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Best Budget Plotter for smaller yachts!


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OK, first gen Zeus. Should be on sw version 2.0-46.1.139-28533-r1. Different screen control (and different screen!) than the new one and the Vulcan. The demo of the new screen in the wet that I saw was pretty impressive...

 

oh, Willow, if you need the SW update instructions, they are here http://www.bandg.com/Documents/software/Zeus_Touch_Upgrade_instructions.pdf

 

You'll need a SD card or USB drive - no wifi on your model sorry

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The sales blurb is pure marketing dept and detail free, as seems the way these days.

 

Does it have AIS in any form?

 

My concerns with touch screen only are the same as Wilows. My Sony was promoted as being able to be used underwater, the website even had videos of it being used in a pool............ but try it in real life and you will be sadly disappointed. Also that whole pinch to zoom/whatever is hard work at the best of times. On a small device in the pissing rain and wind against tide off North head or off East Cape in a Force 8+.... I stand to be corrected but I would be expecting issues.... and lots of bad adjectives.

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Having just sailed to Fiji with the latest, best and pricey chart plotter (and everything else there and integrated), with a iPad alongside, it was interesting the comparison. Certainly the iPad was a great back up on independent power. 

 

But the good news of this offer is finally a marine unit is getting close to the size and functionality of what we mortals can afford in a marine unit, before we just go and buy a tablet and a cover...

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If you have a metal boat an external antenna can be used.  AIS compatible - you must ad a transceiver or receiver (lthough why you would currently use a receiver only now is beyond me!) - will display all current AIS items, including ATONs and SARTs. KM, in your case, I'd expect it to be installed below, and you can use your tablet in a cover and mount in the cockpit. On the tablet App, pinch to zoom does not work, you have a + and - button at the bottom of the screen instead....

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I have been looking at the Standard Horizon GX2200 AIS/VHF, a compact unit with GPS included, along with DSC to talk to any shipping re their intentions. Just under NZ$500.00 on special via Amazon, Just on NZ$1000.00 at Marine deals, not sure why the big difference. There are other S.H. models sans the gps etc that are considerably cheaper still.

I saw one (of the earlier models) in Fiji a couple of years ago, that the owner thought was better than sliced bread.

It can apparently interface with other screens, ipad, etc.

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Steve, it can, but it is a RECEIVE ONLY. If super budget is your choice, then I can do an Asian AIS transponder (Both SEE and BE SEEN) for less than $500 NZD. This has NMEA0183 output and will interface to anything that can accept AIS data. I really don't recommend these units though.

The best unit on the market is made here in NZ - The Vesper Marine units. Twice the price plus a bit (around $1200) but way better features, NZ language, efficient support, meets all international standards, has Wifi, NMEA 0183 and NMEA2000, so provides a much longer useful life. If you buy the wrong transducer, and it does not meet the NZ laws, it is illegal to use here!

 

If it is a VHF you want, buy a VHF - preferably one that can have a remote or wireless mic so you can use it from the wheel (better than a handheld, as the base set has 25watts transmit power).

This is a digression from the topic, which was Chart Plotting (or MFD - Multi Function Displays) as they are now called. If the AIS discussion continues, we should start another thread!

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The Vulcan isn't a downstairs gizmo, it's a cockpit gizmo. No point having the Startline/layline and that sort of info downstairs where you can't see it. Having a tablet makes no sense on my boat.

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