Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Wiring your boat, How to Wire Lights/Accessories, All things electrical other than actually powering your boat by electric motors.

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raymacke
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Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby raymacke » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:24 pm

I have added several pages to my True Grit building blog covering an upgrade to the electronics. Included is a new VHF radio with AIS, chartplotter, radar, autopilot and an NMEA 2000 network to connect them all together. There will probably be limited interest from most builders but those with larger boats might find it helpful.

http://www.egyptian.net/%7Eraymacke/TG/ElectronicsUpgrade.html
So Many Rivers,
So Little Time....

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kens
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby kens » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:21 pm

Thats cool Ray, I went with the NMEA 0183 because of price.
N2K was still new and pricey so I passed.
I read up on 'NMEA sentences' and went with a Northstar chart plotter (with outside gps ant), Furuno basic fish finder (gps capable), and a Garmin active GPS antenna.
The furuno fish finder said it would receive nmea gps sentences, and the garmin gps said it would transmit said sentences.
Since I told myself I was an aviation avionics guy, I would crimp together Rx & Tx signals and lo & behold it worked. All except 1 function.
I called Furuno and they told me of a matter to get down into the software menu and got it running.

My stuff is really old now, but I got a chart plotter , and the fish finder has a 'get me home' gps ability.
My point is that the furuno does read the garmin gps signals. It's all in the 'sentences' that are read and transmitted.
If I had to do it again, I would build up a terminal junction box, aka, avionics terminal board.
Certain 'sentences' could be sent to a certain TJ (terminal junction) block and any device could pick off that signal from TJ block.

I been working on the new Gulfstream G500, all touch pad cockpit, and fly by wire controls. No flux valves anymore.
Its all AHRS and IRU's.
In a few years flux valves in marine electronics will go away also.
The new digital cockpits don't even have a backup wet compass anymore, all the backups are digital too.
The marine stuff will follow suit in given time.
When will boats go fly-by-wire?
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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psychobilly
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby psychobilly » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:17 pm

Very good explanation Ray. I just broke down and finally got a new chartplotter

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the- ... 29879.html

And retired my old 498c. I was really supprised to read about the AIS and though it was really kewl. Your reviews on it on your bog were very informational and detailed. While I don't have a VHF on my skiff or ski boat I don't have much use for VHF so may never use this feature. I am still in a pipe dream for an Atlantic Skiff build and if I ever do I will for sure have a sweet touch screen Chartplotter and VHF with AIS, and radar of course. I will refer to you detailed review again for sure.

Nice job

bob smith
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby bob smith » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:34 am

With 72 years of experience with "Murphy's Law", I'll not bet my butt on a total digital solution. Give me a whiskey compass and a mechanical path to the control surfaces!!!
Bob Smith
Chester, SC

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psychobilly
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby psychobilly » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:17 am

You just gotta love technology though. Watch the YouTube video attached in the below link.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the- ... 84-00.html

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raymacke
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby raymacke » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:39 pm

Kens,
Before the purchase I talked with both Raymarine and Lowrance and both were confident their products were configured with proper sentencing and that cross communication would be no problem. And for the largest part they were correct and chartplotter plays well with the autopilot. But it is that pesky little exception that seems to crop up in the real world. It appears there is something in Raymarine's "Heading" sentence the Lowrance radar does not like. Only the radar is effected and it is only within the MARPA function of the radar the problem exhibits itself.

And I think what really ticked me off is neither company was willing to help. Both just blamed the other for the error and offered no clue as to what I might do to remedy the situation - besides spend another $800 for a duplicate heading sensor. Nothing like GREAT customer service.

The odd thing is with both heading sensors on the network I can choose which one I want the system to use. Either of them works flawlessly when selected but if I remove the newly added Lowrance/Simrad sensor the problem returns. As a result, I usually run the Raymarine sensor as I feel it is more accurate but just leave the older style Lowrance/Simrad on the network.

