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How to build large format display


J28

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How difficult (and pricey) would it be to build a mast mount instrument (ie mounted on a bracket under the gooseneck) that would display sea-talk/nmea data received via wi-fi from on-board Raymarine instruments and autopilot?  I already have a box that sends data to iregatta on my ipad.  More interested in a dedicated panel with large enough digits to read from 20 feet away and in bright sunlight.  I'm most interesting in seeing boat speed and TWS.  BTW, the person asking the question (me) has extremely limited knowledge of electronics and coding, but I can solder and follow directions pretty well.  I'm aware of sites like Digi-key and Mouser that might have the components needed, but not sure what to look for.

TIA

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I have done that.  The digits are big LCD dingle digit displays.  I built a PC board for four digits.  Glued two together to make a two high display in a clear top nmea Bud box. They are driven by a Wemos D1mini ($3).  The digits are about $4 and the lcd driver is about the same. Mounted on a single TackTick mast mount. Perfect fit. I put the electronics below deck and so just the displays on the mast.  How hard? Easy with help, hard without. I have lots of the display PCBs but not so many of the boards for the wifi chip.  

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On 16/11/2017 at 9:19 AM, J28 said:

Raymarine instruments and autopilot? 

A cheap option is Raymarine used to make a wired ST/183 capable mast remote. They come up on fleabay etc and usually well priced as people have either switched over to b&g or upgraded to Ray NG/2000.

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On ‎16‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 8:57 AM, jhellan said:

Is racegeek shipping yet?

Yep, we're shipping. Just got back from METs and we'll be assembling the first production batch over the next couple of weeks.

 

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On ‎15‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 11:19 PM, J28 said:

How difficult (and pricey) would it be to build a mast mount instrument (ie mounted on a bracket under the gooseneck) that would display sea-talk/nmea data received via wi-fi from on-board Raymarine instruments and autopilot?  I already have a box that sends data to iregatta on my ipad.  More interested in a dedicated panel with large enough digits to read from 20 feet away and in bright sunlight.  I'm most interesting in seeing boat speed and TWS.  BTW, the person asking the question (me) has extremely limited knowledge of electronics and coding, but I can solder and follow directions pretty well.  I'm aware of sites like Digi-key and Mouser that might have the components needed, but not sure what to look for.

TIA

For a one off project the options are:

  1. Something sticking off the shelf segment digits behind a mask like Allen. What you're ideally looking for are transreflective segments with around 3-400 NITs of backlight. That allows the sun to do the work in bright light and gives a solid backlight in over case conditions. If it can be turned down a low as 2 NITs that will give you something that can be used at night. Failing that, go for fully reflective segments and no backlighting.
  2. The largest 1000 NIT TFT or OLED panel you can get your hands on. There availability at a cost effective price is basically governed by the smart phone market so you should be able to find something around 5 inches that's a reasonable price. For your power calculations assume you'll need to drive it at full backlight in most direct sun light conditions.

Don't bother looking at eink (for now). At the refresh rate you'll be driving it a generally available eink display consumes more power than TFT and the refresh is unpleasant. Where eink comes into it's own is for relatively static applications like remote controls.

Starting from knowing nothing it's probably a 12 month project. All told you'll spend around the same as a sailmon display and learn a lot along the way.

If you're looking at this as more than a hobby project you need to think in terms of an MOQ of 2000 units to even begin a conversation and be prepared for a 2 year development cycle. Each round of prototyping takes around 10 weeks and they don't get it right first time! There's a reason only 2 new display manufacturers have turned up in the last 5-6 years, while new "system in a box; use an ipad" seem to appear every other month.

 

...

actually thinking about it a bit more as a one off, dismantling a 1000NIT computer monitor and building a waterproof case for it + interfacing using a Raspberry Pi would likely be the best way to go about it.

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My solution was to use AdvanSea Multi 400 displays, which have big digits and are very cheap. I added two to my Raymarine setup. I can see them very well in almost all conditions from 20 feet where I sit while steering. I made my own connection box, which transforms seatalk into NMEA 0183 with some unconventional sentences added. E.g. distance from starting line is send as depth (range +200 m to -10 m), TWD + TBS percenatage as total distance, heading as trip distance etc.

In the image BSP is 8.95 knots, SOG 8.96 knots, heading 280, TWD 55 and TBS is 17, which means 117% thus 17% over target. The Raymarine display in the middle shows TWA and TWS, the latter of which is very hard to read in many conditions. I have had this setup since 2012 and it has worked very well.

 

Mastdisplay.jpg

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Cool. If you don't want to do the interface work your self then Digital Yacht have just launched very nice little SeaTalk > NMEA0183 bridge. For anyone retrofitting to an old Raymarine ST system definitely worth checking out.

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9 hours ago, rgeek said:

For a one off project the options are:

  1. Something sticking off the shelf segment digits behind a mask like Allen. What you're ideally looking for are transreflective segments with around 3-400 NITs of backlight. That allows the sun to do the work in bright light and gives a solid backlight in over case conditions. If it can be turned down a low as 2 NITs that will give you something that can be used at night. Failing that, go for fully reflective segments and no backlighting.
  2. The largest 1000 NIT TFT or OLED panel you can get your hands on. There availability at a cost effective price is basically governed by the smart phone market so you should be able to find something around 5 inches that's a reasonable price. For your power calculations assume you'll need to drive it at full backlight in most direct sun light conditions.

Don't bother looking at eink (for now). At the refresh rate you'll be driving it a generally available eink display consumes more power than TFT and the refresh is unpleasant. Where eink comes into it's own is for relatively static applications like remote controls.

Starting from knowing nothing it's probably a 12 month project. All told you'll spend around the same as a sailmon display and learn a lot along the way.

If you're looking at this as more than a hobby project you need to think in terms of an MOQ of 2000 units to even begin a conversation and be prepared for a 2 year development cycle. Each round of prototyping takes around 10 weeks and they don't get it right first time! There's a reason only 2 new display manufacturers have turned up in the last 5-6 years, while new "system in a box; use an ipad" seem to appear every other month.

 

...

actually thinking about it a bit more as a one off, dismantling a 1000NIT computer monitor and building a waterproof case for it + interfacing using a Raspberry Pi would likely be the best way to go about it.

The ESP8266 or the new ESP32 are well supported and do this job easily.  Much better fit than a Raspberry Pi. The ESP8266 is $3.  It has WiFi and lots of IO.  I have coded them to drive the LCD segments as well as a Stowe Terminal.  The terminal differs from a standard display in that you write text to it rather than standard nmea sentences to you can write anything you want.  I use it with StartLine to write time to burn to the start line or time to the next mark.  Easy to write four up with custom titles.  But that is not a mast display.  I had help building it from a sailor I work with in Australia and am fine helping others to return the favor.  The digits I used are not backlit but they are huge.  Fits my needs although backlit would obviously be nice.  I also use smaller digits that are backlit but I don't think I have ever hooked up the light.

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rgeek: does your product do nmea 2000?  The FAQ isn't clear. 

I built my own display and then switched to a commercial product. I think rgeek and allen's advice are both good. 

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No NMEA2000.

The d10s designed to be the ultimate weapon for 20-35ft sportsboats and cruiser/racers. A replacement for a pro start and racemaster; same price but with a lot more function and with out the compromises.

So it didn't make sense to add US$200 to the retail for everyone in order to support n2k when a lot of d10s are going to be used with just a paddle wheel. Basically we put the money into the quality of the GPS and display size -- a B&G 30/30 + 20/20 in one display -- instead.

