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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
|Author||Topic: Raymarine A57D|
posted 07-13-2009 12:32 AM ET (US)
After considering just about every small combo unit on the planet I decided to go with Raymarine A57D - spendy but seems like a great unit. The A50 is much more attractively priced and w/ $200 rebate a great deal. However, the five inch diagonal screen seemed small to me (640 by 480). I bit the bullet and got the A57 which is .7 inches wider but significant to my aging eyeballs.
It is a complex device with tons of serious features, built like a tank, cabling impressive however, easy to use once basics are understood. The fishfinder is definitely amazing and preloaded charts (Nav Silver) are fine. I got the coastal chart set-up. The other choice is inland lake charts which I almost bought from Lockeman but realized at last minute that transducer is entirely different w/ lake chart unit - Very significant and glad I caught the difference.
It is possible to load all the Navtronics stuff including 3-D.
The price differential between the five inch and 5.7 inch screen is way too much in my opinion - several hundred bucks but I'm glad I went to the larger display. I think the A70 is even bigger.
This said I strongly recommend going Raymarine, several of the repair facilities I called said Ray or Furuno only.
It works great, looks cool, super cool mount and release device for quick removal - I give it 4.5 Harpoons.
posted 07-13-2009 10:09 AM ET (US)
A photo or two of it installed on your console will help us. : ~ )
posted 07-13-2009 04:23 PM ET (US)
Will do, I sleep with it under my pillow!!!
Need to set up Picassa or something - what do you recommend?
posted 07-15-2009 09:45 AM ET (US)
I too bought the A57D Raymarine for my 22 Revenge. Overall after several months of use I am very pleased with this unit. Comming from a Garmin 545 on my Montauk I found this unit is not intuitive at all. Several calls to Raymarine Tech support allowed me to set up the water temp display on the unit. The sounder is the same as the ones used on the larger units and is really fantastic.
I don't think I have a picture with the cover removed but here are a few on the unit mounted on the helm.
posted 07-15-2009 11:23 AM ET (US)
Agree, not as intuitive as some but once you start pushing the buttons and reading the menus it makes sense. I think the interface is fine and serious. There are a ton of features but once figured out easy to work.
I will probably get the platinum or gold maps sometime but it's great for now. The determining factor for me was talking to highly reputable repair shops who service all makes and models of marine electronics. Furthermore, my geek buddies say the A50 series does just about everything the big dog units do like the Raymarine unit they have on Tiara 36.
By the way, how do you set up that water temp readout?
posted 07-15-2009 01:46 PM ET (US)
Slippery Eel's installation photographs surprised me with the size of the RAYMARINE A57D installed at the helm of a Boston Whaler REVENGE 22. That RAYMARINE unit is quite big and fills up most of the space available.
Is it difficult to see gauges mounted on the dash panel with the RAYMARINE A57D mounted as shown?
posted 07-15-2009 07:29 PM ET (US)
I saw another of your posts on this subject, did you purchase from "Lockeman's"? Does this unit's GPS interface with marine radios?
From my perpective I don't do enough fishing to need the fishfinder combo, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have it either...
posted 07-15-2009 10:28 PM ET (US)
Pat - I wanted to purchase from Dave who was extremely helpful but the unit he had was the inland lake and rivers model with preloaded inland lake charts and a special transducer for shallow water, very cool with wide beam that is adjustable.
He and the entire staff were incredible and my plan was to have him ship the unit overnight however, when I double checked the specs on the transducer for the inland lake model (100 watts and 300 ft) it made no sense for my use over here in West Michigan. I think that unit is perfect for local waters around Detroit and inshore areas.
I was down to the wire to get the new boat rigged so I had to make a decision and got one locally from the Mariner Centre in Muskegon, super nice people, small shop dealing only with marine electronics and installation, small boats to yachts, everything from finders to radar (radios, fishing and navigation instruments) Raymarine, Garmin, Northstar, Simrad, Icom. Jan runs the small store and her husband does the installs and field work. They are certified marine electronics techs. They are a true specialty shop right on Muskegon Lake and I highly recommend them - as I do Lockeman's.
I believe the unit does interface w/ radios but you probably know more about that than I do.
I think it's a great unit and having the fish finder can't hurt - it is an incredibly capable sounder that happens to see fish and structure pretty dang well.
I'd go for it if it fits your requirements.
posted 07-16-2009 09:07 AM ET (US)
I agree that it takes up a lot of space on the dash. I was happy that I had (2) 3 1/2" I-Command Gauges installed. I have the RPM single display on the gauge that is directly behind the unit. A quick glance over the unit is all it takes to see the RPM. I have the starboard gauge mostly on GPH/speed/fuel remaining screen.
