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Old 15-09-2015, 08:13   #1
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B&G forward scan

Anybody have one? I desire to replace my existing depth finder and have a Zeuss 2 plotter and bumped into it's existence.
Now I doubt seriously any consumer fwd looking Sonar could help much when sailing, but this thing might be nice when crawling through shallows or when anchoring? Assuming of course very slow speed and vigilance?
Does it work?
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Old 15-09-2015, 09:10   #2
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Re: B&G forward scan

I had an interphase and found it marginally useful for the purpose you intend. I never had complete confidence that it would show everything or that everything it showed was to be avoided. I suspect the B&G version is a substantial improvement and as such, it may be very useful. In that regard, I now have a Furuno CH-250 searchlight sonar, that I adjust to sweep from directly beneath the boat to straight forward, thereby showing me everything between my position and where I am going. Much of the Furuno's complexity (and therefore cost) is the result of its extreme adjustability -- the basic sonar technology is nothing real special. If so, I would think that B&G could set all of the parameters for the use you describe and end up with a very functional (for that use), and easy to use, unit at a reasonable price.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:59   #3
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Re: B&G forward scan

Any update on this A64, did you end up adding one? If so, what are your thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:08   #4
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Re: B&G forward scan

I have not, and I think if I remember right its not useable with my Zeus 2 anyway.
I did install a shoot thru the hull xducer for the Zeuss that works great, or at least as well as the shoot thru the hull one did on my Garmin. Same xducer, different plug I believe.
I'm sort of in the preparing to go, finish off projects I have purchased, like the SSB that is sitting up stairs in boxes for example.
I'm beyond what I like to call the "good idea cut off point" I'm beginning to get into the execution phase or close to it I hope.

I see this as being viable if you have already slowed down and creeping around trying to find your way through and moving slowly, at least that is my impression of it.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:34   #5
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Re: B&G forward scan

OK thanks, my understanding is that it will work with Zeus 2 but requires the Sonar Hub. That and the integrated WiFi are the only feature changes I see with the Zeus 3 (which includes both natively).

We're prepping for a haul out, for a bottom job and will be upgrading our depth sensor to the newer DST sensor, so can remove the seperate thru-hull we have for speed currently. Still considering adding forward scan but want to be sure it's actually usable and not just a gimmick. I like the idea if being able to slowly feel may way forward in unknown areas...provided it works.


Good luck with the SSB
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:46   #6
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Re: B&G forward scan

For both of you: There have been several previous threads relating to forward looking sonars, and I (and others) have written fairly extensively about our experiences with (mostly) Interphase units. Some research might help answer your questions!

But, in short, we've had a Probe for twenty years now, and find it very useful. Not for avoidance of containers, etc, but for exploration of unknown areas where visibility into the water is poor. We would feel naked without ours... but we do spend a fair amount of time in poorly charted areas where the Probe's help is really appreciated.

The newer designs are quite likely more effective, and I'd love to trial one myself.

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Old 09-01-2017, 13:08   #7
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Re: B&G forward scan

Thanks Jim,

I've actually read several of your right-ups when I was searching for specifics on the B&G offering. I really like the idea of it being tied into the plotter and since the new one we'll be ordering will take the connection natively $700 brings it down to a price point we're willing to consider.

I've read a few online reviews and comparisons they where fairly complimentary of the B&G (Simrad) offering but I'm really hoping to find actual real world people who have used it in the wild.

Had never really considered it for seeing a container but find the idea of using it to explore new anchorages and shallow areas in less than ideal conditions to be very compelling. B&G claims forward visibility up to 8x water depth. Since in the conditions I'm considering, we'd likely be motoring ahead pretty slowly, this seems useful.

Yours and Ann's perspective is always appreciated.

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Old 09-01-2017, 14:01   #8
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Re: B&G forward scan

We installed a B&G Forwardscan sonar last year. You need a sonar hub with a Zeus2.

Very useful capability. It also provides a backup depth reading. It has a conservative algorithm for determining alarm zones that you set as a min depth.

It also suffers turbulence at certain speeds. I made G10 fairings as the plastic one that comes with the kit looks less than well engineered. At next haulout I might replace the fairing after I do some hydrodynamic modelling.

I see the forward visibility as up to 2 boat lengths at depths of interest. Any further is just marketing fluff.

We have the forwardscan show water depth whilenour depth trasducer shows water under the keel. Makes following chart contours easy.

In the PNW we use our forwardscan sonar more often than radar or AIS. Very useful piece of kit.
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Old 09-01-2017, 15:07   #9
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Re: B&G forward scan

"I'm sort of in the preparing to go, finish off projects I have purchased, like the SSB that is sitting up stairs in boxes for example."


If you feel the need for a jumbo Dynaplate, got one on the back deck that you can have for $50 (used but usable, with new silicone bronze bolts).

Such a deal.
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Old 09-01-2017, 16:06   #10
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Re: B&G forward scan

Fnankly, thanks but I think I will go with using the rubrail, but in truth I don't know enough to comment.
I'll be pulling the boat this Mon for a bottom job so I guess I need to figure that out.
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Old 18-03-2017, 03:13   #11
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Re: B&G forward scan

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
We installed a B&G Forwardscan sonar last year. You need a sonar hub with a Zeus2.