For using it as a display then most chart plotters still have an NMEA0183 output and there are plenty of options for n2k > 183-HS bridges that will do the trick for less than we could add n2k to the d10 for in any case. We test using an Actisense NGW-1 ISO.

Inputs are wired: 1x analogue pulse input that will work with any Airmar or Signet paddle wheel + 1x NMEA0183 + 1x NMEA0183-HS + NMEA0183 over wifi.

Outputs are: NMEA0183 or Signal K Delta via TCP over Wifi

We're not the only ones to come to this conclusion. The Airmar DST900 is NMEA1083 native and has a separate box to bridge to n2k. Same with LCJs MHUs.

BTW our Aussie distributor has had a d10 under test for 4 months with a LCJ CV7 as a mast head and he's tells us it kicks ass. Apparently the revised dish shape of the bottom reflector addresses the performance issues ultrasonics have had with rain.

 

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Got to say, the Race Geek looks pretty sweet.  It has more capability then what we need at this time, as we don’t race,  but let’s face it, any time two boats are sailing the same direction, it’s a race!  The Sailmon looks awesome, but way too many boat $$ for our purpose plus SWMBO wants some new furniture!

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4 hours ago, jhellan said:

I looked through the manual, and couldn't find wind speed on any of the screens. Presumably, you have a good reason for leaving this out? Are you willing to share?

No wind speed or wind angle display probably means the race geek doesn’t work for me.  If the wind data is available, how difficult is it to put it on the screen?  Seems like if performance cruising is a target market, wind data would be a priority.

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22 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Keep it in the shade.  Not good in sunlight.

Mounted in a gooseneck bracket, it would be mostly in shade... 

development time essentially zero, incremental cost is a waterproof case and a ram mount. 

 

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11 hours ago, jhellan said:

I looked through the manual, and couldn't find wind speed on any of the screens. Presumably, you have a good reason for leaving this out? Are you willing to share?

There's some stuff that we have added based on user feedback that hasn't made the doco yet. There's an update to the web site and manuals due for the middle of December. The smartphone APP is the big one.

New D10 features

- Display of apparent wind and true wind from an external source
- Display of depth and delta between SOG and boat speed
- "Sport" version produced in conjunction with the SB20 class respecting their sailing aesthetic (removes the nav, wind and depth functions)

A10 phone app (iOS and Android)

- Remote control
- Start control
- Navigation control, including input of distance and bearing for laid marks
- Wind control. Gather wind readings before the start. Graph them. Calculate mean, min and max. Let you update the mean and then send that back to the d10 as the mean wind for shift tracking. Compass card during racing

- Display up to 4 items of telemetry in real time, including min, max and mean values. Display value and/or strip chart. The wifi on the d10 reaches around 80m and we have teams using the APP on their coach boat to monitor performance during training. That'll be a great tool for 2 boat work too.

- Download mark libraries or input them manually
- Create courses on your phone
- Upload an individual course to the navigation function of the d10

- Change the d10s settings

 

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6 hours ago, J28 said:

No wind speed or wind angle display probably means the race geek doesn’t work for me.  If the wind data is available, how difficult is it to put it on the screen?  Seems like if performance cruising is a target market, wind data would be a priority.

Always open to being told we have missed something. Based on user feedback a wind display has been added. We haven't had time to document it yet, that's all.

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8 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Cost adder for NMEA2000 should be less than US$20, more than half is the connector.

 

+ the licencing, documentation, CAN controller and additional other hardware, an additional port in the case which adds to the potential for water ingress, lengthy testing and certification cycle + our own time spent doing a fiddly implementation when we should be doing other thing.

Then share that between a small number of units in the scheme of things and multiply by dealer and distributor margin (we want to be around in 10 years to support the d10 and value the care guys like Ed at Sail 22 give their , and there for our, customers).

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If you can't figure out a couple of NMEA2000 CAN messages from publicly available documentation, then yes, you've to buy the specification. Perilously few companies bother with that or with certification. There's no compelling legal or market reason to have the NMEA2000 logo and use the word "Certified", when you can simply say "NMEA 2000 Compatible" or "NMEA 2000 Capable" instead.

Regardless, the per-unit cost of a CAN connector and transceiver is closer to US$20 than it is to US$200. While you might have reasons to not provide the interface, cost isn't actually a reasonable defense.

 

 

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NMEAs attitude has hardened up in the last couple of years and a trademark is a trademark.

Devices that just listened to the network could get away with out certifying but that's all changed. Everything needs to declare its self and its services correctly now. They now require anything that consumes data in n2k packet form to pay a licence too, including APPs. The only latitude is when you're in the process of certification.

Not our rules, but nor are we cowboys.

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It is amazing to me that a standard that is so closed could have been widely adopted.  I guess it is designed by the big players to keep the little players, like you, out of the game.

I use nmea-0183 sentences over WiFi.  Who needs wires?  Maybe we can standardize that.

Allen

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It addressed a lot of problems and makes the install significantly more straight forward, resulting in pressure on manufacturers from with int eh industry to adopt it.

In reality the NMEA0183 standard and general lack of compliance results in lots of integration issues. And not just historically (vYacht we're looking at you and the rouge numeric in front of wind sentences in your NMEA0183 feed).

A proper standard covering hardware, transport and data with proper certification through testing is to be applauded. Lots of help with in the industry to clear the hurdles and once you have the 1st device done the costs decrease significantly. The only real thing to grumble in terms of getting started is the cost of the documentation and old school technology.

Wires? Anyone who cares about performance and reliability cares about wires. Ease of install the opposite for sure.

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Yeah, I have CAT5 cable strung all around my house.  Would never trust WiFi in my house.  But seems to me the trend is toward WiFi.  My boat is small and even my simple unreliable protocol is working just fine.  It would seem to be that any product designed for very small boats, like Olympic class boats, would need to be WiFi.  That is certainly what we found on a project I am doing for our Olympic team.  The displays are battery powered and WiFi to the main box.

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Wifi for general networking, some towards Bluetooth at the sensor level (Airmar 900 and the Calipso MHU) .. with completely none standardised messaging.

Given the demand for live tracking in small boats it would be good to see adoption of something like Xbee. The problem there is a lack of adoption by consumer devices and which of the many options do you standardise on??

Zero interest in addressing either issue at NMEA it seems.

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My guess is that live tracking might be better using a phone on consumer level.  I am using XBee 900MHz on the project I am working on for communication between boats.  It is really hard to communicate over water because of the reflections off the water canceling the direct path.  It took a ton of work to solve it, which we did.

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Our goal is 100 meters and we tested it to 200 meters.  But this is with the units right on the water.  That was our problem as we need to mount them on the stern of a 470 and we needed near zero signal loss.  If you get them off the water, like 5 feet up, they went all the way across the lake, which I think was 1/2 mile.  But for our application, 100 meters is a long way away.  With the AC boats, they had the antennas on the top of the mast and the shore one on the top of a big pole.

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You wrote:

Devices that just listened to the network could get away with out certifying but that's all changed. Everything needs to declare its self and its services correctly now. They now require anything that consumes data in n2k packet form to pay a licence too, including APPs. The only latitude is when you're in the process of certification.

While this may be the NMEA's position, it is irrelevant.

