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Old 12-03-2016, 03:15 PM   #1
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"Quick-fix" Electronics update - recommendations?

My new-to-me boat has 2004 NavNet electronics:
Furuno 1733 C/NT 7" display, 4kw 36 mi radar/plot, 24" dome
Furuno GP 1710 C/NT 7" LCD Plotter w/GPS, C-Map version
Furuno Navpilot 500
Furuno BBFF1 NavNet Sounder/FF
Furuno Bronze 525ST thru-hull transducer w/Fairing block
Older Standard VHF w Shakespeare 8' antenna
Furuno BBWGPS Navnet GPS receiver

In 2-3 years, I would like to update almost all of them. Why not now? In addition to engine and some liveaboard-friendly house-work, my budget now only permits me to do a bottom job, service the PSS dripless and the rudder glands, replace the 2006 Gel cell house batteries, get a "new tech" inverter, add a solar array, and update the VHF and the chartplotting elements of my electronics, for safety's sake.

1) I expect to be adding a Standard GX6500 VHF w/AIS when it is released
2) I have a 14" Windows 10 touch-screen "boat laptop" and would like to run Navionics with that. Can I plug the BBWGPS Navnet receiver into the laptop?
3) Will that 36-mi Furuno 24" dome magnetron hold out for awhile longer, maybe? It's 12 yrs old... Probably has not gotten much use in the past 7 years, though.

While I could swap out the BBFF1 for a GP1870F combo, I already have a laptop and am not sure if it would be worth the extra $500-600 cost, given that I want to redo the whole system in a few years from now (as long as the old radar dome still functions). I do want to fish, but I could probably make do with the BBFF1 for that, as it does still work.

Would be kind of cool if I could use that laptop for N2K data displaying, too. Is there a way for doing that?
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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Would be kind of cool if I could use that laptop for N2K data displaying, too. Is there a way for doing that?
Several vendors have a NMEA 2000 to PC gateway. Maybe the most comprehensive is Nemo from Rose Point SW but Maretron and Actisense also make them.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:50 PM   #3
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I don't see anything that needs urgent replacement. That was good stuff when its was new. Take your time.
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:10 PM   #4
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New Moon's 1998 Furuno 1732 4KW radar still works perfectly. 1998 Icom M127 radio stil works perfectly. Garmin 2006C chartplotter from 2002 still works perfectly. Very many thousands of miles traveled with each. I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:39 PM   #5
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You can find wifi enabled nmea multiplexer that will receive all your probe data (gps, radar etc) and you can either connect to them by direct wired link using usb cable or more easilly by wifi. Personnally I would plan a cable link on one computer and using wifi on a laptop for redundancy and to prevent any instrumentation loss in case of wifi issue.
This is what I plan to do too a bit later. My plan would be to have a computer connected via cable in my lower helm displaying on 2 screens recessed in my dashboard and a laptop on the flybridge connected via wifi so I can get the laptop home when at the dock.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:23 PM   #6
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Thanks, all.

So, 1) wait a couple years or until I have the budget. 2) Use the laptop with a N2K-to-PC gateway (assuming I have an N2K backbone installed, which I don't yet know for sure, but this can be done). 3) Wifi - this is where it gets tougher: DMK and SeaSmart appear geared more towards iOS than to Android/PC. But ethernet and cabling are within the realm of possible anyway.

I will ask my marine electronics guy if I can connect my BBWGPS receiver up to my laptop to run Navionics. That part would help a lot.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
My new-to-me boat has 2004 NavNet electronics:
Furuno 1733 C/NT 7" display, 4kw 36 mi radar/plot, 24" dome
Furuno GP 1710 C/NT 7" LCD Plotter w/GPS, C-Map version
Furuno Navpilot 500
Furuno BBFF1 NavNet Sounder/FF
Furuno Bronze 525ST thru-hull transducer w/Fairing block
Older Standard VHF w Shakespeare 8' antenna
Furuno BBWGPS Navnet GPS receiver

In 2-3 years, I would like to update almost all of them. Why not now? In addition to engine and some liveaboard-friendly house-work, my budget now only permits me to do a bottom job, service the PSS dripless and the rudder glands, replace the 2006 Gel cell house batteries, get a "new tech" inverter, add a solar array, and update the VHF and the chartplotting elements of my electronics, for safety's sake.

