Wi-Fi data to a chart plotter

Gixer

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At the moment for navigation I have all my instrument data going to an iPad via a Quark Wi-Fi transmitter. The Quark inputs GPS, AIS, Wind, speed, depth and then sends the signal to my iPad. I believe it’s NMEA 0183 data.
Question is, is there a chart plotter that can accept all this data via Wi-Fi. My research says no but I might have missed something.
 

Gixer

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Thanks HissyFit, that’s interesting. So it looks like I could plug that into the Chart Plotter and get all the data across, it will also convert the data to 2000.
I guess if there isn’t a chart plotter that does this inbuilt, this could be the only way forward. Shame is it adds another £180 to the bill.
 

HissyFit

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There is logic in thinking that all future chart plotters would be Wi-Fi capable, but since there is such good business to be done in servicing the current and legacy units that the future will not arrive anytime soon.
 

KompetentKrew

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What AIS do you have?

I assume from one of your replies that the transducer and wind meter are NMEA 0183, and the plotter is NMEA 2000.

At least one or two of the popular AIS transponders (last time I checked, a couple of years ago) take NMEA 0183 and output it to 2000.
 

Gixer

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The AIS is done by the Quark (receiver only) and is 0183. This is sent to my iPad over Wi-Fi.
I haven’t bought a plotter yet but after using a Axiom I’m pretty impressed.
 

KompetentKrew

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This probably isn't a very good answer, so sorry I can't be more help.

The solution that springs to my mind is to sell the Quark and buy an AIS transponder that takes your NMEA 0183 inputs, outputs NMEA 2000 to the plotter and anything else you want to add. You can get models, such as the em-trak B900 or the Vesper WatchMate XB-8000 I think, that do all this and also to wifi, replacing the Quark. And now you can be seen by other boats, not just see them.

While I'm spending your money, may I also suggest looking at the B&G chartplotters - IMO all modern chartplotters are very impressive, but I think the sailing features (Sailsteer) are slightly better on B&G. They usually have a deal in the spring when the potter comes with free C-Map charts (which in my opinion is very slightly better than Navionics, but not significantly).

I put my hands up, because probably someone else will be along in a minute and say that it's ridiculous to spend so much money and a separate wongle will do the job so much cheaper. But at least in that case I've bumped your thread. I don't like lots of different wongles, and find it more elegant to use fewer devices.

 

Gixer

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That em-trak looks smart!
Thanks for the suggestion but it sounds like this is going to get out of hand.. 😀

My problem is that the iPad is hard to see sometimes and a bit fragile on deck. I was watching Sailing Uma and they had a chart plotter mounted in the cockpit and I really like that idea. I think it’s going to be outside of my budget to rig this up using my current instruments.
 

Neeves

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Might it be cheaper to acquire, build, purloin, buy a box or a hood that allows you to see the iPad on deck. We used to have our chart plotter at the Nav table - which was fine until you need to complete some intricate pilotage - we now have the screen at the helm and an iPad indoors. If you shade the iPad it will be easier to view and the hood will increase weather protection. It would not be difficult to build a box from fibre glass, you can paint it 'yacht ' white and it will give you something to occupy yourself in the long dark , dank winter months until summer returns in July :). Making a box is easy and making a nice box will not take much extra.

It seems silly to spend on new electronic kit when you have solved all the problems, I think, apart from daylight view ability - address the view ability. You can experiment with a simple cardboard box and identify if that works (to allow you to see the screen in daylight) and then upgrade cardboard to something that is more 'marinised'. Play with the cardboard until you are comfortable.

I second the B&G instrumentation and a 7" screen is perfectly adequate (outdoors) with the iPad available when we are indoors stirring the porridge. a 7" screen is not cheap but in the grand scheme of things it costs peanuts over the time you will use it - and it will make your days on the water much more pleasurable and safer.

Ideally you would buy a MFD compatible with the rest of your kit.

So..... I might re-assess the options, what you have and what might be needed, define the direction in which you might go next - and we will try to give you advice on how to achieve your needs. We do so like spending other people's money and have them do some real PBO work. :)

Take care, stay safe

Jonathan
 

KompetentKrew

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I sailed from Netherlands to UK then Algarve with no connection between transducers and chartplotter - you have to manually compare speed over the ground from the chartplotter's GPS with speed through the water on the old instruments to calculate the tide, but it's still perfectly useful and you get to enjoy most of the benefits of the chartplotter. I plan to upgrade at huge expense this year.

Personally, I wouldn't like to rely on a tablet - chartplotters are waterproof and easier to read in daylight (and also dimmer at night - they have a wider brightness range). You can't drop a chartplotter and crack the screen because it's bolted down next to the companionway.
 

