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ktdtx 03-23-2016 03:57 PM

Radar Upgrades
 
I have been to boat shows and looking at color photos on the internet and the lusting for new radar has begun.

Preliminary discussions with dealers suggests there is no upgrade path for my RayMarine E-120 package installed new in approximately 2007.
Essentially you remove most everything (screens, chart plotter, radar, etc) and upgrade the WHOLE THING to digital. You don't buy "just new radar", you get a whole new "system". What I have is not compatible with just new radar.

Anyone just upgraded to one of the new radars (SimRad, Furuno, Garmin) with maybe one new digital screen or other ways?

Thanks
Ken

No Mast 03-23-2016 04:57 PM

I was told the same thing when I looked at adding AIS to our old electronics. After seeing the cost to upgrade...I decided i liked the old stuff after all.

danderer 03-23-2016 07:00 PM

What type of new radar are you looking for? The docs I've seen indicates the 'classic' E-series is compatible with Raymarine "digital" radars. Is there a particular Raymarine model you are interested in?

Another option suggested to me is to treat the radar as a standalone installation with its own screen. You do lose the ability to overlay the radar on your current chart display--which you may or may not feel is a significant issue.

O C Diver 03-23-2016 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ktdtx (Post 426726)
Anyone just upgraded to one of the new radars (SimRad, Furuno, Garmin) with maybe one new digital screen or other ways?

Thanks
Ken

Upgraded my radar 6 months ago to the latest and greatest Garmin. My plotter screens were 5 years old. All the features of the antenna work on the old plotters. All that was required was to update the software and add a direction sensor. All features came though including dual range on one screen, ARPA, and AIS. Clearly they have a different business model. I was willing to spend $6K for a new radar, but not an additional $10K to integrate it.

Ted

angus99 03-23-2016 09:00 PM

I'm going to upgrade this summer. Going to give Furuno's new Doppler radar a hard look. Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Furuno NXT & Garmin Fantom, Doppler marine radar is here!

MYTraveler 03-23-2016 09:11 PM

Doppler is absolutely the way to go, but it might require a bit of a wait for the various options to settle out and prices to settle down. Otherwise, color doesn't provide any information that I can make much use of.

ktdtx 03-23-2016 11:12 PM

<<<What type of new radar are you looking for?>>>

Not yet looking for a specific one and not necessarily RayMarine. The SimRad Pulse radar, Furuno Doppler all look/sound interesting but I'm not ready to trash everything just for an upgraded radar.

timjet 03-24-2016 07:40 AM

I have a Ray E90W chart plotter and added a domed 18" digital HD color Ray radar. All integrated easily.
Have you called Ray tech support to confirm that you can't just add a radar to your existing setup?

ktdtx 03-24-2016 07:58 AM

<<<Have you called Ray tech support to confirm that you can't just add a radar to your existing setup?>>>

I have not, just discussions with a few dealers at marinas

timjet 03-24-2016 08:19 AM

(603) 881-5200

Rogerh 03-24-2016 08:32 AM

From my discussions with Raymarine tech department, the determining factor in any E series is: E wide series is compatible, E series legacy is not. That is the E120, E90 and so on are legacy units and are not forward compatible. The E120W are compatible. It is very easy to get confused on adds because many say compatible with E series units. That is true if the are the later wide series version. The W in the part number is the identifier for wide. That is the way it was explained to me by Raymarine.

what_barnacles 03-25-2016 06:29 PM

This is the one pet peeve I have about marine electronics, they are intentionally designed to cause obsolescence.

Pau Hana 03-26-2016 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by what_barnacles (Post 427360)
This is the one pet peeve I have about marine electronics, they are intentionally designed to cause obsolescence.

Blame the march of technology, and the desire to have the latest and greatest. The companies offer the tech, but the obsolecsence is not their fault.

timjet 03-26-2016 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by what_barnacles (Post 427360)
This is the one pet peeve I have about marine electronics, they are intentionally designed to cause obsolescence.

It's probably an on going discussion with any tech company. Marketing has their input and probably has more weight than the designers who can make anything compatible if given the chance.

But in the end it's the consumer who makes the choice. If you want the latest and greatest you pay.

The OP can probably find a radar that works with his current equip if so motivated.

I replaced my late 90's analog plotter which worked but required a new map chip every time I went 100 miles from home. It was slow to update and wouldn't accept routes created on my computer. The analog radar coupled to it worked fine. So when I upgraded to my current digital plotter the radar had to be upgraded as well. I liked the old analog radar, not a thing wrong with it but to get a plotter than had greater coverage and the ability to accept routes created in my computer I had to spend the money.

I think the next great thing in marine electronics is internet connectivity. It will bring already available information into one neat package displayed on a plotter. Weather, bottom display, traffic, marina info, just about anything you want will be available without sensors.

ranger42c 03-26-2016 07:52 AM

When we upgraded our electronics suite, the situation was slightly backwards from OP's: we had a good radar, and the rest of the stuff was sketchy. The result was similar, though; integrating that existing radar into a new suite of stuff... wasn't gonna happen. And a new radar would have been over budget.

