 10) exiting the mast around the deck head. I have two instruments one for speed, one for direction each with a pos. and neg. pole.

Has anyone got a plan for finding which wire goes where? Is there a "black box" that I'm missing? Do I need to supply 12V power from the boat? Any help will be apppreciated.

 

B&G has a lot of older instrument manuals in the support section of their web site. It's highly likely that you will find enough info there to answer your question.

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start by getting the model numbers of the instruments/sensors and then from that get the manuals, first and foremost. Without those in hand you are shooting blind

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I appreciate all the help. I will report back as soon as I can get the instruments next to the computer. The boat is a S&S aluminum sloop built in '71. It wouldn't suprise me if that is when the instruments were installed although the boat was raced well into the 80's with lots of money spent on it so ....well we will see.

cheers,

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I assume the Masthead unit is made of aluminum, with a metal windvane. If it is not, you should disregard this reply.

The 8-10 wires in the cable indicates that it is probably a Hengist/Horsa type A where the close hauled has a seperate potentiometer. This piece origins from the late 60's or early 70's.

There should be a small gray aluminim box approx. 5"x4"x2". At the bottom of the grey box there are 3 connectors: one goes to powersupply, one goes to the analogue instruments and one most likely goes to the mastfoot, and from there up to the masthead.

The connector on your old mast head unit will fit directly into one of the conectors on the grey box, so you can test it.

 

The wirefunction and colours are as follows:

 

Orange: +8 V supply from the gray box.

Black: 0 V reference

Violet: Windspeed, a reed relay shorts pulses to black wire over 100 Ohms . 1.04 Hz/kt

Red: Centre tap on the 360 degrees potentiometer signal level variates between 0-8 V in a 3-phase DC

Green: +120 deg. tap on the 360 degrees potentiometer signal level variates between 0-8 V in a 3-phase DC

Blue -120 deg. tap on the 360 degrees potentiometer signal level variates between 0-8 V in a 3-phase DC

Yellow: Centre tap on the 360 close hauled potentiometer signal level variates

 

NB! Whatever you do, DO NOT connect orange or black wires to any other colours not even for a check...!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Output from the gray box TO instruments:

Red to 360 deg analogue Wind Angle indicator

Green to 360 deg analogue Wind Angle indicator

Blue to 360 deg analogue Wind Angle indicator

Black to (-) on Close Hauled indicator

Orange to (+) on Close Hauled indicator

Yellow to (+) on analogue Windspeed indicator

Brown to (-) on analogue Windspeed indicator

 

The old mechanical MHUs worked on 8 volts, if i recall correctly.

And the mast cable you have, including the connector is compatible with a 213-type MHU. A threaded ring is needed if you want to use the old bracked with a new 213, though.

The 213 runs on 6.4 Volts so you need a power/signal converter if you want to keep the old system as it is.

 

 

Not sure this answered your question, but hopefully it straightened out some question marks anyway.

 

 

/LeCanard

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Hello LeCanard,

 

Apparently you have some hefty experience with these. My Hercules 190 system is not much more than a doorstop right now, but interested (for geeky academic purposes) in seeing if I can hook it up to a little Arduino. Based on the way that the channels are selected for the displays, I'm guessing that there has to be some kind of serial string output. (voltage unknown, format unknown) Is that correct? If so, do you have any information on it? Is it something that could be tapped into and converted into NMEA string?

 

Thanks!

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Hello LeCanard,

 

Apparently you have some hefty experience with these. My Hercules 190 system is not much more than a doorstop right now, but interested (for geeky academic purposes) in seeing if I can hook it up to a little Arduino. Based on the way that the channels are selected for the displays, I'm guessing that there has to be some kind of serial string output. (voltage unknown, format unknown) Is that correct? If so, do you have any information on it? Is it something that could be tapped into and converted into NMEA string?

 

Thanks!

 

Hi Heriberto,

Yes, I've had my share of working with B&G equipment. B&G's big problem is that the old stuff were of far higher quallity than anything else on this planet. So they cant really live up to the reputation.

The only way, to my knowledge, to get NMEA out from a Herc190/290/390 is to place a MDU, Master Display Unit, on the databus between the Computer Unit and the MFDs.

