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Uploading routes into B&G Plotters/MFD's


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I've installed a B&G Zeus3.  I've read through the manual and I saw no mention of how to upload a .gpx route file created on another device. With the w-fi capability and 2 card micro-SD slot, I'm certain there's a way.

Let's say I've created a route on OpenCPN on my laptop and the laptop wi-fi is enabled. How can I upload the route to the plotter?

Also- I read in the manual that dock-to-dock auto routing is disabled on units marketed to the US. Garmin plotters have this feature enabled.  At least, I think I've seen my friend use it on his Garmin plotter.  Is this still the case? Has anyone tried it?

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For the routes, I'm also trying to figure this out on the Vulcan. I'd prefer to create the waypoints and routes from home on my computer and then upload them to the plotter instead of manually inputting them on the plotter. I think there is a way to do it through the Micro SD card and saving them into the folder structure, but I haven't quite figured it out.

For the auto routing, they may have added that back in as part of an update. Check the B&G website for software updates and associated manual updates. They have added some functionality across the plotter lineup, and put out addenda to the manuals that may help with some of this. At least they have been for the Vulcan series plotters.

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The video is a bit out of date though. For race courses, they have also added in the ability to designate the rounding by adding s & p designations to each mark. Either as part of the bulk input, or from within the course screen.  

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4 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

The video is a bit out of date though. For race courses, they have also added in the ability to designate the rounding by adding s & p designations to each mark. Either as part of the bulk input, or from within the course screen.  

right, to specify port or starboard in bulk you follow the mark with .p or .s and then the comma. As long as your firmware is up to date.

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I have a .gpx file with locations of all the unlit fish traps on the bay.  I desperately want to import that file. 

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Ok,  I got the plotter talking to the internet through my phone.  Updated the firmware and also uploaded my fish trap location file and several routes. 

"Chewie,  take the professor in back and plug him into the hyperdrive. "

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New questions- WTF is up with the QR code reading software in the B&G app?  I have a high quality, expensive smartphone with an excellent camera and the app absolutely will not validate the QR code. I had enter all the data manually. Not a problem but the systems are geared to prefer that you use the QR code.

I've noticed that the plotter can connect with other devices via Bluetooth.  Aside from phones, what other devices have you guys connected to?

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Honestly, I don't think I have ever used a QR code for anything. I thought those had pretty much came and went, but I haven't really been paying attention. What does the code do in this case?

I also haven't bothered to use the bluetooth link to other devices yet. So not much help there. My understanding is phones mimic the display but tablets will allow you to control it. Now that we've gotten the kids ipads, I can co-opt one of the old android tablets to play with that feature. Thanks for reminding me. 

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18 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

Honestly, I don't think I have ever used a QR code for anything. I thought those had pretty much came and went, but I haven't really been paying attention. What does the code do in this case?

I also haven't bothered to use the bluetooth link to other devices yet. So not much help there. My understanding is phones mimic the display but tablets will allow you to control it. Now that we've gotten the kids ipads, I can co-opt one of the old android tablets to play with that feature. Thanks for reminding me. 

Scanning the code is supposed to automatically set up the wireless link between the plotter and your phone or tablet. DJI drones does the same thing. In both cases, there are fall back methods of manually inputting the SSID and passwords to enable the link if the QR code fails.

I tried to download weather from Predict Wind but I suspect my "free" account lacks the necessary privileges for this. I need a subscription but the question is- which one?  Neither B&G nor Predict Wind state what level of subscription is required.  I have a bad feeling that it's the Predict Wind "Standard" subscription which costs $49.99/month because both B&G and Predict Wind mention "weather routing" and "departure planning."  If you buy a 3-month bundle, it's $99.

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42 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Scanning the code is supposed to automatically set up the wireless link between the plotter and your phone or tablet. DJI drones does the same thing. In both cases, there are fall back methods of manually inputting the SSID and passwords to enable the link if the QR code fails.

I tried to download weather from Predict Wind but I suspect my "free" account lacks the necessary privileges for this. I need a subscription but the question is- which one?  Neither B&G nor Predict Wind state what level of subscription is required.  I have a bad feeling that it's the Predict Wind "Standard" subscription which costs $49.99/month because both B&G and Predict Wind mention "weather routing" and "departure planning."  If you buy a 3-month bundle, it's $99.

I'm pretty sure you need to have at least the standard predictwind package for routing. That also means you have to set up your polars on the predictwind site - it won't use the table that you have probably set up on your zeus. I've used it a lot on my zeus 2. I use my phone as a hotspot, and for long routes it can take a while to get the data. I haven't found displaying the gribs particularly useful, maybe if I had the 12" screen instead of the 9, but the routing is definitely useful and if we ever get to race this year, we'll be using it again.

 

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I copy a gpx file on my Mac to a MicroSD card, then insert it in one of the slots on the Zeus. Then, on the Zeus select the card (in the Files menu item) and import the file. It would be a lot handier if this could be done wirelessly -- I suspect it can via the Embark app.

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On 6/9/2020 at 9:47 AM, Ajax said:

Scanning the code is supposed to automatically set up the wireless link between the plotter and your phone or tablet. DJI drones does the same thing. In both cases, there are fall back methods of manually inputting the SSID and passwords to enable the link if the QR code fails.

So I grabbed the old android tablet and loaded the go free app on to it. Took it to the boat and tried connecting it. I got to the screen with the QR code and then realized that the tablet didn't have a camera on it... So, I just checked available wireless networks and it let me select the one put out by the Vulcan, confirmed the connection on the Vulcan and it was connected. Seemed pretty easy that way, not sure the QR code would have made it that much simpler.  

