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Old 02-11-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
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Raymarine Chartplotter RL70C

Our newly-acquired Trawler came with an elderly-but-working Raymarine Chartplotter/Radar/GPS/and charts. It has two RL70C displays, one with the chart cards and the other a repeater on the flybridge. The flybridge unit is wet inside the screen and non-functional. The rest seems to work.

Rather than fork over endless boat dollars immediately for a nice shiny new system, are there repair facilities?, should I buy an old display? - several are listed on eBay, anybody got a closet queen with which they'd like to part?

I'd like to add an auto-pilot. Will a new one be willing to talk to the older Raymarine Plotter?
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:35 PM   #2
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I had almost the same boat as you list and it also had a RL70C radar/plotter. I found it a pretty good radar but not much of a plotter. I don't think you can buy chips for it anymore to update the charts. It had a NMEA 0183 output and should support an autopilot based on the NMEA sentences it outputs. You can download the manual for it at the Raymarine website. As long as the newer autopilot has a NMEA 0183 input, it should work. One caution on autopilots. Many of them require you to have like branded multifunction display/chart plotter in order to update the software in the autopilot. I know that is true of Raymarine EVO. While you don't want to spend the money on a new chart plotter you may have to. I just used it as a radar and had a separate chart plotter.

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Old 02-11-2016, 10:47 PM   #3
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Unless you are familiar with the RL70 and like the human interface, I would trash it and get one of the new Raymarine chart plotters and wire your autopilot to the new units NEMA interface. That will save you from having the buy the high speed interface, it will keep you from having to purchase a separate GPS like the RS125 and the way they operate is really intuitive and easy to use. In addition the new MFD have great color, are really fast and come with all the US charts.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:13 AM   #4
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You didn't mention if they are HS2 plotters or if you have cartography. Acquiring cartography for that plotter will be a challenge and guaranteed to be very out of date, but if you have it - and they are HS2 - you can share charts among devices. You can also share depth info if you have it. And they can do radar over chart with a fast heading sensor.

I would not invest more money though. Sell what you have and get new.


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Old 02-12-2016, 09:52 AM   #5
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Have you tried talking to Raymarine about this? Also these guys here in NC are excellent and worth giving a call:

Seacoast Marine Electronics - Eastern North Carolina Service

We used to regularly charter a boat with this system on it and I found it quite usable. Basic by today's standards, but easy to use and got us where we wanted to be. I also thought the radar was good on it, in fact it was the unit where I really learned how to use radar and navigate in dense fog.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:26 AM   #6
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If you want RM support and are patient, their online forum is great. But it can take several days to get joined and they are slow to respond (official support is from UK).


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Old 02-12-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
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I've got a perfectly running (it was when it came out) RL70C that was at the lower helm. Its twin on the upper helm still works fine as position plotter. When the RM radar quit 6 years ago we went with Furuno so no longer needed.

As far as AP, so many variables. Chips, still easy enough to find but you probably have already. This unit has the card inserts. Mounting bracket and books too. No cabling though.

You pay the freight and 25 bucks and it's yours. PM me if any interest.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:18 AM   #8
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One thing to be aware of with this vintage of RM gear is that there were actually two versions. The original series - monochrome and color - that used the HS network for interconnections, and the "Plus" (or "+") models that used HS2. The latter network allowed sharing of radar, sounder, and chart imagery between devices. The newer version (I think they are all color) has the Plus/+ on it but can be hard to spot on eBay photos.


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Old 02-21-2016, 10:53 PM   #9
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Check with Steve at Marine Electronics Repair, he is very knowledgeable on these units and can tell you if it is repairable and if it is worth it or not. He helped me out on two separate occasions, one with a Raymarine C120 plotter and once with the radar. He was willing to talk me through the issue and the resolution.

Marty..........................
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:55 PM   #10
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You can find RL70c chart and repeater units on ebay from between $200 to $400.
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