The NMEA has nothing more than a copyright on a document and a trademark on a name. They cannot require a license, with or without a fee, for consuming data per the CAN 2.0B standard, only for utilizing the specification or using the mark. The validity of reverse engineering in order to circumvent the constraints of a copyrighted specification are well known in the art and the right to do so has been adjudicated repeatedly and successfully; there are no precedents to the contrary.

 

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7 hours ago, rgeek said:

Wifi for general networking, some towards Bluetooth at the sensor level (Airmar 900 and the Calipso MHU) .. with completely none standardised messaging.

Given the demand for live tracking in small boats it would be good to see adoption of something like Xbee. The problem there is a lack of adoption by consumer devices and which of the many options do you standardise on??

Zero interest in addressing either issue at NMEA it seems.

NMEA is working on N2K over IP.

https://www.marineelectronicsjournal.com/content/newsm/news.asp?show=VIEW&a=130

 

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To say the NMEA is working is something of a misnomer. To say they're working on sending CAN messages over IP exemplifies the problem.

Sending CAN message over IP has had industry standard solutions for more than a decade. Defining a UDP-based layered approach would take a competent individual a few weeks and a functional committee perhaps a year.

The NMEA has been going around on this for 5+.

 

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The nmea sentences are sensor centric rather than display centric.  At least the nmea-0183 ones are.  I don't know about the nmea-2000 sentences.  By sensor centric I mean there is a sentence for boat speed and heading and another for wind speed and direction and then one for GPS.  The flow of the data is sensor -> correction -> calculation -> display.  I create one nmea sentence that has the result of the calculations so there is sentence that has all the things I might want to display in it and it is sent UDP to the displays.  The display can then pick off what it wants to display without doing calculations.  There are other sentences for start and for going around the marks.  They are all display centric and represent corrected and derived data. I do have the advantage that the committee is very small, like me with occasional input for a couple of other users. Some of these fields would be left out as they are more diagnostic than user data. I see that I left out SOG and COG and I should probably have included them although what I want is current, which is derived from four measurements.

2 - corrected.bs, 1/100 knot
3 - corrected.hdg, degrees
4 - corrected.awa, degrees
5 - corrected.aws, 1/10 knot
6 - corrCalc.tws, 1/10 knot
7 - corrCalc.twa, degrees
8 - corrCalc.twd, degrees
9 - corrected.leeway, 1/10 degree
10 - corrected.heel, 1/10 degree
11 - tws_c, 1/10 knot
12 - twd_c, degrees
13 - correction_on, (0/1)
14 - timestamp, int
15 - corrected.depth, 1/10 meter
16 - current, 1/10 knot
17 - current, degrees

Trying to get an industry group to agree on this might be difficult.  Somebody would have an AC boat going 40 knots and somebody would have a power boat. Remember what a camel is --- a horse designed by committee.

I would like to make the point about correction.  My wind vane has an 8 degree error in it DDW compared to directly into the wind.  If you don't take that out, you can't hope to make any derived calculations like TWD.  The senders need to be corrected first, then the desired quantities calculated and finally displayed.

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7 hours ago, WoobaGooba said:

Open source N2K decoder.

https://github.com/canboat/canboat

It's an awesome effort and I agree with Moondusters view but Canboat is GPL'ed explicitly to say to NMEA "this is not for commercial use". Putting it into a commercial product would be shitting on the community from a great height both in terms of disrespecting the fundamentals of free software and endangering community use. 

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2 hours ago, Moonduster said:

To say the NMEA is working is something of a misnomer. To say they're working on sending CAN messages over IP exemplifies the problem.

Sending CAN message over IP has had industry standard solutions for more than a decade. Defining a UDP-based layered approach would take a competent individual a few weeks and a functional committee perhaps a year.

The NMEA has been going around on this for 5+.

 

 

8 hours ago, WoobaGooba said:

I was thinking that a lack off attention to standardising GATT characteristics is going to leave us back having to implement support for each sensor individually.

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Not sure to what you refer when you say GATT? My only understanding of that acronym is General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Among the many issues with the NMEA's naiveté is that there is zero support in the standard for configuration, calibration and status. For many sensors, this is 75% or more of the required message definition, which means that the NMEA standard does exactly nothing for much of the necessary communications and this problem gets worse as sensors get esoteric. The result is that by static count, most communications are proprietary messages and the only value of the NMEA is doling out the vendor IDs used to distinguish one vendor's proprietary messages from those of other vendors.

The rest of their "value" is a simple scam by the membership to prevent others from competing on the wire - something they accomplish via exorbitant license fees associated with a closed standard protected by copyright. The technology base is CAN, developed in 1983 and then CAN 2.0B in 1991. The ISO standards for CAN networks were published in 1993. Everything about the physical interconnect and topology was "derived" (word-for-word) from DeviceNet standards, which are free. The arrogance of licensing message formats on 25 year-old technology and leveraging open standards is mind boggling if not downright unethical.

Compare this to the approach taken with USB, Firewire and other multi-vendor committee-based standards and it's no wonder that those arerunning at a few gigabits per second and on their 3rd or 4th major generation in half the time that the NMEA has been dorking around with a CAN-based standard running at 0.00025 gigabits per second. It's just pathetic.

 

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GATT is the part of the Bluetooth standard that allows a devices services to be found and the transmission of basic data.

So the characteristics of a MHU might be: wind.angle, wind.speed, attitude.pitch, attitude.roll (characteristics are actually defined using numeric UUIDs)

Even before you get to configuration, calibration and status there's the fundamental issue that 0183 and n2k define compound messages rather than atomic attributes. Until you list the things you want to measure, as distinct from the contexts in which you want to measure them, you're fucked in terms of defining a transport agnostic standard. The XDR message is about as close as NMEA has ever gotten.

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14 hours ago, Moonduster said:

To say the NMEA is working is something of a misnomer. To say they're working on sending CAN messages over IP exemplifies the problem.

Sending CAN message over IP has had industry standard solutions for more than a decade. Defining a UDP-based layered approach would take a competent individual a few weeks and a functional committee perhaps a year.

The NMEA has been going around on this for 5+.

 

Which means they are way ahead of the N2K timeline!  More info on OneNet ... I can say no more ... you will have to talk to your vendors. 

The vendors, as NMEA members, ultimately control how fast this gets done per customer demand.

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OneNet has been dragging on for years, it should have taken weeks.

The basics of enumeration and slug-and-slay interfaces were resolved in the 80s by Apple on NuBus platforms and plagiarized by the PCI committee, which released that standard in '93.

There is nothing here that needs to be invented. If the NMEA was focused on customer demand, this would have been done as part of the original NMEA2000 standard.

What's apparent is that the only focus of the NMEA are

  1. Preventing the proliferation of peripherals
  2. Furthering the exclusivity of the association

If one compares it's approach to defending a useful standard to, for example, the USB or PCI communities, these things become instantly apparent.

I mean, seriously, can you imagine a world in which a USB keyboard had the interoperability limitations of a wind wand, speedo or depth transducer?

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I'm not even sure that's true.

I tend to think of n2k as the result of internal industry pressure from dealers on manufacturers to deal with the installation disaster 0183 had become. Now the dealers are in house their voice is diminished.

Garmin has its own standards, most notably for wireless, and all of the big 4 have their own standards for radar.

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rgeek,

  Do you have any plans to bring a similar unit to market for the under 20 foot class? I realize you are focused on launching the D10 for the moment; I would give that serious thought but on the extremely wet and fast boats I sail (high performance cats), the ipad-esque form factor wouldn't last very long. Happy to beta test...

