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      I have a Garmin 551 chart plotter in my cockpit, and I have connected the 2 wires in the loom from the chart plotter to my ST5000 auto helm, but what do I need to do to get the chart plotter to talk to the auto helm, so that when I select a waypoint on the chart plotter, the auto helm will automatically steer the boat to the waypoint.

      Ed Holmes Storm Dragon, Bavaria Holiday 35


        Hi Ed, I presume that the chart plotter is working and you’re able to goto a waypoint on it; I also presume that your autopilot is working and you’re able to select ‘auto’ and adjust your course using the +1/-1/+10/-10 buttons. I expect the problem is with the nmea connections, reading the st5000 manual it only has nmea in, whereas the 551 is bi-directional, so it could be you have too many wires connected.
        What happens when you press the autopilot’s ‘track’ button?
        Best Regards, Simon


          I’m not very good on electronics, but I have an ST5000 on Saloma. It used to integrate with my Raytheon Chart plotter using Sea Talk. This system was too slow to give good results when Using radar MARPA. I had to fit a Raytheon course computer to improve the heading data speed and the connection is now using NMEA. It just occurred to me that perhaps the ST 5000 when used on its own expects sea talk and not NMEA and that you may have to fit a course computer or other device to make everything compatible using NMEA.


            I assume that when you select a waypoint on your chart plotter you can cycle through the displays on the ST5000 instrument and see bearing to waypoint and Distance to waypoint. If so all you do is press the track button. The instrument makes a sound signal and you then have to press the track button a second time to confirm. The ST5000 will then, using data from the GPS correct for tide, leeway etc and keep you within 0.1 nautical miles of the ground track to the waypoint.

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