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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 01-17-2010
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Which equipment route for full Laptop access?

I want to build my electronics system one item at a time. The boat doesn't currently have any electronics I'd want to keep except for the wind instrument. It came with a Raymarine ST60 Wind instrument.

My intentions are to have full access to all my equipment via Laptop. I don't plan on having a full MFD in the cockpit. In the cockpit, I will go with minimal instrumentation. Repeaters for Depth, Wind, Course, Bearing, and Speed.

I'd like the option to have Autopilot, GPS, Wind, Depth, Radar, Weather, Etc all accessible on Laptop and also all data available between all of these systems (ie Autopilot having full access to all of the above).

Maretron has a lot of items that I'd like to use, so I'd like to go towards NMEA 2000. However, Raymarine wheel pilot is my only real option for autopilot (not going to install below decks). Also, the ST60 is using Seatalk.

I've seen bridges/etc for NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183 to Seatalk, etc ... are these transparent? Is it possible to get all of these different systems to communicate and to access/control all of them via Laptop?
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Old 01-17-2010
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One way to do this is use an NMEA 0183 multiplexer that has either a RS232 or BlueTooth interface.

However, most radar will need a higher speed interface... so you will probably need 100 Base-T ethernet, which is commonly used in some for for the radar.
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Are you referring to a Radar application on the Laptop receiving data directly from the Raydome via Ethernet?
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I'm curious, what do you mean by "access" ?

Do you just mean you want all the sensor data to be presented to the laptop and you are going to write your own software to display it ? Or did you have something else in mind ...
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Old 01-19-2010
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OK stupid question time. Why just a laptop? I am for one would never put my trust in just getting my info on a laptop. The price of a multipurpose Chartplotter is less expensive like a Raymarine C-80 than the price of a laptop with all the equipment to talk to all the instruments. Furthermore, getting one that will take the punishment of the marine environment full-time. Laptops have been discussed here a few times on Sailnet so I would advise you read those. Laptops are great for planning, back-up, and repeater down at the nav station but never for primary instrumentation.
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I thought it apparent that the laptop will be kept at the nav station. Call me old fashioned ... but primary instrumentation is minimal instrumentation. Depth, Wind, Course, Bearing, and Speed are more than sufficient in the cockpit. I already stated that information would be made available on single parameter displays in the cockpit area.

In case of laptop failure ... paper charts will be available, a handheld GPS will be on board as back up, pedestal compass, sextant ... why again do I need a full featured 8" display in the cockpit? Why do I need more electronics as back-up to electronics to display non-mission critical parameters? I don't believe I do.

I didn't asked to be told why what I want to accomplish is something I shouldn't want to accomplish. I asked which equipment route to take to do so..
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You did ask that question but like most of us, we didn't understand why. I just asked the why question. Told you it was stupid question.
Quote " why again do I need a full featured 8" display in the cockpit? Why do I need more electronics as back-up to electronics to display non-mission critical parameters? I don't believe I do."

By this statement alone, I am not sure you understand at all marine electronics. Chartplotters will give you all the info you are trying to get a laptop to do, cheaper, better, less hassle, and no almost no maintenance. The do not display non mission critical parameters. You can pick and choose what you want to display. It is called "flexibility"! Might be a new term for you. Also you can put the chartplotter at the nav station so as not to confuse your mind with "non mission critical parameters"
Now to answer your original question, Nigel Cadel has done what you want to do with a laptop and more at great expense on a Malo. He is probably #1 expert in this field. If money is no object great, go for it.
Here is where to get the multiplexers you need: NavStore - Your Pro Marine Source - Product Catalog
I believe this is an example of the software you need:
Visual Navigation Suite MAX Pro* (VNS MAX Pro™)
Good luck.
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I didn't answer because I still don't know what the OP is really after ??

Yes, you can hook sensors up to your laptop, but how you do that really depends on the sensor, that's why I asked if the OP just wanted the data to be presented to the laptop so you can write your own software or if the OP had something else in mind. I use a computer to display sensor data too, and that data gets into the computer via RS-232, some 1-wire, some ethernet, some analog, some audio, some just binary digital (on/off), etc, it totally depends on what the sensor is how you hook it up. That's why I stopped trying to answer the OP's question, it is like someone asking how you build a sailboat and then getting irritated when you ask for a little more detail.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraph View Post
I'd like the option to have Autopilot, GPS, Wind, Depth, Radar, Weather, Etc all accessible on Laptop and also all data available between all of these systems (ie Autopilot having full access to all of the above).

Maretron has a lot of items that I'd like to use, so I'd like to go towards NMEA 2000. However, Raymarine wheel pilot is my only real option for autopilot (not going to install below decks). Also, the ST60 is using Seatalk.

I've seen bridges/etc for NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183 to Seatalk, etc ... are these transparent? Is it possible to get all of these different systems to communicate and to access/control all of them via Laptop?
Raymarine uses Seatalk. I already have a pre-existing ST60 Wind instrument (using Seatalk). I'd like "all data available between all of these systems".

So ... if I can get everything on the NMEA 2000 bus then that would be great. So, then I asked the question is the bridges between NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183 to Seatalk are transparent ... ie are they bi-directional or uni-directional ... can they place data on a pre-existing bus or do they have the be the sole source of information on that bus, etc ...

I don't understand what is not understood about the question/s.

Alright, 1 basic question at a time I suppose... can I get Seatalk instruments communicating over an NMEA 2000 bus with other Seatalk instruments and with native NMEA 2000 instruments with full functionality and transparency? If so, how?
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Old 01-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
You did ask that question but like most of us, we didn't understand why. I just asked the why question. Told you it was stupid question.
Quote " why again do I need a full featured 8" display in the cockpit? Why do I need more electronics as back-up to electronics to display non-mission critical parameters? I don't believe I do."

By this statement alone, I am not sure you understand at all marine electronics. Chartplotters will give you all the info you are trying to get a laptop to do, cheaper, better, less hassle, and no almost no maintenance. The do not display non mission critical parameters. You can pick and choose what you want to display. It is called "flexibility"! Might be a new term for you. Also you can put the chartplotter at the nav station so as not to confuse your mind with "non mission critical parameters"
Now to answer your original question, Nigel Cadel has done what you want to do with a laptop and more at great expense on a Malo. He is probably #1 expert in this field. If money is no object great, go for it.
Here is where to get the multiplexers you need: NavStore - Your Pro Marine Source - Product Catalog
I believe this is an example of the software you need:
Visual Navigation Suite MAX Pro* (VNS MAX Pro™)
Good luck.
Haha, alright, sure. I suppose because I'd prefer to sail from the cockpit instead of piloting a fully-configurable spaceship then I must not know anything about marine electronics ... and I'm probably overwhelmed by bright screens and too many buttons.

I don't want a chart plotter in the cockpit. I want individual displays showing wind, depth, bearing, and speed only. Not only is that all that I need ... it is what I want. Now, hopefully, you can get over my desire of instrumentation for the cockpit. I mean, seriously, are you grumpy because of the economy or what?

I don't need back-up electronics for electronics because I really don't need electronics at all ... if all else fails ... I pilot, dead-reckon, and navigate on paper.

Kindly stop trolling my thread. I don't feel my desire to keep instrumentation in the cockpit of a sailboat simple is "stupid". I mean, seriously ... are you a techno-weenie powerboater or a sailer?

This forum is useless. I'll answer my own questions. Good day.
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