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Old 04-03-2012, 06:45   #16
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

RNS is Raymarine's PC software. I have a copy of RNS V6.0 I was going to put on eBay but never got around to it. (Original CD + printed manual). I also have the HSB interface to a laptop PC (PC-card with inline converter and cable) and that allows the radar overlay with RNS, and a C-MAP card reader. If anyone wants it please PM me with an offer. I can email photos if requested.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:51   #17
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

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Originally Posted by Longkeel View Post
I thought about going wireless with tacktick also based on quick installation but return to my problem with through-hull dia...
I switched from 1980s Stowe instruments to Raymarine ST60s a couple of years ago. Raymarine were at the time selling off old excess stock so made the most of it.

The transducers required larger holes. With the yacht out of the water I hammered a wooden bung in from the outside. Cut it flush with the hull and then re-drilled the new larger hole with a good quality tank cutter. Used the bung again to drill the second hole required.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:45   #18
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Longkeel.

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
... anything on a boat that involves less wires in my mind is a plus
Yes, at all costs, try to minimise the number of wires in your mind.
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Old 04-03-2012, 13:36   #19
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

Laptop with OpenCPN software. Maybe an Android tablet as backup or for use in the cockpit (and, nowadays, with a SIM card for affordable Internet and cell phone service in the Bahamas and much of the rest of the world). A low-cost AIS transceiver. A $100 depth finder. A hockey-puck USB GPS receiver. All of this is simple, affordable, robust, and gives you oodles of information at your fingertips. I wouldn't want to be in the marine electronics business these days. The alternatives are very affordable and work very well.
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Old 04-03-2012, 15:13   #20
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

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if I were to start fresh I think currently I would look at the Tack Tick wireless system, anything on a boat that involves less wires in my mind is a plus
The wireless depends on a battery and charging circuit at the instrument end. In my experience a rechargeable battery has a 2-7 year life span (more or less) and maybe worse under marine conditions.

IMHO -- If you don't want to have to go up the mast, choose wired.
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Old 04-03-2012, 22:23   #21
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

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Laptop with OpenCPN software. Maybe an Android tablet as backup or for use in the cockpit (and, nowadays, with a SIM card for affordable Internet and cell phone service in the Bahamas and much of the rest of the world). A low-cost AIS transceiver. A $100 depth finder. A hockey-puck USB GPS receiver. All of this is simple, affordable, robust, and gives you oodles of information at your fingertips. I wouldn't want to be in the marine electronics business these days. The alternatives are very affordable and work very well.
Smart Phone and Tablets are not made to be on the water.

We have trashed one TV and one computer since we started fulltime cruising, both due to water intrusion. We have also trashed one ram mike dropping it, lost a kayak paddle and lost countless sunglasses. What I am sayingis stuff happens on a boat.

IMHO, phones and laptops are great toys for navigating in familiar areas (Bays & Coastal), but if you are planning to go off-shore or cruise in unfamiliar areas... I wouldn't bet your life on something that can't take the marine environment...

If you truly can't afford a marine navigation system... Then maybe an alternative is a Tough Book Computer, which is ruggedized and water resistant.
As far as cell phones go... Most International US Cell phone plans require making 50% of your calls from inside the US. That doesn't work for those of us that are not coming back to the US on a frequent basis. The best we have found so far is to purchase an unlocked cell phone and switch out SIMs from one country to the next.

Tom
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Old 04-03-2012, 22:41   #22
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I'm typing this on a 7 year old Fujitsu laptop which has spent its life circumnavigating and is still going strong. However, I replaced it for navigation with a $300 netbook which does the same job but consumes less than 1 amp at 12 v (through a cheap inverter). Half the price of the cheapest chartplotter and does so much more, even before the expensive upgrades and new charts.
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Old 04-03-2012, 23:59   #23
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I guess my handle gives my opinion away right off the bat! Ha! (but my handle actually pertains to my love of ham radio and my "wireless" free standing carbon fiber mast on my Freedom 32---in case anyone thinks I'm a TackTick employee)

If I were to start from a clean slate, and I did, I'd give two thumbs up to TackTick instruments. But...NOT because I didn't have to run wires, because you actually DO have to run 'some' wires. The TackTick brain (T121) requires wired inputs from your AIRMAR t-hull speed/temp and depth sensors---plus the T121 needs DC power. Then, if you want wireless NMEA sent from other manufacturers instruments to your TackTick instruments you need the TackTick T122 wireless NMEA box and that is WIRED to your NMEA buss AND DC power. After that ALL else TackTick is wireless.

