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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 04-08-2010
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Updating 10 year old electronics?

Hi Guys,

Can a new chartplotter and/or radar replace the 10 year old unit at the helm without replacing the entire unit? Or does the entire unit need updating? The current unit is a Furuno 821 that works but it would be nice to have the latest chartplotter with radar overlay.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by wannabe4; 04-08-2010 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010
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My guess is that you will need a new antenna as well as the new Furuno chartplotter/radar display. I believe that the electronics in the antenna is totally different in the network products.
The good news is that unlike most other brands, Furuno has their USA support in the USA, about 20 miles from my house.
When I did the install and setup they always answered questions quickly by email or willing to help me on the phone.
I have the 1715 radar and it works great. I may even be selling it to move to a new networkable Furuno plotter and radar. Their gear seems to be much more rugged than Garmin, at least judging by number of things that have broken on my late model Garmin plotter/sounder.

No financial or other connection to any vendor, just a customer.

L

Last edited by olson34; 04-09-2010 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010
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AKAIK the drivers (scanners, transducers) for the new composite displays all come with the displays?

I asked the question at a boat show last year and as told that all of the stuff that is already on my boat is obsolete and would be replaced if I bought the new device.

My old problem still exists - only one display needs to go down to lose everything. And I'm going to pay a zillion $$ for the pleasure? Yeah, right.
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Old 04-10-2010
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Thanks for the responses.

Perhaps I should leave the 10 year old Furuno 821 in place and simply install a new GPS chartplotter at the helm and forget about the radar overlay? This may be the less expensive way to go about an upgrade?

Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe4 View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Perhaps I should leave the 10 year old Furuno 821 in place and simply install a new GPS chartplotter at the helm and forget about the radar overlay? This may be the less expensive way to go about an upgrade?

Thanks.
That also gives some level of redundancy, at least 2 separate systems. The only other thing is how much could you get on eBay for the old system? That could be a determining factor.
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Old 05-04-2010
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Warning....rant coming!

The current fascination...nay, obsession with integrated electronics is driving me crazy. "Modern" sailors, like lemmings, seem to be in headlong flight towards the precipice.....the holy grail of electronics integration/overlays/"talk to one another"/etc., etc.

Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but I just don't get it. Am I anti-electronics? Not at all. I'm an Extra Class ham, do electronics installs professionally, and have a boat loaded with electronics. I'm also an experienced navigator, having taught piloting and celestial navigation.

But NOT integrated electronics. My Furuno radar is a stand-alone, as are my fathometer, autopilot, 3 GPS units, RDFs, Lorans (sigh), ham and marine SSBs, etc., etc. The only thing I've integrated is the GPS and the VHF/DSC and the laptop computer-driven charting software.

What do I have against integration?

1. Single point-of-failure for multiple critical systems -- for me as both a systems guy and an electronics guy, that's a NO-NO;

2. Ease of use (if I want to change the range or gain on my radar, I reach for the appropriate knob and do it directly... I don't have to leaf thru a menu system);

3. Lack of unnecessary clutter and confusion. If your chartplotter is already full of charted features --- buoys, your own boat's position and track, AIS targets, etc. -- why the heck would you want to overlay a nice clean radar return on that cluttered mess???? On a small screen? What are the chances you might miss a little something which shows up on radar? And run into it?

4. Safety. Some folks integrate their chartplotter with their autopilot. I won't do it, on my boat or my client's boats. If they wanna do that, they can get someone else. Too many "sailors" out there who are prone to key in a GPS coordinate and let their autopilot drive them to it (irrespective of any obstacles in the way...buoys, rocks, shoals, peninsulas, islands, etc.). Yes, people do that these days.

5. Ease of upgrading. As was referenced above, if I wanna upgrade one unit of my electronics, I can do so without having to replace anything/everything else.

6. Avoiding the seductive lure of the screen. As Johnathan Winters used to say, "Sometimes you get to believing your own stuff". You'd be surprised how many boaters I run into who absolutely believe what they see on those little (integrated) screens -- they actually think that what they're seeing is reality!

I'm here to tell you, folks, it isn't!

OK. End of rant. Sorry.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 05-04-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010
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Bill

I am with you all the way. Electronics are great, to a point. I guess I really don't see what a "new" plotter is going to get me over the old Simrad I currently have, not when you factor in the installation cost and ancillary gear that would have to be replaced as well.

I have the usual array of wind gear and the simrad at the helm, and an older GPS162 below (mostly for it's anchor alarm) and a multi display at the Nav station.

