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Old 22-11-2009, 15:25   #16
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Autopilots?!! You mean the AutoHelm stuff? By the time I got a boat that could use below decks gear I'd had so many broken wheelpilots that I didn't even think about RM for that. Later I hear about RM electric-linear drives with broken nylon gears... exactly the same plastic trouble as with the wheelpilots. So happy I got the AP25 and a WH!

Sorry that I talk bad about stuff you and others might love but it is conform what I see around me on the water. I know that when price enters the equation things change. But when you need to replace broken cheap stuff a couple of times, the B&G and Furuno etc. expensive goodies turn out to be a good deal actually. My Furuno GP32 was half the price of that RN300 and the Garmins go for less, so it's not always price alone.

I believe the support people themselves are okay it's just that they needed 10 times as many and good products. I can deal with marketing types... I just deal differently with them than you might ;-) But serious, that "SeaTalk Next Generation" is just total sales-droid-crap because it's just N2K with different connectors. That kind of talk is something that will not do for any tech-guy.

I have stuff for sale, two color chartplotters/radars/fishfinders and a 4kW scanner. But it's the old stuff... Raytheon.

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Nick.
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Old 22-11-2009, 16:52   #17
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Hey guys,
I know absolutely nothing about the differences between the different brands but my boat came with a Raymarine set up. My 2d 18 inch radar is not rotating and i need to replace the belt. any tips on how to accomplish that without streatching the belt over the array causing it to be to loose and slip? Posted the question under another topic but I haven't heard anything. From the sound of all this I doubt I will hear anything from my online request to Raymarine.
Deby
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Old 22-11-2009, 17:49   #18
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Hi Jedi,

I also will not be going for RM in this build, had raytheon auto in the last boat and was happy, but now believe that there are better products and Furuno was up there for sounder, radar and Auto.
Interestingly, the prices on Furuno appear to be more affordable as well.

Another option I had been looking at was SEIWA and particularly this unit, for GPS/Plotter,radar and sounder
Seiwa Marine €“ Navigating the Seas of Tomorrow
Which, looks identical to this one
Si-Tex Marine Electronics Explorer Plus Electronic Charting System Control Unit
Quote:
The EXPLORER PLUS turns almost any "off the shelf" PC monitor into a full-featured C-MAP electronic charting system. Couple this unique product to an existing onboard monitor or add just about any size CRT or flat panel display for a very convenient two piece charting system with unlimited mounting possibilities

Expands to an all-in-one GPS Charting System/Fishfinder/Radar with optional ES502 Fishfinder Module and optional 2kW to 4kW MDS Radar Sensors.
Any comment on Seiwa /si tex stuff?
I had thought SEIWA was more a commercial grade of gear but am not sure

I used one once set up as chart plotter only with a 19 inch lcd Monitor and it was a truly wonderful experience, on a 22 inch lcd with splitscreen radar/plotter/sounder......... oooh, it makes me feel all warm and shivery
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Old 22-11-2009, 20:38   #19
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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Hi Jedi,

Any comment on Seiwa /si tex stuff?
I had thought SEIWA was more a commercial grade of gear but am not sure
I've never seen this equipment on a boat and didn't know anything about these companies before today. But I just checked out their websites (quickly) and found out that Seiwa is a small Chinese manufacturer that has managed to stay around since 1985 and Si-tex is just an even smaller, probably US, sales club that just re-labels the Seiwa kit.

I would stay far away from it until many many boats I meet have it installed for some time without complaints. I have some experience with Chinese manufacturers (my class A AIS transponder) and even though it works I can buy a new one because it turns out the unit is declared illegal.

I am buying all new electronics and after many weeks of research I came to this list of manufacturers: Furuno & MaxSea, Maretron, Airmar, Simrad. I even pushed B&G out because of their price level and I'm switching to Furuno analog and digital N2K instruments (good price and best looking too) fed by Maretron & Airmar sensors, one or two Maretron color displays and the Furuno Navnet 3D line for plotter, radar, AIS, fishfinder, weatherfax/navtex. I'm betting on MaxSea TimeZero via wifi so I'm going for just one Furuno plotter. If TimeZero works good at the nav station computer (Mac mini) I'm considering a 10" Mac laptop for use at the helm or anywhere away from the plotter. My back-up plan is a "cheap" LCD monitor at the helm with a 10 meter cable back to the Furuno plotter.

I know this setup isn't cheap and I wouldn't buy it if we weren't full time live aboard cruisers. I would skip the AIS (go for just a receiver), fishfinder, weatherfax and MaxSea computers if the boat was my 2nd home.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 23-11-2009, 07:33   #20
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10" Mac laptop? Where is this beast?

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Old 23-11-2009, 08:48   #21
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I have the Maretron color display and can highly recommend them. I put an Airmar depth sounder in though and find I cannot configure it to have an offset with the Maretron display like you can the Maretron sensor. Maretron didn't offer a separate depth sounder so I went with Airmar. If anyone knows how to set this up I could use the advise. If it can't be done it is not critical but is something I would have expected to be able to do.

