Wemar Nautipad, why not e-paper instrument displays?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

13 Responses

  1. Todd Huss says:

    Great product idea! Many already have nmea over wifi so I think the better product idea is just selling waterproof e-ink tablets, it also makes for a much larger potential market. Hopefully color e-ink isn’t too far off. Exciting to see Pebble Time using color e-ink.
    Here’s the kind of product I’m excited about to achieve the same goal but using standard android apps talking to existing nmea wifi gateways:
    I have no affiliation with the makers, just think it’s a cool product.

  2. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    I entirely agree with you Ben !!

  3. Jason Taylor says:

    This summer, I will be using a Kobo Aura H2O reader as a waterproof (IP67) in-cockpit instrument repeater on my sailboat. It will connect to Freeboard on a raspberry pi over the boat’s wifi. The Aura H2O retails for CDN$180 and provides a decent wireless web-platform out of the box.

  4. DrewR says:

    The device looks to be just a book reader. Is there something I am missing from their website or are you rooting the device to display your boats data (NMEA0183, I assume)?
    I’m looking for something brighter than an iPad to act as a repeater so I am very curious.

  5. Michael Coleman says:

    Hey Drew — The Kobo specs list a built-in web browser, and since the display part of the freeboard solution runs in a web browser, I’m guessing that’s how Jason is accessing the data from the Freeboard server. No need to install an separate app.
    Correct me if I’m wrong Jason.

  6. DrewR says:

    I see, I didn’t see it had a web browser. But how is the NMEA data getting to a formatted web page on the Freeboard that can be displayed on the Kobo?

  7. Mike says:

    I used a nook e-reader and played around with this idea. A python script delivered NMEA 0183 data via a webserver, and it can run on a laptop, raspberry pi, or even a linux-based router. The nook is android based so I was able to try a few browsers until it all worked out. The python code and video are here:

  8. JohnR says:

    Its an interesting concept. The e-ink is wonderful in full sunlight. As easy to read as regular paper. The updates are slow so it can’t do video, but as long you don’t need to update the page more then once every couple of seconds, it would be a great display.
    The browser on the e-readers is pretty basic. It may not have full HTML5 support that freeboard requires. I couldn’t find any technical details on the browser, and it seems it’s still beta, and not officially supported: https://www.kobo.com/help/en-US/article/3084/browsing-the-web-with-your-ereader?products=Kobo%20Aura%20H2O
    The Arduino and Raspberry Pi are really small and cheap computers. They’re still at a hobby stage, so some work will be required to get this all working.

  9. Bob Shearer says:

    I’ve been using a Nook Simple Touch with a IOIO interface for the last year. The eInk display is superb. The legibility in all lighting conditions far outweighs the lack of colour.

  10. IanL says:

    Very interested in this topic. I’ve been successfully adapting Kobo readers for use as a flying instrument for paragliding and hangliding, so very interested in exploring their use as a instrument reader for boats as per Jason’s posts above, so will be having a crack at this.
    Big advantage of Kobo is readable in bright sunlight, very low power usage and cheap. Being able to have 2 or 3 of them around the boat would be a great solution if one can get it to work. Looks like whether or not the beta browser on the Kobo will suffice will be the key to it.

  11. ccannan says:

    Bob, I am very interested and impressed by your project. Would you be willing to share your software? Please respond to ccannan at yahoo.com.

  12. ccannan says:

    I viewed your website re: Nook Simple Touch. I really like the idea. I’d like to get more information if I could, please contact me at ccannan at yahoo.com

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