Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-10-2014, 06:58   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Stand alone, networked, data overload

Shiva is 28 yrs old and still has her original set of B&G Hornet and Hecta instruments.. wind, speed log, depth. These are not NEMA 183 and so do not interface with newer NMEA 183 and N2K equipment. Through the years I have added instruments which I consider making my sailing safer because I have access to more data to make informed decisions...loran, then GPS, then chart plotter, then Radar.. then an MFD w/ radar, then a fluxgate compass, various NMEA and cockpit repeaters, then an AIS receiver. YIKES lots of info! I forgot the wfax which I have sold.

The state of the art is now at N2K with networks which can supply not only navigation and local weather data, but engine information and much more.

I am beginning to wonder if all this data would be a distraction not an asset. I currently face the end of service life of the B&G, though they work fine at the moment. My Ray C80 is not N2K and so maybe I keep it as a stand alone radar add a new N2K MFD and transducers replacing the B&G.

I began to think that this approach puts all one's eggs in one basket. If the network hub (MFD) fails... one is left with no data/information. If my C80 goes whacky my B&G still provide depth, wind and speed data to the cockpit... and I have two old stand alone plotters... a hand held garmin and a old Standard Horizon.

I am beginning to think that all this integration, cool as it appears could be a real problem.

I am trying to find a solution to move into the newer generation (network) without losing the benefits I see in stand along instruments. Of course real estate and cost are issues and there are probably few stand alone instruments these days as there once was.

Take AIS... now most are black boxes feeding an MFD, though there are some stand along AIS plotters.

I am curious to learn what other sailors are doing / thinking about this issue. Perhaps for a newer boat this is moot.

What say you?
__________________

__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:10   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

I don't see much of a difference. The N2K stuff is generally a self-contained transducer/receiver that puts its data on a network for other instruments and data displays to see. There is no "all eggs in one basket", unless you decide to forgo all but a single point of data display.

We see all our data on our chartplotter, our 3 Triton MFD's, our autopilot control head MFD, all our computers and our iPads. The computers and iPads get their N2K data by wifi.

I think the point you have missed is that besides chartplotters, most instrument displays now are MFD's that can display all data on the network - none of them are dedicated to a single transducer/receiver anymore. Yes, they still make dedicated ones, but I fail to see why anyone would buy them. And the prices are the same as the old dedicated ones, and many of them fit in the same mounting places as the old ones. So just pick up one or two 4" MFD's to go with your chartplotter and you are all set for redundancy. If you get a new autopilot, the control heads themselves are MFD's now.

We certainly do not find having all information accessible wherever we happen to be on the boat is a distraction. Quite the opposite, really - I don't have to run below to see a specific piece of information because I can just hit the button for the page on the MFD containing that information. Or I don't have to get out of bed when off watch to see if the wind is picking up or we need a course change because I can just open my iPad and see everything there.

And the networking and integration itself is dead-simple and MUCH easier than NMEA0183 or your current Hornet stuff. I don't see how it is a problem at all, comparatively.

Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 9.06.08 AM.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	76.2 KB
ID:	89857   Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 9.07.27 AM.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	73.1 KB
ID:	89858  

__________________

__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:16   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Perhaps I misunderstood the network concept... does all data generated by transducers and so forth flow of the network and any device can pluck the data and display it? Obviously some cannot show charts or AIS data such as the tritons... (yes?). If so...the MFD is not a hub but just a node.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:25   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

We have never had problems with info overflow. Just switch off the systems that disturb you and you are set. Our own boat has everything as a stand alone with data exchange where required. Then I sail boats where everything is seamless and integrated into one major display and a number of repeaters (some are wireless). I like it just as much as I like our own boat's simplicity.

Can't see any cons/pros that would overrule other than your likes and dislikes, budget, nav area, etc.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:26   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Yes, I think you misunderstood. On a N2K network, the transducers and receivers themselves are self-contained data receivers/generators that put their data on a network to be plucked off by anything designed to read the data. So your speed, depth, wind, GPS, engine gauges, etc are not dedicatedly connected to anything.

A chartplotter can be used as a hub to translate and transfer 0183 and other data to the N2K network and feed other displays that way. But it is not normally used as a hub for N2K data unless there are multiple chartplotters being used in master/slave setups.

I don't know of any of the 4" MFD's that display charts, but at least one (the Raymarine i70) displays AIS targets.

And, of course, there are many computer and tablet/phone programs that do display charts and AIS and everything else.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:29   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Just switch off the systems that disturb you and you are set.
No need to switch anything off - just don't look at it! Set up data pages that contain information in groups and ways that make sense to you and look at only those pages you need at any given time.

The rest of the data stays active until you may want it.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:30   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

So to transition one needs to translate nmea 183 to N2K which then can flow on the network. I suppose there are devices aside from MFDs which do this?
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:50   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
So to transition one needs to translate nmea 183 to N2K which then can flow on the network. I suppose there are devices aside from MFDs which do this?
Yes, several. I prefer the ActiSense, but also have a Maretron that works well.

NGW-1: NMEA 0183 to 2000

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 08:55   #9
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,929
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

To expand on colemj's comments, N2K is actually a significant step forward in redundancy, since all the information is shared on the network. If one MFD goes south, the information that it (was set to) displayed is still available to other devices on the network.