We have the Maretron display set up for 4 quarters showing all the sensors we have in the pilot house and we were going to put another on the bulkhead to see from the outside steering station. The display is so nice though that I can see everything from the outside station from where it is so we are holding off on installing the outside display for now. The previous instruments were not even close but then they were 20+ years old.

Jim
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Old 23-11-2009, 10:59   #22
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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
10" Mac laptop? Where is this beast?
In my dreams I suppose ;-) It's 13" and right here: Configure - Apple Store (U.S.)

I would love to find a good quality 10" laptop with the specs that meet the MaxSea TimeZero requirements.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 23-11-2009, 11:04   #23
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I have the Maretron color display and can highly recommend them. I put an Airmar depth sounder in though and find I cannot configure it to have an offset with the Maretron display like you can the Maretron sensor. Maretron didn't offer a separate depth sounder so I went with Airmar. If anyone knows how to set this up I could use the advise. If it can't be done it is not critical but is something I would have expected to be able to do.
That is indeed an unsuspected set-back. Did you contact Maretron support about it? It does support "general" N2K sensor setup and I would have thought offset for depth is included with that.

I am processing a lot of info right now so check this for yourself to make sure but I believe that the Airmar U200 N2K-USB gateway includes software to program every Airmar device, incl. firmware updates. It's on my list.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 24-11-2009, 13:26   #24
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I see this as no surprise. I really like my Raymarine equipment (2 autopilots, dual 10.5" color displays, open array radar, depth finder, etc). But their customer "service" is the same "service" a bull provides to a cow.
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Old 24-11-2009, 13:47   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
And now I'd like to hear from all those forum members who insisted that Raymarine was a top choice, regardless of so many warning to buy Furuno, Garmin etc. It's a shame and a waste of money that cruisers only now will start believing that... when Raymarine goes belly up. A bit late isn't it?

cheers,
Nick.
You can hear from me.
I've used Raymarine kit over past 20 years. Found it superb, user friendly, and at least here in the UK, when we've had service needs, we found they went far beyond any statutary warranty needs.
It will be very sad if they go to the wall due to bad management and this current climate - but I do recall that happening to Rolls Royce three decades back - and they are still (IMHO) a car I rate and would love to afford.

If anyone wants a $50 bet we'll still see this kit sold and supported in ten years time - I'll take it.

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Old 24-11-2009, 14:09   #26
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i guess we all have our opinions - like some folks think fords are great and some think not - opinions are as varied as the wind - and i seem to take exception to jedi as someone once said "i think thou does protest too much" - you seem to have a real axe to grind sir
as for us we love our raymarine equipment - we have a fully integrated system from the depth to wind to radar and we were going to put on ais but our rl70c will not take it so we are in the midst of upgrading to a c70 - we would go with something else but have limited room at the helm - i just got done installing the radar and it was a piece of cake - we will not put the c70 in until we get back from the bahamas next year as the navaonics charts are not as good as the cmap which use explorer charts - our autopiolt has been flawless and the radar overlay is great - we could not say more about it
as for customer service - we have called them a few times about issues - especially after we got hit by lightening and lost everything - and they could not have been more helpfully - i called them about installing the new radar and again they were great - very helpful
as for the financial issue - they are losing money this year but made good money the last few - they also seem to selling a lot of stock to outsiders - check the london stock exchange - their problem seems to be relying to much on the marine market and not diversifying into the consumer market where every one can put a gps unit in their car - that helps the other guys make a few bucks while the marine market is in the tank
just my opinion and experience - and i do not go about bashing companies i do not like will tell you what i think and i am not a big garmin fan
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Old 24-11-2009, 16:06   #27
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I had a thread opened about a year ago asking for opinions on which company to buy from. I decided to buy Nexus gear, and it seems now that that was a pretty good idea.


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Old 24-11-2009, 16:52   #28
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Nick,
See you had the WH autopilot and seemed to like it. Went to their website and didn't see an actuator for mechanical steering. Do they make one? And in regards to customer service I sent theman e-mail a week ago as to what they would recomend for my boat and still have not heard back.

How would they respond if I had a problem?

Mike
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Old 24-11-2009, 17:30   #29
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Sounds like the problem was not enough cash flow to service debt. It appears they owe about $150 million, probably incurred in buying the company from Raytheon.

If someone were to buy the company out of bankruptcy and wipe out the debt, they would probably be a going concern. Certainly be worth a couple mil to someone. I'd like to see them back in the US, but that may not be likely.

Too bad, I've had one of their belowdecks autopilots as a key crew member for a long time, never a hiccup.
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Old 24-11-2009, 18:16   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
That is indeed an unsuspected set-back. Did you contact Maretron support about it? It does support "general" N2K sensor setup and I would have thought offset for depth is included with that.

I am processing a lot of info right now so check this for yourself to make sure but I believe that the Airmar U200 N2K-USB gateway includes software to program every Airmar device, incl. firmware updates. It's on my list.

cheers,
Nick.
No I haven't asked either company how best to handle it. I am using the Maretron USD gateway so I haven't looked into installing the firmware updates yet. I couldn't find the software as a separate product online so I suspect I will need the technical folks to help me solve this one.

Jim
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