Control your boat using ZigBee


Staff member has an article discussing a new autopilot system for boats which can be controlled by remote control, using the ZigBee protocol.

Raymarine, the world leader in marine electronics, debuted at the 2005 Miami International Boat Show last week the industry’s first wirelessly controlled autopilot, the SmartPilot S1000. Designed for hydraulic powerboats up to 25 feet – such as sports fishing boats, ski boats and day boats – the Raymarine wireless autopilot system is a significant technological advance for boating control, safety and enjoyment. Embedded with Ember’s ZigBee-ready wireless chips and networking software, the S1000 is easy to install with virtually no wiring, and will operate for years on AAA or rechargeable batteries. The wireless autopilot is also easy to learn and operate. From anywhere on the boat, users can select to steer a straight course, go direct to a waypoint, or choose one of the programmed fishing or trolling patterns, as well as monitor their marine electronics.

Read the article
I am sure ZigBee is built with wireless interference in mind (or I don't see how it can survive), but I am sure you won't have that much interference while out at sea.
One of their examples is ski boats. Does this mean that you can water ski alone? Just grab your remote control and the end of the rope and go.
Here are some specs from the Raymarine site.

S1000 Wireless Autopilot System

Complete autopilot system with wireless remote control for hydraulically steered sport fishing boats up to 25 feet. Expected availability February, 2005

Product Number: E12169

Suggested Retail Price: $1,300.00
U.S. Dollars
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S100 Wireless Controller Specs

Approvals EMC, FCC, IC and CE marked
Control Type 5 buttons
Display lighting Yes, on/off control
Display size & type 9 x 35mm LCD
Humidity Up to 95%
Interfaces SeaTalk interface. NMEA 0183 interface via SeaTalk conversion at base station
Maximum character size 8mm
Mounting Methods Cradle, handheld, laynard, belt clip
Operating temperature range 14° to 158° F (-10° to 70° C)
Overall Dimensions (L x W x D) 3.94" x 2.36" x 1.38" (100 x 60 x 35mm)
Power 2 AAA alkaline batteries
Product Weight 2.11 ounces (.06 Kg)
RF transmitter and receiver type IEEE 802.15.4
Storage temperature range 14° to 158° F (-10° to 70° C)

I've been looking over the owner/installation manuals for the last few days to see if this would be better than some of their other autopilot systems. I don't think there is anything electronic on my boat that could cause interference. The installation is much more simplified than the SmartPilots as there is no need to run hydraulic lines from the helm to the outboard pump.

The Raymarine site has a pretty cool installation video too.

I think I'll get one as I only have one remote for the radio/cd player on board now. and one is not enough!

One of their examples is ski boats. Does this mean that you can water ski alone? Just grab your remote control and the end of the rope and go
I can see it now. You drop the remote, and are forced to continue skiing forever (or at least until the boat runs into something).

HEADLINE NEWS, Paris France: Skibum crosses the Atlantic on skiis.
A known skiing junky crossed the Atlantic today on the end of a water ski rope. It all started when the the junky, known as "Skibum", accidently dropped the remote control to his boat while taking a morning ski. He was detained by French authorities for immigration and other violations after his water craft beached itself on a popular nudist beach. When asked why he didn't just let go of the handle, Skibum replied "Dude! What are you, some type of weirdo? You never let go of the handle until the ride is over!"

:( :lol: