Fish Gate 100, the IBEX launch

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.

6 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The combination of boat show touring and having to deal with an ad server virus (fixed!) has led to infrequent entries lately, which I regret. However, I’m stocking up stories like acorns for winter. Then again, it’s off to Fort Lauderdale next week and, hot damn, I’m also going to attend part of the America’s Cup races in San Diego. My story stash is apt to grow gigantic, but patience please.

  2. Matt Marsh says:

    I can certainly see the fisheries research folks wanting one of these. It’s obviously overkill for the average recreational angler, although the tournament folks who buy $1.2M boats and load them with $200k of gear and $10k of fuel will of course jump on it. But if you’re trying to put together comprehensive data on a fish population, this thing plus a bit of custom software could really speed things up- thus you get more data, and it’s less prone to data entry errors, and you can get better statistics from the results.

  3. Chris says:

    A problem with NMEA 2000 is that the PGNs are delineated and defined by a technical committee which moves at a glacial pace.
    These guys had a cool idea. They actually built their cool idea into a product which plugs into a NMEA 2000 system. Good on ya. There are today displays which could in principle display the 3 or 4 digits plus a decimal place of information. Unfortunately, getting in the way of this is a the lack of a FISH WEIGHT PGN.
    Why can’t NMEA 2000 just include some wild card number/label PGNs? In the case of N2K being used to control something, I understand the need for a committee. But in the case of display, a committee just gets in the way.
    This gets worse in a world where MFDs give way to boat computers.

  4. AaronH says:

    Manufacturers can write their own PGNs, and most do. They have proprietary data sentences for things like autopilot control, which is why a Simrad AP24 control head cannot control a Raymarine X-10 corepack, even though they theoretically can co-exist on a single NMEA2000 network with other devices.
    So implementing this doesn’t ‘require’ NMEA to issue a new PGN – just individual manufacturers to release software that will read the Fish Gate data. If say, Lowrance, writes software that can read the Fish Gate, then that gives them a leg-up on a competitors MFD.
    Who this hurts most are developers of hardware like the Fish Gate guys – because their device is useless without a display.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Let me add some nuance to Aaron’s comment:
    * I’m not even sure that the Fish Gate 100 transmits a weight PGN. The display may just be receiving log data from the backbone, and the scale itself may communicate with the display with an analog signal.
    * But it strikes me that Beyond Measure could create more market by transmitting a weight PGN, proprietary or otherwise, right from the scale so that it could be integrated by the likes of Lowrance or Humminbird. It could make their core invention work better and be less expensive and easier to install.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Got some very interesting background info from David Morschhauser, who helped Beyond Measure with software development (and is also the proprietor of Mystic Valley Communications, the company working on the first programmable N2K bridge: ):
    1) The current fish weight is transmitted from the scale using an official NMEA 2000 PGN, which was actually approved at last February’s Standards Committee Meeting. The name reflects its more general use and application: Payload Mass, and provides the ability to transmit mass values up to 429,496.7292 kg with a resolution of 0.1 gram.
    Frankly the Standards Committee made some useful suggestions that will mean that we don’t need to invent a new PGN tomorrow to weigh dredge spoils. And the actual time from first official proposal to approved PGN was only from the September 2010 to February 2011 meeting. But you _DO_ need to do your homework, and be humble enough to accept when someone has a better trap for your mouse!
    2) The fish weights in the saved weights list _IS_ transmitted using a proprietary PGN. When we originally put the concept before the Standards Committee, the Standards Committee persuaded us to use a proprietary PGN as the use and format is pretty specific to exactly what John and Ron wanted their product to do, and would not be of more general use.

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