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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 12-03-2011
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Add bluetooth to nmea cheaply?

Project Summary: optoisolator circuit + car usb power adapter + ebay serial bluetooth module = nmea bluetooth on the cheap.

There's some interesting pc, android, and ipad/phone applications out there but no cheap nmea adapter to broadcast data wirelessly, so take the thoughts in these threads:

nmea 0183 to RS232

Sending GX2150 AIS NMEA data to chart plotter over Bluetooth

NMEA over Bluetooth

and add a cheap one of these to nmea output (on ebay as well) http://www.emartee.com/product/42000...E2%80%94Master

but will need a low voltage power supply, it's low wattage so maybe a battery pack or usb power adapter like rhythmdoctor did. Connect to a pc to configure as a master device (detect other bluetooth automatically) and set baud rate?

rather than spend $300 - $500 on bluetooth, maybe less than $40 to add bluetooth?

Now it's worth trying out that $10 iphone application!

or using that free pc chartplotter program

So some one draw us a circuit diagram please.

Last edited by IPM; 12-03-2011 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 12-04-2011
IPM IPM is offline
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more data

a 1117 voltage regulator could supply the 5v
LM1117 - 800mA Low-Dropout Linear Regulator

looks like best value with features (ebay ~$14) for bluetooth
Smart RS232 Bluetooth Module With DB9 Interface - emartee.com

useful datasheet: http://www.emartee.com/Attachment.php?name=41889.pdf
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Old 12-05-2011
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Did some ebay purchases:

a pair of these for optical isolation: RS422/NMEA 0183 RS422 Adapter dB25 Male to FEMALE Conn | eBay

a pair of these for blue tooth: eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

a pair of db25/db9 adapters these to join blue tooth units to isolators: eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

a pair of db25/rj45 adapters to make a clean connection from optoisolators to raymarine nmea in or out as applicable: eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

I already had an extra lm1117 regulator circuit made from long ago so I'll use that to power the bluetooth. And already have rj45 plugs and cat5 network cable to make connection from db25 adapters to nmea in/out

I already have an outdoor use laptop, itronix gobook with usb type bluetooth adapter. Already have a few chartplotters and virtual gauges loaded.

Stuff to also install to boat is raymarine autopilot, depth, wind, remote control, and a used northstar gps. Long winter project. Sailboat is a Macgregor 26x that already has nicely done shorepower, power panels, batteries, battery boxes. Will not use again until 2012, some anticipated journeies: Port Isabel/Padre Island Tx - Feb., Chicago/Lake Michigan - June, Gulf Mexico/Destin Fla - July, and where ever else I have time to trailer to usually Stockton or Truman Lakes Mo.

Last edited by IPM; 12-05-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012
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Re: Add bluetooth to nmea cheaply?

Did a little more work on this. Figured out don't need all the optoisolation or two DB9 RS232 Wireless Bluetooth Modules. Just use one DB9 RS232 Wireless Bluetooth Module connected to the pc connection of a raymarine 85001 via the raymarine 86001 serial cable. Did not get the baud rates matched between the 85001 box and the bluetooth module. Nor the bluetooth setup right on the laptop. Will try again after sailing about fort meyers. To set the baud rate (of bluetooth module) may need a null modem cable if connected to the module's db9, or a ttl to usb adapter from the module's center pins. Then the module should communicate with a terminal program (on laptop) and can then set the module to baud rate 4800 (match the 85001). I pretested the serial connection with the 86001 cable plugged into com1 of the laptop and raytech software was happy and the the raytech light on the 85001 box gllowed. So surely the bluetooth virtual com port will happily communicate with raytech as well I hope.

Last edited by IPM; 12-28-2012 at 11:57 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-01-2013
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Re: Add bluetooth to nmea cheaply?

Had unexpected time to do more work on this and discovered the bluetooth module is broken. So I tried a silex troy500 serial to wifi device purchased on ebay for around $25 including postage. I configured the troy500 serial port for 4800 baud, configured the wifi for adhoc network and a static IP address. And used the raymarine serial adapter cord 86001 to connect the wifi adapter to the 85001 raymarine multiplexer. Set the wireless card on my laptop for a compatible static wifi address. On the laptop installed the silex virtual serial port software that once configured looks for the serial to wifi device and offers up the data as a serial port to the laptop. And OH My Gosh it works. I can see all the nmea data rolling in (hyperterminal). And opencpn see's it so easily. Raytech see's the serial port as well but is such a clunky inconvenient software........another story. Will get around to accessing the data with an android.
If U already have a multiplexer, just add a serial to wifi device. Bluetooth should have worked as well.
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