January 24, 202  Meet our dealer Matthias Busse at boot Dusseldorf

We are welcome all our customers to the Hall 10 booth E11 at boot Dusseldorf, where you can get answers about our products.

Busse Yachtshop team at boot Dusseldorf 2024

This year Matthias leave stands with our products in the office in Keil, and you'll not able to see them in action, but he is one from our oldest dealers with great experience in our products. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel, where he publish it's own videos about marine electronics. They are primary in German, buy novadays it is easy to turn on subtitles and auto translation to one of more than a hundred of languages.

Auto translation of subtitles

Figure 1. How to translate subtitles

To translate subtitles, click the settings icon on the video, select "Subtitles/CC" and click "Auto-translate" to select the language.

Come to booth E11 in Hall 10 or visit Matthias' video channel!

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 December 21, 2023  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dear our users and partners, we would like to summarise the results of the past year, share our plans for the coming year and, of course, wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year

We worked hard on our products this year, releasing updates to 19 of our 25 active products. Engine Gateway YDEG-04 received a major update, we added a new protocol for VW Marine engines and made significant improvements to BRP and Mercury engines. Thanks to active feedback from our users, work on this product is always ongoing, we are adding support for new proprietary messages, and we plan to release another update in January-February.

The second major improvement was in Web Gauges, which are included in our products with Wi-Fi and Ethernet interfaces. We have added controls, gauges and data bars for autopilot operation, and Web Gauges can now replace the Pilot Head for Raymarine autopilots connected via SeaTalk NG or SeaTalk 1. This turns your mobile phone into a remote control for your autopilot, just install the free update! We also work to support autopilots from other manufacturers, and if you have one of our gateways (to record diagnostic data) and want us to add your autopilot, contact us!

The catalyst for this change was the release of our own Autopilot, which has been in the works for over three years. And, of course, it is supported in all our products and even has compatibility modes so that Raymarine and Navico (B&G, Simrad, Lowrance) plotters will accept it as their own and display panels with buttons to control the autopilot. We continue to work actively on the autopilot, and even yesterday, taking advantage of the fact that the river was ice-free, our colleagues went out for another water test. In the coming year, we plan to release a more powerful version, with a constant current of 20A and a peak load of up to 30A.

One of our favourite projects is the NMEA 2000 Bridge. Firstly, it is unique, we do not know any similar product. Secondly, it is just a wand, for which new applications are constantly being found. Thirdly, its fans willingly pass their enthusiasm to others, and every year it becomes more and more popular without any effort on our part.

Python for NMEA

Next year we plan to release the Yacht Devices Python Gateway, which will be able to process not only NMEA 2000 messages, but also NMEA 0183 messages. It will also offer the ability to write programs in Python, the most popular programming language for data processing. We have already published examples of tasks that this product can solve. It will not replace the Bridge because it will have only one CAN interface, but it will be a companion.

For practical tests, we have implemented an AIS converter from NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 on it, which is a rather complex task associated with decoding and recalculating a large array of binary data in a single message. For messages of type 1 and 14 (the most complex), the average message processing speed was around 1.5 milliseconds, making it suitable for creating rather complex gateways that process data in real time.

And also for 2024 we have a very interesting idea related to AI (it won't be related to image generation, as you might think from the picture above). We haven't decided yet if we'll be able to make it into a product, but we'll definitely finalise the tests in the winter and share it anyway. So subscribe to our mailing list, Facebook page or check out our website more often.

Our sales and support team will go on holiday from December 29 and return on January 4. All emails will be answered and all orders will be processed and dispatched.

Thank you for your interest in our products, for your emails with ideas and suggestions, for choosing our products and for waiting for your parcels. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with your loved ones, peace on earth, peace at sea and peace in your soul. And, of course, we wish you interesting and exciting travels in the coming year 2024!

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 December 12, 2023  Update for YDWR-02 and YDWN-02

Substring replacement, checksum correction, outgoing connections, new Web Gauges and Wi-Fi channel selection.

Substrings replacement and checksum correction

Figure 1. Substrings replacement and checksum correction

Four years ago we added support of Silicon Marine SM010 sensor to our NMEA 0183 Gateway, it had a missed talker ID at the beginning of XDR sentence. It is enough rare case, but from time to time we receive requests to fix something similar or to add missing checksum to sentences to connect very old equipment.