1) I expect to be adding a Standard GX6500 VHF w/AIS when it is released
2) I have a 14" Windows 10 touch-screen "boat laptop" and would like to run Navionics with that. Can I plug the BBWGPS Navnet receiver into the laptop?
3) Will that 36-mi Furuno 24" dome magnetron hold out for awhile longer, maybe? It's 12 yrs old... Probably has not gotten much use in the past 7 years, though.

While I could swap out the BBFF1 for a GP1870F combo, I already have a laptop and am not sure if it would be worth the extra $500-600 cost, given that I want to redo the whole system in a few years from now (as long as the old radar dome still functions). I do want to fish, but I could probably make do with the BBFF1 for that, as it does still work.

Would be kind of cool if I could use that laptop for N2K data displaying, too. Is there a way for doing that?
2004 Furuno gear is not yet dead by a long shot. I just replaced my 1987 Furuno radar 2 years ago. It was still working perfectly. Just wanted to get it relocated and the new spot wouldn't support it. Everything you have is quality stuff. Don't get sucked into "keeping up with the Jones"
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:34 PM   #8
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2004 Furuno gear is not yet dead by a long shot.
Thanks for confirming. My yacht broker suggested the same, with the exception of the chartplotter (updated charts the issue, I presume). He admitted he is a Furuno fanboy, but thanks for your confirmation.

Maybe for 2-3 years I can live without NMEA over wifi and just stick with the wired laptop N2K functionality and Navionics.

I wonder if I can use the BBWGPS receiver in conjunction with my laptop?

I only have one helm station - no flybridge. And I will be tied up 95% of the time anyway....
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:05 PM   #9
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"Quick-fix" Electronics update - recommendations?

I have a NavNet2 system with the same GPS and sounder that you have. It's all NMEA 0183. The GPS plugs into the chart plotter/radar display. The sounder plugs into an Ethernet hub to which the display also connects. I have a hub because I have the same equipment on the flybridge, so it gets the GPS and sounder data. I also have a windows 10 computer with Coastal Explorer. I networked the GPS, heading from AP, and sounder data to the PC with a cable from Port 4 on the NavNet and an Ethernet connection to the hub, so everything but radar shows up on the PC. Then I added AIS to the PC. So to answer your questions, you should be able to network your existing GPS and sounder to your PC. You may need to add a network hub and a cable from your plotter/radar display to your laptop. You don't need NMEA 2000 for what you have.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:17 PM   #10
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I have a NavNet2 system with the same GPS and sounder that you have. It's all NMEA 0183.... You may need to add a network hub and a cable from your plotter/radar display to your laptop.
drb... Brilliant. So, it seems I should wait for the release of Rose Point's Nemo Gateway ($699) which, apparently, does all of these things mentioned above, including Wifi, with which I can also use Coastal Explorer and should tie me over for at least 3 years with my current electronics suite...
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:21 PM   #11
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drb... Brilliant. So, it seems I should wait for the release of Rose Point's Nemo Gateway ($699) which, apparently, does all of these things mentioned above, including Wifi, with which I can also use Coastal Explorer and should tie me over for at least 3 years with my current electronics suite...

Actually, your system is all NMEA 0183; you don't need the $700 Nemo device unless you want to see all of the data from your system via wifi on your tablet or phone.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:24 PM   #12
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Oh, I see what you mean. Nemo Gateway intends to take both N2K and 0183 and consolidate them in one interface. Since I have full 0183, then I don't need this "gateway."

Well, what I might do, is install a N2K backbone for the data, and use the four (4) NMEA 0183 inputs into Nemo for my current NMEA0183 electronics suite (until I get new electronics), and then all that is available through the Gateway via Wifi to whatever device I may have.

Heck, I spent $328 on a 40" Smart TV which I intend to put in the Pilothouse. I gotta use that for something marine, ya know?!

