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Jan 27th 2016

World class racing yachts have PCBs from Newbury Electronics at the heart of their performance monitoring systems

Sailors in high performance racing yachts are the latest to benefit from advancements in electronics which allow them to monitor every aspect of their vessel's performance and the prevailing conditions. Many will have fitted their yacht with a Bravo Systems solution which has at its heart PCBs from Newbury Electronics.

Jose Luis Vela, director at Spanish based Bravo Systems, explains more; "Our product consists of a central processor and acquisition nodes that are connected via a CAN bus. Different sensors and onboard instruments use analog and digital inputs, frequency meters and serial inputs to feed back live data to the acquisition node. This data is then calibrated and processed to obtain valuable information for the sailors and engineers onboard and their land based support teams. Other measures, including wind direction, heading, boat speed, position and time to tack, are also fed into the processor providing a comprehensive set of data on the onboard display system."

The processor is formed from an ATOM single board computer and a PCB from Newbury Electronics, with all the power supply protection, indicators LEDs and connectors. The acquisition node is formed by two PCBs, again built by Newbury Electronics, which incorporates a microcontroller, CAN drivers, 8 ADC channels, 2 Serial ports (RS232 – 485) and 6 x digital I/O.

"We chose Newbury Electronics because it was very easy to order PCBs and assemblies from anywhere in the world. Each crew has its own home port and we need to be able to operate efficiently and effectively from wherever that may be", said Jose Luis Vela. "It was very important to us when we started this project to set up the production with a company able to supply worldwide and we have not been disappointed."

"Sophisticated electronics are becoming present in every aspect of our lives and this is only going to increase further as the Internet of Things becomes an everyday reality. If our PCBs can meet the rigorous demands of ocean going racing yachts they will certainly be up to the job in less physically challenging environments, either at home or at work;" said Philip King, managing director at Newbury Electronics and himself a keen sailor.

Bravo Systems is based in Spain and has been developing solutions for a number of the top sailing events including the America's Cup teams, Vende Globe and Mini Transat for over ten years. Their range of products includes sailing instruments, navigation tools and data acquisition systems and they continue to lead innovation with database support, customized audio data output, a real time alarm system, auto sensor checking and fully user-customized navigation software.