Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
  Electronics: What Works

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Electronics: What Works
nilosenrab posted 07-22-2008 05:57 PM ET (US)   Profile for nilosenrab  
What electronics have you have success with? I am leaning toward a Garmin 4210 for GPS receiver, chart plotter and SONAR and may add radar later when it will fit in the budget. I own a 1997 Boston Whaler CONQUEST 23. I am in the process of looking at new electronics. I need data regarding size specifications [apparently to calculate if the devices will fit into the] dash box and overhead box. Thank you. NILO
jimh posted 07-22-2008 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have the following devices and they work very well:

VHF MARINE BAND RADIO: Standard Horizon GX1500S

GPS RECEIVER and CHART PLOTTER: Standard Horizon CP-150

SONAR: Lowrance X87

You can get the dimensions of most all units from the manufacturer's websites, so I won't include them here.

nilosenrab posted 07-22-2008 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for nilosenrab    
I appreciate your response - I only need the size of the whaler dash box and the top box on hard top - that will determine the size of the units purchased
timing posted 07-23-2008 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for timing    
I have the following electronics, they all work very well:

Antenna: Digital 4 foot DIG528VW


SONAR: Furuno FCV-620 (my latest and favorite device).
Transducser: P66 transom mount w/temp.

Bella con23 posted 07-23-2008 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
I have had to replace the starboard in my overhead console due to the fact that I have changed devices since buying the boat from my neighbor.
I currently have a Furuno FCV 600L fish/depth finder and a Icom IC-M422 Radio. This time I left room for a Radar display on the right side. Unit size can't exceed 7.5 inches in height unless you remove the starboard top and bottom stop in the area of the display, then you can squeeze another half an inch or so.
David1877 posted 07-24-2008 12:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
I have a Lowrance GPSr and fish finder, a Standard Horizon radio and very soon a Raymarine autopilot.

If you plan to add more electronics or if you plan to integrate your electronics, you might want to consider desired features supported by unit to unit communication and buy components from the same manufacturer to take full advantage of unit to unit communications and functions supported by the exchange of data.

For example, I wanted to connect my DSC radio to the Lowrance GPS. I spliced wires and have the radio connected, but my GPS will not display the location data of other vessels. There was a slight learning curve to get the units communicating (thanks again Jim). If I had a Standard Horizon radio and GPS, the communication may have been "plug and play."

chopbuster posted 07-24-2008 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster    
Wow, this is fun.

I have the following superior electronic devices and they sure do work extremely well as well.

Icom IC-M422 25W VHF utilizing the Shakespeare 5247-A antenna.

Icom IC-M72 6W handheld VHF (Just in case I inadvertently go overboard).

Last but not least a Garmin 276c combo chartplotter/GPS/sonar system.

Good luck with your informed choices.

deepwater posted 07-24-2008 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
my radar is JVC my GPS is garman my depth finder is by sytex,as is my radio,my loran was taken by a lightning strike, all have preformed very well for me and i only replaced a fuse or 2 in 20 years,,as you can see i do not have any one item that does several things so if i lose one i don't lose all and can replace only the one that went bad
Chuck Tribolet posted 07-24-2008 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
David, I doubt it would have been any more plug and play if
it had been all Standard-Horizon stuff. You would still
have had to splice.


BellBoyBob posted 07-24-2008 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for BellBoyBob  Send Email to BellBoyBob     
I have a 19' BellBoy (1960) cruiser, restared with new electronics for off-shore cruising on Lake Ontario. I have the Garmin 540s chartplotter / sonar combo. My VHF radio is the Standard Horizon GX3000S DSC with the command mic on the helm and the radio mounted in the cabin. This combo does everything I need for safe, off-shore boating.


