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Power Line Instruction (PLI)

Lumitec is a product development company focused on the conceptualization, development, and manufacture of extreme environment LED lighting. Their research and development facility located in Delray Beach, Florida has come up with an innovative, proprietary communication protocol called Power Line Instruction (PLI).

Power Line Instruction (PLI) is used to send control/configuration instructions to Lumitec luminaires over the standard power wires.

These instructions control the luminaire’s inherent behaviour. The protocol is executed over the basic 2-wire Powerline connections to the luminaire.

Behaviours such as brightness, color, color mixing, flashing sequences are some examples of control instructions. Luminaires can also be controlled as groups, for example, Cabin, Center Console, Floods, Downlights etc. or individually.

PLI does not require any additional wiring to a boat builders wiring plan, or specialized installation training and will work with any compatible digital switching system connected to Lumitec’s PLI enabled lights. Multiple virtual circuits can be created from a single hardwired circuit, allowing manufacturers to customize lighting control for customers from a single wiring plan. As PLI is designed to operate on a 2-wire system, it is cost effective and simple for boat builders to deploy.

 

 

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Digital Yacht 4G Connect delivers fast 4G/LTE internet access afloat

 

Digital Yacht will launch their new 4G Connect 2G/3G/4G (LTE) internet access solution at METS 2017. 

Digital Yacht's 4G Connect Pro system ships with 2 external antennas for exceptionally fast LTE access

It appeals to any boat or ship looking for extended and fast 4G internet coverage afloat.

IDigital Yacht's 4G Connect Pro system ships with 2 external antennas for exceptionally fast LTE access utilises the latest MIMO technology with dual antennas for fast, long range access and incorporates a full function wifi router so multiple devices can connect wirelessly. There is also a wired LAN port and WAN port – for connection to high power Wi-Fi devices or satellite systems as an optional method of connectivity.

4G Connect is available in two variants – the Standard model has built in antennas which will provide good performance when in harbour. The Pro model ships with two external hi gain antennas for exceptional long range performance and is the recommended solution for use afloat.  It's possible to get ranges up to 15NM offshore.

4G Connect has an easy to use interface and ships with a built in, low cost Vodafone roaming SIM. It's SIM unlocked so users are free to use any cellular provider they choose but the Vodafone solution offers the best maritime performance in Europe and is competitive with 50GB of data available for £25 on a 1 month commitment rolling tariff covering 50 countries.

Operation is simple – turn on, connect to the password protected Wi-Fi hotspot that 4G Connect creates and your device is online.

Digital Yacht’s WL510 hi power wifi solution can also be connected to the WAN port for a choice between Wi-Fi hotspot access and 4G connectivity.

iKommunicate, Digital Yacht's universal NMEA and Signal K gateway can also connect to the LAN port providing boat NMEA data on the Wi-Fi network for use with navigation apps.

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Sailboat vs Trawler Anchoring ..

Jeff Seigel, founder of ActiveCaptain, writes…

As we pulled into the anchorage north of the Lake Worth inlet this week, in our trawler Red Head, we found ourselves in a sea of sailboats. It made us realize some of the issues to think about when picking a spot for both sailboats and trawlers especially when both types of vessels are in the same area.

There are a couple of things that might not be obvious about anchoring but are critical to careful planning. First, the amount of rode you let out after making a scope decision includes the high water level and the height off the water where your anchor rode is attached to your boat.

Ignoring a situation where you're anchoring in very deep water, many cruisers pick about 5:1 scope for anchoring. 7:1 allows us to sleep better. 10:1 would be used if a bad storm were expected.

So if you decide to use 5:1 scope in 10 feet of water when there is an additional 3 feet of tide expected, and your anchor rode is attached to your boat 4 feet off the water surface, the amount of rode to let out should be:

                                         ((10 + 3) + 4) * 5 = 85 feet

The second thing that many people don't realize is that a bridle does not reduce the attach point of the rode to your boat unless the bridle line is attached to the boat at a point lower than where your chain exits the boat. It is most common that the hawse holes/cleats where the bridle attaches are at the same height as the anchor chain exit so in reality, a bridle does nothing to reduce the rode based on scope. This is often argued but it's true. When the wind picks up, your bridle will raise out of the water and form a straight line to the anchor – it has to. It's easy to prove with some string and a toy boat.

So here's the potential problem when sailboats and trawlers anchor together.

We all want to use similar scope, yet it's often the case that trawlers put out a lot more rode. It isn't because they're being selfish. It's because a trawler's rode attach point on the boat is generally at the bow which can often be 8 or more feet off the water.

Here's a real example:

  • A sailboat and a trawler are anchoring at low tide in 6 feet of water where a 3 foot tide is expected (the Lake Worth anchorage).
  • Both boats will put out 7:1 scope because the strong winds are expected
  • The sailboat's rode attach point is 4 feet off the water at the bow.
  • The trawler’s rode attach point is 10 feet off the water at the bow chain lock.
  • Sailboat rode: ((6 + 3) + 4) * 7 = 91 feet
  • Trawler rode: ((6 + 3) + 10) * 7 = 133 feet

In reality, we put out 125 feet of rode because I did the calculation in my head. I believe the sailboat who anchored in front of us put out 75 feet of rode.