The 190 databus was probably invented some 20 years before NMEA was even the 0180.....

 

Maybe Richard or Sarah at Tinley's www.tinleyelectronics.com has a better answer for you.

 

/LeCanard

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I appreciate all the help. I will report back as soon as I can get the instruments next to the computer. The boat is a S&S aluminum sloop built in '71. It wouldn't suprise me if that is when the instruments were installed although the boat was raced well into the 80's with lots of money spent on it so ....well we will see.

cheers,

 

If they are the Network series instruments, the manuals (with wiring details) are still available on the B&G web site.

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Hello LeCanard,

 

Apparently you have some hefty experience with these. My Hercules 190 system is not much more than a doorstop right now, but interested (for geeky academic purposes) in seeing if I can hook it up to a little Arduino. Based on the way that the channels are selected for the displays, I'm guessing that there has to be some kind of serial string output. (voltage unknown, format unknown) Is that correct? If so, do you have any information on it? Is it something that could be tapped into and converted into NMEA string?

 

Thanks!

 

Hi Heriberto,

Yes, I've had my share of working with B&G equipment. B&G's big problem is that the old stuff were of far higher quallity than anything else on this planet. So they cant really live up to the reputation.

The only way, to my knowledge, to get NMEA out from a Herc190/290/390 is to place a MDU, Master Display Unit, on the databus between the Computer Unit and the MFDs.

The 190 databus was probably invented some 20 years before NMEA was even the 0180.....

 

Maybe Richard or Sarah at Tinley's www.tinleyelectronics.com has a better answer for you.

 

/LeCanard

 

Thanks LeCanard! We are going to totally geek out on this as a "fun" project. Otherwise the stuff is just a doorstop. We will figure out what the databus voltage is operating at and see if we can't read the serial data somehow. My guess is that the data comes out in a stream with each channel number used as a tag before the data. For the 20/20's (I'm imagining) you connect its switch to scroll through the tags it will read. Pretty simple.

 

I do realize this all predates any kind of marine standard for serial data streams. I think it even predates the IBM PC!

 

:D

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Hello LeCanard,

 

Apparently you have some hefty experience with these. My Hercules 190 system is not much more than a doorstop right now, but interested (for geeky academic purposes) in seeing if I can hook it up to a little Arduino. Based on the way that the channels are selected for the displays, I'm guessing that there has to be some kind of serial string output. (voltage unknown, format unknown) Is that correct? If so, do you have any information on it? Is it something that could be tapped into and converted into NMEA string?

 

Thanks!

 

Hi Heriberto,

Yes, I've had my share of working with B&G equipment. B&G's big problem is that the old stuff were of far higher quallity than anything else on this planet. So they cant really live up to the reputation.

The only way, to my knowledge, to get NMEA out from a Herc190/290/390 is to place a MDU, Master Display Unit, on the databus between the Computer Unit and the MFDs.

The 190 databus was probably invented some 20 years before NMEA was even the 0180.....

 

Maybe Richard or Sarah at Tinley's www.tinleyelectronics.com has a better answer for you.

 

/LeCanard

 

Thanks LeCanard! We are going to totally geek out on this as a "fun" project. Otherwise the stuff is just a doorstop. We will figure out what the databus voltage is operating at and see if we can't read the serial data somehow. My guess is that the data comes out in a stream with each channel number used as a tag before the data. For the 20/20's (I'm imagining) you connect its switch to scroll through the tags it will read. Pretty simple.

 

I do realize this all predates any kind of marine standard for serial data streams. I think it even predates the IBM PC!

 

biggrin.gif

 

The MFD databus voltage is 9 volts.

Have fun with it :-)

 

Red +9V

Green Databus

Blue 0V

 

 

LeCanard

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My boat is equipped with the Hengist wind instruments, in addition to the Harrier and H-something (echo). The Harrier and echo work fine, but I've had my fair share of ordeals with the Hengist. All the instruments have been with Tinleys several times, and the service has been good, but the instruments do not function properly. Many different engineers have dealt with the issue, and it seems as if the mast cable is ok, although they suspected it to be faulty at Tinleys. The junction box has been replaced once in addition to several troubleshooting episodes. I've spoke with many soulmates, who have ditched their old B&G's as well, because they simply can't get them functional anymore. The instruments are beautiful and it would be lovely to have the working, but I've had it. Today I just ordered new Simrad's, which seem ok on paper. Don't need any sophisticated analytics, as my sailing relies more on my own judgments than some computer program with calculated values for what to do at any given moment. Hence, the old B&G's would fit my thinking perfectly, but after so many trial and error's it's time to depart from them. Or would someone still try to convince me to give the old B&G's a chance (change the mast cable?)?

