The transition between Dual and Single puck ZO GPS hardware

HortonHorton Posts: 32,625 Administrator
I know a number of folks who still have dual puck ZO. I understand that there was a change to the frequency or protocol or dilithium crystal alignment. What I do not understand is why some the ZO in some boats still work, some not at all and some work sometimes. It seems really random.

The ZO in the UCLA ski team boat stopped working this winter. Oddly it works sometimes but only going south. The ZO on my neighbor's boat freaks out about 1 pass in 20. A number of boats at a lake 10 miles from me all lost ZO completely yesterday after never having a previous issue.

Can anyone explain why the issue is intermittent and random?

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  • thagerthager Posts: 5,582 Mega Baller
    edited June 2020
    My dual puck works fine when I ski in the morning. It will occasionally act up in the afternoon. A complete shutdown with removal of the negative battery clamp reboots the system and all goes back to normal. My guess is satellite availability.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,346 Mega Baller
    I've had similar experiences. My main 2010 boat had a dual puck system. Normally, it picks up about 8-10 satellites. Twice in the evenings, it dropped down to only 4 satellites and wouldn't hold a constant speed (it varied by 2-3mph). Switched to another boat with dual puck system and no issues - go figure. Changed out the 2010 boat to a single puck system and now get 18+ satellites and haven't had any ZO issues.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,937 Mega Baller
    @braindamage had this issue too. RevQ dual puck in a TXi would randomly wander and not hold speed starting sometime last month. RevQ dual puck in a TT197 on the same body of water and same boat path working fine... for now...
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    We were experiencing this problem last week with a 2014 Nautique. I updated the puck firmware immediately after a set where we dropped to only 3 satellites and had problems. One puck had version 2.5 firmware and the other had 3.4 - the latest is 4.4 with the above mentioned fixes. After updating we were getting 8 to 10 satellites. I took a trick set and it worked fine. There is no reason these pucks shouldn't continue to work as they have been designed to work - they are still being sold and all of the satellites still send out the legacy signals.

    Garmin firmware updates here:

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 305 Solid Baller
    As insane as @Gloersen explanation appears on the surface, it matches pretty much the jibberish I got while talking with Enovation (ZO) tech support.
    What’s crazy is that @UWSkier is right, my ski bud’s MCTT is an ‘08 and my TXi is a ‘12. Maybe mine had more passes from the PO, but I doubt it given how much we ski.
    If I had read @dchristman link to firmware updates I would’ve tried that.
    Be what may, I’ve upgraded to the single puck and am happy about it. My only (small) complaint is the total lack of directions, inaccurate info on their website, and slow response to emails that comes from Enovation.

    Yeah...and the $500 I spent for the upgrade. 😢
  • brettmainerbrettmainer Posts: 426 Crazy Baller
    Same problems with our 2010 200 over the last couple of weeks. Converted to single puck system.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 675 Crazy Baller
    I have Rev R on a dual puck. Does anyone know if I can just upgrade the puck to single puck without the Rev update? Safer to just leave it alone as it's currently working fine?
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,271 Mega Baller
    @unksskis you don't have to load Rev S with the new ECI puck.
    However an ECI puck compatible version of Rev R (EControls will email it to you; "R" no cost, "S" is +$50 on top of the $450/ECI puck) will still need to be flashed to the unit.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 675 Crazy Baller
    @Gloersen Thank you
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 396 Crazy Baller
    I need to update my perfectpass puck which is the same Garmin puck but I think has a different connector. I plan on getting a standard serial cable I have lying around, cutting it and inserting it into the PP connector (making sure it has a firm connection). The wiring diagram is here

    I reckon I will build a cable to do my friends ZO boats. It’s winter here with boats put away, can anybody take a picture of the zero off connector on the Garmin puck so I can see what connector I need to make?
  • sgreggsgregg Posts: 45 Baller
    @GregHind - here is some info from Aaron at Perfect Pass.

    “You basically need a 5V supply and a serial port. You power it up with 5V on the RED, and ground on the BLACKS (there are a few of them). Then you receive data on the WHITE and send data on the GREEN. You'll have to peel back the heat shrink and possibly outer casing of the cable to get at the GREEN wire (it's not brought out on the 3-pin connector)”

    Picture of the connector for the ZO puck is attached

  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 245 Baller
    I just recently made an upgrade cable for my perfectpass gps plug and updated the software. Big improvement in performance and no more dropouts.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    edited June 2020
    @GregHind ... a little more info you need after getting the wiring right, also thanks to Aaron at PP -

    for ZO you need to set the puck to 38400 baud
    And have the following sentences selected:

    ZO connector mapping thanks to @BrennanKMN in another thread:

    Deutsch Pin 1 (orange) - Garmin (white)
    Deutsch Pin 2 (green) - Garmin (green)
    Deutsch Pin 3 (green/violet) - Garmin (pink)
    Deutsch Pin 4 (black/violet) - Garmin (all 3 blacks)
    Garmin (yellow) - unused

    For StarGazer it needs to be set to 4800 and RMC only.