The only weakness of N2K is that all the data runs along one backbone. If the backbone fails, due to a cut cable or lose terminator, all the devices downstream of it go out. That said, N2K is so brutally simple that diagnosing problems in the cabling is pretty straightforward. Carry along some spare cabling, connectors, and terminators and you're in good shape.

There are some hubs/servers available for some products that translate 183 to N2K, but you'll have to find out if one is available for the unit in question. As far as radar goes, the utility of having that available on your N2K network so you can use it as a data layer on your plotter comes down to how you use your radar and how often. If I spent a lot of time in coastal fog I'd probably consider it a good upgrade, but offshore further south it would be of limited value, IMO.
__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 09:08   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
The only weakness of N2K is that all the data runs along one backbone. If the backbone fails, due to a cut cable or lose terminator, all the devices downstream of it go out. That said, N2K is so brutally simple that diagnosing problems in the cabling is pretty straightforward. Carry along some spare cabling, connectors, and terminators and you're in good shape.
I don't see any more frailty than NMEA0183 and all those tiny wires run to multiple junction boxes, multiplexers, etc. In fact, I see the N2K backbone as being far more physically robust, and definitely far more electrically robust. To cut an N2K backbone, one would need to 1) be an idiot, and 2) bring along a large solid pair of sharp diagonal wire cutters.

Likewise with the terminations - they are tightly screwed on with o-ring seals and fine threads. However, point taken, and they are very cheap and even DIY, since they are nothing but a single resistor across the data wires.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 09:22   #11
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,929
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't see any more frailty than NMEA0183 and all those tiny wires run to multiple junction boxes, multiplexers, etc. In fact, I see the N2K backbone as being far more physically robust, and definitely far more electrically robust. To cut an N2K backbone, one would need to 1) be an idiot, and 2) bring along a large solid pair of sharp diagonal wire cutters.

Likewise with the terminations - they are tightly screwed on with o-ring seals and fine threads. However, point taken, and they are very cheap and even DIY, since they are nothing but a single resistor across the data wires.

Mark
My point is simply that there is a form of redundancy in having lots of independent wires...if a unit goes out, tracing the wiring is straightforward (if a total PITA depending on accessibility and bundling) and the function of other instruments is largely unaffected. I'm not suggesting that this is some sort of outstanding strength, it's just a hypothetical advantage. And given how many 183 packages use server hubs, which is yet another point of failure, it's a very hypothetical advantage.

As for N2K backbones and connectors, they do go out. I've been on two boats where it's happened. One was a racing sled to Bermuda where a junction was exposed and was split by a hastily thrown bag of tools, the other a cruiser where a terminator fell off that had been poorly screwed on during a pre-passage upgrade. Granted, both instances were due to boneheadedness, but in each case hunting down the problem was pretty easy.

It's safe to say that diagnosing and fixing most faults on a N2K network is going to take a fraction of the time older systems. It's basically electronic LEGO, lol.
__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 15:33   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Montreal, Qc, Canada
Boat: C&C38-3 WK
Posts: 59
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Sandero, I was in the same situation as you when I bought my boat 3 years ago. I had only a Hornet 4 and a Hecta. I wanted to get those wind and speed data to my future plotter.

I found a product from Tinley Electronics, the "Hornet4 to NMEA". It connect to the Hornet data bus and speaks NMEA0183, but with an Simrad AT10 ( sure an Actisence product will also work), you get the data on N2K.
__________________
PeterSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2014, 16:09   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

This makes good sense... assuming the cabling is robust and the connectors are .. and I can snake then in the rather small plastic conduits up to the cockpit dash... which I doubt.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2014, 10:52   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 146
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Went through similar. Electronics were an amazing combination of 2001 tech. Furuna, Standard H, Ratheon, Datmarine, etc. I spend three days chasing connection, etc. Replaced it all with a a set. Radar, wind instruments, depth, engine, etc.
Have a small cheap second display inside as backup. System has its own wifi so I can control everything from phone or tablet as needed from anywhere onboard. The stuff I sold paid 90% of the cost of the new.
Before I had amass of connections of multistrand that needed to be cleaned for maintenance and proper connection. I was always told that kind of connection cleanup should be done annually near salt. I now have properly run single cables, and I know exactly where they are. Maintenance is ten minutes. Plus a hand held and a sextant.
BTW, current draw is about 10% of what the other system pulled.

My two cents.
__________________
rbrentp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2014, 16:00   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Stand alone, networked, data overload

Thanks... I will bite the bullet next season!
__________________

__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
loa

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ipad navigation (imray and Navionics) plus stand alone Radar? 12 sail away Navigation 3 01-06-2013 09:40
smart phones used as stand alone GPS rakedfront1 Marine Electronics 36 12-06-2012 22:51
MULTI FUNCTION vs STAND ALONE casual Marine Electronics 19 12-12-2011 16:52
Weather Fax SI-TEX Nav-Fax 200 (Stand Alone?) dennisail Weather | Gear, Reports and Resources 18 22-09-2011 04:42
Stand alone radar mario f Navigation 6 10-10-2007 23:15



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:00.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.