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Old 08-11-2017, 07:02 PM   #1
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NMEA Products or Features?

I'm working on some new NMEA product ideas, and I wanted to ask here to see if there are any highly sought after products or features that are missing from the marine electronics world?

I know there appear to be a lot of products on the market, some that I think could be more affordable, but I want to hear from others about what they want to see on the market, and at what price points.

What would you monitor if you could? What would you replace or upgrade if it was more affordable?

I'm currently designing my systems that I plan to install on my new boat purchase. I'm curious what others wish they had, or would like to see possible.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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It would be nice if everything designed for NMEA 2000 to really talk to each other.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:32 PM   #3
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What are you having the most problems with? Do you have a specific example?
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:06 PM   #4
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There are many threads on this topic in this forum, that make reference the fact that some manufactures products well work on the NMEA 2000 platform with their own products, but not so well with other manufactures products.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:11 PM   #5
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I'll do some searches and see what I can document. I'll be at the next NMEA meeting in September and will see what I can find out. Seems like something is failing in the certification process.

Besides that, are their specific solutions you are looking for? Anything you wish you could monitor or control better?

I'm even curious how/if people design Wifi networks on their boats.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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There have been a few threads regarding specific issues, but I can't find them right now. One of the TF members who went through some NMEA grief was Twisted Tree. I have not found his TF thread outlining it, but his Blog entry is something you could take a look at to get some ammo for your upcoming meeting.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:50 PM   #7
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Proprietary wire protocols are dinosaurs.

Banyan Vines or Apple Talk, anyone?
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:04 PM   #8
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@Insequent ... awesome link and great information!

@kev_rm don't forget about 3Share, and Novell's IPX/NCP!

It is a fascinating dilemma faced by the vendors, and the boaters ...
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:26 PM   #9
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@kev_rm ... tell me about SignalK? What do you think? Are people using it?
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:37 PM   #10
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I think most product concepts are available from multiple vendors in several forms, i.e. reasonable competition, and hence harder to break into the market.

The one area I see with still only one vendor is a flexible N2K data display application. Maretron's N2KView is pretty much the only game in town. It's a good app, but competition is an important part of advancing the state of the art.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:14 AM   #11
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Great blog posts BTW! I'm sorry to read about the problems you've had, but really appreciate the detail and detailed analysis of the issue!

I did notice that Maretron has a good app ... what are you running it on? Just a regular PC, or?

What do you like the most about N2KView? And what does it need?
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:27 AM   #12
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My major complaint is when using multiple vendors equipment on an N2K network, they sometimes don't play well together. Garmin assumes you are all Garmin, Raymarine assumes you are all Raymarine. I have Garmin, Raymarine, and Coastal Explorer all on the same network with yet a different vendors N2K AIS. The Raymarine says the AIS has disappeared but Coastal Explorer and Garmin say it's still there. If I turn off my Raymarine MFD the autopilot loses its speed input from the GPS even though there are two other GPS sources on the network. It just won't recognize them until you reboot the autopilot (Raymarine) so it doesn't see the Raymarine MFD. Raymarine only allows data source selection on the MFD or the autopilot when you only have Raymarine equipment on the network. If you are N2K certified, you should be able to select the best source of data. Coastal Explorer allows me to do that.

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Old 08-12-2017, 05:46 AM   #13
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My complaint about NMEA 2000 is it is basically obsolete and needs replacing preferably with transmission of data via WiFi. If you are going to have a standard bus, it should be able to handle devices like radar and sonar. NMEA fails miserably. Why is it we need to build a minimum of 3 networks on a boat? (NMEA 2000, proprietary Ethernet for radar and sonar, and a WiFi network for our personal devices). NMEA needs to do better that. There should only be one data network on a boat and it should handle all our electronic devices.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:23 PM   #14
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The one area I see with still only one vendor is a flexible N2K data display application. Maretron's N2KView is pretty much the only game in town. It's a good app, but competition is an important part of advancing the state of the art.
+1 to that!!

