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Old 03-04-2011, 03:51   #1
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Improving Heading Data on Raymarine System

My Raymarine nav system (obsolescent RL80CRC+, RL70RC+, Pathfinder radar, S3 course computer, 7000+ pilot) uses a plain old fluxgate compass for heading data. I've had trouble with getting accurate heading data into the MFD's, but that's not today's question. I'm thinking that in any case it would be worthwhile to improve the quality of heading data in the network. I would very much like to be able to use MARPA, for example.

I have a chance to buy a new old stock S3G course computer. That's the same one which I have (an S3) except it has the gyroscopic unit which improves the quality of the heading data from the fluxgate compass.

What do you folks think -- better to go this route?

Or should I instead replace the fluxgate compass with something like the Airmar H1283?

As far as I understand, the Airmar gives better quality data -- it seems to be the best heading sensor in this price range (Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Airmar H2183 compass, best in class?)

But it is not native Raymarine, and besides that, replacing the whole course computer will eliminate another source of my problems with heading data in my system.

On the other hand, I could use the Airmar in my next system whenever I upgrade (which I hope won't be too many years from now).

What do you guys think?
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:13   #2
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Re: Improving Heading Data on Raymarine System

Raymarine Gyro Sensor Upgrade for $25
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:27   #3
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I'd go with either the new autopilot or upgrade the existing heading sensor with the add-on raymarine rate gyro.

Buying today's electronics as part of potential future upgrades is a bit silly.

Dave
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:36   #4
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Re: Improving Heading Data on Raymarine System

I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the heading info with the standard Raymarine fluxgate. It does what it is supposed to do- puts out a magnetic heading.

The gyro feature which can be added on with a Raymarine product, maybe cobbled together with an R/C gizmo or replaced with the S3G model. This gives a different sort of signal- yaw rate rather than yaw heading. Yaw rate lets the steering algorithm better anticipate course deviations so the boat will track better in a following sea when it is being pushed around. But if that isn't what you are trying to accomplish, don't bother.

David
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:27   #5
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Re: Improving Heading Data on Raymarine System

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the heading info with the standard Raymarine fluxgate. It does what it is supposed to do- puts out a magnetic heading.

The gyro feature which can be added on with a Raymarine product, maybe cobbled together with an R/C gizmo or replaced with the S3G model. This gives a different sort of signal- yaw rate rather than yaw heading. Yaw rate lets the steering algorithm better anticipate course deviations so the boat will track better in a following sea when it is being pushed around. But if that isn't what you are trying to accomplish, don't bother.

David
Hmm, well, the gyro unit improves the quality of the heading information. The data from the fluxgate compass is corrected and stabilized with the gyro data. So the pilot works better and MARPA works better, because the network has a better idea of which way the boat is pointing.

I'm fairly happy with the way the pilot works. MARPA is cr*p, but I have other problems -- there is some corruption of the heading data going on between course computer and the rest of the network.

Changing out the course computer -- I've been offered a new old stock one for a fairly reasonable price -- has the additional appeal of eliminating the course computer as a source of my other problems.

But I think that having gyro stabilized heading data is surely a good thing in any case -- not?
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:41   #6
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Re: Improving Heading Data on Raymarine System

Yes of course, unlike what djmarchand said, teh rate gyro helps stabilise the compass output and improves MARPA.

Dave
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