Uploaded a bunch of race marks for the local club to the plotter via a gpx file and started to build some of the race courses. Tedious but not too bad. Much easier via the tablet in the shade on the settee than in the cockpit sun or standing below in the companionway (plotter is on a ram mount). Also the tablet has a slightly larger screen than the Vulcan I have. 

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I haven't tried it yet but in the 5 June 2020 - V20.0 Zeus3 software release they describe the ability to:

Quote

6. Synchronise Data

With the release of the B&G Mobile App, the C-Map Embark synchronisation option has been renamed to “Synchronize my data”.

All MFDs continue to synchronise Waypoints, Routes and Tracks with the C-Map Embark passage planner app available on iOS and Android, along with the new B&G Mobile App.

I previously submitted a S/W request to B&G asking that they make the MicroSD card available as a mappable drive (Windows) and provide FTP access over WiFi and Ethernet.

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I still have not "sailed" with the new plotter. I'm pecking away at it on the dock like a woodpecker going after bugs in the bark of a tree.

Observation:  When using "GOTO cursor" I notice that the plotter drops a small white circle with a red border as my GOTO point.  It doesn't draw a line from the boat to the GOTO point? Really? Is that a feature that I need to toggle on at some point?  Also, there's no obvious "cancel" of the GOTO cursor function. How do I quickly kill it if I don't need it?

I never thought I'd say this but some features in my old C80 were more intuitive.

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When I goto cursor on the Zeus 3 for real there is a vector drawn.

When in the plotter window hit Menu, Navigate, down at the bottom is red Cancel button.

I too had a Raymarine e125 and at first thought I liked the interface better, it's just what you are used to. 

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On 6/19/2020 at 5:47 PM, WHK said:

When I goto cursor on the Zeus 3 for real there is a vector drawn.

When in the plotter window hit Menu, Navigate, down at the bottom is red Cancel button.

I too had a Raymarine e125 and at first thought I liked the interface better, it's just what you are used to. 

I got off the dock and sailed with my Zeus 3 for the first time, yesterday.

Again, I got no vector when doing a "goto cursor."  I didn't see a red cancel button either.  I've watched some B&G tutorials but they were useless, basically just fancy ads. Can you snap a photo of your screen at that menu and show me the vector line?

Also, are you on the latest update? Sometimes they break stuff in the upgrades.

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1 minute ago, Ajax said:

Can you snap a photo of your screen at that menu and show me the vector line?

Also, are you on the latest update? Sometimes they break stuff in the upgrades.

Ajax - I'll snap pics next time at the boat.  I have the Zeus 3 V20 release from 4 June.

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1 minute ago, WHK said:

Ajax - I'll snap pics next time at the boat.  I have the Zeus 3 V20 release from 4 June.

Oh- do you have other B&G or NMEA 2000 sensors talking to the Zeus?

Perhaps I'm not getting a vector because I'm missing a sensor input such as a compass module or something? I have nothing but the Zeus.

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Yes! A full B&G H5000 suite with Precision 9 Compass, Analog paddlewheel to H5000 Hercules Processor, Nexus gWind Race via GND-10 for NMEA 2000 wind.

1 minute ago, Ajax said:

Oh- do you have other B&G or NMEA 2000 sensors talking to the Zeus?

Perhaps I'm not getting a vector because I'm missing a sensor input such as a compass module or something? I have nothing but the Zeus.

 

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On 6/22/2020 at 7:45 AM, Ajax said:

@WHKWell, that could be it.  I find it odd that a standalone Raymarine C80 can give me a vector with no other inputs but a B&G can't.

I don't think you need anything but the chart plotter to see the vector, I just think you're missing a setting either in the chart or boat setup.

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35 minutes ago, ryley said:

I don't think you need anything but the chart plotter to see the vector, I just think you're missing a setting either in the chart or boat setup.

Hopefully it's that simple.

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I'm going to be at my boat tomorrow I think, and I can try it on my zeus 2 with no other instruments on. 

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@WHK  Man...WTF?  I want a vector line, too!

Tutorial videos were useless. Guess I'll have to dig through the manuals. Maybe I can find it quickly with a keyword search.

I have a race this weekend so I'll be down at the boat this evening, plugging in the race course (routes) and trying to input my polars. @Slick470 showed me how to get to the polars screens so that shouldn't be a problem.

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I'm going to keep referencing the Vulcan manual because I'm too lazy to download the Zeus one and "really" help you out, but in the Vulcan, there are settings under Charts for extension lines and laylines. My guess is you don't have the right boxes checked. It says under the extension lines that if no options are turned on for your vessel then no extension lines are shown for your vessel. Relevant sections posted below:

image.thumb.png.023637e3a1118956575e3ecc307ca149.png

image.png.fdcd51cb50699ffcc049c705577a3a2a.png

image.thumb.png.b6a7085b175bd649ad71f8132bff03a7.png

image.png.c004c2d0d21d48de366768e6ece9f585.png

image.thumb.png.b3c704314a469e910811d5df2c6b4ca0.png

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@Slick470 As near as I can tell, the big differences between the Vulcan and the Zeus is that the Zeus has actual buttons and knobs for really bad offshore sailing and a bit of extra race software. Your findings in the manual work just fine for me.

So, to get the vector in "Goto Cursor" I need to select Extension Lines and COG. Damn, I just saw that in the menus today. To me, "Extension lines" aren't vector lines, they are the SOA (speed of advance) line that grows or shrinks as you accelerate and decelerate.  Whatevs, it looks like you found it, so thanks!

Today I was successful in creating routes for Saturday's race *on* the plotter rather than uploading them from an SD card.  I created the starting line. I entered my polars table. Not sure about that one...garbage in=garbage out.

Oh- You do NOT need any sort of paid subscription to WindPredict to download weather. Turns out I had bungled my username. I finally sorted that out and successfully downloaded GRIBS and put them on the chart, and animated the wind barbs and other fun stuff.

