Cruising with Garmin wireless: BCM, 741, HomePort & quatix

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.

12 Responses

  1. Xavier Itzmann says:

    Please do this experiment: walk off your boat with the Quatix with the MOB functionality enabled. After 60 feet, it will trigger a MOB on the Garmin MFDs and your autopilot will want to navigate to the MOB.
    Now, does that MOB point show up on other manufacturer’s MFD?
    I don’t think it will work, but shouldn’t all NMEA 2000 devices be able to share this kind of critical information?

  2. Bill Bishop says:

    Xavier, I also got about 60′ from several boats before the Quatix disconnected and triggered the MOB alarm. It is my understanding that this is a Garmin proprietary
    message, and hence won’t talk to other manufacturers gear.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, that’s what I understand, but I wanted to see if Ben could confirm it definitively.
    I think it may be a missed opportunity for Garmin. If the Garmin passed along MOB alert and position to other N2K devices, buying a GPSMAP 441 and a GNT 10 would be quite affordable, I figure, in addition to getting 4 quatices to be used as MOB devices on our boat.
    What other alternatives are there for a surefire MOB system? Best I can come up with is Kannad R10s automatically armed on Spinlock or Ocean Safety vests.

  4. Capt John says:

    As I sit here at 5AM in the most southern port of the USA and try to accustom my eyes to moon vision for an escape tomorrow morning from the effects of 30 thousand lobster snatchers, and planning my route east and north before they drop a quarter million styrofoam prop entanglers in my way, I wonder: “Where,s the App for that?”

  5. Bob says:

    Capt John, it is called spurs. They are an essential piece of hardware. Have not hit anything in 10yrs but have piece of mind while navigating the lobsterman’s minefields.

  6. Pat McQueen says:

    Is there a N2K or 0183 standard PGN for MOB?
    Raymarine and Garmin both state they send their MOB only to their respective equipment.

  7. Brian says:

    Hi Ben, We are out to mooring 451 just forward of Isobel. When you resurface lets go to North Haven on Audrey Louisa and check out the 8000 stuff. B

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Sounds enjoyable and educational, Brian!
    Pat, I don’t think there’s been a specific MOB in NMEA 2000 but recently a whole set of Alarm PGNs was added that are suppossed to be very powerful and flexible. Now we need more manufacturers (besides Maretron) to support the new PGNs.
    Xavier, I tried the quatix MOB yesterday without success on even the Garmin MFDs. I may have a bum GNT 10, which might also account for the distortion of some N2K streaming data, or I may have been doing it wrong. Will try some more.
    Capt. John, I’m sorry to report that there are more lobster trap buoys than ever up here (though fresh lobster at reasonable prices is abundant). I equipped Gizmo with a one-piece Evolution Marine Shaft Razor that is virtually unbreakable and very effective:
    I also carry a wet suit, mask, and goggles as well as Kevlar gloves (so I don’t cut myself on the Razor) and a slick Hooknife from Sailor’s Solutions:
    There are several ways this boat (like many) can catch a pot buoy and hence multiple solutions, but it doesn’t happen often. There is no app, but having excellent charting, routes, and radar means we have more time to focus on slalom driving 😉

  9. bwp says:

    FYI ….. Garmin released a new update for Homeport yesterday, July 25th. Fixed some issues. One of the more interesting features of Homeport is the Sonar playback with the ability to add waypoints via Homeport. You can display both a chart location and sonar data simultaneously
    This sonar sequence was recorded from my Garmin 547 CHIRP unit.
    Sonar 1
    Sonar 2 Expanded HP Display

  10. Paul says:

    Hi Ben,
    Your comment re: GPX export from BCM, I assume you meant “it does NOT include … a GPX or KML file…”. Alas, I can not find anywhere in the latest BCM release where GPX export is possible.
    I mostly need something like BCM for route planning, but BCM itself is not working for me. I’ve got several issues reported into Garmin many months ago, so far no joy.
    I tried to use BCM for entry of racing instructions. Several routes which are variations of a limited set of waypoints (often government marks). Highly frustrating and time consuming using BCM.
    What I need is the ability to easily drop waypoints at the coordinates of navaids (using the chart), then be able to construct routes using a pick list of these existing waypoints (not using the chart).
    – it is very difficult to locate desired navaids … many of which were only displayed at close-in zoom level. I recall this is a limitation in the cartography, as display of the navaid mainly depends on it being present in the cartography’s specific zoom levels. FYI this capability is far more easily accomplished on raster chart.
    – provide an easy way to create a waypoint from a highlighted navaid, using the navaid’s coordinates.
    – provide a way to build a route from a pick list of existing waypoints OR tap an existing waypoint from the the chart.
    – route legs displayed on the chart should overlay non route waypoints. As it stands, all waypoints are displayed on top of route legs. Any non route waypoints, through which a route leg passes, appear to be a member of the route. Very confusing.
    – Simple export of all route and waypoint data via GPX file to email address, etc.
    So I’m using iSailGPS now for all my waypoint and route planning. Working well.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Paul! You’re right and I corrected the text to say that emailing routes from BCM does not include route files, just a snapshot and description.
    However, I wonder if you’ve updated your copy of BCM. I noticed recently that it can very nicely use existing marks as waypoints. When you’re creating or editing a route you can get a waypoint to ‘snap’ to a mark, which is obvious because it creates a different type of screen waypoint icon. Also when you edit marks and drill down tight, BCM puts up live lat and long coordinates which should help make them more accurate (if you don’t just modify the coordinates in the edit box).
    The neat thing that BCM does not do (yet) — I say that because many Garmin MFDs do — is to let you snap a waypoint to a nav aid with the point then getting the exact coordinates of the aid as well as its name. Also hope that a future version of BCM will export routes in GPX and KML formats.
    Finally, I’m surprised by your comment about nav aids not showing on large area zoom outs. I think Garmin charts are quite good about this, and don’t know any electronic charts including rasters that are much better. What I have noticed sometimes is that water depths, particularly the critical least depth on an underwater bump, do not show well until deeply zoomed in.

  12. Paul says:

    Yes I have the latest, and the snap-to waypoint is a step in the right direction. Snap-to navaid is needed, or snap to navaid when creating a waypoint. Make the navaid-to-waypoint as automatic as possible.
    Re: the navaids and zoom levels, check Chatham to Pollock Rip to Nantucket. Nearly zero of the navaids display until zoomed pretty close in.
    BTW a cross hair in the menu dial would also be very helpful.
    Hey Garmin, GPX export please.

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