New Signal K App – Signal View

Just a quick post to let you know about a great new Signal K App for iOS devices, called Signal View. Written by Adam Hyde, the author behind the popular Signal Kool blog site, Signal View is the ideal companion app to iKommunicate.

With a fishing screen, engine screen, custom screen (where you can choose what data to display) and a series of tools to make controlling iKommunicate even easier, we would recommend Signal View to anyone with an iPad or iPhone….oh and did we mention it was free ?

As an iKommunicate owner himself, Adam has used his own experiences, to create an app that really compliments iKommunicate and we think he has done a great job, despite never having written an iOS app before ! Let’s hope it is the first of many.

For more information on our unique iKommunicate gateway, please click here to visit the iKommunicate microsite which has all of the latest interesting and useful information about this innovative product.

New Update to NMEARemote

NMEA Remote + iKommunicate

Today Zapf Software, the developer of the very popular NMEA Remote App for Apple iOS devices, released an update that significantly improves support for our iKommunicate Signal K gateway.

As well as natively supporting the Signal K delta messages over a wireless high speed websocket connection, NMEA Remote now lists iKommunicate as one of the data sources. Select iKommunicate from the list, click enable and then the magic of Apple’s Bonjour Discovery service, finds iKommunicate on your network, connects to it automatically and starts displaying the data on a series of configurable digital and analogue displays.

NMEA Remote will not only display traditional instrument and GPS data, it will also display Engine data from one or more engines, assuming you have them connected to iKommunicate via the NMEA2000 network.

IMG_2450

To show just how easy it is to setup NMEA Remote with iKommunicate, we have produced a short video which you can view by clicking here.

After a successful Kickstarter Campaign, iKommunicate is now available through our normal distribution and is priced at $299.95 USD, £220 GBP or €315 EURO (excluding local Taxes) and more information can be found at http://ikommunicate.com while NMEA Remote is available from the Apple App Store.

Overview of Digital Yacht’s Wireless NMEA Devices

Wireless NMEA Products New

Since 2011, when we released iAIS, the world’s first wireless AIS receiver, we have been gradually building up a powerful range of wireless NMEA products. All of these products allow NMEA data (the marine industry data standard) to be taken from your onboard navigation equipment and transferred wirelessly to your mobile devices; tablets, smart phones, computers, etc.

With nine different wireless NMEA products in our range, it can be confusing for customers to select the best product for their needs. This article provides a simple overview of our wireless NMEA products which will hopefully make it easier for you to choose the right product for your application.

Product Description
iAIS AIS Receiver with Wi-Fi
AIT3000 AIS Transponder with Wi-Fi
iNavHub Wireless Router that converts NMEA0183 data
NavLink Wireless NMEA2000 Converter
PilotLink Portable Wireless converter for Class A transponders
WLN10 Wireless NMEA0183 Converter for Instruments
WLN10HS Wireless NMEA0183 Converter for AIS
SonarServer Wireless NMEA0183 Converter for Navionics App
WLN20 Dual Input Wireless NMEA0183 Converter

All of these products transmit wireless NMEA data that is readable by most of the popular navigation apps for Apple and Android devices. For more information on the latest Apps, please have a look at our Best Marine Apps for Apple iOS Devices or our Best Marine Apps for Android Devices articles.

The Navionics Boating App, the most popular navigation App for both Apple and Android devices, has recently added support for wireless NMEA and will now read wireless Depth and GPS data from the boat’s navigation system. Primarily this is to allow customers to create their own bathymetric charts using the Navionics SonarCharts™ “Live” technology, but it also allows non-3G iPads and even iPod Touch devices, that do not have their own internal GPS, to now be used for navigation. Digital Yacht have produced a special, simplified version of our WLN10, called the SonarServer that works with the Navionics App, although all of our other wireless products are also SonarCharts “Live” compatible.

