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HighFly_27 10-31-2012 12:22 AM

Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
Today, I talked with a boat capt. that's been in the business for 30 + years and he seemed very knowledgeable. He said, that he perfers to Not Buy a Multi Unit. You can have a failure and lose the whole system. He has seen the whole system do a complete shut down (nothing works). I can see this happening, if the system shares one brain box and it fails internally, just like a computer crashing on you.

Does anyone else have this opinion ? I'd like to know, because, I'm leaning this way in regard to buying a multi unit; have nothing at this time and starting to shop around.

Avery

boatpoker 10-31-2012 12:29 AM

Re: Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HighFly_27 (Post 940822)
Today, I talked with a boat capt. that's been in the business for 30 + years and he seemed very knowledgeable. He said, that he perfers to Not Buy a Multi Unit. You can have a failure and lose the whole system. He has seen the whole system do a complete shut down (nothing works). I can see this happening, if the system shares one brain box and it fails internally, just like a computer crashing on you.

Does anyone else have this opinion ? I'd like to know, because, I'm leaning this way in regard to buying a multi unit; have nothing at this time and starting to shop around.

Avery

I am in total agreement with your knowledgeable captain. I am exposed to a great many different systems as I deliver quite a few boats and also get to monitor operation of electronics on sea trials. Problems are more common than any manufacturer (or any owner) of such a system will admit.

chef2sail 10-31-2012 04:13 AM

Re: Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
I have Raymarine instruments which work in both system mode but can be turned on individually. You can always do that. A lot of times there is a monetary savings in buying something's in packages. For instance radar/ Chartplotter is a commonly discounted package.

Since many of the manufactures are running on nmea 2000 now it is easy to mix and match as its not a proprietary network only however mine was simple to put together as they all talk both seatalkng and nmea2000.

Dave

HighFly_27 10-31-2012 05:45 AM

Re: Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
Boatpoker,

Good to hear that you 2nd the fact about -- Multi Unit Woes (crashing) and can become inop. Also, Capt. Pete uses his hand held and paper map. This works great as his primary nav. method/ tool.

I'm smiling, :) he must be a school trained X Army Aviator or X Navy. Mil. pilots are trained to use a map & compass as their primary tool/ method for navigation. Yes, we use -- Sat. Com. Nav., GPS with Doppler Nav., NDB's, VOR's and Loran & Tacan's (< Navy 4 last (mostly) two). We always have our route planed and always ready for electronic nav. failure(s). Absolutely, our (close in) target area is very well detailed... with photo(s) & satelitte overlays (last 5 to 10 K's). I'm an X Night Stalker, Task Force 160th (SOAR) and we will come for you in the dead of night (bad guys beware). When we're in a hostile area, we turn off all our nav. equipment (w/ output signature). The Mil. has been operating with no signature for a long time. My old unit was involved with taking -- Seal Team VI in to visit Osama bin Laden. I have been long gone from the unit but our nav. policy's have not changed (use map & sat. overlays) for final target area. Also, this is common place (map as primary) for all the military schools (use map 1st) teaching .. that I'm aware of. The TF 160th takes it a little higher (sort of an understatement) for their target site planing. Todays Mil. GPS Nav. with take you to -- 5 to 10 ft area on the ground (not a big secret to the world) and even closer than that ??? .

So, I will start looking for -- Stand Alone Units. I have started my search here (classified) and other places as well. I'd like to know about some of the better known (what say yee) equipment - Nav.with Charting, Auto-Pilots, (depth meter or Sonar with Nav. Charts tied in and Radar as my last puchase (if budget money is left over). I can't buy everything new (no fat wallet). I'm looking for (more up-to date) modern equipment for sale by owners. Most likely, the owner is up grading; so their stuff is still good but for sale now and the price is good too. I was advised by Capt. Pete, since I'm not going out until Apr. of 13; plan on buying my electronics the last month before I go out. He said, they change everyday (almost) and the you can pick up later model units just before you go out at a better price. I thought Capt. Pete gave me good advice. I will start looking and will buy them 1, 2, 3 as I find something at a good price too. *** Some of you know that I'm just a new guy and learning. I write this stuff down.. for the purpose of re-read by members of SNet to be double checked. I want to get it right the 1st time Ref. what I buy with my retirement funds & budgeted too, can't afford dumb mistakes !

