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Old 04-09-2016, 16:18   #1
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Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

Hey all,

I'm the proud owner of a new (to me) Shannon 38 and the electronics setup is one of the few departments that needs some immediate work.

It currently has an older Furuno radar (model unknown), radar display (model 821) and older GPS. The boat also has a NMEA 2000 backbone that is independent of this. The previous owner used a 3G iPad for his chartplotter. My iPad is wifi-only and I would like to use it as a backup only anyway. So before I buy a GPS receiver for the iPad I want to think ahead at the bigger picture and my overall plan.

So here are my three big questions...

1) Is there a newer Furuno plotter that could still use the signal from an older radar dome? It seems to have a 17-pin data input (see pics), maybe they make an adapter? I would like to have the radar overlay on the chartplotter. If I absolutely need to buy a new radome in order to have it overlay, what combination of dome and plotter do you recommend, Furuno or otherwise?

2) Now thinking of the iPad... Since the NMEA 2000 system knows my GPS location, is there any chance I can simply plug my iPad into the existing Maretron USB Gateway with a USB/lightning cord and have its location updated that way?

3) If my iPad cannot update its location via lightning cord, it seems like a wifi bridge from something like Digital Yacht's "SonarServer" could provide the location data. But that unit seems to be designed for the Navionics app. Right now I have Garmin's BlueCharts on the iPad along with many other apps that utilize location services, like an anchor drag alarm. Will a wifi bridge like SonarServer provide location data for all apps on the iPad? Or would I be better off with a simple iPad plug in GPS receiver? (Again, this will eventually be just a backup to the plotter)

So far the various tech support inquiries I've made have been unable to provide me with an overall strategy. I'm relatively ignorant in the wide world of marine electronics so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Jack

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Old 04-09-2016, 18:57   #2
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

Not an electronics expert by a long shot. It appears to dumb me that the problem many face is the data sources such as old radars don't work well with new NK2 equipment and backbones and don't work from one manufacturer to the next. Same probably applies to AWIs and speedlogs to a lesser extent. Once the data is turned into Nk2 sentences it is readable across different mfg's equipment... but then the problem becomes the connectors!

I could be wrong about this... but I don't think we have as much flexibility between generations and mfgs as we would like to believe we have... certainly not without some jumping thru hoops.

My stuff is aging but works and the sort of sailing I do I don't rely on it all that much or should I say the old stuff is more than adequate for my needs and safety. I do have maybe 8 GPS enabled devices including 4 chart plotter devices all of different makes... B&G, Ray, Horizon and Samsung S7 with Navionics... 3 radios 2 with GPS and AIS... and they are not networked and most are quite old... but not all.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:43   #3
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
1) Is there a newer Furuno plotter that could still use the signal from an older radar dome? It seems to have a 17-pin data input (see pics), maybe they make an adapter? I would like to have the radar overlay on the chartplotter. If I absolutely need to buy a new radome in order to have it overlay, what combination of dome and plotter do you recommend, Furuno or otherwise?

Our older Furuno radar is a model 1942MkII, and did not offer a way (according to our installer) of overlaying radar data onto the new (at the time) Furuno NN3D MFD when we upgraded. I didn't actually want to overlay radar on plotter anyway, but would have accepted it as a sometimes-useful tool had it been possible.

I believe I've read Furuno offers a replacement display for the 1942MkII (and maybe other similar models) that gives a color presentation. Said to be a simple display swap. Perhaps rummaging around on their website might confirm (or deny) and maybe clarify.

I would wonder if the replacement display also includes an AUX OUT (so to speak) in NMEA2000 format... which could in turn be routed to an N2K network.

As to which replacements... the only thing I can offer is that I prefer to have a suite of instruments all made by the same manufacturer... so no finger pointing when one component doesn't work and play well with another. We've gotten very good service from our Furuno network, but I don't have enough experience with some of the other brands to say ours is better than theirs, etc.


Ref tablets: it's often easier/faster/even sometimes cheaper (in the long run) to just buy a new tablet.

-Chris
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:19   #4
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

That's a 1715 Furuno radar. They are still in production as stand-alones; I use one. The manual is available on line if you want to explore integrating it into a system. The output is NMEA 0183 version 3.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:24   #5
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

There are much more modern radars than the 1715 available, and if you want an integrated system perhaps add one. Personally, I like to keep my electronics separate and integrate in my head; then a failure leaves me with all the rest rather than out of luck when the single screen goes blank. Consider keeping it as a secondary unit.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:05   #6
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

Thanks for all the responses especially your very thorough answer, Chris.

On my last boat I had a Garmin 4206 GPSMap with a 18" HD Radar Dome. I had absolutely no complaints, but then again I had nothing to compare it to.

I definitely see the benefit of isolated systems and redundancy in case of failure, but apart from that I'm surprised to hear that people prefer to not have the radar image overlay on the charts. It seemed to me that my last radar was difficult enough to interpret in crossing situations without having to compare two different screens in your head. I'd be interested if you can say more about this preference.

