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Between chart plotters

Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
At the moment, I have a dead Raymarine C80 (2004 vintage) in a Navpod at the helm. I just bought an iPad with a clamp-on holder that sits just above the Navpod with the dead C80.
plotter.jpeg

My problem is the following: I want to install a USB socket in the Navpod to power the iPad (and cell phones), and also probably screw a blank piece of starboard to the Navpod to cover the C80 hole and probably to screw a better iPad holder so that it sits where the C80 used to. The issues with this are the following:

1) I want the whole mess to be easily upgradable to an Axiom 9, both physically and cable-wise. I may do this this coming winter, or maybe in a year or two.
2) I need power for the USB socket. I hate fishing cables.

I think if I buy a piece of starboard with nicely rounded edges (there's a company that will do this to your dimensions), I can screw the iPad clamp in the middle now, and then cut out that portion later to the size needed for the Axiom. So that part is probably fine. For power: I have a dread of trying to pull cable through the serpentine path needed to get from the Navpod to my DC panel, so I think I can just use the current C80 power cable, which is just 3-wire 12VDC, to power the USB socket. Cutting the socket off the power cable would certainly preclude using it for the Axiom, but looking at the Axiom manual, it doesn't look like it has a dedicated power cable anyway: it has a combined power/NMEA2000 cable which is totally different.

So anyway: please critique my plan!
Thanks,
Jay
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,210
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Suggest that you also drill a 1/4" drain hole through the bottom of the navpod. Navpod probably will sell you a new top cover that will fit on your existing enclosure that is made for the new Axiom when you need it.
 
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Likes: Ward H
Oct 26, 2008
5,012
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
Sounds like a decent plan. I don't understand why you would have a 3-wire VDC cable but maybe I'm missing something. My B&G chartplotter had separate connections for power and NMEA 2000 data but that doesn't matter anyway. You have to run a cable for the Axiom no matter what, so you may as well just get over the discomfort. In the future, these instruments could be wireless, I suppose. Nothing stays the same.

As an aside, last winter I took VHF, stereo, Air Condition panel, holding tank monitor panel & battery monitor panel out to replace an ugly panel with a more attractive configuration. All the wiring was a mess of spaghetti. In my typical fashion, I didn't do any labeling & relied on memory. I was stripping out everything that I thought was not needed (mostly the holding tank monitor that was soon to be useless). I put it all back together in a nice new panel at the nav desk and found that my VHF was no longer linking AIS to chartplotter and GPS from chartplotter to VHF. I had eliminated the cable that had tiny blue/green/gray/brown wires! :facepalm: I cut that cable somewhere and I can't find the cut end! I bought some cabling with 22 AWG wire and have it connected to the VHF now, but I have searched and can't find the other end that needs to be connected! I am about at the point where I may just fish it all the way to the Chartplotter, so I know your pain!
 
Apr 8, 2011
467
Hunter 36 Deale, MD
On my H36 I have a light on the navpod that aims at the cockpit table. I never use this light, so I wired a waterproof USB socket using its power cable and used a small hole saw to cut a nice neat round hole in the side of the navpod to install the socket. I could still use the light if I wanted to, and I did convert it to LED so the power draw along with the usb socket won't blow the fuse if that happened. Just throwing that out there in case you have the same setup on your 306. No pulling new cable, just disassembling the navpod a bit.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: jssailem
Nov 13, 2013
639
Catalina 34 Tacoma
I wouldn't want a USB outlet on the NavPod. First, I like to charge devices in a protected environment. Second, the hole you put in the NavPod is a source of water intrusion.
 
Apr 8, 2011
467
Hunter 36 Deale, MD
I wouldn't want a USB outlet on the NavPod. First, I like to charge devices in a protected environment. Second, the hole you put in the NavPod is a source of water intrusion.
So is the light, two instruments, compass, and chartplotter installed by the factory and dealer on the boat. The waterproof usb ports come ready to mount as waterproof as anything else on your navpod, and a cover for the port when not in use (like in bad weather). Protected by a bimini and dodger my navpod sees very little water anyway.
 

NYSail

.
Jan 6, 2006
2,740
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
I mounted a blue sea water proof duel usb low and out of the way. Great addition to the cockpit. Ran the wire to the 12volt switch on panel.

