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Old 26-05-2007, 22:31   #16
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On humble dissenting opinion. Most boat guys are gadget guys. Many are electronics guys, many are engineer guys. Some are doctors...

Same with airplanes.

It's great that 30 year old equipment is still working and that you have fun soldering transistors back in place and replacing the occasional vaccum tube.

I wouldn't throw away working electronics but I wouldn't waste much time finding parts on eBay. Dollar for dollar pound for pound an integrated "modern" system with built in charting on a nice big display works for me.

One advantage with modern systems is ergonomics. Learning the systems and teaching the systems to others on the boat that may not share the hobbyists point of view is a big plus.

"Connect these two wires, set these three swtiches, bang it just about the waterline on the left side, stomp your feet three times. Make sure the green light is on. If it isn't open the lid and giggle that little lightbulb looking thing."


"press this button. talk into the mike."

BTW regarding redundancies? Loran, GPS, RDF, Celestial, Ded Reckoning" How many systems do you need? Dual GPS and the ability to shoot a star and follow a compass oughta do it. I wouldn't spend a centavo on repairing a Loran or RDF. I'd buy a second handheld GPS first.

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Old 26-05-2007, 22:52   #17
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Even on Kittiwake. As minimalist a vessel as you will see, I carried two hand held GPS units. I can use a sextant, but not without allot of effort, and barely adaquate accuracy. In part, because I have always relied on electronic navigation. There are clear benefits to new technology. The question is, if that technology does not provide any additional function, or benefit, why get the latest greatest just to have buttons that light up? I do not see the point myself.

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Old 26-05-2007, 23:47   #18
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(I know, I know: Captain Cook did not have a chart plotter and he did just fine..By Gooly, no radar either but his RDF worked fine.)
Ummmm, well I guess if you call finding places like NZ fine, then I guess he did. But if you consider he drew half the country wrong and only found out NZ was two seperate islands after climbing a mountain to take a look, then one could also say his nav gear was a little inacurate. Able Tasman found NZ also. But one would wonder how when he sailed from Tasmania, right on past Australia without seeing Oz. I think for those guys, ya just sailed around till you bumped into something.

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Old 27-05-2007, 08:03   #19
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The problem alot of us have is when buying an older boat there usually is not much in the way of reliable electronics that comes with the boat - usually a couple of instruments - maybe in working condition if you're lucky.

The boat I bought last year had a Standard Horizon speed and depth. The depth worked but made an irritating whining sound and the speed needed a new paddle wheel which I got but it was the wrong one. I got the 5 blade but needed the 3 blade - Horizon screwed up when they sent it out to me.

The problem is do we go looling under every rock out there trying to find used or bargain electronics which may be able to talk to each other thru NMEA and may or may not last and may not have a warranty or do you find a good package out there that will allow you to start up right away with up to date technology and get all the bells and whistles and is future upgradable? I decided to go with Raymarine because it meets all these criteria at a reasonable price. I don't want to get into which manufacturer has better equipment etc - but when I turn on my Raymarine suite, I immediately have a C80 Multifunction display with GPS, 24 mile Radar with Marpa, Depth, speed, wind, ST4000 Plus autohelm, DSC VHF with Wham mike and everything is tied together with Seatalk so I can set a course, have the boat steer either to the wind or GPS course, have a warning of approaching hazards and the boat will automatically correct course to compensate. All instruments have their own display so if the MFD breaks, I can get individual data for wind, speed and depth and autohelm control.

There have already been two updates to my C80 which was an easy download from the Raymarine site

IMO this beats the hell out of trying to use an outdated or partial system. It is not a substitute for competant seamanship and should always be backed up by knowledge and paper charts.
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Old 27-05-2007, 09:28   #20
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Great thread! Me, I use what came with the boat and get new/upgrade as the need progresses to requirement, or something stops working. I had to upgrade and buy a new autopilot (RayMarine) as the old one's critical part (fluxgate) was beyond repair and nothing was a good substitute. Same with the depth and speed transducers/displays (gave the old displays away - still working I might add).

I still have the old 'green screen' Raytheon CRT radar - works just fine and is still as accurate as MY eyes can discern. I have an old Magellan GPS at the nav. sta. and have a portable one that I use at the helm (newer - damn ... 5 years old now! time does fly). I upgraded my VHF (gave the old one - also still working to same person as other instruments) mainly so that I had ALL available channels, and could use a remote mike (at the helm).

In my previous (read younger) life, I was an ET. But without a schematic and lots of spare parts, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be attempting to repair any of the old stuff. I only have so much room on my boat, and WAY too many projects to be taking on electronic repair projects. I suppose that if you have the inclination, space, and time, repairing old electronics is a good thing.
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Old 27-05-2007, 09:36   #21
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I agree with what some of the others have said.

I believe for those who do not possess a degree or expertise in electonics repair. I would go with new electronic devices. Due to having warranties and such.

With old gadgets. You might not know what you might end up with?

But like what Thomas have said. If it was already on the boat already. And it works fine. Leave it alone!!

That's my two cents!!

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 27-05-2007, 11:05   #22
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Who said anything about REPAIR?

As often happens, a chance remark or a misreading of someone's post morphs into a whole new thing.

The point is, with many older and quality electronics...THEY DON'T NEED REPAIR! They work just fine and will continue to do so for a very long time if you treat 'em right.

You don't have to be an electronics guru to research and recognize quality gear. But you do have to exert yourself just a tiny bit to do the research. A few hours away from the tube will do it!


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