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Author Topic:   New Electronics--Three Year Project
6992WHALER posted 12-11-2011 06:02 PM ET (US)   Profile for 6992WHALER   Send Email to 6992WHALER  
In 2009 I began a three-year project of replacement of the electronics on my 1992 Boston Whaler 23 WALKAROUND Whaler Drive. I replaced a Garmin GPS 172C and a Garmin black box SONAR GSD 20 with a Garmin bundle, including a GPSMAP 3206, black box SONAR GSD 22, black Box Satellite weather and audio receiver GDL 30A, Network port GMS 10, GA 31 antenna, and a GPS 17x antenna.

The other electronics on the boat in 2009: Navman 3100 Fuel Flow Meter, Standard Horizon Eclipse GX1000S VHF Radio, Simrad AP 11 Autopilot, Raytheon RX10 Radar. In 2009 the GPS and radar display were mounted in the dash while the Autopilot control unit, the radio and the Navman were mounted in the hardtop. I did not have enough room in the hardtop tubes to run any NMEA-0183 wirinf from the hardtop to the dash. So the electronics could not talk to each other.

The two Garmin black boxes and the GMS10 network port were mounted behind the helm counsel with the existing autopilot computer. The Garmin units are all connected through the Garmin network; one plug from each unit connects to the GSM10. The GPS and the satellite antenna, and the transducer are connected to their respective units with NMEA-0183 connections or cable plugs. All units have separate power cables

In 2010 the hardtop mounted spotlight died, and I replaced it with a Golight 2020, which meant I had to change the control unit inside the boat. Earlier that spring I replaced the Raytheon RADAR and screen with a second Garmin GPSMAP 3206 and GMR 18 Radome. I also replaced the Standard Horizon GX1000S VHF with a Matrix GX2100 VHF-AIS receiver and PA, and I mounted a PA speaker on the hardtop. The second chart plotter and the radome each had just one plug into the Marine Network( in addition to power cables) to be fully operational and communicating with the rest of the Garmin units.

I temporally installed most of the new electronics, with the idea of making sure I liked the layout before I cut new dash panels.

In the spring of 2011 I pulled the flush-mounted chart plotter displays out of the boat. I made some new dash panels from starboard. I mounted the two chart plotters low on the helm dash. I found through experimentation that if the display were low on the dash I could see them while standing or sitting but if they were higher up I could not see them while sitting.

Fall 2011 I cut the proper size holes and installed the radio, autopilot control head, and spotlight controls in the new overhead panels. I moved the Navman down to the dash panel with the chart plotters. By moving the Navman I was able to remove the fuel transducer cables from the hardtop rigging tubes, I also found extra wires that were not being used and removed them as well. With these wires gone I was now able to run wires to connect the VHF radio to the Garmin network. I also wired the autopilot and the Navman into the NMEA-0183 system.

The Navman's transducer cables had to be cut and soldered together for the original installation thus I had to remove the heat shrink and melt the solder to make them fit through the tubes. After I had pulled them I had to re-solder and heat shrink them. The Navman is suppose to be wired to the ignition so it turns on when you start the engine, but I have twin engines and often I will only run on one engine. To solve this I wired both ignitions to an on/off/on toggle switch that I mounted on the dash. This switch will allow me to select the engine that is running to power the unit.

The AIS output from the radio is connected to GPS #1 port one (set on high speed), in

The DSC radio input-output is connected to GPS #1 port two, in and out

The Navman 3100 input and the Simrad AP-11 Autopilot input are both connected to GPS #2 port one, out

This left GPS #2 port two in and out available for future expansion.

Too make all of these connections I installed four terminal blocks : two for a total of 16-pairs inside the helm station, one 8-pair in the hardtop and one 8-pair behind the helm dash panel. Besides the NMEA-0183 I also used the terminal blocks to power the entire Garmin network and the Navman.

Now all the electronics that can share information are sharing that data.

jimh posted 12-12-2011 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
John--Thanks for the interesting narrative of your boat electronics overhaul. It is quite surprising how many electronic devices a small boat can have, and also surprising how sophisticated the interconnection of all the devices can become.

With your DSC radio now fully integrated with your chart plotters, I look forward to experimenting with some DSC position request calls between our boats.

I will also be interested to see the presentation of AIS targets on your Garmin chart plotters.

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