Open N2K to WiFi, Chetco SeaSmart & DMK Yacht Instruments
... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Dec 13, 2011
It took me less than an hour to cable a sample Chetco SeaSmart E-Net to Gizmo's NMEA 2000 network and WiFi router and use the boat's PC to scan for its IP address, which then yielded screens like the "Weather Info" browser page above on both my iPad and Android Incredible phone. Cool! And if I was actually proficient at the sort of IT stuff represented in that SeaSmart "Network Setup" screen, it probably would have been quicker. Admittedly there are some issues with that data -- Gizmo was not pitched 30 degrees, for instance! -- and I've got a lot more testing to do, but I am excited about the growing number of devices designed to gateway NMEA 2000 (and other boat sensor data) out to Ethernet and WiFi in forms that can be easily displayed, or, better yet, easily used by any software developer...
Those folks will be excited to hear about a brand new company, DMK Yacht Instruments, which has developed a WiFi gateway purportedly able to broadcast NMEA 0183 and Raymarine SeaTalk sensor messages as well as N2K PGNs. The box is available on Amazon for $399, a free demo iOS app is up on iTunes, and DMK is hoping developers will use its reference materials to put the data into their own apps. I think I'll get to try a DMK box myself, and have a feeling I'm going to learn some added IT skills this winter. In the meantime, I wonder what developers and informed users think of the various N2K-to-WiFi schemes discussed here.