The only practical effect is that I can't overlay the old phosphor radar display onto the nifty new color MFD charts. That would have been a "nice to have" -- but I always prefer having the radar return on it's own separate display, anyway... so I'm feeling absolutely no pain.

Maybe another 10 years from now -- when the rest of our network is also old and decrepit, and/or maybe the magnetron on this radar has gone south -- an even more integrated suite might find it's way onboard... But at the moment it's a question of need... and I don't. Yet. :)

Different strokes...

-Chris

twistedtree 03-26-2016 11:45 AM

As Ranger says, the alternative to an MFD (multi function device that displays charts along with proprietary radar and fish finder), is to use dedicated devices that are integrated using industry standard interfaces.

MFDs are a great way to put together an electronics suite quickly. And they tend to take up less console space than dedicated devices, so on smaller boats they are often the only viable option. The down side, as you are discovering, is that they are all-or-nothing, lock you into a single vendor for chart plotter, radar, and fish finder, and typically force you to compromise one some functions to get others. Vendor's love this approach because they can sell you more stuff, and you are more likely to keep buying form them in the future.

Dedicated devices allow you to pick best-of-breed for each device, upgrade each device independent of others, avoid single vendor lock-in, and typically get much higher quality devices with more features. And they can all still be integrated together using industry-standard interfaces. They are also more resilient to failures since breakage of one device doesn't take out others. If your MFD fails, you lose everything. The down side is that they typically take up more console space because there are multiple displays and controls required, and you give up some integration features like radar overlay on charts.

I recently went through this transition from an MFD system to dedicated devices integrated with industry-standard interfaces, and have written a number of blog articles on the process at MVTangelwood.com. Assuming you have the space, I vastly prefer using dedicated devices. In the end the cost is about the same, but you get a MUCH better system and are not locked into anything. But I also just installed electronics in a 28' open boat and used and MFD because there wasn't space for dedicated devices.

ktdtx 03-26-2016 12:06 PM

I've read some of your Blog info about the "refit of your electronics refit" ...a mess I hope to learn from.

When you say this
Quote:

using industry-standard interfaces
are you referring to NMEA 2000?

Thanks
Ken

Comodave 03-26-2016 12:28 PM

Last year I added a digital radar to my E120 Classic. I had to add a converter to get from the digital antenna to the display, but it works fine. Talk directly to Raymarine support.

twistedtree 03-26-2016 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ktdtx (Post 427563)
I've read some of your Blog info about the "refit of your electronics refit" ...a mess I hope to learn from.

When you say this
are you referring to NMEA 2000?

Thanks
Ken

Yes, NMEA 2000, but more so NMEA 0183. 0183 is an ugly dinosaur, but once set up it works reliably, and there are far fewer opportunities for adverse interactions between devices.

NMEA 2000 is still very much a crap shoot whether what you put together will work or not, and if it doesn't, there isn't much you can do about it. I still find problems in pretty much every device that I put my hands on. It's getting better, but still has a long way to go before I'd build another cruising boat that depends on it. Just as an example, I have a 28' open boat that we keep in Gloucester, and I just installed a very simple system. It's a Furuno TZTouch 2 plus an ICOM M506 VHF. It would be really, really hard to create a simpler system. But it doesn't Fu&*(king work. There is some NMEA 2000 incompatibility between the two devices such that when the TZ shares its internal GPS data on the N2K network, the M506 isn't able to decipher it. I don't know what could be more basic than sending GPS info between two devices.

LarryM 03-26-2016 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twistedtree (Post 427649)
Yes, NMEA 2000, but more so NMEA 0183. 0183 is an ugly dinosaur, but once set up it works reliably, and there are far fewer opportunities for adverse interactions between devices.

NMEA 2000 is still very much a crap shoot whether what you put together will work or not, and if it doesn't, there isn't much you can do about it. I still find problems in pretty much every device that I put my hands on. It's getting better, but still has a long way to go before I'd build another cruising boat that depends on it. Just as an example, I have a 28' open boat that we keep in Gloucester, and I just installed a very simple system. It's a Furuno TZTouch 2 plus an ICOM M506 VHF. It would be really, really hard to create a simpler system. But it doesn't Fu&*(king work. There is some NMEA 2000 incompatibility between the two devices such that when the TZ shares its internal GPS data on the N2K network, the M506 isn't able to decipher it. I don't know what could be more basic than sending GPS info between two devices.

FWIW, I recently had some discussion with my most trusted Simrad (I know, bad word in your world) technician. I even recounted some of your prior adventures as I understood them. He remarked that they had similar problems on vessels 70' and larger due to signal loss, noise, crosstalk etc. He stated categorically that he won't use anything but Maretron N2K cables and connectors end-to-end when building N2K networks. In much the same way that there large differences in the quality and speed of Ethernet, and other network cables, apparently, some of the really well known marine electronics manufacturers have been known to provide rather poor quality N2K cables and connectors.

I don't know if this has any bearing on the issues you have faced, but I thought I would just pass it along.:D


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