Early autopilots, the motivation

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

7 Responses

  1. anontrol says:

    > if you have questions about DSC and AIS for Ghassen Khalek of the FCC
    The DSC’s MMSI seems not very well thought out. I’ve read a couple of articles about bogus MMSI information popping up. Why wasn’t a more stable method of assigning MMSIs chosen (and I come from a a aviation and computer network background, so when I see something like this I just shake my head, because we don’t have the same problem with Ethernet MAC addresses or DME equipment in aircraft)… and just so I’m not poking people with a stick, if I had to design the MMSI assignment system, it would have started with a manufacturer ID prefix and then serialization by the manufacturer of the remainder of the ID. The FCC/Coast Guard/BoatUS/whomever would be responsible for making the *association* between the physical layer ID and the vessel identification.
    I’m also curious to know of anyone has done any real world technical analysis of the Self-Organized Time Division Multiple Access SOTDMA (particularly with respect to vessel density; the DME system is limited to ~100 aircraft) used by AIS and how the algorithm differs across implementations and what GP&C Systems International AB (the single patent holder) is doing to insure quality control across the wide range of implementations.

  2. Russ Cooper says:

    I’m at a complete loss as to why nobody has offered up an N2K interface to Minnkota trolling motors yet. Given the number of fishermen who already have them, you’d think it would be a no-brainer that they’d make a great auto-pilot engine. I typically use my to dock, also, as it gives me complete control. I can only imagine what it could do if it were hooked up to some sensors or a decent MFD.
    Of course it would be interesting for you to pose my issues about Vendor PGN support claims versus actual fields implemented, and the SET issues with devices.
    Finally, it would be useful to make another call on behalf of the everyday boater for disclosure of the specification itself so those of us who don’t actually want to make a living out of it might very well come up with some cool stuff by tinkering…that’s what got Linux where it is today…heck, IMNSHO that’s what got Windows where it is today. At the very least, perhaps you can get an explanation as to why it isn’t published for the public.

  3. Phil Koken says:

    We have gotten really spoiled by our WH Autopilot aboard Samadhi V, it simply works. To all the folks who helped develop equipment like this… THANK YOU!

  4. Dan (b393capt) says:

    I am worried. We have not heard from Ben since he left for the NMEA conference.
    The Conference.
    The Big One.
    NMEA 2008 Annual Convention & Exposition
    * More exhibit booths !
    * Education Day with 2 sessions to choose from !
    * NMEA 2000® Dealer Training !
    * Advanced MEI Session !!
    * Industry Awards Night
    * Extended Manufacturer and Dealer Moderated Debate
    So much excitement …
    Being a reporter and all … I would expect Ben would be writing and filling us in on some the happenings … especially since N2K has been a big topic this year on this blog. Not everything, just something short each day with a promise to share more when he gets back.
    Instead … nothing .. nada .. silence.
    I am worried.
    I know for sure, even though NMEA advertises this conference as “Fun in the San Diego Sun”, Ben wouldn’t just leave us here, hanging in the blogsphere with no news at all ! Not Ben !
    Something must be wrong. In as there have been people grumbling about some aspects of N2K … maybe there was an uprising or a full fledged riot ? Maybe Ben was injured ?
    If a riot … I bet it happened during the Extended Manufacturer and Dealer Moderated Debate.
    If not, it must be something serious like that … I can’t think of any other reason not to write, can you?

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Dan, you worry too much! My yesterday: 6am trip with Airmar out to 2,800′ of water with various fishfinders and transducers, rest of day in the exhibit hall, then evening thermal imaging cruise with Flir. This morning I listend to USCG, FCC, RTCM, and GMDSS Task Force for hours, and will attend two more meetings this afternoon. In short: tons of input, no time for output. Patience please!

  6. Andy Murray says:

    Fitted a FLIR Navigator camera to a NavNet 3D system last week
    Customers words “Simply Amazing”

  7. flee says:

    I’m happy to see the reference to the Wood Freeman autopilot in a blog so often dedicated to the cutting edge.
    Our soon-to-be 40 year old sloop is so equipped and it hasn’t failed us yet. The course setting compass serves as the only one aboard. The system seems rugged enough to last another 40 years. The 1940’s era styling of the control unit is a cool counterpoint to the ST70 display nearby!

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