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Old 10-28-2015, 05:35 PM   #21
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OK, so why not use SNMP???

Then all a manufacturer would have to do is publish a MIB file and everybody would know how to talk to their device?

SNMP is if memory serves correctly already there, is publoc, open source, and again if memory serves correctly might even have RFC's out there as a standard.

With SNMP you can read, you can write, you can poll, you can send traps...

Why re-invent the wheel?
NMEA 2000/0183 devices don't speak SNMP. The SK gateway is taking NMEA packets from various devices and repacking the data for transmission out the router. SNMP is for polling devices via ethernet. I don't think SNMP works via Wifi. It is for wired networks. Are you aware of wireless networks using SNMP?
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:49 PM   #22
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NMEA 2000/0183 devices don't speak SNMP. The SK gateway is taking NMEA packets from various devices and repacking the data for transmission out the router. SNMP is for polling devices via ethernet. I don't think SNMP works via Wifi. It is for wired networks. Are you aware of wireless networks using SNMP?
So I've been convinced that maybe a new protocol might be good for the marine world...

On the issue of SNMP over wireless that's easy. If a device has a IP address and a SNMP client, and the UDP ports are not blocked the media (wired or wireless) is not relevant.

We are doing more and more networking over cellular for mobile applications. We have dedicated ip addressing and are using SNMP to manage the remote routers
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:38 PM   #23
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Here's a capture of an enclosure that, as a designer, I am completing funding for, to enclose iPads as industrial and (especially) marine controllers.

Imagine this Poort upside down and on a boat dash. And what present instruments and functions it might replace or aggregate as layered apps.

Given that older iPads are now $100 and the Poort will cost about $70, with open source protocols and APIs I hope this form factor enables complex instruments you're not afraid to leave on your boat.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:10 PM   #24
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IMO whatever protocol needs to be "plug and play" for widespread acceptance. Think Apple-like.

I would guess 98% of folks can't comprehend (or don't want to allocate limited brainpower) to figuring all these different protocols.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:46 PM   #25
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So, individual companies systems being propritatery are generally going to work fine, as long as you use all that companies stuff.

I suppose that on one hand manufacturers want interoperability between all this gear. On the other hand do the big guys (the Garmins, and Furunos, and Raymarines to name a few) want to loose out on the profit potential that a propritary system represents, since once they get you buying into their system you're stuck with their accessories.

I know that as consumers we want interoperability so that we can pick and choose the equipment that represents the best value to us. The question is wether the manufacturers really support that interioerability, or do they pay lip service to it, while being secretly glad that they have a captive audience.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:22 PM   #26
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I know that as consumers we want interoperability so that we can pick and choose the equipment that represents the best value to us. The question is whether the manufacturers really support that interoperability, or do they pay lip service to it, while being secretly glad that they have a captive audience.
Those manufacturers all compete with that 800 lb gorilla, the Internet, and its web browser interface. Then they have to confront the hardware smarts built into tablets, which have effectively killed off the dedicated GPS and digital camera markets, as examples, and then Cloud computing for software and data functions. Why take all that redundancy to sea with you?

I doubt they are secretly glad about anything these days, because proprietary approaches will always compete with web and standards-based solutions, and likely disappear.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:39 PM   #27
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So what does this mean for those of us that have a N2K Maretron backbone tying a few things together?
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:32 PM   #28
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Here's a capture of an enclosure that, as a designer, I am completing funding for, to enclose iPads as industrial and (especially) marine controllers.

Imagine this Poort upside down and on a boat dash. And what present instruments and functions it might replace or aggregate as layered apps.
Poort ยป Fixed-Cellular tm is new to me. A product as described coming soon? When do you anticipate announcements?

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:19 PM   #29
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I expect production to begin late this fall. I'm awaiting confirmation of the final investors. Poort will also be producing fixed cellular business and marine phones, again just the enclosures as with the iPads. It's the new form factor that opens up the deployment possibilities, allowing you to call a place instead of a person.

As a designer, I have to hope that if an idea is as simple as that, it might even work.. ;-)
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:21 PM   #30
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So, individual companies systems being propritatery are generally going to work fine, as long as you use all that companies stuff.

I suppose that on one hand manufacturers want interoperability between all this gear. On the other hand do the big guys (the Garmins, and Furunos, and Raymarines to name a few) want to loose out on the profit potential that a propritary system represents, since once they get you buying into their system you're stuck with their accessories.

I know that as consumers we want interoperability so that we can pick and choose the equipment that represents the best value to us. The question is wether the manufacturers really support that interioerability, or do they pay lip service to it, while being secretly glad that they have a captive audience.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

I have to believe it's lip service. Look, NMEA 2000 has been around for 15 years, and it still only gets a C- grade for interoperability? I've been on the front lines with a good 1/2 dozen new interfaces/protocols in the computer industry defined by standards and implemented by dozens of companies. Every one of them converged to be 100% interoperable with everyone within 1-3 years. And N2K is still dicking around after 15 years? I actually think it will never happen.

