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New Electronics 09 Oct 2017 21:56 #1

  • DryMartini
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It is time to upgrade the electronics on my 3888. I am looking to replace the radar, navigation system, and depth gauge. Finding unbiased reviews of the new electronics has proven difficult; therefore I thought I would ask what others have selected and how happy they are with their electronics. Most of my boating is done on the Mississippi river; thus, I do not need a long range radar and I need a navigation system that can be loaded with the river charts. Also, to save costs, I was planning to use a tablet to monitor the radar and navigation at the second station, which requires wifi capable electronics.

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New Electronics 10 Oct 2017 00:01 #2

  • simbad
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If you click on my username and find my topics I had a recent thread about the same. Might find some useful Info..

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New Electronics 10 Oct 2017 01:49 #3

  • Norton Rider
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Defender.com often has blowout sales on Simrad and B&G electronics. Last year I bought two, 12" chartplotters, Radar, and a fishfinder module at an amazing prize.

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New Electronics 10 Oct 2017 18:31 #4

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Simbad I tried looking at your recent posts; however, I did not find anything specific on electronics. A while back I did read some of your input on electronics. Thanks for the reply.

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New Electronics 10 Oct 2017 18:43 #5

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Try a search for ‘ planned electronics upgrade ‘

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New Electronics 11 Oct 2017 05:39 #6

  • igiftmon
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I retrofitted Omega with an Garmin electronics package and love every part.



I chose Garmin for many reasons including price and options. Like Simeon said, there is a thread that he has that myself and others commented on that may help. The Garmin systems have wifi and make it so you can interface easily with tablets and such.

~BJ
OMEGA
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New Electronics 11 Oct 2017 16:30 #7

  • Solandri
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DryMartini wrote: Also, to save costs, I was planning to use a tablet to monitor the radar and navigation at the second station, which requires wifi capable electronics.

All three big names - Raytheon, Navico (B&G, Simrad, Lowrance), and Garmin - can do this. I researched them further while I was shopping around and learned:

  • Raytheon's system requires the MFD act as the WiFi hotspot, and the tablet connects to the MFD. This means your tablet can act as a second station, or have WiFi Internet access. It can't do both simultaneously. I inquired about adding this capability in the future, and Raytheon actually responded (their forum reps seemed most responsive and knowledgeable of the three), but it was a "we will take your suggestion under advisement, but no you can't do that with our stuff right now" response.
  • I didn't get around to determining if this was possible with Garmin. Their screen mirroring works with both iOS and Android, but their chartplotter app is iOS-only. That led to some further research, and it turns out a lot of their software is iOS-only, which took them out of the running for me. A Garmin owner will have to say if this is possible.
  • I was able to determine that Navico's screen mirroring works whether you use the MFD as the hotspot, or connect the MFD and tablet to the same external hotspot. So I can connect both the tablet and MFD to my phone's hotspot. The tablet can mirror the MFD screen, and will still have Internet access. So if, say, I get an email or video call, I can still access it on my tablet instead of being forced to do it with my phone. This turned out to be important last fishing trip when we were catching rockfish, and I needed to do Google image searches for pics of different rockfish species to make sure what we were keeping was legal. When done, I simply switched back to the mirroring app, instead of having to first change WiFi hotspots.
I ended up going with Navico for this reason. From what I could tell, the underlying software for B&G, Simrad, and Lowrance is the same. Just slight differences in presentation. Most of the difference was hardware. Lowrance was more cheaply built (plastic frame, vs metal for B&G and Simrad), and the knobs/buttons are different. B&G is aimed more for sailing. Simrad supposedly more for offshore, Lowrance more for freshwater fishermen. I got a 9" Lowrance MFD with the idea that plastic was OK because it'd be in the cabin helm, and I'd use the tablet on the flybridge. But after using it for a bit, I think I should've gone the other way. A Simrad for the flybridge, and the tablet in the cabin. These MFDs can get super-bright for use in sunlight. Much brighter than my tablet can get. And the tablet is sometimes hard to see while on the flybridge.

Do be aware that the tablet can only mirror the MFD display. You cannot have the MFD showing (say) the chart/radar screen, while the tablet displays the sonar screen. So the tablet mirroring can save you money when it comes to a second station (flybridge), but not if you want multiple screens at a single station. (In theory it should be possible to make the tablet display a different screen - newer MFDs use multi-core processors which are powerful enough to simultaneously generate multiple displays. And I know the Raytheon stuff runs Linux with X-Window under the hood, which has supported virtual desktops for decades. But I don't see any manufacturer supporting this capability when they can sell you a $x,999 MFD instead.)

The way the mirroring works is the MFD converts the screen it's showing into a streamed video (all graphics hardware has had the capability to do this in real-time for about the last 5 years). It then transmits that stream to the tablet. From the tablet's perspective, it's just playing a streamed movie. This does mean however that if your MFD's and tablet's aspect ratio don't match, you're going to get some black bars. In particular, the Navico mirroring app adds some command menus above the mirrored screen (to make up for the buttons on the MFD). My tablet happens to be 16:10 while my MFD is 16:9 (most 7" and 9" MFDs are), so the black bars are minimal. But if I'd gotten a 16:10 MFD (typical 12" and 16" MFD), i suspect the mirrored display would've been shrunk to make room for the menu at top, meaning black bars on the left and right. Likewise, a 4:3 tablet (iPad) with 16:9 MFD would mean much bigger black bars on top and bottom.
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New Electronics 12 Oct 2017 01:59 #8

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Solandri, just a small point in your post - Raytheon should read Raymarine. The former brand name became Raymarine around 15 years ago. :whistle: B) Cheers

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New Electronics 12 Oct 2017 02:46 #9

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Oops, yeah. Worked in aerospace when I was younger. Raytheon sold Raymarine to FLIR a few years back (yes, the thermal imaging guys).

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New Electronics 12 Oct 2017 04:18 #10

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Solandri wrote: Oops, yeah. Worked in aerospace when I was younger. Raytheon sold Raymarine to FLIR a few years back (yes, the thermal imaging guys).


Just a little tidbit about Raytheon...they will sell off a profitable line of products to another company when they need to restructure their debt to asset ratio in order to bid on certain government contracts. I got that info from one of the VPs at Raytheon a few years ago.

Greg

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New Electronics 12 Oct 2017 04:35 #11

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Good write up Solandri...

I'm not sure about the other manufacturers mirroring of the MFD, but Garmins system allows the tablet to fully control the MFD as if you were manipulating the actual MFD. Like you said, it is a great help for a second station application..,,

~BJ

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New Electronics 12 Oct 2017 15:40 #12

  • Uncle Bob
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My Raymarine is a C127 below and a C125 repeater up that shows all that appears on the C127. There are a couple of phone apps that interface and the radar is wifi. All works slick.

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New Electronics 12 Oct 2017 23:05 #13

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Solandri: Thanks for the information. This is quite helpful.

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