I have successfully sync'd data between the Zeus and my phone via B&G's cloud.

The one big thing I can't seem to do, is connect the phone to the plotter as a live repeater.  In the app, I click My Devices>Add your First Device>Chartplotter>Add.

I get all the way to "I see a QR code."  I click this and hover over the QR code on the plotter screen. The QR code reader *immediately* fails with the message "unable to validate QR code. contact tech support."  Yes, I have successfully added the plotter Wi-Fi hotspot network name and password. The plotter and phone are connected but data isn't being repeated on the app. The phone knows the plotter is there, but the app doesn't know the plotter is there. I simply cannot add it in the app.

B&G tech support has been very slow and unhelpful.

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5 minutes ago, Ajax said:

...

B&G tech support has been very slow and unhelpful.

Don't get me started.  I have provided numerous suggestions for bug fixes and improvements on Displays, H5000 and Zeus3 Micro SD card access.  When I have received responses, they aren't meaningful.  If I had access to the source code, I'd change it myself! That being said - the B&G stuff is some of the better kit out there.

Good luck with the races now you can enter stuff.  I use Expedition for gribs and routing so have never tried the Predict Wind stuff on the Zeus.  The NOAA gribs are free, easy to access in Expedition and good enough for my needs.

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@Ajax So my ancient android tablet doesn't even have a forward facing camera so I don't use the qr code. Next time I'm at the boat I'll pay more attention to how I got it to connect, but I think I just followed the prompts on the Vulcan screen and the app. I'm not sure if there are different apps, but I'm using the Navico Go Free Link app. 

Once I was connected on the tablet, I needed to confirm the connection on the Vulcan and once there I selected the device in the app and it mirrored the screen and I could then manipulate the plotter from the tablet. 

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31 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

@Ajax So my ancient android tablet doesn't even have a forward facing camera so I don't use the qr code. Next time I'm at the boat I'll pay more attention to how I got it to connect, but I think I just followed the prompts on the Vulcan screen and the app. I'm not sure if there are different apps, but I'm using the Navico Go Free Link app. 

Once I was connected on the tablet, I needed to confirm the connection on the Vulcan and once there I selected the device in the app and it mirrored the screen and I could then manipulate the plotter from the tablet. 

Ahhh. Ok,  I'll try GoFree. 

When you get a chance,  download the B&G app and let me know if you can get it to work. 

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35 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Ahhh. Ok,  I'll try GoFree. 

When you get a chance,  download the B&G app and let me know if you can get it to work. 

So I looked in the app store. It looks like the B&G app is a companion app to pre-plan and build routes and waypoints using the free CMap charts. The Go Free app is the link to mirror the plotters on your device. Probably a good reason to keep them separate,  but I also don't see why they couldn't be combined. I'll download the B&G app to the tablet to keep adding in the courses from the club course book.

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21 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

... I'll download the B&G app to the tablet to keep adding in the courses from the club course book.

FYI - When I installed the previous e125 Raymarine chart plotter I used OpenCPN to do all the route, waypoint and race course planning.  These were exported as GPX files and saved on the MicroSD card.  When I changed over to all B&G stuff with the Zeus3, I continued to use OpenCPN and eventually purchased Expedition.  Any new planning is now done in Expedition.  I find the PC / Mouse much easier to preplan with rather than on a tablet or the chart plotter. You may want to consider using OpenCPN as it is free and pretty versitile planning tool.  I've got the GoFree app available on a Android tablet connected to the Zeus3 via WiFi that the Tactican can use on the rail when desired. 

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@WHK  I totally agree that route creation is far easier on a laptop running some sort of navigation software. I also use OpenCPN.  That's how I created and uploaded a batch of my most commonly used routes.

Saturday's race is just a 15nm triangle and temporary as well, so it was no hassle to add a route on the screen. A long route, especially in narrow areas with lots of way points would be torture to input manually.

Regarding which app to use with these plotters:

I'm aware that B&G is a subsidiary of Navico but nowhere in any documentation that I read did it say "Use Navico GoFree with your B&G product."  The documentation only refers to a "Link App." It seemed only common sense to me to use...a B&G app with a B&G plotter. Duh.  The B&G app is nearly identical to the plotter controls.

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Ok, next task:

Pipe AIS data from my Standard Horizon GX2200 radio to the plotter.

- The GX2200 is only NMEA 0183. It will output AIS data at 38400bps. It will output DSC information at 4800 but I'm not really looking for DSC info.
- The Zeus 3 is NMEA 2000.

I think I need these 2 pieces, a Simnet 0138 to 2000 converter and a compatible cable that will plug into the Zeus:

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?na ... d=16153925
and:
https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?na ... =16153928#

B&G and Simrad are child companies of Navico, if I understand correctly. Does that mean that these parts are compatible with the Zeus?
Also, do I need some sort of terminator on the unused plug of the Simnet AT10 converter?

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@Ajax No need to buy anything else.  There is a NMEA 0183 port available on the Zeus 3.  Check the install manual for the wiring.  It can be configured for 38.4Kbaud on the setup menu. 

If you did use a 0183 to N2K convertor, I've used Actisense and Yacht Devices NMEA 0183 Gateway. Having used both, I now prefer the Yacht Devices products as they are less expensive, smaller, have built in connectors and are easier to configure and customize.

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3 minutes ago, WHK said:

@Ajax No need to buy anything else.  There is a NMEA 0183 port available on the Zeus 3.  Check the install manual for the wiring.  It can be configured for 38.4Kbaud on the setup menu. 

If you did use a 0183 to N2K convertor, I've used Actisense and Yacht Devices NMEA 0183 Gateway. Having used both, I now prefer the Yacht Devices products as they are less expensive, smaller, have built in connectors and are easier to configure and customize.

