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Old 11-08-2017, 16:38   #1
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Advice on electronics upgrade

Ok, so I've been doing a ton of research but I'm still not sure if my panned upgrade makes sense.
Boat: New to me PDQ 32 LRC (diesel powered)
Electronics:
ST 60+ Tridata (depth, speed , trip), works fine
Autopilot, ST4000+, works well, new drive
NO wind sensor or diplay
Chartplotter: Raymarine RC435 works, but I tend to use my iPAD instead.

So, I want wind and AIS, maybe add radar down the road.

My plan:
Buy a B&G 508 wind sensor, N2K, $475 (comes with 20M of N2K cable).
Buy a Vesper XB 8000 smartAIS transponder $800.

The logic here is to start a N2K backbone up the mast and attach the wind sensor to the Vesper. The Vesper wifi should then give me wind speed/direction and AIS which I can view on the iPAD. I should be able to view wind (and any other NMEA data using iNAVX on the iPAD. Not sure if the AIS data will overlay on Navionics?? If this works I will be happy in that my iPAD will serve as a MFD at the helm. If the ipad breaks, I still have the chartplotter at the helm. Viewing wind on the ipad also means I don't have to buy a dedicated wind display (they are expensive!).

The questions:
Will my wind sensor talk to the ST4000+ autopilot so I can set a constant wind angle? It is going through the Vesper and should output NMEA 083 which the ST4000+ reads, right?

Similarly, will the AIS talk to the chartplotter through 083 to overlay AIS data on the chartplotter? This is not as important to me as I like the iPad better.

Will the depth and speed from the ST60+ provide data to the N2K network through the vesper and also display on the iPAD via wifi?

Down the road, I would get a Zeuss2 MFD with 3G radar which would expand the N2K network.

Does this make sense? I appreciate any and all feedback!
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Old 11-08-2017, 17:25   #2
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

I'd go with the Vesper Watchmate that has the same functionality plus a screen. You'd get a good AIS display at low power plus a great anchor alarm. You should be able to get the wind output to your AP using the low speed 0183 port, assuming your AP excepts std 0183. There is only one 183 port for output, so you cannot output AIS which requires 34k baud while using the port for std 4.8k nmea 183.
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Old 11-08-2017, 17:46   #3
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

You will need the raymarine 083 converter to convert signal to SeaTalk1
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Old 11-08-2017, 18:12   #4
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I'd go with the Vesper Watchmate that has the same functionality plus a screen. You'd get a good AIS display at low power plus a great anchor alarm. You should be able to get the wind output to your AP using the low speed 0183 port, assuming your AP excepts std 0183. There is only one 183 port for output, so you cannot output AIS which requires 34k baud while using the port for std 4.8k nmea 183.
I'm not sure I understand the advantage of the Watchmate Vision. It is $400 more and I will have a screen on the ipad with anchor alarm etc.

Good to know that I can output 0183 data to the autopilot. Not too concerned that I can't output 0183 AIS data to the chartplotter. It will be on all my devices, ipad, android tablet and smartphones.
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Old 11-08-2017, 18:20   #5
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
You will need the raymarine 083 converter to convert signal to SeaTalk1
Can you elaborate on this converter? All I can find is a "VHF NMEA 0183 to STng converter kit. Thanks
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Old 11-08-2017, 18:57   #6
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
I'm not sure I understand the advantage of the Watchmate Vision. It is $400 more and I will have a screen on the ipad with anchor alarm etc.

Good to know that I can output 0183 data to the autopilot. Not too concerned that I can't output 0183 AIS data to the chartplotter. It will be on all my devices, ipad, android tablet and smartphones.
To convert nmea 183 to Raymarine non-standard version do a search on Ray part e85001. There are some third converters too.

As to using the display model vs all your other handheld devices, that's a personal decision. For me it depends a lot on the type of cruising you are doing. The hardwired display will never run it's battery down at 3am while you are in dicey anchoring situation. The AIS display will be sunlight visible and always available. The software on the fixed unit will not update itself and decide to mysteriously hang. The user won't get distracted by Facebook in the fixed unit.
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Old 11-08-2017, 19:10   #7
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
To convert nmea 183 to Raymarine non-standard version do a search on Ray part e85001. There are some third converters too.

