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Old 15-04-2020, 08:01   #16
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

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Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
Just in the area of questioning assumptions: You say you have an autohelm and therefore are sticking with raymarine. We have an Autohelm that happily lives in a mostly B&G ecosytem. Not promoting one over the other, but just saying you don't have to let that make your decision for you.

Handheld GPS: Why? Everybody has one in their cell phone. Why add another?

We rely completely for our MFD to display AIS data. It does a super job, and presents all the data we need in concise useful format integrated with all our other data. Having an "extra" system like the Vesper has never felt useful to me. Don't waste money on an AIS receiver. Just get a good transponder that outputs on NMEA2K and you'll be good.

Sat Phone: We are really happy with our Iridium GO. Another source of GPS data too...

We count on our iPad to be a fully independent system. We use (and are really happy with) iSailor. Seems silly to use Navionics cartography on both chart plotter and iPad when another data source is easily available. Second opinions are nice.

We don't use wireless for anything "mission critical." We use it, but only for convenience functionality.

Nothing that uses rechargeable batteries is on our critical list either.
Good notes. Thanks.

as far as the questions - I like raymarine and trust them, so that's why I was leaning that way.

hand held GPS really is redundant these days isn't it? Like I said - I'm way out of date. They were essential backups 15 years ago.

I assume you are using an AIS transponder that's B&G and hookind into NMEA backbone?
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Old 15-04-2020, 08:13   #17
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

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Originally Posted by iNavX View Post
On my boat I have a Vesper XB-8000 which works quite nicely with iNavX on the iPad. There's no trouble showing the AIS contacts and the data bouncing around on my N2K backbone. You don't need the iPad's location services if you have GPS data through this.

The integration with the rest of the network is pretty easy if you have NMEA 2000. Via N2K it talks to some of the other non-iNavX gear I have on board (Shh!) and the AIS works well via N2K or over Wifi.

I have not had a need to integrate it with 0183 as I only have a couple of radios that want that for DSC. My N2K - 0183 bridge should get info to those if the main GPS goes out.

It does come with it's own GPS antenna, as every certified Class B AIS transceiver will.
Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. The wireless connectivity would be nice in port, but I'm too old to feel comfortable relying on wireless while making a passage or ocean crossing. This is really where my ignorance shines... lol so I'd need backup chartplotting (for example) but really don't have knowledge on how/where modern cruising electronics packages have evolved.

I have nightmares of needlessly complicating my life, boat, and expenses with my new electronics installation.

I guess it comes down to learning more about how electronics for:
  1. Communications
  2. Navigation
  3. Comfortable living aboard
can all work together but not be "all in one basket" for the inevitable emergencies and breakdowns.

It's REALLY hard to find good, up to date information about that.

Hell - I sailed around the west coast for a few years in my 20's with one house battery, a VHF, compass, and handheld GPS. I wouldn't do that again, but that's my baseline of (can we call it) knowledge?
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Old 15-04-2020, 08:16   #18
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

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Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
You will find it is also wild how many people install those systems wrong. Hence the failures.

Canbus systems are immensely reliable if installed properly.
I honestly don't see HOW you can avoid NMEA2000 in a modern electronics package. Might as well take the time to install it right.
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Old 15-04-2020, 09:19   #19
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

I agree with a chart plotter - but have 2 iPads with cellular for a 2nd display and for redundancy if something goes wrong with the chart plotter. You don't need a current iPad. I have an iPad Air I bought off Ebay for $200 that runs everything I need and has GPS. Get Aquamap for the iPad for Active Captain, Bahamas charts, and in the US depth surveys. On our boat the person steering watches the chart plotter while the other holds an iPad with AquaMap as a 2nd set of eyes as well as to plan beyond the next 15 minutes of course.

I would mount the chart plotter at the helm as the iPad's are still not bright enough to read easily in full sunlight (although it's fine under the dodger). Get a chart plotter brand with wifi and a companion app on the iPad that lets you display and control the chart plotter. My Garmin chart plotter does this well - I believe some other brands do too. This allows you to sit in the cabin and use the chart plotter. I've had no problem with leakage leaving my Garmin exposed in the cockpit. I never even put the cover on the display.

SSB: While I had SSB and a Satphone with my last boat, the current one only has an InReach. This is my primary emergency beacon (I have backup EPIRB). And it provides completely reliable communication with any phone number or email address. Face it, telephones are going away. My sons only communicate via text. The InReach's weather reports are also adequate 95% of the time. When I need more, my son ashore sends me detailed forecasts from the Internet as a few 160 character InReach messages. Within 5-10 miles of shore we just use our phones and iPads for internet including weather.

Wind instruments. An interesting option is Calypso. It's solar powered, wireless and displays on the phone/Ipad. Used by racers, I've found it very accurate. You can also buy a box to connect it to the chart plotter but I haven't bothered. https://www.panbo.com/calypso-ultras...wind-and-more/

Depth: Any depth sounder will do. With a chart plotter you know where you are so there's little need for a depth sounder that displays beyond anchoring depth.

