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Old 08-12-2018, 04:45   #1
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Wind Sensor Fail

I've been using Maretron WSO-100 ultrasonic wind sensors for a number of years by now. These have a serious defect in that they are imperfectly waterproofed. Water gets into them and they fail. Last summer in the Arctic Ocean I suffered the second such failure



I think I'm sick of this and it's time to switch wind transducer. But to which one?


The Airmar ones don't seem like a good choice -- they are accurate to only 5% and they are only that accurate if the boat is not heeling. 5% is 9 degrees! This just doesn't seem adequate at all.


LCJ Capteurs makes a real purpose-designed ultrasonic sensor which is supposed to be accurate to 0.5 degrees -- that's more like it. And the price is reasonable. HOWEVER, there is no NMEA 2000 version, so it needs coax cable to the junction box, and I am not too crazy about the idea of pulling coax down my 23 meter mast while it's standing. I've got a thick piece of NMEA2000 cable going up there, which theoretically I could pull down with the coax attached, but I tied up the N2K cable at several points to support it, and I can't pull it straight out anyway with the mast resting on the keel . So this just doesn't seem feasible.


I left the old Raymarine ST60+ wind instrument up there, and the easiest solution would be just to get that hooked up again with a Seatalk to N2K adapter and call it a day. But I don't remember this to be very accurate, and I remember how the display bounced around in a seaway. Hmmm.


B&G make an N2K wind sensor -- the 608. Perhaps I could mount that on the mast truck and connect to the N2K cable I have up there. But I can't find any reviews of this device, nor even any specifications!!


I will be grateful for any tips anyone might have. Accurate and stable wind data is important to me. I do a lot of long distances upwind, and wind mode for the pilot is essential for doing this efficiently.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:20   #2
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Isn't the LCJ Capteurs cable just a 4 wire and not a coaxial cable? If so, you should be able to use the current wiring in the mast and terminate with their NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 connector at the bottom of the mast's cable.

Edit: Just checked their site and the CV7 needs just:

4 wires:

Red : +12 V DC (9 to 16 V DC, 12mA)
Blue : 0 V
Yellow: output NMEA0183 +
Green: output NMEA0183 -

You can get this off your current NMEA cable in the mast.

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Old 08-12-2018, 06:35   #3
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

One option for a conventional anemometer that does N2k is from a UK company called Autonnic Research. We just installed one of their sensors and have been happy with its accuracy (4 degrees of error), but it is kind of noisy on deck in slow wind speeds.

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Old 08-12-2018, 07:32   #4
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Isn't the LCJ Capteurs cable just a 4 wire and not a coaxial cable? If so, you should be able to use the current wiring in the mast and terminate with their NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 connector at the bottom of the mast's cable.

Edit: Just checked their site and the CV7 needs just:

4 wires:

Red : +12 V DC (9 to 16 V DC, 12mA)
Blue : 0 V
Yellow: output NMEA0183 +
Green: output NMEA0183 -

You can get this off your current NMEA cable in the mast.

Matt

Thanks, Matt -- I'll have another look at that. Maybe that's a solution.




It makes me sick just to imagine hanging at the top of the mast installing that . . . .
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Old 08-12-2018, 17:23   #5
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I've been using Maretron WSO-100 ultrasonic wind sensors for a number of years by now. These have a serious defect in that they are imperfectly waterproofed. Water gets into them and they fail.

Not meaning to derail, but where was water entering - in/around the transducers, or elsewhere? And did Maretron replace'em under waranty? Did they have anything to say about this?
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Old 08-12-2018, 20:47   #6
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

I have seen a couple full of water.
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Old 08-12-2018, 21:09   #7
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks, Matt -- I'll have another look at that. Maybe that's a solution.




It makes me sick just to imagine hanging at the top of the mast installing that . . . .
Looking at various online vendors they look to be Discontinued.
Perhaps this is why?
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:51   #8
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Clarification on my last post I meant that the Maretron WSO 100s look to be 'discontinued'?

I’m just looking at a Wind indicator myself, so am quite interested in this discussion.

As far as I can see from the Specs it looks like-
LCJ CAPTEURS CV7 Ultrasonic, LCJ CAPTEURS CV7 Ultrasonic Wind Sensor
Is NMEA 0183
Measurement sensitivity: Wind Sensor Wind angle: +/- 1 deg
Pretty reasonable at $475

WSO100 ultrasonic wind sensor +/- 5 deg,
Looks to be ‘discontinued’?
and

Airmar 220wx https://www.imarineusa.com/documents/AirmarWS.pdf
Is NMEA 0183 and 2000
Not cheap at $1,351.76
Wind Direction Resolution: 0.1° - Ten times the CV7, which looks to be x5 better than the Maretron
Not sure where the 5% (9 degs) comes from?
Wind Direction Accuracy @ 0°C to 55°C (32°F to 131°F), no precipitation*:
— Low Wind Speeds (5° RMS typical):
Wind Direction Accuracy in wet conditions** (8° RMS Typical):
>8 knots (>9.2 MPH, >4 m/s)
Compass Accuracy:
— 1° static heading accuracy; 2° dynamic heading accuracy—220WX only
Pitch and Roll Range / Accuracy: ±50° / <1°—220WX

Have I got this right?
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Old 09-12-2018, 15:45   #9
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q Xopa View Post
Clarification on my last post I meant that the Maretron WSO 100s look to be 'discontinued'?

I’m just looking at a Wind indicator myself, so am quite interested in this discussion.

