About Marine Electronics
The British Marine Electronic Association (BMEA) is more than just a trade organisation: its Code of Practice ensures that customers receives courteous and efficient service; safe and reliable products; and effective, trouble free installations:
It’s probably the piece of equipment that professional seafarers would least like to do without…and its becoming steadily more affordable and easier to operate. But what are the differences between a budget set and a top-of-the-range model. We look at some choices.
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was established mainly for the benefit of commercial shipping, but new DSC/VHF radios are letting recreational boat owners in on the act. Here’s what it means for you.
The capabilities of a networked instrument system are very much more than just the sum of its parts: instruments that can exchange data between themselves can produce new, more relevant information for the navigator, distribute it to the rest of the crew, or control other equipment directly. We look at what’s possible now and take peak into the future.
One of the major developments in marine electronics over recent years has been the introduction of Multi-Functional Displays (MFDs). Popular in both the leisure and the commercial maritime sectors, MFDs provide a simple navigational solution utilizing some really sophisticated technology.
Human navigators used to spend most of their time finding out where they were, rather than concentrating on where they were going. Electronic position fixing changed all that: GPS tells us where we are: dGPS does it even more accurately, and chart plotters help relate raw latitude and longitude to the real world.
Even the best and most sophisticated electronics will become useless if their power supply fails. Keeping them going though, may mean more
Nick Heyes is Managing Director of Marine Electronic Services Ltd (www.mesltd.co.uk), the UK’s leading specialist marine electronics reseller. They sell a wide range of electronics and are well positioned to see the trends that are happening with interfacing. Here are his thoughts on NMEA2000 developments….
The average leisure boater relies more heavily on electronics today than ever before. Even ten years ago you would only find a radar on larger boats, but with the advent of low cost LCD systems and compact antennas, a radar system is within the budget of even small boat owners.
The MCA has reported a huge growth in the UK beacon registry this month. 40,000 emergency distress beacons are currently registered in the UK. In recent years, the growth in sales and registration of 406MHz EPIRBs (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons) and PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) has accelerated dramatically as a result of the popularisation of PLBs and the reduction in price, due to innovation and technological improvements within 406MHz.
Automatic Identification System (AIS) Class A AIS transponders are now a mandatory fit on all commercial vessels over 300 tonnes and on most passenger carrying vessels. Many leisure users embrace AIS technology thanks to low cost Class B transponders and even ‘receive only’ systems which allow an overview of AIS targets within range on a chart plotter or radar based system. It is probably fair to say that AIS has made the biggest step change in marine navigation safety since GPS became common place and affordable over a quarter of a century ago.
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