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Old 05-03-2014, 17:01   #91
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

The laptop can connect directly to the wifi-1. The MFD will push out a NMEA data stream on a different port then GoFree app uses. You need to configure / enable this in the MFD.

I have run OpenCPN off the NMEA0183 data stream with no issues. Same with iNavx running on iOS. The NSS converts some NMEA2000 data into NMEA0183.

Apparently it also has a native NMEA2000 stream but I don't know of any applications that can use it.

It is discussed in more detail here:

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: WiFi MFD's, Navico GoFree promises more than met

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
If I am using the wifi-1 module from B&G to be able to use my iPad with the MFD, can I also connect to the system using a Macbook Air and receive the NMEA 2000 data for using a chart program on the laptop? Or would I need an actual connection to the NMEA network via USB?
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:58   #92
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Great news, thanks.
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Old 06-03-2014, 21:20   #93
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

David,
1) Personally, I think you've looped-in a bit too much into one thread....nav system, sailing instruments, communications gear/antennas, refrigeration, batteries, solar panels, etc..
It's a LOT to ask anyone to comment on completely...but what the heck, we'll give it a try...

So, with the above in mind...


2) Most of your discussions here have been very detailed about "B&G nav displays", autopilot systems, sensors, etc....but none address questions about your communications systems / antennas, etc. (and only a little bit on your electrical/battery/solar systems)...
The comms gear (and solar/electrical, refrigeration/freezer, etc.) is where I can be of great help...




3) But, first allow me to 2nd the comments on POWER CONSUMPTION of all your proposed gear!!
Having enough power (battery and solar) to run it all, is something that is often overlooked, and it is VERY important....so please spend as much time researching/considering batteries and solar arrays, as you do the B&G stuff, MFD's, etc...

And, yes a 12" MFD does consume more power than an 8" MFD....and while I am a BIG proponent of low-power consumption, allow me to add some real-world experience (of using a 12" display, a 8" display, and no display....I've done all 3...)


a) On passage you will not need and not use the display (or very rarely), as there is nothing to see on the "chart" but ocean!! (and the only time you'd need to use radar is in fog, and in rain showers to find the lighter rain areas and to try to spot other vessels unseen visually due to the rain....)



b) In the Caribbean you'll not find much need for radar....and with mostly good visibility you'll find a lot of island/harbor approach, and coastal cruising, to be done visually with a depth sounder to verify your location...
Not sure what electronic charts you'll have in the MFD's, but in some areas such as the Bahamas and the lesser traveled western Caribbean, both electronic and paper charts can have "errors" vs. GPS surveys....so the depth sounder and visual navigation is very important here...


c) When you DO need the radar (or a radar overlay on a electronics chart), even your 27 yr. old eyes WILL much prefer a 12" display!!




So, with the above three things in mind (as well as thinking about a sizable un-shaded solar array), I actually recommend the larger display....
When you NEED to use it, you will NEVER regret having the bigger display!!!
(I got this advice about 7 years ago, when I was doing a complete electronics upgrade/refit on my current boat....and me being a fanatic about low-power consumption, I found it hard to swallow...but I took the advice and I can tell you that it was great advice....I don't use the MFD often, but when i do, I have NEVER regretted getting the 12" display in the cockpit....btw, I also have an 8" MFD at the Nav Station...)
Have a look at these links for info/photos of my Nav Station, Cockpit instruments and display, etc...just to give you some ideas...
(btw, I personally dislike the trend of placing lots of instruments immediately at the helm / on the binnacle grab handle, etc...)
Nav Station

E120/Cockpit

AIS Transponder

Here are a few low-res examples...














Specifically regarding batteries, etc....Over a period of a few days, you've posted all of this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Also adding:
140AH AGM batteries (4)
140W Kyocera Solar panels (3)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Thoughts on a battery system composed of:

Lifeline Deep Cycle AGM Battery 8D (2) - 510AH House bank
Victron BMV600S Battery Monitor
Kyocera KD140SX Solar panel (3) - 420W
Morningstar TriStar 60 Amp MPPT

The boat already has a starting batter and a house battery which I plan on using as well, but I'm trying to set up a new house bank concept. Will I have to upgrade my battery charger as well to handle to increased house bank size?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
So instead of AGM, if I go with a golf-cart battery system, which one seems more appropriate?

