Category: Network & control

B&G H5000 tempts my racing heart

Dec 22, 2013

BandG_H5000_system_aPanbo.jpgAt the METS 2013 show in Amsterdam last month B&G unveiled their new H5000 range of sailing instruments and auto pilots. Unlike the Triton range which is meant for recreational and club racers the H5000 series is designed for high end cruisers and all levels of racers (from club to round-the-world), and replaces the H3000 series. B&G's racing reputation stems from the capability of their systems to make corrections to the raw sensor values and deduce derived values at high rates. Cruising systems do basic smoothing of raw sensor values (wind, boat speed) and some computations (remember the Panbo discussion on calculating true wind?) but nothing else. The H5000 range can do much, much more. For instance all systems compensate the wind speed for heel and trim angle, there are advanced MOB features and the autopilots have special gust and high-wind response modes.

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NMEA OneNet 2013, already ahead of the curve?

Dec 9, 2013

2013_NMEA_OneNet_Committee_courtesy_NMEA.jpgOneNet is the NMEA's ongoing effort to create a subset of Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP) standards for marine electronics. It won't be fully released for two more years, but I liked what I heard (and could understand) in a September seminar delivered by NMEA Technical Director Steve Spitzer. When I first wrote about OneNet, for instance, some skeptical commenters could only envision it as a way for the major manufacturers to keep small developers out and profits up. But that seems paranoid when you consider the wide variety of organizations who are volunteering time and expertise to create OneNet...

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Raymarine 2013 demo boat: gS165, the RMK-9 keypad & more

Jul 30, 2013

Raymarine_2013_demo_boat_cPanbo.jpgYesterday I enjoyed a few hours on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, aboard a Boston Whaler 280 Outrage recently fitted out as a Raymarine demo boat.  Much of what I first saw introduced in Miami last February is now shipping and working in impressive ways.  Note, for instance, how the "low end" Dragonfly sonar/plotter is holding bottom in DownVision mode at more than 106 feet and 28 knots. And if it weren't for the camera-exaggerated glare you could also see how bright and sharp the "high end" gS165 Glass Bridge display was looking.  I became particularly enamored of the new RMK-9 keypad that gave us hybrid-style control of not just the gS but also the two a6x MFDs...

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Dr. Yung's NMEA 2000 lab, Ship Convergence Center too!

Jun 7, 2013

I so appreciated getting to know Dr. Yung Ho Yu -- known around the world simply as Dr. Yung -- at the Korea Maritime University in Busan, and I think you will too once you realize how much he and his programs are doing to advance marine electronics and improve the standards that make them inter-operable. For starters, take a close look at the NMEA 2000 teaching lab surrounding the good Doctor. The twenty work stations are all gatewayed to an extensive N2K sensor network so that students can experience and even interact with the protocol right down to the bit level as the instructor demonstrates from his work station. I'd like to be wrong, but I doubt that there's a similarly powerful teaching and research tool anywhere else on the planet...

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Furuno at MIBS 2013; CHIRP, FCV587/627, and NavPilot FPS8

Mar 12, 2013

When I was at the in-water powerboat portion of the Miami show before it opened one morning, I discovered Furuno marketing manager Jeff Kauzlaric and product manager Eric Kunz making video. Of course I interrupted them for a photo but I was also hoping to see their long-rumored CHIRP fishfinder in action. But while it turned out that the big sonar screen behind Eric was not showing CHIRP, Furuno did announce the new DFF1-UHD during the show and Eric showed me the nifty NavPilot Safe Helm and Power Assist modes just about ready for release...

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T-SAT & SiMON Gold, mega-style multi-touch

Dec 10, 2012

A Panbo search on Palladium Technologies will show you some very jazzy big yacht technology, much of it with a distinctly Apple style, like the SiMON2 iPad-based system installed on a futuristic Cheoy Lee Alpha 76 at the Fort Lauderdale show in 2011. This year, Palladium's Lauderdale introduction was much more a prototype but it was also quite sensational. The idea behind SiMON Gold is to evolve 'traditional' SiMON monitoring and control along with video feeds, switching, and much else into a finger-gesture-managed megayacht multiple multi-touch monitor helm extravaganza. That's Palladium founder Mike Blake pulling a data source off Gold's sliding menu bar, which he could then drag and size easily to further build a particular monitoring screen, but actually that's the most obvious feature...

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OneNet, NMEA finally creates a marine Ethernet standard!

Aug 1, 2012

Yes, I have known something about this for a while (because I promised not to write about it), but it's purely coincidental that NMEA is announcing OneNet just after we once again discussed the crying need for a NMEA 2000-to-Ethernet/WiFi standard. OneNet appears to be all that and much more...

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Chetco SeaSmart.Net modules, wide open N2K-to-Ethernet?

Feb 26, 2011

Chetco Digital Instruments has been quietly developing software and hardware to digitize and display analog engine info for some time, and with some success I hear.  But as of yesterday's big press release, Chetco has jumped big time into marine data networking, particularly the hot, if confusing, area of putting NMEA 2000 messages into an Ethernet format and serving them to whatever wired and wireless devices can use them.  So that little $579 SeaSmart device above contains an N2K-to-Ethernet gateway (by Actisense, I think), a WiFi transciever, and a "CGI/AJAX web server" that puts out an "open sourced HTML protocol" that will purportedly support "any application from weather station, dual engines, battery banks, fluid tanks and more." Excited yet?...

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Distributed Power over N2K, and goodbye E-Plex?

Apr 30, 2010

This HDS-10 is showing off Lowrance's new relationship with Digital Switching System's distributed power system.  While the interface is NMEA 2000, I think DSS uses its PowerGate 2000 gateway for this purpose, instead of using N2K for its internal network.  But that may not matter, as I understand that DSS uses standard N2K PGNs whenever possible.  In fact, I've seen Krill Systems software working with its gateway and switches just fine.  But that was just a demo, and I suspect that it will be a long time before we see easy, full-featured integration between DP and other boat systems, except by partnership or design... 

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DY NMEA 0183 to USB, looks handy

Apr 26, 2010

That's Digital Yacht's just announced NMEA 0183 to USB adapter, all of it, and it's just $49.  Wire it to a multiplexer, AIS, or some other 0183 RX/TX port and any 0183 message will purportedly be seen by software running on the attached computer.  The adapter has LEDs that flicker for transmitted and received data, and it can be set to either 4,800 or 38,400 baud. The included software is said to work with PCs, Macs, and even Linux-based systems, and there's a bonus...

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