New electronics completed

ddoles

Member II
I'm finally getting around to sharing the electronics upgrade I completed this summer. Previously I had just the basic wind, speed, depth. The new set up includes Raymarine Axiom 9 MFD, AIS, Doppler radar (on gimballed backstay mount), i70s instrument display, new Standard Horizon VHF with RAM mic at helm and new wheel pilot. To accommodate everything, I also replaced the binnacle angle guard and installed a new Navpod housing. As you might imagine the design and installation of everything was a chore, but I'm happy with how it all turned out. I'm still learning how to use all these new wiz-bang electronics, but it is some powerful stuff. Some photos are included. I'd be happy to share other details for anyone interested or contemplating an upgrade.

Dave
 

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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Nice shape to the instrument pod. When I was looking I found most of them clumsy looking.

You have much more data now that the Apollo missions, Chichester (paraffin running lights), or the captain of the Titanic.

But not as much as a 12-year-old playing on a Playstation Four.
 

nquigley

Member III
Very nice upgrade!

I'm guessing the main challenges involved running wires between the various units (e.g., to get radar and AIS outputs displayed on the chart plotter screen) and to/from each unit and the distribution panel (?)

I find it difficult to run new wires above the headlining, and just as difficult running them unseen by other paths.
Did you install a NEMA2000 backbone, or did you make individual wire runs between power supplies, sensors and displays?
 

Sailingfun

Member II
Nice upgrade!
Is back on my refit list but already decide to have an small chartplotter, an engine controller and nothing else. A sailboat does not need too much really ;)
Enjoy it!
 

ddoles

Member II
A couple points of response to the above comments. Yes, it is a lot of data coming in. Probably more than I really need. But I found once you start down the path you see what cool stuff there is for just a little bit more. A dangerous journey, but fun if you like that kind of thing. And with so much data, it boarders on information overload. I do most of my sailing on NY Harbor, so you might imagine the information avalanche. I have to remember to look up from the screen at the real world from time to time.
The whole system is on an NMEA2000 backbone (or Seatalkng, the Raymarine version). This makes running the wires easier, but still involved the expected boat yoga. Most of the runs were manageable. The biggest challenges involved fitting the Seatalkng end fittings through some small holes and I didn't want to get into splicing these cables, so I used them all as is. I believe NMEA2000 fittings are even a bit larger. One nice option was to use a wireless (via Wifi) connection for the radar to chartplotter link. It actually works quite well. And I had no real problems getting everything to talk to each other. It really was plug and play.

Dave
 

Teranodon

Member III
The biggest challenges involved fitting the Seatalkng end fittings through some small holes and I didn't want to get into splicing these cables, so I used them all as is.

That's a nice new system. Congratulations. Just for information, and based on actual experience, those cables can be spliced, using simple solder joints. Apparently, the signal speeds and risetimes are such that more heroic methods are not needed.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
This Sonar transducer wire had an enormous connector that wouldn't fit through the binnacle guard tube. Manufacturer said splicing it was absolut verboten!

Meh. I just twisted together the wires and redid the casing with household aluminum foil. Works fine. Not recommending, just reporting.

transducer splice.jpg
 

Second Star

Member II
I had the belt break on my 20 yr old+ Simrad. No replacement parts from Simrad but the internet provided replacement belts that were about 1/2 inch too big so I considered new wheel pilots on the market; there were 2 at about $2K. It seems that the trend is for hydraulic, direct to the rudder head systems that cost about $3K. I eventually slapped together a fix of the old unit. Did you consider an hydraulic unit and w
hich wheel auto pilot did you choose?
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
I find that the biggest challenge when splicing tiny wires (23 gauge?) is to strip the insulation without cutting away some strands of that tiny wire. Does anyone have any trick to make that step more efficient?

:jollyroge
 

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
I find that the biggest challenge when splicing tiny wires (23 gauge?) is to strip the insulation without cutting away some strands of that tiny wire. Does anyone have any trick to make that step more efficient?:jollyroge
Use strippers with adjustable cutting guide: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-V-Notch-Wire-Strippers/50081548

or strippers with separate notches for different wire sizes: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-Compact-Wire-Cutter-Stripper/50370328

I prefer the first type, but I have many, many years of experience. I like them because they cut close to my hand giving me better control. The other type seems to be more popular. I wouldn't buy them from Harbor Freight even though they are cheaper there. Poor quality control.
 
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ddoles

Member II
I had the belt break on my 20 yr old+ Simrad. No replacement parts from Simrad but the internet provided replacement belts that were about 1/2 inch too big so I considered new wheel pilots on the market; there were 2 at about $2K. It seems that the trend is for hydraulic, direct to the rudder head systems that cost about $3K. I eventually slapped together a fix of the old unit. Did you consider an hydraulic unit and w
hich wheel auto pilot did you choose?

I didn't look at hydraulic below deck autopilot systems. That would be a better, stronger, more capable and more expensive and complicated option. I went for simpler and cheaper. For the sailing I do, mostly inland and coastal, this will suit my needs. As long as I don't use it in really heavy conditions it works fine. I installed the Raymarine EV-100 wheel pilot. The complete kit was about $1200 and easy to install. Part of what drove the decision to replace my old wheel pilot unit was the need for a heading sensor to feed data to other units. This heading sensor comes with the EV-100 kit and so it seemed to make sense to do the complete upgrade and integrate it into the network.
 

ddoles

Member II
Christian,

Yes, I had seen your video and that closed the deal on convincing me it would suit my needs. Thanks so much for sharing that.
Compared to my old "dumb" autopilot, the computer in the EV-100 is amazing. It works fine in conditions the old unit could never figure out.

Dave
 

Second Star

Member II
The wheel A/P is a very good choice for me and that is why I kept it. Using the heading output of yours is a very good additional benefit too! The shift to complicated hydraulic units for smaller boats is unfortunate; more money, more power and a lot more installation work. Thanks for your info.
 

woolamaloo

Member III
Big fan of EV-100. Good under sail up to waves and whitecaps, good all the time when motoring.

Video review: https://youtu.be/IzXkixctc74
I had someone install my EV-100 six years ago. Although I was shocked how loud it was and how many grinding sounds it made, it worked great. The installer assured me that was the way it was supposed to work. As I added chart plotter and wind instruments in later seasons, I was amazed at what a great job it did maintaining a course in most conditions. However, this year it has been struggling in all but the flattest conditions. After shopping for all the spare parts I'd possibly need, it turned out that buying a new head unit made sense. Five weeks ago, I had a >300 mile solo sail in some challenging conditions and the old unit just didn't keep up. It "knew" where to go but it couldn't keep the course without me sitting at the helm helping it. This was exhausting over the 3+ days I was out. Last week, I swapped the new head unit for the old. I just got back from a three-day cruise with the new head unit and I could not believe how quiet it was. It never made a grinding sound and worked perfectly for over 100 miles. It only took me about ten seconds to get used to how nice and quiet it now was. I just pulled the old head unit apart and it appears that installer had sprayed some kind of lubricant into the wheel. I had repeatedly rinsed it with fresh water over the years but it was still full of gray gunk. Raymarine cautions not to spray anything in there besides water.
 

Rick R.

Contributing Partner
I’ve gotten many good years out of the EV 100 system. Would prefer the hydro but not sure of the space to make it fit a 32.
 
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