6x Trojan 6V T105 (675 AH)
4x Trojan 6V J305 (630 AH)

Is it just a matter of space? Or is having a larger batteries not as efficient as a smaller ones?
You'd get a much better/more detailed answer in the electrical forum, and I suggest you do a search there....(specifically using Trojan, Rolls, 2-volt, 6-volt, golf cart, etc.) ....

But until then, here are a few thoughts...
--- Most cruisers find AGM's to be a waste of money/effort...and many have lifespan issues, as the typical cruising boat has a hard time getting the batteries up to 100% charge (which lowers the lifespane of AGM's to a greater extent than wet-types)
--- So, unless you have battery areas that you cannot regularly access to add water, go with wet-type batteries...
--- Since you're getting input/advice from other Caliber 40 owners, they're providing the size/space info available for batteries...so, with that in mind, my advice is to install the largest house battery bank you can fit (and afford)
--- Nothing wrong with Trojans, but I actually prefer Rolls...(see the other threads for details)...
--- Use whatever fits in the space, AND that you can physically get at to install/remove/service....remember that you can get a bit more energy from a slightly taller battery (such as the T-125, or T-145, versus the T-105), so don't forget the "height" measurement when looking at batteries....

Again do a search on the electrical forum and you'll get a LOT more info...


Here are some links to info/photos of my current battery system, solar panels, etc...
Battery

Solar Panels

Towed-Water-Generator

Here are a few low-res examples...









The bottom line with energy systems on cruising boats (especially in the tropics), is to install as much un-shaded solar as you can possibly fit (and afford), keeping plenty of room for good airflow under and around the panels....use a hi-quality MPPT charge controller....and do not add a lot of accessory crap above the solar array that could shade the panels....

Nobody ever says that have too much solar!!!
(sort of like having too much money...



4) As for refrigeration....it's not quite as controversial as "anchors", but there are a lot of opinions, and many are not based on real-world use in tropical climates, but rather on marketing materials....so take some of these recommends with a grain of salt..
A scientifically accepted "fact" is that as long as you're using decent insulated boxes of average to above-average size (5 cu ft each, or so), AIR-COOLED Danfoss-based systems have the highest energy efficiency....an air-cooled BD-50 based system almost cannot be beat....
(remember it is the INSULATION that makes any refrig/freezer system on-board work well!!!)


Do yourself the favor of reading Richrad Kollmann's books and his postings here...
He is "the man" of quality marine refrigeration/freezing, and knows more about this subject than all the rest of the Crusier's Forum members combined!!!


Do a search here (and on the SSCA Disc Boards) about refrigeration, using words like air cooled, danfoss, BD-50, insulation, etc. etc...and you'll find a GREAT deal of info that will be helpful...


