Vakaros

Lionballs

New member
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0
Ok, so I bought the new one and stumbled on to this forum.  Everyone, calm down.  It is appropriately said that if you want to make a small fortune in the marine hardware business, start with a large one.  I say hats off to anyone who is actually doing it.  It is incredibly difficult, period.  Clearly, Vakaros is a small company (as shown by the fact that they actually respond to some of these comments, however rude, in real time) and they have managed to put out not one, but two versions of a pretty cool product.  Does it do everything everybody wants? No.  Should they try to do so? No.  I might also remind everyone that an H5000 Performance CPU unit - alone, is $5k, plus Masthead unit $1500-$4k, plus screens $1500-$4k a pop, plus Speedo -$1k, plus network and so on.  This unit is $1k.  IT will NOT substitute or compete with the above, nor should it.  In my view, KISS. Make sure it does what it does - all the time and is something you can count on.  Trying to be all things to all people spells doom.  Under promise, over deliver and hope you found a niche that is sufficiently large that selling to it pays the rent.  May the wind always be at your back.  Just sayin.
That’s all well and good, but asking for an idea of when wind speed will be added (a feature they did imply could/would be added) isn’t inappropriate. Sailmon max has it… which is the closest competitor.

that being said, I genuinely like vakaros’s product and after waiting in the wings over the last year I want to see them succeed as they’ve finally started to more vigorously (and transparently) deliver the updates they initially promised.

nmea and wind sensors are important. Full stop.

Other features I want which are extremely positive (game changers) are well… not as important.

here are two features that for me would be radically amazing and might allow me to get this instrument onto the various teams I’m on, but which I 100% understand vakaros has no reason to prioritize.

1: allow any Bluetooth remote to connect to the device, that way I can hit play pause for the gun, and use the skip buttons to page through the instrument data from anywhere in the boat.

2: Apple/smart Watch connectivity, that way a tactician can hike out hard in a manner where they can’t see the instrument - but can see the various data pages from the rail.

there’s nothing wrong with asking for features - or respectfully suggesting them in a product you like. Vakaros needs positive (and negative) constructive feedback to help them out compete their competitors before they catch up.

 

Frers 81

New member
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking and even prompting.  In fact, when I purchased it, I asked if it would be able to connect to a network as I wanted to feed its amazing GPS abilities into my system.  I was just struck by what I thought was an unnecessarily aggressive tone in some of the comments.  However as they say, more is better and we all want more.  That said, it is already pretty impressive.  I just encourage people to be supportive and less critical of those trying to make these small businesses work.  It is REALLY hard to make this stuff actually happen and people should appreciate that.  Enough said.

 

ulysses

New member
Right. Normally the 810 gets power (9-16v accepted) from the NMEA2K network, but with 99% of sportboats not having that, the install requires some MacGyver skills. Best practice so far has been to have a small 12v battery secured in a waterbox, with a NMEA2k power tap led to NMEA tee that connects to the 810. You can save a few ounces (and a few bucks) if you just cut the connector off the transducer wire, but then you lose the ability to plug it in to anything.

Anyone that owned a RaceGeek (RIP) will be familiar with this drill.


OK ... FYI, I've been tinkering w/ 3 x 18650 batteries (eg : https://ebay.com/itm/124461683305 12.6V 3S DIY 18650 Lithium Battery PCB BMS 40A/80A Protection Board Holder ).

Coincidentally, this recent reddit post talks about a waterproof 4 x 18650 enclosure : https://tinyurl.com/9m6237z4 ( MinChen 8.4V Battery Pack Case for 2/4/6 x 18650 Rechargeable li-ion Battery Waterproof Safety Cycling Battery Pack Case Box Cover with DC and USB Interface for Bike Light Headlamp Cell Phone ) ...

 
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nige

Super Anarchist
Looks like the updated app released last night. (V1.4). I just updated it and connected but don’t see a firmware update to go with it? (I’m on 0.5.8-stable)

is there a firmware release happening after or am I being dumb?

the layout builder option shows but says it needs an update, but i don’t see a firmware update to go to?

 
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Jackdaw

Super Anarchist
Looks like the updated app released last night. (V1.4). I just updated it and connected but don’t see a firmware update to go with it? (I’m on 0.5.8-stable)

is there a firmware release happening after or am I being dumb?

the layout builder option shows but says it needs an update, but i don’t see a firmware update to go to?
nige,

Yes you need FW 6.0.0 and that's on its way presently. Frustratingly there is a timing element to this all, and its just a tad bit off!

Any moment now!

 

nige

Super Anarchist
Well the update is up, both apps ready in the stores. Have a go! The customizable UI will not only allow you to create display pages that match the exact needs of your racing program, in phase 2 it will allow you to add a wide range of BT-enabled sensors and transducers to your setup.

Written up here.

https://www.vakaros.com/blog/customizable-ui-its-here
This is a great update, thanks!