Ok, I'm taking the manual way too literally. Although I saw the NMEA 0183 port, it also said "Video" so I mistook that for a video-only port. I've never seen a data/video combination like that before.

This looks like what I need:

https://www.amazon.com/Simrad-NSE-Video-Data-Cable/dp/B00CZV223U/ref=pd_sbs_23_1/139-8512874-2353737?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00CZV223U&pd_rd_r=49090fbc-ae29-437b-a194-37658f7ebc31&pd_rd_w=j4ub9&pd_rd_wg=BgWy1&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=N21308F9J45WN90FNYDE&psc=1&refRID=N21308F9J45WN90FNYDE

I take it that I simply ignore those two RCA video plugs and connect the small wires to my VHF?

I was already sending AIS data from the VHF to the old Raymarine C80, so I know which wires to grab on the back of the VHF. I should tie those wires to RX A and RX B (orange and green) on the new cable, according to Pages 19 & 20 on the installation manual.

The VHF is the "talker" and the plotter is the "listener."

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8 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Ok, I'm taking the manual way too literally. Although I saw the NMEA 0183 port, it also said "Video" so I mistook that for a video-only port. I've never seen a data/video combination like that before.

 

you nailed it!

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11 hours ago, WHK said:

FYI - When I installed the previous e125 Raymarine chart plotter I used OpenCPN to do all the route, waypoint and race course planning.  These were exported as GPX files and saved on the MicroSD card.  When I changed over to all B&G stuff with the Zeus3, I continued to use OpenCPN and eventually purchased Expedition.  Any new planning is now done in Expedition.  I find the PC / Mouse much easier to preplan with rather than on a tablet or the chart plotter. You may want to consider using OpenCPN as it is free and pretty versitile planning tool.  I've got the GoFree app available on a Android tablet connected to the Zeus3 via WiFi that the Tactican can use on the rail when desired. 

Thanks. I have and occasionally use OpenCPN on my computer. I used it to initially build a gpx file with all of the local race marks that I uploaded on to the plotter. I'm mainly playing with the route creation on the plotter and/or app so that I know what to do when I need to do it on the fly. I find the more I play with the settings, the better understanding I have of it and less likely I'll forget how to use it later. 

I learned Expedition on the boat I race on and got pretty spoiled by having a laptop at the chart table to do all the routing and boat configuration on. My boat and setup is much less fancy.

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I really am starting to think that I am missing a sensor input in order to get the "Goto cursor" vector line. I turned everything on in the Chart Settings menus. Either that, or it won't draw the line until the boat is in motion.

Back to the issue of repeating the plotter on my phone:

I downloaded the GoFree Link app. The app gave me a warning stating that my phone's OS was too *new* to run the app properly. When I attempted to connect, the app did not see my plotter even though they were connected via Wi-Fi.  The app gave me the option to enter the plotter's IP address manually. When I plugged that in, I got the "pinwheel of death" from the app.

Seriously, either GoFree Link or the B&G app should work with this plotter. Each app fails for a different reason. I've tried *everything* to get that God damned QR code reader in the B&G app to work.

My next step, is to take my older Samsung Tab E down to the boat and try to connect that as a repeater. @Slick470 you mentioned that you had success with an older Android tablet so maybe I will, too.

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@Ajax - The screen I posted above was taken with the boat tied at the dock, so no motion is required for the goto vector.  I will go to the boat today and remove all inputs and see what happens with just the internal gps and let you know.

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1 minute ago, WHK said:

@Ajax - The screen I posted above was taken with the boat tied at the dock, so no motion is required for the goto vector.  I will go to the boat today and remove all inputs and see what happens with just the internal gps and let you know.

Cheeze and Rice, I must be doing something wrong. I'll RTFM again.

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@Ajax I think I may have gotten it to work last year or the year before with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. I think I only did it once as a test but when I cleaned up my phone a while back I uninstalled the app. I vaguely remember that being a different app altogether but could be remembering it wrong.

As far as my older tablet it's a 2012 Asus Nexus 7 that has been a "kid" tablet for the past 5 years or so. When we bought them new ipads at the beginning of the lock down, I co-oped it for my own purposes. With a fresh reset and pretty much only the Navico app on it, it does pretty well. I still need to go through it and turn off all the pre-installed crap though.  

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18 minutes ago, ryley said:

@Ajax,

I checked my zeus 2 with no inputs and definitely got a vector to a dropped waypoint.

@!#$!.  damnit.  I have been over the manual and I'm not finding where I've screwed up a setting.

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25 minutes ago, Ajax said:

@!#$!.  damnit.  I have been over the manual and I'm not finding where I've screwed up a setting.

Works fine with my Zeus3 and inputs not connected (just internal Zeus gps).

For settings under the Laylines options I have the following checked: Boat, Always Show Boat Laylines, Mark, Tidal Flow Correction

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5 minutes ago, WHK said:

Works fine with my Zeus3 and inputs not connected (just internal Zeus gps).

For settings under the Laylines options I have the following checked: Boat, Always Show Boat Laylines, Mark, Tidal Flow Correction

Awesome, I'll check those out.  I'm really embarrassed that this plotter has kicked my ass a few times.

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48 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I'm really embarrassed that this plotter has kicked my ass a few times.

don't be. b&g seem to have gone out of their way to hide a few things

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2 minutes ago, ryley said:

don't be. b&g seem to have gone out of their way to hide a few things

Some dumb shit I've seen includes defaulting all routes to "visible" so that you get a massive tangle of spaghetti on the plotter when you upload a dozen routes from a micro SD card. I had to tap each route, unselect "visible" and hit "save" individually.

