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Old 11-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #1
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Simrad woes

In our PH we have a Simrad GB40 blackbox system. This eventually evolved to the now supported NSO.

We have had problems since day one with it. Random restarts out of the blue, and frequent freezing. Sometimes it wont even start up. It has a BR-24 Broadband radar hooked to it too. Its going to be replaced in the future, the dilemma is get another Simrad to use with the radar or take it all out and put a Furuno MFDBB with a 25kw open array. Again this is the future, not now.

The only thing I've liked about the Simrad is the 15" display.
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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Why Furuno? Garmin is the late comer. Reliable intuitive and price is good.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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We have had a Simrad NSE12 on Blue Sky since May 2013 and have had no issues with the display. I.e., no restarts or odd quirks. The 4G Broadband radar has some functionality issues which have been covered in another thread, and we've just replaced the Structurescan module, and the AP sometimes does strange things.
All under warrantee.

But having said all of the above, it is still a far superior system from a reliability perspective than the Furuno Navnet2 system we installed on a different boat in 2011. That system required that every single component be replaced at least once to get it to work. That seems to be a common occurrence lately in their recreational systems from what I've heard.

I didn't think that the BR-24 was a broadband radar?
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:41 PM   #4
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Why Furuno? Garmin is the late comer. Reliable intuitive and price is good.

Future expandability. I like Garmin, but they have their limits.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
We have had a Simrad NSE12 on Blue Sky since May 2013 and have had no issues with the display. I.e., no restarts or odd quirks. The 4G Broadband radar has some functionality issues which have been covered in another thread, and we've just replaced the Structurescan module, and the AP sometimes does strange things.

All under warrantee.



But having said all of the above, it is still a far superior system from a reliability perspective than the Furuno Navnet2 system we installed on a different boat in 2011. That system required that every single component be replaced at least once to get it to work. That seems to be a common occurrence lately in their recreational systems from what I've heard.



I didn't think that the BR-24 was a broadband radar?

Weird, I know many people with Navnet Vx2's that are happy. But I was talking NN3D, we just installed a NN3D MFD and love it.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:47 PM   #6
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Future expandability. I like Garmin, but they have their limits.
Examples please. What can a Furuno do that Garmin can't do? I am curious.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
We have had a Simrad NSE12 on Blue Sky since May 2013 and have had no issues with the display. I.e., no restarts or odd quirks. The 4G Broadband radar has some functionality issues which have been covered in another thread, and we've just replaced the Structurescan module, and the AP sometimes does strange things.
All under warrantee.

But having said all of the above, it is still a far superior system from a reliability perspective than the Furuno Navnet2 system we installed on a different boat in 2011. That system required that every single component be replaced at least once to get it to work. That seems to be a common occurrence lately in their recreational systems from what I've heard.

I didn't think that the BR-24 was a broadband radar?

The NavNet2 system I have been using has been super stable. It was installed in 2006 and has been used on average 1.000 hrs/10.000 nautical miles every year since the boat was launched.
The only problem I have seen was on one of our boats were the system would shut itself off if we "torpedoed" our bow into the back end of a wave in following seas sending huge amounts of sea water over the bow and into the antenna and stopping it.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:04 PM   #8
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Weird, I know many people with Navnet Vx2's that are happy. But I was talking NN3D, we just installed a NN3D MFD and love it.
Yes, I think the earlier versions were good. For whatever reason our end of the product cycle Navnet2 was a disaster. You would think that after years of fine tuning (at least that was our thinking at the time) the system would have all of the kinks ironed out. Perhaps they were devoting all of their energy to the newer NN3D line?

It sounds like yours is working well so that's great. I do like our Simrad system even though it has its occasional moments.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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The NavNet2 system I have been using has been super stable. It was installed in 2006 and has been used on average 1.000 hrs/10.000 nautical miles every year since the boat was launched.
The only problem I have seen was on one of our boats were the system would shut itself off if we "torpedoed" our bow into the back end of a wave in following seas sending huge amounts of sea water over the bow and into the antenna and stopping it.
As I mentioned to N4712 I think earlier versions were great but something happened at the end of the product cycle. In fact when our 7" display packed it in there was a scramble to find a replacement as it was no longer in production.

But I really wanted to comment on your Ocean Alexander Mk I. I've always been a fan, and to hear of the kind of use you put it to (sea water over the bow stopping the antenna) suggests that it is even more formidable that I imagined!
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:28 PM   #10
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Simrad woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
Yes, I think the earlier versions were good. For whatever reason our end of the product cycle Navnet2 was a disaster. You would think that after years of fine tuning (at least that was our thinking at the time) the system would have all of the kinks ironed out. Perhaps they were devoting all of their energy to the newer NN3D line?



It sounds like yours is working well so that's great. I do like our Simrad system even though it has its occasional moments.

