Ray ST70, hand's on #1

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Feb 8, 2008


This ST70 not only plays pretty well with the various non Raymarine sensors on Panbo’s NMEA 2000 test network, as mentioned earlier this week, but it’s also loaded with neat surprises. One is those little minimum and maximum dots on the outer ring of the digital Apparent Wind dial above. Many instruments will track min/max of some values, but I’ve never seen one that does it graphically like this. Have you? Plus when you press that menu button from this page, your first choice will be to reset those min/max values. Friendly.

And have you ever marine electronics, heck any consumer electronics device, that tracks its current drain, internal temp., etc. as seen below? I’ve got lots more to detail about the ST70, and about Garmin’s new V3 firmware for its 4– and 5000 series, which also plays nicely with the same N2K test sensors. I plan to make a list of all the PGNs available on the network versus what’s available on these displays, but omissions don’t seem major, and can always be fixed in future firmware updates. In initial testing, both units also seemed to handle redundant sensors well. But my lab time is over for about 10 days as I prepare for a Monday flight to Miami, a couple days of Innovation judging—no robes, but having reviewed the entries, I’m excited to participate—and one busy boat show. Per usual, Panbo posting may be erratic.



How is the brightness and readability at a distance ?

Posted by: Dan (b393capt) at February 8, 2008 4:11 PM | Reply

e.g. 10 feet away ?

Posted by: Dan (b393capt) at February 8, 2008 4:51 PM | Reply

I haven't had it outside yet, Dan (snowing again here), but my sense is that the ST70 will be most satisfying if it's within arm's reach, both visually and in terms of changing pages in different circumstances.

Posted by: Ben at February 8, 2008 5:30 PM | Reply

What am I missing here? WHAT min and max values are being set/displayed? Wind direction? The wind speed is a digital readout and the wind direction dial, in analogue form, is the only thing that points to those dots ... white and red. The white dot is at 90 (degrees port) and the red dot is at 160 (degrees port). What about on the starboard side? And what happens when the min or max value is reached ... an alarm? I've only had one cup of coffee so far but am confused.

Posted by: yachtvalhalla at February 8, 2008 7:06 PM | Reply

Yes, it marks max/min apparent wind angle, Terry. The white and red dots show how much AWA varied since the last min/max reset. In real life, of course, that would represent some combination of actual wind variation and course steered variation. At any rate, the feature seems to apply to several dial displays, like boat speed and heading.

Please note, by the way, how well the lab ghosts along in really light air ;-)

Posted by: Ben at February 8, 2008 9:03 PM | Reply

One problem with the ST70 is it will not allow you to scale the water speed PGN, and the Airmar transducer will not accept calibration values. This makes the water speed way off in my ST70/DST100 system.

Posted by: Bryan Hennessy at February 10, 2008 11:48 PM | Reply

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