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Old 06-02-2019, 04:05   #1
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What's the Best Wind Sensor?

I'm going to replace my second failed WSO-100 with something which is NOT a WSO-100.


That was a fail.


What's the best wind sensor today?


Is it true that all the racing teams still use mechanical, predominantly B&G sensors?


Any experience with LJC Capteurs?


Here is an interesting thread on it, with some quite knowledgeable people involved: Ultrasonic Wind Options and Questions - Gear Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums


I'm leaning towards LJC Capteurs, taking a risk on the old cabling for the original Raymarine wind sensor (which is still up there). Looks like the business to me, with much higher accuracy than the non-marine ultrasonic sensors from Airmar and Maretron, also much smaller and lighter so less mass up at the top of the mast.


But is it a mistake to be doing ultrasonic at all, if the racing teams still use mechanical? Does that mean that ultrasonic sensors are not yet as accurate as good mechanical ones?
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:42   #2
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

The only experience I have is with my 14 year old Raymarine, which is still going strong.
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:59   #3
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

Iíll be following this. Iím also leaning to the LCJ Capteurs. I have new B&G everything to install, but Iíd rather not put an osprey perch (cups and feather) a top my mast. No moving parts of an ultrasonic sensor just makes more sense if itís got acceptable performance.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:36   #4
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

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Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
I’ll be following this. I’m also leaning to the LCJ Capteurs. I have new B&G everything to install, but I’d rather not put an osprey perch (cups and feather) a top my mast. No moving parts of an ultrasonic sensor just makes more sense if it’s got acceptable performance.

At the time I installed my WSO100 -- which was in 2013 -- there was nothing but positive information about them.


But now we know that they are lemons -- marginal accuracy, and destroyed by water intrusion.



The fact is, these (and the similar Airmar WX series sensors) were not designed for this use, with driving rain being driven UP into them when the boat is heeled. They were designed for static meteo installations. The mounting is very awkward for sailboats, and they are not really accurate enough (the Airmar is even worse than the Maretron - 5% RMS in low winds -- that's 18 degrees!!! 2% in perfect conditions -- that's 7%!!).


The LCJ was available at the time, but I passed on it (), because it was 0183, and I was installing a shiny new NMEA 2000 network. What false priorities!


Also the grandiose pain in the a*** and expense of getting an NMEA backbone cable up the mast. What a big mistake that all was
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:57   #5
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

Hi Dockhead

Ineresting post as I am busy with a semi custom build 50ft catamaran and was most interested in your comments on the wind sensors
I am keen to fit the Airmar 220 WX Ė weather station Is this the Airmar product you are suggesting to avoid like the plague?

I was keen on it as it seems less prone to bird issues and has no mechanical moving parts and therefore should be a lot more rugged. (in theory ) Your comments about wind direction accuracy is a big concern for me.

Interested in your feedback
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:04   #6
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

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Hi Dockhead

Ineresting post as I am busy with a semi custom build 50ft catamaran and was most interested in your comments on the wind sensors
I am keen to fit the Airmar 220 WX Ė weather station Is this the Airmar product you are suggesting to avoid like the plague?

I was keen on it as it seems less prone to bird issues and has no mechanical moving parts and therefore should be a lot more rugged. (in theory ) Your comments about wind direction accuracy is a big concern for me.

Interested in your feedback



Well, just look at the specification. Accuracy in best conditions is +/- 7 degrees! In other words, if you're sailing hard on the wind, and the instrument says you are at 35 degrees AWA, it might actually be anything from 28 degrees to 42 degrees. Is that acceptable? Not to me!


This is fine for a fixed amateur meteo station where you only need to distinguish between NNW and WNW, say. But not good enough for sailing, in my opinion.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:07   #7
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

I’ve only a little to offer: we’ve got a B&G 213 on a carbon hockey stick mount. Despite their new range of sensors B&G still seem to use these for high end race boats. I’ve had bearing/seal failure and water intrusion on it once, but the good folk at Tinley put that right for only a few £100! B&G make a big play on calibration once you’ve got a good measurement source - their high end systems allow calibration correction of both speed and angle, and correct for heel too.