 

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On 11/18/2017 at 10:02 PM, rgeek said:

There's some stuff that we have added based on user feedback that hasn't made the doco yet. There's an update to the web site and manuals due for the middle of December. The smartphone APP is the big one.

New D10 features

- Display of apparent wind and true wind from an external source
- Display of depth and delta between SOG and boat speed
- "Sport" version produced in conjunction with the SB20 class respecting their sailing aesthetic (removes the nav, wind and depth functions)

A10 phone app (iOS and Android)

- Remote control
- Start control
- Navigation control, including input of distance and bearing for laid marks
- Wind control. Gather wind readings before the start. Graph them. Calculate mean, min and max. Let you update the mean and then send that back to the d10 as the mean wind for shift tracking. Compass card during racing

- Display up to 4 items of telemetry in real time, including min, max and mean values. Display value and/or strip chart. The wifi on the d10 reaches around 80m and we have teams using the APP on their coach boat to monitor performance during training. That'll be a great tool for 2 boat work too.

- Download mark libraries or input them manually
- Create courses on your phone
- Upload an individual course to the navigation function of the d10

- Change the d10s settings

 

This looks pretty cool and am kind of tempted to order one. Like the OP, my main interest is the displaying large digits for boat speed, depth, apparent wind, TWS, etc. and not so much the start line and tacking angle stuff. You are saying this will display "4 items of telemetry in real time".  So you could display something like boat speed, apparent wind direction, wind speed and depth on one page/screen? I'm currently using tacktick. It sounds like I would just need to run a wire to carry the 0183 data from the tacktick NMEA interface to this display.

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The smartphone/tablet APP can show 1 to 4 items.

The d10 its self has 2 sets of large digits (60mm and 40mm) and a graphics area. Although the digits on the graphics area are still 32mm and we can cram 2 sets of numbers in it's off putting. So in general we've keep it to 1 set of secondary numbers.

Wiring the NMEA out from a T122 would get wind and speed into the d10. It has it's own GPS and compass for location and heading.

Everything is made available via wifi so you don't have to use our phone APP. Anything that can take an NMEA0183 feed over TCP will work.

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1 hour ago, samc99us said:

rgeek,

  Do you have any plans to bring a similar unit to market for the under 20 foot class? I realize you are focused on launching the D10 for the moment; I would give that serious thought but on the extremely wet and fast boats I sail (high performance cats), the ipad-esque form factor wouldn't last very long. Happy to beta test...

 

The d10 is in regular use on a Diam 24 where it gets hosed.

They thought they'd need 2, 1 for each ama, but in the end only use 1.

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13 hours ago, Moonduster said:

OneNet has been dragging on for years, it should have taken weeks.

The basics of enumeration and slug-and-slay interfaces were resolved in the 80s by Apple on NuBus platforms and plagiarized by the PCI committee, which released that standard in '93.

There is nothing here that needs to be invented. If the NMEA was focused on customer demand, this would have been done as part of the original NMEA2000 standard.

What's apparent is that the only focus of the NMEA are

  1. Preventing the proliferation of peripherals
  2. Furthering the exclusivity of the association

If one compares it's approach to defending a useful standard to, for example, the USB or PCI communities, these things become instantly apparent.

I mean, seriously, can you imagine a world in which a USB keyboard had the interoperability limitations of a wind wand, speedo or depth transducer?

I've never seen a multi vendor comms standard completed in weeks.  2 years would be considered quick.

I share your frustrations re: lack of standard N2K  messaging for config and calibration, etc. I don't attribute that to naivete ... but interop not being enough a business priority of the vendors to move the NMEA standards efforts along briskly.  Another issue IMO with NMEA is its structure: both a marketing/promotional and standards development organization.  Its not always a happy mix.

I don't agree the only value of NMEA is doling out the N2K vendor IDs. On the race boats I sail, it is not the case that most of the comms on the N2K bus are proprietary messaging.  The standard PGNs generally work well. I can't remember how many NMEA 0183 interop issues I've debugged over the years.  Even the widely used sentenced.  Why?  Lack of interoperability testing. We are in a better place with N2K versus NMEA 0183 ... N2K has a certification test (but pay to play).  Room for improvement?  Lots.

Yes CAN is technically ancient.  Let us not forget the auto industry control/command networks are still largely based on CAN (in vehicle entertainment and WiFi excluded), with movement to deterministic Ethernet now in the planning stages.   I credit NMEA for starting to get the vendors on the same page re: IP with OneNet.

The level of interop provided by the marine electronics industry is spotty.  Interoperable GPX import/export continues to be a problem, the N2K calibration and config issues you point out, etc.

All that said, we get the level of interop we deserve from the vendors.  The only way this changes is pressure from us ... the customers.

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2 hours ago, WoobaGooba said:

The level of interop provided by the marine electronics industry is spotty.  Interoperable GPX import/export continues to be a problem, the N2K calibration and config issues you point out, etc.

Firmware updates also need an interop story.  It almost doesn't matter that you can't configure devices across brands, because you also can't update firmware across brands and the first version of the firmware is rarely rock solid.

That said I can't see why anyone is defending NMEA 0183 over 2000.  It is even worse, the 4800bps updates are glacially slow so that instruments show out of date data.  The 38400 support is spotty since it originated with AIS.  The wiring is a nightmare.  N2K isn't perfect by far, but it is a big jump forward.  Both are run by NMEA and aren't "free", though information to write compatible implementations is widely available for both.

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Bigger boat or commercial installation sure n2k wins but the reality for the size boat the d10 is for (20-35ft)...

Speed sensors are analogue

Speed and depth: The issue isn't n2k vs NMEA0183. The standard ones of either only put out speed every couple of seconds

MHU options: gWind is a good option and n2k with the GN10. The B&G507 is n2k but has a dumbed down signal rate. The Digital Yacht windex has been performing well under test. It's 0183. As has the LCJ CV7. It's nmea0183 too. The B&G213 is analogue.

The CV7 is performing so well it's looking like our go to option. Significantly better than the 1.5 degrees they claim.

Load sensors are custom applications

So a bunch of time, money and retail price impact just to support the gWind with out a $120 bridge? It doesn't make sense.

 

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Most 27-35’ boats that I’ve sailed on have an instrument package already. If it was made in the last 10 years it is probably n2k.  My system is pretty basic : plotter, displays, autopilot, wind/depth/speed transducers.

The racegeek box looks great and something that I’m considering.  It would be an easier option if it just plugged in with a single connector and could be chained into a network that is already running all over the boat.  I also know (from building my own devices) that my plotter updates the 0183 network with a lag and lower sampling rate. 

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8 hours ago, Alex W said:

That said I can't see why anyone is defending NMEA 0183 over 2000.  It is even worse, the 4800bps updates are glacially slow so that instruments show out of date data.  The 38400 support is spotty since it originated with AIS.  The wiring is a nightmare.  N2K isn't perfect by far, but it is a big jump forward.  Both are run by NMEA and aren't "free", though information to write compatible implementations is widely available for both.

I don't quite agree with you. NMEA 0183 is not intended to be used for raw sensor data. For displaying data for humans it is certainly fast enough. You don't want to change the digits faster than 1 Hz and also all displayed data is filtered with several seconds lag. You can send part of the data at a few Hz, most at 1Hz and less important ones at 2-10 s intervals.

