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Old 31-08-2015, 12:46   #16
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
My question is: Are there any owners that have had a trouble free experience with recent generations of Navico electronics?
Ah technology isn't it grand? .....

As an engineer working on the 'latest' technology things are getting worse, more buggy and less reliable. That's my daily experience and I'm pulling back from any thoughts of adding more tech to the boat.

When my auto finally fails it's going to be removed from the boat and replaced by a wind vane and tiller pilot. Hey B&G this message is for you! There will be no upgrading or renewing of instruments on my boat. If the depth sounder ever fails it will be replaced with a stand alone unit.

It's really not Ok to treat sailing instruments the same as consumer electronics. We do not want to buy something new every year and we do not want to have older still working systems be obsoleted. This market space should be considered commercial grade embedded systems with at least a 10 year serviceable life. Anything less is disrespecting your customers, not all of whom can afford to chase the latest multi-thousand dollar system.
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Old 31-08-2015, 13:56   #17
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
It's really not Ok to treat sailing instruments the same as consumer electronics. We do not want to buy something new every year and we do not want to have older still working systems be obsoleted. This market space should be considered commercial grade embedded systems with at least a 10 year serviceable life. Anything less is disrespecting your customers, not all of whom can afford to chase the latest multi-thousand dollar system.
Well said!

Unfortunately, the manufacturers only want customers who CAN afford to spend several thousand a year on upgrades. The rest of us appear to be of no interest to them.
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Old 31-08-2015, 14:21   #18
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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B&G's cruising AP is the exact same as Simrad's with a different sticker. This is a very good AP and doesn't have many problem reports by itself.

B&G also make a higher end AP that isn't shared with Simrad, AFAIK. I don't think many here are using it, and haven't heard of any complaints.

So far, I think the only AP complaints have been from those using both a B&G/Simrad AP and a Zeus chart plotter. That combo seems to be causing problems, although it could be related gear with that combo.

Mark
The ability of Zeus2 to control the AP was heavily touted as a need-to-have feature by others when I was shopping for equipment, to the point that several recommended swapping out my working Raymarine AP. Frankly I could not see the advantage of controlling the AP from Zeus2. I like the separate AP display head. If I had Zeus2 on chart, it would take a few taps to get to the AP control page. Instead I just touch the AP control head. Given the combo issues, its another reason to just stay separate. Especially when Zeus2 craps out (hopefully never!).
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Old 31-08-2015, 17:43   #19
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
It's really not Ok to treat sailing instruments the same as consumer electronics. We do not want to buy something new every year and we do not want to have older still working systems be obsoleted. This market space should be considered commercial grade embedded systems with at least a 10 year serviceable life. Anything less is disrespecting your customers, not all of whom can afford to chase the latest multi-thousand dollar system.
This is a funny statement in light of the 4,000 threads on CF espousing using cheap consumer electronics as primary navigation equipment in lieu of more expensive and robust commercial systems.

Whether those consumer electronics be computers, phones, tablets, etc.

But I'm not convinced the new gear is any less robust than the old gear. Even when taking in account the old gear wasn't networked and didn't have a fraction of the capabilities of the new gear. Everyone talks about a specific, frozen, period of gear in their lives that was bulletproof and wonderful, but not about the industry average across gear of any time period. I don't think that has changed much, and could possibly even be better now.

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Old 31-08-2015, 17:56   #20
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

No problems. Have had ray marine and b&g like both. Rely on my iPad for most serious navigation.


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Old 01-09-2015, 11:34   #21
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

I have a complete suite of Zues gear (2014) and struggled for 18 months with AP disengagements, radio changing to the weather channel, dropped GPS, wind data that disappears... Finally got a Navico guy to come out and do a couple of updates and disable the AIS feature in my V50/H50 radio. Seems it conflicted with the AIS-400. Because of the conflicts it was wreaking havoc. Logged 70 miles in the last 2 outings with no issues.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:37   #22
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Since my last post, I have been trying to evaluate the integrity of the actual NMEA2000 network.

I have a Maretron DSM150 in the system. It has a bus status page and, with the help of Maretron tech support, I have determined the network is fully functional without any errors, voltage problems or any other issues. It is only working at 22% of it's bandwidth capacity with everything on. All of the parameters are within normal specification. For what it's worth, the person I spoke to mentioned that they have had a constant stream of tech support calls specifically about the issues related to Navico products software not working correctly on NMEA2000 networks. He even suggested that I complain, in writing, to NMEA2000.org in an effort to put pressure on Navico to get their software act together.

I have also been speaking with B&G tech support. Interestingly, they are blaming Maretron for my issues. They claim that the Maretron components making up the majority of my network are prone to failure and have implied that I should remove all Maretron components and replace them with B&G/Navico pieces. When I mention the evidence of software problems published on this, and other forums, they change the subject, obfuscate or have nothing to say. They did, however, agree to pay for 2 hours of troubleshooting by an marine electronics shop nearby, in an effort to help.

For what it's worth, I recently added a second Zeus2 display along with two more Tritons to the network ( in a NavPod for cockpit viewing and access ). Before I did that, the problems were less prevalent, but still there. After I added the additional items, the problems were immediate and consistent. The "Rudder Response Failure" and/or "No Active Control Unit" messages are now immediate and occur within seconds of engaging the autopilot.

In my mind, this points to the Zeus2 MFDs as the culprits. If you read the posts of most users without problems, they have either no Zeus, or a different autopilot manufacturer.

I will restate that the only problems I have are autopilot issues. Every other item on the network performs correctly and without hiccups.

