Raymarine e7, hand’s on #2

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

10 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Geez, just last weekend I promised more frequent entries and then I go a week writing only two! But they are getting longer, I’m not sure why, while the stack of material for future entries grows ever larger.
    Incidentally, some of my lab projects may be crude but note how the ST40 system now includes a fan, a speedo exposed for finger flicking, and — though not visible — a PVC water tube for the depth sensor.
    I’ve also been prepping for a 10 day Florida extravaganza starting next Monday. There’s lot of new gear coming out at Miami, and some interesting demo opportunities, plus I’m going to do some small boating over in the Fort Meyers area afterwards.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Aha! So the chart chip that comes with the e7 only contains Navionics Silver level data, which only includes spot soundings and contours out to 30′ (for the whole U.S. coast). So that’s why the top chart window looks so sparse; all that water is deeper than 30′.
    Apparently you also need to upgrade that card to a Navionics Gold or Platinum+ to get Tide and Current predictions and also to get access to Navionics “Freshest Data” and User Generated Data.
    I’ll find out more about how all this works next week in Miami.

  3. norse says:

    I looked at the Navionics link about Freshest Data and it says only new chart chips can be updated. I assume that new chips contain new technology to support this. On the other hand, the updates are only free for one year. What happens after that? I don’t expect to see many changes in one year. The single biggest problem with e-charts is the lack of affordable updates.

  4. Arch says:

    If I am reading this right, the ability to see the chart data on an iPad seems to take care of the small screen issue (for those of us with a little older eyes) of the e7. Great news if I am correct.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    It’s true, Arch. If you buy an e7 you get an extra 10″ repeater display at no charge (if you already have an iPad, which is nice thing to have on many boats anyway). And it will be a full second station eventually, when RayView becomes a two-way app. But there are two caveats I can think of:
    1. Current iPads aren’t nearly as bright as any modern MFD, and they have more glare.
    2. The e7’s streaming image seems to get a bit smudged on the iPad, probably because it has to be scaled in some way. Compare the chart seen in the top iPad screen with the straight e7 chart screens — they’re all untampered — and you’ll see what I mean. In actual live use, I don’t find it really bothersome but it is noticeable.

  6. Brent says:

    Great write-up, Ben and thanks for the continued efforts. You are right, there are a lot of little “glitches” in the cartography setup and usage (I’ve noticed the same problems with Head-up and North orientation). Many Raymarine people with whom I’ve spoken (both sellers, technicians, and installers) have expressed confidence that software updates will come much more frequently than Raymarine’s previous track record.
    One very important thing you have not mentioned in your reviews so far is the lack of support for any fuel management display (other than tank level). This is an obvious (and major) oversight on the part of Raymarine, and as a former software product manager guy myself, I have to assume this is because they had to make a shipping deadline and this set of features didn’t make the “cut”. I have been told by the techs at Raymarine that the issue will be addressed in the “next release” and that it is a big issue for them (lots of calls from puzzled customers).
    Unfortunately, Raymarine has a very poor record of producing timely (and meaningful) updates to their software. Let’s hope this changes as dramatically as the general operating system of the new e-Series devices (which are WONDERFUL compared to the proprietary approach Raymarine has historically taken).

  7. Serenisea says:

    I did not get the sign up confirmation yet. I sent this previously, but do not know if it is in verification process.
    I have older ST50 data connected with SeaTalk (circa 1997). Can I hook up the new E7 or c95 using the SeaTalk to Setalk NG converter if I buy one. My plan is to replace instruments as they eventually fail.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    RayView for Android came out late last week and is already collecting fairly good reviews at Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market): http://goo.gl/ndD9s
    I just installed a copy on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus and will try soon…

  9. Big H says:

    Hey Guys, I am really confused there is some much to choose from…
    Can you suggest a good all round solution for a bluewater boat ?
    Have Raymarine A65 Plotter Sounder currently onboard and really like the idea of WiFi (no cables penetrations or bad connections to deal with) Want to replace old analogue Radar and install AIS as well…
    Cheers H

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Raymarine e7 recall!
    I’m about to return the test e7 but if I owned it I would be sending it in for a re-engineered touch screen. I did experience some problems this summer — a touch command didn’t always do what it was supposed to do, regardless of calibration — but Raymarine is offering to replace even e7’s that haven’t developed the problem. Nice customer service!

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