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Welcome to next generation navigation from Digital Yacht

Please remember our main website is at http://www.digitalyachtamerica.com so please visit there  for further product information.

This site is a daily news feed – packed with useful hints and tips on marine electronics in general, useful installation guides, white papers and links to other sites too.

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Digital Yacht introduce NavLink US Navigation Package for MacBooks

A new, $29.95 MAC application called NavLink US from Digital Yacht will turn your MacBook into a full featured, electronic charting system with detailed US charting and real time GPS and AIS support for easy, yet advanced navigation.

Navlink_air_02

NavLink MAC is an Apple MAC based electronic charting and navigation package which turns a MacBook into a full function chart plotter.  The application comes complete with highly detailed US NOAA vector charts and allows real time positioning, tracking and routing.  Simply create a route with a click of the mouse to quickly and easily get bearing, distance and ETA information to your destination. AIS targets can also be overlaid onto the electronic charting.  Charts can be zoomed and panned using intuitive finger gestures on the MAC track pad.

The MAC will require a GPS connection for location and optional connection to AIS if an AIS overlay of targets is required.  Digital Yacht’s range of GPS sensors or their low cost USB-NMEA adaptor can be utilised to connect the MAC to the boat’s GPS/AIS system.  Alternatively, for a wire free solution, NavLink supports a connection via wifi to any of Digital Yacht’s NMEA to wireless devices such as iAIS and the WLN10.

navlink mac tides

The seamless charts feature incredible detail as they are derived from official NOAA data and show buoys, navaids, depth contours, wrecks, spot depths, restrictions etc.  NavLink also supports “drill down” data so an object such as a buoy can be queried for its characteristics.  Weather buoys are also supported for local weather conditions (an internet connection is required for this live data) and a tidal atlas is included.  NavLink MAC users can also share routes with the NavLink iPad app.

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NavLink has been designed from the ground up to take advantage of the MACs simplicity of operation and clarity of the high resolution displays on Apple’s latest products.  Priced at just $29.95, it’s available for download from the MAC app store right now

GV30 Combo GPS-VHF Antenna – The Perfect Class B AIS Transponder Antenna Solution

Many users are put off installing a Class B AIS transponder because of the requirement for additional antennas on their space strapped pushpit rail or radar arch.

A Class B AIS transponder must have its own internal (built in)  dedicated GPS receiver so this requires a dedicated antenna.  It also needs a dedicated VHF antenna (ideally tuned to 162MHz) or connection to a specialist VHF-AIS antenna splitter if you want to share the main VHF antenna with the AIS and VHF.  Our SPL2000 splitter is a great choice here but this technology is relatively expensive.

Digital Yacht now have a great new solution – the compact GV30 combination GPS and VHF antenna, tuned specifically for 162MHz AIS frequencies.  Physically its around 75mm in diameter and has a compact helical stub antenna fitted to the top.  Two (10m) cables exit the unit (for GPS and AIS) with low profile connectors to make running the cable through the boat easy.  Adaptors are supplied for connection direct to our AIT2000 transponder.  Despite the compact stub antenna, performance is actually very good and it makes for a rapid installation.  Of course, range is slightly limited (typically 5-8 NM)  but range isn’t everything - actually too much range can cause too many targets to be received and overcrowd the plotter display!

GV30

Note that the GV30 is shown here fitted to a 1″ standard deck base (stainless steel) which isn’t supplied.  The GV30 has the industry standard 1″ female thread to fit a wide variety of 3rd party rail, deck and pole adaptors.

It will of course work with other AIS transponders but there’s some good reasons here to choose our brilliant AIT2000 Class B transponder

 

Digital Update July 2014 Now Out

Welcome to Digital Update 2014.  Our latest monthly newsletter is now out and you can download from here Digital Update July 2014.  In this edition we take a look at our latest Android app – AISView which offers real time AIS target viewing and tracking via a wifi or USB interface to your boat’s systems.  Turn your android phone or tablet into a full function AIS display with TCPA and CPA alarms!

Newsletter_July_Front Page

Adding a waypoint list to NavLink iPad app

Most navigators use a plotter by visually touching the screen where they want to create a waypoint or mark but there may be times where a list of waypoints needs to be imported – for instance club racing marks or a list of fishing hotspots that’s been passed down through generations.  Here’s a neat way to share a waypoint list on NavLink – our iOS charting and navigation app.

Step 1.

Create a spreadsheet with the Latitudes and Longitudes either in Degrees, Minutes, Seconds or Decimal degrees with a header line including latitude and longitude like so:-

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 16.38.37

One caveat – If your co-ordinates are West of the meridian like mine are you will need to enter them as negative values before dropping on the kml converter! Ditto south of the equator.

Step 2.

Next use this excellent free online converter tool at http://www.mapsdata.co.uk/online-file-converter/

If you have entered the co-ordinates in decimal degrees then you can just drag and drop the xls/cvs  file you have just created and downloaded onto the kml converter tool:-

But if like me, you are stuck in the DD MM SS  world then you need to use their  “Convert DMS to decimal” tool first. Drag your xls/csv file onto it , edit the resulting csv file to change the existing DMS latitude and longitude fields to a different name, e.g. dmslatitude etc. and then drop the resulting file onto the KML Converter box above.

