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post #1 of 12 Old 10-08-2010 Thread Starter
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Furuno instruments

I am looking for a set of NMEA2000 instruments, to help in development of PolarCOM.

So far I've looked primarily at this Furuno instruments set: Product Detail - FI50DSW

I have no experience with these (personally, I am a lifelong fan of Raymarine and Seatalk, but that's not going to help product development).

How are these instruments in real use? How's Furuno usability in general? Are there any other instrument systems out there using NMEA2000?
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-08-2010
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Simrad's IS series also use NMEA 2K. I believe the new Raymarine ST70 gear is also NMEA 2000 compatible...

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-08-2010 Thread Starter
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Have you (anyone) actually used any of these? Any pros/cons?

I probably need to look into Raymarine devices.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-09-2010
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I have used a Furuno 1715 radar for several seasons and a Garmin 3005C chartplotter w/sounder module even longer.
The Furuno is a quality engineered instrument, with excellent US-based support. The Garmin is poorly engineered and built, and support has been indifferent. Parts of it have simply fallen off.
In the NW, Furuno is just about the only brand I see on fishing and working craft.

Next time around we will go all Furuno.

(Nothing against Raymarine, but their future in the recreational market looks very sketchy at this point. My eight-year-old set of ST-60 instruments still works ok, tho.)

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-09-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks, sounds good on Furuno.

I'll still keep Raymarine dear to my heart. I sure hope they stay in business and continue making great equipment. Time will tell, I guess.
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Brak—

I don't think Raymarine is any danger of going out of business...as they were recently bought out by FLIR. They were in financial trouble, but aren't any longer.

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
I am looking for a set of NMEA2000 instruments, to help in development of PolarCOM.

So far I've looked primarily at this Furuno instruments set: Product Detail - FI50DSW

I have no experience with these (personally, I am a lifelong fan of Raymarine and Seatalk, but that's not going to help product development).

How are these instruments in real use? How's Furuno usability in general? Are there any other instrument systems out there using NMEA2000?
Brak:

We're installing FI50's (along with Simrad and Maretron) instruments on an Maretron based N2K backbone. There's lots of good info on N2K in general as well as the Furuno FI series (and Simrad and Ray) over at Ben Ellison's PANBO forum here.

Good luck w/your product development.

Regards,
Ted
V42#186
s/v Little Wing
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-16-2010 Thread Starter
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- I've got a set of Furuno instruments - they look great, too bad they aren't going on my boat (I need them for work). Oh well, they are a bit big for my boat anyway.

Furuno really do use NMEA2000 for everything. Even actual depth/speed transducer and win sensor sends data in NMEA 2000, so it's not compatible with standard transducers (the usual airmar gamut). I do think that's a bit unfortunate, and NMEA 2000 cable is quite a bit thicker than a regular transducer cable, making it difficult to string through enclosed spaces or mast.

Naturally that's only a concern for a small boat - if space is no issue, that won't be a problem.

- Finally got a copy of highly secret NMEA 2000 documentation. As someone who deals with network protocols for a living, my (personal but professional) opinion is that it is a quite poorly defined protocol, both in technical terms, in data organization and in precision of it's specification. The latter worries me most. I guess NMEA makes up for poorly designed spec by a very "rigorous" (i.e. narrowly defined) set of tests that any manufacturer has to pass (and, conveniently, they charge a lot of money for testing). So perhaps poor specification is no mistake after all. Anyway, just a thought.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-16-2010
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lowrance also has a NMEA line:

NMEA 2000 Networking | LOWRANCE | Marine Electronics

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Yep, pretty much every major manufacturer does now - but I can't buy them all (unfortunately ). It'd be fun.
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