Have a look at this link to see info/photos of my refrig/freezer and insulation set-up...
Frig/Freezer




~~~~




5) Now as for where my primary area of expertise lies, "comms gear"....which is actually all that I really wanted to comment on...


a) If you're not choosing a Vesper WatchMate AIS (at least one of their 670 displays), you probably haven't seen/used one!!!
In my 40 years experience in electronics including 30 years in the electronics industry, there are few products that stand out in their field as truly extraordinary....and the Vesper WatchMate AIS units are one of those....they stand far and above all the others (and not just because of the low-power consumption! )

Have a look at this thread (and search for others here) and you'll learn quite a bit...
AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen






b) As for the VHF antennas, HF-SSB, etc...
This the primary reason I'm answering your posting...
But, after answering all the above, I'm running out-of-steam tonight...so maybe just some highlight here now, and maybe more later???

Please read these threads....(and watch the videos)
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call

SSCA Forum • View topic - Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

Favorite Nav/WX Websites?

Best Price on icom 802and/or pactor 4

Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea



Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Helm/Deck
-KISS-SSB grounding system
-Split Lead HF SSB antenna
Below:
-Icom 604A VHF
-Icom M802 SSB
-Icom AT140 tuner
-SCS DR-7400 P4 Modem

Some of the first questions I have are regarding the VHF/SSB antennas.

Will the 604A need a separate antenna, or will I be able to use the existing antenna the boat has installed?

Is the split lead antenna for the SSB a reasonable choice?
I like the fact that I would not need to cut my backstay, and it seems like a pretty simple installation.
Do NOT take chances with old/unknown condition VHF antenna and cabling...

Change your existing vhf antenna and coax to a NEW antenna and NEW coax and connectors (I recommend RG-213 or LMR-240...or Davis Bury-Flex or LMR-400)...
It makes NO sense to sail off with your PRIMARY comms gear on-board using old (and unknown condition) antenna and coax!!!
(if the old antenna is good, save it for a spare...)

I recommend a separate dedicated antenna for the AIS, mounted on the stern-rail, etc....(read details in the links provided...but you MUST keep these antennas separate from each other, by at least 6' - 10'...)
Or, use the Vesper SP-160 relay/"splitter" to allow you to use the primary masthead VHF antenna for both the M-604 and the AIS transponder....(although I still recommend having the stern-rail mounted antenna as well...for coastal cruising as well as a "back-up" antenna...)







c) There has been a 3 yr long argument going on here on Cruiser's Forum about the KISS-SSB-Ground (which I gave up trying help folks understand over a year ago)....
But, in a nutshell, there are much better approaches (proven by scientific calculations and real-world tests), such as a direct sea-water RF Ground connection, being the best approach...
(note that you could make a better "counterpoise" than the "KISS" in < 5 minutes, with a handful of scrap wire, and it'll cost you < $5, and maybe even nothing at all!!)
If you really wish to read the details, have a look here...
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - KISS-SSB Counterpoise



d) The "GAM" split-lead antenna is NOT a good approach either...
Yes, it works, but not as efficiently as an insulated antenna....and since it couples RF into your rigging, mast, and associated wiring, it tends to cause significant RFI on-board (something to be avoided at all costs!)
Further, shunt-fed/slant-fed antennas are notorious for being sporadic in the operations when trying to use them on multiple bands/freqs...

And insulated backstay (using Hydn Hi-Mod insulators), or a separate dedicated "alternative backstay" antenna (for those that don't have backstays), is the best approach and is almost universally accepted as THE way to do it...
(it isn't cheap, but when some spend $20,000 on fancy color display electronics, it makes NO sense to try to save a few hundred dollars on a VERY important safety system on-board....)

BTW, I've seen lots of rigging problems and failures....but NEVER EVER seen nor heard of any rigging insulator failure....yeah they're expensive, but they are reliable...



e) The SCS PACTOR4 Dragon modem is a fine piece of gear....
But please understand that the PRIMARY and almost only reason to equip with a PACTOR modem is to send/receive e-mails when out at sea, and/or in far remote locales that are beyond the range of a hi-quality ext. Wi-Fi system, and beyond cellular/3G/4G...

Many/most cruisers find they do NOT need e-mail connections when out at sea on passage (where long-range safety comms is either DSC or Voice), and many have excellent ext Wi-Fi systems ("Bullet") and/or decent cellular/3G/4G systems, allowing for cheap/easy and reliable e-mail connections in port / at anchor / etc....

Quote:
Unless you NEED e-mail when our at sea and in remote areas (away from Wi-Fi and away from cellular/3G/4G systems), then you do not need a PACTOR modem...
Quote:

The reason I mention this is that many sailors are "sold" on a PACTOR modem, but are unaware of what it does, and what it doesn't do....i.e. what do actually need it to do??
Many sailors/cruisers do well without any e-mail when at sea and/or in remote areas...

(If you think your "need" is for weather data/forecasts, please be aware that a PACTOR modem is NOT needed to access the "gold standard" of offshore/hi-seas maritime weather...)
If your need is that of business e-mail connection, etc. while at sea, etc. then a PACTOR modem is a good way to go...
Have a look here....
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts


Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea

Favorite Nav/WX Websites?





Gosh, there's a lot more....but I'm kinda done for now....I hope this helps!!



Fair winds.

John
s/v Annie Laurie

C470 Projects by Boat Name


P.S. I'd like to second Mark's observations here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
For 99.5% of our passagemaking, the depth sounder simply flashes ----, while the speed stays relatively constant, and we are not at all that concerned about anything after the decimal point. Somehow we manage to not look at the wind display for many moments at a time.
And, remind everyone that most never need/use a chartplotter at sea!!! (but I see articles talking about using one all-the-time, even on an ocean passage!!! oh, gosh what crap!!) In MY opinion, most should learn about watch-standing and get their heads UP and out of the displays!!!
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Old 06-03-2014, 21:45   #94
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Nicholson,
This is VERY good....
Thank you for posting this!!!

David, please read this and take it to heart!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
On good days & places I know, we operate only depth and wind instruments and the AIS.

Every device on my system that needs GPS has its own for this reason. They can share if they loose their primary but I don't have to have everybody on to make stuff work.

Perhaps you are unconcerned with the energy footprint your selections will demand. If I was hooked up to shore power frequently, I would not care.
I have a very similar approach!!!


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 06-03-2014, 21:58   #95
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Extensive list!

One additional item to consider . . .Wifi antenna while at anchor/marina.
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Old 06-03-2014, 22:06   #96
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

David,
It appears that you are being "sold" a package without really understanding what you might be buying, nor how it works???
(this is not uncommon, so no worries...but PLEASE read over my postings above and follow those links, etc. and I think you'll see there is a LOT more to this...the GAM/KISS approach is not the way to go!!!)



I have a LOT more to add about HF comms....but before going into details, I think I should do one thing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
As for the SSB antenna, the GAM/KISS setup seemed fairly simple to install with low maintenance, which is what drew me to the unit. I haven't looked to much into alternative backstay antennas but I'll check it out. I will be using the SSB for e-mails, cruiser nets and that sort of thing, but I am not HAM certified, nor am I going to be doing any serious lengthy communications with it, which is why I'm not very interested in tearing up my backstay to install an intricate rig. Just need something simple that will get the job done.
I should try to impress upon you that your M-802 HF-DSC-SSB comm system (aka "SSB") is a VERY important system on-board!!

In addition to being your primary link to the outside world, it is a co-primary means of signaling a Distress (along with your EPIRB)...
Its DSC function is your primary means of signaling a Distress to vessels in your area/region...
Its DSC function the ONLY way to signal other vessels outside of VHF range for any safety, urgency, or routine reasons....

It is your primary source of weather info / forecasts (and one of the few sources that is FREE)...
When offshore, on passage, and/or in remote areas it is your only source of news, etc. and your only contact to the outside world...


Anyway, please be sure to read these threads....(and watch the videos)
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!

SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call



Whether you choose to pursue any ham radio activities or not, in my opinion it is a mistake to discount your HF comm system as something that is okay to go about it in a "simple" way, where ease-of-install is a primary goal...
Low-maintenance is fine...as there's really nothing to "maintain" much...

But please don't discount your HF comm system as a second-thought system....as on most boats it is a VERY important primary system on-board!!


Sorry, gotta' go....


fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 06-03-2014, 23:12   #97
