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Old 08-19-2013, 07:53 AM   #1
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What's a "Glass Bridge"?

In another thread there has mention of the Nordhavn 120's "glass bridge" and it made me realize that I don't really know what a "glass bridge" is. No doubt it's something sexy that cool people have on their cool boats, what what the heck is it actually?

- More screens than you had before?

- More info on fewer larger screens rather than less info an lots of little screens?

- Lots of info an a screen that wasn't available for display before?

The more I think about it, I haven't got a clue.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:06 AM   #2
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Everything is displayed on LCD or CRT screens and sometimes controlled entirely through them either touch screen or other.

In the old days...20 or so years ago...as the tech became popular for aircraft...they called them glass cockpits...the little round or strip gauges disappeared and the "screens" took over..as software and interfaces developed, more and more computer control was added so switches started to disappear. Now with cheap touch screen tech...almost everything can and may will be controlled that way.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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"Glass Bridge" = power goes down and you're out of business......
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Everything is displayed on LCD or CRT screens and sometimes controlled entirely through them either touch screen or other.

In the old days...20 or so years ago...as the tech became popular for aircraft...they called them glass cockpits...the little round or strip gauges disappeared and the "screens" took over..as software and interfaces developed, more and more computer control was added so switches started to disappear. Now with cheap touch screen tech...almost everything can and may will be controlled that way.
OK, this is a good starting point. But would you consider a chart plotter and a collection of devices with dedicated screens like a GPS, AIS, and AP to be a glass bridge? Everything is displayed on LCD or CRT. Is the deciding characteristic the absence of any analog gauges?

By the way, I'm not trying to be augmentative about this. I'm just interested to understand where people would draw the line in their own minds. I thought I was clear in my own mind, but realized I really wasn't, or at least my definition, loose as it may be, was not the same as other people's. I'm thinking this may be more like pornography than anything else. You know it when you see it, but can't really define it on a blank sheet of paper.

Personally I wouldn't consider a boat with an array of smaller, dedicated screens for things like AIS, GPS, AP, etc to be a glass bridge. I start to think of something as a glass bridge when most, if not all functions are handled by one or more multipurpose displays. But it's a very fuzzy definition. For example, here's a picture of the Nordhavn 120 helm. Someone referred to this as a glass bridge.



There is certainly a lot of glass, but I also see numerous dedicated control panels and displays. Would you consider this a glass bridge? I probably would, but when really thinking about it, the only reason is because there are a lot of monitors. Perhaps when monitor space is greater than dedicated device space, we have a glass bridge?
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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OK, this is a good starting point. But would you consider a chart plotter and a collection of devices with dedicated screens like a GPS, AIS, and AP to be a glass bridge? Everything is displayed on LCD or CRT. Is the deciding characteristic the absence of any analog gauges?

By the way, I'm not trying to be augmentative about this. I'm just interested to understand where people would draw the line in their own minds. I thought I was clear in my own mind, but realized I really wasn't, or at least my definition, loose as it may be, was not the same as other people's. I'm thinking this may be more like pornography than anything else. You know it when you see it, but can't really define it on a blank sheet of paper.

Personally I wouldn't consider a boat with an array of smaller, dedicated screens for things like AIS, GPS, AP, etc to be a glass bridge. I start to think of something as a glass bridge when most, if not all functions are handled by one or more multipurpose displays. But it's a very fuzzy definition. For example, here's a picture of the Nordhavn 120 helm. Someone referred to this as a glass bridge.



There is certainly a lot of glass, but I also see numerous dedicated control panels and displays. Would you consider this a glass bridge? I probably would, but when really thinking about it, the only reason is because there are a lot of monitors. Perhaps when monitor space is greater than dedicated device space, we have a glass bridge?
Yes I would call that a glass bridge...unless those monitors are JUST TV screens for cameras...but I don't think so because the closest looks like gauges/mouse controllable levers...the second is the radar...third chartplotter...

There's no absolute definition and I'm sure it will evolve even further to holograms and heads up displays like aircraft. Kinda like the words boat, vessel, yacht...etc...etc...just cause ya got one too many switches or round gauges doesn't make it one or not....
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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Personally I've always been an analog gauge man and like my music acoustic, perhaps explaining why the wife and I are so in love with our '67 boat.

Having said that, professionally I work in an environment populated by both digital and analog controls systems. I dare say that in my professional environment the nod goes to digital multi function displays. The "old guard" swears by the analog systems but the fact is(in our case at least) the digital control systems are at least twice as reliable(bore out by tracking data) and infinitely more useful.

