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Old 28-01-2009, 08:18   #1
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TackTick Wireless Instruments

Hi all! I'm considering Tacktick wireless instruments for my sounder, knot log and wind, plus xtra compass. Anyone have any experience, good or bad? Thanks, Chris
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Old 28-01-2009, 08:31   #2
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If its wireless, then where does it get its power? My point is, if it draws power you still have to run a wire to it, unless it runs off batteries. So whats the point of "wireless" when you still have to run a power wire to it? Same goes for these "wireless" speakers we see now.
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Old 28-01-2009, 09:08   #3
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Sometimes you have a power source already available...like in a helm pedestal.
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Old 28-01-2009, 09:09   #4
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Many of the Tacktick devices are solar powered with a built in battery that lasts quite a while without sun. The wind instrements transmit a signal to a screen for viewing, no wires between are necessary, nor is power wiring needed for either device. My understanding is that the below deck items, like depth/speed, will need a power source but not wiring to the display screen itself.

I have been around Tacktick's Racemaster unit on many small boats and it works very well.
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Old 28-01-2009, 09:13   #5
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The instruments are all solar with several days worth of reserve battery power. They're quite popular. Anyone with personal experience?

http://www.tacktick.com/page.home
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Old 28-01-2009, 09:31   #6
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I had the wind instrument on the last boat. It was totally solar powered. The display head was under a Bimini and in 3 years it never failed to show a full power level. You can use the supplied bracket to allow you to remove the display head and take it with you. The problem with it is it is also stealable. You can hard wire it as well if you like but I never saw the need.

They do use a very small amount of power. It's the only reason they even work. The units have no serviceable parts and are factory sealed. The unit I had worked for 3 years and never had a battery issue. You can't change the battery. I believe they use silver halide batteries. They are a great battery but they don't put out a lot of power but do have an exceptionally long duty cycle. Getting the power use low enough really is the only reason they work. You just couldn't make these types of instruments if they didn't.

For the Wind Instrument you bolt a cup to the top of the masthead and then the instrument is attached with 3 screws so that you can remove if need be. The stalk is carbon fiber wrapped.

You do a training session on the ground with all the devices close and turn them on and they find each other. It's a wireless network and communicate with each other. Once the unit is attached to the mast head you just turn the display head on and off. I found I could walk down the dock with the display in my hands 70 feet or more and still read the display.

The units are not cheap by any means but the cost of installation is almost nothing. The hull transducers need 12 volt power but no signal wires. they also have a NMEA device that can be used to connect a GPS antenna and then also supply out pout for a PC as well as do true wind computations. The devices integrate as you add them. They know what can be done with the various signals.

If you consider the problems you have with wires it's not a bad way to go. I avoided a mast unstepping that would have been required to install the conventional units. That would have cost more money than the Tacktick. Ocean Equipment out of California is the distributor. The parent company is British. I had some initial warranty issues and they were quite generous in how they handled it. Normal warranty I think was far longer than you get from Raymarine.

The stuff does work.
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Old 28-01-2009, 09:32   #7
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I have these instruments on my Tartan. They have worked flawlesly since new, the past year. They are easy to read from a distance and stay charged for quite sometime. The depth and speedo do require a power source, but this is minimal drain. The sender wires run from the transducers to a power block, which is small and gets power from your batteries. This can be mounted anywhere in the boat, above the waterline. The readouts can then be mounted anywhere outside on the boat. I also know that Sailing Pro Shop is offering a special with the instruments, the wireless handheld is also being offered for FREE!! That's about a $600.00 value. I aslo have the wireless.
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Old 29-01-2009, 21:00   #8
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What about your wind instrument? does it always have enough charge to work overnight, even after a cloudy period? Never had bird droppings ocult the solar charger up the mast?
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Old 29-01-2009, 21:19   #9
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They claim it can run 3 days in total darkness. the battery indicator on the display never read less than full the entire 3 years I owned the boat. when we were in port I had a spot behind a port i would leave the display so the small solar charger would keep it going. The mast head has no such requirement. The tiny panels on it keep the transmitter going.
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Old 30-01-2009, 03:00   #10
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Heads up

Thanks for the 'heads up' on Pro Sailing Shop. The Tack Tick price for a depth finder display is $100 cheaper than WM. How do the displays mount? Will they mount 'permenantly' to a nav pod?
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Old 30-01-2009, 04:59   #11
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Quote:
How do the displays mount? Will they mount 'permanently' to a nav pod?
You can mount the displays two ways. First they make a plate that you screw into the pod. You can then slide the display into the plate and it snaps into place. You can then release the catch and it can be removed. The displays contain their own power. Second, you can through bolt them so you need no holes cut in the pod. The holes would be small for through bolts. With the second arrangement you might consider hard wired display heads.

If you go to the web site you can get the manuals and they show drawings of how it works. Mounted below they require a power connection. Out in the open they charge by solar power. If you purchase the plates you could have them attached in several places and move the display head as required so long as you recharged the solar panel you could bring them in at night or have them at the helm or bulkhead. They are totally weather proof. That flexibility is something you never could have before.
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Old 30-01-2009, 05:50   #12
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I opted to mount them over my compaionway. The displays are large enough to read from the helming station, and I remove them when I leave the boat. I have had no problems with charging or the batteries running down. For winter storage, I have them in a sunny place in my house where they can charge dailey. The website has much info and I also would suggest that you download the manual.
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Old 30-01-2009, 14:40   #13
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Thanks Paul and D.D. for the info. I did download the user guides, but the real story is not always the same as the offical story, so real life feedback is very valuable. Has any of you used Tacktick continuously for several days and nights on passages?
Also, is there any interference with SSB radio or other electronics?
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Old 31-01-2009, 22:29   #14
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the only problem that i know of is the receiver is near carbon, it stops the mast head unit connecting to the recever, they can working around this apparently
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:27   #15
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Will they work on a steel boat? Does anyone has experience with that?
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