Alle Beiträge von svenorlowski

How to reset the MMSI on a Simrad AI50 AIS Transponder

Since quite some time now a new blog-article – mainly to conserve this knowledge:

I modernized the AIS-Setup in my boat and am now selling my trustworthy Simrad AI50 AIS transponder. But how to reset the MMSI so that a new user could use it?

That’s what I partially found out on the net and partially figured out:

  • Format an SD-Card (capacity smaller or equal to 2 GB) with FAT32.
  • Create a text-file in the root directory with the file name
  • Put the string Y91%p7kQ@21#aV in the text file and save it.
  • Open the back of the transponder, put the SD card in.
  • Switch the transponder on.
  • Enable logging in the menu.
  • Follow the instructions to reset the transponder

Garmin Quatix 5 & Garmin GNT10 Review

Since beginning of this year, I own a Garmin Fitness watch. First, I purchased a Garmin Vivoactive 3 but I always glanced at the much more expensive Quatix 5 because of its longer battery life, the sailing features and namely the feature to show boat data on the watch. Apart from that, the touch screen of the Vivoactive 3 was always difficult to operate in wet conditions.

So, I sold my Vivoactive 3 on Ebay and bought a Quatix 5.

First of all, a short word on having a fitness watch: For me personally this is something that motivates me to do sports and I find it interesting to look at and analyze my fitness-related data (so does Garmin I bet but data security in this context is a different story – in the end all data is stored on Garmin servers).

The watch itself is sturdy and despite its size comfortable to wear. The long battery life-time of roughly ten days in my case is a huge relief over the battery life of the Vivoactive 3 which I had to charge roughly every fourth day. The watch has roughly the same fitness functions as the Vivoactive 3 but is missing the circuit training feature – I rather would like to use this but in the end can live without it.

This week I had a check-up at my doctors and was doing a cardio test: Heart beat frequency displayed by the watch was exactly like the rate of my heart beat displayed by the professional setup. So, this works nicely.

Now to the sailing features:

The watch has some sailing-related features that are only available to the Quatix (but I guess principally they should work on the Fenix 5 as well). These are:

  • Displays distance and burn-time to start-line (which I seldomly use but works okay)
  • Barometer with graph (which I use)
  • Compass (sometimes helpful)
  • Immediate access to MOB positioning (which I HOPEFULLY use seldomly use but I find this very nice)
  • Tracking (I use my chart plotter for this)
  • Tack assistant (have not used this yet)
  • Autopilot control (only works with a Garmin setup and I have B&G)
  • Control of the fusion audio system (which I also don’t have)

But now to the main reason for buying the watch in the first place: Displaying sensor data. In short: What a disappointment!

Longer story:
I do not have a Garmin chart plotter that connects with the watch natively but a B&G setup. So, I had to buy the Garmin GNT10 wireless interface to connect to the watch via the so-called ANT-protocol. The watch connects immediately to the interface via the installable GNT-10 app but quite some of the data is displayed not at all or wrongly. This is especially bad as this affects the True Wind Data which you obviously need for race sailing. This is what I got:

Breviation Description Works?
AWA Apparent Wind Angle Works correctly
AWS Apparent Wind Speed Works correctly
Boat SPD Boat speed Works correctly
COG Course over ground Works correctly
Depth Depth Does not show any value
Dist next Distance to next waypoint Principally correct but rounds to the nautical mile
Heading OT Heading Wrong values displayed
Sea Temp Sea temperature I don’t have such a sensor so I do not know
SOG Speed over ground Works correctly
TWA True wind angle Wrong values displayed
TWS True wind speed Wrong values displayed
XTE Cross Track Error Works correctly

Obvious to say, this makes the watch useless for ambitious regatta sailors in the current state of the software (the version I had to use was 1.30)!

Overall conclusion: I will keep the watch for its fitness features but sent back the useless interface. In principle, Garmin has a very good product in place – but why the main selling point of the watch is not supported for non-Garmin setups (and thus 80% of the market) totally escapes me. Especially, because if Garmin added a remote-autopilot feature that supports other autopilots apart from Garmin’s, this would be a killer product!

