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Old 09-03-2014, 11:44 AM   #21
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My personal preference has always been course-up, so that the radar and chartplotter displays match what my eyes see.

I also have paper charts at the helm (old school....), and I may be a little off for doing it this way, but I orient the paper chart so that it is also 'course up', likewise to match the view I see.

I have the Simrad 4G setup, and have generally been pleased with it - except for software bugs. I think Simrad released the unit before the software was fully worked out. There have been several versions of software updates released since the unit was first introduced (I think it's now up to the 4th or 5th version, 3.0). Each update seems to address bugs like the one you are experiencing - do you have version 3.0 of the software?
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:06 PM   #22
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I have the Simrad 4G setup, and have generally been pleased with it - except for software bugs. I think Simrad released the unit before the software was fully worked out. There have been several versions of software updates released since the unit was first introduced (I think it's now up to the 4th or 5th version, 3.0). Each update seems to address bugs like the one you are experiencing - do you have version 3.0 of the software?

Hi Nick - glad to see a fellow 4G user here.

You are right - a good system except for the bugs. I tried to find the version of the 4G but it is in hiding somewhere. I'll ask the technician next time I chat with him. He did do an update recently so I assume it is the latest version, but I don't know.

Question....do you have any issue with the overlay not aligning? Ours aligns properly only periodically, and the tech tells me that the GPS/heading sensor is the issue, and another one is on order.

Sort of related - do you have structurescan?
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:16 PM   #23
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The software should allow the user to specify settings and those settings should stick after a power on/off cycle.
Is it possible there's an explicit "save settings" function? Obsolete UI but might be in there somewhere.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:47 PM   #24
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Hi Nick - glad to see a fellow 4G user here.

You are right - a good system except for the bugs. I tried to find the version of the 4G but it is in hiding somewhere. I'll ask the technician next time I chat with him. He did do an update recently so I assume it is the latest version, but I don't know.

Question....do you have any issue with the overlay not aligning? Ours aligns properly only periodically, and the tech tells me that the GPS/heading sensor is the issue, and another one is on order.

Sort of related - do you have structurescan?
I would hope the tech is correct. Could it be a True vs Magnetic setting difference? How far off is the mis-alignment?
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:10 PM   #25
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Conrad,

I've never had any problems with the alignment on chart overlay, it's always worked perfectly.

Just as an experiment, I tried my system to see if it would save north-up, and it did. I don't have the newest software version, mine is 2.4 (which I believe was the 3rd iteration), it was followed by 2.5 and 3.0. I wonder again if you have an earlier and buggier version of the software.

What's structurescan? I don't know what that is, which means I probably don't have it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #26
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Navico is quite a large and important company in marine electronics (they are the parent of Simrad). I'm fairly involved with their engineering and product management people. If you found things about their products that you didn't like, I sure hope you've given the feedback to them - they want to hear it. Discussing it here is fine but it's sort of like complaining about your wife in a crowded bar. It might make you feel better but the problems won't get fixed until you talk to your wife instead.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:29 PM   #27
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Ok, but lack of customer support, discontinuing parts support seems to be a recurring theme I hear. I own no Simrad stuff, or Navco for that matter. Though I have Garmin, in some ways they have aggravated me. Just sayin... With the competition.....ain't no room for screw ups. I am waiting for March Pumps get owned by customers dissatisfied with their bedside manner and lack of customer service, even though they likely have the best raw water AC air conditioner pump out there.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:02 PM   #28
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Navico is quite a large and important company in marine electronics (they are the parent of Simrad). I'm fairly involved with their engineering and product management people. If you found things about their products that you didn't like, I sure hope you've given the feedback to them - they want to hear it. Discussing it here is fine but it's sort of like complaining about your wife in a crowded bar. It might make you feel better but the problems won't get fixed until you talk to your wife instead.
My comments here are only after my supplier/installer has spent a lot of time working on the system and talking with Simrad. These issues were brought to Simrad's attention shortly after the purchase in January.

The latest on the lack of target trails in overlay mode is that they determined that they would not include them as they would provide too much clutter. But it is on their wish list now I gather.

I did try to discuss the 4G issues with my wife but that got me nowhere....
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:18 AM   #29
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My comments here are only after my supplier/installer has spent a lot of time working on the system and talking with Simrad. These issues were brought to Simrad's attention shortly after the purchase in January.
I'm just saying that if you're unhappy about software things, you need to get the feedback to marketing and engineering. Technical support feedback isn't going to get back properly in most situations. The feedback they'll provide is installation and product failure information. If there are user-interface suggestions or problems, you have to get it back to the people who work with that part of the product. Given that the product engineering is in Oklahoma, I don't think many of them are out on the water that often to see how the stuff really works.

