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Old 10-10-2011, 03:09 PM   #1
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One Chartplotter, Two Stations

So I'm looking to upgrade from a 10 year-old system and plan on purchasing a chartplotter and radar. I would like to be able to use the chartplotter at both helm stations, but was told by a salesman that duplicate wiring from the sensors (GPS antenna, AIS, sounder, radar, etc.) would be just as expensive as buying a 2nd unit. I have minimal electronic knowledge, but it seems to me that the sensors could all be wired into one "hub" and have the hub output wired to each station for easy connection to the chartplotter, especially since they are NMEA 2000 compatible. Two questions - 1) Can I get away with one chartplotter, transferring it between stations? and 2) What type of wiring installation and/or equipment would be needed, if it is possible?

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

We had a setup (Lowrance) that just used the depth sounder and GPS with a single chartplotter display that we moved up and down. Wiring wise it was not a big deal, but we did not have radar or autopilot functionality.

I will say that it was a pain moving the display head up and down if you tend to move back and forth between stations while underway.

This summer we upgraded to a system (Furuno) with depth sounder, GPS/chartplotter, radar, and autopilot., c/w a 7" lower display and a 10.4" upper display. We stayed in the NMEA 0183 world which may be different than the NMEA 2000 world so my following comments may not be applicable.*

We have the lower unit wired to be the server, so all sensor info goes to it first and then up to the upper unit. Meaning that the lower unit must always be connected and turned on for the upper unit to work. There is a hub but it has minimal utility in that it doesn't handle all duties as a normal hub would.

I will say that having two complete station units is MUCH better than sharing one display unit.*

As I say, your setup might have different requirements but this is what worked for us.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:18 PM   #3
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One Chartplotter, Two Stations

Quote:
dvd wrote:
1) Can I get away with one chartplotter, transferring it between stations? and 2) What type of wiring installation and/or equipment would be needed, if it is possible?
*Well, it will depend on what kind of chartplotter you want to get.* Something large like a Furuno would be a pain the butt to move back and forth and you'd have to have some way of feeding it power and the GPS signals in both positions.* And if it was a*combination radar plotter, you'd have to feed it the radar antenna signal, too.

Some systems can use a repeater screen, which is exactly what the name implies.* As we only run our GB from the lower station a repeater is not anything we've ever looked into.* So* I don't know what systems out there have repeaters available, but the chances are they are not*inexpensive systems.* They do solve the problem, however, of one system with two stations.

We do*have one GPS chart plotter that we can not only move between stations, we can move it between boats.* This is the little Standar Horizon CP190i that we bought earlier this year primarily for our Arima fishing boat.* But we bought an extra mount and power cable so it can be put up on the flying bridge of our GB if the day ever comes we do want to run form up there, or for guests to follow where we're going if they sit up there.* We used it in this manner during our recent cruise in the Gulf Islands.

BUT..... this particular plotter has a built-in GPS antenna.* So the unit just has to be able to*"see" the satellites, which it can from both the Arima and the flying bridge of our GB.* So all you need in each position is a mount and a power cord.

We are thinking of perhaps putting a mount for it at the lower helm station of the GB.* This is only because, like everything else, advancements in elecronics is so rapid that this little 5" screen plotter has features that Furuno hadn't even dreamed of a few years ago when we installed our NavNet VX2, and it makes our 1998 Echotec plotter seem downright steam powered (even though it still works perfectly).

But at the lower helm, the Standard Horizon won't see satellites very well.* So we'd have to add the available GPS antenna and run the cable down below.* We're told this will cost about $150.

But I would not recommend a small, self-contained plotter like the CP190i for the primary navigation device for a boat the size of ours simply because the screen is too small.* It's great on the Arima where the helmsman's head is about a foot from the plotter.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 10th of October 2011 06:20:21 PM
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:46 PM   #4
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

Quote:
dvd wrote:
Two questions - 1) Can I get away with one chartplotter, transferring it between stations? and 2) What type of wiring installation and/or equipment would be needed, if it is possible?

*

Thanks,

dvd
With a Garmin network setup, technically you could do that, except for the GPS, you would need two antennae since it plugs into the control head.*
But what a pain in the ass it would be to unplug from one site and plug back in at the other site.* Plus you would have to buy a duplicate mount and, like the man said, the extra USB cabling, GPS antennae, which won't be cheap.* It would be better to buy a smaller control head for the fly bridge and connect both to the network and be done with it. *It might cost a little more but nothing like the inconvenience and the likelihood of damaging the control head while moving it.
JMO
Larry B.