I try to cruise at 10 to 11 GPH. That seems to perfrom best on the back bay waters I have been fishing in the past few months.
I really did not want to mount this on top of the gauges or on the port side as I tried to preserve an unobstructed view to the compass. When I bought the boat the VHF was mounted to the right of the compass and not only reduced the view but obstructed the opening of the vent window.
Place a call to Raymarine tech support and they will walk you right thru it. They did confirm the sequence to set up sea temp is not in the manual.
posted 07-21-2009 10:11 PM ET (US)
What do you think of the visibility in sunlight?
I got the A70D which has the same brightness spec (350 nits minimum), and it is not sunlight viewable on an open boat in my opinion.
posted 07-21-2009 11:08 PM ET (US)
Well.....I can see it, box and labeling says sunlight capable or whatever and I think it is not that easy to see for the money. I bought it to work extremely well. I will have questions for Raymarine for sure. Beyond that so far it's great - Let's stay in touch on this.
posted 07-22-2009 04:10 PM ET (US)
Pete and 190Montauk -
Have you adjusted the contrast? It makes a big difference on bright sunny days and dark, dank cloudy days.
Adjusting the angle of the unit, in relation to where you are standing also helps.
posted 07-22-2009 07:53 PM ET (US)
There is no contrast adjustment, only brightness and that is at max.
Thinking a $2000 small "sunlight" viewable chartplotter/finder would be the only one I needed for the boat, I mounted it into the console.
If I had known how difficult it would be to see, I might have chosen to use the tilt/swivel mount, or chosen differently.
With sunglasses, which I find a necessity on a white boat, it is almost useless to me. Supposedly many people in Florida use them with no reports of problems; maybe I expect too much.
posted 07-22-2009 08:34 PM ET (US)
I just got back from biz trip and will spend some time w/ boat and my Raymarine the next few days. I will double check brightness and contrast. I generally wear polarized lenses when I run my boats however, not yet with this rig. My initial impression was screen is not bright enough in sunny conditions w/o polarized or dark lenses. I will report back asap. I was at Cabella's in Chicago area a few hours ago and checked the display units (mostly Humminbird and Lowrance - no Raymarine) and they were plenty bright. My impressions of the Ray on display (it was a A70) at Lockemans and Mariner's Centre in Muskegon was bright screen. Noticed a difference on the boat.
Thanks Phil - - -
posted 07-22-2009 09:03 PM ET (US)
Just trying to help:
From the Raymarine A57 Quick Reference Guide, page 4
Your display unit has two distinct color palettes, for day or night operation. You can also manually adjust the backlight level.
To select the day/night mode of operation:
1. Press the Power key to display the palette select softkey and brightness level.
NOTE- The display saves the current palette when the unit is powered off. A display of NIGHT may be difficult to see in bright sunlight.
~End citation ~
Could your unit be set to the NIGHT palette by accident? I set Garmin 172c to NIGHT by accident a few years back.
Hope this helps.
posted 07-22-2009 09:11 PM ET (US)
One thing I did that I'm glad I took the time for is to use the cable splicing junction box. The transducer cable has a gigantic connector; absolutely ridiculous for the few thin wires in the cable. It would take at least a 7/8" hole in the transom to pass it through, significantly larger than the drill size indicated in the instructions.
I ordered the Raymarine splice box. It is well made and easy to use. There is ample warning about ESD and transducer voltage blowing out the speed sensor that I followed. I cut the cable ~5 feet from the transducer allowing a small transom hole. I did not notice any performance difference from when I was waiting for arrival of the box and had the cable running over the transom and lying on the deck.
Pete, If I had my unit on the swivel mount, and added a sun visor, I think the brightness would be acceptable.
posted 07-22-2009 09:20 PM ET (US)
Yes, that is a helpful thought, thanks.
When I read that section, I was excited, since that was sure to be the problem. The boat was in the driveway, so I ran out and toggled the day/night function. The display went nearly to black...
posted 08-15-2009 11:30 AM ET (US)
UPDATE: I've been spending more time with the [boat] in the water as opposed to driveway and can report that the display is just fine. I'd like to see the Raymarine side to side in overhead bright sunlight with [Humminbird] or Lowrance, but so what? It works great. The Day-Night button is great.