4800bps means that you can send 480 bytes of data in a second. E.g. sending BSP and heading together takes only 30 bytes (VHW with only magnetic heading and BSP in knots), depth 17 bytes (DPT, without offset and max), log and trip with VLW 25 bytes, AWS and AWA with MWV 25 bytes, TWA and TWA with MWV 25 bytes, basic GPS data using RMC 70 bytes. That's only 192 bytes all together so you could send at almost 3 Hz.

What makes NMEA 0183 wiring a nightmare? I have never had problems with it. Of course you need to understand that you can have only one sender on each line and thus quite easily need multiplexers, which are implemented to many servers and instruments.

What I like about NMEA 0183 is that it is easy to connect with a PC or your own hardware, which is not the case with NMEA 2000. Or maybe it is already with the github link given in this thread.

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8 hours ago, Alex W said:

Most 27-35’ boats that I’ve sailed on have an instrument package already. If it was made in the last 10 years it is probably n2k.  My system is pretty basic : plotter, displays, autopilot, wind/depth/speed transducers.

The racegeek box looks great and something that I’m considering.  It would be an easier option if it just plugged in with a single connector and could be chained into a network that is already running all over the boat.  I also know (from building my own devices) that my plotter updates the 0183 network with a lag and lower sampling rate. 

You would think but we're actually seeing the vast majority of our enquiries are coming from people with an ST60 or, more recently, Micronet system installed by the builder. Makes sense as the discount they get from Raymarine is deep and wireless means an easy install (for the builder).

On that basis a d10 actually makes quite a nice first upgrade as it gives an improved GPS, WiFi access point and mast display all in one go. I agree that the wind performance will be compromised but speed? Like I say what they don't tell you on the n2k transducer spec sheets is that the stock ones only output speed every 2 seconds. So, if you care to, you can hotwire the analogue speed on an ST60 system to the d10 and get better much better performance than a stock n2k transducer.

Agree that connecting to the NMEA0183 on the chartplotter is a compromise. We'd actually recommend the Digital Yacht SeaTalk to NMEA0183-HS bridge. Cheep as chips and nice and compact.

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Womba,

The problem with the OneNet undertaking is that people believe it is a multi-vendor protocol undertaking. It is not. It's a simple change of transport, which could be an addendum to the existing documentation. That simple addendum, managed by an open consortium wouldn't take more than a few weeks. Managed by a closed group of empire builders, it has evolved with arbitrary complexity and will take forever; by way of example, the USB 3 specification took far less time than OneNet has already taken with a consortium that's far larger, has backwards compatibility constraints, 10s of thousands of devices and perhaps two billion end-users. If you want to get into the root cause of the disaster that is the NMEA, start another thread and I'm all to happy to elaborate further.

Alex & Joakim,

4800 baud  point-to-point is frightfully difficult to compare to CAN communication; they're much different beasts. What's critical in both is that neither is sufficient for good wind or speed data transport and this is why these transducers are directly connected to a central processor on any sailing instrumentation system that's worth purchasing. With those requirements removed, either transport is suitable for 99% of most system requirements; each has its pros and cons.

Claiming the NMEA0183 wiring is a nightmare is an equipment/installation statement, not a technology or topology statement. By nearly any measure, NMEA2000 wiring is a far bigger mess due to the pathetic choices of connector and cabling adopted by the NMEA. A well designed 0183 installation can always be smaller, lighter and tidier than the 2000 equivalent. That 0183 electricals are often problematic is due to non-compliance by many large vendors, who only have single-ended drivers rather than the double-end drivers required by the RS-422 standard upon which 0183 is based. It's worth realizing that CAN is essentially RS422 electricals with layered protocol. To say it's a technology improvement is to not understand its basics; the improvement comes only because the protocol standard is difficult to implement without using standard components and the standard components comply with the standard. If companies like Garmin would use standard 422 transceivers, most of the 0183 problems would disappear.

NMEA0183 cannot be "easily" connected to a PC - it requires an RS422-to-USB cable or a RS422-to-RS232 adaptor if you use a PC with serial ports plus suitable software to display the messages. By comparison, to connect to a CAN bus one needs a CAN-to-USB cable plus suitable software to display messages. The software for both is public domain or free from multiple places. In both cases you must purchase an adaptor, install device drivers and find application software. They're equivalent if not identical by any measure. The CAN-to-USB cable is US$200, which is about 10x the cost of a 422-to-USB cable.

 

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11 minutes ago, Moonduster said:

That 0183 electricals are often problematic is due to non-compliance by many large vendors, who only have single-ended drivers rather than the double-end drivers required by the RS-422 standard upon which 0183 is based. It's worth realizing that CAN is essentially RS422 electricals with layered protocol. To say it's a technology improvement is to not understand its basics; the improvement comes only because the protocol standard is difficult to implement without using standard components and the standard components comply with the standard. If companies like Garmin would use standard 422 transceivers, most of the 0183 problems would disappear.

Don't get me started on that one.

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Moonduster

There is no real reason why AWA and AWS or BSP could not be transmitted using NMEA 0183 or 2000 from sensor to a server or a display in a good quality instrument system. That would just mean that there needs to be some averaging done at sensor. I guess that is what Nexus/Garmin and TackTick do with their wind sensors, although they do not use NMEA.

 

NMEA is RS422, but it can be connected to RS232 without a converter. It may not be a good practice, but it works in almost all cases between NMEA 0183 devices and PC's. Most PC's will now need a USB converter, since they lack RS232 port. You can also output NMEA 0183 from a microcontroller, Raspberry Pi etc using just the 5/3.3 V serial port it has. All the NMEA 0183 sentences are well documented in many places and lot's of free software is available.

Since NMEA 2000 is not freely available there is a lot less free documentation and software available. And it needs a special CAN converter. Most seem to use NMEA 2000/0183 converter (WIFI or USB) and then use 0183 at the PC end. Which navigational softwares can read NMEA 2000 directly? I use Open CPN and it can't. Expedition seems to have NMEA 2000.

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6 hours ago, rgeek said:

Like I say what they don't tell you on the n2k transducer spec sheets is that the stock ones only output speed every 2 seconds. So, if you care to, you can hotwire the analogue speed on an ST60 system to the d10 and get better much better performance than a stock n2k transducer.

My boat has a Raymarine iTC5 transducer to NMEA 2000 interface.  In the NMEA 2000 logs I can see that it is sending wind every 100ms, speed and depth every 1000ms.  The plotter (Raymarine eS series) is sending GPS COG and SOG every 200ms.  I haven't looked at NMEA 0183 logs on this boat, but on my previous boat (where a Raymarine e7d was doing the conversion) NMEA 0183 was updated every 2-3 seconds, including COG and SOG.  That was at 38400 and included AIS, which is very chatty.

The Raymarine iTC5 is great for boats that had ST60 systems.  The transducers plug right in, so for $200ish you can get them onto a modern network.  My boat came with a ST60 package, and I found that the old displays had a lot of value ($250-300 each) on eBay, so upgrading them to i70 NMEA 2000 displays was affordable.

9 hours ago, Joakim said:

What makes NMEA 0183 wiring a nightmare? I have never had problems with it. Of course you need to understand that you can have only one sender on each line and thus quite easily need multiplexers, which are implemented to many servers and instruments.

There is no standardized connectors, so you have to manually connect each wire, 4 wires per bidirectional device.  Power wires are also needed  You need to use multiplexers because it isn't a bus.  The bandwidth is too low for AIS, so you end up with a mix of devices at 4800bps and 38400bps.  It is much easier to make mistakes that take time to debug on a NMEA 0183 than on NMEA 2000.

