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Old 06-13-2017, 02:05 PM   #1
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Advice on upgrading electronics

Hi all,

Currently I have the following:

Stand alone radar

Garmin Chart plotter/depth sounder (older)

Laptop running Coastal Explorer (which I love)

The radar died, not going to try to fix it as I already have $600.00 in repairs to a $1,500 unit.

I figure I have 3 options:

1. Buy a new stand alone radar. would go with Si-Tex T-760 or the Furuno 1715. Can be up and running for under $2,000.00, even less if I put it in myself.

2. Go with a 9 or 10 inch Garmin all in one and still use Coaster Explorer with the nice big screen. Cost moves up to $3500 or so.

3. Get rid of the lap top and go with a 12 inch all in one. This can break $5,000.00.

This boat is our home and our passion, and on one hand the money is not really the issue, but on the other hand, replacing and not upgrading saves like $3,000.00 bucks. That buys a lot of fuel, which on the third hand we would buy anyway.

So, who likes stand alone units and why? What would you guys spend the money on? What are you using and are you happy with it? Any one have the Si-Tex T-760? Comments?

What kind of anchor should I buy? (Just kidding on that one)

Thanks

Joe
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:14 PM   #2
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When I did my upgrade I went with Raymarine for everything. They all talk to each other and staying with one brand, if there was a problem there would not be any finger pointing. I did it all myself and I am happy with the results. In fact I am adding a second 12 inch display on the upper helm so I can have more things displayed (or fewer things bigger) (plus I had the room).
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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I would replace the radar with whichever Furuno model best fits your budget and feature needs. But I would definitely get a model with ARPA. Then I would wire the radar to Coastal Explorer so that ARPA targets are displayed on CE. That way you can click on anything in the radar view and see where it is on your char in CE. If you let ARPA fully acquire the target, CE will even show its motion vector. There is an article about how to do this in my blog at MVTanglewood.com. I'd provide a link but don't have good access at the moment. There is some discussion about stand alone vs overlay radar as well.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:18 PM   #4
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My vote is to buy a used takeout electronics "package"(display,gps,sounder,radar and sometimes autopilot) on ebay or different forums from guys who just have to have the latest.

There's a 1year old raymarine package for 4,500 local to me.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:00 PM   #5
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There are also Radars that connect directly to your PC and interface with your charting software. To connect on to Coastal Explorer you need to buy their Radar plug in. If you use OpenCPN there are free plug-ins to support different radars. Next time my Raymarine radar dies this is the route I will be taking.

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Old 06-13-2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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One key decision point is whether you want full radar overlay, i.e. All the radar returns painted over your chart, or if you are OK with or prefer to only have selected targets on your chart. Personally I vastly prefer the later, and it can be accomplished with standard interfaces between any competent radar and charting system. Not only do I prefer the results, but keeps from getting sucked into all-or-nothing proprietary systems.
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwestman View Post
When I did my upgrade I went with Raymarine for everything. They all talk to each other and staying with one brand, if there was a problem there would not be any finger pointing.
I did the same thing!
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:25 PM   #8
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Replace the stand alone Radar for sure. Also go to a wider screen laptop on your next upgrade. When ready to upgrade the Garmin, a bigger screen there would also be nice. Get stuff that can be interfaced, so as to maximize your options.

Even if you go to some multipurpose screens, I wouldn't ever get rid of the laptop for charting.

Then report back once you have some hours and tricky passages in, on whichever option you do go with.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:36 PM   #9
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I went with Raymarine MFD, GPS, AIS, radar and VHF. All interconnected. Love it. Have had great support anytime I have needed it from Raymarine. Have had a lot of systems from Raymarine on our last 5 boats. They even replaced an 11 year old depth sounder module for free because they had some problems with them.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:12 PM   #10
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I was faced with a similar choice. I also use CE as my primary nav system. I chose a Furuno VX2 chartplotter/radar for several reasons-
  1. The Furuno provides a complete redundant system, I can drive the AP and operate with complete functionality if the PC goes TU.
  2. The Furuno can do radar overlay, ARPA that sends the tracked target to CE. It also has a DFF-1 networked depth sounder that displays fish finder, also ports any/all data to CE.
  3. The Furuno echos the active waypoint from CE's activated route, I can upload routes from CE to the Furuno, or vice versa.
  4. CE runs on a 12V mini-ITX computer with a solid state hard drive, the monitor is 19" in the pilothouse, 12" on the FB.
  5. All data interface connections are NMEA other than the VX2 ethernet, an Actisense NDC-4 provides multiplexing and USB output to the PC. The system can also connect to the laptop as a further redundancy.
As a full-time cruiser with close to 30,000 miles cruised, I shudder to think of trying to manage routes with the 35 waypoint limitation, let alone trying to implement route planning with the funky Furuno track ball. I'm a huge CE fan, and give it a huge recommendation as a primary system. No standalone chartplotter IMO, can come even close to the capabilities of CE for route planning as well as ease of use underway.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:16 AM   #11
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When we bought the boat we update with Raytheon as the the original still worked so we kept the old installedas back up ssecondary as common with long range coastal blue water boats. I like the stand alone with back up. The reason is the screen on many bundled are to clutter with stuff and have to toggle back and forth between applications.

