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Old 09-11-2014, 05:00 PM   #21
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Greetings,
From what I understand Garmin charts are proprietary meaning you can't download free charts from the net and the only place you can get upgrades is from Garmin. That's a bit of a restriction IMO. That being said, Garmin DOES make good stuff.
I have been advised that Garmin does there own charting and therefore you may find items on their charts that are out of date as compared to other products.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:14 PM   #22
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My biggest complaint against Garmin has always been about their proprietary charting...other than that they have rocketed towards the top of the recreational market in barely over a decade.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:25 PM   #23
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Another thing to consider is the availability of tech support should you have an issue or need to ask an operational question. My personal experience is that you can be "on hold" for hours (seriously) waiting to speak to a Raymarine tech. We tore out 5-year old E series Raymarine electronics due to our frustration with the equipment's reliability and the bigger frustration of waiting for tech assistance.

We replaced two Raymarine chartplotter MFDs, radar, depth sounder and autopilot with Garmin units. We also removed a Raymarine satellite TV dome and replaced that with an Intellian I-4. After 2-years experience with the new equipment all has been flawless. The few times that I needed tech support to better understand a function etc., a Garmin tech (USA based I might add) was on the line within minutes.

As they say, "just sayin." Good luck, Howard
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:54 PM   #24
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Greetings,
Mr. hm. My experience with Garmin has been the opposite. I've waited for, what seemed like hours, to get and PAY for upgrades to charts. A friend used to work at WM and gave me the store private # for Garmin. The phone was answered within three rings.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:09 PM   #25
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We are faced with the same issue for our 30 year old Fu Hwa 38. I am leaning toward a complete Garmin setup but decided to hold off for newer technology. ..............
Yep. I'm waiting for color TV to be perfected (you probably have to be pretty old to understand that comment).

Seriously, all the manufacturers are constantly working on newer technology so you could wait forever. If you need new stuff now, buy new stuff now.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. hm. My experience with Garmin has been the opposite. I've waited for, what seemed like hours, to get and PAY for upgrades to charts. A friend used to work at WM and gave me the store private # for Garmin. The phone was answered within three rings.
You can do it online quickly.

While we all like to think we have the latest electronic charts, if the paper charts they are created from haven't been updated the new electronic charts will be identical to the ones being replaced.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:57 PM   #27
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I am not an Electrical Engineer but I disagree on the interference issues. WiFi has been used in all kinds of environments including industrial and there do not appear to be RFI interference problems with today's technologies. In fact, Garmin and other manufacturers already use remote controls for autopilot functions.

It is noted you stated you have a NMEA-2000 radar feeding your MFD but to my knowledge NMEA-2000 doesn't have the bandwidth to adequately support radar data and overlays. Garmin uses the Garmin Marine Network, which is basically Ethernet, to transmit radar data and sounder data.

IMHO, the real challenge of marine electronics is to make all the data WiFi and use NMEA-2000 to provide power to the devices.

Just looking at the Garmin product line, they use direct battery power for radar and their sounder power, the Garmin Marine Network for radar and sounder data, NMEA-2000 for data and power to MFDs, autopilot and other devices. The whole setup could be simplified by using NMEA-2000 as the bus to provide power to all devices and WiFi for data from high data rate devices like radar and sounders.

There is a better way to do it fellas and it will happen in time. My challenge to the marine electronic manufacturers is to make it happen now.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:21 PM   #28
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The whole setup could be simplified by using NMEA-2000 as the bus to provide power to all devices and WiFi for data from high data rate devices like radar and sounders.

There is a better way to do it fellas and it will happen in time. My challenge to the marine electronic manufacturers is to make it happen now.
Pretty unrealistic to expect N2K to be able to handle the amperage draw of radars & sounders. Many transmit in kW. An analogy would be trying to supply water to a whole neighborhood with just one garden hose - good luck with that.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:29 PM   #29
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Lowrance doesnt do well in deep water with there sonar.
I don't know how true that really is, but it only matters if you are doing some serious fishing. Certainly you shouldn't buy Lowrance and expect Furuno performance.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:24 PM   #30
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Correct. I fish in 3000+ feet of water regularly. If the Lowrance cant "read" the bottom it locks up and sends lines across the screen. Not a localized event. 3 different machines on 2 boats. One had a 600 watt 'ducer, other had a 1000 watt. Same thing. They wont read even when set to 300 feet, which is what I need to see. We mostly tuna fish at WAY LESS than 300. More like 100, but cant get even that. In shallow water (1000 or less) it is great. The charts cannot be beat, especially in cities or towns. Go figure.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:32 PM   #31
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Just on VHF. Local brand GME makes full and slave units for lower helm and FB, you need one aerial, and they incorporate an intercom. Someone over your way may do something similar.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #32
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Pretty unrealistic to expect N2K to be able to handle the amperage draw of radars & sounders. Many transmit in kW. An analogy would be trying to supply water to a whole neighborhood with just one garden hose - good luck with that.
Transmission and power requirements are not the same. Per the specs, the Garmin GSD 24 sounder uses 40 W max. The GMR 24 xHD Radome uses 30 W typically and 48 W max. Combined they would be under the 8 AMPS which is what the mini NMEA 2000 cable is rated at. I cite these devices because they are the ones we were considering for our boat. Also keep in mind you could add more than one NMEA 2000 power connection but on a separate backbone. The NMEA 2000 issue with sounders and radars are data rates needed, not power. The data rates needed wouldn't overwhelm WiFi.

Both power and data rates do make NMEA 2000 a less than optimal solution for todays electronics. I suspect the marine electronic firms are following the same model TV makers use. They add a few new features every year to keep us spending our dollars on upgrades.

I am just one of those Geeks that wants a wireless boat.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #33
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Donsan
Your point about transmitted power is of course correct. But Furuno MFD8/12 MFD, which can run some of the smaller radars, need 10/20 amp fuse respectively. And another 3 amp for the Navnet sounder. So a lot more than you could get from N2K.

The question is whether the Garmin models that fit your limits can provide good enough output, something that is a personal choice. Furuno NavNet data is over ethernet, and once again you could do WiFi if you accept quality trade-off.

I think you need the successor to N2K, which is getting dated and as you note has serious limitations.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:48 PM   #34
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Navionics now has a wifi fishfinder for the iPad app.

Fishfinder now in Boating App | Navionics
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File Type: pdf NAV418_PR_Vexilar_Final2.pdf (1.26 MB, 23 views)
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