Yacht Electronics - Faster and Faster, More and More Universal
Versatility is the top priority. Almost every manufacturer now offers so-called multifunction displays (MFDs). These are central computers that work together via a network with various sensors and transmitters (such as echo sounders, radars, etc.) and display the data thus obtained on a large screen. The MFDs replace the individual devices that have been common up to now.
User selects optimum mode The respective functions can be called up individually or in combination with others. The screen is then divided into sections for this purpose. The user selects the optimal mode for himself. Many prefer a split mode in which the chart plotter works on one half and the radar image runs in parallel on the other half. Others activate the overlay function. In this case, the radar image is superimposed as a shadow directly over the nautical chart.
Onboard networks and black boxes Depending on the manufacturer, either their own on-board networks are used or standardized data transmission paths such as the NMEA 2000 network. This standardization makes it possible to connect instruments from different manufacturers. Adapters are used for some systems. Thanks to networking, the pure data collectors can be made small. These compact black boxes have the sole task of determining and sending data. They are displayed on external screens, which may well include PCs or laptops.
Laptops are now part of the everyday life on board Because of this, more and more money is being invested in the development of software. With the help of this software, columns of figures received by the info box from the weather service can be turned into weather maps like those on TV - with clouds, sun and rain symbols. And on mast instruments that display wind and log data during the regatta, commercials can be displayed at the end of the race.
Rotary knob experiences revival The displays themselves are extremely high-quality, their colors bright and their symbols easy to read even at a distance. The displays of many MFDs are completely smooth. For operation, there is a choice between keyboard, touchscreen and rotary knob, which is currently experiencing a revival. It can be used to adjust zoom, panning and navigation particularly sensitively. To call up the respective function, you press the knob.
Completely new developments as well First and foremost, the company has invested in optimization - for the benefit of the customer, who can now put together his own individual on-board network. It is therefore all the more pleasing that it has also been possible to develop something completely new. One example is the revolutionary broadband radar technology. It calculates its echoes via a constant change in audio frequency - instead of microwave pulses.