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Old 17-04-2013, 13:58   #1
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Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Well after a long busy winter we're in shake down mode on Chesapeake Bay prior to heading to Antigua.
I decided at the last minute to install and AIS and bought an em-trak B100. I was also having issues with my laptop so grabbed a Walmart cheapy special... an HP 2000 with Windows 8 already on board.

I've downloaded Open CPN and have a Garmin 18s puck which all works fine.
I've installed the em-track pro-ais software from the supplied disc and I can get all the info on ships etc in data form, so I know that is all working too.

How do I get Open CPN to accept em-trak's pro-ais as a new connection so it all works together?
I'm assuming I won't need the Garmin GPS puck when I'm hooked up to the AIS GPS antenna.
So, I'm looking for the smart people here

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Old 18-04-2013, 02:32   #2
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Don't know about em-trac but you will need a gps receiver in the set up so that OpenCPN knows where you are.
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Old 18-04-2013, 03:10   #3
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Your B100 has outputs on NMEA2000, NMEA0183 and NMEA0183 via USB.

NMEA2000 is not the way to go with OpenCPN at this moment.

So either you get a RS232-USB converter to connect the NMEA port to your PC or you are using the same USB cable you used to configure the B100 to get the data into OpenCPN via the B100's USB port.

In the configuration program of the B100 you can figure out which (virtual) serial port is created for the connection with the B100.
You will use the same to input the AIS and GPS data into OpenCPN.

Please be aware that serial ports don't allow for multiple users, so you can use only the B100's configuration program or OpenCPN at the same time,

I'm using a B100 since more than a year under Win XP and W7.
The USB connector at the B100 is a bit flimsy - so if communication drops there you will have a first suspect.

bcn

Ps. If you have further questions you might post those directly in the OpenCPN forum here
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Old 18-04-2013, 03:22   #4
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

i m not sure about open cpn,but on the cm93 software you need to right click to open the program files,then find the file that sets the status of your "talkers".

there should be a list of "talkers" ie gps,auto pilot,depth,ais,rudder indicator etc
then you need to nominate which "(virtual)port"on the computer the ais nmea stream is coming through,and change the "0" to a "1" after AIS on the list of talkers in the program sentence.
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Old 18-04-2013, 03:41   #5
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Atoll,

in OpenCPN there is it's own communication manager - under "Options" (the "wrench" icon):
at the "Connections" tab you define your communication channnels.

There is a very complete and nicely written online help within OpenCPN which explains all the details - very recommended to read before starting. The manual might give as well a lot of ideas what you can do with OpenCPN - there is lot of things to discover.
Just click on the "?" icon and then the "help" tab

At the OpenCPN website OpenCPN User Manual | Official OpenCPN Homepage you will find the manual as well. This for those who want to have a look before installing.
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Old 18-04-2013, 04:10   #6
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcn View Post
Atoll,

in OpenCPN there is it's own communication manager - under "Options" (the "wrench" icon):
at the "Connections" tab you define your communication channnels.

There is a very complete and nicely written online help within OpenCPN which explains all the details - very recommended to read before starting. The manual might give as well a lot of ideas what you can do with OpenCPN - there is lot of things to discover.
Just click on the "?" icon and then the "help" tab

At the OpenCPN website OpenCPN User Manual | Official OpenCPN Homepage you will find the manual as well. This for those who want to have a look before installing.
+1
i reccomend reading "computers for dummies" as well
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Old 18-04-2013, 04:14   #7
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
+1
i reccomend reading "computers for dummies" as well
For this we have the forums, don't we?
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Old 18-04-2013, 06:32   #8
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcn View Post
For this we have the forums, don't we?
LMAO... I heard someone say Dummies, got my attention immediately

"... There is a very complete and nicely written online help within OpenCPN which explains all the details - very recommended to read before starting. The manual might give as well a lot of ideas what you can do with OpenCPN - there is lot of things to discover.
Just click on the "?" icon and then the "help" tab..."

I read bits of that before posting here and was impressed with the detail and capabilities of Open CPN's program in relation to AIS. What I didn't see is instructions to get the AIS (em-trak in this case) data input accepted by Open CPN, along the lines of the instructions in the manual for getting GPS to work.

