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Old 15-09-2016, 00:45   #1
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Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

Wireless capability of my Digital Yacht iAIS eventually died (which never worked properly anyways).

I ended up creating my own solution for adding wireless support to a serial AIS receiver with a Raspberry Pi. It doesn't even have to be a Raspberry Pi really, any Linux or OS X machine would do.

I put it in a blog post: https://www.partmarine.com/blog/wireless_ais_howto/

Combining this with a dAISy, one can build a wireless AIS for less than $100!
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Old 15-09-2016, 06:18   #2
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

Had you considered replacing your netcat script with kplex?
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Old 15-09-2016, 07:28   #3
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

The freeware www.navmonpc.com might help you. It can at virtual ports and forward info between software packages.

Best regards,

Franziska

www.ladyrover.com
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Old 15-09-2016, 07:30   #4
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

Other good ways to do this is using Navico GoFree, if you have recent Navico plotters. You don't even need their WiFiOne module -- you can connect a regular router directly to a free Ethernet port. The plotter bridges all the network data to Ethernet and you can receive not only AIS but all your other network data over a virtual serial port.


Also there's this tremendously cool Swedish device:

WiFi NMEA2000/0183/Seatalk Router

It even does SignalK! Even SeaTalk! You can add Internet connectivity using a USB dongle.

Truly a Swiss Army Knife of boat networking!
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Old 15-09-2016, 07:50   #5
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

WiFi NMEA2000/0183/Seatalk Router

It even does SignalK! Even SeaTalk! You can add Internet connectivity using a USB dongle.

Truly a Swiss Army Knife of boat networking!
When openplotter v0.9 gets released it looks like it could well be the most comprehensive implementation of signalk in a boat computer system so far
Plus so much more, alarms for any nmea data, email text etc. In port I use it to rebroadcast wifi around the boat, less power draw than a R36.
Very powerful.
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Old 15-09-2016, 08:59   #6
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
Wireless capability of my Digital Yacht iAIS eventually died (which never worked properly anyways).

I ended up creating my own solution for adding wireless support to a serial AIS receiver with a Raspberry Pi. It doesn't even have to be a Raspberry Pi really, any Linux or OS X machine would do.

I put it in a blog post: https://www.partmarine.com/blog/wireless_ais_howto/

Combining this with a dAISy, one can build a wireless AIS for less than $100!
Yes.

This and either netcat or kplex will do with many a s/h wifi router.

- S/h routers start at USD 3 here, (e.g. an old adsl with usb input),
- usb/serial converters start at USD 6 generic.

You can have what you want at 10 USD, not 100 USD ...

Cheers,
b.
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Old 15-09-2016, 11:05   #7
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by muttnik View Post
Had you considered replacing your netcat script with kplex?
I didn't know kplex but it looks really cool. Netcat works great for a simple use case but if more is needed a multiplexer would be much better.

I may come up with an updated version of the tutorial to include it, thanks for the pointer!
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Old 15-09-2016, 11:07   #8
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yes.

This and either netcat or kplex will do with many a s/h wifi router.

- S/h routers start at USD 3 here, (e.g. an old adsl with usb input),
- usb/serial converters start at USD 6 generic.

You can have what you want at 10 USD, not 100 USD ...

Cheers,
b.
60-70% of that $100 is the AIS receiver itself. So not sure how one can create a wireless AIS receiver without the actual receiver
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Old 15-09-2016, 11:41   #9
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yes.

This and either netcat or kplex will do with many a s/h wifi router.

- S/h routers start at USD 3 here, (e.g. an old adsl with usb input),
- usb/serial converters start at USD 6 generic.

You can have what you want at 10 USD, not 100 USD ...

Cheers,
b.
Confused here - are you saying run kplex inside a wifi router?

Do they run Linux?

I don't know much about them, the Pi looks after all that
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Old 15-09-2016, 16:48   #10
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
60-70% of that $100 is the AIS receiver itself. So not sure how one can create a wireless AIS receiver without the actual receiver
I stand corrected!

My head turning around what we have onboard (an AIS with a serial out).

Regards,
b.
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Old 15-09-2016, 16:53   #11
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Confused here - are you saying run kplex inside a wifi router?

Do they run Linux?

I don't know much about them, the Pi looks after all that
Yep. Why not?

b.
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Old 15-09-2016, 16:58   #12
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post

Do they run Linux?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...mware_projects

Cheers,
b.
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Old 15-09-2016, 17:08   #13
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

BTW I am looking at that Daisy thing and it shows a 3 wire serial connector but talks about a 422 standard.

Where is the catch?

b.
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Old 16-09-2016, 00:06   #14
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yep. Why not?

b.
Seems a bit extreme

With an pi you can download an image and straight away have easy to set up kplex, i2c temperature sensors running as signalk and nmea, Opencpn, Web browser, access to the gpio pins as ins or outs, wifi hoptspot rebroadcast from a high power usb dongle, send text/email/tweets, a very powerful system running headless for to cost of a few beers.

Hacking a router would certainly be interesting and fun but as far as usefulness onboard goes seems very limited compared to what else is available.
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Old 16-09-2016, 00:18   #15
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Re: Adding wireless to a serial/USB AIS receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
BTW I am looking at that Daisy thing and it shows a 3 wire serial connector but talks about a 422 standard.

Where is the catch?

b.
Looks like the 3 wires are ground, 5v in & tx from the daisy, rs422 comes out of the adaptor as nmea + & - as you'd expect.

"On a technical level, this adapter translates one 3.3V-5V serial input to a 5V differential signal"

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