After recent thunderstorms in the area I have some dead electronics. Autopilot/ AIS/ depth-speed/wind instruments/TV not working. Surprisingly my VHF and radar are still working as well as my GPS Plotter. This is on a Raymarine Seatask network circa 2013. The network switching box is showing lights appropriate for working system that is receiving data. But no fuses or breakers blown that I can find. Engine starts and battery chargers work. Possible a junction box somewhere? Or is this what happens with a near miss lightning strike? Any advice? Thanks. Paul
Fortunately I have not been involved in a lightning strike, though have been out with lightning in the area with no ill effect, apart from my stress levels, until we were safely out of it. But I have a close sailing buddy who was struck one night in a remote part of our lake system. Certainly all his electronics were cooked. Fortunately one thing survived, his auxiliary power was a small out board with a pull start. And the ignition worked. He was concerned about raising sail due to possible damage to the mast or rigging, and the radio was definitely cooked. It was some years ago now, I seem to remember him feeling he had a big headache, and was a while before his hearing and sight were back to normal, but the mast and rigging turned out to be ok, and he is still sailing the same boat.
As the boat is only 24 ft, it only had simple instrumentation, speed and depth, and of course a 27 MHz radio. In fact the instruments were what I passed on to him after upgrading to a newer system with wind instruments on my boat at the time, so I knew them quite well. Without a radio he could not call for any help.
If you had a direct strike, I really doubt that anything connected would still work. The energy involved with lightning would certainly overwhelm the instrument electronics. I suppose it is possible that electric fields, the sort of thing that causes the hair on your neck to stand on end, from nearby strikes, might cause a blip in the software, so it could be worth going through the setup and making sure that all the data sources are being properly recognised. But it seems a long shot.
I would be tempted to try and put the lightning thought on the back burner, and just systematically work your way through the normal trouble shooting by trying each connection in that network, and following the cables to find each junction and end termination. Obviously no need to touch the ones that are working.
It will be interesting to hear of others experiences in this area.
Apparently not a lightning strike! Whew! If it helps anyone with Raymarine seatalk network system this is what I learned: My radar, XM radio, and the plotters are on a “Seatalk HS” network, essentially an Ethernet. Everything else is on a”Seatalk NG” network, which is I believe the Raymarine version of nmea. Anyway... when one single device fails the whole NG network drops off the system. Troubleshooting was disconnecting the devices at the 5 way connectors (White “spur” fittings) until the system starts working again. If the devices don’t start working it is time to replace the 5 way connectors that make up the backbone of the system. These mean the blue Connections at the end of each 5 way. In my case the AIS unit is causing the problems. As soon as it was disconnected from its spur cable everything else started to work. So the AIS needs to be evaluated but I am back to everything else working. I hope this helps someone else that finds themselves in a failed network sometime. I suspect that this is basic info to many with troubleshooting experience. But I never would have suspected that a bad device would drag down the whole network.