0967C2B9-5973-491B-8777-FE52B2340012.jpeg

greg
 
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
Suggest that you also drill a 1/4" drain hole through the bottom of the navpod. Navpod probably will sell you a new top cover that will fit on your existing enclosure that is made for the new Axiom when you need it.
It seems they actually have a purpose-made adapter plate. I think the C80 is a bit bigger. I read quite a bit last night...
 
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Likes: Ward H
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
Sounds like a decent plan. I don't understand why you would have a 3-wire VDC cable but maybe I'm missing something. My B&G chartplotter had separate connections for power and NMEA 2000 data but that doesn't matter anyway. You have to run a cable for the Axiom no matter what, so you may as well just get over the discomfort. In the future, these instruments could be wireless, I suppose. Nothing stays the same.

As an aside, last winter I took VHF, stereo, Air Condition panel, holding tank monitor panel & battery monitor panel out to replace an ugly panel with a more attractive configuration. All the wiring was a mess of spaghetti. In my typical fashion, I didn't do any labeling & relied on memory. I was stripping out everything that I thought was not needed (mostly the holding tank monitor that was soon to be useless). I put it all back together in a nice new panel at the nav desk and found that my VHF was no longer linking AIS to chartplotter and GPS from chartplotter to VHF. I had eliminated the cable that had tiny blue/green/gray/brown wires! :facepalm: I cut that cable somewhere and I can't find the cut end! I bought some cabling with 22 AWG wire and have it connected to the VHF now, but I have searched and can't find the other end that needs to be connected! I am about at the point where I may just fish it all the way to the Chartplotter, so I know your pain!
You've got me, but sure enough, the C80 has 3 studs in the connector for the power. I actually did a bunch of reading last night in the Raymarine installation manuals for the Axiom. It seems like the new unit uses a combined power/NMEA 2000 cable, which goes from a plug on the MFD end, to bare wire on the other end (with a pig-tail for the NMEA part). The bare wire end is battery +, battery -, and "RF ground point, or battery -". So to me, this means that there's no point in running a new Axiom cable all the way from the Navpod to the 12V panel, when I can just connect the new cable to the old, inside the Navpod. Plus, maybe the USB as well (after checking current draws).

The other thing I realized is that maybe the whole "seatalk 1 network" happens inside my 2 Navpods. Which would mean that hooking up the seatalk1-to-seatalkng converter might happen entirely inside the Navpod. I might be able to handle that level of fishing.

Part of the problem I have with fishing cable all the way to the 12V panel is that my system is all original from the dealer back in 2004, and they did a really neat job at the panel, with all the wires zip-tied neatly. I'm a bit horrified to even think about cutting into the beautifully organized thing if I don't have to. But maybe I don't have to, I realized last night!
 
Last edited:
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
On my H36 I have a light on the navpod that aims at the cockpit table. I never use this light, so I wired a waterproof USB socket using its power cable and used a small hole saw to cut a nice neat round hole in the side of the navpod to install the socket. I could still use the light if I wanted to, and I did convert it to LED so the power draw along with the usb socket won't blow the fuse if that happened. Just throwing that out there in case you have the same setup on your 306. No pulling new cable, just disassembling the navpod a bit.
Thanks. I think I'll check the clearances and drill a hole in the Navpod in an out-of-the-way place, like maybe the bottom or lower back side. We have a permanent bimini on the arch, so I rarely get any significant spray or rain at the helm. (Well, the rain leaks though in a downpour, I guess.) I think I'll gang the USB socket to the MFD power supply after checking power draws.
 
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Likes: tfox2069
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
I wouldn't want a USB outlet on the NavPod. First, I like to charge devices in a protected environment. Second, the hole you put in the NavPod is a source of water intrusion.
I've already seen that the iPod gets down to around 50% battery after 3 hours. So it really needs power when I'm going to use it for 8-10 hours on a trip. Not to mention that you can never have too many places to charge your cell phone. I got a USB-A / USB-C dual socket for the helm. Already fitted a dual USB-A at the chart table last year.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,126
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
looking at the Axiom manual, it doesn't look like it has a dedicated power cable anyway: it has a combined power/NMEA2000 cable which is totally different
The Axiom cable does split into two cables. One for power and one for NMEA2K network. The DC power cable portion is two bare wires so yes you can cut off the plug for the C80 and use those wires and use them for your Axiom when you are ready.
Is the C80 already on the NMEA 2K network via spur cable? If not you’ll probably want to run a backbone or spur cable for the future Axiom anyway unless you are not using the network.
Just check the wire and fuse/breaker size to be sure it can carry the load of any devices being charged in the USB socket.
 
