Pitufino–not just another Wi-Fi gateway!

Over the years we acquired a mix of old and new navigation instruments on Pitufa, which used to communicate via NMEA convertors that lack configuration options–never quite the solution we really wanted. Unsatisfied with the situation and unconvinced by existing products, I decided to build an NMEA converter and gateway myself. Later on I started implementing more and more ideas and now my Pitufino replaces four devices we had to run before.

Along the way the project turned from a sheer experiment into a powerful product that may well be interesting for other cruisers. If you’re interested in acquiring a Pitufino, send me an email!

What is a Pitufino?

Apart from being a Wi-Fi gateway for navigation data, Pitufino is an NMEA router, multiplexer, translator and converter. It has been designed to let navigation devices from different generations, old and new, talk to each other and, of course, to your portable devices such as smart phones, tablet and laptop computers. Pitufino’s versatile configuration options allow even devices that are not quite in full compliance with the standards or that use deprecated or proprietary messages to become connected.

Why would you like to get a Pitufino?

+ Because you are searching for a nav data Wi-Fi gateway,

+ because you have NMEA0183 as well as NMEA2000 devices aboard and require one or more converters to make them talk to each other,

+ because you are not happy with your current gateway or your current converter that lacks configuration and filter options,

+ because on some occasions you wish to only run a subset of your navigational instrument without powering up the whole (energy greedy) system.

What are Pitufino’s features?

• NMEA2000 port
• 2 NMEA0183 inputs
• 2 NMEA0183 outputs
• Wi-Fi: provides own access point (with DHCP) or connects to existing one
• mDNS: gateway can always be found as pitufino.local
• NMEA0183 data server: multiple TCP connections and/or UDP broadcast
• Webserver: provides browser-based configuration, firmware update, pages to view
navigation data in real time
• Configuration: elaborate settings for filtering, routing and conversion

Pitufino’s data routing and filtering is shown in this image:

Pitufino’s data routing is bidirectional. Data received from navigation software or apps is routed like this:

That’s what Pitufino’s sailing instruments look like on a smart phone. No app needed! It’s all part of Pitufino’s integrated web server.

This use-case shows our cumbersome pre-existing solution that needed 4 additional devices and below the new set-up using a Pitufino:

Pitufino’s settings for NMEA0183:

An example showing an NMEA2000 device list and source-filter options:

Pitufino is under active development to include new features and to extend its range of application even wider. On my to-do list are (+) the implementation of sentences/PGNs for motor parameters, (+) implementation of the World Magnetic Model (so your chart plotter does not need to be online every time), and more web instruments.

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