BTW, your boat looks beautiful.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:55 PM   #13
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I have mostly the same radar / plotter set up as you and for the most part has worked perfectly. The only problem I have had and found is my chip went bad and screwed the whole system up. I thought it was the display that was the problem and took it to out local Furuno service center. Thats when we discovered the chip was the issue. be aware that Furuno does not make new chips for the NavNet 1. I had to search on line and found one on ebay. If you are going to go cruising make sure you get all of the chips you require because they are getting harder to find.
My boat is a 2003 and the complete system was added in 03 so we probably have the same vintage.

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Old 12-03-2016, 10:10 PM   #14
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I have mostly the same... and for the most part has worked perfectly.... only problem I have had... is my chip went bad and screwed the whole system up.... I had to search on line and found one on ebay.
John, if you happen to have the link to the old eBay listing from when you bought that 'chip' and can share it, I would be ETERNALLY grateful...
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:21 AM   #15
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Suggest you do not jump into replacing all that gear. Use it for a while. It likely is good for more than a few years.

Use that time to research what you want to do and what the costs are, $ and headaches. Jump this soon and you will likely make some errors although that possibility exists regardless, just a bigger chance.

You may need the money this will cost for other repairs that are going to come up.
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:04 AM   #16
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You may need the money this will cost for other repairs that are going to come up.
Right, thanks...Speaking of, my mechanic told me he is booked out for the next 3 months but he said "I am gonna try to squeeze you in next week. We really need to get that stuff out of your cooling system."

Of course, this is different from 'you'll need a cooling system service soon, so I will give you a call as soon as my schedule opens up.'

I am guessing it will be, maybe, a little worse than I had hoped.

Good reason to "not fix what isn't broken." Thanks for putting a finer point on that.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:35 PM   #17
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Your current system is all 0183 I think, so Nemo is actually a really good way to pull that all together, get it on N2K, and get it on the network.

BTW, Nemo is wired Ethernet which I think is the right choice for reliability. I wouldn't use wifi for primary navigation. But if you have a wifi router on your boat already, or add one, you can get all the data on wifi too. My primary nav is hard wired, but my copy of CE on my laptop gets all the ships data via wifi. It's the best of both worlds, I think.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:47 PM   #18
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thanks twistedtree. Yeah I have to do some more prep work on the Solar array project that TF members helped me outline today. That's going to take a some time. But I do need updated charts, and yes I think you are spot on about Nemo, and I hear good things about Coastal Explorer. Per your suggestion I will run it on ethernet to my "boat laptop," but do like the idea of broadcasting it wirelessly for a tablet or Smart TV, too (I will have a 40" LED TV in the pilothouse, as it is going to be my "living room").

Hopefully by the early 2020's, FLIR/Ray will have released a dual range CHIRP HD radar product similar to Simrad's HALO line, and then I can think about a new Raymarine MFD and electronics package. And, of course, hopefully I will have money left to spend by then.

I should be able to connect the Furuno BBWGPS receiver to my laptop, right?
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:59 AM   #19
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OK, I'm going to ask a stupid question. What, exactly, do you really need?

Before you take me as a luddite, I spent 35 years working in IT and when I bought this boat I sprang for all-new N2K electronics. The geek in me loves this stuff.

But I can also remember a time when we navigated 30+ miles off shore and back with nothing but a compass and an old-style depth sounder with the rotating red light.

I'd say what you've got will last you until the budget allows for new toys. Especially if, as you say, you'll be tied up 95% of the time. As you've already found with your cooling system, things ARE going to cost more than you expected.

You have some good stuff there. Enjoy learning and playing with it. Go to N2K stuff when you can afford it.

One last thing: I was going to ditch my 2000-era Furuno 1731 CRT radar, until I found that I actually like it better in some ways than my brand-new chart plotter with radar overlay. It's the first thing that gets turned on when we hit fog. I use it all the time for ranging, tracking thunderstorms or flocks of birds, etc. If it failed now I'd probably try to fix it.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:06 PM   #20
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If you are just trying to get NMEA data to your laptop for position information then Furuno provides NMEA via RS232. If you don't have a COM port with a D9 jack on your laptop just buy a USB to RS232 dongle.

The Furuno manual will show how to make the connection.

See attached.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf FURUNO-RS232-to-PC.pdf (33.7 KB, 23 views)
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