I haven't found a way to contact the Open CPN administrators/gurus with this question. What am I missing here?

Vic
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:09   #9
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
i m not sure about open cpn,but on the cm93 software you need to right click to open the program files,then find the file that sets the status of your "talkers".

there should be a list of "talkers" ie gps,auto pilot,depth,ais,rudder indicator etc
then you need to nominate which "(virtual)port"on the computer the ais nmea stream is coming through,and change the "0" to a "1" after AIS on the list of talkers in the program sentence.
Hi Alex,
I've got the cm93 charts working with Open CPN. It was straight forward. Open CPN found the folder I'd saved them in and accessed them automatically.
Vic
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:14   #10
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Vic,

it is as easy as plugging in the USB cable - the W8 should create the virtual COM port by itself - and define at "connections" the COM port to be used by OpenCPN ("Add connection"). If you always use the same physical USB port of your PC, it will be most probably always the same virtual COM port too.
Anyhow: at "Add connections" and "Serial", you have a drop down list with available COM ports. The one of the B100 should be there.

Even if you don't power the B100 externally you should get AIS and GPS data.

To have the transponder (=AIS sender) working, you need external power, because this exceeds the power capabilities of the USB ports.
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:24   #11
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post

I haven't found a way to contact the Open CPN administrators/gurus with this question.

Vic
Those are usually to be found here:
OpenCPN - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 18-04-2013, 08:24   #12
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcn View Post
Vic,

it is as easy as plugging in the USB cable - the W8 should create the virtual COM port by itself - and define at "connections" the COM port to be used by OpenCPN ("Add connection"). If you always use the same physical USB port of your PC, it will be most probably always the same virtual COM port too.
Anyhow: at "Add connections" and "Serial", you have a drop down list with available COM ports. The one of the B100 should be there.

Even if you don't power the B100 externally you should get AIS and GPS data.

To have the transponder (=AIS sender) working, you need external power, because this exceeds the power capabilities of the USB ports.
Thanks a ton
I'll give it a go today.

Vic
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Old 18-04-2013, 09:15   #13
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Ok.
On Open CPN Connections I have it "Enabled", Type "Serial", Data Port "Com3", Priority "1", Parameters "4800", Output "No", Filters none for in or out.

And then under Properties I have Serial selected, not Network.
Dataport is Com3, Baudrate is 4800, Protocol is NMEA 0183, but greyed out so I can't select or change it, but It's the one you recommended.
Control checksum is selected (automatically)
Input filtering has "Accept only sentences" selected automatically, and "Output on this port" is not ticked, then under output filtering "Transmit sentences is selected"

I've got no idea what these settings are and if they are correctly selected.
But the AIS and CPN still don't work together.
Any suggestions?

Vic
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Old 18-04-2013, 10:55   #14
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Ok.
On Open CPN Connections I have it "Enabled", Type "Serial", Data Port "Com3", Priority "1", Parameters "4800", Output "No", Filters none for in or out.

..........

I've got no idea what these settings are and if they are correctly selected.
But the AIS and CPN still don't work together.
Any suggestions?

Vic
The port 3 is offered by the pull down menu?

For AIS baudrate should be 38400 - 4800 is basic NMEA0183, too small data rate for AIS.

If there isn't any other device, priority can be 0.
You have only OpenCPN running, not the AIS setting software as well?

Don't forget to click on Apply, and perhaps on OK, then wait - the GPS indicator should turn from red to green.

If nothing happens, close OpenCPN and open it again.
Anything changed?

Next step would be to exit OpenCPN, plug off the USB cable - count to ten and plug it in again. Restart OpenCPN.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:17   #15
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Re: Getting AIS and Open CPN to play nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Hi Alex,
I've got the cm93 charts working with Open CPN. It was straight forward. Open CPN found the folder I'd saved them in and accessed them automatically.
Vic
well done,it gets easier once you have done it a few times!

untill not long ago i thought "serial" was something you ate at breakfast and "port" something old people drank
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