The future is here IMO.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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Personally I've always been an analog gauge man and like my music acoustic, perhaps explaining why the wife and I are so in love with our '67 boat.

Having said that, professionally I work in an environment populated by both digital and analog controls systems. I dare say that in my professional environment the nod goes to digital multi function displays. The "old guard" swears by the analog systems but the fact is(in our case at least) the digital control systems are at least twice as reliable(bore out by tracking data) and infinitely more useful.

The future is here IMO.
Concur...aviation knew it 20 years ago and headed that way fast.
True it's a bear to get over the "user saturation" hump for risk management... but usually it's not the equipment...it's a training/ergonomics (software) issue.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
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In my time messing about with all this stuff I've discovered a disappointing, yet understandable truism: the more sophisticated the gear, the less capable the operator when it fails. Sorry to stray off point (i.e. what's a glass bridge/cockpit).
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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Training is everything...I would direct you toward some heroic civilian and military pilots surviving pretty dramatic "glass cockpit failures".....

You always have to remain smarter than your gear.

What's the difference of a panel of gauges where you pull it up on another screen any different or worse than your ONLY analog oil pressure gauge going out?

Plus it's pretty well proven these systems if installed correctly tend to outlast their analog counterparts by a wide margin and ideally it's just a screen switch to get that info where you ain't getting it back on the analog without maintenance.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:39 AM   #10
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A glass bridge is a great toy and talking point for boats that do not get used.

Wiring every thing to one display , with out back ups is a form of insanity, should the boat ever untie from the dock.

Its worse than real primitive navigation from decades ago as paper charts are not usually aboard , and when is the last time you figured distance off with doubble the angle from the bow or similar?

Having single things fail is far easier to live with than EVERYTHING DEAD!!
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:10 AM   #11
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NASA - Glass Cockpit Fact Sheet

"The success of the NASA-led glass cockpit work is reflected in the total acceptance of electronic flight displays beginning with the introduction of the Boeing 767 in 1982. Airlines and their passengers, alike, have benefitted. Safety and efficiency of flight have been increased with improved pilot understanding of the airplane's situation relative to its environment. The cost of air travel is less than it would be with the old technology and more flights arrive on time."

all well designed glass cockpits have redundant displays and power backups for critical info....most have tertiary ability too.

I love neanderthal, KISS, etc, etc...but most people's boats aren't.... so going to all digital and LCD displays and controls actually make things easier and more reliable.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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Glass bridge has more than 1 screens. I have 3 screens and they all work as one, and you can move between each as if they are one system and make window changes as you desire. I have been running on a system for 7 years with out a hitch. I have a redundancy system, 2 computer systems. Redundantly on everything on a boat for long offshore cruises is important. If I have a glitch, which is very rare, I switch to the other one. The system gives you many options and ability to personalize your system. Naturally I always have a paper chart on the chart table, that's just prudent.
Technology can be a great benefited if you know how to use it, manage it, and know how to install it so you have a better understanding in how it all works and talks to each piece of equipment.
To each your own!
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #13
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Gimme radar, gimme GPS, gimme compass, gimme electronic chart, gimme depth finder, AND gimme a paper chart. Binoculars wouldn't hurt either.





Fortunately, in a boat where the helmsman position is close to engine, smelling and hearing are good monitors.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:05 PM   #14
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"Fortunately, in a boat where the helmsman position is close to engine, smelling and hearing are good monitors. "

Mark was that a little shot at us flying bridge guys?
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:41 PM   #15
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Hop, you are very perceptive!

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Old 08-24-2013, 12:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
NASA - Glass Cockpit Fact Sheet

"The success of the NASA-led glass cockpit work is reflected in the total acceptance of electronic flight displays beginning with the introduction of the Boeing 767 in 1982. Airlines and their passengers, alike, have benefitted. Safety and efficiency of flight have been increased with improved pilot understanding of the airplane's situation relative to its environment. The cost of air travel is less than it would be with the old technology and more flights arrive on time."

all well designed glass cockpits have redundant displays and power backups for critical info....most have tertiary ability too.

I love neanderthal, KISS, etc, etc...but most people's boats aren't.... so going to all digital and LCD displays and controls actually make things easier and more reliable.
All major industry and power generation is DCS/SCADA controllers. Has been for many years. It is very reliable. Probably not much need for a glass bridge in a small boat, but a bigger yacht it sure makes sense.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:26 AM   #17
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All major industry and power generation is DCS/SCADA controllers. Has been for many years. It is very reliable. Probably not much need for a glass bridge in a small boat, but a bigger yacht it sure makes sense.
I can see that, especially when one is hundreds of feet from what's happening.
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