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post #1 of 27 Old 01-09-2016 Thread Starter
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Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

I was just about to replace my old(ish) Simrad chartplotter-radar (integrated with oldish B&G instruments) with a new B&G Zeus2 system on my sailboat. (My current radar scanner works great, but the plotter that displays it is dying. Alas, the radar is too old for any new displays.) I may still go with this new system, but the more I learn about it, think about it and prepare for installation (it's very complicated and costly if you want all the features, including compass data good enough for MARPA, wifi and such), the more I think that it's just way too complicated. There just appears to be way too much that can go wrong in the middle of the ocean.

Because my plotter's display has died, I've lost both chartplotter and radar. With this in mind, I'm starting to think that it makes more sense to get a GPS plotter and separate radar setup with a dedicated screen. Sure, I won't have all the fancy radar-chart overlays, but I will have redundancy: if the plotter dies, I still have radar (backup GPS is in abundance on the boat). Then again, the B&G 3G/4G radars look attractive because they use little power, unlike all the other radars (as far as I have been able to figure out).

Any advice?
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-09-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

Lowrance HDS7 Gen2 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...C61327G1P8KE7P

Good Luck,

Gary
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-10-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

No idea about B&G but we run Raymarine and I would not do with the overlay and marpa. Yes we run ais but in a lot of cases boats are not equipped with ais and we use marpa to get some idea of where they are headed and why and we look at our course on the plotter and marpa together to get a better idea of what is going on.
Now say that you do not say where you are sailing? Ocean crossing, island hopping or Chesapeake Bay? Day sailing or long passages? All make a difference.
As for losing your chartplotter and relying on radar we had that happen once when a circuit board in the chartplotter got fried. We continued to have radar and used that to get into port from the open ocean - off Cape Canaveral and Zack Dye fixed it for us - and we learned pretty quick we needed a back up system.
We use open cpn on both a laptop and tablet as a back up. We did not hook radar to it but it works great. We competently lost our chartplotter twice and both times we just turned on our laptop or tablet and continued on.
You really need to look at a viable back up if you are going to be out here for any extended period of time as radar by itself will only tell you where the radar hits are and not everything is a radar hit.

Just our thoughts and opinion
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

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...Now say that you do not say where you are sailing? Ocean crossing, island hopping or Chesapeake Bay? Day sailing or long passages? All make a difference. ....
My primary reason for wanting radar is for ocean crossing and landfall: (1) during offshore passages to warn of other vessels when nobody is on watch (not an ideal situation, but necessary sometimes) and (2) to take fixes to confirm the accuracy of charts (electronic and paper) in remote places. Of course radar is vital in low/no visibility, but I never use it locally (I use my eyes).

Having everything on one screen -- chart, radar, AIS, instruments and engine information -- is mighty appealing, but I just know from experience that it's unlikely to keep running reliably for long. There's just so much that can go wrong. It will stop working when I least expect it and most need it. My philosophy with the boat is to try to keep things as simple as possible. It's already way too complicated in many ways. I'm leaning toward doing the radar and AIS overlays in my head.

I have a tablet that is actually now my normal charting source (should I admit that?). I would be tempted to keep it that way, with radar on the side (I also have a separate AIS-B transceiver), were it not for the limited battery life of the tablet. Attaching it to power is easy, but that exposes the innards to sea air when it's being used in the cockpit. I have no doubt that this would kill it fairly quickly (see above on things dying when needed most).
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-10-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

Get Furuno first watch wireless radar, it works with Ipad and you all set.
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-10-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

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Originally Posted by Lantau View Post
I was just about to replace my old(ish) Simrad chartplotter-radar (integrated with oldish B&G instruments) with a new B&G Zeus2 system on my sailboat. (My current radar scanner works great, but the plotter that displays it is dying. Alas, the radar is too old for any new displays.) I may still go with this new system, but the more I learn about it, think about it and prepare for installation (it's very complicated and costly if you want all the features, including compass data good enough for MARPA, wifi and such), the more I think that it's just way too complicated. There just appears to be way too much that can go wrong in the middle of the ocean.

Because my plotter's display has died, I've lost both chartplotter and radar. With this in mind, I'm starting to think that it makes more sense to get a GPS plotter and separate radar setup with a dedicated screen. Sure, I won't have all the fancy radar-chart overlays, but I will have redundancy: if the plotter dies, I still have radar (backup GPS is in abundance on the boat). Then again, the B&G 3G/4G radars look attractive because they use little power, unlike all the other radars (as far as I have been able to figure out).

Any advice?
Lantau,

I can vouch for the 4G Radar being low current draw and high resolution. [Our B&G picks up most ice and almost all crab pot buoys; rain squalls too if you tune them in...]

The RADAR overlay on a chart plotter is a powerful feature, and you don't need MARPA to accomplish that. [i.e., you can use a cheaper compass...]

When I analyzed our desire for separation of functions and redundancy I reasoned if I had one each chart plotter and radar screen, I still have no redundancy between functions- only separation and no integration. If I go with 2 MFDs, I have redundancy and optional separation and integration. [e.g., radar overlay, AIS, etc...]

