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post #11 of 13 Old 09-14-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks SD...

As I investigate further, it's not clear to me that the Garmin chart plotters in this price range support wind speed and direction (I have not yet looked at the MFDs). I thought the one I played with at Boater's World did, but as I think back I may have been mistaken. I think I was confusing VTG with wind speed/heading, which it is not. I also read the entire Garmin 545 manual online and it never mentioned wind speed/direction. Then again, it never mentioned VTG either. But it did list the NMEA sentences supported and again, no mention of wind related data.

But, SD also raised a good point about other instruments. This boat came equipped with a Nexus multi control, which I thought was basically a depth sounder. It may be nearly 10 years old, but it is quite sophisticated for it's age. Actually, Nexus uses RS 485 databus and can integrate data from a variety of sensors. This device will accept data from log (speed thru water / water temp), wind, depth and electronic compass devices, as well as NMEA 0183 from a GPS. Then it cooks it all up into some very interesting stuff. It also offers MOB and trim functions.

Currently, I have both a log and depth transducers installed and connected. I do not have wind or compass devices, or NMEA GPS, installed. The log device does not seem to be working, although perhaps the impeller is just jammed with barnacles or something. I found some temporary plugs on board so it should be easy to pull it out and inspect / repair / replace it.

Also, I found out that I can in fact get NMEA multiplexers, so that the NMEA stream from my GPS can be directed both to the VHF/DSC and this Nexus device and a PC.

So this opens up many more options. If I have a reliable depth, speed through water and wind indicator system in the cockpit then maybe I'll relax my requirements for chart plotter features. I was not looking forward to installing a through hull transducer for the Garmin anyhow.

Maybe I'll even rethink my need for a chart plotter in the cockpit. If I decide I can just live with it at the nav station, I can just use a laptop with an inexpensive GPS receiver that generates NMEA output only.

I'll also look at replacing the Nexus system with something newer, either a newer Nexus or something else. I'll have a look at the TackTick that SD recommended.

So many decisions, but at least there is no hurry to make them...

Last edited by jarcher; 09-14-2008 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Correct spelling errors
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-14-2008
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Just a caution on basing a purchase decision based on XM/Sirius as the company is in rather big trouble.
The Signal Fades at Sirius XM

Also...the only useful weather package from XM will cost you $30 bucks a month. http://www.xmradio.com/pdf/existing/...iption_pkg.pdf

...on the other hand there is NOTHING like a chartplotter at the wheel/tiller.

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Just a caution on basing a purchase decision based on XM/Sirius as the company is in rather big trouble.
The Signal Fades at Sirius XM
Hm... Looks like a good opportunity... Remember Qualcomm? Or maybe a better analog would be Irridium. Right when Motorola was about to start splashing birds, the government decided it was just to useful to be killed, so they saved it. Maybe they will have the same attitude about this weather service, especially as it applies to general avaiation. But who knows. You're right, an XM receiver could end up as an expensive paperweight.

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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Also...the only useful weather package from XM will cost you $30 bucks a month. http://www.xmradio.com/pdf/existing/...iption_pkg.pdf
Yes, and that is frustrating. It is pricy. I have been meaning to call and see if it can be bought just for the sailing season for those of us in the Northeast, but I expect the answer will be that I can terminate it any time, then pay the startup fee again to reactivate it.
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