The unit is amazing, actually, and fish finder blows everyone away. The learning curve is really no big deal and once you get used to things it's easy to discover more features.
The unit screams quality and so far I am pleased with the purchase.
By the way - Outrage 17 is one incredible boat. I've been thinking about keeping the 13 but after shallow water trials last night - long cruise on Lake Michigan, some chop and anchored in knee deep water just off the beach for sunset, then some top water bassin' next to the marsh - the versatility factor is profound.
posted 08-15-2009 01:48 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the update so what was the problem just toggling the day/night ?
Finally getting my Lowrance HDS-5 fitted (Tomorrow) along with my NMEA 2000 backbone and my dual controls for my kicker
Will post a pic later :)
posted 08-24-2009 11:52 AM ET (US)
Steve, I ran the Outrage all afternoon and into the evening. I think I have found all options to increase or decrease screen brightness. There is a convenient "soft button" selection for preset day/night operation.
However, I must report that late afternoon with the sun at my back the screen brightness suffered for sure. I am not sure that is normal with daylight color screena. I am certainly am not happy unless I determine direct sun on screen makes it significantly difficult to see. I expect some degradation but not significant. I look forward to comments or seeing other manufacturer's devices in operation.
The Raymarine 57d has a ton of features which take a while to learn. Still evaluating.
posted 08-28-2009 02:58 PM ET (US)
Here's a poor shot off my phone camera of my HDS-5 in direct sunlight it's at an odd angle trying to make sure the T-Top was not in the background
Photo does not do it justice it's better than this IRL with or without sunglasses on
posted 08-30-2009 10:39 AM ET (US)
I will take my high res camera next time and try and get some accurate shots of the screen w/ direct sun. Thanks. I can live with it, it's still a great unit.
posted 12-13-2009 11:55 AM ET (US)
Contemplating purchase of this unit.
posted 12-13-2009 07:40 PM ET (US)
Never got the shots, unit is awesome, fish finder awesome. Complex but once you get the basics down it's great. Sunlight performance might be a bit of an issue but not a deal breaker at all. Hope to compare to competitor units in about five months.
posted 12-15-2009 12:58 PM ET (US)
I have been very happy with this unit. It did take a little time to get the feel of the functions but other than that I really like the unit. My primary use was back bays and offshore to 20 miles. My transducer install was perfect in the first location I chose as it does not lose the bottom under way.
The only issue I have is that if you are following a boat in his prop turbulance the sounder gets confused and loses the bottom but a quick slide to cleaner water solved that problem.
posted 12-17-2009 07:43 AM ET (US)
I bought the A50 this past September and really like the unit. No complaints whatsoever, great sounder performance, I have yet to loose bottom lock. My transducer is mounted on the starboard side of the motor (205 Conquest). When I bought mine, Raymarine had a rebate in the amount of $200.
posted 12-19-2009 11:31 PM ET (US)
Santa took me to Lockeman's this morning for my early Christmas Present....the A57D looks nice with a bow on it.....can't wait until spring
posted 12-19-2009 11:40 PM ET (US)
Great! I'm glad you bought from Dave.
posted 01-12-2010 08:15 PM ET (US)
I also purchased the A50D from Lockeman's this winter. I was able to power up the unit with a battery in my house and play around with the plotter for a while. So far I am very happy with what I have seen with this unit.
I am wondering what the depth readings will look like in 100 or more feet of water with the inland lakes model. The transducer is adjustable and I understand that I could just purchase the "deep water" transducer if needed. A majority of my fishing is done in under a 100 feet of water but in the summer, salmon can be in the 150 to 180 foot range.
Does anyone with the inland lakes and rivers model have a report on the detail with this transducer in depths out to 200 feet or more?
posted 01-13-2010 01:54 PM ET (US)
Matt, I struggled with the same and was about to purchase from Lockeman's but was forced by "higher power" to make a decision. I had a source close to home who had the coastal set up and txducer in stock. Dave did not. That's why I bought locally from Mariner's Centre in Muskegon, a specialty shop for marine electronics almost exclusively Raymarine and Furuno. They are very knowledgeable and willing to assist in any way. They are located on Muskegon Lake, husband/wife team / she runs the joint, he's in the field and does the installs.
Raymarine has been terrific on the phone and I think they would have bottom line answer. I think your unit has inland lake charts so you will need Coastal set for your voyage if I am correct.
I understand you can change transducers.
Before you purchase you are welcome to go out in my boat and compare the differences. Run it on Lake Mich, Muskegon Lake, Spring Lake and Grand River - I don't care.
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