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Old 06-03-2015, 09:12   #31
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
In response to the bold red section above, Dockhead wrote that he thinks you need a new dedicated heading sensor, but the Raymarine S1 autopilot does in fact provide heading output and I think it is enhanced by the internal gyro of the AP. I AM USING this output to feed a Lowrance HDS7 C-P and it works very well to satisfy the chart plotter's requirements to support radar overlay.

The NMEA 0183 output of the AP is converted to NMEA 2000 (Simnet) using a Simrad converter, and that's how I get the data into the C-P. As I recall that converter was only around $100. (All the current Navico brands use Simnet).

So bottom line, I think you should try it before you go out and spend another boat buck on a dedicated gyro-stabilized heading sensor.
I agree - I can always buy the B&G rate compass later. Looks like they spec a RC42N at about $550. However I looked up the commissioning guide I have for the S1 AP, and am not sure that mine is the G version. I need to get into the boat to see, but right now it is 40-something degrees outside with a blowing wind, and the house is 75 deg. So doing as much planning as I can inside. Anyway, the commissioning guide says that S1 fast heading output is5 Hz, 0.1 deg resolution. They list the S2 and S3 at 10 Hz, with a notation that only these are suitable for MARPA function or radar equipment. There are non-Gyro S2 and S3 units though, so that cannot be the issue. The notes say that gyro measures boat rate of turn, and enhances course keeping in adverse weather and sailing conditions. SailFastTri, do you know for sure whether your is a G model?

Does it make sense that the gyro/rate of turn is what is needed for accurate overlay?
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:51   #32
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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The NMEA 0183 output of the AP is converted to NMEA 2000 (Simnet) using a Simrad converter, and that's how I get the data into the C-P. As I recall that converter was only around $100. (All the current Navico brands use Simnet).

I forgot to mention -- you don't need to convert 0183 to NMEA2000. The Zeus has a 0183 input. If the input is already being used for something else, it's probably better to multiplex the different 0183 data streams with an inexpensive Actisense multiplexer.

The reason for that in general you'd rather have the native 0183 data on the Zeus, than externally converted data. Maybe academic in this case since we're only talking about very basic data, but still I'd probably do it that way.

And no conversion is necessary if that's the only 0183 connection you have. Some pilots multiplex 0183 data themselves, so you might also want to check that.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:54   #33
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

I use a simrad 4g, plotter and GPS. I agree that the advanced plotter functions are not that intuitive. I remember farthing around for half an hour trying to get my track to stay off before getting ticked off and telling somebody else to figure it out for me. It's only fair to point out that I'm not exactly a techno whizz. I was thrilled when blackberry announced the Classic.

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Old 06-03-2015, 12:02   #34
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Are the Simrad plotter functions any different than the B&G. Certainly the hardware looks the same.

Ok, so for some costs. The Simrad NSS Evo2 with 4G, 9 inch screen, can be had for $4200-$300 rebate = $3900. Yeah, I probably will have to buy the RC42N rate compass, and the external GPS antenna (hardtop overhead). But that is the same for any unit. Guess I would give up Sailsteer. Another thing I have to look into is whether my ST60 wind can get whatever Sailsteer needs to it. It is not in the NMEA output from the autopilot, although all of these are linked together via Seatalk.

The Zeus2 is not available in a package. It's roughly $2500 for the 9 inch display, plus another $2000 for the radar. So $4500.

If I want to go with Zeus Touch and 4G, then $2700 for 8 inch and $3100 for 12 inch. So what do I give up going Touch system. Besides a bunch of cash outlay.

Thoughts? And another thanks for all of the input/feedback/advice. I have not had luck with West Marine understanding the products, as the guys really don't know them. No where else to see them. And last time I was in there, the B&G wasn't even powered up.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:29   #35
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

I unfortunately can't compare the simrad to the B&G- I've only used the simrad.

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Old 06-03-2015, 13:21   #36
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
Are the Simrad plotter functions any different than the B&G. Certainly the hardware looks the same.

Ok, so for some costs. The Simrad NSS Evo2 with 4G, 9 inch screen, can be had for $4200-$300 rebate = $3900. Yeah, I probably will have to buy the RC42N rate compass, and the external GPS antenna (hardtop overhead). But that is the same for any unit. Guess I would give up Sailsteer. Another thing I have to look into is whether my ST60 wind can get whatever Sailsteer needs to it. It is not in the NMEA output from the autopilot, although all of these are linked together via Seatalk.

The Zeus2 is not available in a package. It's roughly $2500 for the 9 inch display, plus another $2000 for the radar. So $4500.

If I want to go with Zeus Touch and 4G, then $2700 for 8 inch and $3100 for 12 inch. So what do I give up going Touch system. Besides a bunch of cash outlay.

Thoughts? And another thanks for all of the input/feedback/advice. I have not had luck with West Marine understanding the products, as the guys really don't know them. No where else to see them. And last time I was in there, the B&G wasn't even powered up.
The Zeus2 has a much faster processor, and I think the sailsteer is worth the money. The Z2 has a wider formatted screen to accommodate a split screen function, i.e. chart on half, sailsteer on half.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:35   #37
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
Are the Simrad plotter functions any different than the B&G. Certainly the hardware looks the same.

Ok, so for some costs. The Simrad NSS Evo2 with 4G, 9 inch screen, can be had for $4200-$300 rebate = $3900. Yeah, I probably will have to buy the RC42N rate compass, and the external GPS antenna (hardtop overhead). But that is the same for any unit. Guess I would give up Sailsteer. Another thing I have to look into is whether my ST60 wind can get whatever Sailsteer needs to it. It is not in the NMEA output from the autopilot, although all of these are linked together via Seatalk.