If you would like to breath new life in to your boat’s existing navigation system, by going wireless and running the latest Apps on your new tablet or smart phone, then check what NMEA0183 or NMEA2000 interfaces your system has, decide whether you want to add AIS or not and then select the Digital Yacht wireless NMEA product that best suits your needs.

Best Marine Apps for iOS (V1.05)

Marine iOS Apps

We have just updated our “Best Marine Apps for Apple iOS” list to include the important news that the hugely popular Navionics App now supports external wireless NMEA data. Previously the Navionics App needed to be run on a 3G iPad or iPhone that had an internal GPS in order for you to plot your position on the charts. Now the latest version of their Boating App will read wireless NMEA data from any of the nine units in Digital Yacht’s wireless NMEA product range. This means that you can take data from the boat’s GPS or chart plotter and send it wirelessly to the Navionics App, allowing Wi-Fi Only iPads and even the iPod Touch to be used for navigation.

This list focuses on navigational apps that can be used with our wireless NMEA and AIS products and as long as the App you are interested in has a tick in the “External NMEA” column then it will work with our wireless NMEA products. With nine wireless NMEA products in our range, it can sometimes be confusing for customers, as to which product they need, so we have just published a comparison sheet to make it easier to choose the best product for your application, click here to read it.

We are fairly confident that we have captured most of the popular apps currently available. However, if you are a user or developer of a good marine navigation app for iOS that is not on our list, please let us know and we will get you on the list at the next update.

To download a PDF copy of this new updated list of Marine Apps for Apple iOS devices, please click here iOS Apps V1_05.

Oasis of the Seas drawn to scale

Oasis of the Sea

Further to our post last week about the update of our NavLink App for iPhones/iPads, here is a great screen shot of the new AIS targets drawn to scale feature. In the image above you can see the largest cruise liner in the world “Oasis of the Seas” entering Southampton Waters for the first time, which was taken at 9.00am this morning.

Unfortunately due to the sea mist, it was not possible to see her by eye, so we had to make do with plotting her progress on the NavLink App.

NavLink takes the ship’s dimensions from the data it receives from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder fitted to the Oasis of the Seas and draws the ship to scale on its electronic chart. Note the relative size of the Red Eagle ferry, which is dwarfed by the 362m cruise liner, on its starboard stern.

Two versions of app are available NavLink UK and NavLink US on the Apple App Store and for more information on the new features in this latest update please click here.

What’s in a Name ? – Good and Bad SSIDs

Bad SSID

We have noticed that quite a few of our WL450 and WL510 customers are using their long range Wi-Fi installation to connect to a “personal hotspot” or “tethered phone” depending upon whether they are an Apple or Android user. If you have a good or unlimited data plan on your phone, then this is a very useful way to get internet in places where the Wi-Fi is not so good but the 3G signal is strong. Normally it is the other way round, but if you find yourself in this situation, it is a “good tool to have in your tool box”.

The long range performance of the WL450/WL510, means that you can place the phone anywhere on the boat to get the best 3G signal and the WL450/WL510 will connect to it. If you also have the WL450/WL510 connected to a router like our iNavConnect then everyone on board connected to the router, will also be able to use the 3G internet connection.

Last week we were contacted by a customer trying to do just this with his iPhone but he could not get his WL510 to connect to his personal hotspot. After a bit of head scratching, we realised that he had an apostrophe in the SSID like the one in the image above “Paul&Kay’s iPhone” and this use of a special character was stopping the WL510 from connecting to it.

Looking online there did not seem to be a definitive Specification or RFC that stated what characters must or must not be used in an SSID, but the general recommendation seems to be that SSIDs should use standard characters, avoiding the use of special characters and spaces. So in our example above a much more compatible SSID would be “PaulandKays_iPhone”.

Once we changed the iPhone’s name (SSID) to a more compatible set of characters, the WL510 connected first time and he was able to get a very good 3G connection in the Norwegian Fjord he was moored in !