The racing software aspects intrigue me though. I'll have to fight to avoid "Nintendo-ing" my race tomorrow and keep my head out of the boat.

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6 hours ago, WHK said:

Works fine with my Zeus3 and inputs not connected (just internal Zeus gps).

For settings under the Laylines options I have the following checked: Boat, Always Show Boat Laylines, Mark, Tidal Flow Correction

Just checked.  I'm configured identically. 

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29 minutes ago, soundsail said:

Ajax, not sure if you have tried this.  Under Settings/Chart / Course Highway-check the box- to show a line to the waypoint.

This might solve your problem.

 

You're a God damned genius. 

In my old Garmin GPS, Highway actually converted the view into a highway with XTE information.  That's why I didn't try that. 

Thanks heaps!

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33 minutes ago, soundsail said:

Ha, They change the definitions just to make our lives more interesting.  Glad I could help.

 

It was a big help because I discovered that I had no vector lines to anywhere, not just "Goto Cursor."  Didn't matter if I dropped a pin on the chart, selected a previously programmed waypoint, or activated a route. This fixed everything.

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Here is a cheat sheet for anyone who may be dealing with a Zeus 3 plotter for the first time.  Sorry about the formatting, it was a cut and paste.

B&G Zeus3 MFD January 2020

Settings-

Depending on the settings, changes may only show on the MFD that they are changed on.  Other MFD’s may need to have the settings changed individually.

To open Settings- from Home screen, press wheel icon on the UL corner of screen.

To open Home screen, press hard or soft button that shows 3x3 squares icon.

Rotate the dial on UR to change selection, use selector knob below to move between lists.  Press rotating dial to select item.  When using the touchscreen, it is easy to inadvertently change the settings.  Use the hard buttons instead.

Time format  - System-Time-set Time Format to 12 hr.

Range rings  -Chart/ Range  rings- check box to show range rings.  The distance next to the range rings icon on the display is the radius of the circle.

Course highway -Chart/Course Highway-Check box to show a line to a GoTo Waypoint

Show Waypoints, Routes and Tracks -Chart- At bottom of chart list, waypoints, routes and tracks should be checked so they will show on the chart.

Extension line from the boat forward, showing the vessels course  -Chart/Extension lines-This vessel-check the Heading box

Windward port and starboard laylines-red and green, shown at vessel position  -Chart/Laylines-Check or uncheck, “Always show boat laylines”, as desired.

When GoTo to a waypoint is created, at the destination the software creates  port and starboard laylines as if the destination were a weather mark, regardless of if its upwind or downwind of the vessels starting position.  Short  dotted red and green lines are created. If under Settings/Laylines, the Mark check box is checked, the port and starboard lines will be solid red and green and longer length.

Units-Distance small-should be feet

Depth on chart and depth sounder

Units-Depth-change to feet, changes the chart depth and the depth sounder depth to feet. This setting does not change the range rings units.

Heading-Magnetic

Temperature-C or F

Chart Functions-

Find ship-On lower right of Chart screen, press Clear Cursor

Create a New waypoint at a location- Tap screen at desired location, on the upper right of the screen, tap 3 horizontal bars icon, tap New, New Waypoint, rename and Save.

To Go To a location-Chart view- tap and hold at desired GoTo location

Box with GoTo will open, press GoTo Cursor.  To remove dialogue box-Tap screen or wait

To cancel or reset GoTo- Press 3 bars icon at top to open box, press Navigation, and red Cancel box.

Create New Waypoint at vessel-Go to Home screen, Waypoints, New, New  waypoint at vessel.  Rename and Save.

Measure distance-Tap the 3 horizontal bars icon and Measure, then drag the blue round marker to the desired location to measure distance from the boat.

To measure other distances, the black round marker can also be dragged to another location.

The icons can be hopscotched over each other for longer distances around obstructs.

North up, Heading up, Course up- Tap the 3 horizontal bars icon on the UR of the Chart -Chart options-Orientation 

Alarms

Settings-Alarms-Settings-Autopilot(at end of list)-Autopilot is grayed out, press the round dial button to access the list of autopilot alarm choices.  Unchecked No active autopilot control unit

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Ok,  AIS is working! Glad to have that back. 

I've successfully connected the plotter to my phone... sort of.  More on that,  later. 

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just remember your phone can only repeat the plotter. if you want to control it, you need a tablet.

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43 minutes ago, ryley said:

just remember your phone can only repeat the plotter. if you want to control it, you need a tablet.

I'm not sure I've got the repeating part down yet. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 6:18 PM, ryley said:

don't be. b&g seem to have gone out of their way to hide a few things

B&G have an entire department dedicated to hiding stuff and those kids are good. They get promoted into there if they show enough promise in the writing really confusing manuals team.

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Ok, here's where I stand on mirroring the plotter on mobile devices-

Per the B&G tech, I restored the Registration to "default."  This caused the QR code in the "Registration" menu to re-appear. The B&G mobile app on my phone successfully scanned the QR code and the plotter was added as a "Managed Device"  in the app on my phone.

Even though there are other QR codes displayed by the plotter in Wi-Fi and Network menus, those are NOT the QR codes you're looking for, to connect this app. The B&G Mobile app is a planning and routing app. It does NOT mirror the plotter output on your phone or tablet. You need the Go Free "Link" app to do the mirroring.

GoFree Link has not been updated in *years*.  As a result, it does not play well with many Android devices. My Samsung S9+ gave a warning that says "The OS may be too new to work properly with this app."   The app *should* see the plotter right away, if the Wi-Fi is connected, but it doesn't.  There is a provision to add the IP address of the plotter manually. When I do this, I get the "pinwheel of death" and it never finishes connecting.

