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Welcome to next generation navigation from Digital Yacht

You’ve reached the daily news-feed site for Digital Yacht.  Remember our main website is at www.digitalyachtamerica.com so please visit there  for further product information.

This site is packed with useful hints and tips on marine electronics in general, installation guides, white papers and links to other sites too. Feel free to subscribe by joining our list. Follow us also on Twitter and Facebook

WL70R – New lower cost solution for wifi afloat

A new, competitively priced hi power wifi solution is now available from Digital Yacht called the WL70R

The system uses the well proven, WL70 1.25m wifi antenna (details HERE) and ships complete with a compact, DC powered wireless router called  iKConnect.  This creates a local wifi network on board the boat allowing mobile devices like phones, tablets and laptops to share the connectivity of the long range wifi antenna – effectively allowing multiple devices and users to share the internet connection.

The WL70 features a hi power modem integrated into the rugged 15dBm antenna.  It’s self powered from a USB connection – either direct to a PC/MAC or via the iKConnect router in the new WL70R bundle making installation really easy.

WL70R bundle features:

  • Rugged 1.25m 15dBm antenna with industry standard 1″ mount compatabilty
  • Super compact iKConnect router with direct 10-18V DC power connection
  • Simple to use web interface for setting up and connecting to hotspots
  • Offers typically 15-20x normal wifi connection range and maximises speed
  • iKConnect creates an 802.11n wireless network onboard with full WEP/ WPA/WPA2 encrypted password protection
  • Detachable 5dBi antenna on iKconnect router to footprint boats up to 25m
  • LAN and WAN connections for network expansion and other applications – compatible with iKommunicate too
  • Also compatible with Fusion marine audio network for Fusion app audio control
  • 3G/4G USB modem support coming soon

ikc router

More and more boaters want access to the internet afloat. Marinas and ports as well as a large number of cafes, hotels, restaurants and service providers offer wifi connectivity but you may just miss that vital connection if you’re moored or anchored away from the dock – especially if you’re below decks about to enjoy a movie or catch up on email. The WL70 can offer reliable and fast connections up to about ½ mile/1km depending upon conditions.  For ranges up to 5-7NM, the more powerful WL510 is available.

The WL70R system is shipping now.  Download the manual from HERE

Part number: ZDIGWL70R (comprises bundle of WL70 and iKConnect router)

UPC: 081159830472

Price: GBP£300/US$449.90/EUR415

Find out more by calling + 44 1179 55 44 74 (US 978 277 1234)

AIS Antennas & Accessories

We’re often asked for compatible AIS antennas, mounting accessories and connectors for use with our range of products so the latest AIS Antenna & Accessory Guide is now available to download.  Just click on the image below.

antenna accessories page

It’s not just AIS products either – we’ve accessories for our wifi products too that will prove prove popular with users of our WL70 wifi antenna.  Many boaters want to rail mount the antenna when in port and stow away below decks while sailing.  The PA41 detachable rail mount makes installation a breeze.

The PA82 can also be used as a mast mount for the DTV100 DTV antenna

There’s lots of possibilities here for the best, professional installation.  Just drop us a line or call if you need to order any parts (Europe + 44 1179 554474 or US 978 277 1234)

iKommunicate – Welcome to next generation interfacing

iKommunicate is Digital Yacht’s NMEA to Signal K gateway which brings the internet of things to anything afloat and will introduce a new generation of interfacing and applications to the marine electronic’s world.

ik a4  intro postcard

Things are changing in the world of marine electronic interfacing with the introduction of a new open source platform called Signal K. It’s been developing quietly over the past few years by a group of enthusiastic and very bright  developers and boaters and is now ready for wide scale implementation. The name comes from the original Signal K (kilo) flag which indicates “I want to communicate”!

Signal K aims to be the next generation solution for marine data exchange. It is intended to be used not only for communication between instruments and sensors on board a single vessel, but also to allow for sharing of data between multiple boats, aids to navigation, ports, marinas, etc. It is designed to be easily implemented by web and mobile applications and to connect boats and ships to the Internet of Things Afloat.

Many of you will be familiar with NMEA data standards which have been prevalent over the past 30 years.  While reliable and proven, they are slow and also expensive to develop for as there are legal, certification and documentation costs.  These standards were developed when the instruments on the average boat were much simpler and less capable. Today’s world is a lot more connected and there are huge benefits of tablet, PC and smartphone integration for data displays, applications, sharing and control. However, we don’t see the NMEA standard disappearing over night but equally a new format is needed for the next advance in applications.  In fact, the combination of NMEA and Signal K on board is the best technical opportunity.  That’s where iKommunicate comes in – a full featured NMEA to Signal K gateway and server allowing existing marine electronics to integrate with Signal K apps.

Like any new standard, it would take early adopters and lots of hard work to flourish but thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in the back end of 2015, iKommunicate was created and is now in production.  Thanks to nearly 500 early backers, iKommunicate was designed and manufactured.  Now everyone can now start to take advantage of next generation interfacing.

ipad and ik lr

iKommunicate has inputs for both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 so it will work with the latest generation of marine instruments as well as legacy systems.  You can now integrate your older marine electronic equipment to the next generation of interfacing with tablets, PC and other devices.  To start sharing data, it’s designed to connect to a router and to complement iKommunicate, Digital Yacht have introduced iKConnect – a compact wifi router with easy integration for iKommunicate as well as a WAN port for internet connectivity.

ikc router

Out of the box, iKommunicate can do some really clever things

  • Converts NMEA0183 and NMEA2000 to the new Signal K Open Data format
  • Includes two Web Apps; iKompass and Instrument Panel so that you can look at the Signal K data
  • Re-transmits all of the NMEA0183 and some of the NMEA2000 data it receives in to TCP or UDP network data
  • Can host other Web Apps and documents (PDFs, JPGs, etc.) on its 8GB micro SD Card

