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AV and ETO courses
Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013 11:51 AM
Joined: 06/07/2010
Posts: 60

Hello all


I am looking for courses relating to becoming an ETO, I am over competent on a computer and have medium to advanced networking knowledge, I however do not have caleidescape or crestron knowledge, (only how to push the buttons) no programming knowledge, I also do have very basic satellite knowledge (only how to hook them up to a remote satellite and how to change the region it is scanning) no repair knowledge


My question is, Are there courses out there that teach these above mentioned things? mainly AV related?


kindest regards



Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 7:10 AM
Joined: 02/04/2013
Posts: 3

Hi John,

First off, I am not currently employed in the yachting industry.  I'm training to become a second engineer, but I am currently employed as an AV project manager and technician, and have been doing that for the last 10 years.  That being said, I think I can answer a few things here.  

As a person who has learned about many different systems and products, I can tell you that there wasn't one place where I learned about ALL of them.  More often than not, manufacturers web sites are where you get huge amounts of support, but quite often you need a dealer login to gain access to the good stuff.  I can remember if kaleidescape was like that (it was a while ago since I had to scour their site for info), but I know that Crestron's site DOES require a login to get to their online support (they call it True Blue tech support on the site).  If you know someone who has a login, you can probably 'borrow' it without consequence; they don't seem to be super crazy about access control.  You also need that login to download their software which is needed to talk with the system and check things out.  There are several different programs you'll need to do different things, but if you just download 'Masterinstaller', it will get it all for you (you can unselect stuff you don't want or need).  Most essential is Toolbox, which is what you use to connect to a system, configure hardware and load files, among many other things.

To be blunt, it's a pretty bad time to be getting into Crestron for the very first time.  They just switched their programming software from Simpl Windows to Crestron Studio, which is sorta good because you'll learn the new stuff if you were to go to their training - but bad because you won't learn about stuff that's out there and running NOW - which is pretty much everything still.  In my opinion, learning Crestron means getting some gear and diving into it.  If you REALLY want to learn Crestron, buy a used 2-series processor (CP2E is very good) and an interface of some sort (I DON'T recommend trying to use an iPhone with their ap for's kinda tricky), then download simple windows and start reading the tech support stuff.  If you know someone who know it, ask them how to get started.  

Be on the lookout for Savant to start catching on.  I hate it personally (and its one of the reasons I'm leaving the industry), but end users like it because it's Apple native and everyone wants to use their iPads to control everything, which you can do with Crestron of course.   

Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 6:05 AM
Joined: 29/06/2012
Posts: 1

Well put Mike. I am an ETO and have been working the last 7 months on a new build. As Mike has already put it there are so many different systems out there it is often difficult to know where to start. There is a mix of free resources on the internet and paid training courses you can do to get up to scratch. Also, there is a lot more to being an ETO than just networking and AV, although these are obviously 2 key areas. Here is a list that I have put together that may or may not be helpful:

1. Networking - Generally the yachts use an Apple, Microsoft or Cisco network infrastructure. There is lots of resources on the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) that you can find on google but since many yachts use Cisco I would recommending looking through the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) study material at: 

A lot of the yachts also incorporate some form of WAN and LAN Manager. The WAN manager will manage all your external communication lines such as VSAT, Fleet, Shore Connection, 3G, Extended WiFI, etc. and potentially shape the traffic amongst VLANs on the yacht through priority and/or bandwidth so the owner gets the maximum internet speeds as a priority. The LAN manager can be used to monitor usage and limit users, such as a crew member who is repeatedly downloading or streaming while the owner is onboard.

2. Satellite Comms - The key satellite systems to understand are VSAT (used for internet/VOIP), Fleet (used for internet/VOIP), Inmarsat C (used for LRIT/SSAS/comms), TVRO (Sky, DirectTV, etc). Start here: and then start looking through sites such as . You can download the manuals from seatel's website at The best way to learn is to follow systems round your own yacht.

The Seatel official training is a good place to start. Follow this link:

3. AV Systems - As Mike indicated the key areas to learn are the control systems such as Crestron, Savant (Apple based) and AMX (there are many more but more often than not the yachts are Crestron or Savant nowadays). There is a huge range of different equipment for different tasks like media servers such as Kaleidescape (very popular and worth learning) and disco systems often controlled by DMX. It's worth looking at the website and reading any case studies of how these systems are installed but don't worry about programming, leave that to the guys who are qualified or (like me) get the training once you have the ETO job and know what systems you have onboard as Mike said, most companies will not let you do the training unless you are a dealer or you do it through your supplier.

4. Lighting Systems - Again, there are a lot of systems out there but most commonly the yachts use Lutron or KNX (this is actually a lighting standard not a company and there is a range of manufacturers). 

Here are some training courses:

5. Security Systems - You will need to understand basic CCTV, alarm sensors (door, movement, pressure) and the central system monitoring and controlling the security system. The security systems can really range particular the front end client software. There is also a large range of detection systems which are becoming more popular such as diver detection, 360 cameras, etc. and response devices such as LRADs, laser disruptors, etc. I would have a general scan over the internet but wouldn't bother reading too much into this till you see what is onboard.

6. Bridge Systems - Generally, you should understand the basics of what is on a bridge such as Radar, ECDIS, GMDSS, VHF, Comms (as mentioned earlier), GPS, Gyros, EPIRBS, PLBS, SSAS, LRIT, AIS. Sorry a lot of acronyms but worth doing a quick read of each on wikipedia so you understand what they are. For most of these systems you will be hands off as they need to be serviced by the suppliers but each of them will still need to be factored into a maintenance routine such as testing the SSAS (Ship Security Alert System) buttons with your CSO (Company Security Officer). The traditional ETO used to be the Radio Officer so it is common to complete the GMDSS course. Warsash (UK) is an excellent training center to do it:

7. General Comms - UHF Radios are very important for the day to day communication amongst the crew. The 2 big radio giants are generally Motorola and Hytera radios. They can both be programmed and configured to do a range of things beyond basic voice communication such as texting, GPS, alarm systems, etc. As the yachts get continue to grow in size, repeaters are now needed onboard to help manage the volume of traffic and cover a wider range. You will also find yachts use GSM repeaters so you can use your mobiles below deck and extended wifi such as Yachtspot to connect to WiFi in marinas.

There is obviously a lot more than what I have put above but it all really depends on the yacht and often you'll find you will not be responsible for all of the above. Good luck with becoming an ETO.


Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2013 1:55 PM
Joined: 02/04/2013
Posts: 3

Simon, great post - thanks or taking the time to write all that out!   Even though I've been in AV for a long time and feel comfortable with large systems, I don't think I'd want to be an ETO.  I don't think people realize just how much stuff you need to know in order to stay on top of all the electronic stuff that's on a good sized vessel.  It's not an easy job by any means!
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 8:04 PM
Joined: 06/07/2010
Posts: 60

Hey guys, thank you so much for that, I figuired you would need quite an extensive background in all these fields to be any good at it, or without having to struggle a load in the beginning.


both posts were amazingly helpful and I will keep learning while im on board and see where I get

Just ETOs
Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 1:52 PM
Joined: 21/03/2012
Posts: 1

An old but still valid topic and thread.  

[Deleted by moderator]


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