Category: NMEA 2000, 0183 & Signal K

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Airmar’s SmartBoat system provides integrated network and device management

Airmar is pleased to introduce their new SmartBoat system, a groundbreaking vessel-management solution for all marine-sensor protocols and network types. The NMEA 2000 certified SmartBoat system offers a highly configurable sensor interface, supports a wide range of sensors and protocols, and provides remote discovery, management, programming, and wireless features.

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NMEA 2000 network troubleshooting with Digital Yacht, Actisense, and DIY Tools

NMEA 2000 networks are pretty reliable but when there’s trouble it is often unclear where to start. Digital Yacht and Actisense have both brought out new products to help ensure the health of a network and better understand its operation. But, even if you don’t have any specialized tools onboard, you can still do some basic but effective troubleshooting of the health of your network. Let’s explore Digital Yacht’s NAVDoctor, Actisense’s A2K-TER-U smart NMEA 2000 terminator, and the troubleshooting you can do with an NMEA 2000 breakout cable and a multimeter.

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Monitoring dew point temperature at your helm, why and how

Allan Seymour wants to see the current Dew Point and outside Air Temperatures at the helm of Sally W because fog is often about to shut in when the two temps become similar. And there are at least three marine sensors that claim to deliver dew point over NMEA 2000, two of which Allan owns. But actually getting the value to show on his instrument display turned out to be quite a challenge. I helped with the troubleshooting, and came to better appreciate the value of dew point in the process…

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Victron’s Venus OS on a Raspberry Pi, install and configuration

The Victron Remote Management (VRM) portal and their Venus OS monitoring software deliver best-in-class access to information about your boat (, RV, or fixed solar) electrical sytem. But, running one of these systems has typically required Victron hardware which starts around $300. Victron has a long history of embracing the open-source community and they’ve continued that effort by supporting Venus OS on a Raspberry Pi. But, many people hear Raspberry Pi and either think dessert or that it’s over their heads and too complex. This guide walks you through the steps required to get Venus OS up and running on a Pi and sending data about your electrical system to VRM.

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Icom M510, marine VHF meets smartphone

The headline feature of Icom’s new IC-M510 fixed marine VHF radio has to be its ability to use a smartphone as a wireless mic. It’s never been done before, and it could be quite useful; picture a free extra VHF mic that’s already in your pocket or charging next to your berth. There’s more to like about the new radio design — plus another Icom innovation, possibly controversial — but let’s look at more details about the smartphone support…

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Garmin announces MSC 10 marine satellite compass

Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), the world’s largest and most innovative marine electronics manufacturer, today announced the MSC 10 marine satellite compass with multi-band GNSS and a fully integrated attitude and heading reference system for a smooth and accurate GPS-derived heading and position on the water.

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Garmin GPS 24xd: inexpensive Heading data to stabilize charts, radar, and AIS

The Garmin GPS 24xd combines a high-performance GNSS receiver with a heading sensor though it only costs $50 more than their GPS 19x GNSS receiver. Thus it can inexpensively stabilize chart and radar views on your MFD while also ensuring that your boat’s AIS target is headed in the right direction even when it’s tied up. I’ve been testing one, successfully, and also investigating why the GPS 24xd is not a good replacement for a more accurate, faster-updating, and likely better located Heading sensor that’s appropriate for autopilots and radar ARPA/MARPA calculations.

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Upgrading our house battery system, part 2; life is better with lithium

In part one of this series, I explained our motivations for upgrading to a lithium house battery bank, my choice of all Mastervolt components, and the pleasing results of early testing. Now let’s talk about what makes lithium different and what you need to consider if you too plan an upgrade. Active battery monitoring and control are critical to protecting other power components, for instance, and there are other important install details. Plus, I’ve got more real-world testing results to share.