Marine Electronics Forum

Size of display ?

Old 04-19-2004, 01:50 PM
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Location: Broad Sound, MA
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Default Size of display ?

Hi all,

How do you determine the optimum size of a display unit? Is there a method to determine if the display would be too small for easy viewing from the helm seat? or do you buy the biggest display you can afford?

I'm outfitting a new boat with VHF (ICOM 502), Sounder, (Furuno FCV-600L), Chartplotter and here's where I can't make up mind, radar. Am I better off getting a bigger multi-function 10'4" display chartplotter that can accept radar (Furuno 1900C ) and delay getting the radar, OR get seperate 6" display chartplotter (Furuno 1650W) and 6" radar (Furuno 1623).

The boat is an Eastern 22 lobster style hull with wheelhouse. All electronics will be mounted up under the hardtop, not on the dash. (or should they be on the dash?)

Any advice/opinions is appreciated.

gonefishn is offline  
Old 04-19-2004, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: Size of display ?


Your situation is similar to mine. My opinion... I'd rather have separate displays for my most important functions.

What instrument(s) do you use the most in your area? In my case it's about equal parts sounder (a Furuno 600L like yours), and chartplotter (a Garmin 2010c if it'll fit), because the Chesapeake has lots of tricky shoals in my area.

When I do add radar down-the-road, it'll most likely be a Furuno NavNet 1933 which also has charting and radar overlay capability, but it'll primarilly be used as radar with the charting being a secondary feature.

I don't like mixing displays if I don't have to. Reason being, if you loose a unit due to any type of failure, you loose multiple critical components. If you have the room, put in separate displays that will still work together should you need redundancy.

That's what I'd do.
Megabyte is offline  
Old 04-19-2004, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: Size of display ?

The answer to your question about displays is that bigger is better 90% of the time if you have room. I don't know if you are already committed to the components you mentioned. If you aren't, you should give serious consideration to getting a combination unit such as the Furuno 1833C or 1823C and a "BBFF1 black box sounder." Even though it costs less than a 600L as an add-on, the BBFF1 is a much more sophisticated sounder than a 600L, basically the same as a 582L. While I agree with Megabyte that seperate displays are a good thing in general, I think that combining the radar and sounder and having a stand-alone plotter -- especially if it allows you to have a bigger, better radar and sounder -- is the wayto go. The radar function with the 18233C (2kW) is also vastly superior to the small stand-alone units such as the 1623.

So if it were my choice, I would get an 1823 or 1833C (4kW) and a BBFF1 and use a single display for both radar and fishfinder. Then I would add a good smaller GPS/plotter such as a Garmin 2006C to use as my primary plotter (the Furuno plotter function would be a back-up). That way you get a super 10.4" color fishfinder and color radar for not much more than your stand-alone combo of a 600L, 1623 radar, and plotter.

Do not get a 1650 as a plotter -- Furuno makes great radars and fishfinders, but their plotters are very mediocre.

As for mounting, I think you would be much happier over the long run with a dash mounting. It's a lot easier on the neck than in an overhead and also easier to steady yourself to push buttons in rough water.
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Size of display ?

I have recently been going through the same delemma. I'm rigging a new boat that has very limited space for electronics. I would rather have separate units due to the "all the eggs in the same basket" thinking, but space won't allow it. I have opted for the raymarine c-80 plotter, radar,and 600 watt fishfinder. Had a 600L and loved it though on my last boat. For the redundancy issue I'm reinstalling my old Furuno GP-31 GPS. The screen size on the C-80 is about 8.4 inches which I like because my eyes ain't what they used to be. I like to have my navigational equipment right in front of me instead of overhead. I would put the fishfinder overhead rather than the plotter. Alot of choices out there now. Good luck.
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:37 PM
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Default RE: Size of display ?

Heres my .02.
I think the bigest display you can fit is what you need. I like the GPS as a single unit. Big numbers to look at. The radar can double as chartplotter. You can overlay chart on radar screen. Bottom machine doesnt need to be clutterd with any other info other than the picture of the bottom. All of these things need to be integrated so some diplays can under certain situations display additional info.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: Size of display ?

Edstillfishing summed up my thinking on this to a T.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:50 AM
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Default RE: Size of display ?

Thanks for the input so far, keep it coming.

What about mounting the electronics overhead vs on the dash? Pros/Cons?
gonefishn is offline  
Old 04-20-2004, 12:31 PM
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Default RE: Size of display ?

You want display redundancy? How 'bout TWO C70 or C80 displays (depending on dash space) and TWO 120 GPS sensors, one on each display, with a DSM 250 fishfinder connected to one C70/80, and a 4D 4kw 24" radome or T52001-S 4KW 4' open array connected to the other. In the event of failure of one display (or GPS receiver), you only have to move one cable, and perhaps the map chip, to the other display..
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