The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) is recognizing four marine electronics manufacturers for introducing their new NMEA 2000 compliant products at the 2002 NMEA Convention. The participating companies are Kvaser, Raymarine, Simrad, and Teleflex. Kvaser is introducing Kvaser Neptune hardware and software, which provides a gateway between maritime serial and CAN communications. It is equipped with two serial channels and one CAN channel to translate select NMEA 0183 formatted messages to their NMEA 2000 counterparts. In addition, select NMEA 2000 messages are translated to NMEA 0183 messages. With power provided by the NMEA 2000 bus, installation is as simple as mounting and connecting the communication channels. The ST290 high technology instrument system from Raymarine is designed for premium sail and motor yachts and combines advanced graphical instrumental displays with SeaTalk2, a new, faster communications method that employs the NMEA 2000 protocol. According to Keith Wansley of Raymarine, the company chose to work with the NMEA 2000 protocol because it can communicate up to 20 times faster than existing standard protocols. This means data can be communicated and updated more quickly than ever before, which of is particular interest to those wishing to achieve maximum results in navigation and racing applications. “The introduction of these products is setting a new benchmark for marine electronics manufacturers,” said Larry Anderson, chairman of the NMEA standards committee. “With the availability of real-time data exchange between various marine electronics and engine equipment, the boating public will demand its inclusion in future boats and equipment to be purchased.” Simrad is introducing its new Fluxgate Sensor, the RFC352R-2000 Rate Compass which offers excellent performance in autopilot systems for all types of vessels and is especially useful in those that have difficulty steering in high latitudes. By integrating the full 360-degree heading resolution of the new compass with the responsiveness of the rate sensor, performance is drastically improved. “Simrad has been committed to the development and testing of the NMEA 2000 standard from the beginning,” said Petter E. Jørgensen, vice president of product and marketing. “We are very excited to be introducing the RFC352R-2000 Rate Compass at the NMEA Convention and I believe that this standard is definitely a new revelation in the industry.” In addition, Teleflex is introducing the i6000TEC Triple Engine Electronic Shift & Throttle. The i6000TEC provides independent external adjustments to allow users to customize the feel of the control head, as well as the added convenience of lower maintenance issues and wireless operation. Additionally, it is equipped so that one touch synchronies engines, which can be done either at neutral-idle or while underway. "The introduction of these products is a huge step in the right direction of technologically enhancing the marine electronics industry,” said Carol Sherburne, NMEA president of HWH Electronics Corporation. “We believe that many companies will follow the lead of these innovative industry leaders and develop more products that allow for this advanced functionality."