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New electronics worth a look

Hardly a day goes by at Marine Electronics Journal that at least one press release doesn’t arrive touting a new product of some sort. This week we roll out a handful of them that caught our eye. While we can’t vouch for every claim that’s made by the manufacturers, we do feel an obligation to let you know what’s out there and what the companies say about their features and functions.

World’s first GPS antenna with Zigbee

Glomex Marine Antennas has rolled out the world’s first GPS antenna using internationally accepted ZigBee technology. Connected wirelessly to the ZigBoat system, the ZB211 delivers push notifications on fleet tracking, geofencing, weather forecasts and anchor watch. It has no fees, cloud service subscriptions, registrations or privacy policy agreements.

The wireless ZB211 GPS/Tracking antenna tracks a vessel's location and movement using a real-time, one-to-one encrypted connection to ensure 100% privacy and safety. If the boat strays from the defined geofence area or begins to drag anchor, the ZigBoat system sends a notification via an SMS message. It also records detailed route and speed history, essential for fleet management, and provides weather forecasts through the ZigBoat mobile app for Android and iOS.

At 4 x 5 inches with the supplied mount, the ZB211 GPS/Tracking antenna will install in a wide range of deck locations. And at 0.4 lbs., it won’t significantly impact righting moment if mounted on a mast. It runs on 12/24V DC with a typical draw of 0.2 watts.

While tiny, the ZB211 GPS/Tracking antenna is robust. It has up to 20 dBm of output power and 3 GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo or BeiDou systems), with an accuracy of less than 32 feet with a clear sky view. Built for a marine environment, it functions from -13° to 131° F. 

N2K gateway sports one-of-a-kind data logging

Actisense has introduced the W2K-1, a NMEA 2000 WiFi gateway with data logging technology that has the ability to record navigational and engine data. This feature is unique in the market place.

Like other devices on the market, the W2K-1 can transmit NMEA 2000 data using TCP and UPD while also offering support for conversion to NMEA 0183. However, what makes the W2K-1 stand out is the voyage data recorder (VDR). This means the device can log a wide variety of vessel data such as position, speed, course, depth, windspeed and engine data. No other product on the market can claim both of these features as part of the same device.

All data received from the vessel is logged on the W2K-1’s internal micro SD card, which can hold approximately 16 days of data. This data can then be used for later analysis of the voyage.

This logging functionality can be beneficial for a range of different uses. For example, race boat owners can analyze performance of their vessel following a competition, while boat owners can easily create digital logbooks, diagnose network issues or simply share their trip online.

The W2K-1 was in development for 18 months, during which time the Actisense engineering team fine-tuned the device based on their customer feedback from 45 different countries.

Satellite tracker foils equipment thefts

The new Nautic Alert VTracker satellite vessel tracker detects a location change of just 250 feet (or 50 feet with optional performance antennas) and allows the user to kill the engine remotely if theft is suspected.

Simple to install and use, the VTracker also features an anchor alarm, optional intrusion detection, bilge pump float switch and battery voltage monitoring, daily status reports, email notifications and two-way text messaging.
VTracker is ideal for helping prevent GPS chartplotter and outboard theft. It easily interfaces to Nautic Alert microwave and FLIR perimeter security sensors, for reliable and early detection of intruders before they can even begin their attack.

The optional Nautic Alert Cloud Watch feature quickly detects attempts to compromise VTracker system communications anywhere in the world. If necessary, an SOS message can be sent at the touch of a button.

Gateway interfaces new and legacy electronics

Digital Yacht has launched iKonvert, a new NMEA 2000/0183 bi-directional interface designed to make interfacing new and old devices in your boat’s electronic system possible. It allows older, legacy NMEA 0183 instruments to work with modern multi-function displays, which now almost exclusively utilize NMEA 2000. It can also allow new chartplotters to provide data to older VHF radios or autopilot or instrument displays.

It’s often frustrating for a boat owner to have to change a complete system when just one component requires updating. iKonvert resolves a lot of these issues.
Installation is simple. It’s self-powered from the boat’s NMEA 2000 backbone and simply "T's” into the network. iKonvert is also available with a USB interface to allow NMEA 2000 connections to a PC, MAC or even Raspberry Pi. Electronic chartplotting programs on these devices can then take advantage of data from your latest electronic onboard systems. Both versions are priced at $189.95

Remote maneuvers vessels when docking 

Docking and maneuvering in tight situations can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially in unfamiliar locations or when strong wind and currents are at play. The new Wave Marine M880 from Nauti-Tech dynamically controls engines, thrusters and other devices. It delivers the ability to safely and confidently dock, anchor, moor and navigate tricky passages from any location on the vessel. Ideal for small yachts to superyachts, it’s standard equipment on the Westport Yachts W125, and Grand Banks and Palm Beach Motor Yachts.
The most powerful remote available, the M880 controls the vessel up to 492 feet away. Sixteen channels provide failsafe operation, and code encryption guarantees the signal remains connected to the correct yacht when multiple units are in use within its range. It uses radio frequency, so it’s far more reliable than other wireless protocols.
Beyond engines and thrusters, the M880 will control onboard accessories. Swim platforms, garage doors, sunroofs, anchor windlasses and other electric and hydraulic-powered appliances can be connected to the device.
A stop button is located on the device for full control away from the helm. LED backlighting allows for nighttime use. Measuring 6.8 x 3.4 x 1.7, the remote floats and is RoHS-standardized, IP65-rated for water resistance and drop test-certified. It features rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and can be customized to match the vessel. 
The M880 includes the transmitting and receiver units, two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with charger, RX fixing brackets, packet fuses, carrying belt, user manual and declaration of CE conformity. It costs $12,995.

Three-way speakers offer install options

The Infinity RGB Kappa 8 inch three-way marine speaker from Prospec Electronics can be installed as one speaker or separated and installed as a component-style system, creating a concert-like soundstage.
When separated, the higher frequency audio that’s produced by the removable 3.5 inch mid-tweeter is unidirectional. This produces crisp, clear and bright sounds like vocals. Aiming it at ear level separates it from the deep omnidirectional bass produced by the 8 inch subwoofer installed at leg level. The result is a superior 200W RMS, 500W peak power audio experience without the distortion common with the increased volume needed to overcome boat noise. 
The three-way speaker features RGB lighting in the center mount and a built-in perimeter light ring. Available with white or titanium grilles, its modern design matches any boat décor. Straightforward for OEMs and DIYers to install, this three-way speaker is 9.5 inches O.D. and 3.25 inches deep and uses a 7 inch cutout. The white (KAPPA8130MAM) and titanium (KAPPA8135MAM) Infinity by Harman Kappa 8 inch three-way RGB speakers retail for $399.95/pair.

Commercial nav program has new voyage planning tools

Rose Point Navigation Systems is shipping Rose Point ECS 4, which brings to the commercial customer new voyage planning tools to streamline Subchapter M Navigation Assessment workflow, automatically creating river routes showing locks and bridges, as well as updating AIS voyage information including encoded destinations and tow size.
Rose Point ECS 4 with Services helps administrators and captains meet the requirement for paperless navigation outlined in the Coast Guard NVIC 01-16 for most inland vessels.  A web-based portal allows managers to check the status of their entire fleet's compliance from any location with Internet access.

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