How SignalK Changed our Electronics System


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MikeReynolds
MikeReynolds
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Gday all,
If you're interested in how NMEA-2000 and SignalK changed one bluewater cruising boat's electronics system you may be interested in this...
http://yachtzenagain.blogspot.com/2020/09/our-nmea-2000-and-signal-k-electronics.html

Unsure whether this type of information would be welcome on the OCC Facebook page.  Comments on that welcome too.
cheers,
Mike.
sv Zen Again

Dick
Dick
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MikeReynolds - 9/23/2020
Gday all,
If you're interested in how NMEA-2000 and SignalK changed one bluewater cruising boat's electronics system you may be interested in this...
http://yachtzenagain.blogspot.com/2020/09/our-nmea-2000-and-signal-k-electronics.html

Unsure whether this type of information would be welcome on the OCC Facebook page.  Comments on that welcome too.
cheers,
Mike.
sv Zen Again

Hi Mike,
Please, your information, to my mind, definitely has a place on the Forum and is most welcome. There was lots of interesting information, much of which was above my pay grade.
My interest is in safety issues: can you spell out the ways in which you see the electronics you added improved the safety of the vessel and its crew?
And, you suggest at the end of your blog, that it was not till you had completed the additions that you felt ready to do an ocean crossing: what aspects of your additions did you feel was critical to being ready for an ocean passage?
Thanks, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

MikeReynolds
MikeReynolds
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Dick - 9/23/2020
MikeReynolds - 9/23/2020
Gday all,
If you're interested in how NMEA-2000 and SignalK changed one bluewater cruising boat's electronics system you may be interested in this...
http://yachtzenagain.blogspot.com/2020/09/our-nmea-2000-and-signal-k-electronics.html

Unsure whether this type of information would be welcome on the OCC Facebook page.  Comments on that welcome too.
cheers,
Mike.
sv Zen Again

Hi Mike,
Please, your information, to my mind, definitely has a place on the Forum and is most welcome. There was lots of interesting information, much of which was above my pay grade.
My interest is in safety issues: can you spell out the ways in which you see the electronics you added improved the safety of the vessel and its crew?
And, you suggest at the end of your blog, that it was not till you had completed the additions that you felt ready to do an ocean crossing: what aspects of your additions did you feel was critical to being ready for an ocean passage?
Thanks, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Hi Dick,
Thanks for your reply.  The electronics I've added most recently was the small computer on which I loaded SignalK and InfluxDB.  This transformed our electronics from realtime-only to also providing historical data, and allowing the use of the same display software on all our devices.

Regarding improving safety:
1. Uniform display of realtime data across iPhone, iPad and Mac is a safety plus, especially when tired/stressed.
2. Display of environmental data (atmospheric pressure & temperatures) along with the usual boat performance data is a safety plus.
3. Availability of trends (from recordings) is a safety plus.
4. The ability to easily select between redundant data sources fed to all displays is a safety plus.
5. Hardware redundancy is a safety plus.

By the way, our only hardware chartplotter is an old, very small Garmin.  We expect to dispose of it soon since software chart plotters which we can run on all our devices offer more features and (on iPhone and iPad) are portable.  We carry multiple iPhones and iPads and they're far less susceptible to lightning damage unless connected for charging.  That's another safety plus.

At the end of my blog I say we feel ready AGAIN.  Just as when in the past we've headed off into the wild blue Zen Again again has a fully capable, modern electronics system.  We don't have a lot of expensive kit, but we have all the information and it's well presented.  For small boats and/or those with limited budgets I believe my approach has merit.

By the way, my first question in this thread was whether a link to blog posts like mine were welcome on the OCC Facebook page which seems much more popular than this Forum.
Cheers,
Mike.


Dick
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MikeReynolds - 9/24/2020
Dick - 9/23/2020
MikeReynolds - 9/23/2020
Gday all,
If you're interested in how NMEA-2000 and SignalK changed one bluewater cruising boat's electronics system you may be interested in this...
http://yachtzenagain.blogspot.com/2020/09/our-nmea-2000-and-signal-k-electronics.html

Unsure whether this type of information would be welcome on the OCC Facebook page.  Comments on that welcome too.
cheers,
Mike.
sv Zen Again

Hi Mike,
Please, your information, to my mind, definitely has a place on the Forum and is most welcome. There was lots of interesting information, much of which was above my pay grade.
My interest is in safety issues: can you spell out the ways in which you see the electronics you added improved the safety of the vessel and its crew?
And, you suggest at the end of your blog, that it was not till you had completed the additions that you felt ready to do an ocean crossing: what aspects of your additions did you feel was critical to being ready for an ocean passage?
Thanks, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Hi Dick,
Thanks for your reply.  The electronics I've added most recently was the small computer on which I loaded SignalK and InfluxDB.  This transformed our electronics from realtime-only to also providing historical data, and allowing the use of the same display software on all our devices.

Regarding improving safety:
1. Uniform display of realtime data across iPhone, iPad and Mac is a safety plus, especially when tired/stressed.
2. Display of environmental data (atmospheric pressure & temperatures) along with the usual boat performance data is a safety plus.
3. Availability of trends (from recordings) is a safety plus.
4. The ability to easily select between redundant data sources fed to all displays is a safety plus.
5. Hardware redundancy is a safety plus.

