Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
Marc-B
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Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Marc-B » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:04 am

I want to [replace] my fish-finder and might as well get a combo unit with a chart plotter, only for use for lake fishing in Canada. The Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro seems to be a good buy, [to have good] features and price, and it is bundled with Navionics Gold [charts].

Has any one had any experience with the Dragonfly 4 Pro?

--Marc

jimh
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby jimh » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:07 am

It looks like the Raymarine Dragonfly 4 line starts at about $199. That is an amazing price point. I don't know anything about them, but for $199 you can't go very far wrong.

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johnlandnsea
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby johnlandnsea » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:35 am

If you purchase the Dragonfly Pro option it gives you the WiFish feature. This allows you to broadcast (through wifi) a second display to your phone or tablet.
"Me upon my pony, on my boat"~Lyle Lovett

Marc-B
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Marc-B » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:13 pm

From what I have researched, the Dragonfly 4 Pro seems to be one of the best offers right now for a 4.3-inch chart plotter with Navionics+ charts, SONAR with chirp, and WI-FI. This Saturday we pick up the Newport re-powered with a new ETEC 90 and next weekend Dragonfly 4 Pro.

Marc

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:23 pm

Please give us a report on the Dragonfly performance. I'm in the market for smallish a low priced GPS/Fishfinder for our Sport 13..
Butch

jimh
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby jimh » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:16 am

Here is a report on installation of the Raymarine Dragonfly:

http://themarineinstallersrant.blogspot ... onfly.html

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:40 am

Jim--Thank you for the link. It was very informative.

Due to the current pricing of these units, one may definitely be on the Sport 13 soon. It seems a nice size for the small boat and, as practically all our use of the boat is coastal and inshore, it should serve us well.
Butch

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:01 am

After almost a year of dithering I've ordered a Dragonfly 4Pro with Navionics+ cartography. My old WalMart sourced Lowrance standalone gray scale sounder finally quit working.

The new Dragonfly was priced at $263.99 all up. Given the features I believe it is about the best value in a very small unit. It should do well on our 1981 Sport 13. We lack the smartphone to take advantage of the WiFi feature but the Admiral has an Ipod that MAY work. We also use a mobile hot spot in case that is useful. I used to be a semi-connected person but those days are long past.

I can see the transducer install on the 13s curved transom may be a challenge. I'll probably have to make a Starboard mounting surface with an angled shape to make the transducer point directly aft. I'll try it mounted at the transom angle first to see if it matters. The transducer is quite long so it may be necessary to check engine lower unit clearance while turned before choosing a transducer location.

I haven't read any performance reports on this forum so I'll post some performance information a bit later.
Butch

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:51 am

I finally received the Dragonfly 4 Pro. Through a series of mishaps it's almost a week overdue. It was unfortunate the vendor, International Marine, neglected to inform me the unit was back ordered. They probably established that policy so buyers would not go to another vendor. Given the price I'm not going to grouse too much but it was annoying as I had made some plans around the "normal" delivery time. Next time I'll call and ask before ordering.

Everything needed to install and use the unit was in the box EXCEPT the recommended five ampere fuse and fuse holder. Knowing this would be the case I already had those things on hand and the two heat-to-seal butt connectors also needed. For very little added expense Raymarine could include the fuse and holder in the positive power cable thus allowing the cable to maintain it's integrity. Well, there is the price.

In a few minutes I'll do the warranty registration and also register the Navionics + chip included with the unit.

Later today I'll install the unit. I used the unexpected delay to fabricate and install a 3/4 inch thick Starboard mounting surface on the Sport 13 transom. I made it rather large to accommodate any future device. The curved transom was a concern but the sun warmed Starboard had enough "bendability" to conform to the transom.
Butch

drewread
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby drewread » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:31 pm

I have a Dragonfly 5-PRO, with Navionics+, and have had it installed for two years on my 13' Whaler.

On its own the Dragonfly is an 'OK' unit.

The depth-sounder / fish-finder portion of it seems to be pretty good and fairly accurate, although placement of the transducer on the 13' Whaler was quite a challenge, I finally managed to get it mounted. I ended up mounting it to a large plastic wedge, as the transducer is quite long and the Whaler transom has quite a curve. It did take quite a wedge to straighten it out so that it worked properly. The other advantage of the plastic wedge it is mounted to was that I was able to move the transducer around without putting any further holes in the transom.

