Guardian Digital Guardian Digital

navCenter - Introduction

navCenter (nC) is a highly customisable app that enables your iPhone (+ Watch), iPad or Mac (M1 chip or higher) to operate as a multi-function display (MFD) presenting information from your boat's sensors in a wide variety of formats.

NMEA 2000

navCenter is able to connect to any WiFi Gateway installed on your NMEA 2000 system. There are a number of such Gateways available and they generally plug directly into the NMEA 2000 system with little or no set up required. navCenter will simply need its settings updated to match the requirements of your Gateway e.g. IP Address, Port number etc. More information here.

NMEA 2000 is only defined as a binary standard and thus a number of ascii formats (needed for WiFi connection) have emerged. The NMEA 2000 formats supported by navCenter can be found here

NMEA 0183

NMEA 0183 protocol allows for data to transmitted in a "sentence" from one sensor (talker) to multiple display devices (listeners) at a time. In order for multiple sensors to be able to talk a single device a multiplexer with WiFi capability must be used to buffer and combine the data streams from each sensor and transmit this data via WiFi.

navCenter will need its settings updated to match the requirements of your WiFi multiplexer e.g. IP Address, Port number etc. More information here.

Autopilot Remote

As well as collating and displaying navigation information navCenter offers the facility to remotely control Raymarine SeaTalkNG™ and SeaTalk1™ autopilots. This facility requires a WiFi Multiplexer or Gateway that has the ability to place SeaTalkNG/2000 PGNs or SeaTalk1 datagrams onto the relevant data bus. More information on the autopilot Remote Control can be found here.

Evaluating navCenter

On initial installation navCenter will be running in simulation mode using one of the NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183 data streams bundled with the app to populate the data views.

When navCenter is running in simulation mode you can create and edited as many data views as you wish and there is no limit on how long you can continue to evaluate navCenter.

In order to connect to your boat's WiFi sytem to process live NMEA data you will need to purchase a permanent licence or annual subscription to navCenter.

For most people a single license or subscription to navCenter would be meet all requirements. More information here.

Connecting to NMEA

If you already have purchased a licence for navCenter and wish to skip directly to instructions on how to connect navCenter to your boat then you can do that here.

Otherwise read on to find out more about navCenter.

Data Presentation

Navigation data is presented via a series of Pages and each Page may contain between 1 and 12 discrete Views. The following screenshots show examples of how data may be combined to form a Page of Views.

Click on any screenshot on this page to switch between a Light and Dark mode view.

navCenter contains a Menu bar which may be displayed at the top of every data page and a Status bar which may displayed at the bottom of every data page.

In order to maximise the space available to display data both of these bars are normally hidden. The following screenshots show a screen with the Menu and Status hidden and then with both bars exposed.

LightImage

To expose the Menu bar swipe downwards within the top half of the screen.

Be sure to start the swipe gesture a little distance away from the top of the screen else the operating system will interpret your gesture as a "swipe from device edge".

To hide the Menu bar swipe upwards within the top half of the screen.

To expose the Status bar swipe upwards within the bottom half of the screen.

Be sure to start the swipe gesture a little distance away from the bottom of the screen else the operating system will interpret your gesture as a "swipe from device edge".

To hide the Status bar swipe downwards within the bottom half of the screen.

The Menu bar displayed on the following screenshot contains 5 icons. Reading from right to left these are:

The Status bar displayed on the following screenshot contains two rows of information:

  1. The first row indicates the current data source and its status; in this case the data is coming from navCenter's included simulation file
  2. The second row shows:
    • The IP address and Port that is / will be used to connect to a WiFi host
    • The number of the Page being displayed and the total number of Pages currently defined
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DarkImage

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The first screenshot is of a Page containing two Views. The top half of the Page is showing a compass and the bottom half a pilot control. The compass is in 'North Up' mode where the compass gauge remains static and the needle rotates to point to the current heading. The heading is also displayed below the centre of the dial. Click on the screenshot to toggle between Light and Dark mode.

Within the compass View the boat's Course Over the Ground (COG) is displayed digitally in the top left corner and graphically by the orange boat icon on the compass gauge. The boat's Bearing To Waypoint is shown digitally in the top right hand corner and graphically by the yellow ellipse on the compass gauge.

Thus it is easy to see at a glance how the boat's course needs to by adjusted in order to make the waypoint.

The boat's heading is displayed in the bow of the central pointer and the boat's speed in the stern.

The button in the bottom left corner switches the compass between 'Head Up' and 'North Up' display and the button in the bottom right corner switches between true and magnetic values.

The Pilot, as displayed here, is in Auto mode with a locked heading of 94°. The 'Padlock' button (locked in Light mode) is used to disable the control buttons to help guard against unintentional course changes. The course correction and Pilot control buttons will be familiar to most people and operate exactly as you would expect them to do.

The second screenshot is from a device orientated to landscape. The left half of the Page is showing the apparent wind direction and speed in knots. The right half is a collection of data views showing:

  • The bearing and distance to a waypoint named 'Anchorage'
  • Heading
  • Course Over the Ground
  • Speed
  • Speed Over the Ground

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Both of the above Pages contain a large amount of data but a Page may be as simple or as complex as you like. For instance it might be helpful to be able to easily view the depth when entering an anchorage and thus, as shown here, a Page can be created which displays a single view.

The window background colour for all Views is user configurable and here it has been set to Indigo.

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All Pages adjust automatically to device orientation and to Apple's Light or Dark mode. Pages are highly customisable and there is no limit on the number of Pages that may be created.

To move to the next View in the series swipe across the screen from right to left; to move to the previous page swipe from left to right.