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Old 17-08-2017, 14:32   #16
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by Alita49DS View Post
If your brother is a GPS developer perhaps he can answer the question that I posed:

=> How can one get the GPS signal out of a mobile phone connected via Bluetooth?

Whilst I am at it, it also infuriates me that my Garmin chart plotter will replicate itself via WiFi or BT on an iOS device or an Android one but there is no app for Windows to so the same. My Microsoft Surface is a far superior device to my iPad and I would much prefer to use it on the chart table.
It could be days before I can talk to him, but I will keep this in mind. He is a GPSd developer, which is not the same as a GPS dev. He works to maintain Garmin compatibility for the GPSd program, and recently on using GPS to provide hyper-accurate time for servers and labs. GPSd is an app that connects to a GPS receiver, then provides virtual ports for other apps to share the data (otherwise a single app would hog the GPS data stream).

My initial take on this is that unless Garmin wishes to provide a Windows app, or publish the specs for its WiFi and/or BlueTooth data stream for others to use, you are out of luck. They control the data and I doubt they wish to support other uses that don't increase their revenue. Also, I take it you want the chart data, not just the GPS data. Chart data is encumbered by copyright restrictions, so the only way it could be shared to your Windows box is if Garmin kept it restricted to their app, assuming the license allows that. Other than pushing on Garmin I don't thinke there is much you can do. The alternative is to acquire a Windows app (like OCPN) and a separate copy of the chart data.

Greg
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Old 17-08-2017, 14:47   #17
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

As for streaming GPS info out of a phone, that would require an Android or IOS program. You might look to see if such a thing exists. If it was done in a standard format (probably NMEA 0183) then your computer should be able to use it.

Of course for the low cost of a GPS dongle you don't need to do that, and you have redundancy as well. I have multiple GPS units aboard: one for the communications center (VHF, SSB, modem), one for the chartplotter, one for the AIS, and a dongle for the computer. And if GPS is jammed or spoofed I have a swung compass and trailing log, a sextant and a chronometer.

Greg
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Old 17-08-2017, 14:59   #18
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

I purchased a Bluetooth receiver from Canada GPS model QstarzBT-Q818XT
Link Qstarz BT-Q818XT 10Hz High Speed Bluetooth GPS Receiver (66 ch MTKII, Dual Interface USB/Bluetooth)
I leave the antenna on the Nav station, works great with OpenCPN on an Acer tablet running Windows 10.
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Old 17-08-2017, 15:12   #19
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

Can I add in another Luddite question: can OpenCPN ever work with a GPS on my Mac iBook, or must I switch to a Windows platform?
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Old 17-08-2017, 15:21   #20
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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Can I add in another Luddite question: can OpenCPN ever work with a GPS on my Mac iBook, or must I switch to a Windows platform?
OCPN works just fine on MacOS devices. Connecting a GPS is easy. That said, my old Mac is no longer supported (my OS version is too old). But in the past it worked before they built OCPN only for newer OS releases.

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Old 17-08-2017, 15:33   #21
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

GPS dongles are sold under many brand names, which doesn't really matter. What matters is the module or chipset used, and there are only a handful of suppliers. As I wrote earlier, the uBlox are the darling of the GPS folks, and they are now up to uBlox 8 (which supports GLONASS). Actually, the uBlox 8 is sold for the ultra-low power market (phones, trackers, etc); they have a higher-performing module known as the M8 for navigation applications - which would be the ideal one for us.

One can get a little crazy over all of this. After all, the GPS in our phones and tablets works quite well most of the time; it isn't necessary to have the latest and greatest technology. That said, all other things equal I would go with the higher performance if buying new.

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Old 17-08-2017, 15:52   #22
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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OCPN works just fine on MacOS devices. Connecting a GPS is easy. That said, my old Mac is no longer supported (my OS version is too old). But in the past it worked before they built OCPN only for newer OS releases.

Greg
Yes. Open CPN may work on MAC computers but I understand that the very popular CM 93 chart files won't work on any Mac OS. (please assist if I am wrong.) Running emulation Mac to Windows does not seem to solve this problem.