And yes the cost of adding the NMEA 2000 network does add up but it does have its advantages. With my plotter as a display I can do both the GPs/chart functions along with the sonar but also add the radar view, monitor the Honda outboard and use a fuel usage sensor to track fuel burn. My Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF radio does not have a 2000 connector so is connected via NMEA0183 and works fine. The problem with the 0183 is you are limited to one "talker" and three "Listener" devices or special multiplexers must be added and they run $200+. And one multiplexer is usually needed for each "Talker". In my situation the plotter, VHF radio, fuel sensor and the Honda are all "Talkers". So the NMEA 2000 network starts look very good in this situation. But with your single Talker (Garmin) and one Listener (Furuno) it make way more sense to go with the NMEA 0183 like you did.

Bob, I get where you are coming from BUT I have this obsession where I love all things electronic. My wife says it is the "Boys and Toys" thing!
So Many Rivers,
So Little Time....

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kens
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby kens » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:09 am

And I also read that a N2K monitor can display video, like DVD, blue ray video?
You got that one going yet??
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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jamundsen
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby jamundsen » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:38 am

You guys are talking a foreign language. It's all I cameo to read a paper map. :lol:
John Amundsen
Monte Carlo
Lakeland,Fl

Work tends to get in the way of boat building

Soloboat
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby Soloboat » Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:09 am

I am really impressed with Rays Kens and others ability to understand all this stuff and to actually use it, I am at a "lost" if I go out and cannot see land the hard part is, whenever I go boating I am loathe to play with electronics because I just wanna fish When I see Ray he will have to school me.
) Champagne dreams and wishes are possible on a beer budget. Just build the boat.
Nice curves are easy on the eyes.
Go sell crazy somewhere else we're all stocked up here."As Good As It Gets" Jack Nicholson.

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steveh41
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby steveh41 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:52 am

Ray,

Thanks for a very informative blog post on your nav upgrades. I'm still trying to get a handle on the new electronics and alphabet soup of features like AIS, N2K etc. which is my excuse for waiting until the last minute to decide on specific equipment. Your installation looks great!

Regards,

Steve
The longest journey begins with a single step… then repeat as necessary!

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kens
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby kens » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:52 pm

That electronic stuff allows you to do things you could not do by dead reckoning.
I have to run a certain route at low tide to get to deeper water; so I ran that route several times in the day, at good tide, and low tide to verify, that the 'track' on the electronics was accurate, and repeatable, and saved in chart plotter memory.
Then, I launched for a fishing mission to 'get to' 20 miles offshore for a sunrise trolling trip.
that stuff is really kool.
I launched at 0430hrs and wouldn't you know it, it was low tide, low tide on the new moon to boot.
You just got to trust it and push the throttle up and go!!
And the sea fog was revealing it self as well.
I wish I had pictures or a video of the trip out there, it was really cool.
The electronics paved the way. It's the only way to go after you use it once!!!!
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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psychobilly
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby psychobilly » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:35 pm

That's the exact reason I bought my first one. Heck, I'm normally in a small lake but the stumps are sum'n! Well, similar to Kens, when Hurricane Rita came through she damaged the damn. I went out and marked me some channels through the stump beds. Run it in daylight till you trust it. I can't tell you how many times I went out there at 3 in the morning to run across the lake to hunt the National Forest, daylight hits and you're socked in. No problem, have chart plotter will travel.

Kens that would be an awesome video! Red and Green!!!

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raymacke
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Re: Electronics Upgrade for Cruising

Postby raymacke » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:56 pm

kens and psychobilly - you are obviously on my same wave length. The GPS function of the plotters is a fantastic tool. And the next step is the autopilot. Take the track you have created and convert it to waypoints/route and feed the data to the autopilot and let it handle the steering. Now no matter that a cross wind is blowing and the current is nudging you off course the autopilot will hold your path right down the trail. You then have more time to relax a little and concentrate on what is going on around you rather than working to hold a tight course. Self driven cars are currently a big topic of conversation and may be in our futures but self driven boats are NOW. :D

If you are interested in a NMEA 2000 network this is about the best overview I have found for us non-electronic experts - http://www.baylandenterprises.com/download/Article-8-NMEA2000-Aug-2008.pdf
So Many Rivers,
So Little Time....


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