Not sure what happened at the end. I've been learning our NN3D and come to love it more and more.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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When it works, I prefer the Simrad NSO/NSE/NSS to the Furuno NavNet 3D. It's kinda like a Mac vs PC thing. The biggest issues I had with the Furuno NN3D on my Grand Banks I think was related to having 4 of them networked together, but I'm not sure. Button presses were unresponsive, typically taking a couple of seconds to respond. When you are trying to highlight and click on a target to acquire it, it's a royal pain in the ass. Also, all the setup and configuration stuff is burried in two different sets of screens. Why two I don't know. One of them is just slow to get into and back out of, and the other you can't really use unless you are dockside. It basically shuts down the nav system and starts some setup/config program, then takes forever to get back to the nav system. Speaking of which , the boot up time is also painfully slow, which aggravates the switching between setup and nav. Lots of other issues too. Doesn't support AIS over N2K. Crashes reliably if you leave the tides and currents turned on. Also crashes reliably when you update charts.

That said, I think Furuno has superior radar. When I bought Simrad I figured Pulse radar was mature enough technology that everyone's would be the same. Not so. I have 4G plus a 10KW 6' open array pulse radar. In all situations the 10KW out performs the 4G. Granted it has a much narrower beam width with a 6' open array vs the 4G's 18" array, but with all the hype about the 4G I was expecting as good or better performance at least at close range. Not so. I even think my 24" Furuno dome performed better than the 4G.

Other than the radar, the Simrad stuff is working pretty well. There are a handful of issues that I'm working through, but my installers tell me it's way fewer than most.

The biggest issue with Simrad is their tech support which is essentially non-existant. If you didn't bother to read the manual and want an answer to something that you could have read about, they can probably help. But if there is anything actually wrong, good luck. Nobody's home and nobody's listening. At least Furuno compensates for their issues with good support.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:59 PM   #12
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When it works, I prefer the Simrad NSO/NSE/NSS to the Furuno NavNet 3D. It's kinda like a Mac vs PC thing. The biggest issues I had with the Furuno NN3D on my Grand Banks I think was related to having 4 of them networked together, but I'm not sure. Button presses were unresponsive, typically taking a couple of seconds to respond. When you are trying to highlight and click on a target to acquire it, it's a royal pain in the ass. Also, all the setup and configuration stuff is burried in two different sets of screens. Why two I don't know. One of them is just slow to get into and back out of, and the other you can't really use unless you are dockside. It basically shuts down the nav system and starts some setup/config program, then takes forever to get back to the nav system. Speaking of which , the boot up time is also painfully slow, which aggravates the switching between setup and nav. Lots of other issues too. Doesn't support AIS over N2K. Crashes reliably if you leave the tides and currents turned on. Also crashes reliably when you update charts.

That said, I think Furuno has superior radar. When I bought Simrad I figured Pulse radar was mature enough technology that everyone's would be the same. Not so. I have 4G plus a 10KW 6' open array pulse radar. In all situations the 10KW out performs the 4G. Granted it has a much narrower beam width with a 6' open array vs the 4G's 18" array, but with all the hype about the 4G I was expecting as good or better performance at least at close range. Not so. I even think my 24" Furuno dome performed better than the 4G.

Other than the radar, the Simrad stuff is working pretty well. There are a handful of issues that I'm working through, but my installers tell me it's way fewer than most.

The biggest issue with Simrad is their tech support which is essentially non-existant. If you didn't bother to read the manual and want an answer to something that you could have read about, they can probably help. But if there is anything actually wrong, good luck. Nobody's home and nobody's listening. At least Furuno compensates for their issues with good support.

Great analogy. The main reason why I like the Furuno units is because: it's compatibility w/ Maxsea, Furuno's radar, the MM3D charts, and they are just so robustly built. But like you said I noticed there is a delay. I've come to deal with it. Just played with a friends MFDBB today and I could tell the difference. Plus the radar was great from what I could see.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:05 PM   #13
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When I put together the electronics package for the Nordhavn, I put a lot of emphasis on integrated components. In a nut shell, if you want radar overlay on your charts, you need radar and a chart plotter from the same vendor. And if you want integrated fishfinder display with your chart plotter, then the fish finder needs to be the same vendor as the chart plotter. That's because radar and fish finder displays are proprietary data formats for each vendor and they don't interoperate. I liked Simrad's chart plotters, so went with their radar and fish finder so they would be integrated. I'm a numb-skill when it comes to fishing and fish finders, so I couldn't tell you if the simrad device is good, bad, or the same as others. From my previous post you can see that I'm disappointed in their radar.

Although I really like having radar overlaid on a chart (some of the time, but not always), I'm now thinking it's better to forgo integration of proprietary devices and focus on best of breed for any given device. So, for example, I'm considering replacing the Simrad radar with a stand alone Furuno Radar. I'd lose chart overlay, but get the best of breed radar. My autopilot, though also Simrad, gets driven from Coastal Explored so it's completely independent from the other Simrad stuff. All my other instruments are N2K and can be displayed on any brand of equipment. Data shows on the NSO, on Coastal Explorer, on the Autopilot display, on the VHF, and on N2KView, so each device can be (and I think is) best of breed.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:17 PM   #14
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When I put together the electronics package for the Nordhavn, I put a lot of emphasis on integrated components. In a nut shell, if you want radar overlay on your charts, you need radar and a chart plotter from the same vendor. And if you want integrated fishfinder display with your chart plotter, then the fish finder needs to be the same vendor as the chart plotter. That's because radar and fish finder displays are proprietary data formats for each vendor and they don't interoperate. I liked Simrad's chart plotters, so went with their radar and fish finder so they would be integrated. I'm a numb-skill when it comes to fishing and fish finders, so I couldn't tell you if the simrad device is good, bad, or the same as others. From my previous post you can see that I'm disappointed in their radar.

