Data overload with Signal K Server, a Raspberry Pi and a whole lot of tools

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

21 Responses

  1. Glad you like it. The trick about open source is that is a better model for building on works from others than closed software. We’d never have been able to do this if we had to write all of it.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Anthony Baker linked to his interesting Signal K boat data system on our Facebook page, and I was particularly encouraged by this background bit (my boldface):

    “Being ever curious, an idea of an in-depth data collection system came into focus. Research, along with a lot of trial and error, I got a Signal-K ( ) Server running on a RaspberryPi. (Before this started I did not even know what a RaspberryPi was.) ”

  3. David L Linkenauger says:

    This link may be of interest on this subject. SKS for Docker

  4. Christopher says:

    Ben, you can show how to create a working connection to YDNR-02N for the signalK server.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:


      THe YDNR would provide the data stream into Signal K server using a connection type of Yacht Devices RAW TCP or Yacht Devices RAW UDP depending on your NMEA server is configured in the YDNR. The job the YDNR, YDWG or YDNU does in all of this is pretty simple, it’s just the transport mechanism to send data from your NMEA 2000 network to Signal K server. It’s a simple function but without something doing the job your server doesn’t get any data.

      -Ben S.

  5. TN says:

    There is some good information regarding Raspberry Pi boating projects on The OpenPlotter software suite includes many useful boating functions (OpenCPN, Signal K etc.) in one package for the Raspberry Pi. The documents section for OpenPlotter 2.0 contains links to several built projects under “examples”. . There is also an OpenPlotter forum . Powerful stuff but it requires the user to have some tech knowledge to get it all working.

  6. Christopher says:

    Everything works fine, I asked a question because Ben wrote

    ” Further consultation with members of the Signal K team suggested the stream coming from one of my NMEA 2000 to WiFi gateways would be better. So, I began using the TCP stream of a YDNR-02N.
    In the process of getting data into my server, I came across a small syntax error in the SKS code that was causing my connection to die periodically. After discussing with the Signal K Server team I made a small change to the code and was off and running. ”

    I asked what the problem was with YDNR-02, mine works very well.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      The fix I mentioned has been incorporated into the Signal K server code so others won’t have the same problem I did. The problem only showed up when specific traffic came across my NMEA 2000 network. In my case it was AIS messages that the Signal K Server code choked on. There was a small problem in the error handling for these messages that caused the connection to break.

      -Ben S.

  7. Christopher says:

    Thank you Ben S.

  8. Tracey says:

    I have the ability to install and provision these type of system in days. Please contact me for assitance.

  9. Brian Smith says:

    Great article, Ben! I’ve been using Signal K on my trawler for over a year, collecting data from a number of sensors connected to wifi-enabled microcontrollers (ESP32 and ESP8266), with the SensESP sub-project of Signal K.

    How did you get the big red “OFF” display in Grafana? I have a bilge pump monitor that sends a 1 or a 0 to Signal K, which then goes to my InfluxDB and eventually Grafana, but I’ve not figured out a way to display ON or OFF based on a 1 or a 0 (or true/false – not sure what’s being sent to SK).

  10. Ray says:

    Are you able to get audio alarms for things like battery voltage from the server?

  11. Brian Smith says:

    Ray – yes, you are able to get alarms for any data that’s in Signal K. You can set different alarms for different thresholds – alert, alarm, emergency, etc. I have them set up for battery voltage, bilge pump going off, coolant temp too high, and raw water exhaust temp too high.

    • Ray says:

      Hmm, I’ll keep digging into things. I’m just not seeing a way to do it. Maybe because I’m running it on windows.

  12. Brian Smith says:

    Ray, you need to add the Simple Notifications plug-in. Signal K has countless enhancements that are implemented as plug-ins. I suggest you join the Signalk-dev discussion at Slack, where you can get an answer to any question imaginable.

  13. Bob says:

    Ben, Have you installed SignalK 2.0.0? It seems to trash a number of paths. Specifically electrical is showing about 30 battery banks with seemingly random keys.

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