Category: NMEA 2000, 0183 & Signal K

Mercury & Navico: new VesselView Link, VesselView 702/502 displays and MFD engine interface

Apr 30, 2016

Simrad_VesselView_via_Mercury_VesselView_Link_cPanbo.jpgPerhaps the most remarkable aspect of this collage is what you can't see. There were no Mercury gauges or displays whatsoever on this Navico demo boat thanks to a new Mercury black box called the VesselView Link that offers complete gauge and control integration. Simrad and Lowrance VesselView engine interfaces have also been vastly improved, and Mercury is offering similar full MFD integration on its own new VesselView 702 and 502 displays. So a clean single-brand helm electronics setup is now available under three different brands, and seems reasonably priced even for a relatively small boat. Plus, Mercury offers several other rigging choices including basic NMEA 2000 gauge data output to any brand MFD. Explaining all the possibilities is harder than using them, but let's give it a try...

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Adam Hyde and Ben Ellison | Permalink | Comments (13)

Yacht Devices N2K display, RedPort & PredictWind, NMEA & ABYC, and ONWA radar

Apr 18, 2016

Yacht Devices NMEA2000 Text DisplayYacht Devices appeared suddenly on the marine electronics scene last summer when Ben discussed their new temperature and barometer sensors. Not resting on their laurels, they then launched a $189 voyage data recorder that similarly came with either DeviceNet or SeaTalkNG connectors to minimize additional drop and/or adapter cable expense. More recently they joined NMEA and have now launched a new NMEA 2000 (N2K) text display which seems to be the least expensive and least power thirsty N2K data display available...

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Adam Hyde | Permalink | Comments (7)

Garmin demos: GPSMAP 8600, ForwardVu, Fantom, Virb XE, Quatix3 & more

Apr 15, 2016

Garmin_GPSMAP_8617_on_Contender_25_aPanbo.jpgAt this moment in time, the Garmin GPSMAP 8600 multifunction display announced in February may be the most powerful premium MFD available. That's the "little" 8617 model of the series above -- apparently now shipping at $7,500 retail -- and that Quatix 3 smart/fitness/boat watch is not trivial technology either. So even given two full days with four Garmin-loaded boats, I feel like I only grazed the surface of all that's going on. And frankly, the story is similar across the four major electronics brands and beyond. Next week, for instance, we hope to share some startling new features that may be coming to an MFD already on your boat. Today, though, let's look at some Garmin demo highlights...

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West Marine Expo, ACR LED Searchlight, Scanstrut USB, Navico Compass & Triton Gills

Mar 29, 2016

West Marine Expo Cover 2016West Marine's first ever Marine Electronics Expo will kick off in four states (NY, FL, CA, CT) on April 8th (thru 9th) and also online. Besides some deals on electronics gear, there will be live educational seminars from Icom, Shakespeare, Lowrance, Fusion, Uniden, Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, Spot, Delorme, and maybe more at the select stores...

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Adam Hyde | Permalink | Comments (9)

News: Garmin Nautix, Gemeco resources, GOST Tracker, Go-Free Hooked & Furuno MCU004 keypad

Mar 14, 2016

Garmin Nautix and hands-free in-view display Shipping the first week of April for US$400 is a new heads-up display called the Garmin Nautix. A 1.1 oz "hands-free in-view display," Nautix attaches to your sunglasses and shows NMEA 2000 data transmitted from certain Garmin multifunction displays (GPSMAP 7400/7600, 8400/8600 series) that support the company's ANT wireless technology. Suitable for polarized or prescription lenses it includes an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness...

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Adam Hyde | Permalink | Comments (5)

RCMSAR and facilitating marine rescue from the cloud

Mar 11, 2016

Royal Canadian Marine Search And Rescue Training Horseshoe BayFor the past 7 years I've been a SAR volunteer in Unit 1 (Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver) of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR). My unit had 87 calls in 2015, making it the busiest volunteer marine SAR station in Canada. It's a situation that motivates a tech enthusiast and advanced crew member like myself to think about better tools and procedures...

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Adam Hyde | Permalink | Comments (8)

New NMEA 2000 stereos: Rockford Fosgate PMX-5, JL Audio MM100s & Navico SonicHub2

Mar 9, 2016

Fusion_MFD_integration_collage_cPanbo.jpgBeing able to use your helm's bright waterproof color screen to run your stereo system has to be one of the most appreciated benefits of multifunction display evolution and the NMEA 2000 network standard. Typically the stereo head unit is installed in the boat's living area while one or more MFDs serve as remote controls in the cockpit, on the flybridge, etc. The interface can be a simple mute/volume/next menu bar leaving ample screen room for navigation or a screen window with more controls and info. Usually, you can also go full screen to easily browse a phone or iPod full of music, or access the stereo's deeper settings better than you can on the head unit. And it costs next to nothing!...

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Kees' cool sloop Merrimac, home of CANboat and more

Jan 19, 2016

Kees_Stadtship_Merrimac_cPanbo.jpgA memorable moment of 2015 was waking up in Kees Verruijt's attic guestroom in Harlingen, Netherlands. If my lens were wider, you'd see the thick thatch capping his sturdy brick home. And if I'd waited a bit, the photo might include one of the family-owned-and-operated cargo vessels that often motor by enroute to or from the Wadden Sea. What you can see clearly, though, is Kees's own dream boat Merrimac, which I would soon tour. I'd been following this boat project for years, knew that it motivated Kees's valuable CANboat work, and given that CANboat helped birth Signal K, I figure that Merrimac may earn a special spot in marine electronics history...

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Digital Switching: Raymarine, Empirbus, Simrad, Naviops, Offshore, Octoplex, Garmin and CZone

Nov 30, 2015

Raymarine_digital_switching_FLIBS2015_cPanbo.jpg

Digital switching is one of the most intriguing aspects of modern marine electronics, but also one of the most mysterious. At FLIBS, for instance, I wasn't the only boater jealously admiring sexy screens like the one above running on a Raymarine gS15 multifunction display. But when you try figuring out how you can get this elegant level of system control and monitoring onto your boat, you'll eventually realize that there is a complex conglomeration of hardware and software behind it, and it's usually under marketed and lightly documented. In fact, the whole concept still mainly makes sense for new and higher end boats, because it's an expensive and entirely different way of doing things, and those builders remain understandably cautious about adopting it. Nonetheless -- and another sign of a re-invigorated recreational marine industry -- I detected lots of digital switching progress at the fall shows...

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Seapilot Vector Compact GNSS Compass, sweet deal that usually works well

Nov 10, 2015

Seapilot_Compact_GNSS_Compass_cPanbo.jpgThere's lot to report from the Fort Lauderdale Show, but the calendar dictates that I first write about this Seapilot satellite compass. That's because a startling 50% show discount is still available this week, so you can buy the Vector Compact-N NMEA 2000 model seen above for $500 simply by applying the code "FLIBS2015" in the shopping cart. The Compact seemed like a relatively good value at twice the price when I first discussed its features last November, and since then I've seen it perform pretty well on Gizmo...

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