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Old 12-01-2014, 14:09   #31
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
You might want to read this article.
Autopilot drive questions and answers

while that might be a bit biased, given its by Jefa, I do agree that modern electric actuators should be considered before electro-hydraulic drive.

Howver very few of the issues discussed in that article really apply to modern hydraulic system.


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Old 12-01-2014, 14:40   #32
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
while that might be a bit biased, given its by Jefa, I do agree that modern electric actuators should be considered before electro-hydraulic drive.

Howver very few of the issues discussed in that article really apply to modern hydraulic system.


dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Again, beware of the min/maxing. the type 1 drive is specified for a maximum displacement of 24k lbs. My experience is you should be no more then about 60% of that.

Consider a Type 2 Ray linear arm , about $200 more then then type 1 ( defender) as an alternative to hydraulic.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
You might want to read this article.
Autopilot drive questions and answers
Thanks for the quick responses and the link. It seems from the link that a hydraulic drive will create more drag than an electromechanical drive. However, Dave's later post seems to suggest that some of the statements in the article are out of date (or self-serving to Jefa). Is there a noticeable difference when hand steering between the linear (electromechanical drive) and contemporary hydraulic drives?

The Type 2 linear drive sounds like a good suggestion. Neither of you seemed to suggest that there would be any issue with the B&G control head driving the RM linear drive. Is that correct?
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Old 12-01-2014, 14:45   #33
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

SImrad AC42 will drive a Type 2 Ray arm , or an equivalent from Jefa.

PWM drive is available for electro-hydraulic drives
Solonoid short circuit valves, let the hydraulic arm be controlled when the autopilot is off. ( This is standard now ) Otherwise you get no feedback at the wheel ( some people don't are others do )

On small boats , especially with tiller steering ( as to why theres an hydraulic arm i don't know) you might feel some resistance from the arm. But on anything larger, and especially with the mechanical advantage of a wheel , its very hard to detect.

There is no real difference from the APs point of view steering to any of these types, its all to do with thrust force and speed of movement.

dave
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Old 12-01-2014, 14:55   #34
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

You want the RM type 2 drive for your boat, not the type 1. If you want hydraulic, I would get the Simrad 2000HLD (sp?) over the B&G.

We have both the B&G electrohydraulic linear drive and the Raymarine T2 electromechanical linear drive. The hydraulic linear drive has a large amount of drag on the system when it is connected and not activated (it is a backup drive, so not connected unless needed). The electromechanical drive has zero noticeable resistance when not activated.

We also have the B&G Triton and keypad control head on the Simrad computer (exact same as the B&G computer) and it has no problem with the RM linear drive.

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Old 12-01-2014, 15:09   #35
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Many thanks! The Type 2 drive with the B&G head sounds like a good approach. I'll see if I can get the discounts I'm getting offered even if I mix vendors.
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Old 12-01-2014, 15:13   #36
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Quote:
The hydraulic linear drive has a large amount of drag on the system
Thats interesting, is there a short circuit valve in the circuit. ( or sometime called a bypass valve) The HLD350 has that as standard.

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Old 12-01-2014, 17:45   #37
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Yes, there is a bypass valve in it. It still has a lot of drag, though. The B&G hydraulic linear drive is not the same re-badged unit as the Simrad HLD350 or HLD2000. It is a completely different manufacturer and physical design.

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Old 12-01-2014, 18:29   #38
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

A comment on drive size: the manufacturers have chosen to use displacement as a proxy for the required drive force, and this is very flawed IMHO. Large, heavy boats can be steered with relatively small drives if they have balanced spade rudders, while smaller boats with (unbalanced) keel-hung rudders require much more force than the displacement alone would indicate. When in doubt, go up a size...

As for the OP, it has been mentioned that Navico is also Simrad, B&G, and Lowrance. It is also MXmarine, and used to include another brand I am not remembering that addressed the premium powerboat market. While all of their products share technology they do not always share features. Lowrance is traditionally sold to fishermen, including a huge share of the fresh water market - their MFDs lack features appropriate for cruisers. MXmarine is commercial, so not appropriate. Simrad is sold to the general sailing/cruising market, so of great interest. And B&G has always been a premium label, primarily for sailors and big with the racers. It has the most sophisticated features, but I'm guessing most cruisers aren't going to use most of them. Up to you to decide if it is worth it. (These are my admittedly rough interpretations of their marketing.)