    Also, I found that when selecting to "update software" from the config menu in the configuration software, it prompts for the location of updater.exe, but it didn't actually run it for me. I had to run updater.exe manually.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • mwfillmoremwfillmore Posts: 71 Baller
    @unksskis i upgraded my 2012 dual puck to single puck rev S. I’ve been impressed with the transition. No more satellite issues and gets to speed (with out overshooting) faster. Boat seems stronger to me with Rev S single puck vs rev Q
  • jrjr Posts: 3 New Baller
    Well it was our time to experience this problem starting yesterday on our 2013 SN 200. Same issue, lost satellites randomly on and off during the day. Passes would work no problem for most of the day, then would loose satellites and speed would go up/down 1-2 mph for a pass.

    Interested to try the firmware update. Is this something that needs the ECOM controller reprogramming kit or do you need to jury rig a custom connector to plug the puck into your laptop?
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    Easy build your own:

    You also will need a serial cable and 5V. I modified a USB to serial adapter to get the 5V:

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    edited July 2020
    Before getting the serial and Deutsch plug, I did it like this:

    It was much more tedious this way - I had to hold on to the wires plugged in to the Deutsch connector with one hand to maintain contact while I operated the PC with the other. Actually, it was a lot more complicated than that - I was getting the power from another power source and had to tie the grounds together, too. Wires, paper clips... yeah, definitely a jury rig.

    I got the Deutsch plug pre-assembled on eBay. The female Deutsch plug won't be wasted. That will be used for my Perfect Pass puck upgrade cable when I find one of the male Molex connectors.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • jrjr Posts: 3 New Baller
    @dchristman thanks very helpful. I'll poke around on ebay and see if I can find the right connector. Will reply to the group on how it all works out.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 1,620 Mega Baller
    edited July 2020
    I have an early build 16 Prostar with dual pucks. I have yet to have a problem (390 hours) and I can't tell the difference when I ski a Prostar with a single puck. Not spending the money until it either fails or a software change makes them feel different.
    Roger B. Clark - Okeeheelee skier. Senior driver, Senior Judge
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    Well crap! @jr don't make the same mistake I did. I got to the lake last night to try my new cable and discovered I had the wrong connector. You need the smaller DTM Deutsch 4-pin connector. The picture above is the bigger DT series. I just ordered another one.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • PAskierPAskier Posts: 20 Baller
    13 Ski Nautique ZO Rev R
    When we map the coarse east to west using the puck as the location point and then we turn around and go through the coarse west to east ZO beeps toward the rear of the boat at the gates and turn buoys.
    If we then turn around and head East to West it beeps when the buoys are at the puck. The direction the coarse was mapped.
    When checking in rec mode our clock is correct but date is off. Looking at the date it reset when GPS week data went to week 0 so it should be on the correct week.
    Have 6 to 8 Satellites with Differential. It seems like it should work. We have tried using one puck and switching inputs and that does not seam to fix the problem.
    At one point it appeared we had it mapped correctly using only one puck came back the next day and was off the same as stated above.
    Question why does ZO need two pucks? Is one a back up? Any Ideas Thanks
  • WoodySkierWoodySkier Posts: 153 Baller
    If I’m not having problems in a 2015 200 with dual pucks, is there any reason to update or change anything?
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    @PAskier old thread about that problem here:

    @WoodySkier I would say "yes". You most certainly have older puck firmware that has bugs. It's only a matter of time before you do encounter one of the known problems. Does it guarantee you will never have problems? No, when you're dealing with software there are always bugs lurking - even if you upgrade to the single puck system.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • PAskierPAskier Posts: 20 Baller
    @dchristman Thanks - Very interesting thread. I talked to ZO tech and they confirmed it is a firmware issue with the puck due to the GPS week reset. Going to install a new puck and see what happens.
  • lagdawglagdawg Posts: 48 Baller
    Has anyone had issues with the single puck system.

    I recently had to replace the head unit in my boat and upgraded to the ECI puck. I have now encountered a couple times when the boat will accelerate unexpectedly in the middle of the course with a skier, it then abruptly slows down below the set speed and re-engages and comes back to the correct speed.

    I have noticed when it does this the ZO screen appears to go mostly blank with just "0" showing for the speed. When the speed comes back on the screen is when it drops the power and then rengages and comes back up to the set speed.

    Anyone experienced anything like this with REV R and the ECI single puck?

    I plan to get more trouble shooting info when I get back out to the lake.
  • paulpaul Posts: 63 Baller
    bump - are there any off the shelf options for a connector to serial port? Will Perfect Pass update these? I don't really want to start building my own harness...
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 560 Crazy Baller
    @lagdawg This may seem counterintuitive, but how long has it been since you changed your fuel filters? If fuel gets intermittently shut off and slows the boat, when fuel flow returns ZO will make the engine surge trying to get back where it knows it should be. Rule out the fuel filters before tearing into the expensive ZO stuff. Fuel issues may not explain the ZO screen going mostly blank though.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    @paul no, you won't find anything off the shelf. Perfect Pass will update the pucks for you for Stargazer or ZO. I am also happy to do the updates for anyone for the cost of shipping. I have done if for several people here who were concerned about turnaround time with shipping to Canada.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
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