Upgrading instruments onboard

Luna Azzurra is 16 years of age now. It start to be time to upgrade all electronics onboard. With electronics I mean the course computer, autopilot, wind, speed and deep stunder instrument, radar and the GPS chart plotter including new charts for the Mediterranean sea.

To do all this is quite expensive, so we decided to spreed this over  2 or 3 years instead. All the instruments onboard is still working good but better upgrade slowly before we run in to trouble and some of them stop working. Then all expenses will come at once.

The instruments exposed to the hardest condition we decided to change first. These instruments are the which are mounted in the cockpit. In the cockpit they are exposed for UV radiation and salt water spray and salty air. The electronics we are talking about are the wind, speed/temp, depth  instruments, autopilot control head and the chart plotter. Plus the radar.

The course computer are mounted down below in a dry place and is still working good. We think it have 2 – 3 years more in it at minimum. One small problem is that with the new plotter the existing radar will not work anymore.

It is a pity but as long as we are sailing most under the days we can live without it for now. We still have the AIS which will show at least the bigger ships and yachts on the chart plotter. Just have to watch out for fishing boats and some smaller yachts which most often don’t have an A.I.S.

So our upgrading steps will be the following:

1: Wind instrument, Depth, Speed and temperature, Autopilot control head and a new chart plotter (2021)

2. New course computer (2022)

3. New radar (2022 or 2023)

To get everything to work together (new and old systems) we must convert the communication language between the two types. The old system are analog and the new system digital.

So I started to do a wiring diagram how to connect everything.

Thanks to Raymarine who produce the instruments have a converter for this translation (new to old). It should be straight forward I think. But in the end and on a boat even this can be a challenge. A few new cable have to be pulled. Most of them just short distance though. As we are not onboard right now we have to see when we are in Italy for holiday in July / August.

Then l if we have time for it too, we are onboard on holiday so this installation is not priority 1. If it end up in to much of work we might just change some of the parts. At least we have the parts ready and onboard for the exchange.

When we receive all instruments and cabling it was decided to connect them all together in the same setup of network we will have onboard. This to see that the parts  works fine together. If it due to one reason or another not working onboard it will much easier to narrow down possible causes.

At least we know it works which is a good start. But this have to wait until we have received the chart plotter plus we need a 12VDC power supply too.

Later when we have installed this first parts of electronic we will do a new post about this installation.


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