Things interoperate when customers insist on it, as they do in the computer industry. Until we complain about marine products that don't interoperate, return them for a refund, tell our friends about them, and stop buying them until they do work, the vendors will just keep doing what they are doing.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:14 PM   #31
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Twistedtree...

So, given that we agree that there is some lip service going on in the marine industry, what makes anybody think that there will be strong adoption of this new protocol among the big players? What do they have to gain besides potentially loosing market share in the probably highly profitable accessory market?

Remember that you are an odd duck in the marine electronice consumer segment. You have a strong tech background, and are happy to get involved at the protocol level. The average guy that buys what I'll call a "upscale" marine electronics package just wants it to all work together. For them buying all the bits and pieces with one manufacturers label on them is a sure bet that it'll all work, and one tech support number to call if it does not.

Now I do see the big players adopting some protocols that do not represent a potential loss of revenue to them. Things like Canbus to talk to engines. They have nothing to loose and everything to gain with things like that.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:57 AM   #32
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Now I do see the big players adopting some protocols that do not represent a potential loss of revenue to them. Things like Canbus to talk to engines. They have nothing to loose and everything to gain with things like that.
Kevin, are not you, Jeff and Twistedtree speaking of the recreational boating world rather than commercial. I've been on the bridge and engineering spaces of newer liners, ferries and tugs where it seemed the controllers, field instruments and navigation systems were well integrated. Not unlike my industrial experiences with ABB and Siemens.

Just a few small examples: the ability for a cruise ship to remain in position via virtual anchoring as passengers disembark for a day's activities or ship board power plant operations to keep lights, servo motors, plumbing and electronics operating.

The marine electronics recreational business is rather small and the likes of Furuno, Garmin and Simrad to play nice makes sense but requires an impetus yet to evolve. Maybe Flir's purchase of Raymarine will pay dividends beyond advertising hoopla. Is Maretron a player here?

Just curious.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:43 AM   #33
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So I've been convinced that maybe a new protocol might be good for the marine world...

On the issue of SNMP over wireless that's easy. If a device has a IP address and a SNMP client, and the UDP ports are not blocked the media (wired or wireless) is not relevant.

We are doing more and more networking over cellular for mobile applications. We have dedicated ip addressing and are using SNMP to manage the remote routers
I haven't been involved with SNMP in a long time. 15-20 years ago we had some very expensive network management software IIRC from HP. It more or less required skilled dedicated labor. A nice large screen with a view of the network was set up and when visitors came through the shop, they were always impressed with the network display. In reality, we found it totally worthless. Can't remember all the issues we had with it but there were a lot of false positives and false negatives. After a year or so, we finally pitched the whole thing and wrote it off as a bad investment. Hopefully SNMP is more reliable and useful today. I suspect if you are just managing remote routers, it might be useful but we were trying to manage every device on a large corporate network on a FO backbone. I have nothing but cuss words for SNMP. IMHO, it is IT hypeware.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:41 AM   #34
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I haven't been involved with SNMP in a long time. 15-20 years ago we had some very expensive network management software IIRC from HP. It more or less required skilled dedicated labor. A nice large screen with a view of the network was set up and when visitors came through the shop, they were always impressed with the network display. In reality, we found it totally worthless. Can't remember all the issues we had with it but there were a lot of false positives and false negatives. After a year or so, we finally pitched the whole thing and wrote it off as a bad investment. Hopefully SNMP is more reliable and useful today. I suspect if you are just managing remote routers, it might be useful but we were trying to manage every device on a large corporate network on a FO backbone. I have nothing but cuss words for SNMP. IMHO, it is IT hypeware.
Yes, network management has come along way since 20 years ago. It is a stable, reliable part of any large network.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:09 AM   #35
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Kevin, are not you, Jeff and Twistedtree speaking of the recreational boating world rather than commercial. I've been on the bridge and engineering spaces of newer liners, ferries and tugs where it seemed the controllers, field instruments and navigation systems were well integrated. Not unlike my industrial experiences with ABB and Siemens.

Just a few small examples: the ability for a cruise ship to remain in position via virtual anchoring as passengers disembark for a day's activities or ship board power plant operations to keep lights, servo motors, plumbing and electronics operating.

The marine electronics recreational business is rather small and the likes of Furuno, Garmin and Simrad to play nice makes sense but requires an impetus yet to evolve. Maybe Flir's purchase of Raymarine will pay dividends beyond advertising hoopla. Is Maretron a player here?

