Smart NMEA Gateway
Air Link connects wireless and wired devices, using Bluetooth, wifi, NMEA 2000, 0183 & cloud database.
Smart NMEA Gateway
Although a small box, the Air Link has a very elaborate set of functions, each of which has been fully tested and validated. For example, the Air Link gets your location on earth and determines the magnetic declination at your location, to do the conversions for wind direction with True and Magnetic North. It also does all of the calculations between Apparent and True Wind, and between wind direction and wind angle.
But those are just equations; the Air Link also has intelligent functions. For example, it can detect when there is an internet connection. That allows it to automatically check if there are new features available in a quick Over-The-Air (OTA) Update. So your Air Link will actually get better over time. Or if you have been away from an internet connection out on the water but want to crowdsource data, it can store that data on the micro-SD card. We will be doing an OTA Update to allow it to crowdsource that data automatically when it gets an internet connection again.
The Air Link also makes decisions about what data is acceptable. For example, if you turn on your GPS chartplotter and it starts bombarding the network with data before it has a fix on GPS satellites, the Air Link determines if the data is valid or not. It may then go to a different data source for GPS location, such as the Air Link smartphone app if available.
Boat heading is another parameter where the Air Link makes decisions. For conversions between wind direction and angle, most apps can only use GPS heading. But those can’t work if the boat is docked and there is no GPS heading. Thus the Air Link prioritizes the boat’s compass heading, and only goes to GPS heading if no compass heading is available on the NMEA network.
What if there is data from multiple wind sensors? The Air Link gives the highest priority to the SailTimer Wind Instrument, then to a wind sensor on NMEA 2000, then to 0183. The Air Link switches automatically if one is not available.
So there are a lot of intelligent functions that you can’t see, but that the Air Link just makes look simple. The Air Link app helps with this, allowing you to configure priorities if you want. For example, under Data View in the app you can prioritize whether to use your NMEA 2000 or 0183 source, if the data is available from both. In future updates to the app, we may also add tabs under Data View for different categories of data that you may want to check on all from your phone or tablet: wind, navigation, engine, routing, etc.
Safety is perhaps the most important area where you want the Air Link to have intelligence, and not just be an electrical adapter. It keeps track of the operating temperature on the Air Link circuit board (and also from the Wind Instrument). In the unlikely event that the circuit board ever had a problem, the Air Link will send a message to the Air Link app, to give you a notification on your phone or tablet.
So we have designed this technology to be a convenient part of your life. After you use it the first time, you can simply turn it off, and it automatically makes the same connections when it is powered up the next time.