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Old 01-11-2018, 14:39   #1
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Radar and Chartplotter musings

I'm bouncing ideas around here and welcome opinions either way.

We are in need of a new chartplotter at the nav desk, as well as a new radar.

The simpleton with redundancy part of me would like to keep the two separate, IE a Furuno 1623 (I really like the watchman feature) and a chartplotter with WIFI screen mirroring. The radar would be on a swing arm visible in the cockpit and for times when I need to see the plotter I would use a tablet to mirror. I can accomplish this scenario for roughly $2000.

The other part of me would like to have the radar available as a chart overlay and be visible on the tablet that is mirroring the MFD. This option could be fulfilled for roughly $2600-2800.

In my reading I've found what I believe to be a nice timed transmit with the Ray radar that would be nearly as power savvy as the furuno radar when in watchman mode, but am still on the fence about putting all my eggs into one basket.

We have nothing else on the boat that utilizes NEMA2000, nor is anything interfaced with the exception of the gps feeding into the autopilot.

What are the collective thoughts on either option?
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Old 01-11-2018, 15:38   #2
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

I don't think integrated radars necessarily use NMEA 2000. They need to transfer much more data than an NMEA network can handle so they tend to use Ethernet for transmission. I've got a Simrad 3G radar that sends it's data along ethernet. This integrates with the Zeuss chartplotter, which is cool. Even better, there are plugins that allow a PC to display radar data using OpenCpn which effectively allows a standalone radar display to be home built if required. Yes, it does take a bit of fiddling with to sort out, but this means you could create a standalone radar and integrate it later with a chartplotter as funds dictate (Then you need NMEA, especially because you'll require an integrated electronic compass to allow the chart overlay feature to function).
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Old 01-11-2018, 16:11   #3
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

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I don't think integrated radars necessarily use NMEA 2000. They need to transfer much more data than an NMEA network can handle so they tend to use Ethernet for transmission. I've got a Simrad 3G radar that sends it's data along ethernet. This integrates with the Zeuss chartplotter, which is cool. Even better, there are plugins that allow a PC to display radar data using OpenCpn which effectively allows a standalone radar display to be home built if required. Yes, it does take a bit of fiddling with to sort out, but this means you could create a standalone radar and integrate it later with a chartplotter as funds dictate (Then you need NMEA, especially because you'll require an integrated electronic compass to allow the chart overlay feature to function).
A couple comments:

You'll find the modern broadband radars use less power always transmitting then the Furuno does in "watchman" mode. They use so little power the "timed transmit" function really is unnecessary and kind of obsolete. Doubly so since they are "instant on" without a warmup period needed.

If you want to have the radar overlaid on the chart plotter (very helpful, btw) then you will NEED a 10Hz heading sensor connected to the MFD. That will require a NMEA0183 or MMEA2K connection.

The radars all interface with the MFD by Ethernet.

For us, on our boat, doing things backwards to what you suggest makes a lot more sense. We have the MFD in the cockpit, and use the iPad below to mirror. The MFD's can be seen in sunlight, they are orders of magnitude more waterproof and more robust than an iPad--even one in a case. And they are available 24/7 without charging.
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Old 01-11-2018, 16:32   #4
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

Yep, radar data is sent via Ethernet or WiFi. I was simply stating Iíve got nothing else to display, so donít really care if anything is nema 2000 compliant.

Iíve thought about the openCPN setup. But my wife isnít into the ďfiddlyĒ stuff like I am.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:29   #5
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

I chose to install a standalone Furuno 1815 radar (4 KW). I run AIS from a Vesper XB-8000 unit via the NMEA 2000 backbone to a B&G plotter and via 0183 to the radar. That plus heading sensor strings allow the radar to be practically a second plotter showing all of the usual data plus AIS targets in the context of a radar display. I find this discrete display (plotter AND radar) more informative than one or the other, and if I change my mind, I can buy the little box that can allow radar overlay.

We will be heading offshore, however, and my redundancy needs redundancies. Also, I have a pilothouse and the helm space to accommodate that. The outside, or "sailing" helm, taking a tip from Andy Schell, will be without a dedicated plotter, just a tablet in a baggie and a RAM mount that wirelessly connects to the plotter. I've already tested this and it works like a charm.

Basically, I use the radar to see weather and fast container ships in a timely enough fashion to react to them. So I've actually gone with your initial plan of "keep 'em separate". I consider radar more important than a plotter in many respects, as I still do route planning and final approaches on paper. And yes, I have used OpenCPN and will again as a "backup to the plotter should it die".

And I'm really liking the Furuno 1815. It's not a big power drain, either. See https://alchemy2009.blogspot.com/201...mms-n-sea.html
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:44   #6
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

Yes, the current radars utilize a jiggered version of ethernet to transmit their image info. Raymarine calls it RayNet and Seatalk HS. Their radar only uses the first 4 pins of the RJ45 plug to do the deed but they muddy the water by converting to a circular RayNet plug at the back of the newer units. Some of the older "C" model MFD's have waterproofed RJ45 plugs but you need one of their "Crossover" connectors to use them due to a reversed pair of wires. Their new RayNet protocol does not have those. Navico and Garmin use perfectly sensible Waterproofed RJ45 cables.
The older radars use to draw a fair amount of currentin combination with their dedicated CRT displays. The contemporary ones only draw 20-35 watts in full transmit mode and the MFD that displays them uses generally less than that.
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Old 02-11-2018, 13:36   #7
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I'm bouncing ideas around here and welcome opinions either way.

