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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2011
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Doc,

I used a Parani10
Parani 10
which seems to have been replaced by several other models such as
SENA Bluetooth Serial Adapter, Wireless Serial Device Server, Bluetooth Serial Module, Bluetooth Access Point, Bluetooth RS232, Device Networking, Serial Server, Bluetooth Dongle, Cable Replacement, Wireless Serial.

You can change its baud rate with a PC and setup program, I have used it at 9600 as well as 4800.

(no relation to either product or supplier, just used some at work and decided to try it on the boat). I also just noticed they have an RS485 version, which should be even "more" NMEA-0183 compatible..
.
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Old 02-02-2011
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Thanks for the advice. I ended up going with the one from USConverters. It works flawlessly after I upgraded my Toshiba Bluetooth driver software in the Netbook.
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Old 03-03-2011
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The Singapore pilots use a Bluetooth transmitter from IO gear. They connect a cable to the Pilot Port on the AIS, and to the bluetooth transmitter. Using the Pilot port they get all the GPS and AIS info plus heading from the ship's compass. Excuse me if I'm going off course; just thought it might be helpful.
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Old 02-19-2013
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

I'm using the same adapter to connect my HX851 portable with GPS to an ACER netbook running SeaClearII. I had trouble getting it to connect with the netbook (Win7 starter) so I tried an ACER laptop running Vista. This seemed to connect ok once Windows found and loaded the drivers. The blue light on the adapter came on solid instead of blinking. But Seaclear didn't update the position so I don't think it's hearing the GPS. Do you have any tips? I think I have the com port in Seaclear set to the same as the bluetooth adapter. The HX851 doesn't seem to have any settings. At least I couldn't find anything in the manual.
Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-19-2013
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
It should be fine. For practical purposes modern NMEA 0183 is a plain RS232 without any handshaking, any standard claims otherwise notwithstanding.
To be clear NMEA 0183 is RS422, not RS232. It uses differential signalling, not ground based like RS232.
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Old 02-19-2013
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
To be clear NMEA 0183 is RS422, not RS232. It uses differential signalling, not ground based like RS232.
Technically you are correct, and if you wanted to make a 1000' run of wire without electrical interference it might be important. But over the distance of a a boat length (or much shorter in the case of using a short pigtail to connect a radio to a Bluetooth transmitter), RS232 works fine.

It seems like the common ground wire used in RS232 has become a de facto standard for this anyway. Standard Horizon uses a common ground for their NMEA transmissions (DSC + out, AIS + out, and GPS + in all reference the same common ground wire). It's impossible to follow RS422 if the electronic devices sending the NMEA sentences don't provide dedicated (-) wire for each (+) wire.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 02-19-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 02-19-2013
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8wi9 View Post
I'm using the same adapter to connect my HX851 portable with GPS to an ACER netbook running SeaClearII. I had trouble getting it to connect with the netbook (Win7 starter) so I tried an ACER laptop running Vista. This seemed to connect ok once Windows found and loaded the drivers. The blue light on the adapter came on solid instead of blinking. But Seaclear didn't update the position so I don't think it's hearing the GPS. Do you have any tips? I think I have the com port in Seaclear set to the same as the bluetooth adapter. The HX851 doesn't seem to have any settings. At least I couldn't find anything in the manual.
Thanks,
Jim
There are about a dozen things that could be wrong. Hard to list them all.

First, NMEA standard is 4800 baud, 8 bits, no parity. Every link in your chain needs to be at the same setting. If your radio has no adjustable settings, chances are it is sending 4800/8/n. Your bluetooth adapter probably defaults to 9600, so you need to set it to 4800. Your Bluetooth receiver in your PC also needs to be 4800, and will send the transmission to a virtual COM port. That COM port is what your chartplotter software will see, and both need to be the same COM port and the same baud rate.

Your Bluetooth software may have a configuration utility that allows you to specify the COM port and baud rate. If not, go to Device Manager and select Ports, then the Port Settings tab to make adjustments. Native Windows Bluetooth support is notoriously bad, so you may need to go to third party software. Figure out whose Bluetooth transmitter is in your machine, and go look for their driver software online. I have a Toshiba chip in my netbook, and had to try 3 different versions of the Toshiba driver before I found the one that was 100% reliable.

Debugging all this took me a few hours. But once it's running, you never have to do it again.

Frankly, though, I would recommend that you just go buy a GPS puck to plug into your PC. In order for the HX851 to send/receive NMEA, it needs to be in its charging cradle, which is not weather resistant. And part of the whole purpose of having a handheld is to keep it out in the cockpit with you. So you'd be better off getting an inexpensive dedicated GPS puck for your PC. I got a Delorme LT-20 for $18, so they can be found cheap.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 02-19-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 02-19-2013
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

Standard Horizon's NMEA 0183 seems to be particularly busted in general. I'm happy that there are alternatives to the GX2100 showing up on the market (like the Lowrance Link 8 and similar Simrad model) that don't require 3 unidirectional serial ports.

My Raymarine gear all uses differential signalling like RS422. I'm building some of my own NMEA 0183 gear now around a Netduino and decided to use RS422, not RS232, because the driver chips for either are roughly the same cost (about $1.50 or less each). For someone with basic hardware and software skills it wouldn't be hard to build a RS422 to Bluetooth repeater using Netduino or Arduino. There are pretty low cost bluetooth modules that will work with either platform. Having control over code in the middle will give you the flexibility to add in your own sensors, mux multiple NMEA 0183 inputs together, and otherwise control the data streams.
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Frankly, though, I would recommend that you just go buy a GPS puck to plug into your PC.
I agree. This is for backup to another wired GPS, and to help me learn about the networking technology. I'm not doing very well at that! Thanks for the help.
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Re: NMEA over Bluetooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
Standard Horizon's NMEA 0183 seems to be particularly busted in general.
Why do you say that? Have there been lots of complaints? If it really is busted, then no amount of fiddling on my part will work. As I said in my first post, the computer claimed it was connected to the bluetooth adapter that's added to the radio. The adapter light stayed solid blue also, but the radio wasn't communicating with seaclear.

Jim
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