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post #1 of 5 Old 05-26-2004 Thread Starter
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Interfacing Instruments with Navigational Software

My new (5 year old) boat came with a full set of B&G Network instruments (autopilot, speed/depth, wind & GPS) and Furuno radar. They do not appear to be interfaced with one another. There is what appears to be a serial connection for a computer near the nav station. Am I correct in assuming that the radar and the B&G instruments can probably be linked using a laptop and navigation software connected to this serial connection? If yes, how difficult is this to set up and configure? Can someone suggest a good source of information on how this works? What is a good navigational software package to use for this?

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post #2 of 5 Old 05-26-2004
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Interfacing Instruments with Navigational Software

Don''t know much about B&G (Raymarine user for years) but my first guess is that the serial plug would be a NMEA output from your GPS to a computer for a charting program. If the rest of your instrument are not linked on any kind of a buss they can''t share information with themselves or the computer. They may or may not have this capability. If they are all linked they can share info with the computer so you can get depth and wind info on your computer screen in addition to the GPS output for plotting purposes if you have the appropriate program. I doubt if it is possible to interface your radar with the computer. Raymarine sofware does this with their own radars and Nobeltec will do it if you use their scanner. In any case it''s an option of little value unless you spend all your time at a nav station. Although the ability overlay radar on a realtime chart with vessel plotting is nice.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-27-2004
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Interfacing Instruments with Navigational Software

B&G manufactures a performance processor, which is a RS232 interface and allows connection of various instruments to a PC. You might check their website.

It is not too difficult to set up if you have some experience cabling boats. You would also need an inverter to power the PC for use underway since most computer batteries do not have sufficient battery strength.

The software for interfacing the instruments is proprietary and available from B&G. Nobletec is charting software, as is Maptec and Maxsea.

Put in a word search for onboard computing and you will get plenty of info.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-30-2004
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Interfacing Instruments with Navigational Software

It should also be straight forward to to interface the NMEA output from the charting program to any radar that can take NMEA strings. Both of your mfgs (B&G and the charting software) should have NMEA strings publshed on their sites that can be read/output by their systems

My radar also takes waypoints from either the Garmin or Nexus network and displays the lollipop and name on the radar. Love it
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-02-2004 Thread Starter
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Interfacing Instruments with Navigational Software

Thanks for the replies. The information should be very helpful.

Bruce
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