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Old 05-15-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Simrad Autopilot NMEA Connections...

I connected my new Simrad AP16 to my charplotter after I had already turned the unit on and performed a rudder test. I then proceeded to tie the unit into my Garmin. I noticed the LED light was blinking on the autopilot computer indicating that it had a good NMEA connection. I spent the next couple of hours trying to get the AP16 to recognize the Garmin.

Finally after I got back home and read through the manual you need to go into the software and have the Simrad look for all available devices.

I really wish Simrad put this in the installation part of their manual. I spent several hours trying to figure out what I did wrong. I thought I would post this to help others. This message board has sure helped me throughout the years.

GoneAgain
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:26 PM   #2
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Default RE: Simrad Autopilot NMEA Connections...

The very first thing that happens when you turn on a Simrad AP16 for the first time is that it automatically sets up the NMEA Interface.

If you don't have your GPS navigator turned on when it does the automatic interface setup it can't find the NMEA info to setup, so you have to go back later and put the unit into automatic interface setup to find the NMEA data.

It is still much better than having to set the NMEA info up manually.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:23 PM   #3
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Default RE: Simrad Autopilot NMEA Connections...

Yes... I just wish they would have elaborated on this in the manual under the installation part of the manual. Found this in the using your autopilot part of the manual. Never had a simrad before. This weekend I will have time to sea trial the unit.

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Old 05-17-2007, 12:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Simrad Autopilot NMEA Connections...

with other autopilots, it doesnt matter if your gps isnt turned on first, they update as they see nmea sentences on the port. i'm with goneagain, simrads are annoying in this respect.
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Old 05-19-2007, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Simrad Autopilot NMEA Connections...

Okay.. Finally Seatride my Simrad AP16... Extremely happy... Much better then my sportspilot plus. My boat has power assisted cable steering so I mounted a MSD50 drive unit. The kit was designed for my motor and this was by far the easiest setup I have ever done... 12 Miles out I told the pilot to take me back to the pierhead using my chartplotter and it drove in a straight line....

Really impressed with the unit. I am going to call simrad and tell them to put a note to the NMEA hookup in the installation part of the manual.

GoneAgain
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simrad Autopilot NMEA Connections...

Goneagain-
I think the Simrad stuff is great (I have an AP 16) , and their tech service phone help is super, but the manual is terrible. Seems to be written more for the installer than end user.

I've been through a software update on my AP16, and replaced the rate compass (it was bad). The unit works great in "auto" mode, but could not get it to connect to GPS last weekend. I'll try your suggestions next weekend- thanks for posting your experience.

I don't want anyone to take my post as a knock against Simrad. My AP16 was purchased used with my boat, and was not functioning properly when I bought the boat. The rate compass was out of warranty, but in all other respects Simrad has treated me just as if I were the original purchaser. I've probably spent a half hour of tech time on the telephone troubleshooting the unit, and the tech people could not have been any more helpful.


Thanks to Captain E also for explaining the interface setup.
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