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Old 06-11-2019, 14:07   #31
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

WHERE WILL YOU BE SAILING???? Look for MFD, Multi Function Display. I wouldn't spend all of the money until you looked at I NAV X and or other internet based navigation systems/apps. I think the most important question is where are you going to sail
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Old 06-11-2019, 14:26   #32
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

I'll likely be sailing puget sound and the san juan islands, and MAYBE, just maybe, if I can convince the wife, some coastal WA peninsula stuff.
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Old 06-11-2019, 14:30   #33
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
My system is Standard Horizon 2200E. Dell Wyse computer with windows 10 running OpenCPN. The Wyse runs straight off 12volts. 24 inch 12 volt TV mounted at the chart table and easily visible from my steering position in the cockpit. For a plotter 19 to 20 inch should be the minimum. You can't have too much screen real estate!
I had been contemplating something like this: https://na.panasonic.com/us/computer...toughpad-fz-g1
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Old 06-11-2019, 14:39   #34
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

One point you ask that I do not see answered - re the chart plotter/fishfinder.
My learning experience:
When I bought my current boat, the depth sounder transducer was exposed on the cabin sole near the head. It got trodden on all the time and soon the cable faulted so I bought a new transducer but......
When I fitted it, I realised the plug was different, the old one went to a fish finder module that served the chart plotter/fishfinder and the depth instrument display simply picked the depth off the bus.
So, the transducer looks the same, but then connects differently. The old fishfinder arrangement allowed me to call up a plot of the bottom, it required the chart plotter to be on. With the new arrangement, the depth goes direct to the display instrument and the chart plotter picks up the depth from the bus.
Most of my sailing is local so I am happy I have depth displayed with either arrangement, but if I was ever short of power, or there was a fault on the bus somewhere I now still have the depth display, rigged as a fishfinder I would not have had that flexibility. If I was cruising coral areas particularly, I would like to have the plot of the seafloor though.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:04   #35
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Check out the Vesper Marine Cortex which is coming on the market. It provides you with a VHF radio, DSC calling, GPS, AIS sending and receiving, WiFi, NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000, a handheld radio and AIS display on the handset.

The handheld display connects to the base wirelessly. All the info can be viewed on a tablet, smartphone or laptop....or shared with a multifunction display.

The Cortex seems pricey until you add up the cost of separate bits that it replaces. The base box can be mounted anywhere, which clears up a lot of space normally taken up by the separate boxes. It networks your sensors together as a multinetwork platform so you can share 0183 data with NMEA 2000 devices and you can share it all wirelessly.

OpenCPN is a great piece of software that can run on a Pi or laptop. No headaches and lots of features. I wouldn't bother with the OpenPlotter for now.

There are few advantages to moving the platform to a Pi and plenty of disadvantages if it doesn't run right after installation. Linux has issues and you are basically on your own. The Cortex handles most of the features that you'd be using the OpenPlotter for, so you get the data integration without another device to maintain.

The DRS4W RADAR is also wireless and available for less than $1000 new. I am a big fan of reducing wire runs from a weight, cost and corrosion standpoint.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:29   #36
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

OK, ok, the folks in this thread have been convincing. I am considering doing my initial build out on a raspberry pi 4 with OpenCPN. I want to get sensors, radar, AIS, etc. that will work with this setup, and integrate into a future higher end system like the one that StoneCrab mentions just above me.

This seems like a good course to take especially when considering I wont have to run as many wires, so long as my devices can connect wirelessly. To me, this translates to less maintenance and worry.

(Side note, why the hell arent plotters, VHF's etc, all IP67 by now? I mean, come on, if my cell phone can be ip67, surely a MARINE ELECTRONICS device can be as well?)

So, I'm all ears for suggestions from here.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:52   #37
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

The boat under discussion is a 52-year-old 27-foot sailboat. I would assume the purpose is refurbish the boat and go sailing, not to build a state-of-the-art networked radio and navigation system

For a radio I'd get a compact VHF Marine Band radio like the Standard-Horizon GX1400GPS and put a GAM ELECTRONICS SS-2 antenna on the top of the mast.

