NMEA 2000 instruments, ready to rock
So I may be on semi vacation, and having a time, but I’m still looking forward to getting back to the lab where the network of NMEA instruments recently grew to include Furuno’s and Simrad’s latest. Check out the big picture here . I’ll be writing a comparative overview on these five brands soon after I get back, and I’m trying to sort out factors to check out. So far I’ve got:
* Data versatility; like how many PGNs are understood by an all-in-one instrument or family of more dedicated instruments.
* Data display versatility; i.e. how much choice you do get over how particular data is presented. Extra credit for smart features like that little trend icon on Simrad’s depth display at far left.
* Net citizenship; i.e. does a given instrument disturb anything else on the backbone, does it play well with others; extra points for any attempts to handle the calibration conundrum.
* Installation; how easily does a given instrument find all the sensors available to it, and does it clearly ID them for the installer’s benefit?
* Redundancy support; related to above, can you choose preferred sensors when there’s a choice?
* Calibration abilities.
* Special features; proprietary PGNs are allowed, and may be doing some cool stuff.
* Alarms…depth, anchor, etc. How easy to set, etc.
* Screen readability in conditions from bright sunlight through total darkness.
What do you want to know about these instruments? What would make you choose one over another?