Now, I'm not opposed to wired systems at all, but... there is some fun stuff you can do with TackTick instruments that you can't do with wired instruments. I have a masthead unit, and three Multi-display units, with all the mulit's mounted on their temporary clip holders at the helm on my Freedom 32 sloop.

Now for the fun stuff you can't do without extra expense AND extra wiring.
After I get to the anchorage, I un-clip one T110 multi-display and then clip it down below at the nav station which is visible from the galley and main salon. With it's 1.5" digital display everyone can see what the windspeed/depth/anchor alarm, or anything else you choose to dial up is. That night when I hit the sack in my aft cabin, I take one of my T110 multi displays from the helm and stick it under my pillow. If I'm awakened at night by a sudden gust of wind, or an alarm, or any other alert I've programmed, and want to see what the heck is going on out there, I just pull out my multi from under my pillow, hit the display light, and can instantly see wind max, wind minimum, distance and bearing to waypoint (Waypoint? HA! The Waypiont is that big rock I put in as a way-point 100 yards away and my personal version of an anchor alarm) etc...
And here's the really fun thing; when I have guests aboard that are kind of timid about sailing, you can clip on a T110 multi in the guest cabin and they can play with it all they want. (leave it on wind speed for openers). BTW, if they inadvertently turn it off...YOU can turn the entire network back on from your unit (under your pillow Ha! ...OR any other TackTick instrument on the boat)

So...IMHO wires have gone the way of the DoDo bird. And for those who are worried about the fact that the masthead unit is wireless, solar powered, and has a battery; my masthead unit is six years old and when it fails it costs $75 bucks for a new pair of batteries and a new seal kit. Yes, it will require a trip aloft. But...anyone who is NOT going aloft in 5 years is not doing their masthead sheaves and maintenance a favor. So.... I guess you have to choose your poison; trusting wire connections inside a mast lasting longer than your solar powered batteries... OR trusting solar charged batteries. Either one 'could' fail, but I'd bet the $75 buck repair on batteries is less hassle than trouble shooting wires in a mast should they fail. (BTW, in the TackTick "Health Status" menu and from ANY TackTick instrument on board you, can check your batteries charge, network signal strength, etc.) Do wired systems have a "wire health" check?

In closing, AND, for you Raymarine/Raytheon fans; TackTick was just bought out by Raymarine! My guess is that Raymarine saw the writing on the wall, so in the end I think this will be good for all of us. The new wireless ST-100 instruments should be KILLER!!!! LOL!! So, if you're considering TackTick, it's now RAYMARINE'S TackTick! LOL... Whatever you choose, good luck....they can ALL have problems eventually, but wireless network gets my vote and I hope this has shed some new light...

Oh, PS---forgot to say that my TackTick system is interfaced to the Raymarine SPX-5 autopilot with the P70 control head and the Garmin 546 chart plotter. As a backup, and completely independent is my Maptech "chartkit" on my Garmin Etrex GPS. I just wanted paper charts, so I bought the chartkit, but there was a free paper chart software CD included. I already had an Etrex...so, one cable later, I have a complete electronic GPS chart backup, AND paper charts. I guess that's enough redundancy for me... :-)
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:19   #24
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

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I'm typing this on a 7 year old Fujitsu laptop which has spent its life circumnavigating and is still going strong. However, I replaced it for navigation with a $300 netbook which does the same job but consumes less than 1 amp at 12 v (through a cheap inverter). Half the price of the cheapest chartplotter and does so much more, even before the expensive upgrades and new charts.
Yeh, I've done 5000 miles with a laptop setup. It's cheap and easy to carry plenty of backup. I find it to be more robust and reliable than the many marine systems I've used in the past. Plus it's easy to troubleshoot. I'd say a Toughbook or similar waterproof model is overkill. Just keep a netbook, cheap laptop from Craigslist, or tablet in a plastic bag as backup. And then some paper charts as ultimate backup. I usually print out small harbor charts for the whole route and keep them in a looseleaf notebook, then take a few offshore charts that cover the bigger scene.

Have also used cell phone for coastwise Internet access and Satellite phone for offshore. A removable SIM allows you to use a GSM phone over much of the world KISS. The world is wired.
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Old 05-03-2012, 17:22   #25
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

[QUOTE=jeremiason;901752]Smart Phone and Tablets are not made to be on the water.

