Thread: Boat Monitor
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:02 PM   #13
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Vessel Name: DOS PECES
Vessel Model: BAYLINER 4788
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by stevemitchell View Post
I have both the old and new Siren, BRNKL, Cortex, Boat Command (wrote an article on that a few years ago on Panbo) and three others from manufacturers that Iím not ready to chat about yet, mainly due to challenges.

I like all of these systems because their standalone, and I hate them because theyíre standalone. Dedicated wiring and sensors to bilges, batteries, etc. which I already have as part of an extensive NMEA 2000 network. So a lot of extra connections. Sensors that fail in every way you could think or imagine - wireless versions burning through their batteries in a few days, disappearing randomly and not alerting you (bad!) and a whole litany of other challenges.

Then you have the connectivity challenges - most of them have their own LTE or cellular connection, and have thought that out poorly. Single provider, mediocre external antenna (if even offered) which means they really only work in good signal areas. That might be OK for my home marina, but what about if I am at anchor somewhere? Or visiting another marina? When things are more likely to fail?

Iím a bigger fan of something that uses existing sensors and data which you already rely on, are likely wired in and highly reliable, and the data can be pulled from that and used in a similar way. Maretron N2Kview is one commercial option, although it has its own challenges, but there are also open source tools like Signal K, Grafana, WilhelmSK and the like. These arenít as all-in-one as the dedicated boat monitoring systems, but I think they offer a lot more flexibility and reliability in their own way, similar to Kevinís system.

It comes down to what you want. If you want basic systems with a slick app and know the limitations of when it works, then one of the dedicated remote monitoring systems is likely a good idea. Beware their wireless sensors and reliability however. If you want visibility into even more, and wired sensors everywhere, then Iíd look elsewhere.
Steve, I really like the Zwave and Zigbee solutions. Mt smartthings hub for example works through the onboard network that we already have, so I do not need to duplicate network connectivity for just one device. It evern works over the SATCOM link.
Kevin Sanders
Bayliner 4788
Seward, Alaska
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