The NSO is Simrad's top-end black box chart plotter and multi-function device. These issues were all encountered in their V2 software. Here's what I ran into:
CPA and TCPA is not calculated and often blank for AIS targets. Sometimes no data shows at all. But if I go to Coastal Explorer and look at them, all the info there and CPA and TCPA are calculated fine, so the AIS device itself is working fine and putting all the data on the N2K bus. Simrad told me this is a known problem that is fixed in the next release. They just released version 3, so perhaps this has been fixed. The pictures below show the problem. These happen to be the radar screen, but if you drill down on any of the targets, you get the same results.
In the first picture you can see that the first target, "Destiny", shows SOG and COG which is info included in the ship's position report coming from the AIS receiver. But CPA, TCPA, RNG, and BRG are all missing. These values are calculated (or not in this case) by the NSO. The second two targets are fine.
|Missing critical AIS info|
The next picture shows the problem again, but now there is no data at all other than the ships name, and even that appears to be jibberish. Note that the first target is a MARPA target, and only the second two are AIS targets.
|Missing critical AIS info|
The next problem also relates to AIS processing and display. The targets are supposed to be sorted by either CPA or range. So the targets we see listed here should be the most dangerous. But these appear to be in a completely random order.
The NSO provides a way to change the instance number on N2K devices. It's a nice feature, and easy to use. But depending on how you work through the steps, when you finally give the OK to make the change, the NSO gets stuck forever "Configuring device". I worked out the exact procedural steps to reproduce this and gave them to Simrad. Fortunately, if you hit the Cancel button you can recover from this.
This issue will appear twice, once here under the NSO, and again under the Auto Pilot bug list since both products are party to the problem. The issue is that depending on the sequence in which you power up the NSO and the autopilot components, the AC12 auto pilot computer becomes forever un-discoverable. More particularly, if you start up the NSO first (turn on breaker and push the pwr button so it boots up) before you power up the AC12 (turn on it's breaker), the NSO will not discover teh AC12 and will alarm saying there is no auto pilot computer. Furthermore, if you power up the AP controllers by pressing their PWR button (they get power from the N2K bus, so there is no dedicated breaker) after they boot up they alarm as well saying there is no AP computer. At this point, you can power down again adn back up in any order and neither the NSO or the AP controllers will be able to find the AC12. It's like it's been disconnected. HOWEVER.... if you cycle power on the N2K bus, then turn on the breaker to the AC12 before turning on the NSO, it recovers. And as long as you power on the AC12 before the NSO, it will continue to work fine. But is at any point you forget and power on the NSO first, it again locks up.
OK, there you have it for the NSO EVO II.