Add a few charts and good to go. Save the $1,000s for other more needed things.

BTW, I am an extra class ham, computer/IT guy and love electronics. But the quality and reported reliability of the modern all in one units, leaves a ton to be desired. When you hear that a major manufacturer of large $1K+ screens, will only replace 2 foggy screens under warranty...I would definitely spend my money elsewhere..

dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Warning....rant coming!

The current fascination...nay, obsession with integrated electronics is driving me crazy. "Modern" sailors, like lemmings, seem to be in headlong flight towards the precipice.....the holy grail of electronics integration/overlays/"talk to one another"/etc., etc.

Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but I just don't get it. Am I anti-electronics? Not at all. I'm an Extra Class ham, do electronics installs professionally, and have a boat loaded with electronics. I'm also an experienced navigator, having taught piloting and celestial navigation.

But NOT integrated electronics. My Furuno radar is a stand-alone, as are my fathometer, autopilot, 3 GPS units, RDFs, Lorans (sigh), ham and marine SSBs, etc., etc. The only thing I've integrated is the GPS and the VHF/DSC and the laptop computer-driven charting software.

What do I have against integration?

1. Single point-of-failure for multiple critical systems -- for me as both a systems guy and an electronics guy, that's a NO-NO;

2. Ease of use (if I want to change the range or gain on my radar, I reach for the appropriate knob and do it directly... I don't have to leaf thru a menu system);

3. Lack of unnecessary clutter and confusion. If your chartplotter is already full of charted features --- buoys, your own boat's position and track, AIS targets, etc. -- why the heck would you want to overlay a nice clean radar return on that cluttered mess???? On a small screen? What are the chances you might miss a little something which shows up on radar? And run into it?

4. Safety. Some folks integrate their chartplotter with their autopilot. I won't do it, on my boat or my client's boats. If they wanna do that, they can get someone else. Too many "sailors" out there who are prone to key in a GPS coordinate and let their autopilot drive them to it (irrespective of any obstacles in the way...buoys, rocks, shoals, peninsulas, islands, etc.). Yes, people do that these days.

5. Ease of upgrading. As was referenced above, if I wanna upgrade one unit of my electronics, I can do so without having to replace anything/everything else.

6. Avoiding the seductive lure of the screen. As Johnathan Winters used to say, "Sometimes you get to believing your own stuff". You'd be surprised how many boaters I run into who absolutely believe what they see on those little (integrated) screens -- they actually think that what they're seeing is reality!

I'm here to tell you, folks, it isn't!

OK. End of rant. Sorry.

Bill
I don't see how networked system is going to create a "single point of failure." If you have more than one display (one at the helm, one at the chart table for example) you actually have redundancy you would not have with dedicated units. If one display fails you can use the other display for all the info. Of course if the other end is down you will not have use of that particular feature. With dedicated units if the display fails it is done and you get no info. Heck with most units you can connect a laptop or net-book and use that as a second or third display with the proper software.

I think the radar on top of the chart would actually make it simpler than dedicated displays, not to mention mounting displays that are big enough to be useful.

As to the over reliance of electronics I have to agree. Along with a bit of the reality issues.
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Old 05-04-2010
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"only one display needs to go down to lose everything"

I was told that is no longer true with the new age nmea connections though it was true of nmea 0183 (or whatever it was). I bow to those with more knowledge than I have, but my absolute requirement on installing new electronics was that I did not want them all dependent on each one continuing to work. Indeed, though none are broken, I can turn any one of them off and the others still work fine.

As for those who program a course from buoy to buoy and then tell their autopilot to follow it while they catch some z's below, there is a Darwinian process which will tend to weed them out of the boating population, or at least the still floating boating population. Of course, they are a hazard and you have to watch out for them, but I have encountered several seemingly complete idiots who apparently had their eyes wide open.
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Old 05-04-2010
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Paul

you are assuming the "network" is always going to be there...all too often IT is the single point of failure. It is really a bus system, ala ethernet and too many/ill behaving/marginal devices will choke it. PCs not configured correctly, cables that have transmit/receive backwards and passive devices all contribute to the noise.

These network based systems can be a bear to troubleshoot and discover who the bad guy is, let alone removing it. There are few diagnostic tools to monitor the NMEA string or the bus itself.

I still think that standalone gear offers more than a networked or a multidevice, as regards reliability and failures.

New, networked, glass bridges, etc do not always equal the best. Check out Panbo and similar sites for their experience.

all the best,
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