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
So is the light, two instruments, compass, and chartplotter installed by the factory and dealer on the boat. The waterproof usb ports come ready to mount as waterproof as anything else on your navpod, and a cover for the port when not in use (like in bad weather). Protected by a bimini and dodger my navpod sees very little water anyway.
Yep: I think I'll be able to find a protected spot somehow.
 
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
The Axiom cable does split into two cables. One for power and one for NMEA2K network. The DC power cable portion is two bare wires so yes you can cut off the plug for the C80 and use those wires and use them for your Axiom when you are ready.
Is the C80 already on the NMEA 2K network via spur cable? If not you’ll probably want to run a backbone or spur cable for the future Axiom anyway unless you are not using the network.
Just check the wire and fuse/breaker size to be sure it can carry the load of any devices being charged in the USB socket.
Thanks, Ward. The C80 is on the Seatalk 1 network, or would be if it weren't dead. So looking at the "example" network diagrams in the manual for the seatalk 1-to-ng converter, it seems like I could probably just un-fish the existing cable from the C80 to (I hope) the second Navpod where all the other instruments are mounted, and replace it with a new SeaTalkng cable from the Axiom to the (I hope) old Seatalk1 bus in the second Navpod. That would be a fish of around 2 feet through the pedestal tubing. I'm hoping the SeaTalkng cable and the converter can be powered by the old Seatalk1 network. At least that's what I see in the converter manual.

Sounds like I'm talking myself into trying to install this myself, rather than paying someone! I'll have to think on it, and maybe ask the Raymarine techs. I also need to open up the 2nd Navpod (which I've never done), which houses the autopilot, wind, depth, and (useless) speed, and see what's going on in there.
 
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Likes: Ward H
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
I mounted a blue sea water proof duel usb low and out of the way. Great addition to the cockpit. Ran the wire to the 12volt switch on panel.
greg
Looks like you have one of the huge fiberglass/plastic steering pedestals. Plenty of room there to mount anything you like.
 
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
Here's a worrisome thing from the Raymarine technician on their forum:
Quote:I ordered an Axiom 9 with charts and C80 back plate.
I am assuming that since the Axium9 has built-in GPS, I will no longer need external GPS.
Answer: If you're using the adaptor plate, you will need an external GPS I'm afraid. The adaptor plate (for robustness and appearance) is anodised alloy and will block the GPS signals of the internal receiver.
 
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
This seems to say that the purpose-made adapter to allow you to mount an Axiom 9 in the hole where the C80 lived will cause you to need a new/external GPS! Does anyone have experience with this? If true, it pretty much means I'd need a new Navpod faceplate, or I have to buy a starboard blank to cover the hole. Do they even sell just the top (faceplate) for a 2004 Navpod? I haven't seen it anywhere.
 
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Oct 26, 2008
5,012
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I'm not really sure I know where you are going with this but it would seem to make sense to simply forget about the C80 adaptor plate. Why would you want it anyway? It sounds like all you want is a temporary solution for mounting an iPad in the space where you are going to remove a useless C80 chartplotter. You already figured it out with starboard. Just start there and worry about mounting the Axiom later.
If you can't find a replacement faceplate, it shouldn't be hard to make one that is suitable. P.O. of my boat simply fashioned one out of a thin piece of teak plywood. It serves the purpose but doesn't look great. I'll be replacing it someday when I change out the chartplotter.

As far as the external GPS antennae, I found on my B&G Vulcan chartplotter (previous boat), that even though the chartplotter had internal GPS that served the basic functions, the external GPS was necessary for advanced functions, such as the sailtime features (laylines) & tidal data, & probably other functions. I don't understand the reason why, but mounting the external GPS may be a necessity anyway. I'd look into it a bit more regarding the Axiom.
 
Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
I'm not really sure I know where you are going with this but it would seem to make sense to simply forget about the C80 adaptor plate.
I started out looking for a temporary solution that was reversible, but find that the more I read, the more I'm leaning towards maybe putting in a chart plotter sooner, myself. So you're right to be confused: sorry about that! But if the adapter plate causes problems, I might go back to the starboard idea anyway.

Interesting to hear your experience with the internal GPS. I'm still plotting here...