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Pitufino–not just another nav-data 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 sailors. If you’re interested in acquiring a Pitufino visit our online shop. If you have further questions, send me an email to or use the contact form below!

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.

What is a nav-data Wi-Fi gateway?
Such a gateway takes the data from its connected nav devices and sends it over Wi-Fi to your laptop and mobile devices. Turn your phone or tablett computer into a powerful navigation display!

Why would you like to get a Pitufino?

+ Because you are searching for a nav data Wi-Fi gateway to feed your GPS position, AIS and instrument data to navigation and chart-plotter apps on your mobile devices,

+ because you like Pitufino’s web browser-run sailing instruments (no app required) that include a remote control for your autopilot,

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

+ because some of your nav devices don’t properly communicate with each other (or with your apps),

+ 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 instruments without powering up the whole (energy-greedy) system.

What are Pitufino’s features?

• NMEA2000 port

• 2 NMEA0183 inputs (isolated)

• 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

• Web server: provides browser-based configuration, firmware update, pages to view
navigation data in real time (web instruments and web pilot controller)

• Configuration: elaborate settings for filtering, routing and conversion

• Built-in World Magnetic Model: up-to-date magnetic variation (and also, your chart plotter no longer needs to be online every time)

• Sentence Translator: Some devices output deprecated or unusual sentences. Pitufino translates them into well-supported ones.

Which autopilots does Pitufino support?

The current firmware supports Raymarine’s SeatalkNG/NMEA2000 pilots like EV-1/EV-2 as well as NMEA2000 pilots from Navico/Simrad/B&G like NAC-3/NAC-2.
We are working on support for Raymarine’s SmartPilots like SPX30.

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

Pitufino’s data routing is bidirectional. Data received from navigation software or apps (e.g. waypoints) is routed like this:

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

And this is Pitufino’s anchor-watch instrument view

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:

Planned features for upcoming firmware versions

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,
(+) more web instruments, AIS-viewer, logbook assistant, etc.,
(+) provide wind and other data with proper damping on NMEA2000 for other displays
(+) support for more proprietary and deprecated sentences,
(+) more extensive autopilot control and support (more brands/models, switching wind/nav modes, …)
(+) and more sentence translations. Just tell me what nav devices you have and I will figure out a way to make them talk to each other!

Latest Firmware: V1.3.8

Download the latest version here.

Changes since V1.3.7:
* complete AP control for new Raymarine and Navico APs: switching to wind and nav mode + WP confirmation
* proper handling of active waypoint from/to N2k (including name, computing BOD if missing)
* added support for fluid-level sensors (NMEA2000 and 0183), 4 assignable tanks
* added Multi Instrument (preview, work-in-progress)
* several minor improvements

Changes since V1.3.4:
* HTTP authentication for critical requests (see/change settings, reboot, restore factory defaults, control auto pilot, update firmware, …) using encrypted password
* hardware-restore defaults (connect TX0 to RX0 then boot) in case you have locked yourself out…
* single-step firmware upload (future firmware updates will be much easier!)
* fix for DHCP server problems after reboot (DHCP did not notice when clients hang on to their old leases)
* NMEA0183 baud rate and checksum can be changed on the fly
* added to sailing instruments: XTE, POS, fullscreen button
* improved GUI interaction (more feedback…)
* web app manifests: new launchers (i.e. bookmarks) created on the home screen on mobile devices will start Pitufino’s pages as proper web apps (no browser gui, separate windows)

Changes since V1.3.2:
* support for aft depth (or 2nd depth sounder)
* new N2k source-filter option for allowing fall-back devices if selected one is offline
* added to sailing instruments: AFT depth, VMC (Velocity Made on Course), SEA temperature, distance LOG (+ 2 trip counters), no-sleep (prevents mobile from going to sleep)
* NEW anchor-watch instruments
* web pages: new menus
* setting for boat name
* several minor improvements

IMPORTANT when updating from a version prior to V1.3.4
When updating html files, make sure you select ALL files inside the html folder. To do so, in the file selector window change the option from supported file types to “ALL FILES”.

To receive notifications about new features and firmware versions, Follow Pitufino on facebook.

User and Installation Manual

The manual can be downloaded as a pdf file.

14 comments

  1. Phil says:

    I am interested. What is price and delivery time? Where are you located? Thank you.

  2. Phil says:

    I am interested. What is the price and delivery time? Where are you located? Thank you.

    1. Christian says:

      Hi Phil,
      We are based in Austria. Where are you? I send you an eMail.

  3. Sven says:

    Moin Christian,
    Der Pitufino sieht sehr interessant aus. Könnte mein VYacht- Multiplexer ersetzten, der keine Autopilotensteuerung kann (Evo2).
    Du schreibst, der Pitufino hat 2 NMEA-Eingänge. Ich habe 4 NMEA-Datensätze (Lot, Logge, Wind, AIS), die ich gerne einlesen möchte. Geht das?

    Was kostet der Pitufino?

    Vg
    Sven

    1. Christian says:

      Hallo Sven,
      Welche geraete hast du genau? da du einen Raymarine EV-2 (=Evo2?) hast, hast du sicher einen SeatalkNG bus (=NMEA2000). Welche geraete haengen schon an diesem Bus?
      Schick mir am besten ein e-Mail mit deiner Info.
      LG

  4. leo hugl says:

    was ist der preis für dieses gerät
    bitte um infos

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen leo hugl

    1. Christian says:

      Hi, 230 Euro, unser Webshop ist gerade fertig geworden! currently-marine.com

  5. John Nottingham says:

    I am interested in the price and whether you can ship to New Zealand

    1. Christian says:

      Hi, it’s 230 euros. We’ll check for shipment options to NZ. If that doesn’t work out due to covid related difficulties we could try to ask a boat going from here (Tahiti) towards NZ in a few weeks. I’m sure we can work out something.

  6. Erik Norrgard says:

    Hello- Interested in learning more and buying one. I want to connect my older Radar to my tablet running Navionics.

    1. Christian says:

      Hi, radar and sonar images are not transmitted over NMEA interfaces, but over regular ethernet. So it’s possible for many radars to use a general purpose wi-fi router (ideally one that runs on 12 V) with ethernet ports (usually they are available from 35,-). Pitufino can of course also connect to another router. So in this setup your laptop would only connect to the general purpose router and get both: radar + Pitufinos nav data
      Check first in technical forums or fb groups about your radar, to find out which software and devices work nicely together.

  7. Rolf onnen says:

    Please sent the prize and where I can get it

    1. Christian says:

      The price is EUR 230,–. Our brand-new web shop is https://currently-marine.com/produkt/pitufinov1-0/

  8. Yachtdoktor.com says:

    Absolut super erdacht und gemacht :-)

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