For a chart plotter, I'd get an 8-inch screen display, chosen with attention to what sort of electronic charts are suitable for the cruising grounds.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:46   #38
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

strongly recommend selecting Raymarine, Garmin or Simrad...stick with one brand for easy integration. There are others brands to chose from but you will get best tech support from these three.
Good Luck
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:59   #39
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

When upgrading my VHF, I bought a Lowrance Link 8 on sale. Wow, what a mistake. It sounded great in the advertisement but it's far too complex to even remotely be described as user friendly. It seems like anything beyond changing the volume or the channel requires the owner's manual, definitely not good in many situations. It's a radio for geeks, not boaters. Numerous calls to customer support (It usually seemed like - "we're unusually busy and we'll get to you as soon as . . . .which will be sometime between 28 minutes and Groundhog Day") simply resulted in frustration.

On the flip side, Garmin has a great system that doesn't require the services of a tech aboard to operate it. Every time I call the company, the delay is brief and the tech has always been knowledgeable and resolved the issue.

Garmin has a nice plotter (they all have provisions to connect a transducer and have dual use as a fish finder/depth finder) in your price range that has a connection on the back to plug in a radar so no need to buy a complete radar system with another screen. I'm not a Garmin salesman, just a satisfied user.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:35   #40
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

I have been looking for equipment myself, mostly for chartplotter plus depth sounder, but with ability to expand. I may sound like a heretic, but have you considered looking at marine chartplotters and other equipment from Alibaba? There are 5"-8" chartplotters with AIS transponders in the $300-$500 range with internal or external GPS antenna. They also come with free (memory card or download) ONWA marine charts with free updates, which cover most of the world including US. C-Charts cost $$s like $200-$300 per region. Optional equipment can be added- Depth sounder, fish finder, radar, wind direction, etc. They mostly uses 0183 not 2000.
It's not as if the US is the only place where there is marine traffic or need for marine equipment including chartplotters. By way of disclosure, I have not purchased/used this equipment. I have also looked at Alibaba for possible 20-40hp marine diesel engines and transmissions.
Suggest you look there to see if you can stay within or below your budget.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:38   #41
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mathis View Post
When upgrading my VHF, I bought a Lowrance Link 8 ...what a mistake...it's far too complex to even remotely be described as user friendly.
The LINK-8 is a DSC Class-D radio designed according to ITU-R M.493. The human-machine interface for DSC Class-D radios is discussed at length in that recommendation. The general goal of the recommendation regarding the human-machine interface is described as follows:

Quote:
The user interface for operation of the DSC equipment should be so designed that it will be easy for the operator onboard the ship to operate the equipment and to compose and initiate the types of DSC messages provided for by the equipment.
The LINK-8 radio has been examined, tested, and certified to met those criteria by the regulatory agencies of most major maritime nations, but apparently the LINK-8 does not meet _your_ criteria. In any case, the LINK-8 is now an obsolete product, so your review of it may be offered too late for consideration.

Having used the LINK-8 myself, I don't find its human-machine interface to particularly unusual or different or more difficult to understand than any other DSC Class D radio. DSC radios are intrinsically more than just a transceiver with volume, squelch, and PTT controls. DSC radios have been described as computers with a radio attached.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:42   #42
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgali View Post
... I have zero interest in coding, compiling, programming, maintaining, etc any computer equipment. To me, it is worth the extra $1k to get something backed by a warranty, with manufacturer support, that is ready out of the box. Now, if you were selling a ruggedized tablet that happened to have this already installed, and ran on the tablet natively, and connected to all the things, then i'd totally be down. but... alas, I am not that smart, nor am I that eager. If I bought the bits, I'd just sit there watching them languish until they went into the trash.

Additionally, I'd be constantly worried about it getting ruined by salty sea air humidity.
There isn't anything like the technical workload that you imagine, and what there is is perfectly straight forward, rather interesting, or valuable insight that you really should really have about your gear anyway.

It DOES run natively on your tablet after three clicks. That's it.

The biggest thing about OpenCPN et al, is that they don't ditch you three years down the track when you want an add-on or an upgrade. All the open source projects are dead keen on presenting you with all the toys and upgrades at almost a weekly pace, so you're never left out in the cold in the new tricks department. It's quite spectacular.

