Despite a global pandemic, supply chain nightmares, and a worldwide chip shortage, we are delighted to announce that our new N2K-compatible FloatHub devices are now available.
These units provide the same capabilities as traditional FloatHub units, including location tracking, voltage/pump monitoring, AIS relaying, environmental sampling, and automatic trip detection. But they add the ability to interact with N2K data systems.
The N2K versions of FloatHub can receive data from N2K devices over a standard connector. Any available onboard GPS units, AIS transponders, and transducers can all be used as data sources for FloatHub’s monitoring system. This data is also translated into traditional NMEA-0183 sentences which are relayed locally over WiFi and data-out hookups.
These units can also perform translations in the other direction, taking NMEA-0183 data in on a wired connection and sending it out on the N2K bus (as well as over WiFi). So, in addition to being a WiFi gateway and monitoring system, FloatHubN2K is also a limited N2K to NMEA0183 bi-directional gateway.
WiFi-only units are available, as well as units that can use 3G cellular networks (worldwide) or LTE cellular (currently North America only).
The N2K-standard screw-on connector supports easy connection to a vessel’s existing backbone for power and data. That power connection is fully isolated (as is the corresponding data connection hardware). Direct DC power can also be wired into the device’s screw terminals. Both power sources can be active at the same time, and it’s even possible to switch between them without interrupting device operations.
NMEA-0183 and N2K Translations
Here is a list of the N2K PGNs and NMEA-0183 that are understood and/or translated by the current firmware, organized by data categories:
|Category||Detail||N2K PGNs||0183 Sentences|
|AIS||Class A Position||129038||VDM Type 1|
|AIS||Class B Position||129039||VDM Type 18|
|AIS||Class A Static||129794||VDM Type 5|
|AIS||Class B Static||129809/129810||VDM Type 24|
|Depth||Water Depth||128267||DBT, DPT|
|Environmental||Temperature, Pressure, Humidity||130311||XDR|
|GPS||Detailed Position||129029||GGA, RMC|
|Navigation||Vessel Heading||127250||HDG, HDM, HDT|
|Navigation||Speed (Water ref.)||128259||VHW|
|Navigation||Course & Speed||129026||RMC|
Note that in cases where no translation exists, the data is still parsed and used for reporting to FloatHub’s online monitoring and alerting systems. Some data is also used in other messages (e.g. variation, if available, is used in RMC output).
Initial quantities are available now (December, 2021) although we do expect those units to sell out quickly. We have more components on order for early February and hope to have substantially more units available as we get further into 2022. Our initial documentation is a little sparse, as we have not yet had a chance to update the FloatHub manual to include N2K version specifics, but we will get to that soon.
You can order at the FloatHub online store.
Please note that the FloatHub N2K products are not NMEA 2000® certified. NMEA 2000® is a proprietary protocol designed by the National Marine Electronics Association and certification is designed to assure interoperability with other NMEA 2000® certified products.
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