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Passport111

Zeus / Vulcan / Ipad Configuration

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I'm looking for advice on a configuration with usability, sustainability, and future growth in mind. I know that is a big ask with today's electronics life-cycle so I guess my main focus would be to get the greatest bang for the buck that I can add to.

On Lake Michigan, we do buoy races, distance races  and usually a one week cruise every year. We've had the boat for 4 years and I've been making electronic upgrades over that time with a budget.

So far I've replaced all the old Signet with 3 B&G Triton instruments in a pod over the companionway.  KVH mast with mast mounted display and compass also providing N2K via Actisense to the Tritons.  I've upgraded the VHF to the B&G with integrated AIS and run Navionics on the iPad mounted at the Nav station.  We also have an older Apelco Radar (didn't even hook it up last year).  Alpha Spectra autopilot which works well but I can imagine upgrading to a B&G for the shorthanded features and better gyro (hopefully use the existing drive).

For distance races I use Blue Water racing on a laptop.  This is a bit clunky because its not integrated with anything and I use a separate GPS antenna.

I'm thinking a chart plotter this winter but am not sure of how I want to configure everything but here is what I'm thinking so far.

  1. Zeus (probably 2 with separate Wifi because of cost and system segregation) at the Nav station with a the iPad being portable to bring on deck
  2. Vulcan and iPad same as number 1.
  3. Zeus at the helm with iPad at the Nav station.
  4. Vulcan at the helm with iPad at the Nav station.
  5. Vulcan at the helm with PC and iPad at the Nav station.

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I have a fairly complete B&G system, Triton Zeuse2-9, autopilot VHF/AIS, wifi 1 

I am quite happy with everything, but I am envious about the Zues 3,

The Zeus2 has embarrassingly low resolution  for a 9" dsiplay, 

The Zeus3 solves that + that it adds integrated wifi, thus total cost is actually lower than Zeus2+ wifi 

take a long look at Zeus3 before buying a Zeus2 

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Thanks for the feedback.  I was thinking the Zeus 2-9 only because there are some re-manufactured ones for very cheap.

Then I think, why not the Vulcan with built in WiFi (except personally would like buttons too).

 

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On 1/3/2018 at 6:42 AM, Passport111 said:

I'm thinking a chart plotter this winter but am not sure of how I want to configure everything but here is what I'm thinking so far.

  1. Zeus (probably 2 with separate Wifi because of cost and system segregation) at the Nav station with a the iPad being portable to bring on deck
  2. Vulcan and iPad same as number 1.
  3. Zeus at the helm with iPad at the Nav station.
  4. Vulcan at the helm with iPad at the Nav station.
  5. Vulcan at the helm with PC and iPad at the Nav station.

+1 on the Zeus3, no point in buying obsolete stuff. 

as regards your configurations: 

what do you expect to do "on deck" vs "at helm" ? 

Night vs daylight ? 

Navigator/Tactician vs Helmsman? (when single unit above deck?) 

For Nav station, presumably you won't be getting it really wet ? 

I'd go for

#6 Zeus3 where Helm can see/touch and a PC at nav station, with a roving Ipad that can echo either one of them. 

Vulcan lacks ability to share Mapping cartridges or Radar displays, though it can use them if direct connected. 

i.e. if you ever see adding a second B&G MFD, start with Zeus. 

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Thanks.  When I said "on deck" I meant at the helm.  Crewed racing I don't see any reason to really need a plotter at the helm although I may be wrong. 

Where a plotter at the helm would be nice is short handed racing and/or cruising with the family.  From that perspective I was thinking it didn't need to do much more than help with situational awareness (AIS, navigating at night or reduced visibility).  Am I missing where the value is of a plotter at the helm?

Honestly I was trying to justify a Zeus 2 or Vulcan for the price but I see your point.  On the other hand I worry trying to keep up is a false economy (I've always bought the previous model iPhone).  From a growth perspective (radar, second display, etc.) I can't argue with the Zeus option.

What is the best/easiest way to integrate a PC at the Nav station?  I'm guessing a "happy box" that connects to the N2K and then USB to laptop/tablet?

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I am admittedly racing shorthanded, thus I need the plotter at the helm,

The great thing about Zeus is that You essentially can show anything the Triton can show, at the Zeus,

and You can split screen ( more than is practical on the Zeus 2 ) You can also have graphs  of  e.g.TWD,

  talk about nice shift detection! 

I would never give up my Zeus at the helm, and at the nav station I would perfer Ipad or PC. ( currently the Iphone will have to do ) 

 

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I’ve been racing on a boat with a B&g ZEUS inside and an IPad used by the navigator on deck over WiFi.

There has been some issues with battery life, for a 40-mile offshore race the iPad had to be charged multiple times. Murphy’s law makes the battery die at the most inconvenient time.

 

 

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Ha, yea know what you mean.  2 years ago we were doing a short 25mi distance race which ended at night. We were trying to navigate with a GPS coordinate to finish line which was basically invisible against the shore lights.  The Ipad didn't die but someone accidentally turned it off and by the time we got the nav app back up an running with a GPS signal it was too late; we had to tack to a clocking 4knt dying breeze and added probably 10 mins. 

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