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Install "Complete Stargazer with Zbox" on 2004 ProStar-190TT - Pros and Cons ?

swbcaswbca Posts: 127 Baller
edited January 24 in Boat Talk
This Prostar 190 is for Slalom practice for M8 & M9 skiers where 38 off is their first difficult practice pass . Another local M8 skier installed Stargazer and ZBox in his 2001 Nautique. He practices 35/38 off behind two boats . . his 2001 Nautique and a friends 2018 Nautique with ZO. Both boat owners have no complaints about practicing behind the older boat with Stargazer.

Is that the consensus about owning StarGaser for short-line tournament skiers ? For divisions at 32 and 30mph.

Another Question . . anyone installed this on a 190 themselves ? The Nautique guy said he did his own with no problem.



  • usaski1usaski1 Posts: 752 Crazy Baller
    Question is, Is this a Drive by Wire boat, or does it have a throttle cable? If it has a throttle cable, Z-Box doesn't work as well. If that's the case, its time to start asking questions like how long would the boat be kept? If the answer is a long time... $5k and get new motor with ZO.
    Mark Turner -- Water skiing changed my life forever.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,128 Mega Baller
    I installed PerfectPass StarGazer (no Zbox) on my 2000 Prostar 205 back in 2008. It was mechanical throttle, not drive-by-wire. It was quite easy to do. The best part was that I did not have to cut a hole in the bottom of the boat for a paddle wheel speedo pickup.

    I think the 2004 190 is still mechanical throttle. It should be reasonably easy to do.

    PerfectPass is usually great to work with, too, if you need support.

    One item to be aware of is that, at least in the past, it was recommended that you fully tune and calibrate the StarGazer before adding/activating the Zbox portion. I don't know if it has improved in the more recent versions. Others here may have updated information on that.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 992 Crazy Baller
    edited December 2020
    Mechanical throttle a SN 1990 Newest version of z box 9.2 easy to set up settles in quickly great pull our other boat is a 2016 200 Pull and scores are the same Z box works well kept me from buy a newer z off boat got more money for son college now

  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 846 Crazy Baller
    One of our club members has a 1992 Prostar with Z-Box and mechanical throttle. He runs into 38 and loves it. He's M7 IIRC. It makes it a lot easier to jump back and forth with ZO boats. Anyone who knows their way around an inboard engine can install it.
  • 503Kento503Kento Posts: 67 Baller
    Super easy to install. Literally plugging in cables and one mechanical connect. Biggest challenge is cable routing.
  • DanoDano Posts: 152 Baller
    edited December 2020
    Installed my system in under 3 hours, including the beer breaks. Order it direct from Perfect Pass and you'll get great customer service and all the help and support you could possibly need. As it's been mentioned the hardest part is routing the wires into the engine compartment. Aside from that it's plug and play.
  • Mike GileMike Gile Posts: 373 Crazy Baller
    If you are running perfect pass classic now it is a no brainer. I made the move on a 2006 197TT and it works great. Easy to install and a much better feel.
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 929 Mega Baller
    Get ZBox. It might be the best $400 you can spend in this sport.
  • JoepruncJoeprunc Posts: 308 Baller
    I think SG +Zbox is a good upgrade from PP classic once you get it dialed. Mine took some trouble shooting to get a good pull (I think this is more due to my course setup), but now that its dialed it is super easy to setup any skier and get them a great pull.

    If you have a PP system on the 190, the install will be quite a bit easier that if you don't have PP (as the servo and wiring should be reusable). But both installs are fairly easy, and PerfectPass customer service is phenomenal.

  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 246 Crazy Baller
    No Cons, works great! Latest version is magic on Z-Box. If you already have old version of PP then super easy to install.
  • ghutchghutch Posts: 160 Baller
    @swbca Here is my answer.. I am at that level also, hardest pass 38 off M4 skier. I installed SG Zbox on my 04 Response LXI. I ski behind all different boats from having just SG to SG with Zbox to the latest ZO. Really can't tell a whole lot of differences and generally run my same line lengths-passes-speed-and setting. I would think if you have guys who are very picky and can really feel a difference between the two systems then they might complain.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 127 Baller
    @ghutch Thanks for you valuable comments . . .Did you replace the servo and linkages on your 04 boat ? I just posted another question about using the old 2004 mechanical components - or not.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    If you have a short setup don't get Z box. That thing was hell on our short setup, either keep PP or get ZO. If you have a lot of room before the course you will be fine with Z box
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 992 Crazy Baller
    @Ilivetoski you must have the older version Z box 9.2 fixes that issue
  • BCMBCM Posts: 267 Baller
    @Ilivetoski - what software version were you running? The v9.2 software handles short setups better than any other PP setup I have driven and nearly as well as ZO. With the older software short setups had to be driven just right to not overspeed into the course, I have not had this issue in the three v9.2 boats I regularly drive on shorter setups.