As to using the display model vs all your other handheld devices, that's a personal decision. For me it depends a lot on the type of cruising you are doing. The hardwired display will never run it's battery down at 3am while you are in dicey anchoring situation. The AIS display will be sunlight visible and always available. The software on the fixed unit will not update itself and decide to mysteriously hang. The user won't get distracted by Facebook in the fixed unit.
Yes, I agree those are the negatives with using an ipad. However, I think it would be better to get something like the Zeuss MFD for about the same price as the increase in price for the WM Vision.
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Old 11-08-2017, 19:26   #8
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

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Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
Yes, I agree those are the negatives with using an ipad. However, I think it would be better to get something like the Zeuss MFD for about the same price as the increase in price for the WM Vision.
It can be a slippery slope when you start looking at all you could put on during an electronics upgrade. My Vesper stays on 24hrs a day when we are cruising, even at anchor. My MFD would suck too much juice to leave on at anchor.
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Old 11-08-2017, 20:09   #9
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

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It can be a slippery slope when you start looking at all you could put on during an electronics upgrade. My Vesper stays on 24hrs a day when we are cruising, even at anchor. My MFD would suck too much juice to leave on at anchor.
Yes, I get that, need to consider power draw. I hadn't thought about the need to leave the unit on all night to really get the safety benefit of the anchor alarm. But now I'm wondering, for the XB 8000, one would set the parameters for the anchor alarm on the ipad or phone rather than the built in screen on the Vision but then would the alarm still function if the phone or ipad went to sleep?
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:13   #10
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

I know it's your $$ we're spending here, but look at it this way:

Paul has explained why a dedicated display for "only $400 more" would be much better, you're already spending $X, $400 is the cost of a new phone in some cases...and you're "arguing" with the recommendation?"

I don't get it. For this purpose, phones are THE weak link in the chain.

Good luck, but please listen to Paul, he knows this stuff.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:36   #11
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Advice on electronics upgrade

Personally I would get the last generation B&G wind/speed/depth package for $1200 or whatever it sells for now. You get two mfd displays and about $200 worth of N2K networking kit.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:03   #12
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

I asked for advice and Paul was nice enough to give me his advice. I am indeed listening to him and appreciate it. I'm sorry if it seems like I am "arguing" with him. Paul, I hope you don't take it that way. I am simply trying to understand the why for the advice. As a result of Paul's comments, I have been doing a lot of reading on the Vesper site and I do indeed like the idea of having a touch screen for the AIS. However, my helm real estate is limited, and I will still need a chartplotter of some sort, either the ipad or a Zeuss 2 for example. Paul's point about being able to leave the Vesper on all the time for anchor alarm is well-taken. Lots to think about.

Again, thanks for your advice.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:07   #13
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

Any smartphone can be turned into an anchor alarm by installing an app... There is a variety of such apps available for less than $5.

Assuming said phone is on and charging at night, as is common anyway, I think this is a decent alternative when it comes to anchoring.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:31   #14
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

You might want to invest into the future, ie: Signal K.
Check out IKommunicate.com
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:37   #15
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Re: Advice on electronics upgrade

This may not be relevant to you; but generally I hate AIS transponders.

I usually solo sail out of Baltimore Maryland. There is a lot of big commercial traffic--which do not yield to sailboats. When I first got my AIS receiver, it was a godsend; no more thousand foot freighters sneaking up on me (and yes they do that). Now, however, my AIS is almost useless with all the class B (small boats) clutter. There is absolutely no reason for all this clutter when visibility is good. Small boats are maneuverable and only need about 100 foot visibility for safety from other small boats; moreover, you must yield to all large commercial traffic (which don't have the maneuverability to avoid you, even if they wanted to).

If small boats with AIS transponders were considerate and turned them off when unneeded, transponders would be okay. But most aren't, and are destroying the utility of AIS with their clutter.
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