May 24, 2019  Pressure sensor, updates for Engine Gateways

Engine Gateways can substitute engine data with data from external sensors, the Tank Adapter can be converted to a pressure sensor and work as an adapter for a Volvo Penta KAD/TAMD oil pressure sensor.

Substitute engine data by data from external NMEA 2000 sensor

With todays update, the Engine Gateway YDEG-04 and J1708 Engine Gateway YDES-04 can use data from external NMEA 2000 temperature or pressure sensors and substitute the engines data.

For example, your engine has no temperature sensor for transmission oil. Monitoring of sail drive temperature can prevent failure, and a lathe operator can make a custom oil cap with an integrated Exhaust Gas Sensor (it can measure temperatures up to 800 Celsius). It is not expensive and an elegant solution.

Load the configuration file to the gateway YDEG-04 or YDES-04 with the following single line:

    SUBSTITUTE_TR_OIL_TEMP=5

where 5 is the data instance of the Exhaust Gas Sensor (can be modified with the YD:DAT command), and it will use data from the Exhaust Gas Sensor instead of data supplied by the engine. The Engine Gateway YDEG-04 allows sensors to be connected to an NMEA 2000 network or an engine network at your choice.

In the case of twin engines (YDEG-04 only, because YDES-04 supports only one engine), for the starboard engine the sensor with data instance 6 (next value) will be used.

In the same way, you can substitute: boost, engine oil, transmission oil, fuel and coolant pressure data; engine oil, transmission oil and coolant temperature data. For details, please see Section VI.31 of the J1708 Engine Gateway YDES-04 manual or Section V.40 of the Engine Gateway YDEG-04 manual.

But what sensor to use to replace pressure data? We have many requests from Volvo Penta KAD/TAMD owners, where the oil pressure sensor is connected only to an analog gauge, and its data are not available in digital form. Of course, in this case it is better to use the existing sensor.

Our Tank Adapter can work with any resistive sensor up to 400 Ohm (KAD44 sensor has 184 Ohms resistance at 1000 kPa, 10 Ohms at zero pressure), it can work in parallel with digital gauges and 12V analog gauges, and it can work with 0..5V voltage sensors. Note that a Tank Adapter will not work in parallel with an analog gauge on vessels with 24V alternator and batteries, because the voltage reference input of the Tank Adapter allows a maximum 16V.

We decided do not release a new product but add a setting that converts the Tank Adapter to pressure sensor. Connect the Tank Adapter to your sensor and/or analog gauge, and configure it in the usual way. For example, it will send 0% fuel level at zero pressure and 100% at 1000 kPa pressure.

KAD44 Oil Pressure Sensor Non-linearity

Take note that many resistive sensors have non-linear characteristics (for example, see the table of KAD44 sensor), and you may need to enter your sensors data to our calibration sheet and get a calibration string for the Tank Adapter to compensate for it.

At the final step, load the configuration file with the following line:

    PRESSURE_SENSOR_PA=10000

This is the conversion rate of 1% of fluid level to Pascals (100% will 1000000 Pascal or 1000 kPa). The Tank Adapter will stop sending PGN 127505 "Fluid Level" and will send data in PGN 130314 "Actual Pressure" (please, see more details in Section VI.17 of the manual).

The update for Engine Gateway YDEG-04 also has a new tilt/trim calibration system, previously available for SmartCraft only. Now it is possible to calibrate the tilt/trim for SmartCraft, MEFI4B and Volvo Penta EVC systems.

The trim calibration is stored in the TRIM_ZERO (calibration value for zero tilt/trim angle) and TRIM_STEP (calibration value corresponding to 1% change of the tilt/trim angle) settings. The Gateway processes one of three CAN messages with tilt/trim data, depending on what system is turned on (SmartCraft, MEFI4B or EVC). Owners of MEFI4B engines should turn on the new setting MEFI4B after update (see the section V.36 of the manual) to get tilt/trim data.

Calibration for all systems now is the same, very easy and takes only a minute. To begin, set the port engine to the lowest position (0% tilt/trim), and load the configuration file with the single line:

    CALIBRATE_TRIM=0

If the Gateway actually has tilt/trim data, the value of the TRIM_ZERO setting will be updated and you will see 3 confirmation green flashes. Then lift the engine to the highest position (it will be 100% tilt/trim) and load the file with the line:

    CALIBRATE_TRIM=100

The Gateway will calculate the trim step corresponding to 1% and update the TRIM_STEP value. Review settings in the YDEGSAVE.TXT and modify values if required. Please, see Section V.38-V.39 of the manual for more details.

Updates for Engine Gateway YDEG-04 (v1.31), J1708 Engine Gateway YDES-04 (v1.04) and Tank Adapter YDTA-01 (v1.04) are available in the Downloads section.

