Updated SmartCraft protocol may make building easier

OSHKOSH, Wis. – MotoTron, provider of production-embedded engine control and integration systems, said this week that the SmartCraft integration system, developed by MotoTron and Mercury Marine, has launched a new and expanded protocol to its communication system that may help make the boat building process easier.

MotoTron earlier launched an updated version of the SmartCraft CAN communications protocol, called SCv2.

“SCv2 is an enhanced version of the earlier SmartCraft protocols and will enable us to continue to expand in the area of managed integration for vessel command and control,” Phil Gaynor, business manager for MotoTron’s marine group, said in his company’s press release. “With the benefits of our upgraded format it is much easier to coordinate the control of products and create greater inter-node communications. For example, the SCv2 protocol provides us the ability to allow each product on any of the SmartCraft communication lines to broadcast three levels of comprehensive diagnostics messages.”

“One of our goals with SmartCraft is to deliver customers simple and consistent information. Whether the information is from an engine or an air conditioner, any SmartCraft display will show the same information, making it easier for consumers to understand and manage their boat. The SCv2 protocol also provides us a very robust method to control devices on the network. So, whether adjusting the HVAC system or starting the generator, control commands are handled quickly, and safely via SCv2.”

Also, the SCv2 protocol provides a simple means for boat builders to configure, both locally and remotely, all products on the boat that are attached to the SmartCraft network, according to Matt Dushek, MotoTron’s senior engineering manager responsible for protocol development.

“With the introduction of these new SmartCraft features, we now have the ability to remotely set up multiple SmartCraft systems throughout the boat, via one protocol and one interface,” said Chris Wachowski, MotoTron’s director of OEM integration. “Once the builder has installed various SmartCraft products such as Marine Air, air conditioners by Dometic Corporation, Kohler generators, Onan generators or Xantrex and Victron energy power products, configuration upload can be accomplished universally through one user interface aboard the boat.”

Vessel View by Mercury Marine and Cummins MerCruiser Diesel is the first product with the capability of performing this upload from a standard USB memory stick.

“We are finally arriving at the point where we can treat the boat as a whole system,” said Gaynor. “The founding principle of SmartCraft was to manage integration and treat the vessel as a system, rather than a group of unrelated parts. Our newest protocol takes us another great step toward realizing this objective.”

In addition to the new protocol release, Brunswick has also added several new partners to the SmartCraft Networked program. Brunswick welcomes Actia Group, manufacturer of digital instrumentation; Victron Energy B.V., manufacturer of battery inverter and charging systems; and Teleflex Marine, manufacturer of digital instrumentation.

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