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Old 14-05-2015, 20:23   #1
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Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

Hi Folks,

My 15 year old depth/log/wind display (NAVMAN) just bit the dust and im looking at replacement options.

The frustrating thing is that the sender/transducers and all the wiring are fine, its just the display unit that is damaged (not repairable).

Ive come across a few options;

1) Complete new raymarine or tacktick wireless system. Cost = $2000ish installed (ouch)

OR

2) A wireless multiplexer linking all the currently installed transducers (that worke fine) to an iPad or Android tablet. Cost = Guessing less that $1000 ?

So far I havent found an elegant solution to linking all the instruments together as it seems there are multiple different components required that may or may not work well together.

Also re option 2, all my diesel engine instruments are old and working intermittently. I can replace the engine panel for $600+ or could perhaps feed the engine instrument senders to wifi as well, thus having a display on my ipad with all the nav and engine data, as well as a plotter perhaps.

My research so far has shown me that all of this is technically possible, but i guess the question I am asking is...... how realistic is it and does it work reliably and seamlessly ??

Thanks !
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Old 14-05-2015, 22:02   #2
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

It's going to cost quite a bit to convert old senders to Wifi--more than $1000. If you're dedicated to this route, check out the sender adapters and wifi gear from Maretron.

You'll find it's cheaper to adapt your existing senders to NMEA 2K and plug that into an inexpensive chart plotter via a wired interface. Garmin, Raymarine, and SIMRAD/B&G/Lowrance all have excellent units in the <$1000 range that are NMEA 2K compatible.

I have a wifi adapter that works with my iPad, but I use the mounted chart plotter almost exclusively. It's just more reliable and consistent.


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Old 15-05-2015, 05:43   #3
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

Thanks mstrebe,

Do you know who makes one of these devices that will convert my transducers outputs to NMEA2000?

Am I corrent in saying that there is no standard output from the transducers ? And that the head unit/display usually processes what comes from the transducer and may provide an NMEA output ?
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Old 15-05-2015, 06:22   #4
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

See ➥ http://www.nmea.org/Assets/airmar.pdf
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Old 15-05-2015, 09:38   #5
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
Thanks mstrebe,

Do you know who makes one of these devices that will convert my transducers outputs to NMEA2000?

Am I corrent in saying that there is no standard output from the transducers ? And that the head unit/display usually processes what comes from the transducer and may provide an NMEA output ?
There's no "de jure" standard per se but there are de facto standards; essentially, all analog signals are either resistive, capacitive, alternating current, voltage, or direct current based, so it's reasonably easy to make a device that can convert them to any kind of digital signal.

You didn't provide any part numbers for your equipment so I can only generalize, but google out the following equipment:

Raymarine iTC 5 Analog Transducer Converter
Everything Maretron makes
The Chetco SeaSmart Analog Gateway
The NoLand Engineering Engine RS11 Engine Data Converter

There are many others. Now, unfortunately its going to be a bit of homework on your end to figure out exactly what you'll need. If you post all the part numbers of your existing equipment here I can provide some help making sure you've got everything covered, but you should read up on how NMEA 2000 busses are wired.

If you aren't comfortable with low voltage wiring, it will likely be cheapest overall to just replace everything with new kit.
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Old 15-05-2015, 10:02   #6
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

TopperHarley,

We are starting to face this issue on our boat as well.

Regarding engine and related instrumentation, we are going to replace indicators, alarms, and gauges [e.g., fuel tank gauges, bilge pump controls, etc.] with CruzPro products.

Check out their offerings as you explore options. They are still NMEA 0183, but having dedicated gauges and shared data, alarms, etc. make them worth the extra hassle to us- at least for now...

Cheers!
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Old 15-05-2015, 17:23   #7
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

Thankyou for all the info...

mstrebe, my setup is pretty simple, as follows;

NAVMAN MULTI 3100 running the depth (log wheel was removed by PO)
NAVMAN 3100 WIND close haul analogue display with transducer aloft
RAYMARINE ST4000+ wheel pilot

The engine is a new universal M25XPB diesel and ideally id like to run tacho, oil and water temp gauges.

Will also check out the cruzepro stuff.

Cheers.
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Old 23-05-2015, 16:51   #8
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Re: Wifi nav and engine instrumentation

TopperHarley definitely contact the Chetco people. Their SeaSmart analog gateway is designed to do everything you want with the engine monitoring, but you will need to speak with them to determine which senders and sensors you should get. Probably they'll refer you to a local reseller for support.

The complex part about these instruments is the need for calibration, which is not something that can be easily talked through on a forum and without which, the instruments will be useless.

The ChetCo stuff has a WiFi interface as well, but you will have to look at their documentation to see what apps support it. Because there is no standard for WiFi instrumentation, your app will have to support their specific gateway.

The device will also hook up to your NMEA 0183 instruments and send that data via WiFi as well. So if there was one gadget that could do everything you need, that's the one.

I just think the install might be a bit technical so I'm hesitant to suggest taking it on without thoroughly researching it.

Matt
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