But please correct the wrongly displayed data first … this cannot be so difficult.

3D-Printing for sailing: Mast collar

I get more and more into 3D-printing things for my sailboat. The next thing I made is a collar for the mast – it is almost waterproof now.

You can download the respective files for Autodesk Fusion 360 here.

The material I used is Filamentum ASA in Traffic White – it is UV-stable and quite nice to print – with the following parameters:

  • Nozzle temperature: 250 °C
  • Bed temperature: 105 °C
  • Layer height: 0,19 mm
  • Infill: 100%

The mast collar was printed on my Zortrax M200 3D printer.

Rund Bornholm 2018

So, Artisan and us survived this year’s Rund Bornholm Race:

This was our first offshore-race and I am very glad that me managed to finish it without any larger problems or even injuries or damages. I can only recommend this:
The race is well-organized, the community is nice and obviously it is one of the few offshore-races in Germany.  For me it was a very valuable experience ranging from boat-handling over to tactics and to just living on board without touching any land for a couple of days.

Many thanks to the team who organized this!

The nice photo above showing Artisan during the start was by the way taken by Pepe Hartmann who does brilliant sailing shots. Look here for more.


Rain cover for B&G Vulcan 7

During the autumn trips I found that the Vulcan 7 touch display does not work really well when it is wet from rain or waves and my fingers were cold.

So, I printed a 3D rain cover and a protector with my 3D printer which works absolutely fine.

The cover is split in two parts so that I could print it. The material is Filamentum ASA with the following parameters:

  • Nozzle temperature: 250 °C
  • Bed temperature: 105 °C
  • Layer height: 0,19 mm
  • Infill: 80% (but looking back maybe 100% is better)

Please find the respective STL files here:


Sailing with kids…

… is definitely possible on the A35 if you  take some simple precautions like children wearing life-vests and life-belts.

Admittedly at some point one of the boys did not wear his life-vest when coming on deck  although he should know better.  We had a chat about this and hopefully repetition is indeed the mother of all learning … let’s see…

Used B&G or Simrad H3000 equipment and spare parts – for sale! Gebraucht zu verkaufen!

Beginning of this year I revised the electronics of my Archambault A35 to a B&G Vulcan and Fusion setup – more on this later. Reason was that the GFD Displays had water ingress and that I found that the spare parts being sold here were simply too expensive.

Since quite some time I have been wanting to put all this stuff on Ebay but maybe I can save myself some of the efforts and cost:
If any of you is interested in any of the items please drop me a short mail here. The equipment is located in Hamburg, Germany but I will also ship internationally.

The following parts are for sale:

B&G 20/20 HV H3000 Displays + Masthead Adaptor – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 700 €

B&G GPD H3000 Display + protective cover – Sold!!!!
For the time being the display is fully working – but I am not sure that it might not have already at least some water ingress like all my other displays: At least there are some „shadows“ under the display like you can see in the picture
Price: 250 €

B&G GFD H3000 Display
With water ingress – sometimes working – strongly corroded – frame broken – LCD display damaged – for spare parts!
Price: 50 €

B&G GFD H3000 Display
With water ingress – sometimes working – corroded – for spare parts!
Price: 50 €

B&G RRF ACP H3000 Rudder Reference Unit  –  Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 130 €

B&G D800 H3000 Depth Transducer
Fully working!
Price: 80 €

B&G H3000 Speed Sensor
Fully working!
Price: 80 €

B&G RemoteVision Wireless Port Base Station H3000 – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 150 €

B&G RemoteVision H3000  Remote controller
Only sometimes working – most likely water ingress – for spare parts!
Price: 50 €

B&G H3000  CPU  – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 340 €

B&G ACP 1 H3000  Autopilot Processor –  Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 340 €

B&G KVH Halcyon Gyro ACP H3000 compass  – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 340 €