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Thread: New electronics completed

  1. #1
    Contributing Member III
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    New electronics completed

    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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    1988 E38-200 (hull no. 262)
    "Dark Star"
    Jersey City, NJ

  2. #2
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    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.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  3. #3
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    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?
    E32-3 #655
    Traveller
    Knoxville, TN

  4. #4
    Contributing Member I
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    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!

  5. #5
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    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
    1988 E38-200 (hull no. 262)
    "Dark Star"
    Jersey City, NJ

  6. #6
    Contributing Partner Teranodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddoles View Post
    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.
    Stefan Michalowski
    San Juan Island, WA
    1988 Ericson 34 "Talpa"

  7. #7
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    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.

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    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  8. #8
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    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?

  9. #9
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    The sonar cable that Christian Williams shows looks exactly like a NMEA 2000 cable, down to the wire colors and triple shielding. https://www.amazon.com/Maretron-Micr.../dp/B00TM8V4II. Looks like the sonar transducer could be using a NMEA 2000 network without telling you.

    NMEA 2000 cable can be spliced. Maretron also sells field installable male and female NMEA 2000 connectors.
    Marlin and Virginia Prowell
    1987 Ericson 34-2
    Hull #203
    Bellingham WA USA

  10. #10
    Principal Partner Keith Parcells's Avatar
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    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?

    Keith Parcells
    1983 E-33
    Hull #24
    Rocinante

  11. #11
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    As usual Maine Sail (R C Collins) covers the waterfront:

    https://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/...ng_small_wires

    I set myself up for D-sub, the tiny terminals for tiny wires. Microscopic working conditions. Ugh.

    My electrician smiled. He uses push-in connectors.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  12. #12
    Principal Partner Tom Metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Parcells View Post
    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?
    Use strippers with adjustable cutting guide: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-V...ppers/50081548

    or strippers with separate notches for different wire sizes: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-C...ipper/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.
    Last edited by Tom Metzger; 09-21-2019 at 07:02 AM.
    Tom Metzger
    E-34 Xanthus

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Second Star View Post
    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.
    1988 E38-200 (hull no. 262)
    "Dark Star"
    Jersey City, NJ

  14. #14
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    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
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

  15. #15
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    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
    1988 E38-200 (hull no. 262)
    "Dark Star"
    Jersey City, NJ

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