Although I really like having radar overlaid on a chart (some of the time, but not always), I'm now thinking it's better to forgo integration of proprietary devices and focus on best of breed for any given device. So, for example, I'm considering replacing the Simrad radar with a stand alone Furuno Radar. I'd lose chart overlay, but get the best of breed radar. My autopilot, though also Simrad, gets driven from Coastal Explored so it's completely independent from the other Simrad stuff. All my other instruments are N2K and can be displayed on any brand of equipment. Data shows on the NSO, on Coastal Explorer, on the Autopilot display, on the VHF, and on N2KView, so each device can be (and I think is) best of breed.

Yep, that's why I'm trying to slowly switch every thing over, so it will be Garmin/Furuno. Which for me is the best of both worlds. The Garmin has a ducer which gives a great picture. We were also planning on next haul out to add a ducer and DFF-1, have you used one?


Here's basically over the Next two or three years where I'd (like) it to be.

X2 Furuno MFDBB's
Nav Comp running Maxsea
Sat compass
Flir
Also tie all the TV's into the MFDBB's so one could view nav data.

Then again we might have a new boat in two years.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:59 PM   #15
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Personally I wouldn't get a NN3D device simply because there's no longer and new development being done for it. It's in support mode only. The last significant update they did was about 4 years ago, and the most recent which was about a year ago didn't really fix any of the problems. All new development is on the TZ, so that's the only thing I'd consider. I know lots of people love MaxSea, but to me that's the root of the problem with Furuno chart plotters now, and why I wouldn't consider either a NN3D or TZ. Before geting too deeply vested in MaxSea (and Furuno chart plotters), give Coastal Explorer a try to see what nav software can be like. Personally I think it's like night and day. I have a license to MaxSea and haven't used it in over 2 years and around 8,000 miles of cruising. There's just no reason to suffer any longer.

Now a caveat. In case it isn't obvious, I have some strong opinions on this stuff. But they are just my opinions and I fully respect whatever others like, prefer, etc.

Back to your more specific questions, I have a DFF1 on my Grand Banks. It has worked fine, but like I said in another post, I'm not a very good judge since I know pretty much nothing about fishing. The only complain I have is that the color used for the sea temp scale and graph line is nearly impossible to see.

There was a discussion of Sat compasses in another thread recently. The Furuno SC50 seems to have a good reputation, though replacing the batter is a nuisance. Battery life appears to be directly related to whether you leave the compass powered on all the time, or leave it off a lot. The SC30 is lower maintanance, but I know a lot of people who have had trouble with them. A number of failures/replacements. Lots of cases of people losing fix and boats pulling crazy Ivans. I know one that hit a bridge abutment when the SC30 decided to take a break. They also apparently consume a huge portion (60-70%) on the N2K bus at times. I've got the Simrad HS70. The basic compass is fine, but the N2K interface has serious problems. There is now an update that supposedly fixes it, but I have been unsuccessful applying it. But I'm optimistic that I'll get it working.

Oh, since you are using NN3D and spend a lot of time in the Bahamas, watch out for the Explorer Raster Charts for the NN3D. The georeferencing of Great Sal is off by about 1/2 mile at a closer zoom level. I reported it about a year ago but never got any response from MapMedia, MaxSea's map division. Furuno was responsive confirming the problem, but pointed me to MapMedia to get it fixed. And therein is another issue I have with the MaxSea/Furuno mush - being 100% reliant on MapMedia for all charts. I've had two incidents of purchased charts that were pretty broken and MapMedia was unresponsive and I was out my $$$ for the purchase.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:45 PM   #16
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As I mentioned to N4712 I think earlier versions were great but something happened at the end of the product cycle. In fact when our 7" display packed it in there was a scramble to find a replacement as it was no longer in production.

But I really wanted to comment on your Ocean Alexander Mk I. I've always been a fan, and to hear of the kind of use you put it to (sea water over the bow stopping the antenna) suggests that it is even more formidable that I imagined!
I certainly hope to never dive the bow of Southern Promise into seas making our radar stop!
The vessels I was refering to are in SAR operation.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:41 PM   #17
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Oliver, you and your dad can come down anytime to check out our nn3d. 4600 hours and 30k+ nautical miles come see all the hair and warts. The charts aren't great but the good news is that the garmin iPad app is all you need for the Bahamas. Just glad I learned to navigate before they invented all this stuff. You can probably even teach me how to use it.


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