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Old 30-01-2012, 11:28   #1
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NMEA Network

Hello to everybody - newbie here...
The electronic systems on board our Colvic Atlanta are almost as old as the boat herself. It's time for an upgrade to a NMEA network with new equipment; log/depth/wind etc. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible and as cheap as possible. Looking also for iPad integration (MID WIFI app).
Any advice regarding the hardware and general network issues would be very welcome.
Cheers...
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Old 30-01-2012, 12:38   #2
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Re: NMEA Network

NMEA 2000 is the way to go.
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Old 30-01-2012, 12:49   #3
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Where to go for budget NMEA 2000 compliant hardware?
What about proprietary systems like 'Tacktick'?
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Old 30-01-2012, 13:07   #4
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Re: NMEA Network

NMEA 2000 networks will let you mix and match to what ever your budget allows.
Garmin NMEA 2000 cables and "T" seam to be the lease expensive.
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Old 30-01-2012, 13:10   #5
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Re: NMEA Network

Easy
| \
fast---cheap


You can have two.

Tacktick is easy, and fast, but not cheap.
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Old 30-01-2012, 14:09   #6
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Re: NMEA Network

Quote:
Originally Posted by Askopelos View Post
Hello to everybody - newbie here...
The electronic systems on board our Colvic Atlanta are almost as old as the boat herself. It's time for an upgrade to a NMEA network with new equipment; log/depth/wind etc. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible and as cheap as possible. Looking also for iPad integration (MID WIFI app).
Any advice regarding the hardware and general network issues would be very welcome.
Cheers...
Welcome to C.F.

cheap is a word that is unknown on a boat...

best value.... ah.. a different matter, and more opinions then fish in the sea....

Best of luck....
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Old 30-01-2012, 14:37   #7
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Re: NMEA Network

If your looking for "as cheap as possible" well thats difficult with NMEA 2K at present as most stuff is fairly high end.

As for iPad Integration, well its getting there, theres some chartplotter <-> iPad integration, and also some NMEA 2K basic data ( wind depth etc) integration , which requires a NMEA 2K to Wifi bridge, again though not cheap.

Dave
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Old 30-01-2012, 14:52   #8
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N2K is the way. Would be madness to buy new but obsolete hardware!

Sensors from Maretron are a good bet, good value too. There wa a thread recently where I posted all with pics etc. It should be easy to find back!

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 30-01-2012, 15:48   #9
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Re: NMEA Network

Welcome to CF!

Agree that N2K is the way to go. Most multi-function displays (MFDs) support display of data off of the N2K bus. I like the way Furuno uses the standard DeviceNet connectors, but you can get adapter cables for Raymarine's SeaTalk NG and Simrad's Simnet connectors.

I was just at the Seattle Boat Show and saw an N2K-WiFi bridge that enabled an iPad to display the N2K data. Pretty cool. Personally I have an N2K to USB bridge but haven't yet found my ideal display of N2K on the computer.

N2K is not necessarily more expensive than the alternatives; the big issue is the cost of the MFD or computer or whatever is used to display the data. The sensors tend to be competitively priced. By having an MFD or similar then all of the sensors can be headless, which saves a lot of money. For instance, my depth sounder and knotmeter transducers have N2K DeviceNet cables coming out of them, ready to plug into the backbone; they were less expensive than stand-alone units that include their own displays. Masthead wind sensors, solid-state compasses, AIS receivers and transceivers are all available as sensors without displays.

Airmar is the giant in the marine sensor business; many of their products are sold through the big name instrument companies. They have some excellent N2K sensors (my knotmeter and depth sounder included). Maretron also makes N2K sensors (my solid state compass, wind sensor) and is the biggest player in cabling for N2K.

I have found Blue Heron to be a great place to find a wide assortment of N2K products at very competitive prices: Marine Technology | Blue Heron Marine Electronics . (My only relationship with them is as a customer.)
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Old 30-01-2012, 15:57   #10
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For water- speed/depth/temp sensors it doesn't really matter what you buy because they are all made by Airmar, incl. the ones from Maretron, Furuno etc. When you look carefully, you will find more sensors that are relabeled by others.