Gixer

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Thanks guys.
I have been thinking of a swing bracket in the companionway for the iPad. It will be mounted just under the hatch so shaded when closed but still visible from the helm. Is that PBO enough Neeves? 😃

Didn’t think about not networking the plotter. That’s not a bad idea….
 

laika

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Question is, is there a chart plotter that can accept all this data via Wi-Fi.
Ah but is that *actually* the question or is the question "how do I get the data being sent over wifi onto a chart plotter?" If the latter and your quark AIS device has an nmea out, perhaps the easiest option would be to take a wire from the quark thingy to an nmea-0183 input on a chartplotter (assuming it has one, and some of them, including the axiom pro I believe, still do). Alternatively build or buy an nmea-0183-wifi bridge which can operate in station mode, receive broadcasts from your quark and convert them to nmea-0183 which can then be fed into a chartplotter but the wire sounds simplest unless I'm misunderstanding the problem
 
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Tranona

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Thanks guys.
I have been thinking of a swing bracket in the companionway for the iPad. It will be mounted just under the hatch so shaded when closed but still visible from the helm. Is that PBO enough Neeves? 😃

Didn’t think about not networking the plotter. That’s not a bad idea….
I am going through exactly this at the moment. The swing bracket was already on the boat and originally I planned to have a tablet on this, but having tried a tablet outside it is really not worth it as visibility in daylight is poor and the bracket seriously obstructs the companionway. Having been spoilt with a Garmin 820 at the helm on the last boat, really would not like to go backwards.

Current plan is Garmin Echo 75 (not enough room for 95) which I think is the only plotter currently available with 0183, in the cockpit, connected to a Quark AIS/Multiplexer over 0183 and Wi-Fi to a tablet down below with Navionics as well as WI-Fi from the Garmin if I want - although never found this particularly useful in the past as I prefer an alternative charting system on the tablet. The Garmin is the best value as it includes full Bluecharts. For me very happy with Garmin operating system because it is essentially the same as the 820 and has more bells and whistles than one could ever hope to use on a small coastal cruiser!

This seems to be the lowest cost and simplest way of getting AIS onto the Garmin. Not bothered about other data as only have a NASA echo , a NASA GPS speed taking signal from the radio and an old Autohelm.
 

Ningaloo

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Very few modern MFDs have 0183 input, Garmin being the one exception I know of.
I second the B&G recommendation for SailSteer. Take a look at the Vulcan which is touchscreen only and less expensive than Zeus.

Also take a look at the various kit offered by Yacht Devices (Yacht Devices - NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 marine electronics). I'm sure that there is something there that will connect your 0185/WiFi to N2K economically.

I think that getting an MFD and NOT integrating your boat data (at least speed, depth and wind) is short-sighted. These devices are not just chart plotters and need this data for many of their useful functions.
 

Neeves

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Thanks guys.
I have been thinking of a swing bracket in the companionway for the iPad. It will be mounted just under the hatch so shaded when closed but still visible from the helm. Is that PBO enough Neeves? 😃

Didn’t think about not networking the plotter. That’s not a bad idea….
Don't worry your thread is throwing up lots of PBO options - and once we have run out of ideas to spend your money you can decide which is within your grasp, intellectually, financially and your actual needs (the latter sometimes get lost as we contributors drift the thread :(

The only issue I have with a screen on a rotating arm in the companion way is that it might not meet your needs as sometimes the companion way and the helm are too far apart. Our 7" screen, at the helm - is 'in your face'

Jonathan
 

Gixer

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Wow, thanks for all the thoughts guys and taking the time to respond.

Tranona - interesting to hear you’re going though the same thing and thanks for the info on the Garmin. I didn’t realise there were units that still take 0183.

Ah but is that *actually* the question or is the question "how do I get the data being sent over wifi onto a chart plotter?" If the latter and your quark AIS device has an nmea out, perhaps the easiest option would be to take a wire from the quark thingy to an nmea-0183 input on a chartplotter
Thanks, what I was hoping was to be able to buy a chart plotter with Wi-Fi, connect it to the 12v and the Quark Wi-Fi network and get everything I’m getting on my iPad. Should have known it wouldn’t be that simple. I think your right, cable is the simplest, we’re not talking huge distances.

Ningaloo - It could be short sighted, I think I need to plan my long term goal.

I think I’ll do more research on Chart Plotters and work out if I get one with 0183 input or a converter to 2000. I did like the Axiom 😂
 

laika

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I think I’ll do more research on Chart Plotters and work out if I get one with 0183 input or a converter to 2000. I did like the Axiom 😂
I don’t believe the axiom has -0183 but the axiom pro does seem to. Converting -0183 to -2000 via a commercial device will add another ~150 to costs but that’s a lot less than the price difference between the axiom and the pro.

I suspect the big plotter manufacturers don’t accept data over wifi because that’s not actually an nmea standard.
 

Gixer

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I need some more help with this. I've been offered a Raymarine e7D and I want your thoughts.
From what I can tell it will run Navionics and has Wi-Fi so I can use my ipad to mirror the display, iPad below and e7D on deck, one problem solved. It will also accept NMEA 0183 so I don't need a converter, second problem solved. I'm trying to see if it will accept my instrument data and send though Wi-Fi. If it does I think I can do away with my Quark Wi-Fi transmitter. Have I missed anything?

Any input would be gratefully received.
 
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