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Old 24 October 2010, 10:48   #1
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Magellan FX324 Colour - where can I get charts?

Hi all,

I bought a Magellan FX324 Colour chart plotter about six or seven years ago for use on my motor cruiser. I've just installed a Raymarine autopilot and have successfully connected it to my Magellan via NMEA 0183 - so far so good!

Unfortunately, the MapSend BlueNav chart on the Magellan stops at the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre and most of my cruising would be done up the west coast. Have tried to find charts but have so far failed miserably! Anyone know where to get the chart that covers all of UK/ROI? Don't want to have to replace a functioning plotter for the sake of this!

MapSend are derivitives of Navionics charts I believe - would Navionics charts work with a Magellan??

Regards

Mike
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Old 26 October 2010, 17:53   #2
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Bugger....

Well, to answer my own question....!

Have tried everywhere, even spoken to (ex) main UK suppliers and the answer is "Not Available". So my FX324 Colour Chartplotter is now reduced to junk as far as cruising the west coast of Scotland is concerned - a bit disappointing!

Anyone know if a Garmin 551 will drive a Raymarine SPX 30 autopilot OK??!! Seems like the next best option.

Don't buy Magellan!!!!

Mike
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Old 27 October 2010, 03:34   #3
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So my FX324 Colour Chartplotter is now reduced to junk...

Don't buy Magellan!!!!
Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear about your disappointment. Sadly this is a real risk with all marine electronics, even Garmin were not immune when they changed to their own brand of chart all the preceding models became obsolete. So it is not any single brand.

Your Raymarine autopliot will use Seatalk rather than the industry standard NMEA, but I see your Magellan was outputting NMEA so it should be a straight forward enough job to replace it with a 551. Worth checking the Raymarine manual to be sure, but it has certainly been done with other models.

You should be able to pick up a 551 for 350.00 quid plus vat and delivery.
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Old 27 October 2010, 04:23   #4
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Although Raymarine called their networking Seatalk, it is so closely related to NMEA protocols that their devices usually also have an NMEA input as well. Our Raymarine ST6001 Autopilot on our hard boat has an 0183 input which takes a Garmin signal just fine. Worst case scenario is that you would have to get a (third party) converter to change 0183 into Seatalk.
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Old 28 October 2010, 07:55   #5
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Malthouse, Erin,

Thanks for your replies - Garmin 551 ordered! Talking to dealers and Raymarine/Garmin techies the problem seems to be that even with the correct V2.3 of NMEA 0183, there can be discrepancies in the sentences used (variation is a big one). I think (hope) the Garmin will do all I need in terms of guiding the Autopilot on a route, but there is only one way to find out! Thanks for your time guys!

Mike

PS Anyone want to buy a Magellan FX324 colour??!! Charts cover the Irish Sea....
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Old 28 October 2010, 10:29   #6
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Thanks for your replies - Garmin 551 ordered!
Naaa, you should have got a Garmin 78 with bluetooth NMEA. That way you get a wireless remote control for your boat.
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Old 03 November 2010, 12:37   #7
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Garmin GPS - Raymarine Autopilot

Just to finish the story, so to speak....

Installed the Garmin 551 and connected it to the Raymarine SPX 30 autopilot in what I thought was the correct fashion (and similar to the way the Magellan was installed). Needless to say, it didn't work....

After a few discussions with both Garmin and Raymarine techs, who were both helpful (but understandably reluctant to be too definitive on each other's products), I finally worked out the secret of Garmin to Raymarine communication!

The Garmin 551 uses a common earth/Tx negative which needs to be connected to both the Raymarine input negative AND the common earth. This means you end up using only three leads (power +ve (red) and -ve (black) and the TX +ve (blue) wire).

System now seems to work just fine!

If anyone knows anyone who has MapSend BlueNav charts of West coast of Scotland (or can lay their hands on one), please let me know as the old Magellan unit is still pristine and works well, so would like to have it as a backup!

Thanks for the help guys!

Regards

Mike
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Old 22 November 2010, 09:35   #8
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Ref FX324

I do hope you still have the SD chart for your FX324 - I need a chart that will cover Milford Haven (boat moored at Neyland Marina) - I think the chart you have covers this area.
I have a chart that covers Poole Harbour - useless to me!!
Bought the boat complete with FX324 - first boat for 45 years!!!
Regards
Peter
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