Sending GX2150 AIS NMEA data to chart plotter over Bluetooth - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2011
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Hey RD—

You have way too much free time on your hands.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Hey RD—

You have way too much free time on your hands.
Well, as someone who has spent hours with my head under a dashboard debugging poorly planned out wiring plans, I've learned that a couple hours of planning in the comfort of my home can save dozens of hours of frustration (or hundreds of dollars paying someone else to do it). Plus I'm learning a lot about DSC, AIS, and NMEA, topics which are new to me.
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Old 02-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
Well, as someone who has spent hours with my head under a dashboard debugging poorly planned out wiring plans, I've learned that a couple hours of planning in the comfort of my home can save dozens of hours of frustration (or hundreds of dollars paying someone else to do it). Plus I'm learning a lot about DSC, AIS, and NMEA, topics which are new to me.
Been there, done that, fully agree...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #14  
Old 02-20-2011
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Since I had so much free time on my hands this weekend I assembled my communications module for the boat. The admiral thought the flashing lights were "real purty". It kind of reminds me of a miniature International Space Station:




After crimping all the RJ45 plugs onto the various components, I took it all down to the boat, hooked it up and fired up OpenCPN on the Netbook. After configuring all the COM ports it worked perfectly, receiving all the data wirelessly through Bluetooth. Here are some screen shots showing my boat on the hard at West End Boat Club. With a temporary antenna (since my mast is down) I was able to pick up over 20 AIS targets in my vicinity, pull up preliminary info by mouse-over and detailed info by right-clicking on a target. Many of the boats were anchored. Those that were moving showed a vector that represented their estimated location in 5 minutes (user adjustable). The yellow boat(s) are ones the meet some user-adjustable criterion for collision threat. (Still need to get familiar with the particulars.) When my boat is underway it will estimate distance and time of closest point of approach:






In addition to achieving a new height in geek factor, this will be a very useful safety feature in staying out of the way of shipping traffic in our crowded river.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 02-21-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 02-20-2011
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woah....very cool
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  #16  
Old 08-16-2011
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As the season has progressed, I find myself looking at the Netbook more and more instead of the Garmin handheld. Fortunately its screen is bright enough that it is viewable in full daylight. OpenCPN has some really cool features, such as the ability to launch it twice and do a split screen where one is a wide view (for picking up AIS traffic) and the other is a zoomed in view (for seeing local obstacles).

Here's a pic of what I have in the cockpit:

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Old 12-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
I thought I would put in an update on my instrumentation plan from what I had posted on another thread. I have a much smaller and simpler boat than many of you, but nevertheless maybe someone else can benefit from seeing what I'm doing, and/or offer advice on what I can do better. As you can see, I have relatively little instrumentation, but I am interested in doing as much with what I have as possible without taking out a second mortgage to finance it. Most of this is driven by the new GX2150 VHF/AIS radio that I have on order, and since many others may be adopting AIS in the future, this might help someone.

I tested most of the components shown on the other thread over the past week. The Seatalk-NMEA bridge from Raymarine worked fine, but it has a defect that will require it to be returned (glad I got it from WM, and not from an ebay seller). Since its only purpose was to get Depth data into NMEA for display on the Netbook, I've decided it's not worth the cost or hassle. Part of this is because I learned from the Standard Horizon tech support guy that the GX2150 will not pass through the depth sentences over NMEA as I had previously hoped - it will just ignore them. So the only way to get depth and AIS into NMEA is to add a multiplexer. And a mux/SeaTalk translator is more than I was willing to pay at this time. Maybe I'll do that next year if I add an electronic wind gauge.

Also, my prior design was too dependent on having the Netbook turned on all the time to pass the GPS data to the radio. DSC and AIS are important enough that they deserve a dedicated GPS, so I've ordered a Garmin 18x LVC. I plan to configure this so that the other GPS in the cockpit can be tethered to the Netbook and passed by Bluetooth to the AutoPilot if I want to run in track mode. The Netbook would have to be on for that, but I will do this only rarely. I've left the Baud converter in the design because it allows me to run the AIS input at 38400 baud. According to the GX2150 manual, doing this causes both the AIS and DSC targets to multiplex onto a single port at 38400 baud. Alternatively, I could eliminate the baud converter by running the 18x GPS data into the radio at 4800 baud, but then the AIS and DSC targets would come out from the GX2150 via two separate ports at two different baud rates according to the GX2150 manual. (Note that the GX2100 is limited to operating in this mode, which is why I am waiting for the GX2150.)

So here is my schematic - comments welcome:

I'm considering these for the bluetooth. I think the baud rate is programable if one uses a pc to configure in advance. A large cost savings may be possible. Smart Bluetooth Module With Shield
These things are on ebay for even less.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2012
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Re: Sending GX2150 AIS NMEA data to chart plotter over Bluetooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I have criticized previous versions of OpenCPN, but 2.3.1 has been completely stable in my testing so far. I also discovered a problem with my directory structure that caused some of the problems before, and after fixing it charts load much more quickly. I am going to give it a chance before forking over $400 for a commercial program.
what did you do to get opencpn to to load charts faster?

I created a separate chart directory that has vector and raster directorys in it and then I pointed opencpn to the top level chart directory.

Scott
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Sending GX2150 AIS NMEA data to chart plotter over Bluetooth

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Originally Posted by audeojude View Post
what did you do to get opencpn to to load charts faster?

I created a separate chart directory that has vector and raster directorys in it and then I pointed opencpn to the top level chart directory.

Scott
I accidentally had two copies of the charts in two different subdirectories that OpenCPN was accessing through the top level directory. This was confusing the program and causing slow loading and crashes. Eliminating the duplicate copies was the single biggest improvement I made.

In addition to that, I minimize the number of charts that are available to OpenCPN by moving them out of the directory if I don't need them. Also, you will have noticed that OpenCPN needs to build some support files the first time a chart is accessed, so I make sure to do that ahead of time, so it doesn't have to do it when I'm relying on it for real-time use.

With those tweaks, OpenCPN has no problem running on my little netbook with Atom processor.
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Sending GX2150 AIS NMEA data to chart plotter over Bluetooth

Thanks for the quick reply. On my netbook It does run really slow because of all the maps that are loaded. sometimes 30 or 40 seconds to go from map to map. My main computer is a lot faster though and at the longest I have a 4 or 5 second delay. Most of the time it is pretty seamless. Didn't know if that was normal or I could get even more speed out of it if I had misconfigured it.
scott
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