More electronic wizardry from the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show

Last week we told you about several pieces of marine electronics hardware and software that garnered interest at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The lineup included Raymarine/FLIR’s ClearCruise AR (Augmented Reality), Furuno’s NavPilot 300 autopilot, Navico’s 20-inch-diameter HALO radome, Garmin’s EchoMAP UDH, KVH’s TracVision UHD7 and Icom’s IC-SAT100 satellite two-way radio. This week we add six more that caught our attention.

The UK’s Digital Yacht is always introducing innovative new products that are well worth a look. One of the latest is its GPS160 TriNav, which harnesses three navigational satellite systems (GPS, Galileo and GLONASS) to provide positional accuracies said to be less than 1 meter. TriNav’s software technology improves positioning vulnerabilities that can occur if signals are spoofed or if there is local interference. It can be field programmed for a variety of modes such as single GNSS operation (for instance, Galileo only) as well as output configurations including update rate.

The GPS160 supports a simple external MOB (man overboard) switch or device. When activated, it creates a "synthesized” AIS (Automatic Identification System) SART (Search and Rescue Transponder) MOB message on its NMEA output, which can be interfaced with a local plotter for MOB identification. Most modern plotters support this with a clear MOB icon and instant bearing and distance information to navigate to the casualty.

Seatronx supplies a variety of dedicated electronics for the marine, military and industrial markets, including high-quality displays. Its VSRT Command Control allows you to operate multiple displays from a single pre-programmed 7-inch touchscreen display. One touch activates power on, adjusts screen brightness and allows you to select video inputs for all displays on the boat. You can create pre-sets for your specific requirements. Command Control is said to be easy to install and is equipped with an embedded Linux operating system that connects to displays via Ethernet connections. 

Yacht Visions displayed a range of thermal imaging and low-light marine cameras along with several high-powered searchlights. The Yacht Cam thermal cameras are full PTZ (point, tilt, zoom) capability and excellent resolution in gray scale or color palettes. Features include digital stabilization, video ‘hotspot,’ radar tracking, freeze frame and video/still image capture. The cameras receive and analyze NMEA 0183 data from the radar and calculate distance to the target and then "move” to actively view the target. The company’s Yacht Beam high-power searchlights use high-intensity discharge metal halide twin bulbs or either 150 or 300 watt Xenon bulbs. The lights are tailored for larger vessels, 45-200 feet long.

For anyone not familiar with GOST, next time you’re at a major boat show stop by their booth and ask for a tour of their security systems. Ask to see videos of police recovering boats thanks to GOST equipment on board. At FLIBS they showed off the Universal Control Unit (UCU), which is used in conjunction with their Apparition and NT-Evolution systems. It’s designed to simplify GOST’s product line and is the only system on the market offering the capability of security, monitoring, tracking and surveillance, all integrated together in one system. Whether the UCU is being used on a high-end center console, sportfishing boat, or a superyacht, it can operate over both cellular and Inmarsat networks, allowing for global coverage. 

It includes a full-function app for offsite control to arm/disarm and control relay switches while allowing notification via push notification and SMS text message. Local arming features include the ability to do so via key fob or optional 5- or 7-inch touchscreen keypads. The UCU can communicate with up to 32 wireless sensors, 5 relays and 32 users/key fobs. The system includes wireless independent door/hatch contacts, infrared beam sensors, deck pressure sensors, high-water sensors, DC battery low voltage, AC shore power loss and smoke detectors, to name a few of the more popular sensors. 

Responding to customer requests, SiOnyx is offering a slightly stripped-down model of its award-winning Aurora camera. They call it the Aurora Sport. The high-definition video and still camera features true day and night imaging. Its patented ultra low-light IR (infrared) sensor technology not only captures images under low light conditions, but gives night vision capability in monochrome or color. Unlike the Aurora, the Aurora Sport does not contain GPS functionality—it’s also less expensive as a result. 

