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Project Log:  Saturday, September 8, 2012

I continued with various wiring tasks in and around the underside of the dash, looking to mostly complete the wire runs there before moving on.

With several new cables on hand for the SimNet network, I completed those connections as needed, securing network cables for the AIS, NSE-8 monitor, and stringing a longer cable through the console and towards the aft part of the boat, where, along with an Ethernet cable I'd started down the journey earlier, I'd eventually connect it to the radar control box.


Meanwhile, I strung a few final lengths of duplex safety wire, running them forward to the mast area to accommodate mast lighting, and also made up a length of coax cable, which I connected to the VHF and ran forward as well.  To lead these forward beneath the eventual overhead, I cut out short sections of the support cleats in way of the wire runs, then secured the wires along the way. 

I included the cable connecting the autopilot's rate compass, which I planned to mount in the tall locker forward of the galley.  I might have preferred to mount it elsewhere, but with cast iron ballast running the length of the bilge, and of course the engine in the after part of the boat--coupled with a 2 meter ideal minimum distance from magnetic interference, the locker seemed the best (only) choice.  For now, I left the unit loose pending final mounting and final disposition of the interior of the locker itself.

The shorter wire hanging from the overhead is slated for a possible overhead lighting circuit.


After hours of fruitless and increasingly frustrating research over the course of the week, I concluded that unfortunately, there was no direct way to adapt my 7 pin blue Lowrance depthsounder connector directly to my network:  no such adapters existed, a fact I'd determined individually before coming across this post that more or less cemented the idea with finality for me.  An adapter I'd purchased earlier, hoping it would be the right one, turned out to be completely different from what I needed, so I returned it.

I probably could have looked into a wire-to-wire adaptation by cutting the end of my transducer cable, but this was not something I wanted to do, preferring to maintain the original integrity of the cable as designed.   I do not like dealing with pinouts and fussy little wires.  Replacing the transducer that I'd installed in an intentionally and essentially permanent way was not a realistic option either.

I'd never thought to look into the network connections before installing the transducer since I made the obviously wrong assumption that the transducer advertised as being compatible with my Simrad products actually would be.  In fairness, it was:  just not without an additional product purchase.

Weary of the frustration and needing to move on, I purchased the BSM-1 sounder module, which was designed for my connector and which I could easily connect to the network.  I didn't need fishfinder capabilities, but I wanted an overall system that worked perfectly, without compromise, and felt there was no other viable way to accomplish that.  What the boat wants, the boat gets.

Total Time Today:  3 hours

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