EVERNA PARK, MD-The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) and the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) will hold their annual international convention together at the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel, Portsmouth / Norfolk, Virginia on September 16-20. Registration for the 2019 NMEA/RTCM Marine Electronics Conference & Expo is now open for attendees. This is the largest industry trade event focusing strictly on marine electronics.

New for 2019, on both Monday and Friday, September 16 and 20, NMEA Level 3 manufacturers will offer half-day technical training sessions for all attendees. These expanded time periods will allow major electronics manufacturers to dive deeper into their wide range of products. Monday morning 9/16 will feature FLIR / Raymarine training, while Monday afternoon will offer both CZone and Garmin training sessions. Friday morning 9/20 will feature Furuno training and Friday afternoon will feature Simrad / Lowrance / B&G training.

Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, September 17 and 18, conference registrants can choose to attend various installer and business tracks detailed below. Most of the Tuesday and Wednesday tracks are repeated twice so that attendees can adjust their schedules to attend specific areas of interest. Manufacturer demo boats will also be running from outside the hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and evenings.

Specialty Tools
This technical session will focus on diagnostic and testing tools that have been identified by expert installers and technicians to specifically troubleshoot and test certain pieces of marine electronic equipment. This hands-on session invites audience participation as instructors demonstrate and give an overview of how certain tools can help you quickly and effectively finish an installation or troubleshoot a problematic piece of equipment or cable.

Hands-On Connectors 
Installers need to master the art of properly fitting widely used field installable connectors onto various cables. In this session, learn the best practices on how to install popular field attachable connectors such as PL259, RJ45 onto their respective cables. Attendees can witness expert installers attach these various connectors onto their specific cables, and will also get to install these cables on their own as guided by the instructor

What Satellites are in Space?
This technical session overviews the many satellites up in orbit around our Earth. What functions do they serve for the maritime space? What manufacturers use specific satellites for communications? Learn how knowing the function and location of satellites can help you in your day to day installations and troubleshooting of the wide array of marine electronic equipment that relies on satellites to function properly.

Ethernet Networking
Ethernet is everywhere. As NMEA OneNet comes to market, the standard refers to existing Ethernet protocols (IEEE 802.3.) for physical device installation, cabling, and connectors. This technical session overviews cabling, switches, PoE, network design, installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.

Complex Audio Installations
This technical session gives you the know how to tackle complex audio installations. Multiple speaker zones, subwoofers, amplifier boxes, cable runs, control heads, and MFD integration will all be covered in this session.

Smart Banking for Your Business
Presented by a local business bank, learn the ins and outs of business banking. This session will review types of business accounts and services, cash management tools and banking products focused on businesses. Topics to include business checking and credit cards, merchant services, business loans and savings, online & mobile services.

Effectively Deal with Your Attorney
No matter how carefully you conduct business, an employee problem, a business deal gone wrong, or a government violation; it could lead to a lawsuit. Presented by a local business law firm, you will learn how to dispel those lawsuit fears by learning how and when to hire an attorney and learn the best way to work with them to keep your business running smoothly. Topics to include: contracts, business organizations, real estate, taxes and licenses, and intellectual property.

Navigating Government Contracting
The federal government awarded over $100 billion in government contracts to small businesses in 2017 and some of this is marine electronics. This session will teach you what is needed to add the government as your next customer. Learn about DUNS Number, SAM Registration, set-asides, HUB Zone, GSA schedule and more. We will review how to find opportunities with the government relevant to your business, how to prepare a bid, and submit an offer.

NMEA Standards Update
A technical update will be presented as all three NMEA Interface Standards continue to grow and evolve over time. NMEA 0183, now over 30 years old continues to advance in the commercial market in the areas of GNSS, AIS, and DSC. NMEA 2000 continues to expand in the recreational market with new PGNs for devices like thrusters, windlasses and elevators. NMEA OneNet brings new levels of flexibility using IPv6 and the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Local Area Network. OneNet provides a common network infrastructure for marine devices and can support high-bandwidth applications such as audio/video data transport.

Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and evenings, the manufacturer product expo hall will house all major marine electronics manufacturers from both the recreational and commercial sectors. Some manufacturers will use the event to roll out new products for 2020. Hours have been adjusted to run from 1:30 to 6:30 PM, with receptions both evenings in the expo hall from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. A one-hour open bar will be offered to all attendees on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 5:30 PM.

On Thursday, September 19, NMEA Level 1 & 2 manufacturer-specific training sessions from the following manufacturers will be offered: Actisense, Clarion, KJM, Shakespeare, Digital Yacht, GOST, JL Audio, Vesper Marine, SI-TEX, Wave WiFi, Kobelt, Cobham, Nautic Alert, Intellian, Maretron, Nobeltec, Globalstar, Airmar, KVH, and Siren Marine.

The NMEA Product of Excellence Awards banquet will be held that evening from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

To see the complete, detailed schedule, or to register for the conference & expo, visit www.expo.nmea.org or call (410) 975-9425.

By Ocean Navigator