ConnectFest Returns to METS
NMEA 2000 network standard goes live to demonstrate how easily it operates
The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) will once again demonstrate to visitors at METS, the Marine Equipment Trade Show held in Amsterdam, how the global network communications standard NMEA 2000 works. Called ConnectFest, the free live demonstration will take place Wednesday, November 19, from 2-4 p.m. at the Amsterdam RAI event center. METS,a trade show serving the recreational marine industry, opens its three-day run on Tuesday, November 18.
NMEA 2000 is the CAN-based open industry network standard that permits different brands of electrical and electronic equipment to communicate seamlessly with each other. Electronic devices can be added to or removed from an NMEA 2000 network without any downtime or any impact on the overall operation of the system.
"METS has again invited NMEA to produce an NMEA 2000 ConnectFest," said NMEA Technical Director Steve Spitzer. "This is an important event for NMEA 2000 manufacturers and for the international attendees at METS."
During the demonstration, several manufacturers will connect their equipment to the NMEA 2000 backbone, a lightweight cable, to show the simplicity of adding or removing devices and to demonstrate their interoperability on the network.
Spitzer will introduce the session with an overview of NMEA 2000 and be there, along with the manufacturers, to answer questions ranging from costs and installation to configurability, scalability, and expansion of the system to meet future needs. He will also discuss several new PGNs, or network messages, that NMEA has created, including PGNs for watermakers, power generation, power distribution, man overboard, and AIS-automatic identification systems.
In past years, ConnectFest ran continuously during one day of the show. Visitors, either individually or in small groups, stopped by randomly to watch and ask questions. This year the schedule is different.
"We listened to input from visitors and participants over the last two years and have made adjustments to the ConnectFest," said Spitzer. "Instead of an all-day ConnectFest, we have shortened the hours to attract a more concentrated and focused attendance. Only NMEA 2000 Certified products or NMEA 2000 Certified Products Pending will be able to participate."