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Old 01-06-2024, 13:57   #1
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Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Our B&G Zeus just started showing a growing blob that is slowing taking over the screen. Getting a new one shipped to us in our current location is not very straight forward and having a friend bring one to us is a pain for them.

I've seen advertisements for the Orca Core 2 that says it works with radar and autopilots but I can't find any real reviews.

In addition to a chart plotter, we would like something to control our B&G autopilot and 4G radar. We also have a forward scan sonar but I'm not sure any third party works with that.

We have several tablets onboard so it looks like all we would need is the Core 2 device which would easily fit in the suitcase of a family member flying here.

Does anyone have experience with this unit as a replacement for a B&G Zeus or is it just a pipe dream and we should just order a new Zeus?
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Old 01-06-2024, 15:13   #2
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Seemed promising, but seems geared to Europe and Raymarine.
When I last checked, it didn`t offer Navico (B&G) radar support yet (no eta).

Also need to check chart coverage - Australia was not covered for example. Sonar not compatible, B&G Autopilot control is according to FAQ.

You could get a smaller Zeus or Vulcan replacement, then spend what you save on a good rugged tablet and remove view the small screen.
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Old 01-06-2024, 15:33   #3
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattzilla View Post
Seemed promising, but seems geared to Europe and Raymarine.
When I last checked, it didn`t offer Navico (B&G) radar support yet (no eta) and was Raymarine radar and Evolution autopilot compatible. Also need to check chart coverage - Australia was not covered for example. Sonar not compatible.
You could get a smaller Zeus or Vulcan replacement, then spend what you save on a good rugged tablet and remove view the small screen.
We'll more than likely suck it up and get the 12" 3s as a replacement. I just hate being locked in like this. We have been trying an iPad Pro today and the screen just doesn't work well in the sunlight.

My dream solution would be a sunlight readable IP65 touchscreen with a NUC attached to the back running qtVlm. Well, if qtVlm had radar and autopilot control.

T
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Old 01-06-2024, 15:46   #4
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

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Originally Posted by Sabado View Post
We'll more than likely suck it up and get the 12" 3s as a replacement. I just hate being locked in like this. We have been trying an iPad Pro today and the screen just doesn't work well in the sunlight.

My dream solution would be a sunlight readable IP65 touchscreen with a NUC attached to the back running qtVlm. Well, if qtVlm had radar and autopilot control.

T
I have a 10" Sailproof that I can run Navionics webapp, or use RDP to remote view the laptop downstairs that runs Expedition and Opencpn. The sailproof is daylight readable, splashprrof and works when wet, is 1280x720 res (I would prefer 1920x1080). The Orca tablet may be an option for a readable ruggedised screen?
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Old 02-06-2024, 01:42   #5
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

We have the version 1 Orca Core, and have sailed 5k miles with it, in Baltic, North Sea, and now western Scotland. The charts are good. Less detailed than Navionics, but also containing fewer made-up details. And I find the representation clearer, especially with lights and rocks.

AIS targets are shown very conveniently, with visualization of the CPA. Weather routing is occasionally useful.

Orca communicates with our N2K instruments without problems. We haven't yet integrated our old SeaTalk 1 autopilot, and don't have a radar.

We use a waterproof Samsung tablet as the "fixed plotter" in the cockpit, and also use personal phones and tablets for occasionally checking stuff, planning routes, etc.
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Old 02-06-2024, 10:24   #6
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

I have installed orca. Charts will reach navionics standards with time (my marina is not charted yet so my boat is on land according to orca&#129315. Route planning overview is better than anything out on the market (weather, route and boat data included in algorithm), remote connection is super (get all data live on my phone when miles away) and being a gadget geek, love controlling my autopilot from my Apple Watch 😎 only possible with orca
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Old 02-06-2024, 11:01   #7
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Were returning from Catalina to San Diego just now and had gotten the Orca installed just before this trip. Everything else is on a Seatalk (1) network and I havent yet gotten the Autopilot connection going. Mostly seems good so far
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Old 05-06-2024, 04:14   #8
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Sooner or later somebody has to produce an OpenCPN/Raspberry-Pi based turnkey chart plotter for around $500, nearly everything to do it is off the shelf and it integrates with pretty much everything there is now (Forward scan sonar I think is the exception)
We really need somebody to shake up the Marine electronics market and stop the madness that is $5k chartplotters that are out of date and/or dead in 3 years
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Old 07-06-2024, 01:17   #9
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattzilla View Post
Seemed promising, but seems geared to Europe and Raymarine.
When I last checked, it didn`t offer Navico (B&G) radar support yet (no eta).
They released support for B&G radars this week: https://help.getorca.com/en/articles...d-or-b-g-radar
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Old 07-06-2024, 02:27   #10
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

I thought about installing Orca, then discovered some worrying concerns about charting quality.

Two screenshots here, one using C-Map data in the B&G app, one from Orca. Both are of the anchorage outside Port Camargue in the South of France. C-Map shows the sandbank and navigation marks which are very much there in reality, Orca does not.

Orca shows the required details a few NM east, but doesn't clearly indicate (other than through a lack of detail) that anything is missing. I'm too scared by this to consider Orca seriously until I know that the charting is robust (or at least indicates clearly when it isn't).

I told them about this a few weeks ago and it hasn't been fixed yet.
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Old 07-06-2024, 07:07   #11
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bergius View Post
They released support for B&G radars this week: https://help.getorca.com/en/articles...d-or-b-g-radar
Looks to be only the Halo radars and not the 4G.
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Old 07-06-2024, 07:33   #12
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flobble View Post
I thought about installing Orca, then discovered some worrying concerns about charting quality.
The blue area is whatever depth you've set as "shallow", so you may want to play with that setting. I've set it to 2m with our 1.6m keel, so unless tide is crazy low or swell very big, the white (>2m in our case) is generally the safe area to sail.

This might vary based on your cruising grounds, but I've so far found the Orca chart quality to be excellent. They lack the details for smaller anchorages, but that's where you'd anyway use something like Antares Charts (for Scotland) or the Hamnguiden (for the Nordics).

Much preferable over the fake detail in Navionics that has gotten us aground multiple times.
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Old 10-06-2024, 05:33   #13
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

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The blue area is whatever depth you've set as "shallow", so you may want to play with that setting. I've set it to 2m with our 1.6m keel, so unless tide is crazy low or swell very big, the white (>2m in our case) is generally the safe area to sail.

This might vary based on your cruising grounds, but I've so far found the Orca chart quality to be excellent. They lack the details for smaller anchorages, but that's where you'd anyway use something like Antares Charts (for Scotland) or the Hamnguiden (for the Nordics).

Much preferable over the fake detail in Navionics that has gotten us aground multiple times.
You're quite right about the blue area, but the problem here is that the Orca charts just don't have the data for this area - changing the definition of "shallow" doesn't reveal the sand bank. Or the cardinal mark. Or the channel markers.

Here's another image, from about 15NM East of that position. See where the data just 'stops'?
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Old 10-06-2024, 06:46   #14
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flobble View Post
You're quite right about the blue area, but the problem here is that the Orca charts just don't have the data for this area - changing the definition of "shallow" doesn't reveal the sand bank. Or the cardinal mark. Or the channel markers.
Have been playing around with ORCA as well. I like the looks, and the presentation, but it does appear that they have gaps in map coverage, and it is not entirely obvious where those are.

I would also be nice to have proper weather and current overlays.
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Old 11-06-2024, 18:06   #15
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Re: Orca Core 2 Experiences?

Bergius—-Can you please elaborate on your claim the Navionics charts feature “made-up data”?
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