TBF: FLIBS, dAISy, YDVR, G-Metrix OBD2, and DAME nominees

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 30, 2015

FLIBS_transit_map_n_app_aPanbo.jpgWith Panbo's first TBF now a week old, how about some more acronym madness? This marine electronics TidBits Friday can't include any of the tasty stuff being served at next week's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), but there certainly will be some, and I've been studying the transportation options for making the most of my four days at this huge event. The MyBoatShow app has not achieved perfection, but it's better and may help. Come if you can or come by here for some TBL, and in the meantime...

dAISy_AIS_receiver_aPanbo.jpgSay hello to a $55 AIS receiver called dAISy. It only receives one of the two AIS channels at a time, though it hops back and forth rapidly, and the developer/manufacturer is modest about its range and sensitivity compared to more commercial units (like, say, the Emtrak R100 I've seen good performance from). But the reviewers so far are quite happy with dAISy and it seems great for volunteer AIS listening stations built on a budget. I plan to test one this winter, and I was also pleased to learn about Tindie, which seems like a well designed marketplace for DIY electronics geeks (as in do AIS yourself) to share their successes.

Yacht_Devices_Voyage_Recorder_GPX_output_cPanbo.jpgI have begun testing the Yacht Devices Voyage Recorder (YDVR) and was pleased to see that the new YDVR Converter software that comes with the little device can crunch a large batch of NMEA 2000 data generated on Gizmo over a two-day trip to Rockland and back. The inset above suggests how the data can be filtered and output to formats like spreadsheet CSV, OpenSkipper XML, and even the Signal K that made news this week. It can also generate a pre-templated log as an ODT file that Word can open, and the Coastal Explorer screen above is showing a YDVR sourced GPX file that includes not just tracks for Gizmo and several AIS targets, but also depth, wind and other data from my N2K network. The software needs more filtering options and tweaks, but I've already seen many of the output formats work reasonably well and I'm confident that YD will keep perfecting them.

Garmin_VIRBxe_with_OBD_data_test_cPanbo.jpgI'm also testing the Garmin VIRBxe camera I got excited about during the NMEA demos. While the neat integration with Garmin marine displays hasn't worked for me yet, this is a nifty "action" camera with many improvements over the already likable original VIRB. Again a key feature is G-Metrix -- Garmin's umbrella name for all the ways a VIRB can combine data with imagery -- and that now includes using Bluetooth to collect engine diagnostics from the OBD2 port on most vehicles. All it took was a small tool investment, an easy XE setup, and I was shooting video that I could VIRB edit into what you see above. Enjoy the HD YouTube of my waterfront cruising this morning and imagine how cool this will be with engine, wind and/or other data coming from your boat.

Finally, the judges for the METS Design Awards (DAME) recently announced the 51 nominees they've chosen from the 110 entries. If everything goes as planned, I'll attend the awards presentation in Amsterdam on Nov. 17th, and regardless of who wins, I plan to learn more about nominees like the Anemomind Anemobox, which appears to combine all sorts of data interfacing and communications toward a goal of easy sailing satisfaction. If you have ideas about interesting electronics I should check out at FLIBS or METS -- or if you make such a product -- please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Anemomind_METS_Dame_nominee_aPanbo.jpg

Comments

Thanks for the link to the dAISy Rx Ben ! I ordered one, looking forward to comparing it with the Advansea RX100 and the em-trak R100 receivers I got here.

Also in the mail is a serial device server (SDS) module I got for about $15 in China: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Q00194-JMT-1-Piece-USR-TCP232-24-Converter-Module-Server-RS232-RS485-serial-to-Ethernet-TCP/32251847725.html

I intend to make this a low-cost AIS Rx station for our marina. This setup makes for a less than $100 receiving station ready to hook up to a router.

Posted by: Leo Starrenburg at November 1, 2015 9:13 AM | Reply

I look forward to hearing how the Anemomind Anemobox. Sounds like for the price of a great wind sensor (Airmar WX200) they can turn an average wind sensor into a great wind sensor and give all sorts of additional performance information.

Can you ask them if they had given consideration to using signal K, and then putting all their smarts into the smartphone/tablet app (or) doing the same plus a motion sensor?

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at November 1, 2015 10:57 PM | Reply

Sorry, Dan, probably not. I like to learn about a product pretty well before making suggestions ;-) But Anemomind contact info is right on their site and I know they're responsive.

Leo, please let us know how it goes. It would be great if dAISy or someone comes up with a low cost receiver ready to report AIS other the Internet without need of an always-on PC.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at November 2, 2015 7:22 AM | Reply

Anemowind, nice but CHF 1980 boils down to EUR 1830 or USD 1985. That could be excluding VAT and shipping.

Posted by: Kees at November 5, 2015 5:48 AM | Reply

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