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post #1 of Old 01-02-2011 Thread Starter
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Using OpenCPN with GX2100/2150 DSC and AIS

I'm starting to get seriously excited about pulling AIS data into OpenCPN from a SH GX2100 VHF/AIS radio. But I am trying to figure out how to send GPS data back to the radio for DSC coordinates if I hit the distress button.

OpenCPN 2.3 has a clearly written configuration tab for the AIS. No problem there - just select your COM port. I expect this is a one-way communication (AIS signal from GX2100 to netbook), so you're only using "half" of the COM port's full duplex capability.

On the GPS tab I have "GARMIN" selected on the NMEA data source, since the Netbook is tethered with an Oregon 400c handheld. I was hoping that OpenCPN could pass through the GPS's NMEA sentences, and that appears to be the case, because there is an "Autopilot Output Port" that I could use to send the sentences to the radio for DSC. In other words, rather than send it to Autopilot, I could send it to DSC instead (or split it to go to both). Since this is also a one-way communication, I was hoping I could use the "other half" of the COM port's duplex. That way I only need one USB-Serial (or hopefully Bluetooth-Serial) adaptor. But OpenCPN will not allow me to select the same COM port as I elected for AIS.

Has anyone figured a way around this? Since my Garmin only has a mini-USB connector, it really is not suitable for conversion to NMEA serial which could then be fed to multiple devices. I was thinking the direct USB connection to the Netbook would be cleanest, then feed it out from OpenCPN. But maybe someone knows of a different program that can run in the background on the Netbook and send the Garmin's NMEA sentences independently of OpenCPN?

More specifically to OpenCPN, it seems that the documentation never even mentions sending or receiving DSC data. Is this something that they overlooked?

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2001 Catalina 34MkII Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
PO of 1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (new owners relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
1991 17' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 01-03-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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