Veratron ViewLine Flex, NMEA 2000 gauge with easy configuration

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

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

14 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    Looks. Ice but a bit complicated. Have you checked out KUS nmea gauges? Even cheaper and dead simple. They will program tank instance when you order them too

  2. Christopher says:

    The Oceanic System has been making Deck Gauge for a long time .
    https://osukl.com/deck-gauge

  3. Shane says:

    Is NMEA a complete protocol or just the hardware (RS485) ? I can’t see any significant problem with building an interface to CAN sensors

  4. Grant Jenkins says:

    This product looks like a winner – I’ve been looking for the same type of NMEA 2000 “gauge” display, and the NFC setup is slick. In my case, I wanted a dedicated Depth display, even though there are multiple places I can display the output from my DST-810, I find it simpler to just keep it in one location. I think Ben E wrote about this idea previously. Keeping a multi-display instrument (like a DSM-410) set to one value is kind of a waste. This fits the bill perfectly! If I can find it with the chrome bezel, it might even match my Faria gauges 😉 Thanks Ben!

  5. Alessandro says:

    Dear Ben,
    thank you for testing our VL-Flex 52.
    Black water or waste water is related to the Fluid Type field in the NMEA 2000 PGN. We have selected waste water because it’s used by our level sensors specifically designed for this application, our sensors are linear and they have no moving parts like low cost sensors.
    The instrument is a part of the system, but the system can never be trusted unless a reliable sensor is used.
    We have three adjustable NMEA 2000 certified sensors, please feel free to contact our office in the States if you’re interested in testing one:
    B00041201 from 7.9 “to 23.6”
    B00041401 from 23.6 “to 47”
    B00041501 from 47 “to 59”
    Cheers

  6. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    Alessandro,

    I’m familiar with the capacitive sensors but in a waste tank I’ve had better results with submersible pressure transducers. I further think that the use of wastewater rather than black water would also be an issue for the sensors. If I hoped to display the holding tank levels on other displays outside of Veratron units I would likely encounter the same issue. For example, the Raymarine gauge I included in the post above doesn’t display wastewater, only black water, levels.

    -Ben S.

  7. Grant Jenkins says:

    Well Ben, I got my hands on one of these, but not having much luck programming it. The manual says you can load the settings in the app, and then “Press the Apply button on the top right corner of the app to download (upload?) it to the gauge – but I never get any Apply button, so not sure what’s up. No phone support number on their website, it says to send an email.
    I’m also a little dubious about the whole removable bezel thing – I got the chrome one (which is actually plastic) to match my other gauges. They offer other options as well. But if you go with the chrome one, they say not to install the bezel until after you program it, as it “might interfere with the NFC programming due to the metallic particles contained in the chrome material”. Huh?? It’s plastic! They also caution that if you remove the bezel, that “…..the bezel cannot be used after removal since damaged” (sic)
    So – I install the gauge, program it (if I can get the app to work), snap on the new bezel – and then if I want to change any settings afterwards, then what? Pry off the bezel and buy another $15 one every time?
    This may end up going back to the store if I can’t get some answers from VDO soon…

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Grant,

      Are you on Android or iOS? And, have you read the settings before trying to apply them? I’ve never had any troubles with the apply button not appearing, but I’m not sure if we’re following the same process. I’m sorry to hear you’re having troubles and distressed to hear that one of the biggest benefits, simple programming, is giving you troubles.

      -Ben S.

      • Grant Jenkins says:

        Hi Ben – Well, VDO support emailed me back this morning, and provided a number for callback. I’ve been working with them and made a little progress. Turns out the caution about installing the chrome-finished bezel should perhaps have been a “strictly forbidden” item. I’m told this is a known issue that “the Swiss have yet to come up with a solution for…” After destroying the bezel to get it off, I was at least able to read the gauge. (Using iPhone 8 with the latest iOS). The app screen is misleading – after holding the phone in front of the gauge for 20-30 seconds, it gives an upbeat sounding chirp and displays a blue check mark – all good, right? No, what it’s actually trying to tell you is that it failed to read the gauge, and you need to try again. So I was never making the “read” connection in the first place, which is why the “Apply” button never showed up on the app screen.
        Anyhow – just when I think I’ve solved it – I load my new settings in the app, hit Apply, and hold the phone back to the gauge, and….. nothing. Multiple attempts, no connection. One time I got a red, “NFC failed to download” or some such message, the rest of the time just the blue “ready to Scan” message which resets after 45-60 seconds.
        I’ve tried it in different rooms, with the phones WiFi turned On and Off, with 12V power and without – no luck. I’ll try with a different phone later today when I can borrow one. At this point its kind of academic – either I’ve got a bad gauge, or this NFC thing is really not ready for prime time. The whole bezel thing is kind of a non-starter too – I’ve spent a lot of money on my panel and if using the matching bezel renders the programming inop, what’s the point? I’m certainly not going to bust it out of the panel every time I want to change the value of the depth alarm, or adjust the level of the backlighting.
        I had high hopes for this, but unless there another way to program it (like through NMEA 2000), I don’t think its going to work.

  8. Shane says:

    I prresume that you have NFC switched on on your phone and power applied to the gauge.

    • Grant Jenkins says:

      Thanks Shane – yes, NFC is on, and as mentioned in the article, you don’t require power on the gauge. I tried it with power on anyhow, and it made no difference. It “connects”, after about 20 seconds, but you can’t upload any new settings from the app (presumably because the “Apply” button never shows up…

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