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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics > Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed
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Thread: Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-18-2013 05:30 PM
Brewgyver
Re: Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

Graham, you know just about the minute you get everything installed, RM will suddenly have a broadband radar on the market.

That's what Murphy said, anyway...
02-24-2013 10:25 AM
GrahamO
Re: Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

Yep,
I'm a techy type as well (underwater robotics) and the Raymarine stuff is really off-putting. Once I got past the useless web info the ops and installation manuals for the Zeus are very good and seem complete.

The power demand of the radar was a primary driver. I decided I would rather have a shorter range radar that is switched on than a long range radar on standby. Obviously there are counter arguments but I am learning fast that everything on a boat comes down to a, sometimes uncomfortable, compromise.....

Thanks for the reinforcement.

Graham

Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
I am a very 'techy' guy, (nerd) and Raymarine's user interface is really abysmal. and drives me mental. just one example, I've never had any other device that has a 'home' button on the screen and a 'home' button with the same icon that do two different things. Just idiotic. In addition, if you try to go 'home' sometimes the damned thing just sits there and beeps at you. Awesome!

On RM systems I've actually used at sea, once you start really using them you do get used to how they want you to do it, but honeslty it's counter to every other electronic device I've ever used in my life. Most have more than one way to do something, with Ray there is usually ONE path to navigate the menus and it's usually not the one a 'normal' person would choose.

*in my opinion.*

In addition, they nickel and dime the hell out of you buying $60 or $90 proprietary interface cables and actually integrating and installing them gets annoying real fast. You can plug a B&G into a maretron or Garmin sensor and it will work. Not so with RM, you have to adapt their BS 'NG' crap to a standard NEMA 2k and as an Internet guy that also just really offends me.

I totally agree with you on Navico's insufficient information available, but in my experience they under-promise and over deliver. On a sailboat the new lower prices on Zeus make them a no-brainer.

The other benefit you didn't list is that the broadband radar has MASSIVELY less power consumption, another 'no-brainer' on a sailboat. Again, IMO, FWIW.

hth.
02-24-2013 07:47 AM
xymotic
Re: Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

I am a very 'techy' guy, (nerd) and Raymarine's user interface is really abysmal. and drives me mental. just one example, I've never had any other device that has a 'home' button on the screen and a 'home' button with the same icon that do two different things. Just idiotic. In addition, if you try to go 'home' sometimes the damned thing just sits there and beeps at you. Awesome!

On RM systems I've actually used at sea, once you start really using them you do get used to how they want you to do it, but honeslty it's counter to every other electronic device I've ever used in my life. Most have more than one way to do something, with Ray there is usually ONE path to navigate the menus and it's usually not the one a 'normal' person would choose.

*in my opinion.*

In addition, they nickel and dime the hell out of you buying $60 or $90 proprietary interface cables and actually integrating and installing them gets annoying real fast. You can plug a B&G into a maretron or Garmin sensor and it will work. Not so with RM, you have to adapt their BS 'NG' crap to a standard NEMA 2k and as an Internet guy that also just really offends me.

I totally agree with you on Navico's insufficient information available, but in my experience they under-promise and over deliver. On a sailboat the new lower prices on Zeus make them a no-brainer.

The other benefit you didn't list is that the broadband radar has MASSIVELY less power consumption, another 'no-brainer' on a sailboat. Again, IMO, FWIW.

hth.
02-21-2013 07:54 AM
GrahamO After a good deal more investigation we have essentially come down to two basic options, the B&G Zeus Touch (either 7 (6.4”) or 8 depending on price) or the Raymarine e7 Hybrid touch. Our thinking is as follows:

Apparent B&G Benefits:
· Good sailing information and processing

· Broadband radar option (despite the shorter ranges this would appear to be a better choice for us)

· Intuitive display control

· Good upgrade path to much improved autopilot integration with new autopilot computer

· NMEA standard interfaces

B&G limitations:

· Dreadful online information makes it less than clear what devices it will work with and what is required for the functionality we need

· Smaller screen size for the equivilant model

· Unclear chart options (we would like to use Navionics Gold)

· Unclear GO Free integration and functionality (and needs add-on)

· Increased cost?