The Zeus2 is not available in a package. It's roughly $2500 for the 9 inch display, plus another $2000 for the radar. So $4500.

If I want to go with Zeus Touch and 4G, then $2700 for 8 inch and $3100 for 12 inch. So what do I give up going Touch system. Besides a bunch of cash outlay.

Thoughts? And another thanks for all of the input/feedback/advice. I have not had luck with West Marine understanding the products, as the guys really don't know them. No where else to see them. And last time I was in there, the B&G wasn't even powered up.
OK, a couple of comments:

1. Simrad and B&G are the same except for sailing functions. Oh, and the cool "B&G" label, which some people still associate with the truly premium marine electronics which used to be made in Lymington in the building where my new sails are being made. And not the consumer-grade stuff from Navionics.

2. I don't think a fiberglass hardtop is going to interfere with GPS function. However, the built-in GPS, which I used for a while, is not all that good and doesn't pick up Russian GLONASS. So you don't really have to buy an external GPS, but if you do, by all means get the Simrad GS25 -- this is the t*ts and for only $200. It even has your rate compass built in -- but a crappy one. But if all you're using it for is radar overlay, and you don't care that it's all that accurate, then you can use that.

3. I would not bother with the RC42N, which is not all that good. For almost the same money, you can have the best compass you can buy for less than $1000 -- the Airmar H2183. If you can feed that data to your pilot, you will notice improved performance -- pilot function also needs accurate (and stable) heading data. You should be able to -- I believe the H2183 is available with dual 0183 and N2K output.

4. Your ST60 instruments can be used for your new network and will give you everything Sailsteer (and other functions) needs. There are converters available. Use 0183 if you have a free input port; otherwise multiplexer or N2K.

5. Don't buy the obsolete Touch first gen. Which is what I have. It is worth it going for the current generation, as is always the case with marine electronics. If you don't believe me, then I'll sell you a used first gen 8" Zeus Touch cheap


Good luck!
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:47   #38
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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Simrad NSS and B&G Zeus are the exact same devices, but for a relatively few number of differences in software features. For a sailing vessel, Zeus is a no-brainer as you get some cool things like SailSteer for basically zero cost.

SailSteer is so cool you will want two plotters so you can leave one permanently on the SailSteer screen.

That's what the newer race boats around here have -- two Zeus plotters on either side of the companionway, one set on chart view, and the other on SailSteer.

SailSteer gives you a graphic display of true and apparent wind angles, with true and apparent wind speeds, boat speed, time to paypoint, distance to waypoint, heading, depth, and most usefully, in order to monitor weather helm, rudder angle. It is really the t*ts, and when off soundings I often display this at the helm instead of the chart. I wish I had room at the helm for another Zeus.
So why weren't you posting this advice BEFORE I got the NSS?
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:50   #39
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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So why weren't you posting this advice BEFORE I got the NSS?
You didn't ask
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:52   #40
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

I actually think I might have got the NSS before the B&G version came out. Bummer.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:54   #41
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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I actually think I might have got the NSS before the B&G version came out. Bummer.
Not really a bummer. It's a nice MFD. I have the Zeus T -- also obsolete. It's the nature of marine electronics that you almost never have the latest and best of everything
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Old 06-03-2015, 14:27   #42
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

[QUOTE=Dockhead;1767267]OK, a couple of comments:



3. I would not bother with the RC42N, which is not all that good. For almost the same money, you can have the best compass you can buy for less than $1000 -- the Airmar H2183. If you can feed that data to your pilot, you will notice improved performance -- pilot function also needs accurate (and stable) heading data. You should be able to -- I believe the H2183 is available with dual 0183 and N2K output.



Dockhead, would my Raymarine S3G auto pilot have a suitable rate compass, or would I need the H2183 (which is almost the same price as the RC42)?

Also, not to hijack, but does anyone have photos of radar mounted on the side of the mast? I would like to move mine lower and that is the choice.
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Old 06-03-2015, 16:41   #43
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

[QUOTE=CAELESTIS;1767318]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, a couple of comments:

Dockhead, would my Raymarine S3G auto pilot have a suitable rate compass, or would I need the H2183 (which is almost the same price as the RC42)?

.
I think you are good. Here is what the commissioning guide says about the smart pilots. "S2 & S3 have 10 Hz, 0.1 deg resolution, suitable for use with MARPA function or radar equipment." If you have the G (gyro) in addition, I would suspect you are golden.

Dockhead, why the Simrad GS25 instead of the B&G ZG100? Not sure about the Simrad, but it sure looks similar to the B&G. And the B&G specs say "integrated electronic compass for accurate boat direction and radar/chart overlay. NOT SUITABLE FOR USE WITH MARPA." So is this just a disclaimer for legal purpose or can it really be that far off for tracking other boats?

Maybe I still don't understand MARPA. Or ARPA. Is that tracking by radar combined with AIS?
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Old 06-03-2015, 17:00   #44
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

One other thought. If I really wanted to put the GPS and rate compass issue to bed, would the Airmar GH2183 which is both the compass and the GPS, be a good bet? Cost $800. Only about $60 more than buying the GPS antenna and the rate compass. I have not been able to find a cost on the H2183 alone.
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Old 06-03-2015, 19:22   #45
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

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One other thought. If I really wanted to put the GPS and rate compass issue to bed, would the Airmar GH2183 which is both the compass and the GPS, be a good bet? Cost $800. Only about $60 more than buying the GPS antenna and the rate compass. I have not been able to find a cost on the H2183 alone.
The GH2183 is not good for a sailboat, because the compass needs to be near the center of gravity of the boat, where you can't get GPS reception.
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