Calypso Ultrasonic Portable, wireless wind and more

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

14 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The IBEX Innovation Awards are out…

    …and I know that Ben Stein is pumped up about several of them.

    I got a peek at Raymarine’s Axiom ClearCruise Augmented Reality myself at the NMEA Conference last week, thought it looked potentially high value, and look forward to Ray getting some details and videos out soon.

  2. Looks interesting, but how would a sailboat use these instead of a regular masthead anemometer? The wired version has a 1.5m cable, so isn’t going to go down a mast. The other isn’t going to play nice with any current chartplotters, or displays. Shame as it might make a nice alternative to the Maretron WSO-100

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Hi Mike, I agree that it would be better if the Calypso Ultrasonic Wired came with a long power and NMEA 0183 wire like the LCJ Capteurs does, but it shouldn’t be too hard to splice on a longer wire and it should work fine with current displays either using 0183 or a gateway to 2000. The Maretron WSO100 is a great sensor, but running a NMEA 2000 cable up a tall mast has possible drawbacks. It’s not just that the cable and connectors are a bit awkward; it also means that entire N2K network backbone has to go up the mast and have a terminator there.

      • That’s not how it works with NMEA2000 wind sensors in my experience. The sensors themselves take the place of the resistor at the end of a network, so no additional backbone cable is needed.

        I’m not sure where else on a sailbot (i appreciate a motorboat or trawler my well be different), where it could be in constant clean air.

        Interestingly, what does the wifi allow the the sensor to be hooked up to other than the app. Does it output 0183 sentences over wifi, or maybe signal K? Either of those would allow it to be used with a Pi running OpenPlotter or similar.

        I think if they made an NMEA2000 version I’d buy it in a heartbeat to replace my Raymarine wireless system. What a pain in the backside that is.

        • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

          Right, Mike, some N2K wind sensors from Airmar, Navico, and others had the termination resistor built in, but the NMEA frowns on the practice and it’s not much available anymore. Besides, my point is that running your NMEA 2000 backbone all the way the mast doesn’t make much sense. Usually there’s nothing else up there on the network and you’ve created a point of failure that’s hard to reach and can take down your whole sensor network.

          So there’s a lot to be said for using another protocol — either wireless or with thin cable — to get down the mast, and then use a gateway so that it joins your N2K system only as a node, not the end of your critical backbone. I’ve been using the LCJ Capteurs that way for a year with no problems at all, and I think the Calypso Wired can work the same way:

  3. For those using Signal K on-board; there’s a node.js server plugin available that’ll allow you to use an Ultrasonic Wireless on a Raspberry Pi 3 (model with Bluetooth) or Raspberry Pi Zero W without issues:

  4. Fernando says:

    The wired versions are usually served with a longer wire too. Just let us know the lenght you need. However we do appreciate your comment and will add this info on our website. Tx. Fernando

  5. I’d be really interested in such a thing to replace the bird-attractor RayMarine “whirlygig” that we have now (which is showing it’s age with some glitches) – but this one isn’t ready for that duty yet, IMHO. FWIW, I like the Bluetooth link – one less thing to get blasted if mother nature comes a-calling! In my opinion, running your data cable to the masthead is asking for trouble.

  6. Jorgen Sorensen says:

    Can I get the signal to OpenCPN

  7. Jorgen Sorensen says:

    How high over the masttop would you place a calypso ultrasonic anemometer

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Hi Jorgen. I think that any wind sensor will give its best performance in clean air. So ideally the install spot has no obstructions in its horizontal plane and is also out of possible updrafts from sails. That’s why many racing anemometers are mounted high and forward of the masthead.

  8. Hi, i do use Openplotter for navigation on my 41 Trintella IV. Mast ist about 13,5 meter above the deck. How do I integrate the ultrasonic portable in to OpenPlotter directly.


  9. Jon Kinne says:

    I just ordered (and received) the wired version from OnNav in Indiana, and I specified a 20-meter cable. It took about a week to get it from Spain to the distributor, and I had it a few days later. Can’t wait to mount it to replace my Airmar PB200

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