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Old 04-26-2018, 02:24 PM   #1
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Chartplotter / Autopilot

Hello,

We own (2) Raymarine C90w multifunction chartplotters with (2) Simrad AP24 autopilots upper and lower helm (2009). Including a Raymarine RD 418D, 4KW digital radar.
I’m looking to interface the autopilot to the Raymarine display in order to set way points so that we can follow the route.

Not sure if this would be a good match for traveling up and down the west coast of Florida. Currently the Raymarine does not have a card, heard that they might not be a great match. I understand that interfacing with an IPad might be a better choice with Navionics installed.

Was hoping for any recommendations / experience with this.


Thank you,
Gary
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:08 PM   #2
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Good question, I have a similar situation with my older chart plotter / radar system. Thinking of buying a primary navigation app for my iPad and iPhone instead of trying to locate and buy the older cards.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:24 PM   #3
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We use an iPad Pro 12.9” screen with Navionics. GPS signal comes from a “Bad Elf” receiver. It’s reliable and connects Bluetooth to the iPad and doesn’t have the jitters like using the cell signal does. I think we paid around $150 for the Bad Elf and it is not dependent on cell service. My other old iPad connects to our Furuno WiFi radar, so have navigation at any point on the boat.

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Old 07-22-2018, 01:28 PM   #4
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BTW- the screens are nice and large even the daytime. Was initially looking to plop down a number of boat dollars on hard mount navigation, but thought it was senseless in my older boat, and the current tools are updated daily for my subscription fee of $24 annually.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:43 PM   #5
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I tried a few navigation apps and bought a Navionics subscription for our iPad and my iPhone. It has served us well so far on the “Great Loop”. I especially like the auto routing feature.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:22 AM   #6
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Just curious here, what is the appeal of autopilot interface? I have all the necessary components, but haven't interfaced them, in part because of personal inertia, but also because I like to be the "indispensable link" in the system.

Even in the aviation context, where everyone, including me, accepts that the autopilot simply does a better job of maintaining course and altitude than even the best pilot, I usually flew in the "HDG" mode, even for approaches.

So, the question: what do you really get for watching the autopilot deciding, "I'm going to turn now."
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:07 AM   #7
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Just curious here, what is the appeal of autopilot interface? I have all the necessary components, but haven't interfaced them, in part because of personal inertia, but also because I like to be the "indispensable link" in the system.

Even in the aviation context, where everyone, including me, accepts that the autopilot simply does a better job of maintaining course and altitude than even the best pilot, I usually flew in the "HDG" mode, even for approaches.

So, the question: what do you really get for watching the autopilot deciding, "I'm going to turn now."

For me it's three things.


First, it forces the discipline of creating a route, which in turn prompts you to check the route for obstruction, etc. to verify that it's a good path to follow. If you are creating your route ad-hoc as you go, I think there is more opportunity to miss things that you should be avoiding.


Second, once underway, it's another "person" on watch who will diligently steer the planned course. That frees me to monitor other things, including double checking each route leg as they come up.


Third, it gives me a calculated ETA and distance to go.


All that said, there are times when I just run in Auto (HDG) mode like for shorter, simple runs, and for most entrances and nav withing a harbor where constant adjustment is required.
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:11 AM   #8
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Perfect answer, TT!
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:16 AM   #9
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Its not heading mode thats the real benefit, its the track mode which requires interfacing with a chartplotter/gps.

It keeps you off things that you purposly planned around where heading mode may allow you to drift over them from drift or leeway in a moments inattention.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:27 AM   #10
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I use the tracking feature most of the time, for the reasons TT listed. In particular, I've found that the route planning and tweaking the route the night before is invaluable in avoiding problem spots and generally familiarizing with the local conditions on the route. One of the reasons I'm not particularly fond of auto routing.

In heading mode, or simply having the AP steer a compass course, there's no accounting for drift. A strong current can quickly carry the boat off the course line and into/onto obstructions if you're not paying attention. In following a track line, the AP will keep you on your course line and tap your shoulder if it can't.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:55 AM   #11
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I may have been misunderstood--I'm no Luddite. I set up my chartplotter with at least one day's route, and as a frequent single-hander, I rely heavily on my autopilot; I just don't let it make any decisions.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:56 AM   #12
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Go to the below, log in and ask your question on the Raymarine forum. You will get an answer back in a day or two. A lot of times it is just easier to keep your electronics within the "Family," meaning Raymarine, Garmin ect....

Raymarine forum
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:12 AM   #13
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The the Simrad AP like the Raymarine? With a Raymarine AP, it will not turn the boat to a new leg heading. It will ask if you want to turn. You must confirm it. Lawyers doing their job no doubt. But the result requires the same attention at each waypoint as simply setting the new course yourself.

On current drift and set - if you turn on the COG vector on the RM chartplotter, just line it up with the desired course. Yes this will require periodic checking, and you will have maybe even a couple of minutes work into in on a multi hour leg.

I'm not a luddite, have had track following autopilots for decades, and very rarely found a use for them. If your watch keeping routine does not include checking position and course frequently, you will eventually regret it. Less true in the south east, more true in the north west, if only to avoid trees.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
I may have been misunderstood--I'm no Luddite. I set up my chartplotter with at least one day's route, and as a frequent single-hander, I rely heavily on my autopilot; I just don't let it make any decisions.


I guess I’m not understanding what the issue is then. Maybe you can say more? It sounds like you set up a route, but follow it manually using Auto mode? Nothing wrong with that, but I do think NAV mode offers some advantages as outlined earlier.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:17 PM   #15
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Out auto pilot is an older one and when we bought our boat 3 years ago, we upgraded our electronics to the then current versions. I will someday get the auto pilot interfaced with the plotter, just has not bubbled up the priority list yet. So far we have gotten by with just the heading mode. We do get off course a bit sometimes and I just hit the left or fight button a degree or two. We do lay out a route and follow it, just not in auto mode, yet.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:27 PM   #16
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I may have been misunderstood--I'm no Luddite. I set up my chartplotter with at least one day's route, and as a frequent single-hander, I rely heavily on my autopilot; I just don't let it make any decisions.

So i think you are trying to say that you have a route with waypoints, but it's not interfaced to the AP. So that means you enter the new waypoints data manually into the AP each time you start a new leg on the chart plotters route.

is that right?


If so you should be able to pass the raymarines nema183 output to the AP and then let the chartplotter update the AP rather than you. You would still get to hit proceed manually for each leg. If the 2 chartplotters can talk to each other you'll have to pick the master but its easy.
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