best way to reach me at -- arbakerjr@hotmail.com

Thanks,

Avery

chucklesR 10-31-2012 11:00 AM

Re: Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
I disagree.
Right now on Irwin 38 I just bought there are essentially no instruments at all beyond a windex at the top of the mast and a depth/speed log.

On my Gemini I had the Raymarine st60's (all three) plugged into a converter and feeding a Raymarine e7d chartplotter (hybrid touch and knob control).

The e7d can take and display air, water(speed depth etc..), sonar, radar and the AIS input from my SH 2150x VHF radio, as well as control my autopilot. All on one screen, touch activated.
If any of the individual components failed (including the chart plotter) every one of the instruments was still fully functional as a standalone.
The chartplotter itself was backed up by a networked PC (which also had it's own GPS), a hand held GPS, paper charts and of course the VHF (which showed AIS on it's screen) also had it's own GPS input.

Fully redundant, and because it all speaks or was translated to NMEA200 it was all networked.

On the Irwin, it will be the same with one exception, I'll be using a St60+ wind transducer to cut costs, and two ST70i's (multfunction) to split out depth/air, and of course all of it feeding the chartplotter which will also have the same AIS, sonar, radar and autopilot hook in via the network.

Oh, and just another point, the nav station below decks has repeaters via tablet's that are connected via wifi - and so does my android phone (that's right, I can use my phone to run my autopilot from anywhere on the boat).

To completely 'lose it' I'd have to have the AP control head die, both ST70's, and my e7d. If that happened I would still have 3 GPS's, the PC running Polar Navy below decks and of course charts (which I know how to use).

Doing that with stand alone units just isn't possible because of communication between units issues.

emoney 10-31-2012 11:18 AM

Re: Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
Sounds to me like the real key to this discussion is "back-ups". Multi or stand-alone...either way if only "part" of the system fails, you're still without that function. I like the "neatness" of a multi-unit and I'm a bigger fan of the "less = more" approach to all things electronic. Having said that, I keep a handheld GPS, handheld VHF, handheld Compass, paper charts, etc. on board. The only thing I'd really lose is wind related measurements and I've always got the 'stick a wet finger in the air' plan.

LinekinBayCD 11-01-2012 08:42 AM

Re: Advice on Buying Mulit Unit vs Separate Items
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HighFly_27 (Post 940822)
Today, I talked with a boat capt. that's been in the business for 30 + years and he seemed very knowledgeable. He said, that he perfers to Not Buy a Multi Unit. You can have a failure and lose the whole system. He has seen the whole system do a complete shut down (nothing works). I can see this happening, if the system shares one brain box and it fails internally, just like a computer crashing on you.

Does anyone else have this opinion ? I'd like to know, because, I'm leaning this way in regard to buying a multi unit; have nothing at this time and starting to shop around.

Avery

Radar and chart plotting are two functions that are of greatest benefit when combined. There is nothing short of your eye ball that can confirm your position better than seeing a radar overlay match up exactly with what you see on the chart plotter. If you have a hand held GPS of some type you have redundancy at least for the position plotting. I have been using a variety of Garmin GPS units since they came out with their first handheld and have never had a screen or GPS failure but I still have two backups to my fixed mount. My radar stopped sending a signal on the last trip if the season when bring the boat up to Rockport ME tovget hauled for the season. Did not affect the chart plotter. Just no overlay. Signal came back after turning it off and on.

If you don't need the radar either a stand alone or combi would work fine. I have found that speed depth and wind are far more pron e to failure not on the display side but by the sending unit. I doubt that the typical sending unit failure would disable a multi function display. As long as you have a backup GPS unit I would not let the fear of a failure drive the choice.


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