Re: Original Autopilot Integration With New Chartplotter

Craig & Katherine Briggs SN 68 Sangaris Tropic Isle Harbor, FL

I've got the B&G NAIS400 (2 years old) and it does, indeed, like the newer 500 model, have its own GPS, as you note the Vesper does. The GPS antenna is a "mushroom" dome which I've mounted on the dashboard and that can be selected as the system source of GPS, although I get great reception from the built in GPS's on the Zeus's (7" on dash (-9" would be a bit better) and 12" below).

I've got got a dedicated AIS (NAIS) antenna on the mizzen. Have never noticed any issue with limited range, although I've not got a comparison of a main mast mounted antenna.

Sounds like you've got an excellent plan. Th Zeus 12" below is a great supplement to the cockpit unit.and fits the hole for the old Radar - I did need to replace the mounting bracket knobs with hex head bolts and have to slide the adjacent panels out a bit before removing the radar - not a big deal.

Certainly a tablet would do the trick and may be even a little more convenient as you can be anywhere and do all that you could with the Zeus 12", except autopilot, but you're not going to do that from below anyway.

Best piece of our system is the Wireless Remote Bluetooth Autopilot Controller (WR10/BT-1 ). We rarely sit at the helm any more and just sit comfortably around the cockpit using a small tablet to check the chart, or just pop up now and then and scan the MFD. We've also got a Triton 10 and the H5000 displays in the holes of the old sytem, so we can see the key items like depth, speed and wind from a distance, as The Captain intended. :-)

With 20-20 hindsight I think I'd get a different brand VHF. The B&G is a bit clunky to operate with odd button sequences and ours kept jumping to a weather station by itself, which required a factory replacement, although that is likely an isolated incident. That the handset is wireless is great, and that is available in other brands.

Odds and ends: I see they now have a wireless masthead unit and a paddlewhee-less speed transducer, which looks interesting if you're building the system from scratch.

Cheers, Craig SN68

---In amelyachtowners@..., <carpathia3@...> wrote :

Many thanks for your advice, Alan, Mark, Craig, AIan and Richard, very helpful.

Mark and Ian: I am tempted by the redundancy of a second antenna, but does the 5m difference in height make any noticeable difference for the AIS transponder? I guess this should be compared with the loss coming from the splitter. Again, assuming this makes any difference at all.

Craig, I should have been more precise: the Vesper AIS I intend to buy is the XB8000, which is indeed blackbox, no screen. Preference over the NAIS500 because it has GPS, again for redundancy. I want to install a Zeus3 9” MFD at the helm and will view the AIS info on the Zeus. At some stage later, replace the Furuno radar by a B&G 4G. For chart table visualisation of all NMEA2000 info, I would start with tablet through wifi from the Zeus (any counter advice there?) to save the immediate expense of a second MFD. Plus a computer connection from the USB port of the Vesper.

There is the Paris boat show starting this weekend, so will follow your advice and approach a couple of manufacturers, probably B&G and Garmin. Indeed a fun project! I have developed a tentative multi-year evolution plan, but am sure to have many more questions!


Cathy & Guillaume

s/v Carpathia III – SM2K #293


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