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

John, wow, thanks so much. A lot of awesome information there.

I am definitely serious about the comms. on board, I guess I just put it towards the back-end of the project right now since I'll be close to land for the next several months. The boat is going to be on the East coast of the U.S. for most likely the whole Summer, and then down to the Caribbean. I planned on perhaps upgrading the SSB system before a trans-oceanic passage next year. I will, however, start looking at alternate means of grounding and antennas. I am definitely going to replace the VHF antenna that is on board. I'd love to talk to you more about communications when you get the time. In the mean time I'll review all of the info that you gave me.

For power, I am definitely going to cram in as much as I can to the battery bank. I have heard from other Caliber owners that a 900 AH bank is possible. I have forgotten about AGM, and have dedicated myself to the 6V golf cart battery route. As for solar, I will have to double check once I get the arch/bimini set up, but there is at least room for 640W, and probably a little more wherever I can squeeze it in.

OK, for the AIS, I really do like the Vesper system, however I am going to have to pass I think on having the separate display, at least for now. The plotter is going to be on for most of the time, as I will be navigating coastal waters and I'd rather just have vessels show up on the chart plotter. Perhaps for the trans-oceanic passage I will consider it?

Antenna wise, just want to make a list of everything I will need:
-New VHF antenna. This will be mounted in the mast and will also be my AIS antenna? Or will I absolutely NEED another AIS antenna mounted on the arch?
-wifi booster antenna mounted on the arch or masthead?
-Question regarding GPS/Heading sensor: Am I better off having a separate Airmar H2183 mounted as far below as possible towards the CG, and a GPS antenna such as the B&G or Airmar mounted on the arch? Or could I get away with the combined unit of the Airmar GH2183 mounted on the arch? Or is that too much sway?

I think that is all for now. Thanks again for the info, it blew me away!

David
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:32   #98
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

David,
You're welcome...
(I'm working at a client's office today, so my posts will be shorter!!!)


1) This is a common tactic....but one that overlooks a few issues...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
I am definitely serious about the comms. on board, I guess I just put it towards the back-end of the project right now since I'll be close to land for the next several months. The boat is going to be on the East coast of the U.S. for most likely the whole Summer, and then down to the Caribbean. I planned on perhaps upgrading the SSB system before a trans-oceanic passage next year.
In my opinion, there are a few very important reasons to change your approach here...
a) Getting familiar with radios in general and HF communications (SSB) in particular, takes time for many that are new to radio and HF comms....
The more time you spend using the radios now, the easier you'll find it when you're out away from land and you must rely on them daily!!
Not to mention the proficiency you gain now will pay you back 100 times over in both on-board time management and peace-of-mind while at sea!!!
(also understanding RFI and getting any RFI problems sorted out now while you can easily access mail/shipping, as well as any trained personnel, etc. is a win-win situation!!!)

{In the world of HF comms there is a long-accepted absolute which says that "It's the Radio Opertator that makes the difference!".....and over the years this has translated into some humorous, but true, "rules"....such as:
--- "it's 90% the operator and 10% antenna!"
--- "it's 50% antennas and 50% the op!"
But whatever the percentage you choose, the FACT is indisputable....and that is, a well-trained/experienced radio operator can make even a poor/mediocre set-up work wonders, but a poorly-trained/inexperienced operator will have trouble making even a top-shelf set-up work!!!
Please don't assume that the above fact is the rambling of a "radio nut" (like me) that wants to "convert" everyone..., but rather understand that it is a fact-of-life in HF communications....just ask anyone that's been doing it for a few decades!!}


b) While many new cruiser's don't originally think of HF comms as being well used for coastal cruising/sailing, in actuality it IS....whether it be for a decent long-range weather forecast, cruiser's nets, etc. or for entertainment...


c) There is also some cost savings using HF radio....as it is FREE, compared with cellular/3G/4G monthly fees and data rates, and Wi-Fi access charges....


d) Also, please be sure that you've evaluated your NEED for e-mail connectivity while offshore / at sea, and in real remote areas....as many find they do not need this...and it'll save you the almost $2000 for a PACTOR modem (see above postings and links for details..)
And/or if you find you will need this capability, you can always add the PACTOR modem at a later date...