NMEA 0183 is workable, it just isn't as nice to work with as NMEA 2000.  A pretty basic boat has a lot of devices these days, my system (simple for a racing boat) has two instrument displays, a plotter and autopilot.  That turns into 8 network devices (the autopilot has 3, plus the transducer interface).  That would be annoying for NMEA 0183.  I do have one NMEA 0183 connection going from an AIS receiver into the plotter.

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16 minutes ago, Alex W said:

There is no standardized connectors, so you have to manually connect each wire, 4 wires per bidirectional device.  You need to use multiplexers because it isn't a bus.  The bandwidth is too low for AIS, so you end up with a mix of devices at 4800bps and 38400bps.  It is much easier to make mistakes that take time to debug on a NMEA 0183 than on NMEA 2000.

In many cases you need to feed the cable without a connector to get it through so you end up connecting each wire anyway. I haven't yet needed an external multiplexer, but then again I have never had just a NMEA 0183 based system. Is there even one? NMEA 0183 has just been between different brands, to and from GPS and AIS and to NMEA 0183 displays.

Yes you can make mistakes, but I wouldn't call it a nigthmare.

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This thread has evolved from the original question of how to build a large format to display to a discussion of the options available on the market now, which is great.  Obviously the discussion has gotten somewhat technical as to the characteristics of the data formats, which is way above my head.  A few observations from my non-technical viewpoint:

Allen's display and offer to help is awesome, but I think there may be off-the-shelf options that work better for me.

The Race Geek looks like it could be a good option for me, even though it has capabilities I don't need at this time (but I may value later when/if my grandkids get a little older and we race again).  I also like R Geek's openness to improving the product based on market feedback.

The Advansea displays mentioned in post 10 are probably not widely available or supported in the USA, which is where I am located, so not a good option for me.  I have the same Raymarine wind display shown in the photo in that post and the difficulty in reading wind speed on it is one reason why I posted the question in the first place.

The Zaptfware nmea remote app linked to in post 20 which enables use of an Ipad as a mast mounted repeater is interesting at ~ $18.00, cause I have an extra Ipad and it would be  in in the shade of our Stack Pak much of the time so it would be (mostly) daylight readable.  However, the comments in the App Store mention crashing when connecting to nmea data.  Might be worth the $18 and a DIY mast mount to give it a try however....

The NasaMarine repeater in the link in post 36 is being sold in the US under the "Clipper" brand name, and there is a whole line of Clipper instruments coming on the market here.  The repeater shown in the link is $472. 

One thing that I am highly interested in is not drilling any holes in either my mast or around the boat, so a rechargable unit linked by wi-fi in a mast mount that attaches via the mast groove below the gooseneck would be ideal.  If I had to drill holes, I want them as small as possible, so large connectors are not wanted.

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, rgeek said:

May be I'm thinking of the wrong iTC-5 but the one I'm thinking of is basically an analogue mux to which each sensor has to be wired following the provided colour coding, that outputs NG?

Yes, that is the thing.  It isn't a mux, it is an interface driver that interfaces analog transducers onto SeatalkNG/NMEA2000 (they are the same thing).  It replaced the ST70 speed/depth/wind pods from the prior generation with a single device.  

 

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24 minutes ago, J28 said:

One thing that I am highly interested in is not drilling any holes in either my mast or around the boat, so a rechargable unit linked by wi-fi in a mast mount that attaches via the mast groove below the gooseneck would be ideal.  If I had to drill holes, I want them as small as possible, so large connectors are not wanted.

The problem no one has yet mastered is drawing enough solar power from a small cell to provide for the power demands of wifi.

Don't know if it is market ready but Scanstrut have been showing a mast groove attachment for their ROKK mini range this autumn.

 

 

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Not thinking of solar cells.  Rather a unit that could be left below on a charger (if the boat has shore power) or taken off the boat and recharged, like an ipad or iphone.  If I have to drill a hole in the mast, I want it to be as small as possible.

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The unit I showed a photo of has a wire that goes down the mast track so no holes in the mast.  I did drill for the bracket screws but there might be a way around that.  All the displays I used last season were battery powered and used Qi chargers, which are inductive chargers. I had a single button on the box that would turn the unit on or send data back to my RaceBox like pinging the mark for example.  But I found it a bit of a pain to have to remove and set up all the displays each time and lug them back and forth so now I am going to boat powered but WiFi data.  But it sounds like you want to buy a solution. I am just pointing out that you might be able to use the mast track for your wires and that there is something to be said for not having to charge the units.  For one thing, with a battery the units ran like 20 hours or something which is almost all seasons of racing but if you cruise it might not be enough.  Just another thing to consider.  Solar would solve that problem if the solution was designed for low power like the TackTick units.

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2 hours ago, J28 said:

Not thinking of solar cells.  Rather a unit that could be left below on a charger (if the boat has shore power) or taken off the boat and recharged, like an ipad or iphone.  If I have to drill a hole in the mast, I want it to be as small as possible.

We hear you. It's something we've been working on for a while to try and find solutions that work for those that want a battery and those that want to be able to plug into their existing power (quite strong opinion on both sides of the house!).

This is our thinking:

To get the waterproofing that's needed at the price point that's relevant we feel we need to seal the unit. We've all had to sit stuff on radiators over night to get rid of the fog and that just aint good enough. Battery doors are always a week point. Sure they can be done but they add extra complication and cost to the case to do well.

If we sealed the case and put a battery in the whole thing would die with the battery in 18-24 months and we're not into that either. If we add a battery and make the case more complicated to make we're back to adding to the retail price for everyone for something only some of our customers want. Velocitek have that single use unit thing nailed. While d10 is better (sorry lads, it's true) we're not trying to be just a GPS only device. The d10 is for anyone who wants more functionality in terms of a magnetic compass in the same unit or wire up a paddlewheel for speed. So many people are going to be running a wire anyway.

Our Aussie distributor has made up a mast bracket with a built in battery box, the guys in the US have a nifty set up using milwaulkee batteries you can pick up in any hardware store and we've been working with Scanstrut on some ideas. We think we have what you're looking for on our roadmap.

(the d10 can already connect to an external wifi access point for data ... but we really do recommend running the wire in terms of reliability)

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On 19.11.2017 at 4:30 PM, allene222 said:

It is amazing to me that a standard that is so closed could have been widely adopted.  I guess it is designed by the big players to keep the little players, like you, out of the game.

Not being a member NMEA2000 is $4k for the full specs. Almost hobby use. ;)  
Problem seems to be more in certification. $2k for a manufacturer code. $700 product code. $3k for a certification tool. $1.5k for a certification. (I suppose each try. If so better don't fsk that up.) 

 

One observation on wireless coms. Depending on type, frequency and region there may be duty cycle limitations. Power limits also apply, they can change with duty cycle. At least they do in Europe.

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You really don't need that huge digits for a 20' distance (35' boat as far as you can get from the mast). The Advansea I have has 32 mm and 22 mm digits. The bigger ones are very easy to see and the smaller ones still OK. I can even read the tiny 12 mm digit of the ST60 in good conditions. I don't really see the point of 40-60 mm digits at that distance.

The quality of the display is more important than the size of the digits. ST60 are much worse than Advansea. They don't have the constrast and backlighting that Advansea (and many other have). Also segmented displays are better than graphical ones although the graphical ones are getting closer. ST60 graphical one is even much worse than the segmented ones.