    I regularly ski PP, StarGazer, Zbox, and ZO (2014 and current promo) (34mph into -38). I don't notice a difference between Zbox and ZO. A few passes a year I will get some odd buoy times with Zbox. I am not a fan of StarGazer without Zbox. PP Classic is fine, but you need drivers who still understand it.

    I believe the v9.2 software was a game changer. When speaking to people about their experience, be sure to understand what software they were using. I have heard lots of negativity about the older software versions but not much about v9.2. Before v9.2 I was looking into a ZO upgrade, with v9.2 I don't see a reason.
  • CBR51CBR51 Posts: 116 Baller
    For a 2004 you will probably need to upgrade to a multi line display gauge also. Another $250
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    @BCM @Deanoski good point, I have no idea what version it was. We ended up selling the boat after that and going to a ZO boat.
  • ghutchghutch Posts: 160 Baller
    @swbca no. I did not replace the linkages or anything else. Just installed what I was sent by PP. No regrets doing it.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,561 Mega Baller
    Your 2004 should have a factory supplied wiring harness for PP
  • GaryJanzigGaryJanzig Posts: 96 Baller
    Pros, it works great once you get it tuned for your particular boat. Cons, It may take a while to get the background settings correct if the factory settings are not a match for your boat. I set a new PB at a tournament practicing behind it most of the time.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 127 Baller
    @GaryJanzig The boat is new to me so I have no experience with PP. Can factory support with the PP upgrade purchase guide the boat owner with tuning the upgraded system.
  • 503Kento503Kento Posts: 67 Baller
    @swbca last year was my first year with speed control (PP/Stargazer). PP support is excellent and there is a hugely informative thread here on getting the background setting dialed in.
  • GaryJanzigGaryJanzig Posts: 96 Baller
    edited January 6
    @swbca Yes they can. If you get good slalom times with no surging once you get it installed you won't need to do anything. My boat is older with a '94 SN 240 HP carb FORD PCM, 1:1 transmission. I have it dialed in. I have to change the Kx setting higher as the water gets warmer. It controls how aggressive the throttle response is. The higher setting firms up the pull. If I don't turn the Kx setting up when the water gets warm my times come out on the slow side(still within tolerance). Making that adjustment puts it closer to actual.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,297 Mega Baller
    @swbca - The PP website includes several instructional videos and a plethora of literature files to walk you through the install and operation of PP. In addition, live customer service is excellent as is communication via email.
  • JoepruncJoeprunc Posts: 308 Baller
    @swbca as mentioned above PP customer service is wonderful. They will help you over phone or email until your issues are resolved. They have Youtube videos that help walk through several of the major steps for easier viewing. There are also several threads on BOS for additional information for dialing in ZBox. I think this one was a fairly good one.

    And there was a spreadsheet for PP Z-Box settings, unfortunately most are for SN

    If your current PP display looks like this it would be considered a single line and require an upgrade with Stargazer and/or Zbox

  • VONMANVONMAN Posts: 235 Crazy Baller
    @swbca I put a PP Star Gazer speed control in my 2015 Mercury 200hp outboard, no problem. No added special parts or tech help, easy peasy. Works great!
    Ernie Schlager

    A Good One Ball Gives You Six
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 127 Baller
    edited January 15
    @VONMAN Interesting, I am sure you have a good outboard setup. I had a young doctor friend on the lake with an outboard with a large engine. I only weigh 170 but when I skied behind it once, the low weight of the boat made it a rough ride for the 2 people in the boat and I bent the ski tow that came up over the engine. What kind of hull do have that's up to the task of pulling a real slalom skier through the course. Remember the Crosby Twin Rigs ?

    Can you describe how your PP responds to the skier. I Assume it reacts to being pulled down by the skier. Or does it have some intelligence to anticipate ? Overall does it feel like one of those great boat drivers that makes slalom skiing ease while driving in tolerance straight down the middle of the course ?

    What's with magnets on the gates ? I received the upgraded PP, StarGazer and Gauge yesterday. Are gate magnets part of using upgraded PP ?
  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 161 Baller
    PP responds by adding back RPM when the RPM drops with skier load. With Stargazer, the GPS assists with that process. Stargazer with the Zbox addon assists even further by introducing an accelerometer to detect the boat decelerating with load and releasing the load.
    Magnets are not needed as you now map the course using GPS to mark the entrance gates (depending on software version).
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 127 Baller
    From the skiers experience is there significant latency in the boats response to the skier ?

    How constant is the boats speed in a "typical case" 180 pound, 35off, 34mph skier. . . is the boats actual speed running up and down in a 1mph range or more? or less?

    What does it feel like to the skier.?
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,389 Mega Baller
    I train behind two boats with PP stargazer. Both owners installed it themselves. When I skied behind boats at tourneys I used the B2 setting as recommended by people on the dock. I didn’t notice any difference behind a MC or a SN with ZO. I ski at 32mph into -32 on good days.
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