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Old 11-15-2014, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default In progress electronics upgrade

Took delivery of the boat in April. I started with a Raymarine Dragonfly and have been upgrading along the way.

We added a Furuno TZ-Touch 9", Airmar GH2183, Lowrance Link-8 VHF, Standard Horizon GX-1150, Shakespeare Galaxy XP, and a Morad 156HD antenna before summer.

Over the last few weeks I have been accumulating parts and pieces for the next step. A lot of the items were off of Craiglist and THT to keep costs down.

The latest upgrades include:
Furuno GP-32 GPS navigator
Two Furuno GP-17 antennas, one for the GP-32, the other goes into the AIS
Furuno FA-150 Class A AIS system, with AIS display
Morad UAIS HD antenna
Furuno PG500R for heading input into the AIS system
Furuno IF-NMEA2K2 NMEA converter to output the AIS system into the TZ-touch
Speco 30 watt loud hailer speaker for the Link-8
Furuno PS-012 power supply for the radar
Furuno DRS4D radar dome

I still have to mount and wire the TM-206 transducer, I need to haulout for that. The NMEA 2000 Ts I swear are not crooked, I will put a level on them again! I also need to clean up the zip ties and get the straight.

I also need to decide if I am going to upgrade to TZT-14 which has enough Ethernet ports available that I would not need a hub, If I don't upgrade, I am going mount a Furuno HUB101 below the radar power supply, that is why there is an extra slack in the loop.

I ran LMR-195 for AIS VHF antenna.

It took me A LONG TIME to figure out the FA-150 AIS system. The manual is not written for someone who has never worked with NMEA-0183. I know DC, but the data formats, and itty bitty wires are numerous. I did not get the strain relief/cable clamps with the AIS system. I need to clean up the internal cabling inside the the AIS. I did mount the AIS system upside down for ease of wire routing.

I also need to decide if I will keep the GPS/AIS head unit cables wrapped around the dash, It seems silly to drill in the dash a few inches away, but it would clean things up. I might see how looks in some grey braided net sleeve with the ends heat shrinked (not the corrugated plastic stuff!) or drill the dash and bring everything up through a grommet.

The PG500R is not ideal for heading in a Aluminum boat. It is only used for heading on the AIS broadcast, I do want it to be accurate, but my options are to use an $$expensive satellite compass or convert me NMEA2000 Airmar into Furuno AD-10 format. I found the NIB Furuno PG500R a government surplus auction for $25! I have compared it to my Airmar, I believe it is very usable for this application (not using it for autopilot)
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:07 AM   #2
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If you fish a lot, you should keep your eyes open for a Furuno DFF1 black box sounder. I should think that you might be able to find a bargain on one from someone who has replaced it with the new CHIRP DFF1-UHD or wants to sell and upgrade. With a good transducer, the DFF1 will give you an excellent sounder picture on the TZT that should blow away the Dragonfly.
Even better would be if you could find a used DFF3 at a reasonable price. Not so likely as they are quite expensive new.

Did you mean a TM260 transducer? I assume the Dragonfly has its own transducer and you would use the TM260/B260 for the Furuno with a black box.

I have an Airmar GH2183 too and it is a very fast and stable source of heading and GPS data. That must be good on an aluminum boat since you can have it outside away from metal that would interfere with the GPS sgnals. Do the readings track between the PG500 and the GH2183? Aluminum should not have any effect on the PG500.

Don't bother with the Furuno hub. You can use any 12V ethernet switch such as the Netgear FS105 you can buy for $20
Amazon Amazon

The only reason to use the Furuno hub is to get the power control features on a NavNet system with multiple displays. You don't need that so save your money.

I would bite the bullet and drill for the cables and use cable pass through glands or grommets to get a much cleaner and more professional looking installation.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:23 AM   #3
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That is a DFF1 to the right of the AIS. I will do the grommets. I just could find anything I liked yet. That and I need a new unibit. Should take about 5 minutes after the holes are drilled.

Yes I did intend to say TM-260. The Dragonfly is going to be a backup plotter only.

I just installed a HUB101 on a boat at work after a Cisco hub failed. If you ever hold one in your hands you can tell why the Furuno hub costs so much. No reason to not do it right at this point. If I do buy a 14" TZT this winter, I might move the 9" elsewhere on the board.

I have not calibrated either heading sensor yet, I never bothered with the Airmar as I didn't have radar yet. There is 20 degree difference between the two right now. The PG500R does match the Ritchie Compass though. Once I calibrate the two, I will let you know.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:34 AM   #4
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Got it, DFF1 was not listed in your inventory. It sounds as though you have IT expertise and know what you are doing on the ethernet switches. It is true that Furuno always does everything heavy-duty. However, I think the high price of the HUB101 has more to do with the low production volume and custom circuitry for the power control than any real quality advantage (since you seem to have a nice dry mounting location). I used one of those Netgear switches in a 2008 NavNet 3D system installation on my old boat and I know from the current owner it is still working fine -- and it could have been replaced about 20 times for what a new Hub101 cost at the time.
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