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

If you go with a laptop (or desktop if you have the room) computer nav system I assume having a remote display at the second station would be easy since all you'd be doing is feeding a second screen from the computer. You'd have the issues of weatherproofing the flying bridge display but I would think that would be solvable, from building a retractable mount to put the screen under the flying bridge console when not in use to building a Plexiglas housing for the display screen.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:59 PM   #6
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

I have a 2 stations set-up and one head unit with my Garmin 740. Internal antenna so no worries there. Works great! NEMA 2000 makes it super simple.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:28 AM   #7
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

I like the idea of a primary unit at one station and a repeater at the other. I assume it would be too optimistic to think that I could use my current Garmin 2010C as a repeater for, say, a new Garmin 4208? The 2010C is NMEA 0183 the 4208 is NMEA 2000.

Having a second, self-contained unit for the bridge is also intriguing, although we pilot primarily from the bridge and I would still have to get depth and radar information somehow.

I have used the laptop on the bridge and visibility is a significant issue. Outdoor monitors to use as a repeater are almost as expensive as another chartplotter unit.

Anyway, I appreciate hearing the different approaches. I'm going to the Annapolis show on Friday, so I've got more questions for the chartplotter vendors -- thanks.

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Old 10-11-2011, 07:53 AM   #8
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

It all comes down to budget. I debated getting a bright light viewable repeater for the FB but could find nothing for less than $4K*vs a*new fully loaded Furuno NN3 costing $3400.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:39 AM   #9
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

Presumably the intent is to save money!!!
When I replaced our pilothouse CP 2 years ago I went with a Standard Horizon 10 inch display running C-map. Bottom line is that the CP500 cost about a third of other systems (prices around $1200 on net) and does all the same stuff!!! While the CP500 can be connected to a remote display, at that price I figured that if I ever really felt the need for a fly bridge unit, i would just buy another complete system and have total redundancy.
By the way the Standard products have by far the best warranty out there, though so far we have done several hundred hours (7K nm) on the new unit and have had no problems of any sort.

Just one cheap guy's perspective!!!
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

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By the way the Standard products have by far the best warranty out there, t
*From what I've observed so far, they also have the brightest screens.** I've posted this photo before in another discussion, but this was taken on a cloudy-bright day with the top down on the Arima, and this is not the plotter's brightest screen setting.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:04 PM   #11
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One Chartplotter, Two Stations

If you want to go with radar, AIS and sounder the Garmin network would be the way to go. Neither is a slave. But you do need to buy 2 plotters.*

EDIT: The 4xxx and 5xxx plotters have a VGA output that could be run to the other station for view only.


-- Edited by Vyndance on Wednesday 12th of October 2011 09:07:44 PM
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:00 PM   #12
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

Just got back from the boat show in Annapolis where I talked to a couple of people about a new product from Raymarine. It is called the e7 and is the typical chartplotter/MFD but has GPS and WiFi built in ( http://www.raymarine.com/default.asp...on=2&page=2016 ). It is compatible with all iOS products (iPhone, iPad, etc) so one could have an e7 on the bridge hard-wired into everything (depth, radar, AIS, camera, etc.) and view the display on your iPad at the lower helm (or anywhere else on the boat, for that matter). The second display is "read only," although there was a hint that they are working on a two-way wireless communication between chartplotter and remote display. This first unit is only a 7" display, but again, the hints were that larger units would be out later.

I'm a little surprised that Raymarine was the first out with this kind of product -- I would have expected Garmin to get there first. Anyone hear anything about other manufacturers coming out with WiFi products?

Thanks,
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:25 PM   #13
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

Standard Horizon was the first. They have two plotters that are WiFi enabled. Split the screen and watch Netflix and your chart at the same time
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:00 AM   #14
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RE: One Chartplotter, Two Stations

Hmmm. I have tried to check out the SH product, but they apparently have not yet been released. They started advertising their availability last December and several vendors are taking orders, but I haven't heard of anyone receiving the product yet. As I understand their advertising material, they are capable of receiving wifi signals and have the ability to respond to emails on a networked computer, but to duplicate the display requires another Standard Horizon display unit and a hard-wired ethernet connection. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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