BTW, please be sure to speak with Gary at Dockside Radio....he can supply you with everything you need regarding HF-SSB...(especially since you're in SW Florida!!)
http://www.docksideradio.com/Icom%20SSB%20Radios.htm

http://www.docksideradio.com/




2) As for VHF comms....
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
I am definitely going to replace the VHF antenna that is on board.
This is your primary short-range piece of comm gear on-board, so going with a hi-quality radio, AND as low-loss cable as you can fit/manage (such as LMR-240 or RG-213...or even Bury-Flex or LMR-400, if you're a fanatic), is always going to be a BIG plus on-board, and will pay you back many times over!!!

Do a search here and you'll find plenty of info on coax, etc...(LMR-240, etc....)




3) Not sure what "alternate" form of grounding you're looking for???
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
I will, however, start looking at alternate means of grounding and antennas. I'd love to talk to you more about communications when you get the time. In the mean time I'll review all of the info that you gave me.
As I direct sea water connection for your remote auto-tuner, is a great RF / antenna ground!!!
This is well proven by calculations and by many tests over the years...(everyone points to the Gordon West's tests and Sailmail's tests, but 100's of others have done the same, and everyone finds the same result...)

A sort run (<6' - 8') of 3" wide copper strapping from the tuner's ground lug to an underwater connection (clean bronze thru-hull or Dynaplate, etc.) is accepted (by just about everyone) as the best overall approach...

If an alternative method is needed, tying-in all your lifelines, alum toe-rails (remove the anodizing from the connection location), push-pits, pull-pits, etc. into your RF ground, by running copper strap to all of them (from your tuner's ground lug), as well as the usually long run of copper strapping all the way to a keel bolt or two, works very well too!!
You can also tie-in metal tanks, etc. if you desire...

(don't worry about "DC ground issues" or electrolysis, etc...as all current Icom and SGC remote tuners have their "ground lugs" DC-bypassed...)

Worst-case scenario....you can make a "counterpoise" that would work better than the "KISS", by using a handful of scrap wire crimped into a terminal, and tossed into your lazarette or bilge....




4) Looks like you've got your energy/battery/solar system well-in-hand....



5) Regarding AIS...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
OK, for the AIS, I really do like the Vesper system, however I am going to have to pass I think on having the separate display, at least for now. The plotter is going to be on for most of the time, as I will be navigating coastal waters and I'd rather just have vessels show up on the chart plotter. Perhaps for the trans-oceanic passage I will consider it?
Everyone makes their own decisions, based on their desires and application....so no worries here...
But, FYI, I have AIS targets on both of my plotters and can overlay on either chart or radar, or on the chart and have radar overlay at the same time...
And, even with that, I still prefer the Vesper WatchMate display, hands down the winner!!!

Of course, when offshore on a passage you'll probably find the Vesper WatchMate to be one of the few pieces of gear that you'll use 24/7...along with your VHF (and connected GPS's...)





6) As for antennas, etc...see specifics in red...
Quote:
Antenna wise, just want to make a list of everything I will need:
-New VHF antenna. This will be mounted in the mast and will also be my AIS antenna? Or will I absolutely NEED another AIS antenna mounted on the arch?
--- A separate, dedicated AIS antenna is a good idea....and is the least expensive way to go...as well as adds redundancy to your vessel's VHF antennas, etc...

Now, being a fanatic, I recommend having both the separate dedicated antenna on the arch and a Vesper SP-160 relay/"splitter"....
The main reason for using the Vesper SP-160 relay/"splitter" on your primary masthead VHF antenna, is this puts your AIS system on an antenna that is well above the wave tops when in a heavy seaway (when offshore, etc.) taking into consideration the Class B AIS's slower transmission repetition rate than Class A, this improves the possibility of getting your Class B AIS transmissions seen by other vessels when in a heavy sea....

http://www.vespermarine.com/antennas-splitters/antenna-splitter-sp160.html/

But, if the additional $250 cost is a deal breaker, then just use a separate dedicated antenna on your arch for the AIS transponder!!!



-wifi booster antenna mounted on the arch or masthead?
--- This one is an easy answer....
Install a IslandTimePC Wi-Fi system on your stern-rail or arch...
Mine works GREAT!!! (and Bob is a GREAT guy!!!0

http://islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html




-Question regarding GPS/Heading sensor: Am I better off having a separate Airmar H2183 mounted as far below as possible towards the CG, and a GPS antenna such as the B&G or Airmar mounted on the arch? Or could I get away with the combined unit of the Airmar GH2183 mounted on the arch? Or is that too much sway?
