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Old 03-08-2016, 07:12   #1
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New instruments or re-use old

Hi!

On my new-old boat I have few old instruments:
- 150kHz Depth sounder that I manage to re-animate with Actisense DST-2 and get NMEA data from it
- Simrad IS15 wind meter

I'm considering either to continue using old stuff and send Depth data to some screen over WiFi (Raspberry-Pi collects and sends to Kindle display) or to buy a fully new set and try to sell the IS15.

I've got a nice quote from a friend that is a dealer of Garmin for new gWind 2 wireless bundle (includes DST800, 2 screens, wind-meter) for quite good price of 1200 E...

So the question is:
- When is it time to upgrade from something old to more modern integrated new?
- Anyone has experience with Garmin gWind / GNX 20 ?

PS: As a software developer and engineer I have good knowledge on installing electronics and chasing bugs, but sometimes DIY instrument idea takes too long to be implemented and actually being usable in offshore conditions.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:23   #2
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

It's really more of a do you want a new toy in my opinion, absolutely nothing wrong with buying toys, the boat likely is one, but in my opinion, they are not Safety related, you don't have to have them, so it becomes more of is it worth the money to you?
Only you can answer that
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:24   #3
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

Where I am, Depth is a safety related issue. And currently I have no instrument near companionway to show it.

Any new instrument display is around 400$... and with a new set I get 2 displays and it's integrated...
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:18   #4
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

You reason to have a second display is worthwhile. If it were me I would get it but as said above you will have to justify the money to yourself. One issue is what to do with the old through hull. If it were me I would keep the old and put in the new using the old for a backup. Especially if knowing the depth is so critical where your sail.

Keeping both networked to other displays may or may not be a problem. I would just integrate the new one and keep the old one standalone until you need to use it.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:34   #5
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

The sensor is very good and best for accuracy (I think it was Panbo that bench tested them). The wireless option is imho a mixed blessing: there is a small solar panel, a small battery, two wireless adapters ....... I think I could be tempted to stick to the wired version. More components = more failures.

As far as "when" is considered. I only replace components when they fail. I only buy new ones when I need them (our boat came without depth and so we got a dept instrument). Etc. Wind is essential when racing, much as very many racers go by windex alone. I like wind instruments for sailing at night, esp. downwind.

So my advice is to stay minimalistic and see how it works for you. And if it does not, get the best gear for the job. Like the Garmin wind one (which is in fact a re-branded Silva unit).

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Old 04-08-2016, 09:40   #6
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

Quote:
Originally Posted by xslim View Post
Where I am, Depth is a safety related issue. And currently I have no instrument near companionway to show it.

Any new instrument display is around 400$... and with a new set I get 2 displays and it's integrated...
I am wary of integration and feel it's not necessary. I would rather have a discrete numerical display for the outside helm and a depth sounder for the nav station or inside helm to show me the nature of the bottom for anchoring data then a single MFD outside that, if it goes, leaves me with the lead-line and the fathom-calling Nelson fancied.

Paper or electronic charts show depth. Sailing the contour and local awareness only require numbers. If it's that thin where you are, you might be a candidate for forward-looking sonar.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:53   #7
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

You can get ST40 displays at about USD 200 each. There is a bi-data (depth/speed) unit too in the same price.

These are "low" cost, high visibility and last very well. You can use them stand alone or chained.

Integration is via boxes as they are SeaTalk only.

Very good stuff in this price bracket.

Cheers,
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:16   #8
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

Failure is when you need to replace. It really is that simple! Failure predictions based on age are worthless.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:52   #9
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

No to integration
Yes to Garmin - great stuff.
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Old 04-08-2016, 13:40   #10
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

I have a Garmin gWind wireless and GNX-10 talking to a GMI-10 , GMI-20 and Simrad EVO 2 DSS. I like the gWind, would have prefered a wired device but our current boat does not have a user droppable mast. (At least not a user rasiable one that is...) The GNX is a protocol converter to change NEXUS to NMEA 2K. Every so often I lose the wind data and have to reset the whole system to get it back, bit not very often.

I display Depth on the GMI-10, Wind on the GMI-20 and chart data on the Simrad. It is very nice to be able to see the wind and depth without having to search the chart display for the small numbers, eyes not what they once were...
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Old 04-08-2016, 19:50   #11
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

You will need to troubleshoot any system, yours or Garmins or Raymarine, etc. If you enjoy hardware development and are familiar with R-Pi then do it yourself! You'll know the system better than buying a system from some corporation and begging them for support on error messages.

Besides, what if your instruments quit on you? Wind you can feel, and depth won't be necessary if you can get to a well-charted harbor.

handheld GPS for backup.
handheld VHF for backup.
you're good to go
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Old 04-08-2016, 20:08   #12
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

Here you go:

Simrad IS20 Sail Performance Package

Three displays, wind and depth/speed for about $650 euros. Defender is great on international shipping too.

Matt
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Old 05-08-2016, 00:07   #13
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

Thanks for reply guys!

I evaluated all options and made decision to go with Garmin bundle.
I can write a review how it works.

Answering some of questions:
I mostly sail short handed / single handed, so having display down below is not an option. Also relying on paper / electronic charts is not always good way. Here in Holland there is a place where depth can change due to sandy bottom.
Forward looking sensor is a great idea, but it's quite pricy for a sensor, and you need a dedicated proprietary display. I might buy it someday.

I do have handheld backups, no problem with that. I use iPad as chart display (with 2 backups). I could send depth data there, but it's not easily readable.

If the current wind sensor fails - there is no way for me to debug it - proprietary protocol that is nowhere described.


If the new sensor fails or 2000 fails - I can easily debug it - I have tools.
If any NMEA 1083 sensor fails - I also can debug it - but then it's usually finding the loose cables, so I prefer NMEA 2000 in that regards.
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Old 30-08-2016, 04:03   #14
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Re: New instruments or re-use old

Just an update for anyone interested.

I installed gWind Wireless, but it seems the firmware is not yet up to speed - it was loosing connection quite often, so I went for a wired solution.
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