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Old 25-09-2017, 08:08   #1
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Radar and AIS for Raymarine C120

I have a Raymarine C120 Plotter fitted on a pedestal close to the helm on my Beneteau 361

As I sometimes enter anchorages at night and also plan some ocean passages I would like to add radar and AIS.

So I have two options and would like to hear your opinions:

A) Keep the C120 and add Radar and AIS.
Do the new radars from Raymarine work with my old plotter? I think there might be issues but mayb
e there is some kind of adaptor? Or should i try ro find a used old radar? Or is this a bad idea at all?

B) Go for a completely new Plotter. Is there anything similar in size so I do not have to completeley change the frame at the pedestal?

I am not on an extremely tight budget but of course don't want to waste money, so I highly appreciate any opinion.

Markus
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Old 25-09-2017, 08:23   #2
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Re: Radar and AIS for Raymarine C120

I have a c120 with radar and ais. If you're not on a tight budget, get new everything. The c120 original radar is analogue. The new radars are all digital. Although it is possible to interface some of the digital radars, not all will work. I am on a budget so I got a used radar. The ais is straightforward plug in. Given how much I use radar, I'm satisfied. The other thing about the c120 is it uses CFL backlight technology. The newer displays use LED. The LED uses less power and is more reliable. The CFL dims over time, then overdrives the power supply , which overheats and fails.

Don't know about size and cut outs. The other thing you need to think about is cabling. The new systems will require different cables.
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Old 25-09-2017, 10:40   #3
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Re: Radar and AIS for Raymarine C120

Right on regarding CFL vs. LEDs on the newer display units. For reference, my E80 would use 1A in night mode and up to 3A in daylight mode. It can add up. Plus, the new units are physically smaller, so will be less imposing at the helm.

That being said, the C120 is a great unit and it would be expensive to replace all the functionality. You will need a new radar, AIS, interfacing to the autopilot, etc.

You either go cheap, used analog radar from eBay, AIS/VHF combination that you can feed to the C80 via NMEA 0183 or you replace everything.

One consideration is that the Classic C/E units accept AIS only via the NMEA 0183 input. So you should either stay NMEA 0183 or if you upgrade, move everything to 2000. Basically, you are looking at $6-700 to add to the old system or $2-3,000 to upgrade. The value of your C120 is around $500 on eBay.

If you start the upgrade process my sincere advice is to look at the autopilot/MFD combination first, then try to stay with one vendor. For example, if you stay with a single vendor you could do cool things like when you see a ship on AIS, you can press a button and route a VHF call via DSC to the ship. This typically does not work across vendors, then you have to input the MMSI manually and it can get stressful.

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Old 25-09-2017, 11:18   #4
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Re: Radar and AIS for Raymarine C120

Pizzazz is correct, with one exception. It will be way more than $3000 to do the upgrade. Once you start, you will find more and more that is incompatible, eventually replacing every bit of electronics. The functionality of the new system won't much different than the old one. If the battery draw is an issue, add a battery, much cheaper.
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Old 26-09-2017, 10:52   #5
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Re: Radar and AIS for Raymarine C120

I have a C120 and it stopped receiving satellite signals a few weeks ago. I contacted Raymarine and they told me to take my multimeter and check the voltage of the brown and yellow wires. I know my limitations and chose to let my electronic tech check out the problem.

In the meantime, I just searched for C120s/loss of signal and got so many hits suggesting that the battery was dead.

After my tech spent two hours checking everything else, he changed the button battery in the GPS antenna.

Raymarine states that they won't ever LOOK at a unit that is over 10 years old. My C120 is 9 and a half...

100 bucks for the tech and 3 bucks for the button battery.

I don't want to upgrade my whole system, the C120, the analog radar and the AIS serve my needs perfectly. I don't need touch screen and a lot of bells and whistles...

That's what they call "progress"...
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