Just curious.
Tom, I have not been on a large commercial boat like a passenger liner so I cannot speak for what they do, but I can say that just thinking about it they probably use same equipment we utilize in the industrial world.

In the industrial world we build out SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems to monitor and control allot of what is behind the scenes in daily life.

I have been heavily involved in the electrical and petroleum industries doing just that, controlling and monitoring things from a single screen. We do exactly what boaters want to do, which is see and control machinery and other systems. We use industrial protocols that have been out there for years, decades even. We use these protocols because they work.

You see almost everything in this world can be reduced to either an analog (voltage, current, pressure, level) or a digital (on, off, status) signal. We can read these signals and put them on a display. We can write these signals back to equipment and turn things on and off, adjust things like throttle settings, etc... We do this every day, all over the world, quite reliably.

So, that was the basis for my original post... Why are we trying to re-invent the wheel here?

So, as to your question, I do not know why the recreational market makes things so complicated.

There was some discussion earlier in this thread that our old protocols won't work for marine use. Yes that might be true in a sense, but it's also incorrect as well. The example was brought up that under the NMEA protocols you have the need for one thing to transmit out a value autonomously and other things listen to it. That specific example is not a need, it's a designers want.

In my world it works the other way. If one device wants information from another device it asks for it. It polls the other device and gets its data. Or a central controller collects data and sends it out (writes it) to the devices that need it. Under some other protocols a device can be programmed to send it's critical data to specific devices.

No, it's not the happy utopian world where a device might offer it's data up to the world, but then again all our industrial stuff works together, so the proof is in the pudding as they say.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:25 PM   #36
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This big thing that's different on commercial boats, depending on their size and mission, is that nav equipment has to meet IMO and other specifications. Their are strict performance standards, certification that actually verifies that the equipment works as it is supposed to, and standard interface requirements. Interestingly, IMO calls for NMEA 0183 in most places (perhaps even all), but nowhere is NMEA 2000 allowed in an IMO device. You can have it on your boat, but it will not help you meet any of the IMO requirements. You can read into that what you like.

This stuff can and does integrate together nicely, but not with N2K. My radars get their instrumentation from GPSs and heading sensors from 3 different vendors, display AIS targets from yet a 4th vendor, and display ARPA targets on a 5th vendor's charting system. The charting system outputs waypoints for a route, the waypoints and bearing show up on the radars, and the autopilot steers the boat to the wayppoint. On arrival, everyone switches to the next waypoint and keeps going merrily on its way.

On smaller systems, I've seen this mostly work on N2K, but not all of it. And it's very sensitive to any one problematic device.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:32 PM   #37
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Twistedtree...

So, given that we agree that there is some lip service going on in the marine industry, what makes anybody think that there will be strong adoption of this new protocol among the big players? What do they have to gain besides potentially loosing market share in the probably highly profitable accessory market?

Remember that you are an odd duck in the marine electronice consumer segment. You have a strong tech background, and are happy to get involved at the protocol level. The average guy that buys what I'll call a "upscale" marine electronics package just wants it to all work together. For them buying all the bits and pieces with one manufacturers label on them is a sure bet that it'll all work, and one tech support number to call if it does not.

Now I do see the big players adopting some protocols that do not represent a potential loss of revenue to them. Things like Canbus to talk to engines. They have nothing to loose and everything to gain with things like that.
In my experience, the larger companies get dragged into new things. They never lead the way. Smaller enterprising companies will create alternative devices using the open protocols and interfaces, deliver better value to customers, and purchases will start moving towards them. Eventually the larger companies will have to adapt or die.

The other big advantage to open standards is that when things don't work together it will be evident to everyone who screwed up and needs to fix their product. Vendors won't be able to play Monkey-in-the-Middle with us, which is what they are doing now with N2K.

Of course none of this will happen over night.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:59 PM   #38
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FYI, my iKommunicate Gateway arrived today. I was KickStarter backer #43 on October 26th with originally an expected delivery of "February 2016".
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Old 06-17-2016, 02:15 PM   #39
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FYI, my iKommunicate Gateway arrived today. I was KickStarter backer #43 on October 26th with originally an expected delivery of "February 2016".
Some of the delay was due to me. I tested it pretty hard and any problem found was fixed with new firmware. They could have gotten the device out earlier and just had everyone else do the updates. This way is better.

I got my unit in January.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:20 PM   #40
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Some of the delay was due to me. I tested it pretty hard and any problem found was fixed with new firmware. They could have gotten the device out earlier and just had everyone else do the updates. This way is better.

I got my unit in January.
Too funny. On the iKommunicate forum they just said that they made a late change and only tested it on their software N2K simulator and not live hardware. Every device is now arriving with a need to update to a firmware released yesterday. I happened to log on and check but i imagine many others will install without being aware of the update (which, btw, is not on their firmware download page!)


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