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Old 16-04-2015, 20:40   #1
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Need a new direction

I miss the days when a quality product included a parts list, schematics, wiring diagrams and a comprehensive functional description.

The need to design proprietary equipment permeates our world. While secrecy in manufacturing is certainly not a new idea, the modern world of automation has made the proprietary nature of a product more important than the quality of materials, manufacturing and application reliability.

NMEA 2K seemed to be an attempt open the marine market to allow compatibility between vendors.

How many of the major vendors require conversion hardware for NMEA compatibility? How is it preferable to RS-485, Ethernet or the newish POE (power over ethernet). These protocols are open standards that are well proven.

I'm retired and don't plan to spend my days chasing the holy dollar anytime soon. Consider this rant the thrown gauntlet to the contributors of fine products like Open CPN.

The amateur marine world has a market for real improvements in equipment. Autopilots, real sewerage treatment, distilling water makers, vessel monitoring and navigation to name just a few.

Build us a better mousetrap.


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Old 17-04-2015, 00:25   #2
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Re: Need a new direction

Interesting. How would you want your autopilot or navigation improved?
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Old 17-04-2015, 11:36   #3
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Need a new direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHerring View Post
Interesting. How would you want your autopilot or navigation improved?

I was provided the documentation required to modify my autopilot to its present state by a member here. I am satisfied with its operation. The documentation was not provided by the vendor.

My rant has more to do with vendors insisting on using proprietary comm protocols. Why not use HDMI for a display? Ethernet or standard serial comms for data?

IBM's PC compatibility inspired third party design of software and peripherals that inspired improvements in design and drop in cost. It is the reason Cruisers Forum exists today.

My other statements were meant to inspirational. I no longer have a shop in which to do experiments in R&D but would buy serial #6 of a truly innovative product.

GE has a wondrous new filtration material called Z-Weed. It allows for minute filtration with a low pressure differential. Desalinization or sewerage treatment maybe?



Mostly though, I'm just an old coot grumbling about "white mans magic"






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Old 17-04-2015, 12:05   #4
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Re: Need a new direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
I miss the days when a quality product included a parts list, schematics, wiring diagrams and a comprehensive functional description.

The need to design proprietary equipment permeates our world. While secrecy in manufacturing is certainly not a new idea, the modern world of automation has made the proprietary nature of a product more important than the quality of materials, manufacturing and application reliability.

NMEA 2K seemed to be an attempt open the marine market to allow compatibility between vendors.

How many of the major vendors require conversion hardware for NMEA compatibility? How is it preferable to RS-485, Ethernet or the newish POE (power over ethernet). These protocols are open standards that are well proven.

I'm retired and don't plan to spend my days chasing the holy dollar anytime soon. Consider this rant the thrown gauntlet to the contributors of fine products like Open CPN.

The amateur marine world has a market for real improvements in equipment. Autopilots, real sewerage treatment, distilling water makers, vessel monitoring and navigation to name just a few.

Build us a better mousetrap.


------------------------------
Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
In the IT world the battle between open standards and old school proprietary lockin formats is ongoing. Open standards are completely disrupting every market segment and mostly in good ways. Allowing anyone to innovate, allowing anyone to test and validate and allowing best end user experience to thrive are just a few of the benefits.

Unfortunately we have the UK and Australia choosing some antiquated proprietary chart format while Brazil, the US and New Zealand have chosen an open format.

The same problem exists with standards. Most nations monopolise their distribution, want you to pay exorbidant access and exclude most of us from critiquing or contributing. The transition from Mil Stds has been mostly a disaster IMHO.

We've seen some openness from marine electronic vendors but none yet realise the benefit to users and their business of abandoning the monopoly mindset.

I suspect as innovators move downstream from consumer electronics we'll see the long tail tackled through crowdsourcing and crowd funding. OpenCPN is the best option we have today.



Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 17-04-2015, 12:34   #5
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Re: Need a new direction

He's right, it's why many of us will buy everything from one manufacturer, it's the hope that all the stuff will in fact talk to each other.
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Old 18-04-2015, 08:19   #6
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Talking Re: Need a new direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
He's right, it's why many of us will buy everything from one manufacturer, it's the hope that all the stuff will in fact talk to each other.
That's why everybody has a secret handshake!
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Old 18-04-2015, 09:22   #7
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Re: Need a new direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
He's right, it's why many of us will buy everything from one manufacturer, it's the hope that all the stuff will in fact talk to each other.
Hope is right... look at Ray Marine... Seatalk, SeaTalk 2 Seatalk 3 Seatalk NG seatalk HS... Yes, you can buy their adaptors that MIGHT allow one version of seatalk to possibly talk to another for a FEW pieces of their equipment... and if you do not have one of their 10 cent terminators they sell for 10 bucks, nothing will talk...
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Old 18-04-2015, 10:35   #8
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Re: Need a new direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by captmikem View Post
Hope is right... look at Ray Marine... Seatalk, SeaTalk 2 Seatalk 3 Seatalk NG seatalk HS... Yes, you can buy their adaptors that MIGHT allow one version of seatalk to possibly talk to another for a FEW pieces of their equipment... and if you do not have one of their 10 cent terminators they sell for 10 bucks, nothing will talk...
i don't know. i'm not all that hip on having machines talking and thinking for themselves. conversation leads to collusion. collusion leads to conspiracy. conspiracy leads to insurrection. insurrection leads to conquest. conquest leads to enslavement or eradication.

while i am sot of joking, with this post, it's not much of a joke when minds like Steven Hawking are warning us not to go the AI route. but, we're like minnows going after an anglerfish's lure.
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Old 18-04-2015, 10:58   #9
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Re: Need a new direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
I miss the days when a quality product included a parts list, schematics, wiring diagrams and a comprehensive functional description.

The need to design proprietary equipment permeates our world. While secrecy in manufacturing is certainly not a new idea, the modern world of automation has made the proprietary nature of a product more important than the quality of materials, manufacturing and application reliability.

NMEA 2K seemed to be an attempt open the marine market to allow compatibility between vendors.

How many of the major vendors require conversion hardware for NMEA compatibility? How is it preferable to RS-485, Ethernet or the newish POE (power over ethernet). These protocols are open standards that are well proven.

I'm retired and don't plan to spend my days chasing the holy dollar anytime soon. Consider this rant the thrown gauntlet to the contributors of fine products like Open CPN.

The amateur marine world has a market for real improvements in equipment. Autopilots, real sewerage treatment, distilling water makers, vessel monitoring and navigation to name just a few.

Build us a better mousetrap.


------------------------------
Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
Those days are gone forever! The mouse traps are better but throw away.
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Old 18-04-2015, 14:31   #10
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Re: Need a new direction

From Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NMEA_2000

"Several manufacturers, including Simrad, Raymarine, Stowe, the Brunswick Corporation and Mastervolt, have their own proprietary networks that are compatible with or akin to NMEA 2000. Simrad's is called SimNet, and Raymarine's is called SeaTalk NG. Stowe's is called Dataline 2000. Brunswick's is called SmartCraft. Some of these, such as SimNet and Seatalk NG, are a standard NMEA 2000 network but use non-standard connectors and cabling; adapters are available to convert to standard NMEA 2000 connectors, or the user can simply remove the connector and make a direct connection"
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Old 21-04-2015, 21:58   #11
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Re: Need a new direction

I read a quote by a female EE in an electronics magazine years ago. She said: "The thing I love about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from". ��

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Old 21-04-2015, 23:29   #12
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Re: Need a new direction

The problem with NMEA 2000 is less the minor annoyance of incompatible connectors than the major annoyance of proprietary PGNs. For example, it's easy enough to connect Maretron senders to a Simnet network, but you MUST buy a Maretron MFD in order to calibrate and program the senders. Why? Because Maretron wants you to buy their MFD no matter what. Even when the hardware is compatible, the codes are still secret.

Same thing with Marine Ethernet. Sure, it's all Ethernet at the datalink layer, but good luck trying to get radar from one vendor overlaying on another vendor's chart-plotter.

Most of the time its simply different engineers at different companies not talking to one another, but often its a deliberate management decision to be proprietary in order to lock in customers.

The problem is there aren't many young entrepreneurial engineers in boating. They're too busy with a young person's problems of finding love, starting a family, starting a business, and working overtime to prove themselves. You don't buy a boat until you've got most of that stuff handled, and by then you're my age.

It's also a small and frankly not very attractive market dominated by three entrenched players and whose customer base is conservative, cheap, demanding, and not very tech savvy. Face it, we boaters make pretty terrible customers. I know I do anyway.
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