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 16.36.49

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 16.17.13

Step 3.

Convert the kml to a kmz file. Simply compress/zip the resulting kml file and rename the extension from .zip to .kmz.

e.g. ClubMarks.kml -zip-> ClubMarks.kml.zip  -re-name-> ClubMarks.kmz and then email the kmz to yourself so you can pick it up in email on your iPhone/iPad

Open it in the iPhone email client.

Here are screenshots of the final step of the import process:-

  • Open the email and tap the kmz icon.

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  • Press the button at the top right to import the file.

IMG_2905

  • Select your navigation app (NavLink UK or NavLink US) from the list of options to open the file with and hey presto, here are the three waypoints imported

IMG_2909

It sounds complicated but its actually really easy and saves alot of typing

PilotLINK with NavLink UK app – Nice Solution

PilotLINK is our portable wireless gateway for Class A AIS systems.  It connects direct to any Class A pilot plug connector and allows AIS and GPS data to be streamed over a wifi link to iPads, iPhones or other tablets.  Just find the PilotLINK hotspot and connect.  There’s an internal 9V battery or you can power via a standard USB format adaptor.  Designed for maritime pilots, its also finding applications with delivery skippers, captains and crew.

ipadair_navlink

NavLink UK is our full featured iOS charting and navigation app using Hydrographic Office vector charts.  It supports real time GPS tracking, waypoints and routing plus an AIS target layer and works beautifully with PilotLINK.  There are now chart options for France, Holland and Germany (available as low cost in app purchases) and a separate version (NavLink  US) for the US market.

 

If you’re an Android user then our new AISView app for Android is now available on the Google Play Store.  You can get details here.  This provides a really nice north up or course up view of local AIS targets with drill down target information.  Here’s a busy Rotterdam port this week

nexus 7

GPS & GLONASS Positioning – A Digital Yacht White Paper

This new whitepaper looks at the development of satellite based positioning systems and discusses the capabilities of our new DualNav technology.

The GPS150 sensor from Digital Yacht utilises DualNav GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning for sub 1m accuracy and super fast 10Hz updates.  The result is improved navigational accuracy and much faster plotter redraws which significantly aids navigation.  Users also benefit from two independent satellite positioning systems.

GPS150 DUALNAV NO STAND

Download the white paper here GPS+GLONASS White Paper V1_00

AIS Sales In the UK – A job well done by AIS Companies

The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, an island situated off the south coast of England. The race regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.  It started today at 0630 and the screen shot below at 0900 shows just how many boats have AIS transponders installed.

IPAD 4

It also shows that the AIS system is robust and even in confined areas can handle large amounts of traffic.  The image below uses our latest iPad navigation app NavLink UK to show a realtime view of AIS targets.  NavLink turns an iPad into a full function touch screen chart plotter with tracking and routing plus real time AIS overlays for just £19.99!  Here we can see sailing vessel Amorelle and all the targets around.  Of course these views only show vessels equipped with a transponder but there’s also thousands of users utilising AIS with just a receiver – seeing what’s around but not sending their location information.  Either way, AIS can only be a brilliant step forward in marine navigation safety and boating fun!

IPAD 1

This week we also launched our FIRST Android app called AISView.  Unlike NavLink it doesn’t have detailed charts but instead uses either a Google map or radar like PPI/range ring display to show AIS targets.

AISView is the ideal App for anyone wanting to display “live” AIS data from their boat’s AIS receiver or transponder on their Android tablet or smart phone. AISView is designed to receive and display wireless NMEA data from any of Digital Yacht’s NMEA to Wifi devices like the WLN10, NavLink, iNavHub or iAIS.

Although a “wire free” connection is the easiest way to get data in to the tablet, if you do not have one of our wireless NMEA products, you can also connect using Digital Yacht’s USB-NMEA adaptor. Connect this cable to the NMEA0183 output of your AIS and plug the USB connector in to a suitable USB OTG cable for your tablet and you have a simple and cost effective method of getting AIS data in to the tablet

Even if you have a full featured AIS display on your main plotter, having an extra display on a tablet is useful as a repeater or 2nd display. Utilising the internal GPS of the Android tablet, you will also have a completely separate backup system, which should your main plotter fail, will display your position, all of the AIS targets around you and also provide anti-collision alarms with CPA and TCPA calculations.

AISVIEW 2

Once installed, you’ll see an overlay of AIS target information onto a background Google map. Tap on a target and you’ll get a drop down list with identity, heading and closest point of approach (CPA) information. A heading vector makes it easy to see potential collision course targets. Google maps can now be cached if you don’t have an internet connection but even if this feature is not used, AISView will present an attractive radar like visualisation with range rings overlaying the targets around your vessel.  Note in the pic above the Lymington – Yarmouth ferry making its way through the Round the Island race fleet!

AISView also supports a simple bearing and distance ruler, compass heading display and current position and track history from the device’s built in GPS. Alarms can be configured for closest point of approach and AIS SARTs – useful for MOB applications. If you have a live internet connection, you can also supplement the real time overlay with AIS information obtained from the popular BoatBeacon internet AIS app (if this is installed) allowing you to view AIS targets in remote ports or locations.

All these are exciting developments for Digital Yacht and we can see how consumer devices are really taking part in real time boat navigation