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Old 22-04-2019, 17:45   #1
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New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Hi all,

Completely new to OCPN so please excuse silly questions

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new Chart Plotter/Radar installation, so am wanting to fully understand OCPN capabilities/shortcomings before finalizing my decisions.

My ideal outcome is this:
  • Radar dome - B&G 4G (model 000-10423-001)
  • Chart plotter - OCPN with add-ins as needed

The dilemma is this - do I need to buy the B&G Zeus3 with 4G dome combo (currently available as a bundle from many vendors) ... or ... do I buy the 4G dome ONLY, and use OCPN as the chart plotter, instrument display, radar/map overlay, etc? Radar dome alone is $1,000 bucks less than the combo, so I could use that to put together a pretty good OCPN platform.

So, the question IS - Will OCPN even accept the input from a B&G dome directly ... without the inter-mediation of a compatible chart plotter like the Zeus3?

Off topic - but another penny for your thoughts - I'm leaning towards B&G equipment because I'm a sailor. When last did you see a major contender in a notable race (Volvo, etc) that DOESN'T have B&G? It's made BY sailors ... FOR sailors. What's your view?
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Old 22-04-2019, 18:05   #2
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominoX View Post
Hi all,

Completely new to OCPN so please excuse silly questions

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new Chart Plotter/Radar installation, so am wanting to fully understand OCPN capabilities/shortcomings before finalizing my decisions.

My ideal outcome is this:
  • Radar dome - B&G 4G (model 000-10423-001)
  • Chart plotter - OCPN with add-ins as needed

The dilemma is this - do I need to buy the B&G Zeus3 with 4G dome combo (currently available as a bundle from many vendors) ... or ... do I buy the 4G dome ONLY, and use OCPN as the chart plotter, instrument display, radar/map overlay, etc? Radar dome alone is $1,000 bucks less than the combo, so I could use that to put together a pretty good OCPN platform.

So, the question IS - Will OCPN even accept the input from a B&G dome directly ... without the inter-mediation of a compatible chart plotter like the Zeus3?

Off topic - but another penny for your thoughts - I'm leaning towards B&G equipment because I'm a sailor. When last did you see a major contender in a notable race (Volvo, etc) that DOESN'T have B&G? It's made BY sailors ... FOR sailors. What's your view?
The only "B&G" thing on that radome is the logo, otherwise it is exactly the same thing as all the other Navico brands (Lowrance, Simrad) sell.
You do not need the plotter to use it.
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Old 22-04-2019, 22:01   #3
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Hi,

I use a Navico (Simrad) 3g broadband with a raspberry pi and opencpn and the radarplugin. Works great under OC 4.8.8, under OC 5.0 too (only two minior issues).
So you can go for it.
As Nohal wrote: B&G -> Marketing gag.
Lowrance, Simrad, B&G are the same under the plastic dome

Regards

Andreas
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Old 23-04-2019, 01:19   #4
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominoX View Post
Hi all,.........

So, the question IS - Will OCPN even accept the input from a B&G dome directly ... without the inter-mediation of a compatible chart plotter like the Zeus3?.........
Yes it will work fine without any MFD in OpenCPN v 5.0 and the plugin radar_pi v 5.0 and later. See OpenCPN download pages or here for the latest radar_pi: https://github.com/opencpn-radar-pi/radar_pi/releases

Apart from position and stuff in OCPN you'll need a heading from a compass to view the radar picture as chart overlay. (The radar window or PPI will work also without heading) The heading can be connected direct to OCPN or via the radar antenna (dome) and a NMEA2000 connection box.

How to physically connect your 4G to OCPN and more see the hardware part of this manual:https://opencpn.org/wiki/dokuwiki/do...e_installation
and the discussion here: help wiring RJ45 connector for navico radar

You may like to read this thread as well: Radar plugin v5.0.0 released

Good luck
Håkan
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Old 23-04-2019, 13:25   #5
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Thanks Håkan and others. The links are really helpful
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Old 24-04-2019, 12:00   #6
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominoX View Post
Hi all,

Completely new to OCPN so please excuse silly questions

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new Chart Plotter/Radar installation, so am wanting to fully understand OCPN capabilities/shortcomings before finalizing my decisions.