By the way, our only hardware chartplotter is an old, very small Garmin.  We expect to dispose of it soon since software chart plotters which we can run on all our devices offer more features and (on iPhone and iPad) are portable.  We carry multiple iPhones and iPads and they're far less susceptible to lightning damage unless connected for charging.  That's another safety plus.

At the end of my blog I say we feel ready AGAIN.  Just as when in the past we've headed off into the wild blue Zen Again again has a fully capable, modern electronics system.  We don't have a lot of expensive kit, but we have all the information and it's well presented.  For small boats and/or those with limited budgets I believe my approach has merit.

By the way, my first question in this thread was whether a link to blog posts like mine were welcome on the OCC Facebook page which seems much more popular than this Forum.
Cheers,
Mike.


Hi Mike,
And I had hoped to answer that question with the first sentence of my post:
“Please, your information, to my mind, definitely has a place on the Forum and is most welcome.”
I suspect you are correct that FB is more popular, which is a shame, in part, because, as I understand it, contributions such as yours are not archived to enable reading and study in the future. Some posts are worthy study, especially by those who make the effort to venture into new territory: early adapters so to speak. And you certainly sound like and early adapter in this area.
I will spend some time thinking about your post, but I did wish to respond quickly to your question of whether you were welcome: And to reiterate, absolutely, you are.
My best, Dick

Simon Currin
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Fascinating Mike. Thank you very much and I am sure that links such as this would be appreciated within the FB Member’s Group just as they are here in the Forum. Please make sure that this Forum is kept in the loop as here they are archived and searchable.

Simon
Nigel Studdart
Nigel Studdart
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Hi Mike

I use a signal K converter from digital yacht and pimp it through a ikconnect modem out to iPads and phones etc.
It works very well and is a great addition. Like you I have an aged chart plotter and can’t justify big money for a new one which is so limited .
Using a tablet with better processing power makes far more sense .
Excellent thanks .
On the topic of Facebook vs the Forum . I am almost ready to cease use of Facebook for OCC news ,due to the very poor quality of the debate and crass or unseemly nature of some of the comments . Sadly as a venue it seems to bring out the worse in some people . The quantity of contribution doesn’t not make up for the quality .
So please can I encourage you to use the forum where your post is valued and it’s author will be treated with respect.
Dick
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Nigel Studdart - 10/2/2020
Hi Mike I use a signal K converter from digital yacht and pimp it through a ikconnect modem out to iPads and phones etc.It works very well and is a great addition. Like you I have an aged chart plotter and can’t justify big money for a new one which is so limited .Using a tablet with better processing power makes far more sense .Excellent thanks .On the topic of Facebook vs the Forum . I am almost ready to cease use of Facebook for OCC news ,due to the very poor quality of the debate and crass or unseemly nature of some of the comments . Sadly as a venue it seems to bring out the worse in some people . The quantity of contribution doesn’t not make up for the quality .So please can I encourage you to use the forum where your post is valued and it’s author will be treated with respect.

Hi Nigel,
Thanks for the field report, always the best information that the marine field generates. And it sounds like your experience has some time-used behind it which is also valuable.
I am sorry to hear that Facebook has been so dis-agreeable for you, especially as it applies to OCC members. As one who has never darkened the doors of FB, it is interesting to hear your take. And I particularly have a problem with posts of significant contributions, such as Mike’s and yours, not being archived for later review and study and appreciation.
BTW, I have made the request in the past of Forum readers, but perhaps it is time to reiterate, that my wish is that nothing I write on these pages be copied and put on FB. I would hope all readers/OCC members would respect this wish. There are multiple reasons, but most important is that I would not have a chance to respond. I do invite any reader to read my writing on the Forum and respond in a way where we can have a discussion.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Simon Currin
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Dick
Please be reassured that there is no proposal to move Forum contents onto Facebook. As Nigel says the quality of discussion on the Forum is infinitely better than that on Facebook even if there are more participants. Please keep up the good work.
Simon
Dick
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Simon Currin - 10/2/2020
Dick
Please be reassured that there is no proposal to move Forum contents onto Facebook. As Nigel says the quality of discussion on the Forum is infinitely better than that on Facebook even if there are more participants. Please keep up the good work.
Simon

Hi Simon, Understood and that was not really my worry. A few years ago I learned that writings I had done for the Forum were copied and posted on FB. I made a general announcement and since then I have been asked a couple of time to C&P writings and, since they are available in the Forum, I refused. My best, Dick 
Nigel Studdart
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Thanks Dick , absolutely agree .Your writing is invaluable and greatly appreciated . The only place it should be additionally posted is in a book !

Moving Back to signal K if anyone needs a flow diagram for a system I am using happy to share . I find it particularly useful for guest crew who can log in with a phone and stream position and wind data etc. Totally not needed but fun for the techie orientated . On a practical note with some simple systems as Mike said you can easily replace expensive marine MFD with tablets albeit not outside in the sun.

Nigel

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