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  • Integrated Bridge Systems

    I'm writing an assignment on the technical aspects of these systems for a college module (Marine Navigation Systems) and I'd love to hear about the deck officer user experience.

    What systems have you used? Are some systems more useful than others? Are some systems better at presenting navigation data than others?

    Thanks, Chris
    Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

  • #2
    I've used Imtech UniMACS, but that's really the only one.

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    • #3
      please make sure to use harvard referencing in your replys it will make everything much easier too
      you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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      • #4
        Kelvin Hughes, but that was in my first sea phase and I wasn't allowed to touch it! TRANSAS, was really just ECDIS but had radar overlay etc, still doesn't beat a paper chart IMHO...

        Size4riggerboots

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        • #5
          How about an ECDIS screen the size of a paper chart?
          you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ETwhat? View Post
            How about an ECDIS screen the size of a paper chart?
            ECDIS should not have been pushed to become compulsory, or even approved to replace paper charts, until screens were adequately large. Now that stupidly small screens severely limiting situational awareness have been approved, we won't ever see decent size screens installed. If done properly, they could have been used with digital versions of traditional chartwork instruments, or at least some sort of touchscreen/stylus system. As it is, non-automatic fixing (i.e. visual) is too difficult for regular, frequent use on most ECDIS systems. That is a very bad thing in my opinion.

            [/rant]

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            • #7
              yup theres nothing like having to use a 17" screen when a 40" or 50" would have done nicely, it would also allow useful space for screen in screen display etc. coupled with a nice capacitance overlay you have something that is very good.

              I miss the old Raytheon 'mouse' for paper charts, 4 led's to show if it needed to move it up down left right etc. digital plots straight onto the paper
              you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ETwhat? View Post
                yup theres nothing like having to use a 17" screen when a 40" or 50" would have done nicely
                What really gets me is that the minimum size for an ECDIS screen is smaller than the minimum for a radar. WTF?

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                • #9
                  From a user friendly point of view many of the deck guys I have sailed with have raved about ABB bridge gear, from a reliability point of view, as the poor ****er who has to maintain the stuff, it is all a pile of ****.

                  It is all very well looking at what deckies think about who easy it is to use and that is obviously a huge issue, but if you are comparing different systems then you should also be looking at reliablity.

                  I would suggest that navpilot, chart pilot, trackpilot, anythingelsepilot is a pile of **** in this respect.
                  Go out, do stuff

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                  • #10
                    Unreliable ABB, thats interesting. Theres only so much information you can gain from a textbook or company brochure
                    Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

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                    • #11
                      One thing that I personaly find quite worrying is how many things have a GPS input. We had a minor GPS failure once but it was quick shocking how many other pieces of kit alarmed because of it.

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                      • #12
                        yes it would be some list if you thought of all the items on a ship requiring a lat/long feed, and all the land based systems running off gps as well
                        Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

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                        • #13
                          However one major change we should see is removing the ships dependance on GPS (which is american) and either starting to use GLONASS which is fully operational, Russian and supported by the iphone 4s (allowing much greater accuracy as it compares GPS and GLONASS signals) and in the next 5 years we should see the GALILEO (european) become fully operational as well and provide greater base accuracy. http://www.esa.int/esaNA/galileo.html yes they all require that a signal gets through the atmosphere but rather than having dependance on one it would seem a good idea to have two independant systems. Theres also no real reason for the USA to have a mild panic and switch selective avilablitiy back on, and having navigated with that it was a rather interesting experience.
                          you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                            One thing that I personaly find quite worrying is how many things have a GPS input. We had a minor GPS failure once but it was quick shocking how many other pieces of kit alarmed because of it.
                            This is an issue which could easily be addressed with integrated bridge systems, if the GPS fails the system should be clever enough to give you one audible alarm and then list all the faults visually somewhere for you to acknowledge. It is ridiculous that a GPS failure during manoeuvring, which should in theory be automatically switched to a back-up, should cause the bridge team to be running around muting 20 different alarms.
                            Go out, do stuff

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                            • #15
                              I have sailed as navigator with kelvin Hughes manta and manta digital, which were both pretty terrible, full of software bugs, not really integrated enough and with limited support for different chart types, the old manta equipment could not run Avcs without crashing and the new manta digital does not support arcs at all, which is frankly criminal.
                              SAM equipment, is probably the gold standard and is found on pretty much all the big pax ships, it's excellent, I can't really criticise it at all other than the menu system can be rather clunky at times, excellent integration, easy to use and with good prioritisation of alarms / data.
                              both the Sam and KH systems come with chart radars, which have different performance standards from ecdis, but Sam is much better.
                              transas is good, probably behind Sam in terms of technical advancement.
                              I've also sailed with an Adveto system which was superb, loads of great features, but I'm sure what it's type approved status is...
                              Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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