In some of the customer comments on the Google app store, there are some tips and workarounds I can try. If these fail, I'm going to try again, using my wife's iPad Air.

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The screen mirroring is handy if you have someone on the rail who can use it to help navigate and tactical stuff.  The first time I set it up I made the mistake of allowing the app to be in the "control the screen mode" - not recommended!  I couldn't tell what happened to my chart plotter when I went to look at it.  After that I setup a "Tactician Display" with chart data and number boxes for the tactician to view and removed remote access so it was view only.

I put in a software request to B&G to provide screen mirroring to Windows devices.  I think it went to the dead letter office after the automated "thanks for your submission" email. Subsequently my laptop at the Nav station now runs Expedition and OpenCPN connected to the instruments.  This was originally connected to the N2K bus using an Actisense converter, but now has an Ethernet connection to the Zeus3 and H5000 processor to grab all the data. You can also get a NMEA0183 data stream over WiFi.

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On 6/26/2020 at 1:23 PM, Ajax said:

The racing software aspects intrigue me though. I'll have to fight to avoid "Nintendo-ing" my race tomorrow and keep my head out of the boat.

I think that the only thing that checking "race" on the course settings (same page that has the show / hide option) is it provides an option to show what direction to pass a mark.

I found it handy for weeknight races that use fixed marks and create courses on the fly to do the following:

  • Create the waypoints in advance using a consistent format such as Mark C being a special race mark is JYCC-SRM, Mark V being Green Can 11 is JYCV-GC11, Mark 13 being RG Can EP is JYC13-RG-EP, etc.  Every mark in the series is prefixed with JYC followed by the race mark designation. Give each mark the same symbol which will allow you to easily export and import as a group so you may save the race waypoints on an SD card for later use if desired.
  • This allows a race course to be easily entered in the chart plotter when it is announced.  Use the "Bulk insert" method from the Zeus manual (access the Waypoints using the 9 dot button, then select Routes, Bulk Insert)
  • Enter each mark in the following format (assume the race course is  start JYCC-SRM start to stbd, JYCV-GC11 to port, JYC13-RG-EP to stbd, JYCC-SRM finish to port):
    CC.P,CV.P,C13.S,CC.P <ENTER>
    Note that the .P and .S are optional and indicate which side the mark is passed on.  There is no need to enter the entire mark string as when bulk insert is used it will look for the string.  Thus if you don't have any other marks with the same substring, it will find the correct mark - JYCC and CC are both interpreted the same.
  • Once the course is entered make it active 
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4 minutes ago, WHK said:

I think that the only thing that checking "race" on the course settings (same page that has the show / hide option) is it provides an option to show what direction to pass a mark.

I found it handy for weeknight races that use fixed marks and create courses on the fly to do the following:

  • Create the waypoints in advance using a consistent format such as Mark C being a special race mark is JYCC-SRM, Mark V being Green Can 11 is JYCV-GC11, Mark 13 being RG Can EP is JYC13-RG-EP, etc.  Every mark in the series is prefixed with JYC followed by the race mark designation. Give each mark the same symbol which will allow you to easily export and import as a group so you may save the race waypoints on an SD card for later use if desired.
  • This allows a race course to be easily entered in the chart plotter when it is announced.  Use the "Bulk insert" method from the Zeus manual (access the Waypoints using the 9 dot button, then select Routes, Bulk Insert)
  • Enter each mark in the following format (assume the race course is  start JYCC-SRM start to stbd, JYCV-GC11 to port, JYC13-RG-EP to stbd, JYCC-SRM finish to port):
    CC.P,CV.P,C13.S,CC.P <ENTER>
    Note that the .P and .S are optional and indicate which side the mark is passed on.  There is no need to enter the entire mark string as when bulk insert is used it will look for the string.  Thus if you don't have any other marks with the same substring, it will find the correct mark - JYCC and CC are both interpreted the same.
  • Once the course is entered make it active 

Do you need wind instruments to get the laylines to show up?

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11 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Do you need wind instruments to get the laylines to show up?

To get meaningful data I would say yes, but the answer is no.  You should be able to select other options in the Zeus to show the laylines.  If you don't have a method to handle the local currents (delta between GPS sensors and boat sensors speed/heading) you have an error.  Wind shifts are not detected either.  I've got a Hercules processor and it uses polars for my sail plan along with all the sensor inputs.  The port and stbd laylines are shown as cones.  Statistically if the data isn't varying (e.g. wind data is consistent) the cone will be narrower meaning a high probability the layline is good.  Wide cones are a crap shoot because if the wind continues to change, you may over or under shoot the mark.

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1 minute ago, WHK said:

To get meaningful data I would say yes, but the answer is no.  You should be able to select other options in the Zeus to show the laylines.  If you don't have a method to handle the local currents (delta between GPS sensors and boat sensors speed/heading) you have an error.  Wind shifts are not detected either.  I've go a Hercules processor and it uses polars for my sail plan along with all the sensor inputs.  The port and stbd laylines are shown as cones.  Statistically if the data isn't varying (e.g. wind data is consistent) the cone will be narrower meaning a high probability the layline is good.  Wide cones are a crap shoot because if the wind continues to change, you may over or under shoot the mark.

Gotcha.

On Saturday's race, I had the "current arrows" displayed, which I believe are tied to the local tide predictions which the plotter downloads and/or predicts. The Chesapeake doesn't have raging currents but I found these arrows to be very useful and found that they correlated with my expected tacking angles very well.

For example, my boat won't make 90 degree tacks in light air. I noticed an ebb current arrow on the plotter. I suspected that the ebbing current would push me south while on a port tack against a SW breeze, improving the angle I'd sail to the next mark. This turned out to be correct, which was pretty exciting for me.

Like I said, our current is normally pretty light so I have a very bad habit of discounting it entirely when I race. I won't make that mistake again.

