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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #21  
Old 06-08-2010
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Most nav programs don't need rocket ship computers. They will run on old technology just as well as on the latest stuff. So anyone who buys a new notebook for a chartplotter is wasting money.

I buy old cheap notebooks ($150 each) when I can and friends who use them in business and "need the best" give me their old ones when they upgrade. I now have five fully functional notebooks loaded with exactly the same software and all are working 100%. And I have quality charts that cover the entire planet.

So when I go cruising (hopefully not too far away) I will take at least five notebooks (all except one will be vacuum packed) with me because they take little room to stow. When one stops working for ANY reason, it'll go in the bin and the next one will come out.

And by the way, the first one has now been functional inside my chart table with no additional cooling fans or other add-ons and has yet to miss a beat. I use a wireless keyboard and mouse so the only time the notebook is touched by human hand is when it is switched on. The display is a flat-screen built into the console and I plan on another on deck in the near future. That way the notebook lid stays closed when it's running.

To me notebooks as chart plotters are a no-brainer. There is a power issue with them but that is more easily solved that having a full range of cruising charts on a chart plotter. A spare power supply is a good idea but then most throw-away notebooks also have throw-away power supplies.
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  #22  
Old 06-08-2010
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Ok, so I have a question for you guys:

Want chartplotting, GPS, AIS, Radar, Weather, Speed, Depth, Wind, Autopilot.

What configuration would:

- Be networked.
- Allow me to view this in weather (cockpit)
- Allow me to have a secondary view at nav station.
- Be redundant.

Thinking:
- PC at nav station for occasional use and for downloading upgrades etc.
- Chartplotter in cockpit

Anyone want to take a shot at brands for the above components?
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  #23  
Old 06-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Ok, so I have a question for you guys:

Want chartplotting, GPS, AIS, Radar, Weather, Speed, Depth, Wind, Autopilot.

What configuration would:

- Be networked.
- Allow me to view this in weather (cockpit)
- Allow me to have a secondary view at nav station.
- Be redundant.

Thinking:
- PC at nav station for occasional use and for downloading upgrades etc.
- Chartplotter in cockpit

Anyone want to take a shot at brands for the above components?
What size boat, what have you looked at so far? I'm pretty much a Garmin fan for most components. It would need to be a pretty spectacular product to get me to switch. One soft spot in their product line is in their selection of auto pilots. But for chartplotters, handhelds and transportables does anyone even come close to their selection?
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theoretically, we're talking 32 up to 40 ft.

All that could be done under RayMarine I believe, and using SeaTalk, but have reservations about going fully with Ray, and would rather build out with Garmin or a proper mix of vendors. Autopilot would be for backup/light air/engine work only, not for heavy weather or normal sailing. Monitor or Hydro for most self steering.
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Old 06-09-2010
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Personally I'd use Garmin on any size boat but for whatever reason my impression is that Raymarine is used more often on boats at the larger end of the scale. I'm guessing that that is at least partially attibutable to Raymaiine's prior dominance in the industry and the familiarity with their products by professional installers although I think the shift has been toward Garmin in the last few years, helped in part at least by Raymarines financial problems.

Given that you are working with a hypothetical boat, I'd just dig into Garmin's website, learn about their networking system, zero in on some potential equipment options and then get into the manuals on line that you think you would be interested in, assuming the real boat when it comes dosen't alrady have some of the equipment.
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Old 07-25-2011
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Many of these posts emphasize having paper charts as back up. My question is whether these paper charts are produced by the software used on the laptop, or are they from an independent supplier. In other words, are the charts solely for use if the electronics fails or are there issues with the charts produced by the software or is it both?
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Old 07-25-2011
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I have used Bellingham chart printers for my paper charts, they sell portfolios for different parts of the world and are made from original charts. I use CMAP/Maxsea electronic charts and also the "Captain". depending on where we are the accuracy of both of these may be off. nI CMAP/MAXSEA shallow areas are shown as green spaces around the land some times out to 20m in depth. If I compare this with my paper chart say 1:100:000 or 1:50:000 then I see the shallow areas in greater detail, rocks reef, shoaling in detail.I like to have both paper and electronic. On our recent trip in the Philippines we relied much more on paper and enjoyed piloting with our MKII eyeballs on high alert. Love Garmin products, don't leave home without it.
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  #28  
Old 07-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Ok, so I have a question for you guys:

Want chartplotting, GPS, AIS, Radar, Weather, Speed, Depth, Wind, Autopilot.

What configuration would:

- Be networked.
- Allow me to view this in weather (cockpit)
- Allow me to have a secondary view at nav station.
- Be redundant.

Thinking:
- PC at nav station for occasional use and for downloading upgrades etc.
- Chartplotter in cockpit



Anyone want to take a shot at brands for the above components?
Raymarine combo radar chartplotter with a repeater screen down below. Other wise just have 2 laptops. One sacrificial for the cockpit.....
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  #29  
Old 07-26-2011
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Or get one of those new-fangled thing with your radar, chartplotter, depth sounder, wind speed, log all on the same screen. You can select the one you want to see and enlarge it by just pushing one button.

Problem is you have to push the button with your toes because you will have chewed your finger-nails down to second knuckle waiting for the screen to stop being a screen.

I have often on this board said that notebooks in perfect condition and capable of running charting systems are being thrown in the dustbin all around us. I now have 5 that cost me nothing. No matter how good the raymagarmin is it ain't better than that.
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  #30  
Old 07-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoser View Post
Many of these posts emphasize having paper charts as back up. My question is whether these paper charts are produced by the software used on the laptop, or are they from an independent supplier. In other words, are the charts solely for use if the electronics fails or are there issues with the charts produced by the software or is it both?
In the US charts are updated by the government (NOAA). These first tier charts are used by providers/vendors of both electronic charts and repackaged paper charts such as Maptech. The second tier or second generation charts add another chance for errors to be introduced. If you use government charts you won't be getting any of the potential errors introduced during the conversion to an electronic format.
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