Race Geek looks nice, I think I had a long discussion with you guys at 2016 METS. Or was it another provider... If your target is 35' and below, I don't quite understand the huge digits. I would prefer more data with smaller (25-35 mm) digits. I would need two of your devices to be able to show all I want. If you need two, it's quite expensive and big for this size range. One D10 is almost as high as two standard displays. Probably wont fit un most masts of 35' and below boats.

So I would rearrange the display so that you could fit 4 or 5 lines of data with some parallel. Then one display could truly show all you need at the mast.

For other improvements I would add second digit to BSP and offset calibration to it. With one point calibration (just the coefficient) paddle wheels are inaccurate at low speeds. Also it would be nice to have target speeds, which is quite easy to do (have my self made box for that). With targets you could add time to burn.

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Thanks for the input.

Sure, you can be quite happy with 35mm digits but why settle for average? 

Basically we sized the case to fit on an SB20/Viper640 and then made the digits as big as we could. Part of that was to create differentiation but mostly it was just because, fuck it, we could. In peripheral vision it turns out to make quite a difference and the size certainly makes an impact. Compared to a couple of repeaters from the big guys it's about 40% smaller (narrower and shorter) and something like 30-35% of the weight.

We had test units on boats at the SB20 and J/70 Worlds and the J/70 North Americans. It definitely fits. In fact a d10s quite a bit smaller than a racemaster + prostart so you can leave it on the mast of a J/70 when you drop the boom! 

We can squeeze 4 bits of data in (most of the pages have 3) but in practice it's just too busy. Our philosophy is to keep peoples heads out of the boat as much as we can. Keep it simple. Put the key "all boat" numbers on the mast and then push the additional detail out over wifi to the smartphone APP for someone who can afford to be eyes down. So for example heal angle on the d10 is displayed as bars so people can gauge "she's about right at 3 bars" and the display doesn't jump around to much. The big digits help with all that.

1 vs 2 digits for speed is a balancing act between accuracy and responsiveness. To accurately measure to 2 decimals and get something stable enough to display you need to add quite bit of lag. For now we've gone for 1 set of digits and responsiveness. Using a signet blue cap our filter lag is around half a second, with an Airmar 1.25 seconds. It's something it will be interesting to get feedback on when we have more units out there. No one whose used one has complained yet.

Calibration we will steadily improve.

Targets? You're into hidden and undocumented alpha functionality now. A target can be set to the d10 and can be displayed as an option in the performance page. Still some work to go on how to send the value.

j70boomdown.png

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4 hours ago, Chasm said:

Not being a member NMEA2000 is $4k for the full specs. Almost hobby use. ;)  
Problem seems to be more in certification. $2k for a manufacturer code. $700 product code. $3k for a certification tool. $1.5k for a certification. (I suppose each try. If so better don't fsk that up.) 

 

One observation on wireless coms. Depending on type, frequency and region there may be duty cycle limitations. Power limits also apply, they can change with duty cycle. At least they do in Europe.

+ 3-4k for a low level library. There's a lot of help out there to get you there. Putting someone elses n2k bridge inside your device is even an option to get going with.

NMEA certification isn't the whole story either. There's a tidy enough n2k bridge launched recently, we just wish they'd sort their CE certification out!!

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rgeek

I meant two D10 do not fit on many below 35' boats and needing two makes it expensive. One surely fits. You don't need that much data on a sportboat like J/70, but many other boats in 25-35' range show more data than fits to a single D10 with the current setup. Maxi displays aren't used much on this size range, they are more for bigger boats.

Big digits make it different and perhaps sexy, but I would very much prefer to have more data so I could get away with just one display.

All racing instruments show two digits for boat speed. Boat speed is used for comparing to targets and as driving/trimming aid. For that purpose you want to have enough filering to smooth out waves etc. You will see the trend from the second digit. It has nothing to do with absolute accuracy of the speed measurement, but you can get to about 1% accuracy (coefficient + offset with well placed paddle wheel), which is a bit more accurate than one digit can show.

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Originaly there where two KVH maxi displays on my boat (Compass and Log)

First the compass got water in it so I back engineered how data was sent to the display and built a new one with 7- segment LEDs (Top)

Then I added a LCD standard RS232 monochrome to see if the would work. (Middle) Not very good in direct sunlight

Bottom is in photo a KVH display for speed but is replaced with a NASA yacht repeater. (Bottom) It displays only 1/10th of knot. I missing the 1/100th decimal though.

 

524329_363859540397789_313122348_n.jpg

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38 minutes ago, Joakim said:

rgeek

I meant two D10 do not fit on many below 35' boats and needing two makes it expensive. One surely fits. You don't need that much data on a sportboat like J/70, but many other boats in 25-35' range show more data than fits to a single D10 with the current setup. Maxi displays aren't used much on this size range, they are more for bigger boats.

Big digits make it different and perhaps sexy, but I would very much prefer to have more data so I could get away with just one display.

All racing instruments show two digits for boat speed. Boat speed is used for comparing to targets and as driving/trimming aid. For that purpose you want to have enough filering to smooth out waves etc. You will see the trend from the second digit. It has nothing to do with absolute accuracy of the speed measurement, but you can get to about 1% accuracy (coefficient + offset with well placed paddle wheel), which is a bit more accurate than one digit can show.

To be honest we think 35ft is pushing it a bit. Depends on the budget I suppose. And there are always 30ers looking for GP spec race processors and bells and whistles to pay someone to maintain.

For the 30-35ft we're not trying to build a display to add to a B&G or Garmin system. If you have the budget for a race processor you're more likely, and probably best served, buying all the kit from one brand.

We don't think that's direction things are going though, or at least there are (and we've talked to plenty all the way up to 70+ feet) enough people looking for an alternative. Our assumption is that things are moving in the direction of nav being done on a iNAVx on a tablet at one end of the spectrum or Adrena/Expedition at the other end. What we need to do is provide the weather resistant mast display, a convenient way to wire in the MHU and the transducer and the WIFI to get that to the tablet/laptop and back again. Perhaps the gap in that is the autopilot, and if we where seriously looking at moving up the size range that's what we'd do for our next product.

If you're looking for lots of numbers 4 will fit on a single d10 with digits at 60mm, 40mm and 2x 30ish mm. Once we have the repeater firmware sorted; no need to buy 2. At METs it was pretty clear that the size of TFT has crept up to 7" or so as there where a good few options for the kind of display that'll do what you're after. Still not cheep and they are power hogs.

But if you do want 2, here's a d10 on a Seascape 27. I don't think there's much argument that a second would fit fine.

The d10 has a GPS, compass and wifi access point in so it's not really intended as a second repeater. One of our test boats runs one of their old displays under the d10 for wind which makes a nice combo. The d10 is only getting attention for this due to the following comparison. From our experience in front of customers people clearly do want large digits, just not at the price you've had to pay for them to date.

2 x d10. Stack size: 400mm high x 136mm wide , Weight: 1200g, List price: EUR2,140

We'd normally compare the d10 to 2x GNX 140 + 2x GNX 120s or 2x B&G 30/30 + 20/20 as that's a fair comparison in terms of display size but since you're happy with smaller numbers lets stick to 4x 20/20 of 120/120.

Garmin, NKE, B&G are all about the same size.

Stack size: 460mm tall by 181mm wide + the bracket they slide into for the Garmin, which adds may be 40-50mm in width.