The ideal device would be able to display the different kinds of NMEA data on different customizable "pages," each with multiple graphical and/or numerical displays.

This is built into a lot of chartplotters / MFDs, but when displaying, say, engine data or environment data, you lose the ability to see the chart. A separate display (or multiple displays) where you could show just NMEA data would be helpful, IF the price is reasonable.

By reasonable, I'm thinking in the price range of a car stereo system with a decent-sized display (around $300) not a "marine" MFD (add another zero.)
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:06 PM   #15
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I just finished a short trip using Nobeltec Time Zero on my I Pad for navigation. Very very satisfied with the product. Would be great if there was a NMEA Bluetooth devise that could relay data from my IPad to my Si Tex Auto Pilot.
Just sayin.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:09 PM   #16
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@CaptTom I've actually been exploring the idea of a "browser-based" dashboard, so that you could display one or more dashboards on anything that can run a browser.

It would support multiple simultaneous client devices, so you could have multiple computers, iPads, or tablets displaying the same or different dashboards, and easily switch between them.

My goal is that it will easily work over Wifi or Ethernet to allow it to be used anywhere on the boat.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:18 PM   #17
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I think the idea behind signal K is to enable such apps, but after a lot of fan fair, not much seems to have emerged.

N2KView presents a pretty high bar for functionality. But it's expensive.

The less expensive data display devices offered by all the usual suspects can only display max of a few pieces of data, usually up to 4, and with less flexibility in the presentation.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:09 AM   #18
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@CaptTom I've actually been exploring the idea of a "browser-based" dashboard, so that you could display one or more dashboards on anything that can run a browser.

It would support multiple simultaneous client devices, so you could have multiple computers, iPads, or tablets displaying the same or different dashboards, and easily switch between them.

My goal is that it will easily work over Wifi or Ethernet to allow it to be used anywhere on the boat.
That would work for me, but I'm a bit of a geek. Even then, frankly, I don't go to the trouble to set up a laptop/tablet/phone or whatever every time I go out. It's too much work to string up a USB power cord, find a place to secure it where it's visible but not in the sun, etc.

Just yesterday I was aboard a boat when the main MFD died. Didn't bother me much until the autopilot went, too, but that's another story. Mostly just to prove I could, I whipped out my cell phone and USB cord to set it up as a backup chartplotter. After the novelty wore off, nobody even looked at it. After a while I quietly coiled up the USB cord and put the phone back in my pocket. Nobody noticed.

I think that experience is closer to the norm. People will look at a screen that's mounted in front of them, but nobody else on board that day (4 experienced boaters) had the interest or inclination to configure something like that for themselves, or even use it for navigation once I set it up. I doubt they'd want to set up a WiFi router and something to broadcast NMEA data.

In my experience, most boaters pay someone to install their electronics suite, and although they want all the bells and whistles, they seldom actually take the time to use most of them.

So, the successful marine electronics product is one that gets installed once, doesn't require any user configuration, and works when the key is turned.

I'm starting to see why the manufacturers can get away with charging what they do for the crap they offer.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:41 AM   #19
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NMEA Products or Features?

Peter: what is your opinion of the NEMO Gateway. Is this a device that would be useful for tying together various devices?

Edit: ok, I see you reviewed it last December.

Coastal Explorer - Thumbs Up

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Old 08-13-2017, 10:29 AM   #20
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Peter: what is your opinion of the NEMO Gateway. Is this a device that would be useful for tying together various devices?

Edit: ok, I see you reviewed it last December.

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Yes, I still really like it, and Rose Point has finally released it for general availability. Because it brings all the NEMA 2000 and NMEA 0183 data onto the ethernet network, all my gadgets can access the data. My nav computer running CE gets it over copper wire, my laptop running CE gets it over wifi, and my iPad running Navionics gets it over wifi as well. And from CE I can activate routes that the AP can then follow. I send that info over both N2K and 0183 to the pilots, so fully redundant in case N2K takes a holiday.
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