My wife and I purchased an ex Charter Lagoon
410s2 (2006) from Moorings BVI in Sept. We have been living aboard
'Traveller' since then with our daughters. 4 cabins has been a great thing for us with guests and having a spare room.
The lacking thing from the get go was the minimal electronics
. This is why I'm posting
here. I'm sharing my upgrades on the cheap
that has improved things a bit.
As we received it (Electronics):
Navman 6500 fish
finder / chartplotter
(with it's own GPS)
ST60+ for wind/speed/sounder
Raymarine SmartPilot S3
Raymarine RAY55 VHF
Round dial barometer on the nav panel (broken needle, removed)
Round clock on the nav panel (removed)
That's good enough for BVI but I'd like to add AIS
and a bigger chart plotter. My budget
? As little as possible.
What I've done so far spending all of about 1200.00 USD.
1. I programmed my MMSI into the RAY55 and it started complaining about not having GPS
position. So with some digging I found the 6500 was wired to the NMEA
input on the RAY55. Digging in the manual for the 6500 I was able to go in the settings to find it was not outputting NMEA
, also the messages to output (list) was not quite right. So I looked in the RAY55 manual for the NMEA messages it could accept then reconciled this with the ones to be output on the 6500. Instantly now I was getting GPS
to the DSC
on the RAY55. Cool. RAY55 now DSC
setup with GPS input for location.
: Before we moved onto Traveller I had purchased a very inexpensive USB GPS stick from Amazon. Probably 20 bucks max. I had searched opencpn
for compatible ones first. It works like a charm on my Ubuntu 13.10 laptop
sitting on the nav station. Now I have a 15" Chart Plotter with GPS and NOAA charts
thanks to the opencpn
site. Huge thank you for everyone who contributes to the opencpn project
. It works awesome.
: I purchased on defender.com my AIS. I saved hundreds off it from them. It was shipped USPS to Culebra
GENERAL DELIVER (00775-9998) and arrived in 4 postal days. The install was incredibly simple. It's all inside the nav station panel now and working perfectly with opencpn. You see the AIS650 has a USB port. With nothing more than a USB cable I was able to connect the AIS650 to my laptop
and opencpn is now reading the AIS messages. I did have to use the terminal to see what port the AIS appears on (/dev/ttyACM0 usually). Then oddly sometimes it's using 4800bps and sometimes 38400bps. Not a show stopper to just try both and verify using the show NMEA messages under the connections in opencpn to verify. The wiring
is like this. I purchased: AIS100 splitter, AIS650 unit. Everything required was included. I disconnected the VHF antenna
and plugged it into the AIS100. The AIS100 also has an FM antenna
that I connected to my FM Radio
. Before we got 2 stations in Culebra
, now we get too many to count. That VHF antenna on the mast
now does 3 jobs. The AIS100 is connected to the AIS650 with a provided cable and I tapped a 12v source for the radio/VHF for the AIS100 and AIS650. Meaning all 3 use a 12v from the main panel as it seems there is just 1 behind the nav panel. So far zero issues with this.
4. Powering the laptop. Using a DC to DC step up converter I now feed the laptop 14.x volts off the 12v supply. It can stay on indefinitely like this now. The step up was under 10.00 online. The wires used were from re-using the AC charger
. I just cut the end off for the laptop connection and the other end used wires for the 12v supply. Simple and minimal loss. The same laptop required the engines running at 1800rpm to feed enough power to the inverter
to power it from AC. My lesson here is the electronics
are DC already. So just power them off DC and skip the inverters altogether.
: I use ATT "Go" sim in my iPhone
5c. I have just the 1G 45.00/mo plan but it's unlimited talk and text in Puerto Rico
USVI and Unlimited Data. The catch being 1g at 4G LTE and unlimited after that at up to 128k. Usually < 100k bps but honestly that's faster than about any free Wifi
I have found anywhere. The speed is plenty to surf and do anything except watch movies. Everyone can check email
and I'm able to blog and upload photos at that speed no problems. Forget free Wifi
it's dead everywhere. If there is a free access point it's so abysmally slow it's not worth using (my experience). My phone
hotspot is faster.
My future list includes: B&G broadband
with a 7" display to be mounted on the helm
station. I will add a network hub so opencpn and the helm
get the connection from the radar
. All up cost will be around 2200.xx if I order it online. Thanks to opencpn and the wealth of information on the forum I'm saving thousands that will will stay in the cruising kitty. Every dollar not spent upgrading keeps us on the water
Oh, one last thing. I saw with my 'apt-get upgrade' there was an upgrade to opencpn. When I launched the app again I noticed several plugins I had installed magically started working. The following plugins were installed but not working before:
- squiddio (0.3)
- WeatherRouting (1.2)
- BR24Radar (1.0)
- Watchdog (1.1)
Touching nothing they all just appeared under the plugins after the upgrade. Woot!
I would have considered a Raymarine 418HD radar but do not believe it's compatible with opencpn is it? I'm only going to buy a radar that I can connect to opencpn now. I am hooked.
Sent from my iPad
using Cruisers Sailing Forum