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Old 13-01-2014, 10:14   #39
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
A comment on drive size: the manufacturers have chosen to use displacement as a proxy for the required drive force, and this is very flawed IMHO. Large, heavy boats can be steered with relatively small drives if they have balanced spade rudders, while smaller boats with (unbalanced) keel-hung rudders require much more force than the displacement alone would indicate. When in doubt, go up a size...

As for the OP, it has been mentioned that Navico is also Simrad, B&G, and Lowrance. It is also MXmarine, and used to include another brand I am not remembering that addressed the premium powerboat market. While all of their products share technology they do not always share features. Lowrance is traditionally sold to fishermen, including a huge share of the fresh water market - their MFDs lack features appropriate for cruisers. MXmarine is commercial, so not appropriate. Simrad is sold to the general sailing/cruising market, so of great interest. And B&G has always been a premium label, primarily for sailors and big with the racers. It has the most sophisticated features, but I'm guessing most cruisers aren't going to use most of them. Up to you to decide if it is worth it. (These are my admittedly rough interpretations of their marketing.)

Greg
Thanks, Greg. A helpful overview. I think Navico seems to be doing a more explicit split between sailors and power cruisers assigning Simrad to power cruisers and using the B&G Zeus/Triton line to achieve a competitive price with Raymarine for sailors. I've been working with someone who is a dealer for both products. I am finding that most of the B&G products are the same or less than Raymarine. The exception is the AP drive unit which seems to be more (but is hydraulic vs. electromechanical).

Navico is bringing some of the B&G sailing-specific functionality into the lower-priced B&G products which makes, at least, their MFD very interesting and worth looking at before assuming Simrad is the same.
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Old 15-01-2014, 12:02   #40
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Not to lead the discussion back to the poll or anything.... LOL
BUT -As a owner of the Zeus 12" and B&G instruments...
Here is my responce to the unscientific pole...
As part of a total re-fit last year for my circumnavigation - I purchased the B&G 12" Zeus, Triton autopilot, wind instruments, and 4G radar one year ago from West Marine in Florida. I installed everything on my 52ft sailboat.
I am going to write a book on procrastination and B&G is the absolute winner! B&G "warranty" or "support" is basically WORTHLESS unless you live next to your dealership or purchase from West Marine! You might get a lesson from "Bill" who works in the "support" department as I am still getting.
The B&G Zeus, and associated equipment is fantastic - IF AND WHEN THEY WORK - everything functioned perfect thru the Bahamas, the Atlantic, and along the south coast of Puerto Rico.
As I said - Everything worked wonderful during the trip south, then the troubles began...
Immediately after I began sailing south from the Virgin Islands enroute to Grenada - the autopilot, radar, and wind instruments stopped functioning. The first thing to quit was the wind instruments, which shut down the autopilot computer too. I unplugged the mast head cable and regained the autopilot function on compass steer only after a total re-install on the software - a major pain at sea!
Upon reaching Grenada I contacted both West Marine, and B&G - I paid for and installed the replacement mast cable which fixed the masthead indicator thereby fixing the wind instruments and wind steering.
Note, B&G had effectively said that I would need to remove the entire cable or they wouldn't warranty it - As the cable is tied inside the mast, I wasn't going to unstep it for the $100 cable - West Marine helped and said they would refund my money once they received the ends back, which they did.
The radar still doesn't work. I was informed there are only TWO dealers in the entire Caribbean and if I wanted the unit looked at and repaired I would need to sail to either Martinique or Trinidad.
I sailed 200 miles out of my way to Martinique - where we did the same test I had already performed to ensure cable continuity. At this time the tech who was "authorized to open the radome" found that the radar had no open drain for condensation and it was filled with water. He declared it unfixable. I was then informed by the Martinique dealer that first - I must transfer my warranty claim from "B&G USA" to "B&G France"" and - once that process was done, I would then need to pre-pay customs and shipping - along with the cost of the replacement radar, and wait 3 weeks for the replacement radome. At this time the old unit would be shipped back for the factory inspection and hopefully a refund process would be started!
I contacted West Marine. They immediately answered and said they would send a new unit as soon as I provided an address - in the United States...