The Garmins are a good bit lighter:

4 x GNX 120 , Weight: 1,520g, List price: EUR4,000
4 x 20/20, Weight: 3,600g, List price: EUR5,560

We're still open to putting a second digit on the speed. It just hasn't been far up the list to date.

seascape27.thumb.jpg.86597d33fbc3fed726bc13e096fc9c31.jpg

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GNX 120 can show 1+2 data/display thus two or three would be enough, for 35' and smaller boats. Advansea M400 is about 250 €, but as I told earlier it needs some tweaking to make it show more than BSP/SOG/DPT/TMP/LOG/TRIP.

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Sure. 1x GNX 140 + 1x 120 would be equivalent to 1 d10.

2x GNX 120? Why not, it looks to us like they use exactly the same display technology...

d10. Stack size: 200mm high x 136mm wide , Weight: 600g, List price: EUR1,120 inc tax @20% (there's a typo in my previous post)

4 x GNX 120. Stack size: 240mm tall by 181mm wide, Weight: 760g, List price: EUR2,000

For a fair comparison you really should add the mast bracket for the Garmins.

Actually go on then, lets do the full comparison...

Garmin

2x GNX120: 2,000
1x 2 instrument mast bracket: 200
1x n2k DST800: 400 (which has a 0.5Hz signal)
1x gWind: 690
1x 9 axis heading sensor: 850
1x GPSMAP x922: 1,500 (includes wifi and GPS and a worldwide base map)
Some n2k terminators, t-connectors and a power tap: 200? (which typically get connect together in the same topology as an 0183 network)

Total: 5,840 (Euro) to which you need to add Navionics chart costs

Racegeek

1x d10: 1120 (includes 9 axis heading, GPS and wifi)
1x carbon mast bracket from Sail 22: 200
1x DST800: 350 (driven at 10Hz)
1x LCJ CV7-C MHU: 630 (that's the 'race' version with 5Hz rate, so may be I should of spec'ed the gWind race but never mind)
1x junction box: 125

Lets go the full Adrena Offshore with C-Maps worldwide: 1,470 (which includes Optima for all the calibration options you could shake a stick at)
Panasonic CF-19 tough book: 2,200

Total: 6,095 (Euro)

I'm sure a much more basic version of Adrena and would be a better comparison with the x922 and a 140+120 with the d10 but overall you get the idea. When we say we think the d10 has a use in the performance cruising market, this is what we're talking about.

 

 

 

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.... actually I quoted the wrong version of Adrena. Standard Adrena Offshore with 1x C-Map MAX chart is 1,600EUR.


Inshore with 1x CMAP (with out routing) is 1,300 bringing everything back to even stevens as a head to head comparison between the 2 set-ups for price.

... then throw in Squid for routing which currently seems to be free.

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rgeek,

Its amazing how this thread popped up just as I was wishing there was a better tactical display out there. Sailing on an M24 in PHRF racing last weekend, it was really tough to sort out the angles to the next mark. We use a Velocitek pro-start which is great but it has several disadvantages, especially while racing in a lot of current. We were at a big disadvantage to the bigger boats that had the marks displayed on the chart-plotter. It seems like this system would be perfect for that sort of racing.

 Maybe Ill ask for one for my birthday.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/22/2017 at 5:21 PM, rgeek said:

We hear you. It's something we've been working on for a while to try and find solutions that work for those that want a battery and those that want to be able to plug into their existing power (quite strong opinion on both sides of the house!).

This is our thinking:

To get the waterproofing that's needed at the price point that's relevant we feel we need to seal the unit. We've all had to sit stuff on radiators over night to get rid of the fog and that just aint good enough. Battery doors are always a week point. Sure they can be done but they add extra complication and cost to the case to do well.

If we sealed the case and put a battery in the whole thing would die with the battery in 18-24 months and we're not into that either. If we add a battery and make the case more complicated to make we're back to adding to the retail price for everyone for something only some of our customers want. Velocitek have that single use unit thing nailed. While d10 is better (sorry lads, it's true) we're not trying to be just a GPS only device. The d10 is for anyone who wants more functionality in terms of a magnetic compass in the same unit or wire up a paddlewheel for speed. So many people are going to be running a wire anyway.

Our Aussie distributor has made up a mast bracket with a built in battery box, the guys in the US have a nifty set up using milwaulkee batteries you can pick up in any hardware store and we've been working with Scanstrut on some ideas. We think we have what you're looking for on our roadmap.

(the d10 can already connect to an external wifi access point for data ... but we really do recommend running the wire in terms of reliability)

This unit is aimed at small sportboats - many of which do NOT have any kind of power installation - and as you say this unit is an alternative to Velociteks two boxes (basically both of them put into one unit with a bigger/better display.  But you have not provided a power solution.  Sure some will connect the unit to other sources like paddle wheels and wind gear - but they may still not have a power source on the boat.  Some sort of battery box with the proper cable on that fits into the unit and is waterproof is severely needed if you want to sell these in mass - and be added for not a ton of money or you will loose in comparison to to a dual velocitek or velocitek/tacktick setup.  having to fuck around with making up some sort of waterproof battery solution will most definitely keep many potential customers away.  For good reason.  The "kit" from Sail 22 is a pile of crap that won't survive more than a few salty days on the water - what a joke. Try installing that on a Viper or VX One and let me know how that works out for you........................

 

Ideally you would make a power "backpack" that simply plugs into the back of the unit like a cell phone external power pack.  When you get that done - come talk to me and I will be a customer - until then the Velocitek and Tacktick stay on the boat

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For what it's worth so far around half our customers have not been sportsboat. I think the biggest boat that's bought one is north of 50ft.

Yeh a lot of interest in the waterproof battery Scanstrut showed at METs, not just for the d10. We have a lot of distributors in common and they are all on the case. Early summer was the last update I got. I gather that Milwaulkee battery set-up has been used for years. There's a Bosch equivalent for the UK/EU heads too. Sail 22 weren't the only installer to suggest it but I'd trust Ed to know what he's talking about.

Viper/VX One? I did a full season with it on a leaky SB20 during the development if that helps?

But you're right, it's a choice. Some don't mind a bit of work -- that's easier than the solar panel install for the Racemaster with paddle wheel to be fair; some want to rock up and don't mind carrying round a spare dry bag for the extra AA batteries. As a GPS/compass it's horses for courses. As soon as you add a paddle wheel the d10 wins I recon.

We have backpack designs coming out our holes but at some point you've gotta get off the pot.

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
14 hours ago, DSE said:

Anyone know anything about this one? https://www.vakaros.com/

Looks like e-ink or something. I wonder if it will display NMEA data.

It's tiny. About a third of the size it needs to be for a mast mount on a biggish boat. Maybe OK on a dinghy.

image.thumb.png.daa1f810a9d9c084a7762ca6e02691e8.png

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Really cool to see an iInk display make the market. Makes a lot more sense as a way of running the sailracer.net APP connected to a Raymarine or Garmin set-up.

We have samples from their supplier and we're not convinced it can handle the refresh of large digits event at 3Hz. Then there's the power draw. So they've done really well to get the sailracer.net APP working on it. Fair play.

Seems to be a ground swell of challengers coming through looking at news ways to do things suited to different users. About time things got shook up a bit.

 
 
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i posted it on the expedition forum..., but i think that it would be possible to get ventus running on that sailracer display

and.., they are really cheap.., so paired with expedition, could provide a pretty low budget way to get performance numbers on deck

 

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It would be interesting to try.

Would say ventus would need tweeking so it limits the area of the screen updated tho. Doable though.

Open cpn might need more than a monochrome screen?

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