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  Gauge Preferences: All-In-One or Separate

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Author Topic:   Gauge Preferences: All-In-One or Separate
davej14 posted 01-16-2006 09:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for davej14   Send Email to davej14  
I am interested in hearing from people that have gone from separate instruments to the All-In-One digital-style consolidated display. Is this a positive change in actual use? The old analog gauge cluster is very easily scanned while I would think that a single display would require more viewing time to interpret and therefore result in less time watching for danger ahead. The automotive industry went this way briefly and has subsequently gone back to analog for most gauges.
jimh posted 01-17-2006 12:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I like separate gauges for the primary data like RPM, Water Pressure, Battery Voltage. The larger display devices can show more than one reading at a time.

A nicely laid out panel of individual gauges also has a certain "cool" factor.

BarryGreen posted 01-17-2006 07:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for BarryGreen  Send Email to BarryGreen     
Dave - I've always had separate gauges on my boats until last year when I went to a BW 235 Conquest with a 250 Verado and the Smartcraft system. I love the engine and associated systems (power steering, etc.) but really dislike the Smartcraft approach. A multi-purpose digital display that allows access to more data than you'll ever want is fine for stationary or desktop applications, but not good on a boat going 40 knots.

You can certainly customize most of these systems to show your "favorite" group of readings, but the choice is limited. I dislike, for instance, not having a display of fuel level in front of me at all times. And punching in a 3 button sequence to change screens when you should be monitoring boat traffic around you is looking for trouble IMHO.

Having said that, these systems are flexible in that they also allow you to interface individual analog gauges to the master digital display for readings you'd like to have constantly available, something I plan to do in the spring.

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