With data in Signal K format, it becomes incredibly easy to write apps to make boating more fun, affordable and safe.  We’ve produced a simple SDK at our www.ikommunicate.com site to help budding developers. Popular apps could include

  • Logging – log your engine data and track any changes over time – a gradually rising water or oil  temperature can be diagnosed prior to becoming an expensive problem
  • Twitter and Facebook integration – create your own Facebook logbook and share your boating experience with friends. Auto tweet your boats position for an easy tracking solution
  • Integrate with hobby hardware platforms like Raspberry Pi to create a custom alarm or monitoring platform for you boat

In fact, the sky is the limit!  You can also download the iKommunicate manual from HERE

Lots of major app developers are starting to interface with Signal K and iKommunicate’s support of NMEA data over TCP and UDP connections makes it compatible with lots of older apps too.

iKommunicate is now available to order.  You can order NOW

Dealers, marine electronic installers and boat builders should read our iKommunicate Guide HERE

Welcome to next generation interfacing for everything afloat!

AISView Android App adds US Charting option

AISView  is an easy to use app designed for Android phones and tablets which displays real time AIS targets with a radar like presentation when interfaced with any of Digital Yacht’s AIS wireless servers or USB devices.  Targets are colour coded and scaled depending upon vessel type and there’s a target trail and drill down vessel information display.  The app can also display internet sourced AIS data which is useful for home monitoring or for checking AIS traffic outside your area.

AISView Screen Shot Experia

The latest version of the app also supports raster charts as a layer.  For $9.99 you can add a detailed NOAA chart layer covering all US coastal areas.  Charts are automatically downloaded when there’s an internet connection and then stored on the device so no data connection at sea is required.  There’s also a simple A-B chart ruler and your position will be updated in real time from either the boat’s system or the internal GPS of the phone or tablet.  CPA (closest point of approach) and TCPA (time to CPA) alarms can be set to help with anti collision calculations.

Screenshot Raster Chart 2

AIS data is sent from the boat’s AIS system via any of Digital Yacht’s on board wifi gateways or an OTG USB cable.  AISView is available to download from the Google play store now (access it from your Android device) and is priced at $9.99

NavLink US Raster v Vector – Your Choice Now

NavLink is a brilliant, full function charting app for iOS.  Use it on iPhone or iPad and you’ll transform your device into a full function chart plotter with detailed NOAA charts and the ability to interface with Digital Yacht wireless products to overlay AIS data and take a GPS feed from the boat’s system.

Detailed NOAA charts are included for the whole of the US with user defined layers so you can tailor the chart detail to your requirements. Build a route, measure a bearing and distance and use your tablet for real time navigation.   The AIS presentation is fantastic with scaleable target size and full drill down info. To get it, just visit the App Store on your iOS device and search for NavLink US.  Canadian charts are available as an in app purchase.

image a

But what about if you want the traditional NOAA paper chart look.

Great News!  It’s now available so you can switch between the flexibility of vector charts and the familiar feel of paper all at the click of a button – and for no extra cost!  What’s more, existing app users can update FREE too – just update the app through the Apple store.  The images above and below show what to expect and how they compare.

image b

Personally I’m a fan of the old fashioned raster presentation but one of the limitations has been that you can’t drill down on specific data like buoy light data.  NavLink’s unique vector and raster options allow you this flexibility.  Click on an object even on the raster layer and you’ll get drill down info just like below.

image d

Navigation on board has never been easier and more affordable with iPad and iPhone apps and Digital Yacht’s NavLink just made it better.  Get it today from the App store – just search NavLink US

 

 

Digital Yacht UK On The Move

Digital Yacht are on the move and our new UK address with effect from 21st March is:

Digital Yacht Ltd
6 Farleigh Court, Old Weston Rd,
Flax Bourton,
Bristol,
BS48 1UR

Our telephone and email addresses remain unchanged. Please update our address details with immediate effect.

The new facility allows us to incorporate sales, R&D, product management and finance in a new three storey building located just 10 minutes from Bristol airport and adjacent to the new A370 ring road for excellent communications.

Originally constructed in 1837, Farleigh Court has an amazing history and is now a beautifully renovated technology park for Bristol business with state of the art office space and surroundings despite its listed building status.

digital yacht were moving postcard

Over the next few months we will be opening a permanent demonstration area and hope to see you soon at our new home.

Best wishes from the Digital Yacht UK team

New iKommunicate Developer’s Guide (SDK)

iK GitHub Site

This week we launched a new iKommunicate Developer’s Guide on GitHub that aims to make it easy for developers to start writing HTML5 Web Apps or mobile Apps that read data from NMEA networks via the new Signal K open data format.

iKommunicate is designed to be a powerful and intelligent gateway that efficiently converts NMEA data in to Signal K data, but that is just half of the jigsaw. The other key elements are the apps and software that work with iKommunicate to make it a fun and useful addition to your boat.

Out of the box, iKommunicate will work with all Navigation Software packages and Apps that support NMEA network data over TCP or UDP and it will also include a couple of Signal K web apps to get you started. However, it is hoped, that as more and more developers realise the potential of Signal K, that a plethora of innovate and useful apps will start to appear, transforming the way we use out boats.

In putting together the Developer’s Guide, we realised just how easy it is to start developing apps and there is an awful lot of information, libraries and source code on the internet that you can draw upon as you become more experienced. Even if you have never looked at HTML5, http REST APIs or WebSockets, our wiki and example apps, will give you a good starting point and have you displaying Signal K data in no time.