 

Cheers,

B.

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My boat is equipped with the Hengist wind instruments, in addition to the Harrier and H-something (echo). The Harrier and echo work fine, but I've had my fair share of ordeals with the Hengist. All the instruments have been with Tinleys several times, and the service has been good, but the instruments do not function properly. Many different engineers have dealt with the issue, and it seems as if the mast cable is ok, although they suspected it to be faulty at Tinleys. The junction box has been replaced once in addition to several troubleshooting episodes. I've spoke with many soulmates, who have ditched their old B&G's as well, because they simply can't get them functional anymore. The instruments are beautiful and it would be lovely to have the working, but I've had it. Today I just ordered new Simrad's, which seem ok on paper. Don't need any sophisticated analytics, as my sailing relies more on my own judgments than some computer program with calculated values for what to do at any given moment. Hence, the old B&G's would fit my thinking perfectly, but after so many trial and error's it's time to depart from them. Or would someone still try to convince me to give the old B&G's a chance (change the mast cable?)?

 

Cheers,

B.

 

hiya,

I very much doubt the there is something wrong with the mast cable unless it is damaged mechanically. You can easilly outrule the mastcable by simply plugging in the MHU directly into the gray box. (Horsa or Hornet).

When you have ther MHU connected directly into the control box, you can move the windvane and the windspeed rotor to determine which function isnt working.

The first thing that probably fails is the Windspeed. The analogue windspeed coil is quite weak, it takes only 200uA for full reading. The boatspeed and depth (Hecta) are 2 mA, so you cant convert any of those into a windsped instrument. There is a 'general shortage' of 200uA windspeed indicators in the world.

If you are lucky, the windspeed fault is in the MHU, and if it is not of the latest of the Hengists, it is easily fixed by replacing a reed relay in the anonometer. Listen for a little 'click' each turn when slowly spinning the rotor while holding the anonometer to your ear. The bearings in the MHU is replacable too. ( if corrotion hasn't ruined the assembly screws).

A little trick I used when I was 'active' in servicing B&G was to to take 6 resistors, say 4.7 kOhms, and solder them together in one end. Then, connect the resistornet to appropriate pins in the mastcable connector at the mast top. ( this takes either extremely good knowledge how the connector pins are configured, or a loose male connector with the resistors allready fitted). Of course the mastcable should be disconnected at the mastfoot! Then simply take an Ohm meter and messure the resistance between each cable at the mast foot. It should read approx 10 kOhms between each wire. (4k7 + 4k7 in series).

 

(Isnt it great to not be in to that part of the business anylonger, so I dont have to make people by new expensive crappy stuff?)

Late Sunday Night

 

 

LeCanard

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I have a full B&G network on my B41s5. The windspeed and direction unit is 496. The wind speed works but the direction is malfunctioning. I went up the stck and checked for any problems---the direction was true to my windex. Does anyone have a solution.

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Do you have the model names or any other information about the "instruments"? I suspect that what you have are two analog displays (dial gauges that may or may not say Syncro on the faces) and those are not instruments. Failing that, you might have Network or even really, really old grey clunky instruments that have been out of production since the 80s or so.

 

We really need more information on what you have to give any serious help.

 

Here's the B&G product information identification guide - see pages 10-16 for wind instruments. Is what you have shown here?

 

 

Good luck!

 

The system is a Network and the masthead instrumnet is a 496, which I beleive is a current one.

 

The system is a Network and the mashead wind is a current 496

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41s5,

 

The most common failure of which I'm aware is the MHU itself. The latest models have a replaceable board inside the MHU and its not too obnoxiously priced. Most serious B&G customers carry spares onboard - go figure.

 

Good luck!

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