As far as I can see from the Specs it looks like-
LCJ CAPTEURS CV7 Ultrasonic, LCJ CAPTEURS CV7 Ultrasonic Wind Sensor
Is NMEA 0183
Measurement sensitivity: Wind Sensor Wind angle: +/- 1 deg
Pretty reasonable at $475

WSO100 ultrasonic wind sensor +/- 5 deg,
Looks to be ‘discontinued’?
and

Airmar 220wx https://www.imarineusa.com/documents/AirmarWS.pdf
Is NMEA 0183 and 2000
Not cheap at $1,351.76
Wind Direction Resolution: 0.1° - Ten times the CV7, which looks to be x5 better than the Maretron
Not sure where the 5% (9 degs) comes from?
Wind Direction Accuracy @ 0°C to 55°C (32°F to 131°F), no precipitation*:
— Low Wind Speeds (5° RMS typical):
Wind Direction Accuracy in wet conditions** (8° RMS Typical):
>8 knots (>9.2 MPH, >4 m/s)
Compass Accuracy:
— 1° static heading accuracy; 2° dynamic heading accuracy—220WX only
Pitch and Roll Range / Accuracy: ±50° / <1°—220WX

Have I got this right?

Airmar claim accuracy of 2% RMS in ideal conditions that is, dry conditions, and more than 10 knots of wind -- that's 7.2 degrees, which is pretty useless. In wet conditions -- 8%, or 29 degrees, which is utterly useless. In dry conditions but less than 10 knots -- 5%, or 18 degrees -- useless.
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Old 09-12-2018, 18:59   #10
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Airmar claim accuracy of 2% RMS in ideal conditions that is, dry conditions, and more than 10 knots of wind -- that's 7.2 degrees, which is pretty useless. In wet conditions -- 8%, or 29 degrees, which is utterly useless. In dry conditions but less than 10 knots -- 5%, or 18 degrees -- useless.
Ok, yes of course obviously less is more.

Not that Im arguing- just asking but I cant see RMS figures listed for higher winds and wetter conditions for the other units. Do you have them?

The wind direction accuracy figures that I can see for all 3 look better for the Airmars.

Anyone know why the Maretron units seem to be discontinued? I cant see but assume they have, or are coming out with a new model (hopefully improved)?
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Old 09-12-2018, 21:30   #11
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

I expect the Maretron unit has been discontinued because of the seemingly 100% failure rate. Everyone I know who has had one has had multiple failures, including myself.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:58   #12
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q Xopa View Post
Ok, yes of course obviously less is more.

Not that Im arguing- just asking but I cant see RMS figures listed for higher winds and wetter conditions for the other units. Do you have them?

The wind direction accuracy figures that I can see for all 3 look better for the Airmars.

Anyone know why the Maretron units seem to be discontinued? I cant see but assume they have, or are coming out with a new model (hopefully improved)?

LCJ claim 1.5 degrees in all conditions.



These are claims of course. Should be easy to test in a wind tunnel, but I don't see that anyone has ever done that.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:14   #13
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
LCJ claim 1.5 degrees in all conditions.



These are claims of course. Should be easy to test in a wind tunnel, but I don't see that anyone has ever done that.
Its possible.
But lets just say Im sceptical.

Im also skeptical that just because Maretron dont say they their performace is degraded in certain conditions doesnt mean it doesnt happen.

Not that I know much about this but I would think an Ultrasonic pulse trying to read movement of air would most probably be effected running into significatntly denser water drops.

Speaking of people that know much more than me, (a long list), I am suprised if Airmar wouldnt be held to account if they were passing off an inferior accuracy product, for a higher price, in relation to other comparable products in the market. Again this isnt always a given.

On the upside the CV7 is certainly significantly less money, especially for the claimed performance.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:25   #14
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Although I am a happy long term user of the CV7-C, I am sure that LCJ Capteurs' +/- 1.5 deg "Direction sensitivity" specification does not mean that the wind direction accuracy is +/- 1.5 deg. I claim that no wind sensor on the boating market (including mechanical) are that accurate. Just have a look at the specifications of the best professional ultra-sonic wind sensors available and you will find that the overall accuracy of their wind direction measurement is typically +/- 2 deg.
Several of the ultra-sonic wind sensors for boating have had severe challenges in rainy conditions. Such problems I have not noticed in my CV7-C.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:09   #15
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Re: Wind Sensor Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q Xopa View Post
Its possible.
But lets just say Im sceptical.

Im also skeptical that just because Maretron dont say they their performace is degraded in certain conditions doesnt mean it doesnt happen.

Not that I know much about this but I would think an Ultrasonic pulse trying to read movement of air would most probably be effected running into significatntly denser water drops.

Speaking of people that know much more than me, (a long list), I am suprised if Airmar wouldnt be held to account if they were passing off an inferior accuracy product, for a higher price, in relation to other comparable products in the market. Again this isnt always a given.

On the upside the CV7 is certainly significantly less money, especially for the claimed performance.

Well, I can tell you for sure that Maretron WSO-100 performance is degraded in rain, and in really heavy rain stops working altogether. I think this may be inherent to ultrasonic sensors.


I don't know whether the Airmar is worse than the Maretron or not, but I never thought the Maretron was good enough anyway, so it doesn't really matter. I'm not interested in a wind instrument with specs like those of the Airmar, nor was I really happy with the Maretron, although its stability (shared with all ultrasonic wind instruments probably) was as very good thing compared to mechanical ones.


I guess I'm going to go with the LC-7 and see how that works out. I've heard a lot of good things about them and never heard anything bad.


Does anyone feel like these are NOT better than the best mechanical ones? Another variant would be to go back to a B&G mechanical wind instrument, which would certainly be an easier installation.
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