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Old 21-04-2014, 06:18   #1
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3G/4G boadband radar install (how to integrate)

I'm in the process of shopping around for replacement radar since my Furuno 1720 has decided to stop displaying returns (probably stopped rotating, but that's just a guess).

I've pretty decided to replace it with a 3G/4G broadband radar system (Navionics?).

Thing of it is, my binnacle pod consists of a Raymarine C90w, which wasn't integrated with the Fruruno and that's something I'd like to correct on this next go-round (want to be able to see the radar from the wheel, where the throttle and gear box controls are... only makes sense, right?)

So, I'm pretty sure that it's really difficult to get the Raymarine C90 to work with the Navonics radar (regardless if it's a Lowrance, B&G or Simrad flavor of the broadband radar). I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have to throw something else on the pod to get radar where I need it.

At the moment, I'm also a little conflicted between getting OpenCPN up and running (I'm open to suggestions for portable hardware for this, but that's another thread) and just using the Navioinics Marine map (v4.7.2) on an ipad, but I can't seem to find anything for getting the broadband radar up and running on the ipad.

Ideally, I'd like to have radar at the wheel and in the cabin (so, Wifi?) and I'd really like to have very audible warnings for returns that breach a safety ring (so, no mobile devices that might sleep or otherwise turn off).

The goal is long distance, single handed, blue water cruising with low power consumption and maximum availability (I suppose I'd like to be able to run the radar 24/7, but I'll probably use it mostly at night and in low vis/bad weather).

Any ideas, suggestions and general observations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 21-04-2014, 06:51   #2
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Re: 3G/4G boadband radar install (how to integrate)

The 3G/4G radars are made by Navico, not Navionics. You cannot mix and match domes with displays, so they will not work with your current Raymarine chartplotter. Your best option is buying a Raymarine dome that does work with your C90. Another option is to sell your C90 and buy a Navico-brand chartplotter. A third is to buy a separate display/CP just for the radar and forgo any integration. Many of the new chartplotters have wifi integration now that allows ipad display - I don't know if yours does. Navico offers that ability. OpenCPN has a couple plugins that accept radar input, but I don't know any details about them. Many chartplotters have an output for an external alarm - I don't know if yours does.

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Old 21-04-2014, 08:27   #3
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Re: 3G/4G boadband radar install (how to integrate)

If you are considering 3G a workable option would be to get a (relatively) inexpensive MFD like the Simrad NSS7 for the cockpit, and a Simrad GoFree (GoFree‚„Ę wireless technology - Simrad Marine Electronics) which would allow control from the shelter of the cabin via your tablet.
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Old 22-04-2014, 05:01   #4
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Re: 3G/4G boadband radar install (how to integrate)

Thanks for the info.

> Your best option is buying a Raymarine dome that does work with your C90. Another option is to sell your C90

I was afraid as much was true. Unfortunately the C90 is just one part of an all Ramarine install (autopilot w/remote, sounder, hull speed, wind). In fact, the Furuno radar is the only thing not Raymarine (well, that and the Standard Horizon Matrix that was hacked into the system to provide an AIS feed).

> Many of the new chartplotters have wifi integration now that allows ipad display - I don't know if yours does. Navico offers that ability.

Humm... more choices. What I'd really like is something that sniffs the Seatalk and/or NMEA bus and dumps the sentences to Wifi... seems like a simple RFC to write, but I suppose the NMEA organization would come after anyone that tried.

So... just to make sure I understand, my options are:

1 - buy a broadband 3G/4G radar with matching chartplotter plus GoFree just to get the ipad functional

2 - buy just the broadband 3G/4G radar dome and run OpenCPN with the appropriate plugin

...or, is a third option possible?


> OpenCPN has a couple plugins that accept radar input,

This is what interests me the most. I think OpenCPN is the non-proprietary way forward. I'm perfectly happy to strap an ipad to the binnacle to get radar and provide a backup CP. OpenCPN on a tablet/computer on the inside provides additional backup and additional features (satellite/sw weather, grib plotting and the like)

I had heard that a regular, generic wifi gateway (I like mikrotik) was sufficient to duplicate the functionality of GoFree. Seems like the GoFree, with it's huge heat sink, might be a bit of a power pig.

> Many chartplotters have an output for an external alarm

...and this is the main fly in the ointment. If I go the ipad/openCPN route, I lose the alarm functionality. I'd hate to spend $2k for "a machine that goes 'Ping!'".
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