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Yes - those are based on the current models included in the Zeus.  They are not used in any Zeus calculations and are for display only.  They are very helpful but you'll find local knowledge of reverse eddys, choke points and current shadows  from land forms and islands.  Racing on the Chesapeake with its light air can make a big difference if you pay attention to the current and use it to your advantage.

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Let's discuss mirroring the plotter in more detail.

@WHK  What are you using as a repeater? Apple or Android? What type of platform?

When you first opened the Go Free Link app, did it find your plotter immediately or did you have to do any manual configuration?

My Samsung Tab E will not even run the app, so that's out. My Galaxy 9+ gave the "OS may be too new to run this app" warning but it does run the app. The app does not see the plotter, but the wi-fi is connected. I see the Zeus' SSID and I have manually entered the password. My phone says I'm connected to a wi-fi network "without internet" which makes total sense.  The plotter can only connect to the internet if I configure my phone as a wi-fi mobile hot spot. The plotter then connects to the internet via my mobile's cell data plan.

So really what's happening here, is the plotter and the phone take turns being the "hot spot."  For internet connectivity, the phone is the hot spot. For "repeating" through the Link app, the plotter is the hot spot and my phone connects to that.

The Link app says "Don't see your device? Enter it manually" and there is a dialogue where I can input the plotter's wi-fi hot spot IP address. The Link app directs me to obtain the IP address by hitting Settings>Network>Settings  *NOT* Settings>Wi-Fi.  I have indeed, found an IP address in that area.  When I input that IP address, I just get a spinning arrow and the app never completes the connection.

I've resorted to scrounging through Youtube videos, most of which are out of date and don't actually refer to the Zeus 3 but I did find an interesting video where a guy connected a Zeus 2 to a cheapy Android tablet.  To my surprise, he obtained the plotter hot spot IP address by going to Settings>Network>NMEA 0183>Ethernet.

 

The gent in the video is using an external Wi-Fi hot spot that is physically cabled to his Zeus 2, so I don't think going into the NMEA0183 menu is going to yield a useful IP address but I can check this afternoon.

The user comments in Google Play for the Link app are horrible. Everyone hates it. I saw a comment that specifically stated that plotter software version 20 (which I just upgraded to) broke the app for that person.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

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9 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Let's discuss mirroring the plotter in more detail.

...

Anyway, let me know what you think.

I've got an older Android tablet in a clear dry bag that a crew member had.  It is at least 5 years old - one that Verizon offered but it doesn't have the cellular subscription activated so use it WiFi only. I did see the Zeus 3 SSID on WiFi and was able to enter the password and connect with similar "no internet" messages. It's been so long since this was setup that I forget the exact sequence used. Next time at the boat I can check what model and version of Android OS it has.

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This is weird that my tablet won't run the app. It's only 5 years old as well. I'll bet you left your tablet on the boat and haven't updated the OS in a long time?

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1 minute ago, Ajax said:

This is weird that my tablet won't run the app. It's only 5 years old as well. I'll bet you left your tablet on the boat and haven't updated the OS in a long time?

Correct - it is whatever the Verizon branded Android system was shipped with.

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22 minutes ago, WHK said:

Correct - it is whatever the Verizon branded Android system was shipped with.

For God's sake, don't update it!  It'll slow to a crawl. Mine's been getting steadily worse with each OS update. I think it's old enough that they don't even push updates to it anymore.

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1 hour ago, Slick470 said:

maybe that is why my old android works. I restored it back to factory settings right before I started playing with it. 

Hm. I'm not sure if resetting to factory defaults will wipe out the OS that's currently on it. I'll look into that. My other avenue, is to try my wife's iPad.

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21 hours ago, Slick470 said:

maybe that is why my old android works. I restored it back to factory settings right before I started playing with it. 

Ha, get this-  The battery ran out on my tablet. I charged it up, rebooted it and now it runs both apps with no problem. I'm bringing it cruising this weekend, so I'll have a chance to try to get the Link app working on the tablet. Wife 2.0 is bringing her iPad so I can try that as well.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Ha, get this-  The battery ran out on my tablet. I charged it up, rebooted it and now it runs both apps with no problem. I'm bringing it cruising this weekend, so I'll have a chance to try to get the Link app working on the tablet. Wife 2.0 is bringing her iPad so I can try that as well.

so the tablet version of... shut it down, unplug it, wait 30 seconds, plug it in, and boot it to solve the mysterious IT problem?

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3 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

so the tablet version of... shut it down, unplug it, wait 30 seconds, plug it in, and boot it to solve the mysterious IT problem?

Android is normally so stable, that reboots are rarely necessary.  I still haven't successfully connected either device to the plotter using the "Link" app, so we're not there yet.

Hey, what flavor of charts do you and @WHK have?  C-Maps or Navionics?

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I bought the Navionics charts for the East Coast coast. Gold series I think? It seemed to be the right balance of price point and functionality for where and how I anticipate sailing and I've been happy with it on my Vulcan.

However, we use C-Maps on the boat I race with because that is what works with Expedition and I found it to be easy to use as well, of course on that boat, we were using it on a larger laptop at the nav station so the mouse makes a lot of things easier. 

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Same answer as Slick on the charts - Zeus came with C-Map and I had chip from my e97 Raymarine plotter that I kept..  I actually like the Navionics charts look on the screen better.  I use the free NOAA charts on Expedition.

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35 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

I bought the Navionics charts for the East Coast coast. Gold series I think? It seemed to be the right balance of price point and functionality for where and how I anticipate sailing and I've been happy with it on my Vulcan.

However, we use C-Maps on the boat I race with because that is what works with Expedition and I found it to be easy to use as well, of course on that boat, we were using it on a larger laptop at the nav station so the mouse makes a lot of things easier. 