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 April 17, 2019  All the best in one product

We are glad to present the most anticipated product of the season: NMEA 2000 Wi-Fi Router YDNR-02N, equipped with one NMEA 2000, two NMEA 0183, and one SeaTalk ports and Wi-Fi. It combines the best features of our NMEA 2000 Wi-Fi Gateway and NMEA 0183 Wi-Fi Router.

Upgrade of old NMEA equipment with the help of Yacht Devices NMEA 2000 Wi-Fi Router

Modern chart plotters usually have no NMEA 0183 or SeaTalk interfaces. Raymarine Axiom chart plotters has Wi-Fi, but it does not include NMEA 0183 data stream and can be used only to mirror the screen. Hey, Raymarine, are you afraid of competition from software and apps? Don't worry, we sailed with you for 20 years and we will not change you for an iPad. By the way, the Router can establish its own Wi-Fi access point or connect to an existing network, including the network of a chart plotter. In this case, you will be able use screen mirroring apps and use marine apps on your mobile device at the same time.

The Router is a very suitable product for upgrades: it allows you to upgrade your other electronics step by step. It has the best conversion between NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 that you can find on the market, and it supports all known SeaTalk datagrams, including autopilot control.

If you have access to your boat's network over the internet (for most cases you need to install a 3G/4G router or a Wi-Fi router with VPN support for that, it is better to consult with a local IT guy), the Web Gauges placed on internal the web site of the Router will allow you to see your vessel's data in a web browser and turn digital switching equipment on and off.

The Router can be easily configured with a web browser: you can change the NMEA 0183 port speed, change routing rules, define data filters and so on. You can even see all data flows in a web browser (the Debug protocol); this allows Router setup and tuning the installation without any additional software.

NMEA 2000 Wi-Fi Router YDNR-02

NMEA 2000 Wi-Fi Router (click to enlarge)

No less important, the Router is tiny (the base is less than a credit card!), sexy, and consumes less than 60 mA with all its ports connected. It has an external 3 dBi Wi-Fi antenna and a standard SMA female connector. The antenna can be connected with a cable or replaced by a model with better characteristics. This is not pertinent for owners of fiberglass or wooden boats less than 100 feet, but on a metal boat it can be reasonable to find a place where metal bulkheads will produce less reflection of the signal.

The Router is equipped with a NMEA 2000 Micro Male connector. To connect it with Raymarine SeaTalk NG, you will need an adaptor cable (Raymarine part number A06045 or A06075); for Simrad SimNet (old network with yellow sockets) the adaptor cable with Navico part number 24006199.

The Router is in stock and is available for USD $289 only. Please visit the product page or see the Manual to learn more about the product.

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 April 16, 2019  Meet the NMEA 0183 Multiplexer

Smart multiplexer with 5 x NMEA 0183 and SeaTalk ports for only USD $149. Read the article to find out what NMEA multiplexing and Eric Berne have in common.

We always had problems recommending the right NMEA 0183 multiplexer to our customers or friends. First, there are not too many products that cost less than $300 USD. And even the products over $300 can have serious limitations, like fixed port speed or lack of other settings.

Expensive products offer USB or Ethernet interfaces and PC software for configuration, but the price seems too high for many. In a typical scenario, the customer wants to install a multiplexer and forget about it for years. An extra interface for an additional $200, required only during installation, is still a reasonably high "setup fee".

We decided to offer a simple multiplexer with a reasonable price, and invented a way to replace the $100 USB or $200 Ethernet with a 1-penny paperclip.

The Multiplexer has five NMEA 0183 inputs and three outputs (or three TX/RX and two RX-only ports), and one SeaTalk port with a bi-directional converter between SeaTalk and NMEA 0183. One of the NMEA 0183 TX/RX ports is galvanically isolated and can be used to safely connect the serial port of a PC powered from the invertor.

NMEA ports can be configured for speed in the range from 300 to 115200 bps or even to automatically detect the speed of connected equipment. Individual data filters can be set for each port, and any routing rules or tunneling mode between ports can be set. Data received from an NMEA 0183 port can be routed to itself, so the Multiplexer can combine data from up to 5 different NMEA 0183 talkers and SeaTalk (this interface allows connection of multiple devices) and send data to multiple listeners.

So the Multiplexer has a lot of settings and features; how we can configure it with a paperclip?

Human life is much more complicated than NMEA 0183 multiplexing, but the famous psychiatrist Eric Berne found six patterns in our life scripts, and through the prism of these patterns, our lives and problems are not at all unique.

We also found six typical scenarios in NMEA 0183 multiplexing, and you can easily switch configuration presets by pressing the hidden button with a paperclip. If your situation is unique, you may need to connect the Multiplexer with a PC to change the settings of the selected preset with a command.

The Multiplexer is already in stock and costs only $149 USD. Visit the product page or see the Manual to check whether are we really are geniuses or just playing psychological games with you (to be honest, we are engineers and do not like psychology too much).

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