SailTimer Air Link™
NMEA gateway connecting wireless and wired devices.
This small waterproof device can receive Bluetooth transmissions from the SailTimer Wind Instrument™ and connect on wires to your GPS chartplotter. It can also connect any anemometer to our cloud server (e.g. through marina wifi or a smartphone) so that you can check wind conditions online from home or office. The Air Link™ can also retransmit all of your NMEA data on wifi to Android/iOS apps (iSailor, MID WiFi, Sail Buddy, iRegatta, NMEA Sail, WinDis, Aqua Map, Sail Expert…).
The Air Link™ is 2.25″ (5.4 cm) thick, with a footprint of 5 3/4 x 3 5/8″ (14.4 x 9 cm) including the tab on each end. The waterproof case (IP65) has a silicone gasket under the lid and a water-resistant wiring gland. This white case is version 3 of the Air Link. It started shipping in Aug. 2020 with a smaller footprint, improved electronics hardware, internal antennas and easier setup.
The 4th-generation Air Link is now in production, and is completely redesigned for a much lower price ($74.99), NMEA 2000 wiring, and Over-the-Air Updates. Unlike the previous version shown above, the new model has been designed with a clear lid on the waterproof case to show an LCD screen inside. Expected delivery in February-March 2023. Order now before it sells out.
The SailTimer Air Link™ runs on 12-volt power and comes with power and ground wires. You can connect ordinary 14-16 gauge stranded wire. Or you can use a car lighter plug, or an AC adapter wall plug that ouputs 12 volt DC power, with the wiring connectors below. Any 12 volt DC power supply with about 2 Amps of output will work (1.3 Amps is sufficient, and 3 Amps works fine too).
There are also sealed lead acid 12-volt battery packs if you need portability or don’t have power on-board. For example, this one costs $12 US and is just 3.5 x 2.75 x 4 inches in size, so you can easily take it off the boat to charge. The Air Link draws about .140 Amps at 13.8 volts DC. So at 5 Amp-hours, this portable battery should give you about 35 hours of power (which might last for several weekends).
Easy NMEA Wiring
For NMEA 0183, the SailTimer Air Link™ has two Input and two Output wires. It can send out wind data from our wireless Wind Instrument™ on standard NMEA 0183 wiring for marine electronics to view on a GPS chartplotter or Multi-Function Display like this. For NMEA 2000 wiring with the Air Link 3 you have two options. The cheapest is to consider using NMEA 0183 wiring from the Air Link to your MFD, and let the MFD convert to NMEA 2000. If your MFD does not support NMEA 0183, you can get a converter such as: iKonvert from Digital Yacht, Furuno NMEA 0183 to 2000 Converter, Actisense NGW-1 NMEA 2000 Gateway, AllTek Marine NK-80 NMEA2000 Adapter, or the Simrad NMEA 2000®/NMEA 0183 Adapter.
Easy to Use
This 1-minute YouTube demo shows how easy it is to use. Just turn on the Air Link when you get to your boat. Your device will connect to it automatically on wifi. The Air Link also connects to the Wind Instrument automatically. Any marine electronics on a wired connection will have wind data. The Air Link will also automatically join your marina wifi if available, so that you can check online to see wind conditions at your boat. Additional details are available in the Owner’s Manual for the Air Link (PDF, 2.7 MB).
Both the inputs and outputs in the SailTimer Air Link™ are opto-isolated to prevent galvanic corrosion (when two different types of metal are connected to the circuit and in contact with the water), and to preserve your sacrificial zinc anodes below the waterline. This opto-isolation is a requirement of the NMEA 0183 standard. It means that we convert the data from electricity to light signals to prevent ground loops and also protect the device from voltage spikes.