Apparent Raymarine Benefits:

· Theoretically easier integration (may not be real)

· Good form factor

· Good chart integration

· Fully integrated WIFI (no other gear)

Raymarine limitations:

· Proprietary interfaces

· No broadband radar option

· Less sail-friendly displays

· Dreadful autopilot integration (even with new course computer)

· Constrained upgrade path

I suspect we will go with the Zeus but I am getting both priced at the moment.

Graham
01-31-2013 08:54 AM
GrahamO I am finding the whole B&G / Simrad / Lowrance differentiation a confusing mess. I think this reflects the problem Navico has with retaining market share after acquisitions.
Essentially all an MFD is is an over-priced tablet computer with some specialized connectors and a few (and decreasing number of) buttons. The only thing that differentiates them is the software. So - if we lived in a logical world - Navico would pick their best form factor, dump all the other hardware with its development and support costs, and provide function specific software. The trouble with this 'logic' is that it was established a long time ago that in products that are difficult to differentiate, the number of market fragments you control has a significant impact on your total market share, hence the ridiculously large number of artificially differentiated choices of laundry detergent from only a couple of suppliers....
So, if Navico do the sensible thing and consolidate onto a single hardware platform, they will lose market share even if it is the best thing since sliced bread.
This leaves them working hard to push the 'different' products into different markets. The efforts of the sales staff at the show to explain this were pretty half hearted. They are confused.....
It is a pity because the B&G functionality in the Lowrance form factor would be very tempting but the Zeus form factor completely sucks. It is a sea of black plastic with a little screen floating in it.
In any event, I looked at the B&G sailing software and, while it might be handy for racing it seemed over the top for cruising. Even racing, having your tactics semi-automated would seem to take some of the fun out of race strategy. Bottom line - it was not alluring enough to counter the clunky form factor.
I would love to wait another year and see if all this sorts itself out but my antique Garmin 182 cannot take current generation charts and just Southern Maine will cost me over $130 IF I can find it.
So I guess it looks like the Raymarine e9 and then try not to see next year's ads for 'the next best thing'......

Graham

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm1999 View Post
He new B&G Zues and Zues touch...the only mfd's designed specifically for sailing.
01-31-2013 03:09 AM
GrahamO Chuckles,
I spent a good deal of time with RM at Strictly Sail last week and it was pretty illuminating. At the moment +/- heading adjustment etc. is not available on any of their MFD's regardless of the age of the autopilot. However they are still developing the software and "expect that functionality to be incorporated at some point". When it is, it should work with all autopilots regardless of age - we shall see.....

They will not implement any software that allows course correction via a wifi connected device as they (not unreasonably) see this as a safety problem if a child gets hold of the iPad down below and decides to play.

I was very impressed with the clarity of the Raymarine display compared to the alternatives. This, along with easier interfacing, was probably enough to make me give up the broadband radar and go with an all RM solution.
I might look at the i70 later but I suspect my autopilot redundancy will be a wind vane if I ever get to do serious passage making.

Graham

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Graham
I think I see your point, you can't do the +/- course headings we all know and love from our ST60+ days with a simple key press on the e7d MFD because you don't have a SPX type auto pilot.
Not because it won't, but because your AP is outdated.
There is a solution that won't break the bank - install (for about 530 bucks) a A70 (i70) auto pilot control head.
I mean, would you not want a backup to the MFD?

My setup is a single i70, the e7d, and a70 - I can not imagine not having redundancy.
01-30-2013 10:26 PM
wm1999
Re: Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

He new B&G Zues and Zues touch...the only mfd's designed specifically for sailing.
01-22-2013 07:46 AM
GrahamO
Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

Thanks Chuckles,
I will check that out. So much to learn......

Graham
01-22-2013 07:30 AM
chucklesR
Re: Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

Graham
I think I see your point, you can't do the +/- course headings we all know and love from our ST60+ days with a simple key press on the e7d MFD because you don't have a SPX type auto pilot.
Not because it won't, but because your AP is outdated.
There is a solution that won't break the bank - install (for about 530 bucks) a A70 (i70) auto pilot control head.
I mean, would you not want a backup to the MFD?

My setup is a single i70, the e7d, and a70 - I can not imagine not having redundancy.
01-22-2013 06:15 AM
GrahamO
Help choosing a new MFD and Radar needed

Presumably only if I replace the Raymarine autopilot.... My retirement is already getting deferred to pay for this toy so that one will have to wait.
I must say I am disappointed in Raymarine's current MFD implementation. It is really just a fancy chart plotter with additional displays rather than an MFD.
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