When I installed my B&G radar I was told I needed a connection box at the base of the mast or else the signal would not make it to the helm, this was £300.
I was also told that the radar does not use TCP/IP and the cable was not simply CAT 6 cable with proprietary connectors attached.
When I came to put a navigation desk downstairs in the saloon I was quoted £4400 for a 16″ B&G touch screen plus a lot more for the connections and cables needed to connect it to the main MFD, including another “Connection booster box at £300”.
I cut the cable to the radar and added two RJ45 connectors at £1 each. I then plugged these into my boat router and this made the Radar available to all devices, including the Wifi. It displayed perfectly on the B&G MFD at the helm.
For the navigation desk I built a RasberryPi with a 16″ touch screen and connected this to the same wired network, for £340 in total.
Turned out the RADAR was using TCP/IP and standard Ethernet cable with proprietary connectors and you didn’t need a booster box for £300.
B&G (Navico) is just an example here and there is great value in their gear, individually, but the proprietary lockin market that is manipulating your wallet, this needs to stop. It is not in your best interest or eventually theirs as we learn we can get better elsewhere and do so without considering the quality of what they offer because the business practices that come with it.
If you don’t have the knowledge, ask around. We are a bunch of customers suffering proprietary lockin from suppliers that are not trying to make our lives easier and related inflated charges that should really annoy you, the rest of the IT world has got rid of this sort of business practice years ago….. so should we.