I'd love to be able to add GPS coordinates and time(clock/time of day) as widgets.   Any chance they are in the works?    (I'm distance racing a 26' Tri, so a different use case than a dinghy)

 
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Jackdaw

Super Anarchist
This is a great update, thanks!

I'd love to be able to add GPS coordinates and time(clock/time of day) as widgets.   Any chance they are in the works?    (I'm distance racing a 26' Tri, so a different use case than a dinghy)
Absolutely. These are in what we call 'Group 1' widgets 

1 - Straight reported values; after any required cleansing of course (time) 

2 - Derived values, some math between two or more of #1 (leeway for instance)

3 - External Straight reported (depth)

4 - Derived from all sources (VMG)

We're working on lists from all 4!

 

atnan

Member
170
100
Alameda, CA
On the product page it says:

Need to measure depth? Speed-through-water? Wind? The Atlas 2 can wirelessly link with a range of sensors and combine their data with its powerful internal sensors and motion algorithms.
Then on the FAQ it says:

Support for 3rd party speed-through-water, depth, and load sensors is under development now and will be released Fall 2021. 
Seems misleading for the product page to mention wind if the product doesn't support wind sensors. Is the plan to support something like the Calypso Ultrasonic Portable via Bluetooth, or just wired wind sensors? Any time frame?

 

ulysses

New member
Directly. Future versions will allow a lot more flexibility, including going through a BT gateway. But right now this is the simplest and most expedient, and makes the most sense on small boats anyway!
Is there a BT gateway you recommend ? In particular, one that can take pulses from a Signet Blue Top paddlewheel ?

 
I’m skeptical about the one feature that sounds magical: time and distance to line. Since I presume GPS isn’t used, this unit must use time and distance reckoning along with speed and compass heading. In any case, I expect it it is only as accurate as the calibration is accurate. 

 

nige

Super Anarchist
I’m skeptical about the one feature that sounds magical: time and distance to line. Since I presume GPS isn’t used, this unit must use time and distance reckoning along with speed and compass heading. In any case, I expect it it is only as accurate as the calibration is accurate. 
What would make you think it doesn’t use GPS for time and distance to the line?  

 

Vakaros

Member
67
8
Great questions!
 

On sensors for the Atlas 1 and Atlas 2
We design as much capability as we can into the hardware, allowing us to continue adding new features with regular software updates. The Atlas 1 is far more capable today than it was a year ago, and a year from now, we expect the Atlas 2 will be doing things that we haven’t even thought of yet, including many great ideas and requests that come directly from customers. Here’s an overview of where we are on development for sensors, and what’s coming next:

-Beta support for Airmar DST810 and DX900+ is available now on Atlas 1 for speed-through-water and depth. We have a number of customers using it already, including at the recent J/70 worlds. These sensors support Bluetooth natively, so it makes for a very clean installation--just provide them power, connect wirelessly with the Atlas and go sailing.
-The recent release of the Atlas UI builder for Vakaros Connect is a key milestone towards wider sensor support, allowing you to easily create custom display layouts. We see this feature as essential, so that you can set up your Atlas exactly the way you want, no matter what sensors you’re using.
-Beta support for the Calypso wind sensor is in development and expected soon.
-N2K integration using a wireless gateway is on the roadmap for next year. Look for more on this in a few months. We know how important this is on larger boats, and we're working hard to make sure we get it right. 

New software features will be rolling out at a faster rate moving forward, as we are building software for Atlas 1 and Atlas 2 on a solid foundation, with all the key supporting elements for sensor communication, display customization, processing, and data logging now in place. 
 

On time and distance to line:
The Atlas and Atlas 2 both have high accuracy, high update rate GNSS (simultaneous GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, Beidou) to determine position relative to the line. The main difference between the two is that Atlas 2 has GNSS capable of dual-band, L1+L5 reception that provides positions accurate to an unprecedented 50 cm, compared to about 2 m on Atlas 1.  Without question, the GNSS in Atlas 2 outperforms everything else out there, at pretty much any price point.

For time-to-line, the algorithm factors in speed, heading, bow offsets and more--it continues to grow more sophisticated as we gather more data and test on a wider variety of boats.
 

Keep the questions coming--what else do you want to know?
 

 

atnan

Member
170
100
Alameda, CA
- Beta support for the Calypso wind sensor is in development and expected soon.
Any idea if the initial release will just be numerical readouts for wind, or if there are plans to provide a richer "analog" windex-style readout similar to Raymarine i60 for quick glanceability?

 

Vakaros

Member
67
8
Any idea if the initial release will just be numerical readouts for wind, or if there are plans to provide a richer "analog" windex-style readout similar to Raymarine i60 for quick glanceability?
Great question! We are all about proving not just numbers, but usable and actionable information. Right now we're working with numbers because we're making sure that we're get that right (not as straightforward as it looks), as the UI team designs the production wind widgets.

 

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