--- I'd never recommend a heading sensor mounted up high....and I'm not sure what Airmar is thinking in this regard....but maybe it just saves money???
But, here I'll defer to someone that is using this Airmar GH2183...


My sister says I give WAY to much detail in my answers to questions....but I try to remind her that my profession is electronics and sat comm systems, where precision and details are important....and being vague usually means you don't actually know what you're talking about and whatever you're working on will probably fail....
So details and precision is what 'ya get from me...
(now when discussing fun things, I do enjoy and express a quick wit and sarcastic come-back....you should hear me with my buddies on 75m....but in electronics, I try to be precise, and unfortunately that sometimes requires a lot of detail!!!)



Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:40   #99
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

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My sister says I give WAY to much detail in my answers to questions....
John, don't listen to her!!! It's funny, I put this boat under contract in January, and here it is March, just waiting for the weather to clear up before I can put it in the water. All I do every day and night is look up systems and sit here trying to piece together this outfit. To be honest, I was just recently starting to get a little burnt out doing it, which should NOT be happening! I should be excited! Your recent posts have helped get me back in the mood. There is no such thing as too much detail or information. I appreciate you taking the time to give such long, detailed answers.

Now, onwards...

I am starting to re-think the need for a Pactor modem, at least for now. Like you said, it could always be added later, and that's a significant chunk of change just to send an e-mail from the middle of the Atlantic, which is the only place I can imagine I would be using it. I won't be in too many places that are completely remote, anchoring out for long periods of time; chances are I will always be somewhat near a populated area, and with the wifi-booster from IslandTime, I should be alright there. If not, screw it, I don't need to send e-mails, I will enjoy the solitude.

When I said "alternate grounding" system, I just meant I'd look into something other than the KISS. The straight to water system sounds simple, however I'd have to drill a separate through-hull, correct? Not something I'm completely against, but something to think about.

Antennas: for the VHF, the boat has an old Icom M-59 and I plan on getting a new Icom 504A. Will these use the same masthead antenna or will I need two? I like the idea of using the splitter for the AIS to keep things simple and have only one antenna up the mast.

As for the GPS/Heading sensor, I suppose I'll just keep them separate. Mount the Airmar H2183 under a settee down below and put a dedicated GPS antenna on the arch, whether it be Airmar or B&G.

Thanks again, and I'll keep posting any questions I have in this thread in hopes for more answers

David
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Old 07-03-2014, 15:36   #100
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Also, say I choose the LMR-240 or 400. Will I also need an antenna at the top of the mast? Or does the cable act as an antenna? Sorry for the newbie questions, but I've never installed a VHF system before.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:53   #101
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Originally Posted by DDabs
Also, say I choose the LMR-240 or 400. Will I also need an antenna at the top of the mast? Or does the cable act as an antenna? Sorry for the newbie questions, but I've never installed a VHF system before.
There's a sticky in the electronics forum on VHF antenna installations.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:35   #102
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Forgot about that, doi

Apologies
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Old 08-03-2014, 16:35   #103
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Alright. After reading all of that, I think I will hop on the bandwagon. The Shakespeare Little Giant with Ancor RG-213, I just want to look at my masthead and make sure that I have enough room to mount the antenna, ultrasonic wind vane, light, etc. I have a smaller mast than Dockhead and Jedi, but I really like their setups as shown in the VHF antenna sticky.
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Old 08-03-2014, 20:45   #104
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

How much better off am I using a Vesper Marine AIS/VHF antenna splitter and using the masthead antenna for both, rather than just putting a 3 ft. whip for the AIS on the arch? If the difference is dramatic, I would rather just go with the splitter.
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Old 08-03-2014, 21:18   #105
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Go with the Vesper splitter. You need the antenna height with the mast mount.
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