My ideal outcome is this:
  • Radar dome - B&G 4G (model 000-10423-001)
  • Chart plotter - OCPN with add-ins as needed

The dilemma is this - do I need to buy the B&G Zeus3 with 4G dome combo (currently available as a bundle from many vendors) ... or ... do I buy the 4G dome ONLY, and use OCPN as the chart plotter, instrument display, radar/map overlay, etc? Radar dome alone is $1,000 bucks less than the combo, so I could use that to put together a pretty good OCPN platform.

So, the question IS - Will OCPN even accept the input from a B&G dome directly ... without the inter-mediation of a compatible chart plotter like the Zeus3?

Off topic - but another penny for your thoughts - I'm leaning towards B&G equipment because I'm a sailor. When last did you see a major contender in a notable race (Volvo, etc) that DOESN'T have B&G? It's made BY sailors ... FOR sailors. What's your view?
As others have already answered, you'd don't *need* an MFD for the Radar with OCPN. However you may want one.. First, why not buy the cheaper Vulcan7R with the 4G radar.. You don't need a Zeus3. An MFD gives you the ability to do firmware updates on the other B&G equipment you may have in your network (instruments, radar, etc). It's also waterproof and rugged, ideal for a helm mounted display which is not something an iPad, PC, Phone, Android Tab, etc is particularly good at. I love having OCPN, Navionics, phones, tablets, etc on the boat, in the network, but I would not personally go without a dedicated, IPX rated, hardwired, display at the helm.
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Old 24-04-2019, 13:32   #7
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

All good points, but ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems View Post
First, why not buy the cheaper Vulcan7R with the 4G radar.. You don't need a Zeus3.
Actually, I prefer the Zeus3 for many reasons, prime being that it supports NMEA0183 and has a much faster processor. The Vulcan is a bit sluggish when panning and zooming
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems View Post
An MFD gives you the ability to do firmware updates on the other B&G equipment you may have in your network (instruments, radar, etc).
Now here's one I hadn't considered. Do you happen to know if you can update the radome alone any other way?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems View Post
It's also waterproof and rugged, ideal for a helm mounted display which is not something an iPad, PC, Phone, Android Tab, etc is particularly good at.
No worries there. If I decide to go this route ultimately, my OCPN will run on RasPI in a IPX67 enclosure with 7" touchscreen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems View Post
I love having OCPN, Navionics, phones, tablets, etc on the boat, in the network, but I would not personally go without a dedicated, IPX rated, hardwired, display at the helm.
Neither would I. And the RasPI solution I'm toying with in my head puts a tick/checkmark next to each of those criterion
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Old 24-04-2019, 13:48   #8
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominoX View Post
All good points, but ...



Actually, I prefer the Zeus3 for many reasons, prime being that it supports NMEA0183 and has a much faster processor. The Vulcan is a bit sluggish when panning and zooming



Now here's one I hadn't considered. Do you happen to know if you can update the radome alone any other way?



No worries there. If I decide to go this route ultimately, my OCPN will run on RasPI in a IPX67 enclosure with 7" touchscreen



Neither would I. And the RasPI solution I'm toying with in my head puts a tick/checkmark next to each of those criterion


Sounds like you've thought alot of it through..

As far as firmware.. No, I am not aware of any other way short of borrowing an MFD from someone else.
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Old 24-04-2019, 19:00   #9
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Re: New to OCPN ... do I need B&G chart plotter if I want Radar only?

>> Sounds like you've thought alot of it through.

Barely ... I'm following in the bold footsteps of those who've tried this before me. I'm still battling to break the bond with my safety blanket begotten from brand names like Navico (with siblings), Garmin, etc. in favor of the DIY route
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