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Creature comforts

Aug 29, 2016
109
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
Thought I would share a bit and encourage others.

Updating electronics project: My VHF did not have the DSC working, and the command mic was falling apart, and there was a Navman 5500 plotter (anyone know what that is?) - it has graphics that looks like the 80's Pac-man video game, and I wasn't able to do any updates. The iPad with Navionics did not sound like a sustainable solution. I started accumulating gear starting 5 years ago, buying items as they went on sale and I decided to buy the Garmin group: they own Fusion and Navionics.

To install: NMEA 2000 backbone, Garmin multifunction/plotter and Steadycast heading sensor, Fusion RA70 N sound unit, fancy and spendy Vesper Cortex M1 AIS transponder, Standard Horizons VHF and CMP 31 command mic at the helm, GPS antenna, USB ports at helm, Garmin Fantom 18 radar (mast mount), integrated with existing Raymarine ST 4000 wind instruments using the Seatalk1 to Seatalk NG converter.

The challenge was keeping the original Raymarine wind/depth/ autopilot instruments. It would've been way easier to remove all those cables jammed up the pedestal tubing on the port side. Three cables needed to be run up to the Navpod from the pedestal base (below deck): 1. NMEA2000 cable 2. Command mic cable 3. Radar cable 4.*Raymarine Seatalk conversion cable between the displays and the plotter. Therefore I had to run these fat cables up the starboard pedestal tube.

The Edson pedestal on my hull 250 only used the port tube (drilled through deck). The starboard tube was not used, nor was it drilled through deck. I contacted Catalina/Warren Pandy and Edson beforehand before I drilled through the deck (scary!). Anyway, the rest is just grunt work and usual swearing along the way. Electronics are plug and play these days and pretty straight forward. I used the original Navpod and recut and sized, sealed with 3M Marine grade silicone sealant and water tested in my kitchen sink. No - I haven't officially swung the compass to check on the effect of the VHF mounting behind the Navpod but it seems to be within functionally navigable use...and I can tell you it's pretty sweetly positioned! Music controlled at the helm. My text messages pop up on the screen too. Amazing. Yes people can track me on AIS now too (creepy).

It's been a couple months since the install, and I will mount the radar dome on the mast and run cables down the mast soon (I called up Paul/ Tess II last year and he had helpful hints for me).
 

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Feb 21, 2013
3,608
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Noce job!! You vhf radio an mic at the helm looks like my Standard Horizon Matrix GX2200 with AIS/GPS. Did you overlay AIS on your navigation display?
 
Aug 29, 2016
109
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
Noce job!! You vhf radio an mic at the helm looks like my Standard Horizon Matrix GX2200 with AIS/GPS. Did you overlay AIS on your navigation display?
Yes it's the GX2200, (which is an AIS receive unit only, and no longer in production...I bought it in 2016). There was no point in connecting the VHF unit to the rest of the electronics as the Vesper AIS unit is linked - Everything is integrated thanks to the NMEA2k backbone so yes all the AIS data shows on the 9" display...it looks like a video gaming action screen. The beauty of the Raymarine Seatalk1 to NG converter allowed all the wind/depth data from the original old Raymarine sensors to show on the display too - so features such as anchor drag, race lay lines etc. can be used. And did I mention even my texts and WhatsApp messages pop onto the screen? That's next level!

Of course I'm just waiting for all my electronics to fail (because that's what we should always expect, right?). Paper charts, compass and passage planning details are all ready.
 
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