Miglu

B&G H5000 Hercules vs. WTP3

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What are the exact differences between the B&G H5000 Hercules and the WTP3? What are the real advantages of the WTP3?

Does the Hercules calculate leeway and upwash?

Is there a difference between Hercules and WTP3 in the elimination of boat motion?

I want to install one of these 2 systems in my 50 feet Racing Yacht for Coastal Races. What do you think is the better option?
 

Many thanks for your help!

Best regards,

miglu

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Other than about $8000 for the processor? 

The H5000 CPU with Hercules or Performance can run H5000 direct wind& boats speed sensors, and has 1 NMEA 2000, & 2x 0183. 

WTP3 has multiple N2K, and runs WTP3 motion vs H5000

If you have to ask, you probably don’t need WTP3. 

 

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On a surface level, the H5 is pretty similar to the WTP these days. Your average raceboat will find a similar level of calibration options and flexibility, and quality setup will always be more important than hardware.

The WTP buys a lot of extra capabilities. The motion correction is better, calibration can be more refined, custom maths is essential if you have a complex system - but it's a massive step up in cost and complexity, and when budgeting don't just think about the cost of the processor but everything else you need to make it worthwhile.

Heres some quick questions:

Do you plan on having a professional set up and maintain the system?

Are you going to have a compass worth over £5,000?

Are you planning on more than 4 nonstandard sensors (loadcells, stringpots, etc?)

If the answer is yes to all of those questions then a WTP is worth considering, if not then you will be very happy with an H5 or equivalent and the WTP won't buy any noticeable benefit.

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BH's answer highlights a few things but gets a lot (including the conclusion) wrong.

The WTP setup is actually fairly simple, except that it's poorly documented and based on a collection of text files with arcane syntax, no consistency and understood only by a handful of individuals strewn throughout the high performance sailing industry. Worse yet, it's inextricably linked to Deckman, which is also poorly documented and understood by a different handful of individiuals. Because the knowledge isn't widely available, setup usually comes down to paying a 3rd party to install and configure the system and this can get expensive.

Regarding BH's quick questions - they're mostly inane:

  • Do you plan on having a professional setup and maintain the system - Many H5000 systems are installed, configured and maintained by professionals as are many WTP3 systems. This is a moot point.
  • Are you going to have an expensive compass - this point, again, is irrelevant. There are many H5000 systems using Quadrans or Octans compasses.
  • Are you planning on more than 4 non-standard sensors - this is a valid consideration as the WTP3 can integrate far more sensors and far more esoteric sensors

But then BH says that if the answer to ALL those questions is yes, a WTP is worth considering and here he's just wrong. For example, if only the last answer is yes, then an H5000 may not be able to do what you need.

The benefits of a WTP are (mostly) its abilities to:

  • Integrate lots (dozens) of sensors, including multiple sensors of a given kind such as wind wands, speedos, compasses, etc.
  • Specify the calibration details of those sensors with a high degree of precision
  • The set of datum is end-user augmentable, so you can bring water ballast tank levels into the system, calibrate the tank sender output from % full to tonnes based on tank profile
  • Use Java Script to synthesize datum from a variety of sensors and/or other datum. So, for example, speed can be synthesized from one of three speedos based on TWA and switched to GPS speed if any of those speedos outputs is 20% lower than the other two. Similarly, the choice of mast head or stern rail wind data can be based on AWA or detection that mast head AWS has fallen to zero. And you can take that water ballast tank data and, based on TWA and TWS, convert it to % target ballast.
  • Make any of the datum available for display or visible via Deckman (yes, Deckman is unavoidable with a WTP) to Expedition. This capability combined with the ability to synthesize datum means you can do things like cause displayed data to be based on tack, so that a leeward display has jib trimmer information and a windward display has driver information.

