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Conversion to Digital Switching.....Gimmic or Must Have?

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Conversion to Digital Switching.....Gimmic or Must Have?

Old 04-12-2020, 06:57 AM
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Default Conversion to Digital Switching.....Gimmic or Must Have?

I was wondering if anyone has taken a well equipped CC and converted it out to digital switching and if your satisfied out the outcome? I've seen one boat with it.....(brand new YF). But thats it. I was imagining trying to access and hit some of those icons in a rolling sea. I suppose it would be a good idea to at least have a couple of manual rockers or push buttons for the I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW stuff. I was also wondering about the cost of conversion vs rewire a boat from owners vs the guy selling it. (I know that can vary hugely......just wondering about averages)

My curiosity in the system is not weight savings or look at this cool new feature.. But rather to clean up the electrical system. I have a complete bird nest on an Everglades that was either done by previous owner or god forbid it left the factory that way. It all works, for now, so i don't really mess with it. But heres the deal, the boat has an Air conditioning system with ducting running behind the helm. Overtime the insulation, dirt, dust and whatever has swirled around and gotten into all the wiring harness's for the endless amount of rocker switches flanking both sides of helm. It's beginning to cause issues's and needs to be redone or highly freshened up. I figured since I'm in there why not make this where debris and what not will not mess with things as easily......and clean stuff up.

Thanks

Old 04-12-2020, 07:09 AM
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I prefer nice reliable and easy to use rocker switches. If one ever breaks I can run to the marine store buy one and pop it in myself. The last thing I want is a software glitch getting in the way of me turning on a pump or light.
Old 04-12-2020, 07:12 AM
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Gimmick
Old 04-12-2020, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by fishinmaniac View Post
Gimmick

Maybe (and don't like them myself)- if I ever rewire its going to be to LED push buttons, but the manufacturers love the digital because of all the labor and material savings vs. having to run individual wires, so at some point my guess is digital will take over unless the whole glass cockpit fad ends. Looked at plenty of high end CC"s at the Boat Show and only hard switches are now backups/quick access for critical items- bildge, horn, etc.
Old 09-11-2020, 11:19 PM
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Seems retrofit with digital switching would be way less labor and part prices seem to be about even. I actually think the digital switching panels would be more reliable (less corrosion failure points) and in particular if you have a dual station boat this will give you easy control of everything at the second station from a MFD... The price point can be much lower than bocatech or other fancy push button switches...

There is not too much information on retrofit digital switching; but, I did find the below website that has the most information I could find.
https://www.panbo.com/how-to-set-up-...-a-garmin-mfd/

I have a Garmin MFD and would probably go with the Czone based on research I have done so far. The Contact 6 plus module (6 switches) is $250; so not much more than traditional switches and it is the fuse block and switches all in one with control via NMEA 2000 and MFD. Even if you don't consider all the saved labor wiring up switches I don't see how you would replace traditional switches, bus bars, etc for too much less.

For my application I would need 2 contact 6 plus modules and would probably add the 12 button waterproof keypad just to have more traditional switches available to avoid having to switch menus in the MFD constantly. This would bring the total cost to $830. I would then be able to control everything on the boat from upper or lower station and would feel very comfortable installing myself (more comfortable than wiring a traditional switch panel without it turning into a mess...

Also, it has a mechanical fuse bypass in the event the electronics break you can manually hardwire the connection to get back home,,, Some of the more expensive systems use breakers... but good old fashion fuses still work great in every car on the road...

https://czoneonline.com/collections/new

Old 09-12-2020, 02:15 AM
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IMO it is another SHIT that some want us to swallow ..................... no way I would use that in my boat, no way I would implement another electronic nightmare ...... simplicity and reliability should be the name of the game ................... enough stupity in this naive world drunk of democracy already
Old 09-12-2020, 02:54 AM
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On large boats where you can save miles of wire (and voltage drops), it makes sense. On smaller boats it simply adds another layer of potential problems and trouble shooting woes.
Old 09-12-2020, 03:03 AM
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Just say no to C-zone.
I'd keep the traditional switches and just clean up your wiring. My boat was built with a C-zone system and I was impressed when I first used it but my opinion changed very quickly when I had to scroll through several menus to turn on a pump or light.
In order to make it easier to use, I had a switch panel installed and it's integrated into the C-zone system. You can see it here : I just added switches to my C Zone !
Old 09-12-2020, 03:36 AM
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Can't stand the digital screen style switching. Who wants to press a touch screen to operate from tabs for example? Stupid. Also, if a switch dies, you just lose that circuit. The digital setup dies, you lose everything. No thanks.
Old 09-12-2020, 05:15 AM
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This is one of the many topics that people have a strong opinion on but are very uneducated on the matter. I have a lot of experience with some of the digital switching options. CZone is the most widely use and well known. Most people who hate on it have no idea how much redundancy is built into the system and how simple it is to bypass a circuit or even the entire system should a failure occur. Those same people don’t have a clue on how to bypass a rocker or toggle switch, but they know that they hate digital switching. Makes sense.

Every system has options for push buttons or even rocker switches. I install complete CZone systems that don’t even require the operator to use a screen to turn circuits on and off. They can also bypass any circuit in the system simply by moving a fuse into the bypass slot.

