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Noob questions on marine MFDs - customization possibilities for my weird boat  

 

(@boat1111s)
New Member
Joined: 2 months  ago
Posts: 1
July 11, 2018 11:19 pm  

Hello all,

I'm completely new to the forum and hope I don't immediately earn the ridicule of everyone here with newbie questions about marine MFDs. I'd like to get an entry level unit for my small boat. I have an old 1980s 18ft displacement hull trawler of sorts, inboard electric drive and 48V battery power. I'm using Navionics+ on an Android tablet right now, the dock to dock auto-route feature is extremely valuable to me for estimating distance on winding bayous and I use a wifi SonarPhone sounder with the app. It works pretty well over all but I'm ready to build a more integrated and rich display system in the boat though...

I'll go over a few of my goals or perhaps hopes and perhaps you can give me some feedback.

I'd like the MFD to control or communicate with an autopilot for a flex cable helm (I don't own the autopilot yet). Hopefully it does this well enough that I don't have to buy an extra screen/head that is just for the autopilot. Space is very limited on the console.

NEMA2000 connectivity. I would like to use a CanOpen to NEMA2000 protocol gateway to convert electric motor controller data into standard PGNs to look like an engine. Sonar of course, probably intermediate level, I might consider 3D. I could also connect my Victron BMV-712 battery monitor via the VEbus to NEMA2000 cable, possibly make it look like a fuel tank or fuel flow sensor (1 US Gal gasoline= 33.7kWh).

Customized displays. I'm hoping that there is some ability to design custom screens in some of the MFDs, but I haven't uncovered much searching for this. Easy stuff, like some static background image with some variables from PGNs on top, numbers, bars, gauges ect. I design HMIs for industrial purposes, I hope the MFDs grant you some of this.

Navionics charts is probably a requirement to get auto-routing.

Cost of course, a few thousand bucks at the high end. I know its all expensive stuff, but I probably need to stay away from high end gear.

Thanks for any input you can provide. Excited to try and connect a Sevcon motor controller to NEMA2000, as far as I can tell its never been done.


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