As a standalone "chart-plotter" (which it advertises itself as..) the Dragonfly PRO is simply not that great. The Navionics map is good, and works well and is easy to read, but the device offers no 'plotting' functions at all. So you can drop waypoints, but cannot create a route with them at all, you can't even use one of your tracks as a route. As a navigation tool, it is really pretty useless by itself unless you are on a straight line run somewhere.

To make the Dragonfly series truly useable (almost amazing) as a chart-plotter you need to use an external device (Apple or Android phone, or tablet) with the Navionics software instaled, and you need a second Navionics subscription to use the maps on the second device, so you are over $200/yr in subscriptions for upated maps in this case.

Is it worth it? Probably.

The two units link together over the Dragonfly PRO's WiFi which is used for Wi-Fish and thus the interactivity begins. The depth data is sent from the Dragonfly to the tablet, and you get live depth data on your other device. I am not sure if the GPS location is sent from the Dragonfly to the tablet, which could be a problem if using a standard iPad as only the 3G ones have a built in GPS.

The real benefit is the link to the Navionics software on the tablet which offers Navionics dock-to-dock autorouting.. and it is really good. Full route planning on a few clicks of your finger, then simply check the route looks proper and safe and drag any waypoints where you need them if they aren't quite correct. It is really fast and has been incredibly accurate even up on Georgian Bay, where navigation can be quite a challenge.

The combination of the two is really quite good, but as a standalone "chart-plotter" the DragonFly series really lacks a lot of features. The frustrating thing is having to pay for the maps twice on two devices, which are really only working as one device together.

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:41 pm

I've spent several hours over the past two days with the Dragonfly4 Pro Navionics+ installation.

I've made a few mistakes that may be worth noting. The most egregious was installing the base plate for the head unit. As is my habit but is contrary to the instructions I was using the base plate as a guide for drilling. I first drilled the forward hole and installed the hold down bolt without incident. I then proceeded to drill the other two holes which were stubborn. The reason was that the drill bit was not long enough so the chuck was rubbing on the head unit mounting threads and causing damage. I finally realized what was happening and swiveled the base plate to the side to finish drilling. Very fortunately the threads were not damaged too much to use. Apparently there is a reason for the detailed instructions.

The major concern and most time consuming problem is that the supplied 12 volt power cord is much to short to reach from the head unit to the battery. It is obviously designed for connecting to console mounted batteries. Being cheap and lazy I decided to fabricate a power cord extension with some old automotive wire and set of cheap connectors and crimping tool found in my tool (junk) box. Easy right? Nope. A distraction was using my 16 gauge wire to connect to the units 18(?) gauge cables. Another concern was the third wire a grey or silver RF suppression wire which had to be joined to the 12 volt negative cable thus necessitating a type of butt connector not in my inventory. Long story short I cobbled together a cable using cheap low quality cable and connectors. After routing and attaching the cable to the battery the head unit did not turn on when tested.

There is a remote possibility the cable is functional and the head unit defective. Raymarine Technical Support sent me a diagram so I can test the cable end for voltage. If the unit is defective they will replace it. Regardless, I'm off to West Marine tomorrow to get the good stuff for this installation.

Sometimes I get angry with myself for "cheaping out" but it's a difficult to break habit.
Butch

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:25 am

Yesterday I used a volt meter to test the power cables per Raymarine's instructions. As I expected there was no voltage except for a few microvolts registered on the meter. When breaking out the meter to use it I found one of the AA batteries had virtually come apart since the previous use. Thank goodness I remove the batteries between uses. The meter is an old Radio Shack Micronta(?) which was purchased 27 years ago for $28. It seems to function properly.

After determining the cobbled together cable was defective I went to West Marine and spent about $80 for a better crimping tool, the correct Ancor 16 AWG duplex cable and an assortment of heat shrink connectors and ring terminals. West Marine did not have a waterproof 16 AWG fuse holder nor replacement wire tie hold downs. The boat has several black screw mounted swiveling hold downs which can be slightly opened at one side and one is missing. I'd like to find a matching hold down or several replacements which can use the existing screw holes in the hull.

This morning I'll carefully fabricate and install a new power cable extension. Hopefully the head unit will be happy with the power supply and function properly.
Butch

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:48 am

Yesterday I replaced the wiring for the Dragonfly. I am pleased with the job and it looks almost professional. I used Ancor products exclusively and the quality and ease of use of the products is superior to all others I've used. I took particular care with all splices and terminations. The 16 AWG duplex cable was very soft to the touch and pliable making installation much easier.

I connected the power/transducer cable to the head unit and pressed the on button for several seconds only to find it would not turn on. Out came the circuit tester and behold there was battery voltage on the appropriate connector points. My conclusion, based on Raymarine's troubleshooting guide, was that the head unit was defective.