I had been asking for a supervisor at B&G support for over a month, as I was getting nowhere with the B&G "support rep" initially contacted.
I was finally able to get thru to a supervisor the day I left Martinique and informed him of both B&G's "warranty solution" and West Marines.
As I had also taken the unit farther apart and inspected it, and found it was missing the o-ring that sealed the electronics from water intrusion, I sent the pictures of the obvious missing o-ring, and the standing water on the PC board.
I asked the supervisor if B&G was really leaving me to depend on West Marine to solve their known factory defect?
Am I to have to use West as my sole provider for the B&G warranty?
Should the next thing break in Panama, do I need to sail back to Martinique for warranty?
Upon arriving in Bonaire 70 hrs later - I had received an answer from the B&G supervisor..
"Send us an address when you get somewhere and we will ship a new radar. As the old one is obviously not repairable, there is no need to waste money shipping it back."
Awesome!!! - I had finally reached someone who believed in customer support! I informed West Marine that B&G had FINALLY come up with the proper solution...
I sent the address to B&G - I waited another week...
I emailed B&G and asked for a tracking number - I was at that time informed the supervisor had gone on vacation for two weeks..... I sent copies of the supervisors e-mail, and yet the continual delays from "Bill" resumed.... the same slow person in B&G "support" started right back with
"Have you sent us your radar for repair"... No - see supervisors responce..
"Do you have an incident number?"... No - see supervisors responce..
"I searched your emails and can't find anything"... I sent another copy...
"What is the serial number again?"....
Seriously????? I give up!!!!!!

The supervisor has been off vacation for a couple of weeks now and I have yet to hear from B&G...
It has been four months - No functioning radar - and I honestly see no resolution from B&G....
I have informed them that given no actual support or warranty - I want their junk off my boat before the next thing breaks.
I'm replacing them and going back to my old instruments, autopilot, and laptop navigation.
If your really interested in B&G - I have a Zeus 12" MFD, and full set of slighly used B&G instruments! As a added plus I will include a genuine B&G mast mounted emergency water supply!
Make an offer!
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Old 15-01-2014, 13:01   #41
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Tagging on to Sailmed's response:
The guy in the slip next to mine installed all new Simrad gear last winter. Gear included an NSS-7, Wind instrument, Depth/Speed, and a 3G radar. He pulled the mast and installed the cables himself. He was never able to get the wind instrument working. When it was connected, the rest of the bus would go down. I will say that Simrad US was *very* responsive and sent him multiple replacement masthead wind instruments, cables, junction boxes, etc. Not sure if Simrad customer service is a different entity from B&G, but at least in the US, they were very good. Ultimately, it seems it's the cable to the masthead unit that is the problem. He's pretty discouraged. Not wanting to pull the mast for a cable, he's resigned himself to the old Davis Windex. He has no autopilot, so as bad as it could be. Just one sample, but I thought I'd mention it as it is somewhat similar to Sailmed regarding a faulty in-mast cable.
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Old 15-01-2014, 13:18   #42
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Garmin has some new Chartplotters specif to sailing. I like that they use buttons, not touch screens. The also mention lay lines. I wonder if they are trying to capture some of B&G's sailing specific market. Anyone with much experience with their autopilots? I think that as Goboatingnow said, if you want an integrated system, and especially an integrated autopilot, pick one moniker. If the Garmin autopilot is on par with the others, it may be worth a look. Also, when comparing autopilots, I think it's best to look separately at the AP computer vs. the drive ram. Jefa seems to have some good electro-mechanical drives, and L&S seems to have very good hydraulic rams. Both seem to be tops in class WRT power usage.
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Old 15-01-2014, 15:44   #43
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

If your really interested in B&G - I have a Zeus 12" MFD, and full set of slighly used B&G instruments! As a added plus I will include a genuine B&G mast mounted emergency water supply!
Make an offer![/QUOTE]


email me artendvs@gmail.com
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:39   #44
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Wow, I was seriously considering B&G or Simrad, but after hearing that story I'm pretty worried, especially since I'll be cruising the same route (Carib, then onward). Is Raymarine's support better than B&G?
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:45   #45
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

I would recommend Raymarine and Furuno if you want worldwide support - you can pretty reliably find dealers for both in any yacht harbor. But of course these are not the cheapest alternatives.

I second the recommendation to use buttons instead of touch screens. You won't want to have to wash your hands every time you use them and touch screens will accumulate salt crystals and smearing from fingers.

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