I'm on the verge of looking into other manufacturer's autopilot systems.
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Old 01-09-2015, 16:02   #23
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

I posted before (#3). But since I'm the only one with Zeus2+AC42 responding, I'll try again and add a little more information.

My system is pure N2K with the following components, all running the latest firmware.

B&G Zeus2 plotter
Lowrance HDS Gen2 plotter
5 B&G Tritons
B&G NAIS-400 transponder
B&G V50 radio
B&G 4G radar
B&G AC42 pilot computer
B&G Triton pilot controller
B&G RC42N compass
B&G RF300 rudder sensor
Raymarine iTC-5 transducer converter (ST60 wind and depth transducers)
Airmar DST800 transducer

My N2K cabling is a mix of Simrad, Garmin, and Maretron parts. I put it together thoughtfully, but did not use any fancy analyzers or programs. I just plugged it all in and turned it on.

I don't have anything like the problems you are describing. I have some annoyances, and a long wish list, but no real problems, especially not with the AP. The autopilot drives my boat 100% of the time (unless I'm docking or anchoring) and I take any kind of fault there seriously. I switched to the AC42 when my Raymarine S2G sneezed one too many times. I have done several multi-day passages with the AC42 steering 24/7 and had zero issues.

So I don't believe there is an endemic problem with Navico equipment. I think there would be a much louder uproar from unhappy customers if that were the case. I do believe in bad units, bad interactions between otherwise functional units, and bad environmental factors (voltage fluctuations, heat, corrosion, RF noise, etc). I tend to think you're somewhere in that category.

I would try to reproduce the problem in the simplest setup possible. If it works then slowly and gradually add more stuff back in. I think the size and complexity of your network is making it too difficult to isolate the problem and too easy for tech support to point fingers.
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Old 01-09-2015, 16:18   #24
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
Ah technology isn't it grand? .....

As an engineer working on the 'latest' technology things are getting worse, more buggy and less reliable. That's my daily experience and I'm pulling back from any thoughts of adding more tech to the boat.

When my auto finally fails it's going to be removed from the boat and replaced by a wind vane and tiller pilot. Hey B&G this message is for you! There will be no upgrading or renewing of instruments on my boat. If the depth sounder ever fails it will be replaced with a stand alone unit.

It's really not Ok to treat sailing instruments the same as consumer electronics. We do not want to buy something new every year and we do not want to have older still working systems be obsoleted. This market space should be considered commercial grade embedded systems with at least a 10 year serviceable life. Anything less is disrespecting your customers, not all of whom can afford to chase the latest multi-thousand dollar system.
+1

We're looking at a complete instrumentation upgrade next year.

Following posts on others experience highlights the lack of integration capability exhibited by B&G on the more complex installations.

Too many similarities with the consumer electronics industry. Including forced obsolesence.

We too will not be spending any money until confident.

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Old 01-09-2015, 16:27   #25
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

JayH,
Thank you for the helpful post. Like you, I need the A/P to work, as I am a single hander.
B&G/Simrad have replaced the AC42 computer and the RF25N rudder sensor already. The error messages have changed since then, so I believe the originals were actually defective.
Carl F's suggestion to take everything off the network except one Zeus, the H2183, the AC42 and the RF25N is my next troubleshooting step. As I can only work on this on my days off, it's slow going.
I have this beautiful boat that is pretty useless to me until this is fixed. It's pretty funny to watch me try to go forward to hoist the mainsail with my surgical tubing trying to hold the tiller steady. Then, when I need to reef....
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Old 01-09-2015, 18:00   #26
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Ugh, Bill, so sorry to hear this! How maddening. Perhaps it would be best if I were to leave all my new B&G componentry in their boxes....they are giving me no troubles like that
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Old 01-09-2015, 18:50   #27
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

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Ugh, Bill, so sorry to hear this! How maddening. Perhaps it would be best if I were to leave all my new B&G componentry in their boxes....they are giving me no troubles like that
Please send them to me.. I will make sure they are adequetely disposed of
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Old 01-09-2015, 18:55   #28
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

Not a single problem with my Zeus 2 here. I just did the software updates as suggested. I do have a few Raymarine instruments that it talks to thru the Raymarine Seatalk to ST NG converter, and a Vesper 850 thru a Actisense box, also without trouble.
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Old 01-09-2015, 19:35   #29
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

I agree that an earlier post that advantages of controlling your autopilot from the chartplotter are few. There's no law that says everything has to be on one network or have color graphics.

What if you pair that AC42 with the old fashioned Simrad AP24 controller? I really like the dedicated turn 1 and 10 degree buttons. This combination is pre-Navico. Back when Simrad equipped North Sea fishing boats. Almost 10 years of hard use has made it as close to bullet proof as you'll find. That's what I do. Sure it's monochrome with 1990's graphics - but it steers the boat great and never skips a beat.
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Old 01-09-2015, 21:37   #30
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Re: Are there any B&G/Simrad/Navico owners without troubles?

All 2014 new B&G system, Zeus T7, AC42 AP, V50 VHF, Airmar triducer, B&G wind. All factory cabling, integration stock, no additions by me.

Chartplotter crashes on boot with B&G chart chip in if you press accept before waiting 1 minute. No resolution or response from B&G on this other than update firmware (it's latest).

Same V50 problem as everyone else, where you have to turn off AIS or the AP will drop if you turn on the VHF while it's engaged.

Wind instrument drops offline randomly. Triducer drops off line randomly.

B&G has serious software flaws that they don't seem to know how to address, and they aren't taking tech support issues seriously. They seem to think that some level of failure is to be expected, and if resetting the system gets it working for a few hours then that's good enough.
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