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Old 24-11-2014, 17:04   #31
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Here's the problem: navigation and instrumentation technology progresses at a blistering pace, and is implemented in disposable devices first (tables, smart phones etc.). This enables the app developers to always gear their stuff to the latest hardware technology. By the time the Garmins and Raymarines of the world get this technology implemented in their latest marine offerings, it's already obsolete as far as the commercial world goes. So what to do? Here's a little story:

I was at a big overpriced marine supply store in Seattle a while back looking at depth sounders. The electronics salesman tried to convince me to step up to an all-in-one GPS/Chartplotter/depth system. I said "No thanks, I use Navionics on my Samsung tablet, works great". He looked around, then whispered to me "Yeah, that's what I use too. I can't believe people actually spend big bucks on this crap".
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:22   #32
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Another thought. If you only have an all-in-one GPS/Chartplotter/depth system and the monitor goes out... guess what.. you got nuttin!
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:34   #33
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wristwister View Post
Here's the problem: navigation and instrumentation technology progresses at a blistering pace, and is implemented in disposable devices first (tables, smart phones etc.). This enables the app developers to always gear their stuff to the latest hardware technology. By the time the Garmins and Raymarines of the world get this technology implemented in their latest marine offerings, it's already obsolete as far as the commercial world goes.
I don't know if you are serious or not, but how was technology developed before 2011 when the first marine app appeared? And how does your tablet and phone work with your radar? Your autopilot? Your depth, speed and wind instruments?

How does your tablet and phone even have any influence at all on the development of HD and broadband radar, CHIRP depth sounders, ultrasonic wind transducers, multi-axis solid state rate compasses, autopilot steering algorithms, etc? Or the communication technologies that allow all of the above to work together and share information?

I can't think of a single actual technology development that appears on tablets/phones first, and most of the technology cannot even be accessed with a tablet/phone.

If you mean to imply that writing a charting program that works with a GPS position is the pinnacle of navigation and instrument technology development, then I agree that there are many people/groups doing some nice work in this area. Not all of them are tablet/phone applications, though.

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Old 24-11-2014, 17:59   #34
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

How long before electronics are outdated?


Never, if they are still working. (Loran being a perfect example of an electronic device that is outdated).
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Old 24-11-2014, 21:48   #35
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

When I bought my 1979 boat in 2004 the installed vhf radio was an old crystal set. I'll bet most folks here dont know what I'm talking about. It had a max of 12 channels. You picked which channels you wanted when you bought the radio and they installed a crystal for each channel. It still worked. Of course I upgraded to a modern synthesized vhf.
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Old 25-11-2014, 04:37   #36
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Most electronic failures are in the first 6 months, so I wouldn't put too much emphasis on age unless it is becoming glitchy. A 20yr old unit that works fine is more likely to continue to work fine than a brand new unit out of the box.


The rest is mostly "want" for new toys.


More importantly, I've come across many stories of folks buying a boat and dumping $20-100k into a refit with much of it tied to electronics...never to leave the dock. If it ain't broke and it provides what you need, go sailing and upgrade as you feel the need.
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Old 30-11-2014, 17:31   #37
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

I'm a electronic designer
Everything on electronic is design for a 10 years time spam
Military electronic is a different animal, you design to be upgraded by blocks every year or 6 month or 9.
Does not matter if still working or not..
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:38   #38
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

When it comes to putting a value on a boat you are considering buying, knowing the status of the electronics is a good thing, considering how they are made today and how quickly they can be made obsolete.

It would be nice if upgrades to software and hardware were as common and as easy to do in marine electronics as they have been in desktop computers.

I've been considering calling in someone from a marine electronics store and getting their opinion. I'm not sure a surveyor would be as up to speed on electronics as someone who is in the business.
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Old 01-12-2014, 13:48   #39
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

About every twelve months or so I suffer the onset of a whim to go out and buy a chart plotter. Unfortunately I was raised by frugal folks.

The much repeated experience is that when I look at what I feel is affordable it has a little 7" screen, four way button things to scroll around the little 7" screen and a few other buttons which require me to work my way down through a plethora of multi-choice menus to do anything. If one wishes to have something with a decent screen size it costs $2000-$3000.

In contrast OpenCPN works on all the computers on the boat including those with decent size screens, allows me to passage plan on a computer which shows a decent amount of the chart and allows transfer of way points and routes by way of .gpx files.

I have a couple of old Asus EEE netbooks which run OpenCPN and are pretty low-amp sippers, a couple of hockey puck USB GPS's and a USB to serial converter module with a double pole double throw switch to allow change over of NMEA 0183 nav data to the autopilot from either the Asus or my old Magellan 5000D GPS. The world would be a perfect place if I could transfer .gpx files from the large screen notebook to the Magellan but with a 30 year old piece of technology it is never going to happen.

It would be nice to have the latest big screen chart plotter and if my boat was a status symbol I would have to have one. However since my boat is a tool to get me out into sublime places and collect valuable experiences, from a cost benefit viewpoint I just can't justify the big, amp chewing, large screen chart plotter.

I may eventually weaken and splurge on the chart plotter but would still keep the old Magellans as they are solid and reliable as most old US built electronic instruments are.
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