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Old 23-11-2010, 06:51   #1
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Calling All Tech Geeks :o)

Hi everyone. I've just joined the Cruisers Forum, and thought I'd get started with some posts on something near and dear to my heart, TOYS! And not the kind my five-year-old is always bringing on board.

My J/109 is in need of some new nav gear and I'd love to get some of your thoughts. I am true electronics geek at work and home, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the options when it comes to my boat. I've been dealing with a bit of a mishmash since I bought her, the previous owner didn't seem to apply any rhyme or reason when selecting electronics. Suffice it to say, out with the old and in with the new. I'm in the market for a new nav system, some instruments, and an AIS. I have also been debating a new radar. Honestly, I'd really like to do a total refresh at this point, save my Simrad pilot, which works fine.

I have been reading and researching a lot online lately and in some magazines, and the one thing I'm definitely thinking is that I'd like to try to stay with one brand if I can ... not only because I think it's a clean look, but also because it seems like there are a lot of cool things you can do these days over a network with compatible technology.

So, for starters ... what do you think about my one brand idea? Do you have any recommendations? And, is there anything I should definitely steer clear of?

THANKS!
-Greg
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Old 23-11-2010, 07:10   #2
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Kill 2 birds with one stone - look at this new radio with ais built in . . .
Standard Horizon Matrix GX2100 AIS Receiver VHF Radio

For radar look at Furuno which is compatible with Simrad - can be directly interconnected.
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Old 23-11-2010, 07:19   #3
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Thanks, I have seen that. It looks pretty cool, and definitely a consideration ... but I have also been trying to decide if I want a dedicated display or not for my AIS. Most of the cruising I do is in pretty busy areas. I have been looking at the Vesper unit, as well as the Simrad AI50. The other thing I think might be helpful for not only me, but for my wife, is to see the AIS targets overlaid on charts. So whatever I do, I want to make sure the new Nav system I buy will accept an AIS feed and allow me to show other boats and quickly access info on their path. What's your thought on Vesper vs Simrad? As far as I can see, the Vesper unit is very cool, but it's all they make. The Simrad unit is also cool, has a color screen - not that I know if that buys me anything, but from what I've read it can be easily networked with a Simrad nav system, and that is certainly a brand I have been considering.

Thanks!
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Old 23-11-2010, 07:23   #4
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Old 23-11-2010, 07:24   #5
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Oh, and thanks for that Radar note!! I had no idea they could be networked together. Do you think that is the way to go, a Furuno radar with a Simrad nav system? Why not all Furuno? Also, what do you think of these new low power broadband radars I see advertised everywhere from Simrad. Do other manufacturers make them? The low power draw and no radiation sounds great, but I'm not sure I really understand the technology, and I certainly don't get why they call is "broadband".
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Old 23-11-2010, 13:10   #6
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We are going through this as well. I am currently leaning towards a Simrad solution. The NSE can control your autopilot, at least the current models. The broadband radar is the lowest power eater on the market, and is instant on.

We need an autopilot, and they are saying that the DD15 drive uses between 2-4a, less than even the mechanical drives out there. Since the autopilot can be controlled by the MFD, we won't need to buy a control display, saving perhaps $550.00. It will all integrate with the other NMEA 2000 stuff we have:

Maretron Triducer
Garmin GMI-10 display
Maretron USB converter (to send data to computer)
Maretron untrasonic wind transducer

Chris

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Oh, and thanks for that Radar note!! I had no idea they could be networked together. Do you think that is the way to go, a Furuno radar with a Simrad nav system? Why not all Furuno? Also, what do you think of these new low power broadband radars I see advertised everywhere from Simrad. Do other manufacturers make them? The low power draw and no radiation sounds great, but I'm not sure I really understand the technology, and I certainly don't get why they call is "broadband".
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Old 23-11-2010, 13:23   #7
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I don't think that going with one brand is a good idea. Ok, you're good with electronics, how about computers? How about the freedom to choose which charts you want to use, vector, raster, use them both, have a few scanned favorite raster charts plus the ability to install and use something like MaxSea or Nobeltec as a backup, in a separate window, just in case...
Take Mac Mini, connect a cockpit screen or two to have all the information outside. Use Nobeltec PC radar and PC fishfinder (if you need one). All the NMEA insruments can be easily connected to Computer via NMEA USB adaptor, Actisense NDC for example.
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Old 24-11-2010, 06:20   #8
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Does anyone know if I can view AIS data on a Raymarine RL 70 C? Would I have to have the Raymarine unit?

The problem with the VHF AIS would seem to be you would have to go to the Nav station to look at the ships in your area...
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Old 24-11-2010, 06:46   #9
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RL 70 C will not accept aid data

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Old 24-11-2010, 06:56   #10
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I went with an AIS unit, Simrad, that outputs NEMA 2000 to a small Garmin chartplotter, works very well and provides a backup plotter. Very useful to see the target on the chart.

Soiree
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Old 30-11-2010, 11:49   #11
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That's awesome Witzgall ... I didn't know that the NSE could totally replace a pilot control unit! Have you, or has anyone, used this yet? Is it intuitive? That would be a big plus in my book a Simrad system!

-Greg

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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
We are going through this as well. I am currently leaning towards a Simrad solution. The NSE can control your autopilot, at least the current models. The broadband radar is the lowest power eater on the market, and is instant on.

We need an autopilot, and they are saying that the DD15 drive uses between 2-4a, less than even the mechanical drives out there. Since the autopilot can be controlled by the MFD, we won't need to buy a control display, saving perhaps $550.00. It will all integrate with the other NMEA 2000 stuff we have:

Maretron Triducer
Garmin GMI-10 display
Maretron USB converter (to send data to computer)
Maretron untrasonic wind transducer

Chris
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Old 30-11-2010, 12:15   #12
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There are some videos on Simrad's website showing how the autopilot works. The drawback which I had not thought about is that yo would need to run the chartplotter 100% of the time when using the autopilot. On passage, I am sure that many would be turning their chartplotter off for long stretches to save power. This would not be an option if that was your only method of controlling the pilot.

If this stuff were more reasonably priced I am sure I would have made a move on this stuff, but it just gets so expensive when you start adding it all up.

I did just buy an Airmar h2183 Heading sensor on eBay for $360 unused, so maybe I will end up getting everything piece by piece.

Chris

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That's awesome Witzgall ... I didn't know that the NSE could totally replace a pilot control unit! Have you, or has anyone, used this yet? Is it intuitive? That would be a big plus in my book a Simrad system!

-Greg
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