The original old radar I took out to have more helm space area. So we should replace the radar for back up. Iwill pprobably replace with a bundled capable but only buy the radar and maybe the electronic chart ad we presently have one electric chart. But would stay with stand alone beside I am cheap and old.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:05 AM   #12
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I just bought a new Si-tex sounder and a new plotter. My old Si-tex sounder was crt and about 1994 vintage. It still works. My gps unit, which is outside in the antenna in a Standard Horizon plotter, filled up with water and died so I bought the Si-tex plotter to replace it. A new antenna was over $300! I might network the old SH plotter to it but we'll see. I also have an upright clamp that holds the ipad with Navionics on it. My Koden radar, (also crt and same as Si-tex) still works fine, it will stay put until it dies, then it will get the Si-tex t-760 radar. They can all network but I prefer standalone for redundancy. The all-in-ones are snazzy but too rich, go obsolete too fast and share too much info. My standalone plotter and sounder, Fedex from New York, was about $1650. Not too shabby. My existing sounder and existing radar are almost 25 years old so I would definitely buy Si-tex again.
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #13
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I just bought a new Si-tex sounder and a new plotter. My old Si-tex sounder was crt and about 1994 vintage. It still works. My gps unit, which is outside in the antenna in a Standard Horizon plotter, filled up with water and died so I bought the Si-tex plotter to replace it. A new antenna was over $300! I might network the old SH plotter to it but we'll see. I also have an upright clamp that holds the ipad with Navionics on it. My Koden radar, (also crt and same as Si-tex) still works fine, it will stay put until it dies, then it will get the Si-tex t-760 radar. They can all network but I prefer standalone for redundancy. The all-in-ones are snazzy but too rich, go obsolete too fast and share too much info. My standalone plotter and sounder, Fedex from New York, was about $1650. Not too shabby. My existing sounder and existing radar are almost 25 years old so I would definitely buy Si-tex again.
Sitex products have a great reputation for reliability. Lots of commercial fisherman swear by them. Product support is stellar too.Bullet proof, no nonsense gear.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:30 PM   #14
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Now if Purolator would just get off its corporate butt and deliver them, life would be good.

The business model for couriers is wrong - rather than pay them up front to deliver something, we should guarantee them a fee for on-time delivery which decreases by half for each day they are late.

"OH, we had way more items than we expected and yours didn't get on to the truck. I will request that they deliver it tomorrow."

Me: (stupidly) "What would have happened to it if you hadn't made that request?"

"I have no idea, sir."

Me: "Aaarrrgggghhhh!"
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:10 PM   #15
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Now if Purolator would just get off its corporate butt and deliver them, life would be good.

The business model for couriers is wrong - rather than pay them up front to deliver something, we should guarantee them a fee for on-time delivery which decreases by half for each day they are late.

"OH, we had way more items than we expected and yours didn't get on to the truck. I will request that they deliver it tomorrow."

Me: (stupidly) "What would have happened to it if you hadn't made that request?"

"I have no idea, sir."

Me: "Aaarrrgggghhhh!"
You do realize who owns Purolator? That would be Canada Post. Talk about closing the market.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:20 PM   #16
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I knew that, but CP is actually better, some friendly guy knocks on the door, skritches the dog under his chin, chats about the weather and leaves me something nice. Purolater calls me and says "there was nobody home when we tried to deliver so you can pick up your parcel at the depot" when you know darn well you've been home all day and the driver dumped it all at the depot because he needed to get home for his fix...

Sorry, this is a little off topic. Stand by for the saga of the installation where yours truly tries to get the new Si-tex to talk to the Standard Horizon radio with the AIS built in... I will make sure there are no sharp objects in the wheelhouse and the only blunt object up there will be me.
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