Well, fall is in the air here in the Midwest. The leaves are turning magnificent colors and reminding me that winter is not far away. The sailboat is still in the water but I fear my days are numbered. Fall sailing has been great. The steady winds and cool days make it a great time to get out on the water.
This week I am writing about some new and exciting hardware introduced to the marine market. If you are a regular reader of my blog you know i-Marine Apps is dedicated to finding and reviewing marine apps. However, when some new geeky hardware comes out I can't resist and have to take a look. New electronics hardware is being designed and built at such a rapid pace these days it is tough to keep up on the latest developments.
Digital Yacht is a UK based company that specializes in marine AIS receiver and transponders, WiFi Internet devices, GPS sensors and NMEA electronics technology. They just announced this week an introduction of three new pieces of technology you will want to take a look at.
The GPS DualNav 150 is a completely new GPS sensor which incorporates multiple GPS sensor options. Most of us are familiar with the US military based GPS system that was made available to the general public back in the 1990s. This worldwide system of satellites is relied upon and widely used in the marine industry today. In recent years GPS has become mainstream and almost everyone now has a GPS receiver in their smart phone.
This sensor is unique because it also includes the ability to receive the Russian based GPS system, GLONASS. Being able to use both of these systems provides an optional backup to the present system. Having two system also makes this sensor more sensitive, accurate and reliable.
The sensor will also be able to use a third European Galileo system when that comes online in 2018.
The sensor will switch automatically between the three systems to provide the best results. It also has the option to be switched manually to select the best system for your area.
The GPS 150 can be connected to the WLN10 wireless interface to allow your mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, to receive GPS data. The unit has a USB interface also for easy connection to a PC or MAC computer.
- 50 Channel GPS, GLONASS sensor
- Auto or manual source selection is configurable with dip switches
- NMEA 4800, 38400 and 115,200 baud rates
- Update rates of 1-10Hz
- Turbo Nav mode for fast data updates
- WAAS, EGNOS and SBAS enabled for 1 meter accuracy
- 30 mA power consumption at 12 volts
- 5-30 volt power source
AIS or automatic identification systems are required on all commercial vessels over 300 tons and all passenger vessels regardless of size. Many private vessels are also installing AIS systems to provide information about surrounding ship traffic. Boaters can feel safer and make better decisions knowing what surrounding vessels are doing.
AIS provides situational awareness to captains so they can quickly determine what vessels are in the area, what course and speed they are on and if they are on a collision course.
The GV30 is unique in that it has a GPS receiver combined with the VHF/AIS receiver. The unit provides a dedicated GPS source specifically tuned to 162MHz for your AIS receiver.
- Combination AIS/VHF and GPS antenna
- Specifically tuned to 162 MHz
- High gain GPS
- 2X10 Meter cables with mini connectors
- Standard 1 inch threaded base mount
- TNC and BNC adapters
The S1000 is a self contained battery powered SART (Search and Rescue transponder). Recent legislation has now made these devices compliant for use on vessel over 300 tons.
Once activated, the S1000 will provide the identity of the party in distress and give regular 4 minute updates of the GPS position that can graphically be displayed on any Class A or B transponder system or AIS receiver.
This device can greatly aid in a man overboard situation or in recovery of a life raft by rescue personnel. Specialized VHF technology helps provide a range up to 10 miles. Once activated it will continue to send AIS and position data up to 96 hours.
- 10 NM range
- 1 meter telescoping antenna
- 96 hour battery life
- Data transmitted every 4 minutes
- Integrated 50 channel GPS receiver
- Fully IMO compliant
- LED indications for test and activation
- Low battery consumption
- Storage pack and bracket
Technology continues to provide boaters with additional safety hardware. AIS, SART and GPS are all helping us to be safer and hopefully better captains on the water. Just remember that all the electronics in the world will not prevent you from having an accident. Your own eyes and ears are still the best way to stay out of trouble so, pay attention while on the water. Don't be distracted by all your gadgets, pay attention to your surroundings and use them only as aids in your navigation.
~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)