All your boat data on your tablet, it can be done! FIRST PART.

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Shipcontrol Beneteau GT 50Would you like to have all, but really all, of the onboard data inherent in your boat’s navigation on a tablet or phone? Today you can. Navigation control panels address the need to link and integrate different navigation tools with each other. We’ll explain how they work: but first know that by now, thanks to Wi-Fi gateways, you view on your tablet, smartphone, and smartwatch all the data provided by various instruments, even from different homes and generations.

THE OPERATION OF POWER PLANTS

All data from different equipment (speedometer log, wind station, compass, GPS, AIS…) are piped into the navigation center which analyzes them, then producing some additional data. The power plant should be chosen according to the type of navigation and boat. All manufacturers offer modular solutions in order to best accommodate the buyer’s needs. In integrated systems, a single cable connects all the forms in a smooth manner. Generally, language and compatibility are ensured by the protocol NMEA. In each type of system, the transducer (the wind direction and speed transducer, the log speedometer transducer, the echo sounder transducer) and equipment such as GPS and compass can be Interfaced in three ways:

1)the former directly connects the transducer to the unit, which independently displays and processes data. Each unit is related to the other by a cable;

2)the second involves a server capable of receiving data from the various transducers, relaying it to the unit providing the information;

3) the third involves the convergence of the data collected by the transducers, in a central computer to to which all units displaying the data are connected; in this case, the central computer processes additional info through special software.

ALL ON-BOARD DATA ON YOUR PORTABLE DEVICES

How to view data from on-board instruments on your tablet, smartphone, and even smartwatch? Taking advantage of a Wi-Fi gateway. Marine instruments have had a standardized communication protocol that allows them to interface, NMEA, for 20 years. Connecting the device to the instrumentation requires a transducer capable of receiving NMEA data and transmitting it over Wi-Fi. These devices have recently appeared on the market, all equipped with a standardized Wi-Fi transmission system. Creating a true on-board network, it is through these Wi-Fi adapters that full integration between devices and on-board electronics takes place. There are several types of Wi-Fi adapters on the market. Multipliers are devices that can combine info from multiple NMEA 0183 devices, which convert traditional NMEA data making it intelligible via TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol). Based on the multiplier model, the data stream can be transmitted in parallel to a computer via a USB connection, to other instruments via NMEA output ports, and to one or more portable devices via Wi-Fi. With the latest NMEA 2000 interface protocol, multipliers are no longer necessary: all data from connected instruments circulate in a network and are therefore automatically shared. It will be sufficient to connect a device to the network that can “read” this information and transmit it over Wi-Fi.

IN THE NEXT INSTALLMENT A REVIEW OF WI-FI GATEWAYS ON THE MARKET FROM MAJOR MANUFACTURERS

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