The mount is an interesting point, it’s meant to get the transducer into clearer, less turbulent air flow clear of the mast head.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that transducer accuracy only seems to be part of the game - where you put it and how you process the raw data is also important.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:17   #8
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
At the time I installed my WSO100 -- which was in 2013 -- there was nothing but positive information about them.


But now we know that they are lemons -- marginal accuracy, and destroyed by water intrusion.



The fact is, these (and the similar Airmar WX series sensors) were not designed for this use, with driving rain being driven UP into them when the boat is heeled. They were designed for static meteo installations. The mounting is very awkward for sailboats, and they are not really accurate enough (the Airmar is even worse than the Maretron - 5% RMS in low winds -- that's 18 degrees!!! 2% in perfect conditions -- that's 7%!!).


The LCJ was available at the time, but I passed on it (), because it was 0183, and I was installing a shiny new NMEA 2000 network. What false priorities!


Also the grandiose pain in the a*** and expense of getting an NMEA backbone cable up the mast. What a big mistake that all was

I appreciate your sacrificial head-banging...I was considering getting an Airmar...
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:19   #9
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

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Well, just look at the specification. Accuracy in best conditions is +/- 7 degrees! In other words, if you're sailing hard on the wind, and the instrument says you are at 35 degrees AWA, it might actually be anything from 28 degrees to 42 degrees. Is that acceptable? Not to me!


This is fine for a fixed amateur meteo station where you only need to distinguish between NNW and WNW, say. But not good enough for sailing, in my opinion.
Thanks D H
you have just confirmed my thinking ...... that product is out the window for me
I cant live with that level of inaccuracy either
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:40   #10
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

I thought that most of the current-generation wind instruments require an NMEA 2000 backbone cable up the mast, except for the wireless ones.


I don't like the wireless ones because of reliability and interference concerns.


I agree that running the NMEA 2000 up the mast doesn't seem ideal. Vulnerable and hard to service. Requires (electrically) noisy digital electronics right next to the VHF antenna. Must be a better way.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:42   #11
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

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I thought that most of the current-generation wind instruments require an NMEA 2000 backbone cable up the mast, except for the wireless ones.


I don't like the wireless ones because of reliability and interference concerns.


I agree that running the NMEA 2000 up the mast doesn't seem ideal. Vulnerable and hard to service. Requires (electrically) noisy digital electronics right next to the VHF antenna. Must be a better way.

Well, I HAVE N2K up the mast. I have been using WSO100's for six years.


N2K backbone cable is well shielded, so no issues with the VHF.


The issue is that it's rather thick and heavy cable for such a long run (my mast is 23 meters!).
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:53   #12
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What's the Best Wind Sensor?

So do any of the mechanical ones feed directly into NMEA2000?
As in connect directly to the cable without converter boxes?
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:08   #13
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

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So do any of the mechanical ones feed directly into NMEA2000?
As in connect directly to the cable without converter boxes?

Yes. Common, but not universal.
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Old 06-02-2019, 13:00   #14
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Re: What's the Best Wind Sensor?

LCJ directly delivers nmea0813, but there is a sophisticated nmea2000 translation box with a barometer build in. This box comes in different flavors, mine "RMsmart" for rotating masts. I still have airmars pb200, used only as compass & gps because the windsensor feature died after 3 years. Used the installed monster wire for lcj. Technically good, communication w France is a mess. My manual, they did not include the reset feature, sent me even a new box, at least this came with an updated manual! Raymarine st70 & e120 and since 2017 B&G happily talked with lcj
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Old 07-02-2019, 16:11   #15
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What's the Best Wind Sensor?

From the LCJ manual, the direction accuracy for the CV7 is +/- 1 deg. The update frequency is 2 hz. Thatís certainly adequate for most. Not sure why itís not seen more.
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