Tag Archives: on-board PC

Display AIS information

With the popularity of the AIS systems, clients are coming to us with the question of what is the best display to show AIS Information.

There are two main alternatives:

- PC

Connection to the PC is done via USB or serial port (for older computers). Nowadays transponders like AIS-CTRX provide a serial data output (RS-232). In order to adapt a computer with USB port an adaptor like this one is needed.

We can recommend any of the following compatible navigation sofware:

* Shipplotter

* SeaClear

* MaxSea

* Nobeltec C-MAP

- Plotter

Most of the current plotters (Raymarine, Furuno, Simrad) decode AIS signals. These signals like in AIS-CTRX transponders are sent with the NMEA standard, so there should be no problem. One important point is that speed of transmission of AIS NMEA is 38.400 bps.

It is also important to know the cabling scheme of the plotter in order to connect the AIS with the plotter. We are referring here to the colour codes of the cables. Note that this is something specific for each manufacturer.

Sea Pilot

After a long time in development we announce the official launch of the Sea Pilot, a PC computer adapted for the marine environment.

With the present lack of connectivity among different equipment on board, boaters frequently have it difficult to know where to look at:


That is why True Heading, in collaboration with CC Systems has developed the Sea Pilot, the latest in marine integration. It is a PC with Nobeltec software included able to integrate in the same display information from radar, AIS, GPS with Nobeltec charts.

Its reduced energy comsumption (down to 35watt in the basic version) is due to its SSD architecture, which also makes it a robust device on board, able to bear the worst marine conditions. It runs on Windows, so you also have all the capabilities of a regular PC.

Connected to the sensors on board, it lets you monitor echosounder, wind, auto-pilot, and all compatible sensors. It supports the most important standards, such as NMEA0183, NMEA2000, J1939, CANopen.

Leave your message for more information.


Improving the on-board PC

We are always wondering how to improve the PC’s reliability and consumption on board. Producers of PC are starting to bet on new storage devices able to improve notably both issues. We are talking about the SSD or Solid State Drive.

We’ve seen that PDA and other portable devices already use memory cards, but not conventional laptops just yet.

The risk of using a conventional PC on board is that hard disks are very fragile, and thus very likely to suffer damages caused by vibrations and sudden waves hitting on your boat.

Additionally, the consumption of hard disks is higher due to the mechanical components and ventilation.

In the next few weeks we will inform you about the new True Heading’s PC specially designed for marine use, that incorporates this technology.


The problem of AIS integration on board

Con tanto gadget a bordo uno ya no sabe donde ponerlos. Al fin y al cabo de nuestros barcos en España sólo un 5% aproximadamente mide más de 12 metros de eslora.

Cada gadget además suele llevar erróneamente su propio display de datos. Y decimos que es un error porque la tendencia es claramente hacia la integración de los dispositivos.

No tiene sentido tener a bordo displays a pares cuando el responsable de la seguridad a bordo es el mismo para todos los dispositivos. Es el mismo patrón el que debe comprobar todos los instrumentos.

La tendencia para algunos comienza a ser por ello contraria. Los dispositivos tienden a ser cajas negras receptoras y/o emisoras de la información relevante, pero sin display propio, integrables de forma modular en un solo sistema de información.

Pronto veremos cómo hasta los barcos pequeños empiezan a ser diseñados para construir su sistema de información de una forma más racional y modular, de forma que se puedan añadir gradualmente cajas negras que aporten un tipo de información u otra.

Es de hecho otra de las tendencias que la prestigiosa yachting magazine considera el futuro de la navegación.

Update aquí.