We are in need of a new chartplotter at the nav desk, as well as a new radar.

The simpleton with redundancy part of me would like to keep the two separate, IE a Furuno 1623 (I really like the watchman feature) and a chartplotter with WIFI screen mirroring. The radar would be on a swing arm visible in the cockpit and for times when I need to see the plotter I would use a tablet to mirror. I can accomplish this scenario for roughly $2000.
If achieving redundancy is a prime objecive, you need to look at the entire information/data and/or process flow, not only at the component level. I.e. if "redundant" separate chartplotter and radar displays both depend on a single WiFi GPS data feed, you have already a critical SPOF (single point of failure). Without the GPS feed, neither is much good. In order to achieve actual redundancy, you need to enable backup on your WiFi too. And so on and so forth. You need to map the data flow in a piece of paper. SPOFs towards the beginning of the flow are usually more critical than those towards the end. Once you do this, you can make better decisions on where to spend your money.
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:43   #8
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

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If achieving redundancy is a prime objecive, you need to look at the entire information/data and/or process flow, not only at the component level. I.e. if "redundant" separate chartplotter and radar displays both depend on a single WiFi GPS data feed, you have already a critical SPOF (single point of failure). Without the GPS feed, neither is much good. In order to achieve actual redundancy, you need to enable backup on your WiFi too. And so on and so forth. You need to map the data flow in a piece of paper. SPOFs towards the beginning of the flow are usually more critical than those towards the end. Once you do this, you can make better decisions on where to spend your money.


Iíve got multiple sources of gps location data available. None is fed over WiFi.

For my money, the single point of failure for an mfd could be either the mfd or the scanner.

For the separate units, the standalone radar could have either the display or the scanner fail. The mfd could have the display fail.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:56   #9
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

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Iíve got multiple sources of gps location data available. None is fed over WiFi.

For my money, the single point of failure for an mfd could be either the mfd or the scanner.

For the separate units, the standalone radar could have either the display or the scanner fail. The mfd could have the display fail.
Correct!

Now, you need to define your requirements for redundancy. In your case (the way I understand it - but may be completely missing the point!) you want redundancy in the case of a failure of the mfd. Then you need to get a radar system that can, with a configuration change, redirect the feed from the radome to a standalone display, other than the mfd. That gives you redundancy for the radar, but not for the chartplotter.

If you need redundancy for both, chartplotter and radar, in case of mfd failure, you need a spare mfd, or another chartplotter that accepts de feed from your radar, thus acting as alternative (reduntant) mfd.

The issue is, separate systems require separate redundancy, because they provide essencially different services.

Seems to me you are not putting all your eggs in one basket by having an integrated mfd, and then providing redundancy for that. If the probability of failure of the mfd is (for argument's sake) roughly the same as the stand alone radar display, you'll still have the same probability of either failing, and will have to provide redundancy for both separately.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:27   #10
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

You guys make this so complicated. A new LED chart plotter is 6W + 17W for the Quantum = 23W or ~2 amps. This is the recommended solution.

An older magnetron radar is 35-40W including the magnetron heater current (10W) that is always on, so double the current.

Solid state is much more reliable than magnetron. PC backup for the chart plotter. Radar overlay is critical for save navigation.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:50   #11
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

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Radar overlay is critical for save navigation.
Mmmm... I must be a very unsafe navigator then, because I do not particularly like the overlay, and seldom use it. IMO the overlay makes de overall display cluttered and difficult to read. Besides, I like the capability to zoom at different levels on the chartplotter and the radar; i.e. looking at more detail on the chartplotter when navigating in channels or shallows (lots of those where I am), while still keeping an eye on traffic or on the weather, further afield on the radar.

Just personal preference!
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Old 03-11-2018, 20:54   #12
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

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Radar overlay is critical for save navigation.


It is??!

I canít even see our midget black and white chart plotter from the helm now, and have never navigated with radar overlay. The only navigational mishaps weíve had involved trying to go into uncharted waters in the first place and sticking in the mud.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:04   #13
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Re: Radar and Chartplotter musings

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Solid state is much more reliable than magnetron.
Not true.

I believe what you meant to say is "Solid state is more convenient for the average recreational boater than a magnetron."
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:34   #14
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Radar and Chartplotter musings

I can definitely see the points raised, that the overlay is not necessary and that the magnetrons are quite reliable within their lifetimes. I am still using a C80 with an analog radar and slowly acquiring components to go newer. However, technology marches on and there is no point in trying to convince ourselves to stick with 15 year old technology no matter how well it works.

I agree that most new affordable chartplotters are small. For example, you can get an a65 for $300. If you want to get a top of the line Raymarine/Garmin in 12Ē size (the min requires to match the 8.4Ē C80 4:3 display) you need to shell out $3000 plus $1600 for the digital radar and it becomes expensive for what you get. But for new installs, please, go ahead.

Most older analog radars are second hand and you do not know the quality of the magnetron despite what the heater hour counter says. Hence, you are taking a risk. High end digital magnetron radars are better that the solid state equivalents but you run into power issues on a small boat.

Once you have been sailing with a good, stabilized chart overlay, using MARPA to track racing boats around you and measure their speed relative to you... you do not want to go back.

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Old 04-11-2018, 14:49   #15
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Radar and Chartplotter musings

So it occurs to me that the radar is a nice to have, and the tablet that is used to Mirror the screen is actually capable of becoming a chart plotter all on its own. Redundancy solved.

Now, does anyone know if the B&G radar has a timed transmit function like Ray marine or watchman on the furuno unit?
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