Marine Electronics (an economic hurdle or disadvantage)

(Tom Schaefer) #1

Comparing the prices of marine electronics to mass market electronics indicates a 3 to 6 times cost factor and ~2 year feature delay to market. While I didn’t look at appliances, I did live across the street from the Pacific for several years and the brown sludge that built up took its toll on service life.

If Seasteading is going to be economically viable, this cost and reliability issue will need to be purposely addressed before the market responds naturally as demand expands beyond the current marine electronics customers (~<1% of mass market).

I hope some enterprising electronics engineer will develop a technology to “marinize” consumer electronics at an affordable cost, fundamentally enabling Seasteading economics.

(.) #2

An AIS trans-receiver, that is hand held, floats and water proof would be a big hit at low price.
Specially with a gps in it with maps , and google map download possibility.

The technology is almost there.

(Larry G) #3

Depends on what you consider low price. Handheld AIS transceivers that float are kind of over-kill. AIS relates to the vessel, not the person. You can get a dash mount unit for $300. That’s pretty low cost.

If you’re looking at for example large screen displays, yes, marine-rated costs way more. This is because they’re mostly being used in open bow vessels that get rained on and splashed constantly. If you have a nice, warm, dry pilot house, there’s no need to go marine grade for a chart plotter. What you do need is a bullet-proof implementation that doesn’t crash from software glitches, when transferring data among various systems like GPS, AIS, and chart plotting.

(.) #4

I have a dash mount unit.

Crash proof software sounds good too.

(Larry G) #6

(Larry G) #7

I’ve been reading up on NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 quite a bit to eventually retrofit our current 35’ motor vessel. I’ve also been looking for a cost effective solution to replace the aged and unreliable Furuno chart plotter GPS system, and display AIS info on it, because we have a lot of large commercial traffic on the Columbia and we cruise at night quite often. It can be quite startling when they loom up out of the dark.

Well, my raspberry pi III arrived last night. I’ll be installing OpenCPN on it and eventually connecting it to an NMEA 2000 gateway. The pi, case, power supply etc. was $49 delivered. I’ll be purchasing the android version of OpenCPN for $10. I have a USB GPS receiver on the way for another $15.

I’ve also located a 15" ruggedized outdoors kiosk rated touchscreen display monitor (on Amazon) for just over $300 that will be the display once I have the system working.

Compare to:"+chart+plotter

(Matias Volco) #8

The surface of the ocean is not very hospitable to man or electric circuit.
Consider enclosed solutions and underwater solutions where room temperature and humidity can be controlled at minimum cost.
Ocean Colonization is to be much cheaper, more comfortable and more efficient, lifestyle than traditional cities.

(Larry G) #9

Yes, containing and controlling the micro environment where the electronics are installed is key. We actually had as much or more problems keeping electronics working in the deserts of Iraq as any marine environment.

But many applications require being outside at least part of the time. Full time cave dwelling seems to be much more common in fantasy fiction than in hstorical reality. Naval submarine personnel are heavily screened for compatibility and given short tours. And I’ve never heard that submarines require less maintenance than surface ships.

(Ron Spain) #10

FWIW, I once put candle wax on the components on the back of the circuit board in a remote control to help protect the remote from moisture, but there could be harmful solvents in some waxes, especially wax from scented candles, I assume. I would probably use hot melt glue now because it is less brittle, but the wax did work well.

And if you keep some electronics in a sealed container, you should include some desiccant to absorb the moisture that is in the air in the container. Silica gel is usually considered best. I also use paper and cardboard, but some types of cardboard seem to be very acidic. Desiccant can be refreshed for reuse by gently heating for a few minutes, even in a toaster oven if you are careful.


Sounds like an idea worthy of a dedicated thread …


HDPE (#2 plastic) also works in some circumstances. Plastic trash bags, for example, can be used as shrink-wrap by heating it with a heat gun.

(Larry G) #13

(Larry G) #14