Very useful capability. It also provides a backup depth reading. It has a conservative algorithm for determining alarm zones that you set as a min depth.

It also suffers turbulence at certain speeds. I made G10 fairings as the plastic one that comes with the kit looks less than well engineered. At next haulout I might replace the fairing after I do some hydrodynamic modelling.

I see the forward visibility as up to 2 boat lengths at depths of interest. Any further is just marketing fluff.

We have the forwardscan show water depth whilenour depth trasducer shows water under the keel. Makes following chart contours easy.

In the PNW we use our forwardscan sonar more often than radar or AIS. Very useful piece of kit.
Hi,
My B&G/Zues2 FS becomes useless at any less than 2 m below the transducer (I draw 1.0m below the transducer) it looses bottom lock and goes blank, so for what I need it is not much good for finding the channels when I am creek crawling.....at what depth does yours stop being reliable please?
I have also noted now that at deeper depths the FS shows I will run out of water (becoming shallow) at 30m plus when clearly I will still have 8m or more).
I also have another issue: I have configured the display to show Voltage, but after about 2hrs of having the unit on the Voltage display occasionally goes blank (shows dashes)....could you try your unit for me please?
B&G have been good at supplying replacement kit to try, but after having changed everything and all the software updates I am no further forward.

Neil
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Old 21-03-2017, 10:35   #12
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Re: B&G forward scan

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Hi,
My B&G/Zues2 FS becomes useless at any less than 2 m below the transducer (I draw 1.0m below the transducer) it looses bottom lock and goes blank, so for what I need it is not much good for finding the channels when I am creek crawling.....at what depth does yours stop being reliable please?
I have also noted now that at deeper depths the FS shows I will run out of water (becoming shallow) at 30m plus when clearly I will still have 8m or more).
I also have another issue: I have configured the display to show Voltage, but after about 2hrs of having the unit on the Voltage display occasionally goes blank (shows dashes)....could you try your unit for me please?
B&G have been good at supplying replacement kit to try, but after having changed everything and all the software updates I am no further forward.

Neil
I like the B&G approach to integration and their product offerings like forwardscan. However I find the system somewhat brittle.

Overwhelmed processor in the zeus2 results in slow refresh rates. (Improved in Zeus3?) Occasionally it locks and at times the touchscreen is intermittent in its response. Mostly with cold fingers and a known limitation of capacitance touchscreens. Hence the rotary knob and push buttons. Far better interfaces than touchdcreens in DDD conditions. (DDD=dirty, dreary and dangerous)

We occasionally lose depth from our DST200. Happens both while moving and while in the marina. I suspect this is sensor related. I could easily buy a spare and swap it out when I have time.

Once I finish some large projects I'll add an NMEA interface. I think you need to be looking at the raw messages flowing on the system to be able to make data driven decisions.

Even though I'm OCD about sealing connectors and checking before connecting it's always possible I've allowed foreign matter into the connection. I may have a bad cable or perhaps a sensor is intermittently bad.

Solid state sensors are great when they are manufactured well. But a bear to diagnose when they experience intermittent faults.

Is your issue consistent or not?
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Old 22-03-2017, 12:33   #13
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Re: B&G forward scan

The only thing my B&G FS is consistent in is being inconsistent. Sometimes I think "hey, this is working well now".....other times I am thinking "I need to get my money back"......and for a system that you might rely upon I think the latter is the way forward (pardon the pun)....at least until B&G sort this issue out. I am getting close to the end of my warranty. B&G know I have never been happy with this FS. If they admit it's a geometry issue (as the angle of sonar reflection gets to a certain shallow angle it doesn't work) then that would be very pragmatic of them.....but I guess it is time to put my foot down and say I have had enough.
They have been very good (via my retailer) in replacing kit, I have had a new transducer to test, and a replacement Zues2 and Sonar Hub. But the issues remain.
Don't get me wrong, the Zues2 is lovely, I have not had any of the DDD issues you mention. That is why I opted for a plotter that had a back-up tactile interface, rather than just touch screen, in case I ever did have touch screen problems.
I also have the H50 handset that links to their V50 VHF radio. Although it had never been out in the rain I was getting condensation in the H50 handset, they replaced it without question.
As an aside, my new Raymarine autopilot head also was getting condensation inside the display. RM have discontinued the original p70 for this reason, and now offer the p70s. I really don't like the p70s, the buttons are horrible.
IS IT JUST ME
Neil
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Old 23-03-2017, 11:34   #14
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Re: B&G forward scan

Swapping components is a bit like gambling. You might get lucky but you can't duplicate it.

I would look to read raw messages on the bus. NMEA2k is just a marine implementation of CANbus which I have much experience with.

I dont have that diagnostic capability yet other than from within the zeus log. Look for errors or increasing error rates when the problem surfaces. You really need an interface, seperate to the zeus, to read the raw data.

Your issue may be in the bus and not specific to any one component. It could be as simple as an intermittent fault in a cable.

I do like the zeus especially the rotary knob.
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Old 23-03-2017, 14:57   #15
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Re: B&G forward scan

.....from the PBO test, and from what others have said I just don't think that the B&G FS has the required robust reliability to be trustworthy.
I don't currently have the knowledge to go into raw data to say if it is an installation issue or equipment.
Neil
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