MARINE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
I started developing electronic marine instrumentation packages in the mid 1960's, for use on board my father's C&C Corvette ("Shaula") while I was attending university. This was basic instrumentation that pre-dated the availability of microprocessors.
In 1976 (a year after I moved to Seattle) I purchased my first "large" sailboat (a C&C 30), and began developing a series of marine electronic packages (the Palmer MK 1 and MK 2). In 1978 I purchased a C&C 36, and continued marine instrumentation development. This resulted in the Palmer MK 3 Marine Computer, which had a single CPU unit in the navigator's station, and a display panel in the cockpit with six readouts (the functionality of one display was switchable). The MK3 used a 10-bit A/D converter, a CMOS version of the 8080 microprocessor, and ran a Fortran program (less than 8K total program space).
In 1981 I purchased a Baltic 42 sailboat. This had two cockpits and a nice navigator's area, so I developed the Palmer MK4 system, which included a series of multi-function distributed displays.
Starting in 1978, I developed a series of marine instruments for Signet Marine in El Monte, CA. These were developed under contract, and used many of the concepts that I had developed for the instrumentation installed on my own boats. The first product was the MK 288 Dead-Reckoning Navigation Computer. I then developed many of the modules used in Signet's "Smart Pak" series of networked instruments. I eventually converted all the instruments on board my Baltic 42 to a Signet Smart Pak system so I could do intensive on-the-water testing. All this work was going on at the same time I was working at Intermec.
Breadboard prototype of the 288
The completed product
Developing SmartPak Modules
A Typical SmartPak Network
On Board Baltic 42
Signet advertisements for SmartPak