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Old 03-01-2019, 18:48   #1
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NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Greeting All,

We have just purchased a 2006 sailing boat and it seems that all equipment on board was installed just before the WIFI boom.

The equipment works perfectly but is not "talking" to tablets and laptops and in some cases not to each other.

I need some advice about multiplexers which I think may overcome any issues I currently have.

This is what is onboard:
  • Raymarine E80 CLASSIC plotter which can display the Raymarine radar.
  • I assume there is a Raymarine "SeaTalk" as there is a box with "Raymarine" on it.
  • Raymarine autopilot with remote
  • Vesper Marine AIS Watchmate which I think is connected to the radio. Works fine but it is mounted in the stairway when entering the cabin. So it is not visible from my nav station and barely visible from the helms.
  • I also want engine output data from the Volvo Penta D2-55C but I'm not sure if this model has MDI.

My aim is to have a wifi system where I can view all data on a tablet at my nav station.

Any advice would be enormously appreciated...

Renoir
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Old 03-01-2019, 18:59   #2
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Several companies make devices which will bridge/convert between NMEA/SeaTalk and provide a WiFi interface. I installed a bridge from YakBitz a couple of years ago and have been quite pleased with it.

http://yakbitz.com
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Old 03-01-2019, 20:09   #3
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Quote:
Originally Posted by RenoirIII View Post
Greeting All,

We have just purchased a 2006 sailing boat and it seems that all equipment on board was installed just before the WIFI boom.

The equipment works perfectly but is not "talking" to tablets and laptops and in some cases not to each other.

I need some advice about multiplexers which I think may overcome any issues I currently have.

This is what is onboard:
  • Raymarine E80 CLASSIC plotter which can display the Raymarine radar.
  • I assume there is a Raymarine "SeaTalk" as there is a box with "Raymarine" on it.
  • Raymarine autopilot with remote
  • Vesper Marine AIS Watchmate which I think is connected to the radio. Works fine but it is mounted in the stairway when entering the cabin. So it is not visible from my nav station and barely visible from the helms.
  • I also want engine output data from the Volvo Penta D2-55C but I'm not sure if this model has MDI.

My aim is to have a wifi system where I can view all data on a tablet at my nav station.

Any advice would be enormously appreciated...

Renoir
If you are looking for more comprehensive help I offer a consulting service for DIY boaters that you might be interested in. https://www.sea-tech.com/diy-central...onics-advisor/
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Old 03-01-2019, 20:09   #4
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

you won't get radar. the only thing you would get is gps pos (which the tablet likly already has anyways) and depth if you have that. and ais

personly I would feed the ais to the c80 and keep using that.

and start saving for a whole new system down the road.
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Old 03-01-2019, 20:13   #5
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Thanks for that...
Would I have to purchase a combination of these?
Ie, ST1 converter then the 2 Port NMEA to WiFi Bridge as well as the Bi-Directional NMEA to WiFi Bridge?
There is little information in terms of support on this site.
Perhaps I'm overthinking this
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:47   #6
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Quote:
Originally Posted by RenoirIII View Post
Thanks for that...
Would I have to purchase a combination of these?
Ie, ST1 converter then the 2 Port NMEA to WiFi Bridge as well as the Bi-Directional NMEA to WiFi Bridge?
There is little information in terms of support on this site.
Perhaps I'm overthinking this
There are several bridge products which handle the ST/NMEA conversion for you, no additional converter needed. YakBitz being one of them...others can chime in on other makes/models.

Example: I have a full suite of older RayMarine products (ST series), plus a separate non-Raymarine AIS module. I used a YakBitz bridge to make most of the data (excluding RADAR) from all these instruments available via WiFi. So, I have all this data available to my tablet for use by apps like OpenCPN.

Set up is super easy, price is VERY competative, support is excellent, and their devices are very small (a few square inches). An advantage of the extremely small size is shipping...they just drop them in the mail to you.

One feature I find especially convenient is that you can add the YakBitz as a device to an existing network. I have a WiFi router on board and my YakBitz connects via WiFi to the router. This means my tablet can have access to all network resources concurrently...such as Internet access and instruments data. Not all devices have this capabillty.

You can also connect multiple YakBitz devices on the same WiFi network. Example: my instruments are all at the helm. My AIS reciever is at the nav station. Rather than run a cable to the YakBitz bridge installed near my instruments...on the other side of the boat. I just connected my AIS to their little 1 port NMEA Wifi bridge. Now all instruments and my tablet Yak happily. Total cost for BOTH YakBitz devices...less than $150!

I was initially skeptical of YakBitz because of their low price. By comparison the most basic DigitalYacht product is $200...and their prices climb steeply up from there to almost $600. However, Ive had the YakBitz devices installed for a couple of years now with zero issues. Easy install and they just work.

Yes, you are overthinking this...its way easy (assuming some tech background).