I contacted Raymarine and now have a return authorization. If I had bought locally I could have simply exchanged the unit. I saved $66 by buying online but now I have to pay to package and ship the unit to New Hampshire to get a replacement and am about ten days behind where I would other wise have been. My buying choice will probably end up costing me two weeks of delays and $25 in shipping costs. Saving money is not always the best course of action.

I can question my wisdom all day but the fact is that this is the first time in my memory I've bought a product that was defective immediately out of the box.

I will continue to buy on line for a significant saving.
Butch

jimh
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby jimh » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:32 pm

ANCOR wire and wiring accessories are good products. I use them. I usually buy them on-line at a considerable discount from retail at GENUINEDEALZ.COM. Although they don't always supply ANCOR-branded wire, they often do send it, and it is a bargain from them.

Yes, mail-order can be a pain. I will soon post a long saga of buying by mail order that resulted in almost my entire summer boating season being consumed with shipping parts back and forth, and I never got the project finished. But that is another story.

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:47 am

The shipping cost for returning the unit to Flir (Raymarine) was $18 vs the $25 I earlier estimated and that included $7 for loss insurance and tax.

An important point I failed to mention sooner is that the connector for the power/transducer cable is small enough to pass through the engine well drain in the transom. This is a very useful feature as it allows installation of the unit without drilling a hole through the transom or cutting and splicing the cable.
Butch

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:21 pm

The Dragonfly-4 Pro was returned from FLIR/Raymarine repair. It was started and test run for 17 hours by the technician without any sign of a defect and the software was updated. Because the unit was not defective the technician included a new transducer and cable with the unit in case the original cable had an internal defect. That transducer is not cheap so it was extremely helpful of Raymarine to include it.

I connected the new cable to the battery by simply putting the ends of the power conductors under the battery nuts. I connected the unit to the cable and it failed to start. I couldn't believe it. In frustration I gave the unit a shake and the cable fell out of the connector.

I pushed the cable back into the unit until it stopped and then tried forcing it farther into the receptacle. It moved farther in. I twisted the locking mechanism and locked the cable in place. I powered up the unit and it worked. It's an embarrassing admission but the whole saga was down to me treating the unit too carefully. I then tried the unit with my wiring and all was good.

The lesson here is first trust your wiring work and if installing a Dragonfly push the cable in hard. Raymarine technical support is top notch.
Butch

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:12 am

It's worth mentioning that the GPS with the Navionics+ chip installed provides incredible detail and the accuracy seems to be excellent. I have not yet tested the unit on the water but expect to do so late this week or earlier next week depending on the winds. The weather here in Lower Alabama has been beautiful but breezy.

I expect to have to do some adjustment of the transducer height on the transom and perhaps use a wedge to offset the curve of the transom. The long transducer now points to the side by a few degrees. Testing will tell the story..
Butch

rtk
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby rtk » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:50 am

I purchased and installed a Raymarine Drangonfly-5 last year for my 16 classic. The sonar and chart funtions have performed just fine for my needs, I feel your pain though as far as connecting the power cable to the unit.

I could not figue out how to "lock" the power cord connection to the back of the unit. I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box but it just doesn't work, I read a few methods on the web by some who have experienced the same thing but it really shouldn't be that much work. Thing kept popping out while I was running. I think I just tie wrapped it to the unit some how after I ran the boat and it didn't fall out.

The bracket that holds the unit is a nightmare, Same thing- the unit either would not stay attched or once attached I could not get it off. Again many fine narratives on the net on how to navigate this chore but jeez I am lazy like you Butch and really do not want to exert that much effort! So I just permanently screwed the unit to the bracket via the flush mount screw holes on the unit. Hasn't fallen off since!

The downside to this is the unit is now basically permanently mounted on the console. I do not have a cover for the console because I have not gotten around to making one yet. So the unit has spent this year exposed to the weather.

I can say that I am impressed- it is a tough bugger. Sun, wind rain exposure 24/7 since May- darn thing fires right up and works like a charm everytime. I was kinda hoping it would just toast itself to give me an excuse to buy something else with a power cord and bracket that allows me to remove/install on boat in under 2 hours but no such luck!

I've enjoyed your post Butch.

Rich

Jefecinco
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Re: Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro with Navionics

Postby Jefecinco » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:08 pm

Today we finally were out on the water again and gave theDragonfly-4 Pro a good workout. It performed flawlessly in every mode. GPS position accuracy was superb. I also particularly liked the Downscan mode.

Ask questions if you have any.
Butch