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Old 03-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
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Whole boat networked electronics

Hello TF members,

I searched the forum but couldn't find this topic. Maybe I didn't use the correct search terms...

I was wondering if there is a way to have a multi-use system on a boat that does it all? What I'm envisioning is a networked system that you can watch TV (satellite or over the air), watch a movie (DVD), monitor the boat (engine monitoring, electrical system monitoring, camera views, etc.), maybe be able to isolate a monitor and independently use the computer for emails, surfing the web AND have the monitors in the pilot house present the chart-plotter, radar, depth sounder, etc. There would be multiple monitors throughout the boat, e.g., two or three in the pilot house, a TV in the salon, a TV in the berths...I think you get the idea. The ability to be able to view anything from any monitor would be desired if possible.

I don't own a boat so don't have experience although have read some things that talk about a NEMA 2000 bus or backbone? I wonder if more than one computer is needed (likely I'm thinking)?

Just want to know what is possible. For this discussion, don't worry about the money. One of the things I want to find out is if I need to win the lottery to put this together.

Thanks.

Wade
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:59 PM   #2
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Wade,
If you are asking if it is possible - YES. There are some mega yacht electronics firms that use Crestron signal switching equipment and touch screen panels to allow any signal on any screen.
This also means you have a very stable power network and a real headache when something decides it wants a vacation.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:32 AM   #3
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Anything is possible, but what you're describing would usually be found on a multi million dollar yacht, not the boats most of us on this forum own..

Also, I suspect once you actually own and use a boat for a while, you won't consider what you describe to be very important to you except to show it off.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:14 AM   #4
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Wade:

Spend some time and skim the old blogs at panbo.com. Ben Ellison who runs that site is very interested in NEMA 2000 networking and often highlights marine products that do what you want to do. But as others have said, it is megayacht stuff.

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Old 03-05-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
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Ok thanks everyone. I'll maybe do some more poking around as suggested but won't consider this as a serious endeavor for our boat.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:25 AM   #6
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As others have said, Yes, it can be done, but comes with a big $$ tag and a bunch of worries about the TV taking out all your navigation equipment since everything is on the same network.

There is an in between approach that I used on my current boat and am replicating on the new boat. I'm finding a lot of other people who have some thing. It involves three networks, each tasked with a primary job and protected from outside influences. They are:

NMEA 2000: You run an N2K backbone through the boat an connect all your instruments, sensors, etc to it. It's a replacement for NMEA 0183 and brings vastly simplified wiring, greater flexibility, device redundancy, and a bunch of other new features. All the stuff to navigate and run the boat goes on here.

Chart plotter Ethernet: All current model chart plotters, radar, Satellite Weather, and fish finders, use Ethernet to connect everything up. It's also how multi-chart plotter system synchronize between plotters and share charts. Some vendors include their AIS in this as well. I like to leave this mini-network strictly for the chart plotter and its friends so there is no other activity on the network that can trip up your radar, etc. In a few cases, there are PC nav programs that are able to talk to the other devices on this network so they might be part of it too. But this network is not bridged or routed to any other network on the boat. Someone watching TV, browsing the web, or downloading a virus can't take out this network.

House network: Last there is a house network with wifi used for all the non-navigational, non-run-the-boat stuff. iTunes, netflix, 3G base stations, email, web browsing, wifi extenders, etc, etc, all go on this network, just like at your home.

One dilemma is which network to place monitoring cameras on, assuming they are IP cameras and that you even want them. Personally I prefer the house network. I'd rather interfer with someones browsing or TV show than with the navigation equipment.

So all this is one approach you can take, and of course there are a zillion variations based on what devices you want to have on your boat, adn where you perceive the risks to be.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:32 AM   #7
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Take a look at Palladium. They specialize in megayachts because that is where the money is, the technology is applicable to any boat big enough to have electricity available and something to monitor.

There is a growing number of vendors for this sort of equipment for use on boats of all sizes and owners with all kinds of "desirements."

Try these guys, they have some good stuff for the i enabled.

oceanmediasystems.com - HOME
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadosan View Post
Ok thanks everyone. I'll maybe do some more poking around as suggested but won't consider this as a serious endeavor for our boat.
Don't too be too quick...with more electronic devices having bluetooth...you may come close with some limitations at a fracton of the cost of doing the old way.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:39 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=rwidman;139158Also, I suspect once you actually own and use a boat for a while, you won't consider what you describe to be very important to you except to show it off.[/QUOTE]

I would have to agree with that. Use the boat a bit and see if what you're describing is something you really want.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
As others have said, Yes, it can be done, but comes with a big $$ tag and a bunch of worries about the TV taking out all your navigation equipment since everything is on the same network.

There is an in between approach that I used on my current boat and am replicating on the new boat. I'm finding a lot of other people who have some thing. It involves three networks, each tasked with a primary job and protected from outside influences. They are:

NMEA 2000: You run an N2K backbone through the boat an connect all your instruments, sensors, etc to it. It's a replacement for NMEA 0183 and brings vastly simplified wiring, greater flexibility, device redundancy, and a bunch of other new features. All the stuff to navigate and run the boat goes on here.

Chart plotter Ethernet: All current model chart plotters, radar, Satellite Weather, and fish finders, use Ethernet to connect everything up. It's also how multi-chart plotter system synchronize between plotters and share charts. Some vendors include their AIS in this as well. I like to leave this mini-network strictly for the chart plotter and its friends so there is no other activity on the network that can trip up your radar, etc. In a few cases, there are PC nav programs that are able to talk to the other devices on this network so they might be part of it too. But this network is not bridged or routed to any other network on the boat. Someone watching TV, browsing the web, or downloading a virus can't take out this network.

House network: Last there is a house network with wifi used for all the non-navigational, non-run-the-boat stuff. iTunes, netflix, 3G base stations, email, web browsing, wifi extenders, etc, etc, all go on this network, just like at your home.

One dilemma is which network to place monitoring cameras on, assuming they are IP cameras and that you even want them. Personally I prefer the house network. I'd rather interfer with someones browsing or TV show than with the navigation equipment.

So all this is one approach you can take, and of course there are a zillion variations based on what devices you want to have on your boat, adn where you perceive the risks to be.
Ok great. I'll dig more into this. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timjet View Post
I would have to agree with that. Use the boat a bit and see if what you're describing is something you really want.
We will...when we get a boat. In the dreaming/planning stage so sometimes my ideas are not based in reality.

Thank you all for your insights.
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