Riverwhaler posted 07-25-2008 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riverwhaler  Send Email to Riverwhaler     
I have on a Nantucket a Garmin 545s with sounder. A Navman 3100 Fuel, a Uniden UM525 and a SR161 AIS reciever. These are all interfaced using the Pas-Thru box. The box makes connecting all this much easier. I know it was a little pricey but it is now less than $100 at Worst marine. Sometime I will photo it so you can see. The connections are easy to manipulate using spring loaded terminals and pull off jumpers to get things to go where you want. No soldering and it helps to visualize what different wires are connected to.
I am still not totally happy with the Garmin's human interface. I like more dedicated buttons not scrolling through many menu choices but the hardware is very good including the sharp bright screen. Just updated the software using SD chip and it was very easy.
Tom W Clark posted 07-25-2008 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
To determine the sizes of the Whaler dash box and the top box on the hard top, I recommend the use of a tape measure, available at any hardware store.
swist posted 07-27-2008 04:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I have had many Garmin GPS units, ending with the 276 and the 492. I swear by Garmin for reliability, accuracy, and particularly the readability of the display in all lighting conditions from bright sunlight to pitch dark, When I have had occasion to use their customer service, I have been satisfied. And these are not even their latest technology line.

I also have a Garmin Model 80 fish/depth finder. This is an absolute bottom-of-the-line model, yet it performs very well. Small boat sounders easily lose the bottom due to turbulence near the transducer, yet this outperforms more expensive units I have had on larger boats with a smoother slipstream near the transducer.

My VHF is a low-end Raytheon unit. It is out of sight, out of mind. I don't even know the model number. It just works beautifully even with a crappy 3' shorty antenna on a Montauk. Its height above water couldn;t be more than 7 feet!

Chuck Tribolet posted 07-28-2008 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I think the net here is that there are several brands that
are pretty good, and none head and shoulders above the rest.
The important think is to find out what brands to avoid.

I'm probably pretty rough on gear. My Montauk goes out on
salt water 70 days a year. Stuff gets wet. I've had the
boat 11 1/2 years.

In that time:


Apelco (Raytheon) VHF, died in about a year and a half.
"serious salt water intrusion" in the mike. Ray fixed it,
but that's not good enough. I'd opened the mike before I
sent it in, and I wasn't impressed with the waterproofness
(I do underwater photography, so I know what SERIOUS
waterproof looks like, and this wasn't close).

The repaired radio is in my
"boat electronics stuff" box, wired with a cigarette lighter
plug so it can sit on top of the console in a pinch.

Replaced it with a Standard Horizon Spectrum, it's rated
JIS7 (3', 30 minutes). That lasted almost 10 years, and got
a problem that is likely a dieing mike. My buddies say they
can't understand me, but the DSC stuff works fine.

I figured 10 years was enough and got an SH Matrix GX3000S.
(Note, they have sold several radios under the Matrix name).
I got it a couple of months ago, and I like MOST things about.
What I don't like is:
No A/B button to switch quickly to the working freq.
The DSC function should remember your last DSD working freq.
and default to that.


First fishfinder was a REALLY low end Humminbird. Probably
the cheapest they had. It worked fine, and got replaced
because I wanted a new toy. Sold it cheap to a friend,
worked fine on his boat for a couple of years, and he's
sold the boat and I've lost track of it.

Humminbird Wide 3D Paramount. This is a seven beam unit
that draws a wire frame picture of the bottom. It was worth
the price of the toy upgrade -- it found some dive sites
by looking to the side. Unit worked fine for about
seven years, then started powering off when I went over a bump.
Turns out the problem is a plastic part in Hbirds really
nice quick disconnect. I dealt with the problem for a
year or two, and finally replaced it with an Hbird Matrix
47 3D, the follow on. Plus points to Hbird -- all I had to
do was drop the new head unit on the old QD and it worked.


I started with a Garmin GPSMAP 175, which I upgraded to a
GPSMAP 162 after about three years, mostly because I could
get real nautical charts for the 162. The 162 is still on
the boat.

Let's dream:

Let's say I won the Lotto (FAT CHANCE, I don't play), and I
got a Challenger 27 with a nice cabin.

VHF: Two high end Standard Horizons, one on CH 16 all the
time, the other scanning the working freqs. One black,
one white. Extension speakers.

GPS: Two or three displays of the highest end Garmin, with
Garmin radar input and and Garmin's depthfinder input.

AIS: Don't know where I'd go here, but it would feed the
Garmin displays.

Sidescan SONAR: Hbird's fanciest sidescan.


David1877 posted 07-29-2008 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Some manufacturers (Lowrance, Raymarine) make units with connecctions that can plug/play into each other without splicing which can make installation a little easier.

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.