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Old 03-15-2019, 10:47 AM   #1
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Airmar vs OEM?

Apparently there's a backlog on Airmar weather modules.

Anyone know if there's any complications or unexpected differences between a labeled Airmar unit and what appears to be "the same thing" from Navico or Furuno? Are these literally the same thing as the Airmar, just with a different label painted on them? The concern being configuration options and firmware upgrades.

I'm trying to get my winter projects moved along and getting Airmar 120WX or 220WX units is proving to be a problem.

I could go with either a 110WX or a 220WX, as I have other sources on board for some of the data. The 220WX has GPS, but I have that from another source (I'd likely configure this one not to squawk it on the bus). The 220WX also has gyro and rate of turn data, and I think it's faster than the existing H2183 I've got on board. But I don't know how well the H2183 was performing before (as I never really paid close attention to it).

I made zero use of autopilot last season due to an intermittent rudder position error. That and most Chesapeake cruising we do doesn't typically require or benefit from autopilot operation. So there wasn't much need to focus on rate of turn or other data that might be used by the autopilot.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:00 PM   #2
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Near as I can tell, if you get a B744V (for example) with a Furuno (for example) label, it's the same as the Airmar B744V. But that's an under-informed opinion.

Our rudder reference went south, back in 2013. But we do use "go straight" (maintain this heading) on the autopilot a LOT around here. And then we don't pay much attention to rate of turn and other advanced features. Don't even hardly use waypoints, at least with the autopilot, except for sometimes aiming the rhumb line at a mark on the plotter. Anyway, the rudder reference fix was just a matter of replacing it.

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Old 03-15-2019, 04:39 PM   #3
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Are you sure your autopilot uses rate of turn data? What brand /model is it?
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquabelle View Post
Are you sure your autopilot uses rate of turn data? What brand /model is it?
Y'know, that's a good question. It's a Simrad AC20 with a AP26 remotes at each helm. All 0183 connections to/from a Furuno MFD12 chart plotter. It's entirely possible I'm assuming some functionality that may not be present.

I have noted some inconsistency in how the chart plotter has shown the boat's orientation. Both at the dock and underway. Which seems odd because it has both a PG-700 compass and the H2183.

I never dug into too deeply regarding how the chart plotters were configured to pass/use data sources. I figured enough of it was going to be changing that I didn't bother. Better to spend time re-configuring things as needed now, with what's present today, and break free of whatever legacy config errors might be lurking. The trick with that, however, is know what does or doesn't actually work, or what work-arounds were required.

Furuno's system for Navnet3D was to allow bringing various data into any MFD ports and sharing that across an Ethernet connection to others. The downside to this was it'd only pass PGNs it already knows about, not anything else. The current direction is to put as many things as possible on the NMEA-2000 bus. The bidirectional NMEA-0183 connections to/from the autopilot will either stay coming/going to an MFD or I may obtain an 0183-2k bridge. The AIS data currently comes in via Ethernet, but could also be configured to use 0183, if necessary. It's not wired for that presently, as the chart plotter is the only way I'd be viewing AIS data.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:49 PM   #5
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I have read with interest your various posts on this and other fora about your new-to-you NN3D based electronics. I am very familiar with the NN3D environment as I put this in myself shortly after it was released and I have maintained and progressively upgraded it. There are many others here on TF who have done likewise. The first thing I'd say is that, based on your previous posts, your PO put in a comprehensive system and used many 1st rate components that still provide 1st rate functionality. Don't make the mistake of thinking that Nmea2000 products are all functionally superior...they are not and some are poorer than their 0183 predecessors. Nmea2000 is certainly an easier and better way of distributing data....but that's not the same thing as the functionality of the device itself. For example the GP320B gps antenna (0183) is far better than the gp330 nmea2000 that followed it. Your heading sensor from Simrad (H2183) is still one of the very best going and much to be preferred over the nmea2000 weather sensor you posted previously as your intended replacement. Now you are confused about AIS. Your system does not distribute AIS anywhere via Ethernet, it remains entirely 0183 based and works perfectly, even multiplexing the 0183 dse and dsc signals with the ais stream using a high speed baud rate so both ais and dsc targets appear accurately on your plotter. Many newer systems struggle with this as attested by multiple posts on TF. I guess what I'm saying is learn about what you have first before swapping components out. The biggest single upgrade you could do would be to invest in a laptop or pc and TimeZero software that will give you a whole new network, higher resolution monitors, wireless functionality and access to some genuinely better gear (like Furuno's fantastic nxt DRS radars) without throwing baby out with bathwater. If you want to get more 0183 data onto nmea2000 and /or Ethernet, invest in a NEMO device from RosePoint.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:36 PM   #6
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In response to the OP, yes the Furuno weather sensor is the exact Airmar unit, just with a Furuno label on it. I have one and it works great. Just ordered the humidity sensor to mount on it when I get back to the boat next month.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:29 PM   #7
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The 320 might have been great, but mine was coming across as unreliable. After a decade of use I don't feel cheated. That and everything was wired strangely, some things into one MFD, some into others, not on the same breakers, etc. It was wired more like someone didn't want to expend the labor to do it right. Which is not unexpected, and does not reflect the Furuno stuff at all.

The FA-50 installed on my boat has one data connection... Ethernet. From the FA-50 into the Furuno hub. The MFD12s are also plugged into the hub. At no point is there any wiring going from the FA-50's 422 cabling (shared by the power). The FA-50 is capable of using both Ethernet and/or 422 (0183). But mine uses solely Ethernet.

The H2183 was mounted at, literally, the highest point on the boat, probably a good 18' above the waterline. So it's ability to provide useful roll/pitch data was... impaired somewhat. That and it was wired into the DRS4 just below it on the mast. Not down into an MFD directly. Nope, N2K into the radome and then Ethernet down to the rest of the boat. SMH digging through installs sometimes. With luck it'll be amenable to having a field connector re-attached to it's N2K wiring and moved to a more suitable location below.

The good part is all four MFDs seem to be working reliably. I'm debating doing a preventative SSD drive replacement on them, as spinning disk replacements for these are pricey. And once a drive dies you can't get them from anywhere but Furuno. Once I get everything replaced/rearranged/reconfigured I'll take a stab at a drive replacement on one and see how it goes.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:25 AM   #8
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I'll continue to follow your posts with interest.
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