Please select your home edition
Edition
YY.com app (top)

B&G's new wind sensors - we speak to Mike Sugden

by Mark Jardine 26 Jun 12:00 BST
The new B&G WS300 wind series © B&G

We spoke to Mike Sugden of B&G about the WS310 and WS320, the new wired and wireless wind sensors launched on the 13th June.

Mark: With the WS320, using Bluetooth and solar power, you are making a huge weight saving for your wind sensor.

Mike: It depends on the amount of cable being used, but on a 35-foot yacht with a 17-metre mast it could equal a big weight saving in an area that you want to keep as light as possible – a 20 metre mast cable weighs nearly a kilo.

Mark: Also, this must save a huge amount of time on installation and maintenance?

Mike: With the maintenance and retrofit market this is a huge advantage. There's no need to run a cable through the rig – you just simply connect the base station to the instrument system, pair the base station and the wind sensor and fit the wind sensor to the top of the mast. That's it.

Mark: Yachts are notorious for having problems with wireless communications. How have you solved that?

Mike: Through a lot of testing! We have successfully tested ranges of well over the specified maximum of 30 metres with this new wind sensor – and we are very confident with that range – we have over 200,000 hours of testing completed. Clearly wireless is not for everyone - we offer the wired version for that very reason, having both options available to suit all possible needs and scenarios.

Mark: When it comes to wind sensors it is hugely important to maintain accuracy and this comes down to how the sensor is shaped and how it is collecting the wind information. What testing have you done to ensure that the data you are feeding back to instruments is reliable?

Mike: We've tested this both on and off the water, especially in the wind tunnel. Initial tests proved that the traditional cup and vane sensors were the way to go, so we took our previous sensors; the 213 and the 608 masthead units and developed from there, looking at aerodynamics, the shapes and seeing what worked best in the tunnel. We looked at the data, analysed it, made modifications, put it back in the tunnel and out in the real world and have been round that loop several times and we are very happy with the performance of the new sensor.

Mark: Does this sensor use the latest iteration of Bluetooth technology?

Mike: Yes, we are using the latest Bluetooth 4.0 which is a great technology for low-power but high performance wireless comms. We also transmit information such as battery status and charge indication back to the system, so we can see exactly what is going on inside the wind sensor.

Mark: With it being solar, what is the lifespan of the battery within the system? Specifically, if you're doing an overnight race or passage, will the sensor continue to work throughout the night?

Mike: The specification was for a minimum of 1 week with zero charge – and we've found from the testing that the wind sensor needs very little light to charge, and it charges very quickly. We have units outside our office here in Southampton and they were covered with snow for a few days this winter – it wasn't a problem. Typically we would expect over 10 days with absolutely no charge, which is an unrealistic situation.

Mark: Is the battery replaceable?

Mike: Yes, we offer a wide range of spare parts for the unit, such as the battery, wind vane, the wind speed cups, bearings etc. The intention is to keep the unit running for a long time and make it fully serviceable.

Mark: Are the WS310 and WS320 compatible with the full range of B&G instruments?

Mike: In the current market yes. It connects to the network backbone via Micro-C on an NMEA 2000 compatible network, so it works with all current instruments including H5000 and Triton, plus the Zeus and Vulcan range of Multi-Function Displays.

Mark: Thank you very much for your time and explaining more about the WS310 and WS320 wind sensors.

Mike: You're welcome!

Find out more...

Related Articles

B&G launches new V60 VHF Radio
B&G V60 VHF Radio is the perfect addition to mid-level sailboats With its integrated GPS receiver, the V60 now has four ways to ensure GPS reliability in the event of an emergency. A GPS antenna in the face of the radio is perfect for open-air installations and the SMA connector can be coupled with a GPS-500 antenna. Posted on 18 Oct
B&G® HALO24: Innovation in pulse compression radar
The newest evolution in dome radar technology B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, announced today the launch of the new HALO24, an innovation in pulse compression radar. Posted on 1 Oct
New software updates for B&G devices
Updates add mobile phone connectivity and enhanced features B&G, the leader in the design and manufacture of world-class electronics for sailors, announced today the release of a series of powerful software updates for its award-winning chartplotters product line and for its H5000 instrument and autopilot system. Posted on 7 Sep
B&G proud to support PolarQuest 2018
A scientific expedition to the Arctic Join B&G onboard Nanuq the self-sufficient sailing boat, as a specialist team face the elements in one of the most beautiful and extreme environments on the planet #SailTheElements Posted on 21 Jul
B&G launch revolutionary Wireless Wind Sensor
High precision wind sensors, offering improved accuracy and performance B&G are proud to announce the launch of the new WS300 series of high precision wind sensors, offering improved accuracy and performance. Posted on 13 Jun
B&G's Vulcan Range
More affordable than you may think With a background and pedigree in the Grand Prix yacht racing circuits, and on some of the most prestigious yachts in the world, many club sailors believe a B&G system is out of reach for their yacht, but could be more accessible than you think. Posted on 23 May
Take part in B&G #heartoftherace Competition
WIN your way to Cardiff as the Volvo Ocean Race arrives in the UK B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, today announced the launch of their #heartoftherace competition, which gives the sailing community the chance to step inside the world of the Volvo Ocean Race. Posted on 22 May
B&G sponsor legendary ORMA 60 trimaran
Exciting new partnership will see the famous vessel fully refitted with B&G electronics B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, have announced their sponsorship of the legendary trimaran ORMA 60 ex Fleury Michon by Bruno Cardile. Posted on 4 May
B&G announce new software release
Several new features for Zeus & Vulcan Chartplotters B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, today announced the release of a new software update for Zeus³, Zeus², Zeus² Glass Helm and Vulcan Series displays. Posted on 23 Mar