The fact is that if one wants or needs those benefits, one is likely involved in a fairly high-end, high-budget, professionally maintained yacht and the choice of WTP3 is fairly simple and the people who understand the WTP3 are loitering around the boat, anyway. Alternately, if one is a techno geek and wants to dabble and is willing to make the investment in time to master the perverse and often masochistic rites required to get the WTP3 to do something "cool", then the WTP3 is a convenient hole into which you can pour money and time in search of the short-lived dopamine high of success. Occasionally, one has a requirement that no other instrument system can meet, for example a Proa where the bow changes to the stern when tacking, and a WTP3 is the only option.

Another way to think about the H5000 vs the WTP3 is:

  • H5000 causes frustration because it just can't do what you want
  • WTP3 causes frustration because you can't figure out how to get it to do what you know it can

 

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25 minutes ago, Moonduster said:

Regarding BH's quick questions - they're mostly inane:

  • Do you plan on having a professional setup and maintain the system - Many H5000 systems are installed, configured and maintained by professionals as are many WTP3 systems. This is a moot point.
  • Are you going to have an expensive compass - this point, again, is irrelevant. There are many H5000 systems using Quadrans or Octans compasses.
  • Are you planning on more than 4 non-standard sensors - this is a valid consideration as the WTP3 can integrate far more sensors and far more esoteric sensors

But then BH says that if the answer to ALL those questions is yes, a WTP is worth considering and here he's just wrong. For example, if only the last answer is yes, then an H5000 may not be able to do what you need.

 

 

 

Thanks Moonduster - I don't think Inane is fair, however. It was an attempt to distil a  3 line summary of a very complicated discussion, without being given much information... and actually, I stand by it. If the OP wanted to give me a call and go through the details of his actual requirements for a quote then obviously the conversation would look quite different.

Perhaps I didn't explain myself well:

1. I think you are missing the point.Professional level set up and maintenance is a number one requirement for an H5 system to get the best out of it. Of course: you can install yourself, or get your local shop to do it and never open the config again once they sign it off but to really get the best out of it you need to invest significant time, and if you cant do that yourself then you should be thinking about paying for the experience. If you are considering a WTP you need to be 'at least' thinking at this level, and the field of people to do this well shrinks significantly.

2. Actually, that's exactly my point. You don't need a WTP to run a Quadrans, but you shouldn't be running a WTP with a Precision 9. I would take quality sensors as far more important than the processor, so again: if you are asking the question 'do I need a WTP' you should already be considering high end sensors (and compass in particular).

3. The third point we can take or leave but I think you missed my intention again: H5 is actually pretty good at handling lots of sensors, assuming you don't need to do any nonlinear calibration or relational maths so a WTP was not suggested as a requirement for this, more the other way around. 

95% of the H5 boats I see arent set up and calibrated to their full potential and when those boats come to me to ask about some upgrades its never not having a WTP that is holding them back. The high-end processors buy a huge amount of flexibility and some great features if you have every other box ticked, but the point was: tick those boxes first: then ask the question.

 

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Thanks for your very interesting answers! With your input, I think that the best option for me is to choose the Hercules with good sensors like the SBG Ellipse2.

 

Do you know a better alternative to the H5000? Do you have any experiences with the Faro or the Bravo4 processor?

For me the optimal solution would be a system with the possibilities and data quality of the WTP3 together with the configuration and calibration via Webinterface (like the Hercules).

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The Faro is in many ways more intuitive than the WTP  -  but you are still on the same level of price and technicality and the niche of people you can call for help gets even smaller. I don't have any direct experience with the Bravo but really it's the same story again there. 

It would be worth having a look at the Sailmon E4 processor. Sailmon has been kicking around at the edge of everyone's consciousness for a while now with their full-colour displays but the processor is quite exciting and although its fairly early days some of the functionality they have planned is very promising.

Price wise you will be in the same ballpark as an H5 system, (assuming you choose something like the Garmin GNX120 displays - sailmon displays are not cheap!) with configuration via PC/Phone/Tablet app, full integration with software like Expedition and some nice calibration options. Functionality now is similar to the H5 (although currently no 3D motion correction - its on the roadmap) and they have plans for some new features which will blur the line between the 'standard' and the 'grand prix' processors.

