Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 84 Times in 74 Posts
Rep Power: 6
I have revised my schematic for the wireless AIS/chartplotter once again. I decided it would be a good safety feature to be able to monitor the coordinates that the GPS dongle was sending to the radio to make sure there's a reliable fix. So I added a second Bluetooth converter to feed the GPS readings wirelessly back to the chartplotter. (The prior design had the chartplotter receiving GPS by tethering to my Garmin Oregon 400c.) Now I have full redundancy - the Oregon and the GPS/AIS/DSC/Autopilot/Bluetooth/Netbook chartplotter system are each separate standalone systems. Thanks to the wireless connection, the netbook chartplotter can be located anywhere on the boat - in the cockpit (I have a RAM Mount to put in on my pedestal guard) or down in the cabin if weather is poor. Either way, all the information goes to/from it wirelessly via Bluetooth. If I turn the netbook off (or its battery runs dead), the radio still gets GPS signals directly from the GPS dongle.
I picked up a small surface-mount network box to serve as the central connecting point for everything. I am going to use RJ45 connectors to terminate all the wires, and daisy-chain RJ45 receptacles inside the box. I'll also mount a couple of DB9 receptacles in the box, so the Bluetooth dongles will plug into the box directly. The whole thing runs off a 5v supply from a USB power adapter, and draws under 270 mA @ 5v. I've mapped out which pins on the RJ45 bus will correspond to each wire. Here's the schematic and wiring plan:
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)