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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010
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Calling all techies! :o)

Hi everyone. I've just joined the forum, and thought I'd get started with some posts on something near and dear to my heart, TOYS!

My J/109 is in need of some new nav gear and I'd love to get some of your thoughts. I am true electronics geek at work and home, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the options when it comes to my boat. I've been dealing with a bit of a mishmash since I bought her, the previous owner didn't seem to apply any rhyme or reason when selecting electronics. Suffice it to say, out with the old and in with the new. I'm in the market for a new nav system, some instruments, and an AIS. I have also been debating a new radar. Honestly, I'd really like to do a total refresh at this point, save my Simrad pilot, which works fine.

I have been reading and researching a lot online lately and in some magazines, and the one thing I'm definitely thinking is that I'd like to try to stay with one brand if I can ... not only because I think it's a clean look, but also because it seems like there are a lot of cool things you can do these days over a network with compatible technology.

So, for starters ... what do you think about my one brand idea? Do you have any recommendations? And, is there anything I should definitely steer clear of?

THANKS!
-Greg
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Old 11-30-2010
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re AIS, Standard Horizon makes a VHF radio with built in AIS. I think they are going to sell a lot of them. It requires a signal from a GPS reciever to work, but it puts out AIS info to several chart plotters.
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Thanks Ray, I have seen that. I actually came across that after someone else recommended it, and while it looks pretty cool, and definitely something I am considering ... I have also been trying to decide if I want a dedicated display or not for my AIS. Most of the cruising I do is in pretty busy areas. I have been looking at the Vesper unit, as well as the Simrad AI50. The other thing I think might be helpful for not only me, but for my wife, is to see the AIS targets overlaid on charts. So whatever I do, I want to make sure the new Nav system I buy will accept an AIS feed and allow me to show other boats and quickly access info on their path. What's your thought on Vesper vs Simrad? As far as I can see, the Vesper unit is very cool, but it's all they make. The Simrad unit is also cool, has a color screen - not that I know if that buys me anything, but from what I've read it can be easily networked with a Simrad nav system, and that is certainly a brand I have been considering.

Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erps View Post
re AIS, Standard Horizon makes a VHF radio with built in AIS. I think they are going to sell a lot of them. It requires a signal from a GPS reciever to work, but it puts out AIS info to several chart plotters.
Just a heads up on the Standhard Horizon AIS...it is RECEIVE ONLY. You will be able to see other ships, but they will *NOT* be able to see you.

Still useful, especially since you can use your existing masthead vhf and not bother with splitters and/or a second VHF aerial. However, if you want the ability to transmit to other ships your name, heading and ship type...keep looking.
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Hmm... If you've got a Simrad autopilot, why not get Simrad instruments, chartplotter and RADAR to go along with it.
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As sailingdog says, why not get the plotter for a fully integrated system. I have Raymarine onboard, and it is a beatiful thing to have AIS, Radar and Navionics charts all working in concert with each other. Took a while to get all set up, but when she works....it is nice
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That's exactly the way I have been leaning, it's just that this is gonna cost me a decent amount and I wanted to get some input before committing. I do like the NSE, and the promise of Simrad's Broadband Radar power-consumption-wise ... and there is a part of me that would like to see a nice looking electronics suite that is all matched up and easy to network. Has anyone used the Simrad Broadband Radar?
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If you're worrying about a few thousand here and there...you really shouldn't be doing this project

The up front cost is minimal compared to the long term functioanlity and utility of these components of your boat. They'll be on your vessel for at least 5 years...and likely 10. So in the grand scheme of things, get something that is integrated rather than cludgy. May save your bacon someday.
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Old 12-01-2010
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Very well said sir , and please don't get me wrong ... I am willing to spend a substantial amount to do this right, that's all the more reason I wanted to check out a few forums and greatly appreciate the feedback I've received so far. I'm sure I'm just over-thinking it all, I'm just feeling a lot more angst with this decision than I do with things like TVs and laptops. But to your point, I really do want to choose technology that will last me the next 5 to 10 years, I'd just like to avoid spending 8 of them with electronics envy. haha

Thanks again!!
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Old 12-01-2010
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these guys make a neat integrated system, and its based on the n2k standards... ive used their products and like them.

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