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Just back in town after S-H and hols to repay the family, so chipping in late on this one.  After a year of playing in WTP-land, these are magnificent systems once you have your head around how they work, but .... allow lots and lots of time to achieve that understanding.  And whatever nice things one can say about B&G systems (and I do), one cannot say the same things about their documentation; I assume WTPs are intended for professional install and configuration.

The logical additional upgrade to go with WTPs is going from Sailing Performance PRO to TEAM, for all the additional customisation and analytical capabilities ..... and if in reading this you say "huh?", then you don't need the heartache of WTPs.

I particularly second  MD's last comments below.  It isn't a good week without at least two new emails to B&G support folks!  If you don't have that time, pay for someone who has.

Finally, with the discontinuation of Deckman, does anyone know if "WTP4" will be open source?

Good luck. 

On 12/16/2017 at 7:54 PM, Moonduster said:

BH's answer highlights a few things but gets a lot (including the conclusion) wrong.

The WTP setup is actually fairly simple, except that it's poorly documented and based on a collection of text files with arcane syntax, no consistency and understood only by a handful of individuals strewn throughout the high performance sailing industry. Worse yet, it's inextricably linked to Deckman, which is also poorly documented and understood by a different handful of individiuals. Because the knowledge isn't widely available, setup usually comes down to paying a 3rd party to install and configure the system and this can get expensive.

Regarding BH's quick questions - they're mostly inane:

  • Do you plan on having a professional setup and maintain the system - Many H5000 systems are installed, configured and maintained by professionals as are many WTP3 systems. This is a moot point.
  • Are you going to have an expensive compass - this point, again, is irrelevant. There are many H5000 systems using Quadrans or Octans compasses.
  • Are you planning on more than 4 non-standard sensors - this is a valid consideration as the WTP3 can integrate far more sensors and far more esoteric sensors

But then BH says that if the answer to ALL those questions is yes, a WTP is worth considering and here he's just wrong. For example, if only the last answer is yes, then an H5000 may not be able to do what you need.

The benefits of a WTP are (mostly) its abilities to:

  • Integrate lots (dozens) of sensors, including multiple sensors of a given kind such as wind wands, speedos, compasses, etc.
  • Specify the calibration details of those sensors with a high degree of precision
  • The set of datum is end-user augmentable, so you can bring water ballast tank levels into the system, calibrate the tank sender output from % full to tonnes based on tank profile
  • Use Java Script to synthesize datum from a variety of sensors and/or other datum. So, for example, speed can be synthesized from one of three speedos based on TWA and switched to GPS speed if any of those speedos outputs is 20% lower than the other two. Similarly, the choice of mast head or stern rail wind data can be based on AWA or detection that mast head AWS has fallen to zero. And you can take that water ballast tank data and, based on TWA and TWS, convert it to % target ballast.
  • Make any of the datum available for display or visible via Deckman (yes, Deckman is unavoidable with a WTP) to Expedition. This capability combined with the ability to synthesize datum means you can do things like cause displayed data to be based on tack, so that a leeward display has jib trimmer information and a windward display has driver information.

The fact is that if one wants or needs those benefits, one is likely involved in a fairly high-end, high-budget, professionally maintained yacht and the choice of WTP3 is fairly simple and the people who understand the WTP3 are loitering around the boat, anyway. Alternately, if one is a techno geek and wants to dabble and is willing to make the investment in time to master the perverse and often masochistic rites required to get the WTP3 to do something "cool", then the WTP3 is a convenient hole into which you can pour money and time in search of the short-lived dopamine high of success. Occasionally, one has a requirement that no other instrument system can meet, for example a Proa where the bow changes to the stern when tacking, and a WTP3 is the only option.

Another way to think about the H5000 vs the WTP3 is:

  • H5000 causes frustration because it just can't do what you want
  • WTP3 causes frustration because you can't figure out how to get it to do what you know it can

 

 

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