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Old 22-12-2007, 02:06   #1
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Fixed mounted GPS's

Thought I would start a new thread to get some opinions on Fixed Mounted GPS's. I have 2 hand helds as back-ups but looking for a good quality fixed mount. I'm not interested in a Chart plotter GPS. I'm a little old school I'm afraid. In my past I had a Furuno Fixed model GP 30 I think. It was a good unit and a good name behind it. While looking in cataloges and e-bay, there are names of which I do not recognize. Can anyone offer input on fixed mounted?
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Old 22-12-2007, 04:10   #2
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I am old fashioned as well and in need of a fixed mount GPS.

Ended up with a Standard Horizon 180i.
It is really a small plotter, but I never bought the chart-chips and use is as a fixed mount plotter. Very happy with the unit and would do it over again in a heart beat...Also the price was right, $389 or so on the internet. It hooks up to the DSC VHF, as well as the auto pilot and an AIS "engine"
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Old 22-12-2007, 16:43   #3
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Most fixed mounted GPS units these days will have a chart built into them whether you like it or not. Furuno still sells at least one model that I know of that displays just Lat and Long...probably the same model that you just mentioned.

I would not write off a plotter. The reason is that you can see at a glance exactly where you are versus the time it takes to do a plot on a paper chart, and in tight channels or in hazardous areas where things are changing rapidly and you don't have the time to leave the helm to go do a plot, then this can be very valuable. A plotter does not replace anything, especially a paper chart, so much as it adds another weapon to your navigational arsenal. I say get all the different types of navigational tools that you can afford. I think that the more navigational information you can get then the better off you will be.
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Old 22-12-2007, 17:11   #4
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Aloha CSY Man,
Is that you in downtown Ft Lauderdale?
LOL
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Old 22-12-2007, 17:13   #5
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Plotter/GPS

I agree with David. It just doesn't make much economic sense to not get a plotter with the GPS for fixed units.

I bought a Furuno radar/plotter/GPS and ran the plotter for about two years before finally mounting the radome. Need the radar in fog (you'd be crazy to trust the plotter alone in fog, with or without GPS). Love the plotter for just where you are on the "chart". With this setup one merely adds the GPS antenna to get the whole thing integrated.

BTW: many people mount the GPS antenna high up, even above the radome. Because of the frequency and location of the satellites this is unnecessary. Make your installation easy and mount the antenna where it is convenient, even inside the cockpit. I mounted mine to one of the S/S tubes supporting the cockpit enclosure inside where no one hits it and deck workers outside cannot hit it. I suppose under certain conditions the signal-to-noise ratio would be better outside of the cockpit yet haven't found a problem with always having a good fix.
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Old 22-12-2007, 18:13   #6
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Rick is right, there are so many GPS satellites in the constellation now that you could block off half the sky and still get a decent GPS fix. This was not so true when the system first came up but it certainly is true now. Bottom line, don't worry too much about getting a completely unblocked azimuth and altitude of the sky when mounting your antenna.
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Old 22-12-2007, 19:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
I am old fashioned as well and in need of a fixed mount GPS.

Ended up with a Standard Horizon 180i.
It is really a small plotter, but I never bought the chart-chips and use is as a fixed mount plotter. Very happy with the unit and would do it over again in a heart beat...Also the price was right, $389 or so on the internet. It hooks up to the DSC VHF, as well as the auto pilot and an AIS "engine"

What kind of traffic chaos were you causing?
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Old 24-12-2007, 06:57   #8
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Aloha CSY Man,
Is that you in downtown Ft Lauderdale?
Yup, that is me...

Quote:
What kind of traffic chaos were you causing?
No traffic chaos..On that scale, the background "chart" on the plotter does not show the river that goes through downtown Ft. Lauderdale, nor does it show the canal where I park my boat.