For those who don’t do this for a living, you’ll never understand how simple these systems are to install compared to a standard switch panel setup. It’s often cheaper too. With larger and larger vessels and electrical setups being produced, more builders are going this route to speed up the build process.
Old 09-12-2020, 05:44 AM
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...and while you're looking at a screen trying to find the light to the head and messing up your night vision, bam, you ran over a pair of mating sea Turttles and crap in your pants.
This disaster could have been avoided if you were using rocker switches, which you already knew their position on the dash.
Old 09-12-2020, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaCat22 View Post
...and while you're looking at a screen trying to find the light to the head and messing up your night vision, bam, you ran over a pair of mating sea Turttles and crap in your pants.
This disaster could have been avoided if you were using rocker switches, which you already knew their position on the dash.
And every digital switching system has options for standard push buttons or rocker switches. As I mentioned before, most people are very opinionated on this subject while at the same time being very uneducated on it.
Old 09-12-2020, 06:16 AM
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The boat I run has a combo of both. The digital is great for all of the things only need every once and a while. Eliminates a ton of switches on the helm. The most common 10 things you’d ever want to turn on (bilges, nav lights, horn) are all on push button switches mounted to the underside of the hard top. It’s a great setup. Clean look that easy to wipe down at the end of the day down low and a few buttons up high for quick access should there be a situation that needs immediate attention.
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:46 AM
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Throwing my $.02 in here, airliners have gone to glass cockpits and digital switching a long time ago, and it’s arguable that reliability is even MORE important there than on a boat (though some of the salty dogs on here will likely argue with that point too). It’s trickling down to smaller aircraft as a natural progression. Most industrial and power generating facilities operate equipment with touch screen HMI/PLC systems where reliability (and cost effectiveness) is paramount. I’m not saying it’s imminent, but remember there were people in the 1920’s saying they’d never give up their horse and buggy for one of those new, unreliable, confusing contraptions called an automobile.
Old 09-12-2020, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dixie Highway View Post
Throwing my $.02 in here, airliners have gone to glass cockpits and digital switching a long time ago, and it’s arguable that reliability is even MORE important there than on a boat (though some of the salty dogs on here will likely argue with that point too). It’s trickling down to smaller aircraft as a natural progression. Most industrial and power generating facilities operate equipment with touch screen HMI/PLC systems where reliability (and cost effectiveness) is paramount. I’m not saying it’s imminent, but remember there were people in the 1920’s saying they’d never give up their horse and buggy for one of those new, unreliable, confusing contraptions called an automobile.
I wonder how many of these ‘rocker switch only’ guys are still running carburetors and will never use electronic fuel injection because of reliability . I’ll assume they haven’t purchased a new vehicle either since the 70s.
Old 09-12-2020, 08:07 AM
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Great for the owner/operator of the boat, but what if you need someone else to turn on/off the "thing" and they are unfamiliar with the touch screen operation? They accidentally hit the windlass button and down goes the anchor. You start screaming, "no, not that one you dummy head, the other screen button..."... and there goes the anchor, friendship and that's how the fight started.
Sorry man, this auto spell check and sentence helper got carried away.
Old 09-12-2020, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaCat22 View Post
Great for the owner/operator of the boat, but what if you need someone else to turn on/off the "thing" and they are unfamiliar with the touch screen operation? They accidentally hit the windlass button and down goes the anchor. You start screaming, "no, not that one you dummy head, the other screen button..."... and there goes the anchor, friendship and that's how the fight started.
Sorry man, this auto spell check and sentence helper got carried away.
So in this hypothetical story there’s someone who can’t read a screen but would be able to read the writing under a physical button?

I’m going to have to spend some serious time googling this digital illiteracy condition.....
Old 09-12-2020, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
I wonder how many of these ‘rocker switch only’ guys are still running carburetors and will never use electronic fuel injection because of reliability . I’ll assume they haven’t purchased a new vehicle either since the 70s.
Hey, it's a 1966 Chevy C10 with a carbed 283. Still runs fine. Power steering and power brakes would be nice, though.

Old 09-12-2020, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaCat22 View Post
Great for the owner/operator of the boat, but what if you need someone else to turn on/off the "thing" and they are unfamiliar with the touch screen operation? They accidentally hit the windlass button and down goes the anchor. You start screaming, "no, not that one you dummy head, the other screen button..."... and there goes the anchor, friendship and that's how the fight started.
Sorry man, this auto spell check and sentence helper got carried away.
Originally Posted by 69Mach390 View Post
So in this hypothetical story there’s someone who can’t read a screen but would be able to read the writing under a physical button?

I’m going to have to spend some serious time googling this digital illiteracy condition.....
I can easily see that happening. Those types of people also confused ‘Paycheck Protection Program’ with ‘free money to buy me some new toys’. They probably shouldn’t be put in control of a ball point pen, much less a boat.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:06 AM
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Hey, I'm just having a bit of fun with this. It's raining here, nasty weather, stuck at home on a Sat morning...
Seriously, it is a matter of preference and weighing the pros & cons. Go with what you like. First world problems.
Have a great Saturday y'all.

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