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NMEA Boater Blog

Marine electronics rollout: multi-GNSS position sensor, nav/communications handheld & more

At consumer boat shows as well as exhibitions that play to the trade—dealers, installers and people whose business it is to keep track of the latest equipment, it’s always fun to see which products garner attention. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing which booth is particularly crowded. Other times it’s the number and quality of questions that a boater or trade rep will throw at the sales person staffing the booth.
Below is a variety of interesting electronics seen at shows and trade events that are worth a look. They range from a highly accurate positioning sensor that works with Galileo and GLONASS satellites as well as GPS to a handheld device that packages nav data and communications functions.

Network accommodates up to eight NMEA 2000 devices

UK-based Actisense, has launched a larger version of their popular self-contained boat network. The SBN-2 gives boat owners and installers the ability to set up a "plug & play” NMEA 2000® network with a complete NMEA 2000 backbone in a single device that simply requires a power connection. With built-in termination resistors, the SBN-2 provides eight NMEA 2000 drops. The SBN-2 is manufactured using a ruggedized, watertight and flame-retardant over-moulded housing, making it ideal for potentially wet and harsh marine environments. It comes with an integrated EMI shield and a 3-meter UL-rated power cable.

Sensor taps GPS, Galileo and GLONASS simultaneously

Digital Yacht’s GPS160 is a new high-performance positioning sensor using GPS, Galileo and GLONASS satellite systems for exceptional positioning accuracies and redundancies. TriNav technology allows all three systems to be utilized simultaneously. The device can also be field-programmed for a variety of modes such as single GNSS operation (for instance Galileo only) as well as output configurations like update rate, NMEA sentence structure, etc. The GPS160 is available with a NMEA 0183 output (4800, 38400 and 115200 baud programmable) and a USB variant for PC, MAC and Linux. For NMEA 2000 systems, a bundle is available with iKonvert allowing easy and flexible NMEA 2000 installation without the need for cumbersome drop cables. The GPS160 also supports an external MOB (man overboard) switch or device. When activated, it creates a "synthesized” AIS SART MOB message on the NMEA output which can be interfaced with a local plotter for MOB identification.

Global communication, BlueChart g3 & more in handheld series

Garmin’s all-new GPSMAP 86 handheld series bolsters its popular marine handheld collection. Combining Garmin’s premium GPS navigation with inReach satellite communication technology, the flagship GPSMAP 86sci is the first handheld to come preloaded with Garmin BlueChart g3 coastal cartography with integrated Navionics data. The GPSMAP 86 series can connect to onboard Garmin chartplotters and instruments to stream real-time boat data, including depth, heading, sea temperature and more, directly to the handheld. With a sunlight-readable 3-inch color display and water-resistant floating design, they even double as a remote control for convenient operation of an onboard Garmin autopilot or select FUSION marine stereos and speakers.

The GPSMAP 86 series offers Garmin inReach two-way messaging and location tracking technology. Using the worldwide coverage of the Iridium satellite network, the GPSMAP 86sci and GPSMAP 86i allow users to communicate with any cell phone number, email address or other inReach device while using GPS to track and share progress of the journey. A satellite subscription is required.

Mariners can use the GPSMAP 86sci and 86i to trigger an interactive SOS for emergency help from a 24/7 GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center.

PLB displays operational information

ACR’s ResQLink View Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) features the company’s unique Optical Display Technology. The new digital display shows all the beacon’s operational activities, including GPS coordinates, operating instructions, usage tips, transmission bursts, as well as battery power. Compact and lightweight, the ResQLink View beacon features a protected activation button located away from the test button, customized skins, multiple wearable mounting options including a belt clip and oral inflation clip for easy access in an emergency, and an easier-to-release antenna enclosure. The PLB also includes a new infrared strobe light in addition to the ultra-bright strobe light to assist rescue crews using night vision goggles. A multi-constellation receiver utilizes both the Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System as well as the GPS satellite network for faster location and improved accuracy.

Marine stereo remotes offer flexibility

Whether on a helm connected to a black box or mounted on a swim platform, adding a wired stereo remote has never been easier with Prospec Electronics' three newest offerings. Each wired marine remote incorporates CAN bus communication protocols for fast data transmission. The wired remotes are compatible with Infinity by Harman CAN receivers INFPRV315.2, REFPRV415, KAPPRV515 and KAPMBB500. Engineered for marine use, they're built to perform in extreme, wet environments.

The Infinity by Harman KAPMC40 is a full-featured remote with a 3.5-inch TFT screen and rotary encoder. It can be flush- or back-mounted and measures 6-1/2 x 4 x 7/16 inches. Used as a secondary wired remote, the MIL-REM80 is for use with all CAN receivers. It measures 4 x 2-1/4 x 1/2 inches.

The INF-REM1 is a unique wired remote for all CAN receivers. It controls up to four zones depending on the number of outputs the Infinity stereo contains—front, rear, sub and secondary—and provides a visual LED color cue that indicates which is being controlled. It measures 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inches.

Autopilot features thruster assist

ComNav’s flagship autopilot, P4, is now available with thruster assist. Featuring excellent steering capabilities, the flexible P4 can be installed on vessels ranging from 10 meters to 300 meters (up to 10,000 GWT). With selectable turn functions and vessel types, the autopilot has been dubbed by mariners as the "operator’s pilot.” The P4 is available with three types of remotes and is fully compatible with existing NMEA 2000® or NMEA 0183 equipment on board. It’s rated at IP67 for harsh weather conditions.

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