Can anyone tell me how to get Navionics (SD cards or otherwise) onto Open CPN?
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Old 17-08-2017, 16:11   #23
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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Yes. Open CPN may work on MAC computers but I understand that the very popular CM 93 chart files won't work on any Mac OS. (please assist if I am wrong.)
You're wrong Again, I have not been using the latest OCPN but it certainly has worked in the past. As OCPN development has moved forward they have found instances where some CM93 chart files were not exactly correct and wouldn't work, but overall they work fine. The problem with CM93, aside from the copyright infringement, is that the copies available are getting a bit dated, at least as far as I have seen. Since I have been back in the US I have used free NOAA charts, and expect to pay for chart downloads of other countries in the future as prices are becoming a bit more reasonable.

Quote:
Can anyone tell me how to get Navionics (SD cards or otherwise) onto Open CPN?
Speaking of copyright infringement....

The Navionics charts are protected from illegal copying, so you can only use them in approved apps that protect the copyright. OCPN does support some of the encrypted formats for charts, so many ENCs that are protected can be bought for download and used with CPN. I don't know if Navionics is one of those - perhaps someone else can comment?

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Old 17-08-2017, 22:20   #24
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

Go to eBay, search sirfstar IV. 30 bucks. USB version. Must Load thier driver - from disk or online. Bu-353

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181490131179

Works fantastic. Fast lock, strong signals, plentiful satellites. Never unwound cord, just left it on the dash inside the pilothouse.

I liked polar navy vs ocpn, as polar navy supported active captain overlays. 5 license for 50 bucks.

Used dirt cheap Walmart HP laptop. Worked great.
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Old 17-08-2017, 22:47   #25
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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I've used a very cheap unit (BU 353) for years. Very reliable still under $30 at Amazon. It is a dongle with UPS cord. You download free software to start it up. I'm pretty sure it reports position and nothing else, your OpenCPN program calculates course and speed and I find it very accurate. Going for a more expensive receiver is a waste IMO.
Ditto.

Has kept me on course for years also with a laptop.
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Old 18-08-2017, 00:21   #26
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

Hi Alita49DS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alita49DS View Post
If your brother is a GPS developer perhaps he can answer the question that I posed:

=> How can one get the GPS signal out of a mobile phone connected via Bluetooth?

.
Certainly for Android there are many applications available, some free, that allow you to do what you are asking.

On my android phone, I can Bluetooth pair with my laptop and send the NMEA data to OpenCPN using a free app (Search for Bluetooth GPS Output in Play store). It is relatively simple to setup.

Whether or not you would want to use it as a permanent or only source of GPS data for Navigation is another question.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 18-08-2017, 03:43   #27
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by Alita49DS View Post
Rather than buy a separate GPS at all, we all own one if we have a mobile phone.

Now, the GPS data is only a few simple "sentences". So, can anyone tell me how one can Bluetooth connect the mobile phone GPS to Windows 10 so that the sentences can be used in OpenCPN?

I am being agnostic as to mobile OS.
You simply go to Google Play and download an App that does it.

Or ask your kid to build you one.

If agnostic you mean you have an iPhone then there must be an iPhone Apple Play place of sorts too.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 18-08-2017, 03:48   #28
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

Phone gps does not have to be shared by the BT btw. You can use wifi as well. Just an alternative depending on what hardware you have, etc.

And a usb dongle can too be shared via wifi. Then a couple of devices can access it at once.

Look at what hardware you have up first then find the most reasonable gps method for your case.

Cheers,
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Old 18-08-2017, 11:50   #29
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

@transmitterdan thank you for the correction. I looks like I was wrong :-( but learned something. @Drew13440 sorry for the false information...
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Old 28-08-2017, 15:52   #30
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Re: GPS for Use with Laptop and OpenCPN

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As for streaming GPS info out of a phone, that would require an Android or IOS program. You might look to see if such a thing exists. If it was done in a standard format (probably NMEA 0183) then your computer should be able to use it.
On iOS I've used an app called NMEA Connect to do this, it's not expensive, less than 5 from memory. It acts as a NMEA multiplexer, and one of it's sources is the phone's internal GPS. It's wi-fi only though.
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