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Old 23-03-2013, 18:20   #1
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Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

For years we have used our Furuno 1621 radar once and a while on passage at night. Over the years, we had to replace the main component in the radome and now, our second display is dead! I am a little tired of spending lots of money in repairs and new parts ..

Here are my choices, perhaps some of you can point me in the right direction ... (I appreciate you sharing).

1> repairing my display (and the one before I kept!)

- I found a experienced electronic guy here in the Philippines where I am now
- But he need the technician manual with complete schematics ...
Where could I get that?
Where could I get parts like the LCD display (we think that is the failed part?)

2> find a used display for sale (and hope it's life expectancy is not too short!)
Anyone has one ... or like autopilots, displays die first generally!)

3> I bite the bullet and buy a new unit ... taking down the present radome ... and contributing to landfills!

- In that case, I would like to get a radar that does not need it's own proprietary display ... a radome that can be interfaced with any laptop/PC and be seen in Open CPN by ex.

Anyone has any feedback about these?

4> I resisted buying an AIS so far but I am more open to get one after hearing so many positive cruisers testimonials. If I do, I would also like to get one that I could directly interface with laptop/PC.

The reasons I like the approach of radar/AIS using our ship's PC as display are avoiding another piece of equipment (proprietary display) that cost more money, takes more space and will give more headaches to replace/repair later. And ... no, I am not putting my eggs in one basket as we have 3 redundant 12v PC on the boat
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Old 23-03-2013, 19:37   #2
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

For radar it does not exist yet, but for AIS it does: Vesper Marine has one as black box or with LCD and both have wifi to show AIS on laptops, iPads etc.

AIS is not radar, you need both imho but radar is more important for navigation because you can get range and bearing to land features etc. which AIS does not give... although in some places you already get AIS shore beacons; I found them here in Panama for example.

I think Furuno has the best radar, followed by Garmin, Raymarine and Simrad. Others put this list in a different order but it basically is this list. I am surprised that you got these problems with Furuno and it makes me wonder if there is something wrong with your installation like power supply or cabling etc.

The main component in your Radome is the Magnetron and it should only need replacing after many many years. Your radar might keep track of how many hours it has transmitted so that you can check that. LCD displays go bad but not quick. Contact Furuno for service is the best advise I can give you. In the USA their service is perfect but I don't know where you are.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 23-03-2013, 22:06   #3
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

Hi Nick,

Thanks for the input.
I will check on the Vesper AIS. While searching on the wen last hour, I found the AIS100 receiver from Digital Yacht Ltd ... wonder if anyone has any feed-back??

When looking at radars I ran across the Simrad 3G broadband or B&G 4G ... new technology. I wonder if the hype of safer for our health, less power consumption and better definition are hype or real ... Perhaps we'll get some input ...
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Old 23-03-2013, 22:26   #4
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

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Originally Posted by lucseawalker View Post
Hi Nick,

Thanks for the input.
I will check on the Vesper AIS. While searching on the wen last hour, I found the AIS100 receiver from Digital Yacht Ltd ... wonder if anyone has any feed-back??

When looking at radars I ran across the Simrad 3G broadband or B&G 4G ... new technology. I wonder if the hype of safer for our health, less power consumption and better definition are hype or real ... Perhaps we'll get some input ...
The B&G 4G works with Simrad displays too I think. These do have better definition but only very close by, say within 100 yards or so. They are not as good as traditional pulse radar for longer range, punching through rain etc. and they get interference from regular radar. I always think they are the perfect 2nd radar for motorboats, but others find them best of-course.

I still think the Furuno 3D radars are the best yacht radars on the market and the Furuno ship radars are the best commercial radars on the market.

The AIS from Digital Yacht is not of the Vesper Marine level but it is the only other AIS with these features. Vesper Marine is a class apart.
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Old 23-03-2013, 22:35   #5
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

Each of these companies had a bread and butter product. Furuno was always about radar, check out the fish boats whereever you go, most of them are using Furuno. I really like their radars. If I was looking for a SSB there is a leader in radios and that is Icom. Furuno makes SSB's as well but in my mind never as good as Icom.
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Old 23-03-2013, 23:38   #6
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

I have been to Scan Marine in Manila and saw almost every old model of Furuno Radars in for repair
SCAN MARINE INCORPORATED .. Surprised if they cannot help you make repairs

Re a new black box Furuno radar… Scan also make their own displays at a fraction of the proprietary display, using the same components…
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Old 24-03-2013, 00:31   #7
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Question is do you really need a radar, a combination of navigation program ((Open CPN for example) and AIS will give you all the information you need on your PC at a fraction of the price you pay for proprietary radar equipment.
The only advantage radar has is when you sail in foggy area with many small crafts around which do not carry AIS.
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Old 24-03-2013, 00:41   #8
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
I have been to Scan Marine in Manila and saw almost every old model of Furuno Radars in for repair
SCAN MARINE INCORPORATED .. Surprised if they cannot help you make repairs

Re a new black box Furuno radar… Scan also make their own displays at a fraction of the proprietary display, using the same components…
Thanks for the info, I will check with them right away
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Old 24-03-2013, 01:02   #9
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

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Question is do you really need a radar, a combination of navigation program ((Open CPN for example) and AIS will give you all the information you need on your PC at a fraction of the price you pay for proprietary radar equipment.
The only advantage radar has is when you sail in foggy area with many small crafts around which do not carry AIS.
Good question ... that i ask myself too!
If fixing or replacing the radar end up too expensive for my taste , I might go with OpenCPN + AIS
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Old 24-03-2013, 01:35   #10
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

Japanese electronics company Koden makes a raydome/black box with pc ethernet output. No idea of the price. They sold their U.S. distributorship to Si-Tex so you could try calling them.
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Old 24-03-2013, 01:45   #11
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

Just did a quick search and defender has a Si-Tex redome on sale for $966 - I'm pretty sure it is a re-branded Koden. They sell it for connection to a plotter but maybe they can get you the ethernet interface box.
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Old 24-03-2013, 04:07   #12
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

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Just did a quick search and defender has a Si-Tex redome on sale for $966 - I'm pretty sure it is a re-branded Koden. They sell it for connection to a plotter but maybe they can get you the ethernet interface box.
Ok, I will check it out ... Tnx
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Old 24-03-2013, 04:24   #13
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

Si-Tex sells an AIS transceiver that connects directly to a PC or Mac via a USB cable. Of course your software must be capable of displaying an AIS image. MacENC is one that does, there are others.
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Old 24-03-2013, 06:03   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levm View Post
Question is do you really need a radar, a combination of navigation program ((Open CPN for example) and AIS will give you all the information you need on your PC at a fraction of the price you pay for proprietary radar equipment.
The only advantage radar has is when you sail in foggy area with many small crafts around which do not carry AIS.
No that is not true. Only radar will provide the real deal for bearing and range; what a chartplotter says is how it THINKS it is while a radar says how it is for real. For boat targets it is the same as there are still many boats without AIS but they do show up on radar. AIS enhances radar and more so with modern radar that will display waypoints and AIS targets on it's screen and overlay the radar picture on the chart.
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Old 24-03-2013, 08:09   #15
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Re: Radar / AIS to view directly on PC ?

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4> I resisted buying an AIS so far but I am more open to get one after hearing so many positive cruisers testimonials. If I do, I would also like to get one that I could directly interface with laptop/PC.
Raymarine AIS 650 Transponder has a direct USB link (ie not seriel to usb converter) and I use it on my primary Nav computer into OpenCpn.

its the best bit of safety kit I have bought. its excellent!


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