Saturday, January 25, 2014
Function: Marine Electronic Reference and Tools
You have heard the saying, "There is an App for that"! Well if your a boater needing to design, test or install electronics on your yacht, this is the app for that. The great folks at Gemeco and Millport Media have put together a great list of reference material and a few handy tools to help you do the job. Gemeco is a marine wholesale supplier of marine electronics located in South Carolina.
Although they do not sell retail the app can be used by anyone wanting to learn more about transducers, wiring diagrams, NMEA cables and more. Several programs within the app help the installer with installation guides, PDF product brochures, tilt measurement, wire sizer, EDI test data and temp sensor testing.
Gemeco has put together a dozen useful reference and installation tools for the marine electronics installer and made them available on your iOS device in one slick app.
This option allows the user to find the exact transducer for their specific needs.
By making a few selections from the spinner wheels the app takes you through the process to locate the product you need for you installation.
Select Type, Mounting, Housing, and Cable type to locate the transducer for you project.
There are several apps that will give you angular measurements. The cool thing about this is that it is included in the iNstall app for free.
This would probably work best on your iPhone so you could get into tight places on you yacht to measure the hull angle.
This handy too allows you to measure the deadrise of your hull where you want to install you transducer. The proper tilt of the transducer is shown at the bottom of the app.
This selection provides the transducer cable pin out wiring diagrams for all the popular companies including SiTex, Lowrance, Raymarine, Foruno, Garmin, Simrad, Navman and Northstar.
Select any diagram to view the details. Options to print or email the diagram are also provided.
Installation Guides and Brochures
These selections provide a very extensive list of PDF formatted installation guides and information brochures.
Most of these are Airmar products. Airmar is the major manufacturer of all sorts of transducers including, depth, temp, weather, speed and GPS devices.
In addition to all the informational sections of the app it also has some very useful tools to help you do electronic installations.
Magnetic and electric fields can influence and affect the readings or your onboard electronic. That is why it is good to use shielded wire and cable for installations.
The Magnetic field meter is useful to detect the source of electronic fields and possible interference on you yacht. If your installing sensitive devices like auto pilot heading sensors or fluxgate compasses. Use this tool to find a magnetic field free area of your boat.
I have reviewed several apps that do wire size calculations. This selection allows a quick and easy wire size selection with an entry of a few parameters.
Simply select the system, voltage, % voltage drop, and whether it is in the engine room or not. Resistance of a wire increases as the temperature increases.
Select the circuit type, length, current and the correct wire size is calculated.
Many through hull transducers have a built in temperature sensor. To determine if your sensor is reading correctly you need to know the resistance at certain temperature readings. The temperature sensor testing tool provides a list of temperature readings and corresponding resistance readings.
Simply select the thermistor type for you model and then measure the resistance of the transducer with an ohm meter. Select the Test Pins page to see what pins on the cable to measure with your ohm meter. Measure the water temperature and see if the resistance readings match the listed temperatures on the spinner wheel.
EDI Test Data
For the real electronics technician, test data including resistance and frequency are provided along with the measuring pin outs. This will not make much sense to the average boater unless you have some EDI test equipment around and know how to use it. Most of us know that if the transducer is not working we pull it out and get a new one. It is pretty tough to field troubleshoot and repair these devices.
I am very impressed with the iNstall app. I like the idea of getting all the data, tools, manuals and brochures in one spot on my iPhone or iPad. I wrote a blog post showing how to save PDF manual in the iBooks app on your iOS device. This is easy to do and you can save just the manuals you need for the equipment on your yacht.
Download the iNstall app, it is a no brainer. Add it to your tools folder and have it handy if you ever need to do some trouble shooting or need to select a new transducer for your electronics.
~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)
Posted by Mark Messerli at 11:47 AM