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magnusmurphy 11-19-2003 01:13 PM

Nobeltec radar?
I''ve purchased Nobeltec''s VNS v. 7. I now want to add radar. I''m considering the Nobeltec radome which can overlay the radar on the VNS charts.

Problems: I already own the VNS but it seems I have to purchase it AGAIN when buying the radar (no credit for already having paid!!!) This infuriates me to the point where I''m even thinking of throwing the VNS I already have away and going with Raymarine or something else and their proprietary navigation software.

Any comments? Anyone who is using the Nobeltec radar - what is your experience?

M Murphy

mcain 11-20-2003 06:19 AM

Nobeltec radar?
You are not the first infuriated with Nobeltec. There was a previous post about a limitation of 3 installs and then the software is dead. I emailed Nobeltec about it, since I was also considering which charting package to get, and they did not deny it. I was concerned about hard drive failures, new laptop, home and laptop use, etc, that would quickly burn the 3 installs. They said something about reviewing it on a case by case basis, but there are posts on other boards from folks who got screwed, with apparently legitimate multiple installs. The dongle is also a pain--if you lose it, again you are screwed. You would think the dongle is enough protection for them, rather than also have the 3 installs limit. So, this turned me off the software--I don''t want to be chasing them and trying to convince them of something from a distant anchorage. The main reason for getting Nobeltec is their proprietary vector charts--if you add that investment to the charting software investment, you have a lot of money and hassle at risk on a whim from Nobeltec.

I have tried the Nobeltec program and liked the functionality--also tried Capn and some others, but finally bought Raymarine Raytech Navigator 4.1. Basic chart functionality of Raytech seems adequate--quilting is OK, speed of display on a good laptop is OK. Still get the free weather downloads from the Raymarine web site. Big advantage is that if you have the HSB2 radar and chart plotter setup (HSB2 is the newest version), with an E85001 PC interface, the PC is on the same high speed bus. I have not (yet) set up my PC that way, but apparently you can overlay the radar and cmap NT+ charts--or split screen them on the PC also. I have the Raymarine 530C chartplotter and it is awesome. I also have the Raymarine radar (4KW) and it has done very well for me.
ANother big feature is the cmap nt read ability of Raytech that Nobeltec does not have. If you buy an LCD color Raymarine radar display, you can get a CMAP NT slot on it, and display cmap charts. Only Raytech or Maxsea of the full feature programs apparently allows CMAP to be used directly. Nobeltec has a big investment in another vector program and will not be supporting CMAP anytime soon (again I verified this via email direct to Nobeltec).
If you were to buy the standard Raymarine current model radar, and the E85001, you should be able to do what you want. To verify it, you can post a question on the raymarine web site. Hit customer service, then "answers" and post a question on your specific situation.
Personally, I like the radar at the nav station and the chart plotter at the helm. The chart plotter can display the radar signal--either the whole screen shows radar, or split screen with the chart plotter, or overlay if you have HSB2 (the newest version). The radar at the nav station can also display the chart. This IMHO is truly awesome if you are cruising. From a user interface standpoint, the PC software has the same control buttons on the right side of the screen as the radar and chartplotter. Personally I don''t mind more complex user interface, since I''ve been using computers for a l.o.n.g time. But it does make it easier when you are tired or in bad weather. And the controls are pretty dummy-proof.
I currently have the HSB1 bus between chartplotter and radar and seriously thinking of upgrading.
I don''t have lots of experience with Raytech functionality, since I got it relatively recently, so perhaps someone else can comment further on specific features.

Net is that you have to buy in to the entire Raymarine concept to get the full integration. But if you do, the result is really awesome, IMO.
Practical sailor recently did some articles on this topic. Nobeltec came out well for functionality and esp for their vector charts. But the risk factor was not addressed.
Long post--if you have an interest of further discussion via email, feel free to email me. And I''d love to know what you finally do. You can always sell the Nobeltec program on ebay, whether you go their integrated approach or Raytech''s.

magnusmurphy 11-20-2003 02:39 PM

Nobeltec radar?
thanks a lot for your reply. There is a lot of information and I will have to read it a few times to "get" it all.

The "multiple install" situation worries me as well. To date I''ve installed my program on two different laptops. However, you talked about a dongle. I didn''t get one with my program. I just had to type a very long "key" into the program and connect to the internet. The program cannot be used fully until that is done. I assume that after three logons it doesn''t get activated. In that case, how can one sell the program on E-bay?

The marine outlet in Vancouver I deal with phoned me today saying that they have spoken to Nobeltec and that they have stated they will give me a "break" on the price of the radar because of already owning the VNS. I find this whole thing a funny way of doing business. It should be obvious that people would not want to pay for the same thing twice!! However, the marine store couldn''t tell me what that "break" would be - a little vague for my taste since the system is by no means cheap.

I live and cruise on the Westcoast of BC. I thus use NDI Canadian raster charts with the Nobeltec (they don''t have any Canadian vectore charts). Question is if the Raymarine system supports these charts, or if they again have their own proprietary charts that are exclusive.

Very frustrating situation all of this...

M Murphy

Sailmc 11-21-2003 03:12 AM

Nobeltec radar?
The dongel is necesary if you have no serial ports. Most new laptops omit them. The dongel coverts the serial output of your GPS to a USB input to your laptop. I own the Nobeltec not the Raymarine software but to my knowlege Raymarine uses raster charts. This was one of the reasons I chose Nobeltec. I much prefer vector charts.
P.S. My Nobeltec is used for planning and backup to my Raymarine chartplotter and radar. There is no way in Hell I would trust my self or my boat to a Windows based PC.

johnshunt 03-08-2004 03:30 PM

Nobeltec radar?
A bit late, but Nobeltec does have Canadian vector charts now. I have them and used them successfully last season. We cruise out of Anacortes and spend a lot of time in the Gulf Islands and some further north.

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