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Old 25-12-2015, 16:09   #1
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When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

I have a C80 chart plotter mfd unit which seems to work fine with the radar. I have been thinking about adding AIS and sirus weather. I have been looking at these add on's on eBay and I wonder should I upgrade to 2015 technology? I sail on Chesapeake Bay though I am thinking about retiring and doing some serious coastal cruising. Is it worth it to upgrade or should I just live with C80 based system?
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Old 25-12-2015, 17:07   #2
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

If you decide to stay with the c80 I have the Sirius system sitting in the garage. Make me an offer I can't refuse.

Works fine I just mostly sail coastal and can get my weather from the iPhone.

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Old 25-12-2015, 22:30   #3
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

If you can make the c80 work with the AIS, no need to upgrade. If you can't get things like a proximity warning to work with the AIS then an upgrade might be worthwhile.
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Old 26-12-2015, 03:49   #4
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

It's often hard to know how much you get with newest technology. C80 can do plenty and is probably more than adequate for your use. MFDs seem to be packing more data streams on the screen and this may be hard to process on a single screen. Dunno because I haven't actually tried. C80 can display AIS, RADAR and weather I believe. I would upgrade only when new is decidedly better in some way to make your navigation easier and more importantly safer and more reliable.
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Old 26-12-2015, 06:19   #5
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

I've been using AIS with my C120 since Raymarine came out with the firmware update around 2006. It's not my favorite AIS implementation, but it works. It does require you to run the NMEA183 ports at 38400 B, which may impact other devices on your NMEA network (e.g., DSC radio). I haven't seriously looked at current technology in AIS receivers or transponders since I installed a SR161 receiver in 2007, so I can't advise you on what new technology AIS products to evaluate. That said, there are probably a lot of SR161s available on eBay from owners who have upgraded to a Class B. transponder.

Here's my critique of the C120 AIS implementation back in 2006: AIS; and here's how I got around the NMEA183 network issues: NMEA Multiplexer.

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Old 26-12-2015, 07:32   #6
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

C80 is a good machine, in some ways a lot more rugged than the newer Raymarine products.
The only big con is the restriction to analog radar. AIS works fine on our C80. One needs to use the faster baud rate and with AIS then you have no other nema input or output.

Some do not like Navionics charts.

A serious upgrade would put a large dent in 3 to 4 k. NOW WHAT WOULD 4 LARGE BOAT BUCK BUY?

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Old 26-12-2015, 07:36   #7
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

The purchase price of equipment is probably the least important question when doing this kind of thing.

There is always a certain cost of transition to messing with a system that works now. If you're going to use the weather and collision avoidance systems a lot it could be worth it.

If you are really going to upgrade your electronics then It is time to get a network and backbone. It is a huge hassle not only to wire but to actually get all of the features communicating. I know it is supposed to just plug-and-play, but it won't. There is a Voodoo factor in NMEA comms between devices, even of the same brand. I spent more than a month of troubleshooting to get full RayMarine system working, but it does and I love it now. Easy to update as software is improved too. Although every time I do an update I expect some protocol will be broken somewhere in the system.

If you are doing coastal sailing in daylight and reasonable weather then your current C 80 in conjunction with a smart phone will work faster, better, and more robustly then setting up an integrated system. If you sail in fishing grounds during fog, gale, and nighttime, or do a lot of singlehanding then the integrated system is worth the installation hassle
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:46   #8
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Re: When to upgrade C80 vs buying new tools

I was in the same boat a while back (same C80 and radar). I choose to upgrade the chart plotter and keep the C80 and radar installed below. We rarely use the radar and this option have us a backup plotter. Worked out well for me.

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