Chart Table & Signal K

I finished cleaning around the chart table today. It’s a lot better now, I ripped out the electronics. Most is ready to be replaced or re-located.

chartt
Will be looking to clean up the wiring soon. The very bright light is a deck prism, just glass

I think the PO (previous owner) had added the electronics bit by bit, you can usually spot this by the way it’s wired in, especially when lots of kit is running off the cigar lighter.

chartt2
more homely now

I plan to have the following equipment installed around the chart table as a minimum for now:
1) DSC VHF (new)
2) AIS Class B Transponder (Receiver and Transmitter)  with display (new)
3) Radar (existing Raytheon)
4) Navtex (existing Raytheon)
5) SSB Transceiver with Saillink Packet modem (existing Icon)
6) Chart Plotter (existing iPad running Navionics)

So I’m moving the existing kit I’m keeping to better locations and will be ordering the new gear soon.
I’m also investing heavily in Signal-K a new protocol designed for the future, currently all the equipment can talk to each other using a basic protocol called NMEA, this allows the autopilot to learn how to steer using the GPS route information, or for the DSC-VHF to send out the position as part of a distress call. However the Signal-K extends the connectivity to any kind of equipment and also to other places, people or interestingly, other boats and shore stations and even over the internet. In theory, my chart plotter can now show me my route, and the routes programmed into other boats if they support Signal-K, I can in theory extend my AIS or Radar by hooking into the data from other boats further away. Shore stations may collect this data and retransmit it. It’s been called the Internet of things for the sea. It may not take off, it’s early days, but I will be writing software and apps to work with this data, and I have ordered one of the first Signal-K gateways for the boat, which should arrive soon. More details can be found here

I’m also struggling on how to handle the entertainment system for the boat. I definitely need a pumping sound system that works in the cabin and the cockpit, and possibly the v-berth, most of the music is going to be coming from an IOS or Android device, but will also need local FM radio. I think it will be nice to watch a film once in a while, should that stay on the laptop, or invest in a display I can plug the laptop into. That decision can wait a bit.

I still see no sign of any visitors lurking around the boat, but I found this chappy behind the chart table today (well dead ).

cocky 50p

Tomorrow I’m going to get to the bottom of the shore power wiring, and decide on 110 or 240V for the boat, or some kind of compromise.

Paul C

5 thoughts on “Chart Table & Signal K”

  1. I like the look of the Fusion RA50, and its cousins. But I haven’t actually used one in anger, other than mucking around with one in WestMarine while I was in the US.

    1. Looks interesting Dermot, It would be perfect if I could stream to it as well. Maybe that and an old apple TV might work.

      1. I know! The problem with all of these things, is they handle about 90% of the use-cases. You find one which supports streaming and then it won’t do AUX-IN or something else. The RA50 does have a bluetooth adapter, which could solve the streaming issue.

        1. I’m thinking it might be best to separate the amp requirement from the streaming, as you say I wont find anything that does all of what I want, and who knows, VHS may go out of fashion soon 😉
          So perhaps I will look for an amp first that can drive the cabin speakers, and/or the cockpit speakers, and allow muting by the VHF, then add on something for the rest, that feeds in on an aux input, I think a lot of car radios can do most of that using the front and rear speaker outputs.
          I haven’t looked in detail, but I wonder how hard it is to extract the audio from something like the HDMI connection on a chromecast or amazon fire device.

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