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Old 02-17-2017, 02:49 PM   #21
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When we took possession of Shangri-La we had all the nav electronics replaced. Due to our old school cable steering, only the Simrad unit would work. It interfaces fine with the 7610 Garmins.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:52 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=LarryM;524516
The only downsides I can see with the Reactor are that there are no knobs on the control units to adjust the course, or steer the boat. I hate using the left/right buttons for some number of degrees of adjustment, multiple presses etc. Also, there is no provision in Garmin AP lineup, either now or in the immediate future, for a jogstick. I like fingertip follow-up steering as provided by Simrad autopilots. And finally, some of the basic AP functions are several layers deep in the menus, I prefer more dedicated buttons on the controls.

I'll know more in a few weeks after it is installed and I become familiar with its features and operation.[/QUOTE]

You bring up some good points, especially support for more sophisticated AP accessories. The OP is looking for the basics, so not applicable to him, but potentially important to others.

I too really like a knob for making course adjustments in Auto mode. I find it so much easier to dial in any arbitrary number of degrees course change vs pushing a button many times.

And I really like follow up steering controls. They allow for much faster rudder control than I could ever do by hand, and are a god-send when docking. I actually don't know when I last used my wheel to steer, and know a number of people who have eliminated the wheel completely. My need for redundancy and backup plans has prevented me from going that far, but the wheel sure does get in the way sometimes.....
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:29 PM   #23
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I have a older ComNav 1420 on a 38' with 2 helms. Simple and durable, I use it to hold a heading, on the river I do not need the nav function although it will interface with my SH cp plotter.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:45 PM   #24
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When I looked at the Garmin Autopilot, I decided against it as it required the "Course Computer" to be installed in the lazarette very close to the pump. Since I already had power cables running back to the pump from the existing course computer at midship, that would have required me to run a dedicated network cable back to the stern. I am glad I read the installation instructions before I bought the Garmin.

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Old 02-17-2017, 06:46 PM   #25
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Still a student of these devices, but I will throw in a +1 for simple helmsman role, I haven't seen a waypoint yet I don't want to supervise the turn making waypoint following somewhat of a novelty.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:26 PM   #26
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I've used Garmin, Furuno, Simrad, and Anschutz autopilots. They're all different but the same. Just different ways to operate. They're also all changing in terms of controls. It's like many things changing. I don't like touch screen but times are forcing me to get used to it. I held out for keyboards.

I will say too that all are an adjustment. My first was Furuno and I remember adjusting to another and wanting it to work just like the Furuno. Well, it didn't, worked better.

Oh, one thing Garmin has that is unique. You can program a Garmin watch to be used as a remote control. I have not done that, but will have to play with it some day.

I do think the Garmin has some weaknesses pointed out and they tend to be more the consumer they target. They target a smaller boat than Simrad does.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:09 PM   #27
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Oh, one thing Garmin has that is unique. You can program a Garmin watch to be used as a remote control. I have not done that, but will have to play with it some day.
I do not have a garmin AP but I do have a garmin MFD sonar/radar/plotter and the helm app technology is actually pretty sweet. It turns your phone and/or tablet into an MFD over wifi.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:16 PM   #28
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I do not have a garmin AP but I do have a garmin MFD sonar/radar/plotter and the helm app technology is actually pretty sweet. It turns your phone and/or tablet into an MFD over wifi.
We've used with tablet but haven't gone the phone route yet.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:21 PM   #29
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We've used with tablet but haven't gone the phone route yet.


It works pretty good with iPhones.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:02 PM   #30
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highly recommend the ComNav unit-did not marry mine to Garmin plotter-use to follow course set-use remote on flybridge for steerage. in ICW-older unit but very reliable. Support is very good
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:50 PM   #31
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highly recommend the ComNav unit... Support is very good
Looking at their website, its not clear what unit serves what use, and no prices. Which unit do you have?
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:29 PM   #32
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Looking at their website, its not clear what unit serves what use, and no prices. Which unit do you have?


I have the 1420 with the second control head.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:43 PM   #33
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I have the 1420 with the second control head.
ComNav 1420 10070017 Price 12V Rotary Feedback 18Ci/m AutoPilot w Octopus Pump

Price seems reasonable. I'm going to be at the boat end of the month; will get an install estimate.

Bill
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:25 PM   #34
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solid , dependable Auto pilots. Really good company support and thousands of them out on the coasts working day in day out. If you need a bullet proof dependable , no frills AP, this should be considered.
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:53 PM   #35
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For over ten years I have had my sailboat plotter feed way points to my autopilot. When we are in really poor viability situations, and I am on a known track to a known marker, this will hold my destination track perfectly ensuring safe passage. If I were just using it to hold a heading I could easily be on a parallel course right over shallow waters or rock outcrops. It can be a pain to make the units interface but once done you will love it.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:26 PM   #36
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For over ten years I have had my sailboat plotter feed way points to my autopilot. When we are in really poor viability situations, and I am on a known track to a known marker, this will hold my destination track perfectly ensuring safe passage. If I were just using it to hold a heading I could easily be on a parallel course right over shallow waters or rock outcrops. It can be a pain to make the units interface but once done you will love it.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:03 PM   #37
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Some more!
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:41 PM   #38
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For over ten years I have had my sailboat plotter feed way points to my autopilot. When we are in really poor viability situations, and I am on a known track to a known marker, this will hold my destination track perfectly ensuring safe passage. If I were just using it to hold a heading I could easily be on a parallel course right over shallow waters or rock outcrops. It can be a pain to make the units interface but once done you will love it.
Always easier to interface garmins to garmins or raymarines to raymarines.... Always.
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:27 PM   #39
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usually with older units...NMEA 0183...it's only a couple of wires and it is easy once you know the correct 2 wires from one unit and the correct 2 wires from the other....


really cant short anything out unless you accidently use the power wire.
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:29 PM   #40
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Looking at their website, its not clear what unit serves what use, and no prices. Which unit do you have?
I have the 1001 unit-very simple and robust.
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