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Integrating Fusion audio with Raymarine Classic
I am replacing my audio system with Fusion wired ethernet devices and would like to add WIFI. Would someone suggest Ethernet switch/Router/WIFI & Cellular connections? Also I have Raymarine Classic E80 and a NMEA 2000 backbone and would like to connect my Fusion unit at the Helm to the MFD. I would appreciate some experienced advice on this as well.
Hi David, I have a Fusion WB670 running to my boat router/switch, which is a normal household NetGear N600 model about nine years old. Also wired to the router is an ERX400 control head. The install was super easy. They just found each other and work together reliably. And I suspect that will be true with just about any Ethernet router/switch. I've also found Airplay works well from an iPad to the WB670 via the boat router WiFi. Little more detail on my install in comments here:
But I am doubtful that your Classic E80 includes the Fusion-Link interface. I don't know for sure, but there are no references to Fusion in the most recent E-Series reference manual (dated Sept 2012).
Thanks for your input.
I've found a marine networking guy in Ohio. He is suggesting, as Fusion did, that I just create a Fusion network and leave the internet on a separate network. I'm reading that Fusion Bluetooth and WIFI don't always play well together so I'll forgo the Fusion WIFI units and do a WB675/ERX400 for the helm/cockpit/transom audio and an ARX70 on the transom. My network guy likes Garmin GMS10 switches. Pricey but solid.
I've just installed a Fusion RA670 in the cabin and it's great. Next I'll tie in the new TV audio by optical and run the system from the Fusion Link phone app.
My internet options are connecting to the dock WIFI or a cellular hotspot. I'll try it and see how streaming Netflix works.
Thanks again for your excellant reviews.
Does an E80 even have support for controlling a radio like a Fusion? I had an E80 several years ago and don't recall it having any features like that.
For onboard-to-internet the offerings from Peplink provide about the best you can get. Everything else becomes a bit of a DIY lash-up.
@wkearney99 I think you're right. I just double checked the E-Classic user guide and it only mentions Sirius audio control. I don't think the timing was such that they would have developed FusionLink support for the E-classics.
It's accurate advice to say it's best to keep Fusion's WiFi disabled, and go hard-wired. Their support for WiFi (both as the radio acting to PROVIDE a WiFi network, and as a WiFi client onto an existing one... are problematic (and that's being kind).
As for on-boat wired Ethernet... that too can be problematic at times. Some vendors REALLY do not want you hanging anything other than navigational gear on the same wired subnet. The idea being their chartplotter does the network coordinating and having your own DHCP or other services is going to interfere with that. Where this gets 'tricky' is wanting to do both wired chartplotter control of a Fusion radio AND WiFi control from a phone or tablet. You can do this but it will likely involve having some pretty good network know-how to set up two separate wired Ethernet networks, a WiFi access point (which may or may not be part of the wired network router) and then setting up a bridge on that router between everything. It's do-able (mine if setup that way) but it's not plug-and-play.
Also consider that most (all?) of the Fusion radios support being controlled from a (compatible) chartplotter using the NMEA-2000 network. You don't get album/station icons via N2K but all the other features are there. I have my Furuno TZT3 chartplotters controlling the radio via N2K.