I'd like to visit your boat next time you're down there, to see what Navionics looks like. Or, a few screen shots via email or posted here would be good.

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10 minutes ago, WHK said:

Same answer as Slick on the charts - Zeus came with C-Map and I had chip from my e97 Raymarine plotter that I kept..  I actually like the Navionics charts look on the screen better.  I use the free NOAA charts on Expedition.

Yeah, I'm using NOAA charts on OpenCPN.  My Raymarine had Navionics but it was the large CF card. I don't think there's a way to copy that to a micro SD card. I think there's some sort of write-protection on the Navionics charts to prevent you from cloning it.

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17 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I'd like to visit your boat next time you're down there, to see what Navionics looks like. Or, a few screen shots via email or posted here would be good.

Sure we can work something out. I'm going to try and go to the boat sometime this weekend. I'll let you know when I go and maybe we can meet up. 

I just looked at the Navionics site I think I have Navionics + Regions. I think this is what I have: https://www.navionics.com/usa/navionics-regions-east.html

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1 minute ago, Slick470 said:

Sure we can work something out. I'm going to try and go to the boat sometime this weekend. I'll let you know when I go and maybe we can meet up. 

Ooof. Sailing to Oxford this weekend. Just call up the local area and get some snaps with your phone, please. :)

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1 minute ago, Ajax said:

Ooof. Sailing to Oxford this weekend. Just call up the local area and get some snaps with your phone, please. :)

will do. I'm sure we can also work out a weeknight next week. These past two weeks have been non-starters but I'm supposed to get a weeknight pass to go to the boat each week.

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Man, I really think Navico dicked up the Android functionality with the Link app when they updated to plotter software to v20.

I tried connecting with Android tablet and phone, same symptoms of the spinning arrow.

Check this- I input the plotter's IP address into my browser and I was able to access the file directories on the plotter. That means my tablet and phone *do* connect to the plotter. It's the app that refuses to see it or communicate with it.  Next step- try it with Apple products.

Edit: Ah...I'm seeing user comments reporting my exact problems, all dated within the last 2 months. Phooey.

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9 hours ago, Ajax said:

Yeah, I'm using NOAA charts on OpenCPN.  My Raymarine had Navionics but it was the large CF card. I don't think there's a way to copy that to a micro SD card. I think there's some sort of write-protection on the Navionics charts to prevent you from cloning it.

Yeap - Navionics has an "upgrade" they sell with a USB card reader, an SD Card adapter for a MicroSD Card and a MicroSD card that has the Navionics copy protection on it.  You log into their website and insert the old card, then once it validates the old card, you plug in the new card and download the charts you want.  Not as expensive as purchasing outright - I think the upgrade is ~ $99.

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Re Link app I have a newly installed B& G suite including B&G Zeus3 - 7 , triton 2's, precision 9, WS320 windsensor, DST800, Simrad tp22 etc. I initially found configuring either link, CMAP embark or the new B&G app (same as embark) impossible. 

I have a 2017 Samsung A7 and simply deleted the old link app and reloaded it. The QR code in the new B&G app free app would not connect. The CMAP embark subscription paid app would connect but not reliably - I managed to transfer a whole bunch of way points and routes across from my phone. I was hoping the B & app would do same as CMAP embark but I think the subscription difference is the key. Device registration is also critical.

Getting increasingly frustrated sitting outside in the Southern New Zealand winter I stumbled upon/realised/learnt that the wireless configuration is key. It is important to follow the Zeus install/operators manual and ensure your phone or tablet is configured correctly. Now whenever I turn on the instruments it is available to connect to the phone. I simply open the link app and wait for it to connect (the Zeus 3 is the wireless hotspot - no internet connection). This process is really simple but takes a bit longer than i anticipated. An icon for the Zeus 3 appears initially as Red in the link app home screen and then turns green when connected...be patient it isn't instant. You can then choose remote control if you wish. 

The link app allows me full control of the Zeus3 and settings across the network from my A7 with the exception of the autopilot page. However, doing some calibration the other day I discovered I have full control of rudder gain, sea state, counter rudder settings etc via settings  from my phone while the AP is navigating - very cool for fine tuning/set up. Confusingly, I thought I would only be able to mirror to my phone. The actual functionality is awesome. Although it has taken a lot of time to install, configure and test. I'm yet to use it in WIND NAV mode under sail but really looking forward to getting it set up right as it will make sailing shorthanded a real pleasure other than using the tillerpilot on heading hold or nav to waypoint.

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On 6/25/2020 at 9:05 AM, Ajax said:

@Slick470 As near as I can tell, the big differences between the Vulcan and the Zeus is that the Zeus has actual buttons and knobs for really bad offshore sailing and a bit of extra race software. Your findings in the manual work just fine for me.

So, to get the vector in "Goto Cursor" I need to select Extension Lines and COG. Damn, I just saw that in the menus today. To me, "Extension lines" aren't vector lines, they are the SOA (speed of advance) line that grows or shrinks as you accelerate and decelerate.  Whatevs, it looks like you found it, so thanks!

Today I was successful in creating routes for Saturday's race *on* the plotter rather than uploading them from an SD card.  I created the starting line. I entered my polars table. Not sure about that one...garbage in=garbage out.

Oh- You do NOT need any sort of paid subscription to WindPredict to download weather. Turns out I had bungled my username. I finally sorted that out and successfully downloaded GRIBS and put them on the chart, and animated the wind barbs and other fun stuff.

I have successfully sync'd data between the Zeus and my phone via B&G's cloud.

The one big thing I can't seem to do, is connect the phone to the plotter as a live repeater.  In the app, I click My Devices>Add your First Device>Chartplotter>Add.

I get all