IMHO, phones and laptops are great toys for navigating in familiar areas (Bays & Coastal), but if you are planning to go off-shore or cruise in unfamiliar areas... I wouldn't bet your life on something that can't take the marine environment...

waterproof is hear. Our wish is their command. There are several out there with various ratings.
Waterproof tablet drops into AT&T this month | CES 2012: Tablets and E-book Readers - CNET Blogs

xTablet T8700 Waterproof Tablet Goes Swimming : Notebooks.com

Expect others to follow.
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Old 14-03-2012, 09:46   #26
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I am also looking to replace virtually everything, I'm just wondering why no one has mentioned Garmin?
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Old 14-03-2012, 12:09   #27
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

Obviously everyone has their own opinion on this subject and Im no different. The only instrument that actually adds value in my opinion is a depth finder. Wind and speed instruments are luxury items for me as a windex and my gps tell me everything I really want to know. Not saying dont bother with instruments but I would just say buy the ones you like the look and interface with.

As for navigation I prefer laptop stored inside the chart table with a wireless keyboard, mouse and an external monitor. Laptop stays protected this way and I get my chart table back to use for, get this, paper charts! Were I to buy a set of new instruments I would consider the Garmins as you would really only need 2 displays one for wind and another for everything else. Im currently using a set of old Raymarine ST-80's which are essentially small MFD's as the diplays can show what ever Im interested in and the set was easy to nework with my AIS and PC. The wind transducer is broken so it only show speed and Im not sure how long the others will last but I dont intend to replace them. Would rather use the money on a new (to me) sail.

Someone mentioned Raymarine's RNC software, the software sells for nearly $700 which in my opinion is just silly when OpenCPN is free. Another poster commented on shareware charts and I agree sort of. When it comes to US waters all the charts you could ever want and in the most updated format are all free from NOAA. When it comes to areas outside the US you are better off buying good ones from a reputable source so you can easily update. Free ones are out there but there is no guarantee they are updated.

As for the iPad and smartphone usage I guess its okay I have just found that the daylight visibility with iPhone and iPad is lousy.

I also cant stand the big honkin MFD's that so many love to stick right at the helm. They obstruct your view of important things like where you are actually heading and being able to see your sails. They are also obnoxious looking but hey like I said all just one mans opinion.
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Old 14-03-2012, 16:34   #28
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I would go for airmar sensors with the newest Ray color multi or two. My second bet would be Nexus (Silva).

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Old 17-03-2012, 05:18   #29
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I'll be replacing a B&G/Standard Horizon mixed bag next year. I'm planning on going with the Garmin 740s with radar as my primary and adding a Raymarine 70 for backup. I'm just looking for speed/depth/log from the Raymarine and may not connect the two systems together at all. I'm a little concerned about having a failure in the NMEA2000 bus taking out everything (I used to install and maintain networks).

The reason for choosing Garmin is that they were able to start with a clean slate themselves not too long ago for the marine market and they're certainly well established in the aviation field. The Garmin units just seem to be well engineered, especially the software, which these days is probably half the beast, if not more.
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Old 18-03-2012, 15:42   #30
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

Raymarine was bought out by FLIR and will make Raymaine better. They brought out the new E7 Multifunction display last year in November. I put one on a new boat and used it for some time, I like it and it has gotten great reviews. One of the best functions is using an Iphone or Ipad as a second display over wifi. I could lie in my bed and watch what was going on at the helm while the boat was underway, keeping an eye on the watchstander on an overnight passage. Also you can control you ipod functions from the helm via bluetooth to your iphone or ipad.

You can get charts on an ipad or iphone plan your route on it then transfer that to the E7 over WIFI. My wife had her ipad2 with the navioncs charts of the Caribbean tracking us on her ipad as a backup nav system using the ipad gps well offshore between the BVI's and St Martin to St Kitts and back to the BVIs. That was pretty handy to be below and basically sitting or lying anywhere to have a charting program and a view of the helm display in that 10 tablet form factor device.

It is a touch screen hybrid display and Raymarine has started making a 9 inch and a 12 inch model now.

Tac Tic has also been bought by FLIR(Raymarine) now.


WE also put an AIS transeiver on our new boat with a seperate antenna at the top of the mast. I saw AIS targets before the radar would "see" them over 40 miles away. Be sure to put an AIS if you can.
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