The addition of WiFi and compass to enable radar overlay on the chart plotter are just under US$200/each; less than you would pay for a MARPA compatible compass alone.

I, and others more qualified, can provide specifics if you are interested.

Food for thought...

Cheers!

Bill


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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

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Lantau,

I can vouch for the 4G Radar being low current draw and high resolution. [Our B&G picks up most ice and almost all crab pot buoys; rain squalls too if you tune them in...]

The RADAR overlay on a chart plotter is a powerful feature, and you don't need MARPA to accomplish that. [i.e., you can use a cheaper compass...]

When I analyzed our desire for separation of functions and redundancy I reasoned if I had one each chart plotter and radar screen, I still have no redundancy between functions- only separation and no integration. If I go with 2 MFDs, I have redundancy and optional separation and integration. [e.g., radar overlay, AIS, etc...]

The addition of WiFi and compass to enable radar overlay on the chart plotter are just under US$200/each; less than you would pay for a MARPA compatible compass alone.

I, and others more qualified, can provide specifics if you are interested.

Food for thought...

Cheers!

Bill
Thanks Bill and others for advice. All of it is indeed excellent food for thought.

I think if I were to replace everything, and didn't mind spending pots of money, I'd go for the Zeus2 and radar, and have my tablet as a backup chart plotter. Alas, where I am located the dealer options mean paying top dollar -- read never below "MSRP"-PLUS and high labor costs -- every time. For example, the local dealer wants at least $750 just for the two parts (expansion port and wireless module) to get wifi working on the B&G system (plus installation), and fully $1000 for the compass (which, as you point out, I could go without, getting the fancy GPS antenna with compass instead I guess, but no MARPA).

Has anyone actually seen the 3G and 4G in action? I wonder if the 4G is needed (it's at least $500 more). Here the 3G radar bundle is $2200!

Regarding the Furuno wireless radar, I have considered that. Has anyone used it?

One obstacle is that I really don't want to throw out stuff that works well (Yankee upbringing, I think). Integrating with my current instruments is really not a psychological option (they all work but they cannot be networked with new gear). This means that I would not be able to use any of the fancy "sail steer" (or whatever it's called) stuff on the B&G.
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-11-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post

The RADAR overlay on a chart plotter is a powerful feature, and you don't need MARPA to accomplish that. [i.e., you can use a cheaper compass...]

When I analyzed our desire for separation of functions and redundancy I reasoned if I had one each chart plotter and radar screen, I still have no redundancy between functions- only separation and no integration. If I go with 2 MFDs, I have redundancy and optional separation and integration. [e.g., radar overlay, AIS, etc...]

The addition of WiFi and compass to enable radar overlay on the chart plotter are just under US$200/each; less than you would pay for a MARPA compatible compass alone.
The reference to MARPA in compass context is confusing. MARPA, which stands for Mini Automatic Radar Plotting Aid, is not a compass function. You do need a compass input if you want to display radar in North up mode.

I have 2 MFDs which are linked by a high speed data bus, so I can share everthing between the 2 MFDs. However, one of the Raymarine MFDs is a "master" and if it goes down, you lose functionality of the second MFD (voice of experience). In my case, the master needed to be reset, which you can do yourself, if you have your manual handy or remember the simple process. It was the Raymarine customer service folks who suggested the reset before shipping the unit back for an unnecessary repair.

So, the only issue I have had with linked MFDs in 15 years was solved by a simple reset--which means I have the confidence to trust the linking of 2 MFDs, which allows for full sharing of all sailboat data.
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-11-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

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The reference to MARPA in compass context is confusing. MARPA, which stands for Mini Automatic Radar Plotting Aid, is not a compass function. You do need a compass input if you want to display radar in North up mode.
...
Hi Fallard,

Sorry for the confusion. In my attempt to keep my first reply somewhat general, I could have been a bit more specific with regards to my use of 'compass.' I was referring to the 'rate compass' [i.e., heading sensor] necessary to enable either RADAR overlay and/or MARPA on our B&G MFD and 4G RADAR combo.

You need a better rate compass for MARPA [e.g., Airmar H2183 @ ~US$600] whereas if you only want RADAR overlay on the chart plotter [and an external GPS/GLONASS antenna, but no MARPA] then you can get by the B&G ZG100 US$200 version.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion I may have caused.

Cheers!

Bill


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post #10 of 27 Old 01-11-2016
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Re: Chartplotter-rader: integrated or not???

^^^^^^ you can use MARPA with the GS25/ZG1000, I did it with my setup for a while until I got a H2183 for autopilot use

I have the NSS8 and a navico 3G radar

Getting heading overlay isn't that complicated, you just need to run the radar through an R10 box which hooks into the Nmea2000 network.

I also added the GS25 as well, which gives you a lot better GPS than the integrated chips and includes basic electronic compass so you can use the heading overlay/marpa functions

Liveaboard on a 1980 36' Hunter

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