Thursday, January 31, 2013

nGauge Digital Instrument Display

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch 5.1 or later
Function: NMEA 2000 Digital Instruments
Cost: $19.99
Rating: ****

I ran a across some great photos of a major fail by these marlin fisherman. The Marlin Magazine Facebook page posted these the other day. Apparently they hooked a big one and were backing down on the fish to reel it in.  The captain backed a little too hard and they took major water over their stern.  The pictures speak for themselves. Note to self, "take it easy on the back down"!

The boat sunk and was a total loss. The embarrassed crew was rescued.

This week I ran across another data display app called nGauge.  Perhaps if the captain of the marlin boat had this he would have known he was backing up a little too fast. 

MFD (multi-function displays) are hot right now. All the major manufacturers are creating multifunction displays capable of presenting just about any NMEA 2000 data that you might have on your yacht.  The NMEA 2000 data can include AIS, Environmental, Navigation, Power, Propulsion, Steering and other general points.

Garmin, Raymarine and others have recently come out with some cutting edge digital marine instrument displays.  I have been tempted to purchase some of  these but I keep asking myself, why would I buy one of these spendy displays only to have it become obsolete in just a few months.  The hardware always seems like the expensive part. Why not use your iPad or iPhone and an app that allows you to create any display that you want.  The app software option sounds a lot cheaper and more versatile.  If a new and cooler app comes out next month I am only out a few bucks rather that hundreds of dollars.

nGauge Features:
  • Customized to suit your network and data sources
  • 60 gauge types available
  • 4 different page layouts
  • Displays NMEA 2000 PGN data
  • NMEA 0183 available in March 2013
  • Create custom pages to include just the gauges you need
  • Set up which pages you want to display
  • Set the order of the displayed pages
  • Day or night viewing of the gauges
  • Set gauge background to white or black
  • US or metric units
  • Tachometers maximum of 4000 or 6000 rpm
  • Speedometers range of 0-10, 0-20 or 0-60 knots
  • Single or dual engine gauges

nGauge was designed to be a configurable instrument display for your portable iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.  The app can be set up to closely mimic the dedicated marine instruments on your yacht.

Gauges can be customized and arrange in a variety of pages to suit your style.  Several different gauge sizes can be selected and combined to create your desired instrument panel.

The gauges display beautifully on the high resolution screens of the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. 

Over 60 gauges are included, and these can be grouped into custom pages to suit the information on your network. Gauges can be viewed in analog with inset digital versions and multiple devices can receive and display the same data.

nGauge at this point reads NMEA 2000 data transmitted over WiFi by the DMK or Chetco SeaSmart adapter.  Other WiFi devices may also work. The data is received from these devices in ad hoc mode, or through a router.

The NMEA 0183 data display capabilities are coming with a new release in March. I am not sure if it will be part of this app or if it will be a completely new app, we will have to wait and see.

Remote monitoring of a boat or land installation is easy to set up too. Weather stations can be connected to a wireless network and are supported with gauges specific to weather information.  nGauge can also be used for land based based weather station monitoring too.

It would be nice to be able to combine the meter pages into groups.   Meters for the engine, GPS, navigation, wind and weather could be grouped in separate pages to be able to access them quicker. Soft keys at the bottom could be added to display the different groups.

An option to have a large segmented digital displays would be another nice option rather that the analog dial looking gauges.

There is a lot of versatility with the page layouts and gauge size selection.  I like the versatility provided to arrange the gauges in a variety of page layouts.  With a few tweaks and the addition of NMEA 0183 this one might be a keeper.

~~~Sail On~~~ /)


  1. There is no link to nGauge or a way to find them.

    1. Dwight,

      The link seems to be broken or taken down. I cannot find the app in the iTunes store either. Looks like they pulled it from the market and don't support it anymore. If I find a new link I will post it.


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  2. nGauge was discontinued and the same app was released by Airmar. It is called the OnSiteWX App and is available on iTunes. Engine data is brought in by purchasing the premium gauges. I think they cost $1.99.



    Kevin Dolan
    DMK Yacht Instruments
    Sales and Customer Support
    Cell: 206-450-5037

    1. Kevin,

      Thanks for the update on nGauge. I will take a look at the OnsiteWX app. I purchased a used DMK 11A box this winter and plan to get it wired into my boat this spring. Thanks for a great and versatile product.

      Become a follower and keep in touch!

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