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Old 06-09-2020, 09:40   #1
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One or 2 MFDs?

Upgrading dated electronics on Zanetia. Hinckley's recommending 2 Raymarine Axiom pro 16" MFDs, one at helm and second below at nav station. They're beautiful units and should be for ~6K apiece. But I'm wondering if I really need all that horsepower in a 2nd unit at the nav station? Can't the one at the helm serve a slave Ipad or something at the nav station? Who votes for two versus one and a slave and why?
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:14   #2
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

I just installed an Axiom Pro at the helm and an Axiom at the Nav station. I also installed RayControl on my Android tablet. Near as I can tell, the RayControl does everything I need as a slave unit. RayControl works using wifi signal from either Axiom unit, so range is limited. Reviews of RayControl are spotty, but my experience is good. If I had know RayControl works, I might not have put in a second Axiom. However, I like redundance, and the second Axiom 9, refurbished , was about $700, so worth it.

You could install one Axiom, then install RayControl on your tablet and see if it meets your needs. If it doesn't, you can always install the second Axiom later.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:48   #3
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

Thanks, Pitch. The redundancy point is well taken.
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Old 07-09-2020, 14:31   #4
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

The RayControl app, in my experience, is pretty dodgy. If all you want is the plotter at the helm mirrored on your tablet it is OK, but as soon as you try to do anything through the tablet it gets very clunky and difficult. Your mileage may vary.

However, I see no reason, unless you want to, to install an expensive plotter at the nav station. Why not an Axiom 7 or 9? One boat-buck versus six, and you have redundancy that you would not have with the tablet.
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Old 07-09-2020, 18:31   #5
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

A smaller screen size of the same linked MFD at the nav table makes perfect sense. Provides redundancy while saving boater bucks for the next things on the endless list! Thank you!
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Old 07-09-2020, 19:33   #6
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

Be careful of the broad sales pitches for "redundancy." Redundancy of what? A lot of the advantage of a 16” MFD is the ability to open multiple panes on different data. So you can dedicate a little 5” display for things like wind, speed, depth. Maybe a second one GPS position or autopilot control. If you’re displaying engine data, you’ll want that all the time. The only things that the little displays don’t show is chart, radar or fish finder type graphical data, but most of the time that won’t be the only open pane on the big display.

So my take is a big MFD at the helm, co-located with some smaller displays that you can see all the important data (although maybe not without some page flipping) and a smaller MFD below to give chart, radar and AIS displays when the big one quits.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:38   #7
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

Thanks for your perspective. I'm hearing the same from many folks. I'll probably go with a 12 or even a 9 inch MFD at the nav station.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:41   #8
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

I'd definitely go with a smaller MFD at the nav station. You could always add a second smaller one if you decide you need more screen space (and it'll still probably be cheaper than a second big one). Having the ability to have someone else looking at a chart, radar, or whatever while you're at the helm can come in handy in a high workload situation. Plus, having a good setup at the nav station means you have a comfy place to do your planning, then you can just pull it up on the helm plotter when you're ready to go.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:47   #9
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

Thank you. Good points. Assuming the app works as advertised, either unit can be slaved to a GPS enabled Ipad for additional display redundancy.
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Old 08-09-2020, 17:09   #10
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

Recently installed a new Raymarine Axiom at the nav station (together with a new Raymarine radar). In the cockpit I use two iPads, one new Pro 12.9" installed under the solid dodger and one old mini iPad at the helm.

Apart from Raycontrol that works great, I have also independent Navionics app and downloaded charts on each of the iPads and a standalone tiny Garmin GPS receiver with bluetooth.

So have a triple redundancy (and plus my two iPhones, 5x redundancy) at an overall cost of less than $1,500. Plus, I use the iPads for so many other things (IridiumGo, PredictWind, music, communication, documents storage etc. etc.). The mobility of the iPad is a huge plus when planning a rout, checking on the night shift when deep in the aft cabin and of course while traveling.

Both iPads have rugged cases and anti-glare films.
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Old 08-09-2020, 18:32   #11
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Re: One or 2 MFDs?

Something else to consider, do you really need the pro version at the nav station? At the helm, the screen lock and hard controls on the pro are the way to go when things get wet, but down below you will not have the same problem. I find the touchscreen controls on my Axiom Pro 9 to be just fine when things are dry. The hard buttons are still nice in these conditions, but look at the price differential between the Axiom Pro and Axiom or Axiom+. The pro version does give you additional items, such as the second microSD card, with both cards accessible from the front, vs the single slot on the rear of the non pro version. The non pro versions also have a smaller footprint when dealing with potentially valuable real estate down below.

Good luck with your upgrade!!
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