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Old 05-26-2018, 12:16 AM   #1
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GPS-Heading Sensor Shoot-Out

I need to replace a failed N2K gps antenna and I'd like to take the opportunity to get another heading sensor at the same time ( I have a Furuno PG500 right now).


The two candidates are a Simrad HS60 vs Airmar WX200 (both have equivalents under different brands). Both have 10Hz GPS's and that's all I care about on the gps front. I am really interested in understanding the quality of the Heading output from these as it must be good enough for autopilot, radar overlay and ARPA/MARPA. I have reviewed the N2K Heading output pgn's and both are equivalent, but I don't know how to make sense of the gyro and accelerometer differences between the two or how to assess the real quality of the Heading outputs. Can anyone help me with this?


(The weather data from the WX200 would be nice, but I wouldn't value this over an inferior Heading accuracy. If Heading accuracy were equal, the WX200 would win the shoot-out for me. Both are around the same cost.)
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:34 AM   #2
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The HS60 will give better heading. It's a sat compass, so uses multiple GPS receivers to determine your heading. It's accurate, gives true heading (and magnetic if you want it), and is not subject to magnetic interference. The heading sensor in the WS200 is fine for calculating ground wind direction and speed, but I would only use it as a backup for navigation.


Another way to look at this is based on what you are looking for; position and heading. That's what the HS60 does. It's a low end sat compass/heading sensor, but still has all the qualities of one.


In contrast, the WS200 is a weather device. That's its primary purpose and what it's optimized for. To provide ground referenced wind, you need speed and heading, so that's why it has a gps and heading sensor built in. But they will only be as good as needed for that application. Like I said earlier, nice to have as a back up, but wouldn't use it as a primary nav source.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:49 AM   #3
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twistedTree...I know you are a genuine guru in this area and I was hoping you would respond...thanks! The Heading accuracy specs of the HS60 and the WS200 (and for that matter, the Airmar GH2183) are in fact identical. If the fluxgates were mounted, as I intend, on the flybridge hardtop and therefore free from ferrous and RFI interference, is there in fact a real advantage in favour of the HS60? Mind you, I really dislike having to frequently re-calibrate my otherwise excellent Furuno PG500...I am assuming a WX200 up on the f'bridge hardtop wouldn't need this carry-on very often: am I wrong?
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Old 05-26-2018, 07:12 AM   #4
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I think the ComNav G series sat compasses are worth a good look if available down there. seriously considered one after being on a boat that used it and talking to ComNav at a boat show.
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:27 AM   #5
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Comnav....i hadn't heard of them but google'd. They are very high spec and x3 the price of the dearest of the options I'm considering. Interesting reading so thanks for the suggestion
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:27 PM   #6
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Looks like the consensus on this & other fora is in favour of the HS60. I've been offered a good deal on one....so that's the clincher. Now for the installation fun......


Thanks to those who commented/contributed.
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