Here’s how SiOnyx describes the camera: "Our ultra low-light sensor technology enables you to see things the human eye can’t, then record them. Day-only use cameras are capable of higher resolution while still remaining physically small because they only need very small pixels. But true night vision requires big pixels. That means night vision at higher resolution would require a sensor at least double Aurora's 1 inch size, a much larger lens and a cost of more than 10 times that of Aurora.” 

The IP-67 water-resistant camera’s Wi-Fi capability and app for iOS or Android allows you to share recordings on social media. A 32 GB micro SD card provides enough storage for four hours of video and you can control the camera with a mobile device to remotely view what the camera is seeing.

Garmin introduced an extended lineup of its GPSMAP electronics that they call the Plus series. The devices feature full-boat integration with 7-, 9- and 12-inch touchscreen display options. The Plus series adds increased engine integration with J1939 functionality and compatibility with OneHelm, an exclusive feature that simplifies control and customization of the boat’s critical systems to one master source, the Garmin MFD. They have built-in cartography for coastal or inland waters. Boaters can add premium g3 Vision and g3 Ultra content to access Garmin’s new high-resolution relief shading, now featuring expanded coverage for the entire continental US coast line and more than 150 lakes. The "xs” models support CHIRP traditional sonar, ClearVu scanning sonar and the full Panoptix line; the "xsv” models add support for SideVu scanning sonar. 

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Page 1 of 3 ( 13 comments)

Jp:(8/11/2018 5:28:29 PM) "I have a 2018 Yamaha f40 la and Humminbird helix 7 di , I would like to leverage the nema 2000 capability of the helix 7 to display engine info, what do I need , Humminbird does have a gateway and lowrance makes a Yamaha nema cable, but I'm reading connectors are proprietary . How can I get what is needed?

Since these products are not NMEA 2000 certified there is little assurance that they will share data with each other.

1. Here is the link to see all NMEA 2000 certified products:

2. The NMEA 2000 cables and connectors are from many manufacturers: Here is the link for approved cables and connector manufacturers:

AC/DC grounding distance:(8/2/2018 1:29:35 AM) "What about the grounding points of AC /DC systems? can they be grounded at the same point?
If one system has both AC and DC can they both be grounded to a common buss-bar that has only one conection to the hull?

Here's what Ed Sherman, electric tech guru at the American Boat & Yacht Council, said:

The ultimate goal should always be to tie ac and dc grounds together on board at a single point. In ABYC Standard E-11, it is described as “the engine negative terminal or its buss.” It is most commonly done at a buss."
Hard-Over with Brushed APilot Pump:(12/18/2017 5:37:05 PM) "Jim.
What do you mean by ...."Garmin GHP 20 with SmartPump...Because it is a brushless system, it is fail-safe and won’t execute a hard-over turn the way a brushed pump can."

Thanks for the note. Since the description came from Garmin I contacted the company for an explanation. Here's what one of their engineers told me:

On brushed DC actuators, a single-point failure in the drive circuit (shorted wire or blown component inside the controller) could cause the motor to run full speed in one direction and take the rudder all the way to one rail. A brushless actuator relies on timing-controlled commutation, so a short or component fail would cause the actuator to stop moving rather than moving at full speed.

Hope this helps,

trawlerdeejay:(10/13/2017 3:46:51 PM) "Excellent article. I had no idea what the differences were between o183 and 2000, Thank you so much."
Darryl:(3/27/2017 10:17:15 PM) "Putting the MSRP with each unit reviewed would have been helpful. If each unit was actually tested, the reports on each unit would have been helpful too.

Thanks Darryl---we generally don't mention prices due to confusion over so many variations---MSRP (mfg. suggested retail price), MAP (min. advertised price), MRP (min. resale price) and then there are internet prices on some websites that go their own way. But your point is well taken--buyers need to know if something is in their price range. We'll work on it.
There is independent testing of some of these products on sites like but the information we receive from manufacturers rarely cites the results of any shootouts they may conduct against the competition's products. "
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