From my very limited analysis of company reputations, it seems like Garmin has the best plotters and the worst radar while Furuno has the best radar and not the greatest plotters. I will be using the plotter way more than the radar and I'm sure that even Garmin's would be more than suitable for my primary purpose of avoiding ships in the fog. So my initial leaning would be to get a new Garmin dome and plotter, but I'll do more research. Or I could save some money and upgrade the Furuno display only and get a stand alone plotter.

The real value or potential of the NMEA system, on the other hand, is still something I don't quite understand.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:25   #7
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

In answer to your question, first, I think you are right on company reps - I prefer Garmin for everything but radar, but part of that is that Garmin doesn't make a cheap one. As for integration, that's a mental business with lots of individual variation. I happen to have no difficulty integrating chart plot, paper chart of another scale, radar, and AIS screen. Therefore, the advantage of redundancy wins. If you find that task difficult, which lots of people do, then single screen is advantageous. Consider the possibility of an integrated system plus an eBay level obsolete chart GPS, or a marine GPS app on your smartphone, as protection against your screen going black. I keep a paper plot and an old Garmin 162 GPS as my secondaries.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:18   #8
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

Hello there,

I use an Ipad with a bluetooth GPS antena, works fine simultaneously on Ipads and smartphones (Garmin GPS and Glonass bluetooth antena, US100,00).

regards
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:18   #9
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

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I definitely see the benefit of isolated systems and redundancy in case of failure, but apart from that I'm surprised to hear that people prefer to not have the radar image overlay on the charts. It seemed to me that my last radar was difficult enough to interpret in crossing situations without having to compare two different screens in your head. I'd be interested if you can say more about this preference.


In our case, I prefer separate because I don't like all the radar clutter on the plotter; makes it too hard to read chart stuff.

While I usually orient the chart at North Up, and the radar is Head Up, I don't seem to have much trouble with the two presentations. OTOH, wifey usually prefers Head Up on the plotter so her mental orientation is the same as the radar, anyway. And I can change the plotter orientation in a heartbeat, if I needed to better compare the radar returns to chart features.

But mostly, for me, it's about the clutter.


FWIW, I've been pleased with our Furuno plotter. Dock neighbors have said they like their Garmin units better ( not that they've ever used anything else) because they don't have to read the manual. When I ask them how they do X (whatever) on their plotter, they often reply they don't know, because they haven't ever done it, and haven't read the manual. I don't think that's about plotter brands; more about personality types or learning preferences.


Some like the touch screen features too... which I don't have (but Furuno offers, now) and I could live with that IF and only IF I also have hard knobs and buttons to do everything too. I can't hit squat accurately on a screen when the boats bouncing...

-Chris
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Old 05-09-2016, 13:44   #10
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

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That's a 1715 Furuno radar. They are still in production as stand-alones; I use one. The manual is available on line if you want to explore integrating it into a system. The output is NMEA 0183 version 3.
Does that mean I could use that output for radar overlay on a newer plotter and keep the existing display as a stand alone?
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Old 05-09-2016, 13:47   #11
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

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FWIW, I've been pleased with our Furuno plotter.

-Chris
What model Furuno plotter do you have or recommend? I tend to agree with you about the buttons versus touch screen.
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Old 05-09-2016, 14:07   #12
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

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Does that mean I could use that output for radar overlay on a newer plotter and keep the existing display as a stand alone?
Now I'm seeing that they make a NMEA 0183 to 2000 converter so I'm guessing that signal would work in a newer plotter.
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Old 05-09-2016, 17:22   #13
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

I had a garmin plotter and radar on my old boat and loved them. I would gladly trade my current raymarine system for a Garmin system. I am not sure who thinks garmin radar is somehow deficient. I was very impressed with how well it worked. Never a problem for 5 years from Chesapeake Bay to the eastern Caribbean and back and thn to Bermuda and all up and down the east coast. I would recommend going to the boat show or west marine and play with the various competing systems before making up your mind - Though I like Garmin I have been on boats with Furuno and Raymarine also and they all work pretty well.
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Old 05-09-2016, 17:24   #14
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

another comment. If you have an nmea2000 backbone most of the issues of mixing manufacturers are eliminated. They should all speak to each other. Connectors for all the various major brands are readily available

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Old 05-09-2016, 18:33   #15
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Re: Updating the Nav Electronics on my new (Old) Boatl

Good to know. If I can add a Foruno plotter that integrates my existing radar while leaving everything else in place that's definitely what I want to do.

As for the plotter, I don't have the budget for one of the huge touchscreen units. The 1870F seems like a good value but I have no use for a fishfinder and I'm not sure if it's lacking any plotter functionality. I like the idea of something closer to the RDP 149 but that seems to be discontinued. Any suggestions on the best value for a primary chart plotter from Foruno?
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