Complaining here will do nothing to make the products better although it might make you feel better. Getting the feedback back will change the product - all of these new 4G products can be download-upgraded for user-interface and software functionality improvements.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:42 AM   #30
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Navico is quite a large and important company in marine electronics (they are the parent of Simrad). I'm fairly involved with their engineering and product management people. If you found things about their products that you didn't like, I sure hope you've given the feedback to them - they want to hear it. Discussing it here is fine but it's sort of like complaining about your wife in a crowded bar. It might make you feel better but the problems won't get fixed until you talk to your wife instead.
Who? I have lists of bugs to report, but can't find anyone who listens, Their tech support gets a D- grade. They are useless. My boat is a Simrad showcase (100% Simrad) and will either show them well, or show them poorly depending on whether I can get it all to work properly.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:34 AM   #31
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I'm just saying that if you're unhappy about software things, you need to get the feedback to marketing and engineering. Technical support feedback isn't going to get back properly in most situations. The feedback they'll provide is installation and product failure information. If there are user-interface suggestions or problems, you have to get it back to the people who work with that part of the product. Given that the product engineering is in Oklahoma, I don't think many of them are out on the water that often to see how the stuff really works.

Complaining here will do nothing to make the products better although it might make you feel better. Getting the feedback back will change the product - all of these new 4G products can be download-upgraded for user-interface and software functionality improvements.
??? What is the point of tech support if it is not to provide support to the customer if things aren't working? In any dealings I've had with other companies if the tech support folks can't help they move it up to wherever it needs to go - engineering or whatever.

In any event I have a note from their National Warranty Manager who says that since apparently I'm the only one who has asked for target trails in overlay mode they will not be addressing it at this time. No comment on why the radar keeps losing North Up.

I did not post my comments to "feel better". I posted them as info for anyone considering the Simrad 4G radar. It is a good close-in radar but it does have its downsides.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:05 AM   #32
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Conrad,

I've never had any problems with the alignment on chart overlay, it's always worked perfectly.

Just as an experiment, I tried my system to see if it would save north-up, and it did. I don't have the newest software version, mine is 2.4 (which I believe was the 3rd iteration), it was followed by 2.5 and 3.0. I wonder again if you have an earlier and buggier version of the software.

What's structurescan? I don't know what that is, which means I probably don't have it.
Good to hear that you can set and keep the North up setting. I do believe I have the latest version, so perhaps something was lost when they were tweaking the product. Or I have a bug.

Structurescan is Simrad's broadband depthsounder that provides downscan and sidescan in incredible detail. It is not necessarily a replacement for a depthsounder as it is not reliable below about 350 feet but it is amazing to see the ocean floor in such high definition.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:23 AM   #33
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I would hope the tech is correct. Could it be a True vs Magnetic setting difference? How far off is the mis-alignment?
The misalignment varies according to the direction the vessel is heading. I initially thought that it might be a magnetic vs true thing, but it varies so much that sometimes the radar is counterclockwise to the chart and sometimes clockwise to the chart. That one we think is due to having the incorrect GPS/heading sensor. A different one is on order.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:35 AM   #34
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Who? I have lists of bugs to report, but can't find anyone who listens, Their tech support gets a D- grade. They are useless. My boat is a Simrad showcase (100% Simrad) and will either show them well, or show them poorly depending on whether I can get it all to work properly.
My point was, if you're not getting results from technical support, get to the product managers and get the feedback directly to them. In a perfect world, the customer wouldn't have to do that. Technical support would escalate a problem, create reports, do full analysis, and provide the feedback themselves. Sadly, most companies view technical support as an expense and not the sales effort it could/should be.

Working through a company to provide feedback and demand results will likely be frustrating and take a little time. But I can guarantee that the possibility of results will be significantly higher than complaining about needed functionality here. The best use of a forum would be to organize a dozen or so common users to get a little more clout about a problem.

For fun, I tried looking for managers at Navico within LinkedIn. It took less than 30 seconds to find a variety of upper level product managers and the executives of the company. I'd bet that with a couple of calls you could easily obtain the email contacts for product managers of specific products that are having problems for you. Starting a respectful dialog with one of those managers is a fantastic place to start. Getting 20 users together to form a group would go much further. If you'd like a place for a specific group like Simrad Users, I'd happily set one up in eBoatCards.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:35 AM   #35
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Neither of these extra bits of mental juggling is a big deal, unless you're fatigued, panicked, etc. Then, perhaps it matters.
See I like heading/course up so when I look out the window what I see matches the screen real time.

Having to mentally correct from or to North up makes no sense to me just for the reasons you mention above.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:21 AM   #36
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I have always been a course up navigator.. who cares where north is.. to me the course is all that matters. Too often I seem to boat with newbies and they really would be challenged by North up.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:01 AM   #37
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Another thought is that if the compass is stand-alone or part of another system, and is not active or powered on, your radar and plotters will have no true north reference and might revert to course-up mode.

My Simrad rate compass feeds all of my other instruments and is part of the autopilot. If it is powered off, I have no true-north reference on the network. Absent this signal, the radar comes up in course-up mode and north-up is not even a selectable option. Once the autopilot and compass are powered up, it becomes available, but has to be switched manually.

This could behave similarly if there is any intermittent signal interruption in the compass, wiring or connection to the network.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #38
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I have always been a course up navigator.. who cares where north is.. to me the course is all that matters. Too often I seem to boat with newbies and they really would be challenged by North up.
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The dang navigation course instructors...that's who!!!!

When the newgen GPS/Chartplotter crowd get to old "to do" and starts teaching....then maybe it will all change in the "stuffy old" classroom....
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