Raymarine E80 Review
The Raymarine E80 is a mid-sized multi-function marine chartplotter designed for recreational boats. Ten dedicated pushbuttons, plus a rotary enter knob, cursor pad, and five multi-purpose soft keys make operating this unit a snap.
The E80 display will interface with and display information from a number of sources. Raymarine radar options run from a 2Kw 18-inch dome style unit up to a 6-foot open array antenna with a 10Kw power supply.
It will also interface with a black box sounder, the Ray 125 GPS module, an AIS receiver, and a Raymarine Sirius weather and radio receiver.
It communicates with these other devices using one of three networks, Raymarine SeaTalk, NMEA 0183, or NMEA 2000.
The Raymarine E80 is 11.1-inches wide, 8.3 inches high, and 6.1 inches deep. Thats roughly an inch larger in height and width than a comparable Garmin 5208.
The display screen is 6.7 inches wide by 5 inches high and measures 8.4 inches on the diagonal. Resolution is a very respectable 640 x 480.
Screen Size and Viewability
We found the E80 performed well when viewed in daylight conditions. It was not quite as bright as its big brother but we still gave its an excellent rating. Its display screen was bright and clean when viewed from straight in front. Little to no screen darkening was noted when viewing the screen from the side, even at severe angles. Even with our polarized sunglasses on there was no darkening of the screen when viewing from straight in front of the unit. However, when viewed at severe side angles with polarized sunglasses we did experience a moderate amount of screen darkening.
Screen backlight level adjustments can be quickly made in up to 64 steps with the rotary enter knob. For our nighttime review we first dimmed the E80 in the daytime palette, and then in the night palette. The color difference between the two is minimal. When set to minimum brightness levels in either day or night mode the screen will go totally black. With the night palette selected we noticed from side angles the screen darkens, as the angle gets steeper the condition worsens, and eventually the screen becomes unreadable. Keypad lighting is linked to the screen brightness level and not separately adjustable. We rated night viewability good.
Software version 3.31 was installed in our Raymarine E80 test unit and we found it easy to use and quite intuitive. It was a rare occasion when we had to open the thick manual for advice. The E80 makes good use of its 5 soft keys and numerous dedicated pushbuttons. A software update, version 4.29, is now available from Raymarine for this unit.
Selected split screen combinations can be toggled by pressing the PAGE button. Holding it down brings you to the select page set menu. Here you can pick from a variety of pre-configured pages or build your own custom page set. Up to four windows using four different data sources and a data bar can be displayed simultaneously.
Waypoints and Routes
One push of the WPTS key will create and save a waypoint at the present position. You can also use a soft key function to save a waypoint at the cursor, ship position, or at a latitude/longitude.
Waypoints can be put in lists and separated into groups for quicker access. Each waypoint includes a group name, latitude/longitude, bearing/distance from present position, 16-character name, and 32-character comment. You can select from 36 different waypoint symbols and store up to 1200 waypoints in the E80. All this stored waypoint information should make obscure points in a large list much easier to identify and use. We like the long waypoint names and the ability to add a comment. Chartplotter interface was rated good.
You can build routes onscreen or by using the waypoint list. Access to the route menu page is via two soft key pushes. To build a route onscreen you simply move the cursor to the desired point then hit the place waypoint soft key. You can continue adding to a maximum of 50 waypoints and store as many as 150 routes in the E80.
Odds and Ends
Hitting and holding the E80 MOB key takes the unit into man overboard mode. It activates an audible alarm and switches the chart to minimum range. Data boxes show range and bearing to the man overboard position. If you were not on the chart page when you hit the MOB button you will only get man overboard position from the data boxes. To turn off the man overboard mode and silence the alarm press and hold the MOB key again.
Chart redraws on the Raymarine E80 are fast. It takes less than one second to fully redraw the chart after a map range change. Minimum chart range can be set to a minimum of 1/32 of a mile. The E80 has ruler function to measure the bearing and distance to any point or between any pair of user selected points. This Raymarine chartplotter can use Navionics Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Plus cartography.
The E80 carries a 2-year warranty.
The Raymarine E80 has the same easy to use design and intuitive software as its bigger sibling. This unit has an IPX6 waterproof rating, meaning it can be subjected to a direct stream of water with no ill effects. Youll need to buy a Ray 125 GPS sensor to make the unit function as a chartplotter.