Digital Update November 2015 Now Out

The latest edition of Digital Yacht’s regular newsletter is now available to download.  In this month’s Digital Update, we explore Sonar Server, the iKommunicate Kickstarter campaign, METS and the useful MUX100 NMEA Multiplexer.  Click on the image or download from HERE

NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2015 front cover

Good Boating!

The Digital Yacht Team

Reach us in:  Europe + 44 1179 55 44 74 US 978 277 1234

Sonar Server Live Demo

There’s been massive interest in Sonar Server which takes NMEA depth data from your boat’s existing electronics (instruments, fish finders, multi function displays etc) and streams the data via its wifi server to mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and tablets that are on board.

Sonar Server NMEA

 

It’s designed to work with the popular Navionic’s boating app and the screen shot below shows the depth data being displayed in the top of the display.  In addition to the simple digital repeater display of depth information, Navionic’s have added new functionality called Sonar Charts Live.

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SonarCharts Live allows users to view sonar recordings in an exciting real-time display on the Navionic’s app. The newly generated personal HD chart is then saved for private use on the device, while recorded depth data is anonymously shared with Navionics to improve SonarCharts for all boaters. All data is cross-checked with other community contributions to ensure accurate daily enhancements.  SonarChart Live is truly fascinating to watch – as you move, you’ll see the map expose the underwater surface and the contour details revealed.  To see how it works in practice, we took Sonar Server out in Poole.  In the screen shot above, you’ll see the dredged channel just appears as an unsurveyed area of water.  The next screen shot below reveals how we added to the chart display just by cruising up the channel and in real time the depth information is re-plotted.  This was just a single pass and the system will build better and better data the more times you pass over a point.  Now here’s the clever part…

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The data is saved locally on your iPad/tablet and then the next time you have a live internet connection, this small amount of data is uploaded anonymously to Navionic’s charting server.  Here crowd sourced data from any other users is all combined, tidal offsets applied and some specialist algorithms utilised to validate and creat a new Sonar Chart which is then available for all users.  It truly is a step change in navigation and in producing better charts.

We’ve a video here showing Sonar Server in action

 

Make a difference to marine navigation – Check out http://www.sonarserver.com

Digital Update August 2015 Now Out!

Digital Update is Digital Yacht’s regular newslettter to keep you abreast of our latest product introductions.  The August 2015 edition is now available to download from HERE or click on the image below.  This month we take a look at the new DTV100 TV antenna, WL70 wifi antenna and Sonar Server.

Newsletter_AUG15_Front Page

Superyacht Sonar Server – Build Your Own Bathy Charting

Running aground while trying to edge into a shallow water anchorage must be high up the list of “DON’T DOs” for any Superyacht Captain.  With owners and guests increasingly wanting that really special anchorage or close to beach location, relying on traditional (and maybe out of date) chart depth data and a sounder could spell disaster and embarrassment.

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Digital Yacht’s Sonar Server working with Navionic’s Sonar Charts Live app for iPad and Android devices is a great solution to this problem.

Chances are the yacht tender is equipped with a small fishfinder, depth sounder or multi function plotter-sounder.  Sonar Server ($129.95) connects to the NMEA output from this device and creates a wireless feed to an iPad or Android tablet on board the tender.

It interfaces direct with Navionic’s low cost boating app which is popular among millions of users with detailed charts and global coverage.  Sonar Server feeds live depth data to the application which then redraws the bathymetry in real time allowing you to effectively build your own depth charts like in the picture below.  As you travel, the chart gets redrawn with new depth data/

sonar server screen shot

 

The tender can then return to the main yacht with a detailed local chart and the tablet used for real time navigation on the mother ship.  While no internet connection is required for the system to function, the next time the tablet has a connection, the collected data will be uploaded anonymously to Navionics who then validate the data and include on their next chart updates – so data gets better and better thanks to community data sourcing.  You can also build your own database too with local “depth tracks” stored on your device.

Find out more at http://www.sonarserver.com

PS For those that say it never happens, here’s proof or have a read here about an incident only this week in Miami – http://www.boatinternational.com/yachts/news/58m-superyacht-unbridled-runs-aground-off-of-miami–25993

superyacht agroind

 

Free Webinar on Navionics Sonar Charts™

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Digital Yacht’s CEO Nicholas Heyes will be one of the speakers at a free Webinar that Navionics are organising on their latest Sonar Charts™ Technology.