I suggest you contact them with your configuration details and get their recommendation. Visit http://yakbitz.com/.





DISCLAIMER: No affiliation, just a very happy customer.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:02   #7
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
you won't get radar. the only thing you would get is gps pos (which the tablet likly already has anyways) and depth if you have that. and ais

personly I would feed the ais to the c80 and keep using that.

and start saving for a whole new system down the road.
True, you wont get RADAR (see some of the OpenCPN related work on that), but you can get much more than just GPS. Almost all other SeaTalk/NMEA sentences can be received. I get wind (TWA, TWS, AWA, AWS), depth, speed thru water, GPS (LAT, LON, SOG, COG, etc...), AIS, Autopilot (status, heading, ...). Also the bridge I have supports 2 way NMEA so commands can be sent to autopilot.

A related note on GPS: I initially thought it was cool that all my devices could use the ship's GPS for navigation via the bridge....until it glitched one day while negotiating a tricky entrance...now nothing had a fix! Now I have OpenCPN on my tablet configured to use the tablet's GPS, but still receiving all other sentences via the bridge.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:54   #8
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Some very good advice from Belizesailor.

We also try to have some redundancy in our setup, so that one failing component doesn't bring the whole system down. Just as Belizesailor we use the GPS in our iPads as a backup and cross check for our Raymarine GPS. In fact, when our RM network would fail we can easily navigate (but without wind, depth data and AIS data) on our tablets with iSailor.

To get all the NMEA data on our tablets and smartphones via wifi we have the ShipModul Miniplex 3 Wi-N2K multiplexer which is more expensive than the YakBitz units but is also rock solid. It can translate (bi-directional) between NMEA0183, Seatalk, NMEA2000/STng and you can filter or prioritize sources if you want (GPS sources for example) to get some failover capacity within your setup.

After some initial setup (factory defaults will work for most sailors) it's a set-and-forget system.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:56   #9
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

I've used a Shipmodul multiplexer from the Netherlands for 3 years now which handles all NMEA stuff and puts it out over wi-fi. It can't do radar (or I can't make it) but AIS and all instruments otherwise come up well.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:19   #10
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

you mention the vesper ais? which unit?
It may be easiest and cheapest to just upgrade to a wifi unit- the watchmate xb 8000 is wifi and translates the 2000 and 183 so it would be a great cornerstone for the future electronics. you would only need to replace the unit as antenna etc is same.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:24   #11
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

When our AIS receiver, as well as our then current multiplexer, went out going up to Alaska we got a new Vesper XB 6000 which does not have Wi-fi. We had other multiple older 0183 inputs to utilize (we also have an older Raymarine system) so we also got a Rose Point NEMO Gateway and used an older wireless router to make things available to other onboard devices.

We got this group of components last year in Alaska and has worked well so far for us.

Rose Point:
https://www.rosepoint.com/
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:57   #12
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans V View Post
Some very good advice from Belizesailor.

We also try to have some redundancy in our setup, so that one failing component doesn't bring the whole system down. Just as Belizesailor we use the GPS in our iPads as a backup and cross check for our Raymarine GPS. In fact, when our RM network would fail we can easily navigate (but without wind, depth data and AIS data) on our tablets with iSailor.

To get all the NMEA data on our tablets and smartphones via wifi we have the ShipModul Miniplex 3 Wi-N2K multiplexer which is more expensive than the YakBitz units but is also rock solid. It can translate (bi-directional) between NMEA0183, Seatalk, NMEA2000/STng and you can filter or prioritize sources if you want (GPS sources for example) to get some failover capacity within your setup.

After some initial setup (factory defaults will work for most sailors) it's a set-and-forget system.
The ShipModul is more expensive, but given the extensive functionality...thats still good bang for the buck!
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:07   #13
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

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Originally Posted by out42 View Post
I've used a Shipmodul multiplexer from the Netherlands for 3 years now which handles all NMEA stuff and puts it out over wi-fi. It can't do radar (or I can't make it) but AIS and all instruments otherwise come up well.
Its not you, NMEA protocol uses text based "sentences" which dont support image data. This means you cant communicate the RADAR image data via NMEA, but there are RADAR related sentences which communicate RADAR related info such as EBL and target data.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:35   #14
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

The ShipModul Miniplex was the one that went out on us. It came with the boat; no idea how old it was. The US rep had no other info for us other than to buy a new one.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:15   #15
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Re: NMEA - WIFI - Connectivity

I know some very old ShipModul units still working fine, the one that quit on you may have also been one of the earlier models that did not have the wifi and NMEA2000/STng capability.

As far as I know, the electrical design of the Miniplex 3 is quite robust. Under normal circumstances (no lightning strikes, etc.) these multiplexers should work for ages. Other well-designed units may be as good, it's the capabilities (Seatalk conversion, NMEA2000/STng, buffer size/bandwidth, routing and filtering, etc.) that sets them apart.
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