I have an Airmar 220WX weather station. In addition to chart plotter and PC, I send its NMEA 0183 data to a Digital Yacht Wi-Fi gateway in station mode. The data is then available on the boats Wi-Fi via the PepWave router access point. We use the NMEA Remote app to display the data on our iPhones while on the boat. All works great. What would be even better is if there was a dedicated display that could take the data from Wi-Fi and display it in an always on format. Does anyone know how to do this?
We have also tried a typical Accurite weather station which does this, but like others of its kind, it is using some kind of radio signal from its exterior unit, not Wi-Fi. We don’t trust it as much as the Airmar, its exterior unit signal is unreliable and it requires batteries usually in need of replacement.
I guess we could hard wire the Airmar signal to a display, but since it is already on Wi-Fi it would be nice to use it that way.
I can think of a few ways to do this. Some require additional software, while others don’t but might not meet your goals. The simplest way I could think would be to use a tablet like an iPad or Android device and use the NMEA Remote app you’re already using, and stick it on a wall somewhere.
A more complicated version would be to install a small computer on your network like a Raspberry Pi and run some software that would allow for more customizable displays such as Grafana, or even dedicated apps like WilhelmSK and run those on a tablet, on a screen connected to the small computer, etc.
I’ve written before about some of these computers and solutions:
However, your solutions pretty much much need a “tablet” for the display. Nothing wrong with this except the cost. The tablet comes with way more capabilities than needed to run NMEA Remote, or similar.
Not all of my suggestions included a tablet. The last one was to use a screen with a small low power computer like the Raspberry Pi included in the articles. Those screens are really inexpensive, and meet your requirement of a dedicated display.
You could also look at e-ink displays, or other cheaper similar displays. Almost all would require some sort of computer or software behind them to display the weather.
The Rapsberry Pi solutions you detail seem to involve a NMEA 2000 network which I don’t have. Is that necesssary? My Airmar weather data is available on my Wi-Fi network in NMEA 0183. Isn’t there a way to use it directly as is done with the iPhone app? I gather that a Raspberry Pi could connect to my Wi-Fi. Could it then run the NMEA Remote app? Or, better still Airmar’s Weather Caster software so that I would have the same display as on my PC?
What about Arduino, is that an alternative to Raspberry Pi for my purpose?
I decided to go with the iPad suggestion. It did not turn out to be as expensive as I had feared, and it has other uses as well. I am using it with the NMEA Remote app to get NMEA 0183 weather data from my boat Wi-Fi. I am very pleased.
Glad you found a good solution. That looks really easy to read from a distance.
While the iPad itself is expensive, there is a lot of flexibility, as you’ve found, in using one for a display. I have two - one in the salon and one in my bedroom. Both get extensive use and display a few different apps for various purposes. The one in my bedroom is very key as it allows me to monitor things while at anchor at night.
It probably won’t surprise you that I use 4 different alarms
Several are tied into the vessel itself, but I also use one for my iPad / iPhone that has been around a while called Anchor!
I was in Winter Cove two times this year - June 8th/9th only for one night, and February 17th-18th. I’m assuming you saw me in June, which was the tail end of a 60+ day trip to the Broughtons, and I was headed back south to the US.
I tried Anchor and quickly discovered a problem. When I purchased the iPad at the Apple store, I told them I did not want a cellular connection. I did not realize that the resulting Wi-Fi iPad would not have a GPS. I probably wasn’t paying attention since I was thinking display and not navigation.
In any case I would rather use one of my existing GPS’s with external antenna, etc. The NMEA Remote that I am using for the weather display also has the
GPS position in the data stream. Will the iPad be able to use that data for its location and for other apps like Anchor. II am not at the boat, so haven’t been able to test. If it doesn’t work, is there any software I can add so that it does?
Oh no! That’s a common oversight and somewhat irritating that Apple forces you to buy the cellular version, which is usually a bit more expensive, to get a GPS. Sorry about that!
There are some apps that can consume GPS data via a network connection. I don’t know right off hand if Anchor! would be able to do that. I know there were some other apps that I tested that did, but I’d have to go look them up. They may not be around anymore.