It doesn't matter if your OpenCPN tablet gets ruined, when it only cost $65 and you have three spares in the drawer. You fling it, power on the spare, and smile.
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Old 11-11-2019, 13:12   #43
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Of course, everyone is certainly welcome to their own opinion and for what it's worth, after about 35k nm cruising, this is mine and its certainly shared by many other long time cruisers:


VHF - Stay away from Std Horizon like the plague! Electronics failure should be rare but if you ever have to deal with Std Horizon's warranty "service" you will definitely regret the decision. Most experienced cruisers have switched to ICOM VHFs.



General - try to avoid combining multiple functions in a single unit. You should be able to integrate where necessary with nmea 183 (easy and cheap 2 wires) or nmea 2000 (more expensive).


Chartplotter - I recommend an inexpensive laptop with OPeNCPN (also download free charts). Free to download...contribute if it works for you! I like the ASUS Transformer Book T101HA-C4-GR (about $350) but any laptop will do. You can use a small inverter or 12v-to-usb to power. Connect a larger remote monitor which can be mounted and swung out of the way in the companionway. This could even be enclosed in plexiglass screen cover if you are concerned that it might get wet. Any usb gps puck will work or connect a handheld gps. Use a RF laser mouse like the logitech M705. Use a bungy or shock-cord to tie it down.



AIS - You can easily connect either a receive only or transceiver to the laptop for display on the chart with opencpn. I recommend a seperate metz antenna on the pulpit which could be swapped to the vhf if necessary if located near the ais. Solder the vhf connections!



Of course lots of instruments out there. All wind sensors fail and if they don't an osprey will land on it. I like NASA clipper because of their customer service, repair, parts, and more reasonable sensor replacement cost. The new sensors will feed nmea183 to the chartplotter etc. Likewise separate depth and speed. I mostly use gps speed but... Digital depth is important but I don't think graphing the bottom is of much use.


Best of luck.
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Old 11-11-2019, 17:19   #44
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Hi, there are many, many good options here, good luck sifting through them all. To add one more, I have a 35ft yacht that had the basic and ageing Raymarine ST60 wind, depth and speed instruments with an old separate wheel autopilot that got flung right away.
I sat down and figured out what I needed and wanted out of the electronics and started with AIS receive at a minimum. (I'm on Australia's south east coast) As my sailing includes someone on watch at all times, I could do without the AIS send aspect, although it would be nice to have and can be added at a later date. So I chose the Standard Horizon GX2200 as well and love it!
Next I wanted to have something like a plotter that was cheap and scale-able in future, so I decided to go the iPad/Tablet option, with maybe a laptop or dedicated micro computer for navigation at a later date. (A plotter can always be added later if desired)
I purchased the vYacht mutiplexer for wired and wireless connectivity (go the fully specked one, I didn't) This was connected to the VHF and also the Raymarine instruments that are Seatalk network. The mutiplexer had this as well as NMEA0183 network connection options.
So at present I have a Tablet (that is easily and cheaply replaced) with Navionics and other Apps that give me readouts of all the statistics of AIS, app wind direction/speed, boat speed through water and over ground, depth. I can easily add another tablet wireless to have below as well as near the helm station if I choose to. I have bought a Raymarine wheel autopilot that I'm looking to integrate ultimately, but have not done as yet. This will require a network adapter that are not overly expensive.
At the end of the day, this is the cheapest way I found to have some vital stats electronically. The GX2200 is cheap as it doesn't have a AIS transmit function, but it also doesn't need a separate aerial or splitter installed, to be able to communicate and receive AIS. The vYacht router works perfectly and will also talk with my laptop via wifi or cable. The tablet I use is an iPad pro and I'm very happy with the battery and quality of this device, BUT it will not run openCPN (nav program) without an Apple laptop and some hoops to jump through. In hindsight, a Windows or Android tablet would have been even better, just make sure they have a build in GPS as well, to aid with more functionality, although when connected to the wifi network, the tablet can get the GPS signal from the GX2200.
This has become much longer than anticipated, so I'll leave it at this for now. Good luck with it!
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Old 11-11-2019, 18:28   #45
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Itís not released yet, but do look at the Vesper cortex, AIS receiver and transponder,, gps and vhf splitter , vhf, wifi, cellular, remote monitoring, plus stuff they havenít thought of yet, all in one bit of kit. Itís looks so simple that even I might try and install one. Check it out before you discount it

https://www2.vespermarine.com/cortex/
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