Any NMEA geeks out there? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-29-2006 Thread Starter
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Any NMEA geeks out there?

There has to be a sailing nerd out there somewhere.....

After doing a great deal of research online about GPS - PC Interfaces and navigation software and so forth, I notice that NMEA 0183 protocol multiplexers that output to an RS 232 connection are widely avaliable. This looks very exciting, but I can't for the life of me find any instruments that state plainly in the ad copy that they output standard NMEA sentences, it all seems to be some proprietary manufacturers comms protocol and interfaces.

Is it possible to integrate 3 instrutments plus GPS to all talk to a PC and interface with charting software? As a sys admin in real life this idea is very exciting 2 me (a waterproof display and bluetooth trackball at the helm!, etc) but NMEA isn't exactly as standardized as TCP/IP, is it?

Also, a search for open source nav software turned up zilch, which was rather surprising.

Anyone that can point me in the right direction? I would greatly appreciate it.

Gary
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-29-2006
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http://www.oziexplorer.com/

Check out http://www.oziexplorer.com/

I've used all types of vector and raster programs. Most are just terrible.
I liked Garmin. Easy and quick . However Ozie is very unique it works with a lot of the different maps out there. It just uses them 100 % better than the orginial manufacturer. It cost only $85. It has a stong user group.
I would think you could get the source code........

My setup was garmin bluechart, laptop pc, autopilot and gps it all worked well together
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-29-2006
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What is the question. It is pretty easy to use an NMEA multiplexer to combine the output from three instruments and a GPS to talk to a PC.

BTW, NMEA 0183 protocol is actually a RS-422, rather than RS-232 IIRC.

There are several navigation packages that are free, but none that I know of that are open source. Are you trying to run the software on Linux or Windows? The platform would help me suggest something.

There is also a very nice NMEA Multiplexer that has Bluetooth capability, which means you can use a PDA or Laptop that is Bluetooth equipped to connect, without running a wire.

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-30-2006 Thread Starter
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question

The question is: what brand(s) of instruments output NMEA 0183 sentences? All of them? For instance, how about a boat with 20 year old Signet wind and speed instruments? Is that data readable by a PC? How about a boat with brand new Raymarine instruments that seem to be all about SeaTalk?

Also, I though a multiplexer output standard RS 232 serial data to a PC through a standard 9 pin port.

I would be running Windows. I tried Tiki Navigator which seemed to display the charts well but it wasn't interfaced with any other devices.

thanks

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post #5 of 19 Old 06-30-2006
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-01-2006
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Most of the older design instruments, aside from RayMarine, output standard NMEA 0183 information. They do make a SeaTalk-to-NMEA bridge, but it is a bit pricey. Some of the NMEA multiplexers will convert SeaTalk to NMEA in a read only mode, but I've heard it isn't as reliable as you'd probably want it to be.

RS-232 should work fine...

Try Sea Clear software...find it via Google.

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post #7 of 19 Old 07-01-2006
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Sea Clear !!!

Great Program, the author might provide source code ???

I switched to Coastal Explorer for it's added features but I reccomend Sea Clear to everyone that wants a great basic program.

SeaTalk=>NEMA: There are some folks out there that have done hobby hacks on seatalk to nema convertion.
Here is some of it.....

http://isaac.phys.um.edu.mt/~lzamm/st_remote/

http://www.thomasknauf.de/seatalk.htm

http://www.voti.nl/seatalk/index.html
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-13-2009
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Bluetooth...... which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
There is also a very nice NMEA Multiplexer that has Bluetooth capability, which means you can use a PDA or Laptop that is Bluetooth equipped to connect, without running a wire.

SD, what is the Make/model of the bluetooth mux? My GPS does the Multiplexing but the bluetooth transmission would be great..

~Ryan
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-13-2009
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It's the Miniplex-BT - Click here, then click on products then click on Miniplex-BT. I'm waiting for an 802.11 unit, in that size, to be released. I find Bluetooth is iffy in our cockpit.

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post #10 of 19 Old 09-13-2009
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Gary, although you're using windows (nobody is perfect, right ? ) You may expect your actual Raymarine will do great at NMEA. Besides the fact some complex sentences might not be 100% compliant, you will get almost 99% compatible protocol, that in our case works for 100% of our actual use of it. I have all instruments integrated toghether using SeaTalk and NMEA simultaneously, and that works great even when I simlated a fail on one of them. Remember this protocol has some restrictions, like speed (not fast enough for radar overlay for instance) but its fair enough for a "normal" sailor (is there one out there ?). Don't fear, it will work beter than you expect !!

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