The live Webinar will take place on Tuesday 12th May at 19.00 hours Central Europe Time (13.00 EST and 10.00 PST) and registration is free for anyone that wants to attend. Register now by clicking here.

The Webinar will show you how to map, in real time, the sea bottom using the new Sonar Charts™ “Live” feature of the Navionics Apps, available for both Apple and Android devices, in conjunction with your existing GPS/Fish Finder.

A preview of the “Sonarcharts LIVE” video can be seen by clicking here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar, which will last for about 30 minutes.

Wi-Fi Congestion

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The range of 2.4GHz frequencies reserved for Wi-Fi is fairly limited and with so many Wi-Fi devices and networks these days, it is not unusual for wireless networks in the same location to share the same frequencies and this results in lower connection speeds and even connection drop outs in extreme situations.

The good news is that the wireless network(s) on your boat, once out at sea, will not be affected by the wireless networks on land or on other boats. That said, these days it is not unusual for larger yachts and powerboats to have two or more wireless networks and so it is really important to ensure that your own wireless networks are working at peak performance and not sharing the same frequencies.

The good news is that most Wireless Routers and Access Points can be configured to work on a specific frequency and so you should be able to ensure that each network is using its own frequency band without any overlaps.

There are affectively 13 frequencies in the 2.4GHz range and each wireless router will use five adjoining frequencies to setup its network. Looking at the diagram above, where each coloured curve is a separate wireless router/network, you can see that in general three frequencies are used; 1, 6 and 11. which allows three routers to work side by side with no overlapping/sharing of frequencies.

So how do you optimise the frequencies used by your wireless networks ? Well first you need to “see” what is going on by carrying out a wireless survey of your boat. This can be done using a number of free programs and apps. Unfortunately Apple do not allow iPhones and iPads to provide this level of Wi-Fi Information so you will need to use a Windows PC or Android device to do your wireless survey.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, then you are in luck as the free App “Wi-Fi Analyzer” is one of the best tools available and created the image above. For Windows PC users then “NetSurveyor” is very good or “WiFiInfoView” which is not so graphical but is only a few hundred Kilobytes in size and needs no installation, so can run straight from your memory stick.

Whichever tool you use, once you have conducted your wireless survey, you will be able to see what frequencies your wireless networks are operating on and decide if you need to change them. All Digital Yacht wireless products can be changed to use a different frequency and should you need to do this, please contact us for instructions.

Digital Yacht Sonar Server plus Navionic’s App Allows Real Time Bathymetry

Want better charts, then go boating – that’s the new slogan from Navionics for their new Sonar Chart Live functionality which is built into the latest version of their popular iOS and Android Boating app.  And this exciting new innovation really is a game changer in marine navigation.

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Sonar Server is a new wireless interface from Digital Yacht designed to send real time depth data from any NMEA compatible depth system, fish-finder or sounder to the popular Navionic’s charting app available iPhone, iPad and Android.

Sonar Server NMEA

SonarCharts Live is the latest advance in SonarCharts technology allowing users to view sonar recordings in an exciting real-time display on the Navionic’s app. The newly generated personal HD chart is then saved for private use on the device, while recorded depth data is anonymously shared with Navionics to improve SonarCharts for all boaters. All data is cross-checked with other community contributions to ensure accurate daily enhancements.  SonarChart Live is truly fascinating to watch – as you move, you’ll see the map expose the underwater surface and the contour details revealed.

sonar server screen shot

Sonar Server from Digital Yacht acts as a wireless gateway from on board electronics to the mobile device – sharing boat depth data with the app. In addition to depth information being transmitted, GPS data can also be sent allowing, for the first time, the Navionics app to utilise boat data for positioning on the chart as well as depth recording. This allows devices without a GPS, such as a “Wi-Fi Only” iPad or even an iPod Touch to utilise the charting app for real time navigation.

Sonar Server connects to the boat’s NMEA 0183 system using a simple 2 wire connection. It creates a wireless network on board that can typically footprint a boat up to about 25m in length. No internet connection is required on board. Sonar Server costs US$119.95/£99.95 and is available from www.sonarserver.com or through an in app purchase.

For NMEA 2000 systems, Digital Yacht’s existing NavLink wireless NMEA server can be used.

More details at http://www.sonarserver.com