I always want some redundancy for some sendors, like GPS, in which case it's best to buy two different ones and that means not just with a different label attached. Keep a good eye out for that!

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:05   #11
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Re: NMEA Network

Also note that the new gear from Raymarine and B&G are now coming with standard micro-C (devicenet) connectors instead of seatalk/simnet/etc. Since B&G has gone that way, I suspect new Simrad stuff will also.

Agree about the sensors - the Maretron ultrasonic wind transducer is almost 1/3 the price of the B&G whirlybird we replaced, and it provides temp, humidity and barometric pressure in addition to wind speed and angle. The airmar speed and depth were the same price as the old ones, as was the Maretron GPS (providing higher performance than the old one).

Also, a couple of multifunctional displays can be used in place of a slew of dedicated displays - that is certainly cheaper.

Mark
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:08   #12
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Re: NMEA Network

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Also note that the new gear from Raymarine and B&G are now coming with standard micro-C (devicenet) connectors instead of seatalk/simnet/etc. Since B&G has gone that way, I suspect new Simrad stuff will also.

Agree about the sensors - the Maretron ultrasonic wind transducer is almost 1/3 the price of the B&G whirlybird we replaced, and it provides temp, humidity and barometric pressure in addition to wind speed and angle. The airmar speed and depth were the same price as the old ones, as was the Maretron GPS (providing higher performance than the old one).

Also, a couple of multifunctional displays can be used in place of a slew of dedicated displays - that is certainly cheaper.

Mark
Yeah, they're doing away with simnet and going to the standard connectors like the HDS units have.
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:08   #13
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Re: NMEA Network

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N2K is not necessarily more expensive than the alternatives; the big issue is the cost of the MFD or computer or whatever is used to display the data. The sensors tend to be competitively priced. By having an MFD or similar then all of the sensors can be headless, which saves a lot of money. For instance, my depth sounder and knotmeter transducers have N2K DeviceNet cables coming out of them, ready to plug into the backbone; they were less expensive than stand-alone units that include their own displays. Masthead wind sensors, solid-state compasses, AIS receivers and transceivers are all available as sensors without displays.
I would take issue that 2K can be as cost effective, thats not my experience. For example most people want some form of seperate instrument to display 2 or three main variables like wind, depth and speed and people also like dedicated autopilot controls. So the pure MFD route isnt really used that much and it brings up issues of redundancy,

I fully agree with comments that N2K is they way to go ( in general), but its not the cheapest, for example separates like teh NASA marine equipment remain popular with teh budget conscious,tie these with 0183 to an MFD and there's not much else a small 2K network does any better.

Its important not just to become an N2K fanboy.

Dave
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:21   #14
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Re: NMEA Network

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Its important not just to become an N2K fanboy.

Dave
This is good advice in general because the industry definitely needs us holding their hands to the fire.

However, it is just plain silly to buy old, abandoned gear to save money if you are doing a refit. And make no mistake - it may be currently offered and sold at the chandlery, but it is abandoned. I am talking about abandoned connectors and communication protocols - ones the manufacturers are clearly telling you they are abandoning - not the newest shiniest model vs. last month's model. There will be no hope of replacing broken parts or upgrading separate components with this gear. It is already future-failed.

If you are simply replacing a component in an already existing system to gain some more years out of it, then it makes sense to grab what is available now. But not when you are adding new gear with an eye to possible future upgrades or additions.

And that would be anything not communicating via N2k, with the current exception of AIS.

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Old 30-01-2012, 16:29   #15
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Re: NMEA Network

Sorry Mark , I dont agree nor do companies like NASA marine agree. There is a plentiful market at the low end that want simple systems and commensurate prices, right now N2K is nowhere near the cheapest way to achieve some level of integration. There will always be a market for low cost simple systems. Garmin for example has several plotters that are not N2K compatible to save cost and complexity. There will always be a market for that.

If you are budget restricted then you have to install whats affordable, it would be silly to say leave out "depth" because you couldn't afford the N2K transducer.

As to future failed, that could be N2K your describing, a protocol dating from the 80s, badly specified and implemented in different ways by the manufacture, Will it be around in 10 years, I doubt it.

Dave

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