Now it can be done easy in our NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Gateway or NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Router. We added the substrings replacement, which is performed before the received sentence is processed or routed to other port. It can be used to add or replace the Talker ID, rename sensors in XDR sentence and so on. The checksum of modified sentence will be corrected or added if it is absent.

The second new feature at "NMEA Settings" page at settings is checksum adding or correction. It is intended for very old equipment or for lazy developers and testes who type sentences manually. New features can be applied to all inputs or to selected port or server.

In January we plan to release Yacht Devices Python Gateway, which has NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000 and USB ports. And we push it to every publication, not only to promote it, but because it is really the magic stick for hard cases. And can easily make the same, what two features described above do.

n0183.talker('YD') # set talker id to transmit from
n0183.check(False) # allow reception of NMEA0183 messages with invalid checksum

# Called upon reception of 'XDR' message
def rx_xdr(n0183, line):
    n0183.send(line) # retransmit XDR message in correct format
        # return False, because message retransmitted manually, no need to send it again
        return False 

# Register callback on receive of 'XDR' messages. E.g. '$SMXDR', 'XDR', '!--XDR'
n0183.rxcallback(0, rx_xdr, 'XDR', check=False)

The code above fix the malformed sentences like

   $XDR,C,25.5,C,SM010A

by adding missed talker ID and adding the checksum. All magic is in the line n0183.check(False) which allows to process incorrect sentences and in the n0183.send(line) which automatically fix the line by adding talker ID and the checksum.

But we can do all this magic manually, just go down from NMEA 0183 to UART level:

# called upon reception of '\n' character
def rx_line(uart, line):
    if line.startswith(b'$XDR'): # check for incorrect XDR sentence
        line = line.replace(b'XDR', b'SMXDR') # replace incorrect sentence id
        line = line.split(b'*')[0].rstrip() # remove old checksum
        chk = checksum(line[1:]) # calculate checksum for new payload
        line += b'*{:0=2X}\r\n'.format(chk) # add back and new checksum
        uart_tx.write(line) # send result to UART TX

uart_rx.linecallback(rx_line) # register callback on receive of '\n' character

So, if you have the hard problem with NMEA 0183, we'll supply you with the solution soon!

Both products, Gateway and Router are got updated Web Gauges, and it is especially great for NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Router, because it can control Raymarine autopilots connected by SeaTalk 1 in the same way, as pilot head. To learn more about this feature, please, read the previous news article.

Wi-Fi channel selection

Figure 2. Wi-Fi channel selection

Both devices also have Wi-Fi channel selection for access point mode. This allows you to select a less crowded channel in large marinas and get better signal quality. Changing channels doesn't require you to change anything on your phone, tablet or laptop. But you may need one of them to scan the networks around you and find the best channel for your location. Read this article to find out how to do this for all operating systems. This feature has already been added to all of our other Wi-Fi products.

Outgoing connection

Figure 3. Outgoing connection

The final feature in this release is outgoing connection (TCP or UDP), which has only been added to the NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Router and is also available on the NMEA 2000 Wi-Fi Router and Ethernet Gateway. Modern plotters may not have physical NMEA 0183 ports, but they usually have Wi-Fi. NMEA 0183 data over Wi-Fi allows easy connection of mobile phones or laptops and use of marine data in software.

Unfortunately, only Navico products can send/receive 0183 data over Wi-Fi (we tested it with Simrad GO XSR, you can check the details here). So you can install new Simrad and connect old NMEA 0183 over Wi-Fi using YDWN-02 or, if you also have SeaTalk 1 equipment, YDWR-02.

Raymarine and Garmin do not allow NMEA 0183 data to be sent or received over Wi-Fi, and this is just a policy decision. But thanks to politics we will sell more NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 gateways.

Layline app for Android

Figure 4. Layline app for Android

If you are a racer and have an Android smartphone, check out the new free Layline app designed specifically for racing. It has been created with our YDWR-02, but will work with any of our gateways or routers. It will help you start, tack and choose the best strategy. You can read the manual here or install it from Google Play.

The firmware updates 1.71 for the NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Router and NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Gateway are available in the Downloads section.

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