The river and the canals are real however, I would never take my boat to town otherwise...
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Old 24-12-2007, 07:51   #9
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I'm still using a fixed mounted GPS. I really like the Garmin 128. There are a few others a bit newer without a chart plotter that work well though. It has few bells and whistles but can hold 10 routes of 30 points each. I up and download routes from a laptop. I use a laptop like a chart plotter with NOAA ENC charts and PC software. I don't find the need to watch a chart much. Steering a boat while watching a chart plotter will get you in trouble.

I preset routes and go point to point. If I have a position, speed, bearing and distance to go I'm happy as a clam. I've picked up a few of them over the years used from folks buy chart plotters. If one goes out I disconnect the cable and antenna and pop in a replacement. Takes about 2 minutes. They were a well made unit just a tad bigger than the new ones. They flush mount or have a bracket and are weather proof. Not all the handhelds are weather proof. The BIOS update can be installed via a PC and they work quite well. They don't support WAAS but I wouldn't worry about being that close. It really only makes the real time speed over ground a little more accurate as far as functionality. I bought the last one for about $100.

The key is being able to tie it into an NMEA bus (it's just 2 wires). Even a hand held with a bracket can be used that way. Most GPS's on board won't run long enough on batteries to be of use so you do want external power. The real antennas are better than the cheap ones.

If you wire a fixed mounted GPS to a NMEA bus you can drive all the instruments and a PC. This will let you have the functionality of a chart plotter without the expense. With a preloaded route in the GPS I don't even need the PC any more so I'm less likely to have a serious problem.

I would agree with the CSY Man - Stay out of town without a canal!

Quote:
Rick is right, there are so many GPS satellites in the constellation now that you could block off half the sky and still get a decent GPS fix.
Not really true but the system does work better than it used to. You really want 4 fixes with as large a crossing angle between them as possible. Having one on the other side of the sky helps more than a little. Where you run into fix problems is on land not on the open water.
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Old 24-12-2007, 08:12   #10
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This is slightly off-topic, but...

I have a wee handheld Garmin 72. Last season it just sort of floated around the cockpit and luckily never floated overboard or underfoot.

This season I'd like to mount it on my pedestal, above the compass, but not in a permanent mount -- that is, the mount could be permanent, but I'd like to be able to take the device out and stow it below when I'm at dock.

Does anybody now of a purpose-built mount, or am I gonna have to do something with duct tape and bailing wire? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

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Old 24-12-2007, 09:51   #11
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Does anybody now of a purpose-built mount, or am I gonna have to do something with duct tape and bailing wire? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Yeah, there is some purpose built, generic holders for hand-held GSPs.
I use a cup holder with a cozy instead. (Cozy is a foam cup to keep beer cold, also perfect size for handheld GPS and handheld VHF.)

Look at the picture on this thread: There is a teak cup-holder just in front of the compass...Perfect for above tools when underway, perfect for cold beer when at anchor.
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Old 24-12-2007, 11:41   #12
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Hmmm.... good thought. I know West Marine has those as a stand-alone thingy.

Thanx for the idea.

And Merry Christmas




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Old 24-12-2007, 12:15   #13
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Aloha Connemara,
I noticed on eBay that there are quite a few Garmin 72 marine mounts. Have you looked at those already?
I just got Sean's 72 and still am trying to figure it out. Would like to know more about how to add waypoints. Just have to play with it and read the instructions at the same time I guess.
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Old 24-12-2007, 12:20   #14
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Aloha Connemara,
I noticed on eBay that there are quite a few Garmin 72 marine mounts. Have you looked at those already?
I just got Sean's 72 and still am trying to figure it out. Would like to know more about how to add waypoints. Just have to play with it and read the instructions at the same time I guess.
Regards,
JohnL
Not the same make, I have a Magellan hand held as a backup to the chartplotter, but I got a mount off eBay for it that looks pretty much the same as the Garmin ones and I found it really not all that useful. CSYMan's idea sounds as good and a hell of a lot cheaper!
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Old 24-12-2007, 12:51   #15
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Jdoe,
I'm for going cheaper.
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