In the middle of the night, there was a major wind change with a big storm. As we swung around, we'd now be in front of the sailboat. And it would feel like we were 50 feet closer to the sailboat since we had

50 feet more rode out than they had. We'd end up being a lot closer even though neither boat dragged an inch.

These are the things to take away from this:

  • If you're a sailboat, be very careful when anchoring in FRONT of a trawler with a high bow. Consider the difference between your bow heights times the scope to estimate the distance they'll move closer to you when the wind shifts. So in the example above, you should move an additional (10 – 4) * 7 = 42 feet in front of the trawler than you expect.
  • If you're a trawler, you have a similar responsibility to consider your extra rode distance especially if you're anchoring BEHIND a sailboat with a big wind change expected. You will move closer and you must account for that before you pick your spot using similar bow height estimates.

Trawler owners can correct a lot of the extra rode needed by having a bow eye placed near the water line and having the anchor attach there.

That will be the subject of another newsletter….

Also, don’t forget to use and understand my app for your tablet/phone – DragQueen..

 

ActiveCaptain

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iKommunicate brings the "Internet of Things" to boats…

 

iKommunicate from Digital Yacht is a new gateway designed to get traditional marine electronics connected to the next generation of interfacing and the internet of things.  It was developed via a successful Kickstarter crowd funded project back in early 2016 and is now available as a consumer product.

NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 interfacing have been utilised for many years and are now the de facto interconnect standard for all major brands of electronics.  They are super reliable but relatively old fashioned in that they are slow and also complex for application developers to work with – like a dial up modem in a broadband age.  There are also legal issues with regard to certification and documentation which stalls innovative product development.  The next generation of marine interfacing will integrate more items like engines, switches, sensors and even other marine assets like buoys and marinas so a new standard is required.

Since 2012, a group of talented, boat owning developers have been actively creating a new open source interfacing protocol called Signal K.  The new iKommunicate gateway from Digital Yacht acts as a gateway from traditional NMEA based systems to the new Signal K platform allowing existing boat electronics to integrate with the next generation of connectivity.

Signal K is an HTML5 "web ready" JSON based data format, that makes web and mobile app development really simple – even for amateurs.  Apps can be written in minutes and data viewed in a browser.  For instance, NMEA 2000 engine data such as fuel flow, temperature and pressure could be logged and then analysed for any trends indicating an engine service requirement.  Internet integration is also easy with all sorts of social media possibilities using Twitter and Facebook for logging and tracking.

iKommunicate  can also act as a simple on board  webserver so PDF manuals can be stored and viewed as required. Files can be stored on the integrated SD card reader.

iKommunicate  features 3 NMEA 0183 interfaces and 1 NMEA 2000 interface so there's plenty of connectivity.  It has a built in webserver and ethernet port for easy connection to a wifi router so data can be shared with devices like tablets, Kindles, PCs and smart phones.  NMEA data is also made available on the ethernet port.  There are already many apps that are compatible including NMEA Remote, iNavX, Active Captain, and Navionics (for sonar charts)

iKommunicate  is also simple to install. It's now available as a commercial product and is competitively priced at £220.

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Signal K….

 

In what looks like an industry first, Digital Yacht have taken to the crowd funding platform, Kickstarter, to introduce a new interfacing technology for the marine electronics market.
NMEA iconnectivity has been with us for the past 30 odd years and while reliable, well proven and ubiquitous, it struggles to adequately support smart devices and smart data and in particular the next generation of the internet of things afloat. There are also some legal issues in that products and apps must be certified which is costly and stifles the smaller application developers. 

However, things are changing with the introduction of a new open source platform called Signal K which has been quietly developing over the past few years and is now ready for mainstream adoption. 

You can find out more at www.signalk.org

Signal K

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 or any marine asset. It is designed to be easily implemented by web and mobile applications and to connect boats and ships to the Internet of Things Afloat.

Interestingly, at this year’s NMEA Conference, the Signal K presentations were the most attended of any and all the leading manufacturers have woken up to the potential.

Digital Yacht have designed a gateway called iKommunicate that links NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 based systems to the new Signal K format allowing existing marine electronics to integrate with the new standard. But like any emerging technology, a catalyst is needed to seed change so they’ve embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to gather early adopters and bring the product to market.

"Kickstarter isn’t just about the funding element of a new product but also about the valuable direct relationship we can establish with early adopters who can provide so much information for applications. We see the co-existence of NMEA and Signal K being the perfect technology match and iKommunicate acts as an easy to install gateway" commented Nick Heyes, CEO of Digital Yacht.

The project is live now and will run until mid December. 

You can find out more at:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1689846268/ikommunicate-gateway-enabling-the-internet-of-thin

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