Brand new NMEA data buffer device launched by Actisense

5th August 2013
Jacqueline Regnier

Actisense are due to launch the latest version of their popular NMEA Buffer, dubbed NBF-3, a prototype of which generated a buzz at the 2012 METS show. The device is an enhanced version of the popular existing NBF-2, with significant new features and is due for release in August 2013.

The device opto-isolates and buffers NMEA 0183 data to drive multiple NMEA devices, such as chart plotters and radars, which makes it ideal for safely interfacing an on-board PC to NMEA 0183 equipment on a vessel. The NBF-3 has improved usability by offering pluggable connectors for quick and easy installation, as well as a diagnostic LED on the input to confirm correct connection. Most crucially, the installer will now be able to directly power the NMEA Talker that is supplying the NBF-3 with data, removing the need for the installer to run an additional power cable to the NMEA Talker. The NBF-3 is presented in an Actisense designed case with a DIN rail mounting option.

Using the new Actisense custom case, the NBF-3 will make installations easier than ever before.  The pluggable screw-terminal connectors will speed up installation, while the diagnostic LED on the input confirms correct connection. The addition of power distribution for the NMEA ‘talker’ allows a single cable to connect power and data to the ‘talker’. The internal PCB assembly is waterproof to IP66, while the removable connection cover provides excellent water resistance and wire strain relief.

Phil Whitehurst, Managing Director of Active Research Limited said: “Having served our customers well for the past six years, the NBF-2 will be retiring from production. There will be a period of approx. six months (from August 2013) where the NBF-2 and NBF-3 will both be available for purchase. The price of the NBF-3 will be slightly higher than that of the NBF-2, reflecting the costs incurred to provide an all-round superior product. Investment into the value-add design and simplified installation method have increased the cost of parts and materials. With the feedback we received at METS we know that the NBF-3 will enhance what we offer our customers and lead the way in design and performance.”

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