AIS transponder. Definitely. Think of it as a 21st century radar reflector to keep ships from running into you. All large ships use AIS (even most military ones now that the US destroyers had those collisions). A lot of fishing boats don't use AIS but being run down by a fishing boat isn't one of my nightmares. I also like the Vesper. It will display both on your chart plotter and an iPad.

Radar is an interesting question. I cruise in foggy Maine but can count on my fingers how many times I turned it on last year. With a chart plotter to not hit the land and AIS to not hit a large ship, radar becomes a "nice to have" for me. It will spot thunderstorms - although near shore you can get a much better display in an iPad weather app. If you get Radar, consider getting a Furuno wireless radar and use an iPad for display. Much cheaper to install too.

VHF radio - I see little advantage to pay extra for VHF/AIS if you have an AIS receiver. Consider a high quality antenna splitter like Vesper's. They work just fine. This allows you to put both AIS and VHF at the masthead where they have much better range. Be sure to use a high quality coax. AIS signals are low power. Be sure to have a waterproof handheld VHF (or two). If you ever have to abandon ship that's how you'll talk to the helicopter.

I have both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 aboard. Both work fine if wired correctly. I don't notice one being particularly more reliable than the other. Do carry a few spare NMEA 2000 connectors and cables. The easiest way to diagnose a problem is to swap parts in until the problem goes away.
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Old 15-04-2020, 11:26   #20
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

OpenCPN is excellent, especially connected to AIS.

I'm not a fan of radar. Mine broke and I'm not going to replace it. Expensive white elephant IMHO

My favorite instrument is a Lowrance Hook fish-finder sonar device. Shows depth, speed and bottom profile and "sonic hardness". Very helpful when choosing an anchorage, and it's generally interesting to see schools of fish and watch what the bottom looks like while your sailing.

Garmin inreach is a nice cheap text only satellite device. No need for voice sat phone.
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Old 27-04-2020, 06:39   #21
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

How can a NMEA 2000 system be installed incorrectly? We’re about to do a full electronics makeover and it seems extremely straightforward

Debating on an ais box while leaving the old vhf
Or
Upgrading to a vhf with ais
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Old 27-04-2020, 07:19   #22
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVLife View Post
How can a NMEA 2000 system be installed incorrectly? We’re about to do a full electronics makeover and it seems extremely straightforward

Debating on an ais box while leaving the old vhf
Or
Upgrading to a vhf with ais
Apparently, there are some electronics that have a resistor built in so that they must go on the end of a backbone - mess that up and you have too many resistors and the network doesn't work. Also, sometimes as the system grows, people accidentally install loops rather than drops (I still can't figure out how they do that), and finally, several "failures" I've been reading about are simply lazy installation that allowed water to get into the backbone - literally didn't screw the things tight enough.

I decided to go with Vesper 8000 AIS system, a NMEA 2000 backbone, and a VHF with AIS receiver. A receiver isn't enough for me, but I'll have it as redundancy.

This will give me connectivity backup, AIS receiver backup, GPS backup, and I'm going to get a windvane steering system so my autopilot will have backup.
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Old 30-06-2020, 01:26   #23
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

So I replaced all my electronics few years ago with all new NMEA 2000.
The issues I have:
- some times wind meter freaks out
- some times depth meter freaks out
the only way to fix those issues is to turn power off and back on again. Now that also couses to disconnect the Autopilot, as it is also on the bus

If I would do it again, I probably would install simple not connected systems, that I can turn on/off as needed. With more experience, you can feel the wind speed, and you really need the depth sounder when anchoring.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 30-06-2020, 02:16   #24
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xslim View Post
So I replaced all my electronics few years ago with all new NMEA 2000.
The issues I have:
- some times wind meter freaks out
- some times depth meter freaks out
the only way to fix those issues is to turn power off and back on again. Now that also couses to disconnect the Autopilot, as it is also on the bus

If I would do it again, I probably would install simple not connected systems, that I can turn on/off as needed. With more experience, you can feel the wind speed, and you really need the depth sounder when anchoring.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
Nmea systems are extremely reliable...based on canbus. There will be an installation fault with your system or not installed correctly or not installed properly...it will not be the system at fault.

It's amazing how frequently people can not follow the instructions
.
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Old 30-06-2020, 02:47   #25
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Re: Blank Slate Electronics install exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
Nmea systems are extremely reliable...based on canbus. There will be an installation fault with your system or not installed correctly or not installed properly...it will not be the system at fault.

It's amazing how frequently people can not follow the instructions
.
The problem is not with the canbus or installation, but in the end devices themselves.
If the firmware on DST800 sensor is finicky, or on Garmin wind black box, no great installation will fix it.
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