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Old 17-12-2017, 00:00   #1
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Vyacht router opinion

We are finally going to get vessel NMEA data on Wi-Fi.

I see the Vyacht router with the best price for the feature set I want, by far! 209 USD. Vyacht is Signal-K capable. The other device I'm looking at is the Miniplex-3wi-N2k at 400 USD.

The question is if Vyacht has a reliable product, and good user support post-sale. It appears to be a very small operation, keeping cost down.

Opinions please!

I need:
Input NMEA 2000 (Wind)
Input NMEA 0183 4800 Baud (GPS)
Input NMEA 38400 Baud (AIS)
Output NMEA 0183 4800 Baud (Autopilot)
Output Wi-Fi
Output Ethernet to PC (and or Hub)
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Old 17-12-2017, 00:22   #2
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

There is also iKommunicate – The Gateway to Signal K
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Old 17-12-2017, 01:21   #3
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

Thanks RedHerring, Ikommunicate looks good too. 290 USD.
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Old 17-12-2017, 10:07   #4
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

I have one and if I had to to do it again, I would buy from an established marine provider. I'm thinking of replacing it by adding the Vesper AIS transponder XB-8000 with wifi and multiplexing.

A couple reasons.

I'm thinking about an AIS transponder and the Vesper would simplify my installation. Instead of feeding AIS and NMEA 0183 (gps, depth, wind) into the vYacht, I would just run the NMEA data into the transponder. Less gadgets, connections.

After a couple of years, mine stopped working and would drop the wifi connection. After rewiring, resetting, reflashing,.... I got it to work again. I believe the problem was either a loose set board or slight corrosion on the contacts. Keep in mind, vYacht is based on a Carambola embedded wifi/router board (similar to Rasberry Pi) with the input boards plugged into main board. Certainly not long-term marine quality.

I too was interested in the Signal-K feature. However, it turns out that this is only available on the current model and there's no plans for or support for this on the earlier model. I don't know whether this is a hardware limitation or lack of interest. My inquires have not been answered.

As mentioned on other posts, support is hit-or-miss. I believe this is a hobby project, without a dedicates support team.

As far as functionality, vyacht works as described. For the price, it is a consideration; however, I wouldn't rely on it for main wifi integration.

Good luck - let us know what you decide,
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Old 17-12-2017, 10:58   #5
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

Why don't you just use a raspberry pi with openplotter? It can already do all of this for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 17-12-2017, 13:27   #6
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

In my case, because I didn't want to solve the problem of interfacing Raspberry with NMEA2000 opting for a canned solution instead.

I know how to write a JavaScript app getting data as a JSON stream from a web socket - it's not far from what I do for living; can't say the same about embedded stuff.
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Old 17-12-2017, 18:12   #7
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Why don't you just use a raspberry pi with openplotter? It can already do all of this for a fraction of the cost.
Raspberry and Arduino projects seem really fun, but I only need the multiplexing and Wi-Fi functions. From the documentation on Sailoog, it looks like you need to purchase external 0183 and N2K adapters, and a lot of study to get it running correctly. By the time you get it all housed in some proper box and ready for boat use, it seems the savings might not be there. Maybe I'm missing other advantages.
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Old 17-12-2017, 18:17   #8
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

I purchased a Vesper 850 AIS GPS unit a few years ago. It has been rock solid with USB connection to the PC. Cant say better things about their support and product. Wish I got the Wi-Fi model.
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Old 17-12-2017, 19:01   #9
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by svloki View Post
Raspberry and Arduino projects seem really fun, but I only need the multiplexing and Wi-Fi functions. From the documentation on Sailoog, it looks like you need to purchase external 0183 and N2K adapters, and a lot of study to get it running correctly. By the time you get it all housed in some proper box and ready for boat use, it seems the savings might not be there. Maybe I'm missing other advantages.
The raspberry has wifi builtin. Multiplexing is already handled in the software.

As for 0183, this is just a serial port. You can get usb to serial port adaptors for $1. The raspberry has 4 usb ports

As for n2k, why? This is a dead end standard. You can probably get a usb adaptor, but it would make more sense to just get sensors that are not using a standard to seeks to deny user freedom. What sensors are they anyway?

As for a box.. a $1 plastic box? This is what I have.

If you get the vyacht router or whatever, I think you end up with something that is not flexible that will be obsolete.

The openplotter solution is completely modular and you can reuse all the individual components in the future. The openplotter solution can actually be used as a chart plotter and autopilot as well if you ever decided to. It is going to cost less than $50 total for all of the components, the most expensive part being the raspberry.
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Old 17-12-2017, 19:38   #10
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

For wind sensors I am using the Simrad IS20 system. It has been great and future plans is for a Simrad autopilot to replace the old Comnav when it dies.
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Old 17-12-2017, 20:24   #11
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
As for 0183, this is just a serial port. You can get usb to serial port adaptors for $1.
Have you found a reliable cheap serial-USB converter? I tried several ones from Ebay, and finally went to the Actisense USG-2. It works perfectly, but was over a hundred dollars. I suspect my old 0183 outputs have ground loops that need the isolation circuit found in the Actisense product.
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Old 17-12-2017, 22:16   #12
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Re: Vyacht router opinion

I created arudino based wind sensors with free software. This can work with any sensor that has analog voltage for wind direction, and pulse for wind speed.

I also have made circuit boards which isolate serial ports. These cost about $4 to build. I use these to isolate my autopilot drive motors from the raspberry pi.

I have also created a free autopilot which is reported by other sailors, and from my own tests, smarter than what simrad offers. It is included in openplotter.

simrad products are not designed for sailors in mind, and intend to restrict users, and what they can do with them. They use proprietary protocols making them difficult to integrate with other systems.
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