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Old 16-04-2012, 15:38   #1
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Thumbs up Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Purpose: to build a wireless PC-based (MaxSea and others) navigation system
I have:
  • set of ST60 instruments
  • autopilot
  • GPS
  • no plotter, no VHF, no AIS
I will buy:
Questions:
  1. Is that enough to connect my instruments and VHF+AIS to COM1 and AP to COM2 and run MaxSea and other PC software?
  2. Do I need any nmea0183 multiplexers, and how to connect ST60 + VHF+AIS on the single COM?
Thanks for the input.
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Old 16-04-2012, 18:35   #2
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

And how do you get all this data from wifi into your PC nav software?

Anyways:
- the ST will have to go via SeaTalk to NMEA box first,
- you will probably use a multiplexer as only one NMEA talker is allowed,

Why not get one of the new Ray plotters, plug all toys in and then use any wifi tablet or a smartphone as a repeater? Moneywise, multiplexers and SeaTalk/Nmea bridges do not look very cheap.

b.
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Old 17-04-2012, 01:38   #3
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And how do you get all this data from wifi into your PC nav software?

Anyways:
- the ST will have to go via SeaTalk to NMEA box first,
- you will probably use a multiplexer as only one NMEA talker is allowed,

Why not get one of the new Ray plotters, plug all toys in and then use any wifi tablet or a smartphone as a repeater? Moneywise, multiplexers and SeaTalk/Nmea bridges do not look very cheap.

b.
Thank you for your comments, but I think they are not relevant.
- ST60 output in NMEA0183 (serial).
- I may gave up a link of autopilot to PC, and link ST60 to COM1 and VHF+AIS to COM2
- Wibox will create 2 COM ports in PC - MaxSea will take these.

Simple.
Why I do not want a chartplotter? Expensive, outdate very quickly and you have to upgrade maps by buying catridges. The boat is a sail catamaran - nav station is below, and I want to move the laptop or palm around cockpit/salon table/nav station.
There will be back-up handheld VHF with GPS navigation running on AA batteries.
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Old 17-04-2012, 02:12   #4
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVI View Post
Purpose: to build a wireless PC-based (MaxSea and others) navigation system
I have:
  • set of ST60 instruments
  • autopilot
  • GPS
  • no plotter, no VHF, no AIS
I will buy:
Questions:
  1. Is that enough to connect my instruments and VHF+AIS to COM1 and AP to COM2 and run MaxSea and other PC software?
  2. Do I need any nmea0183 multiplexers, and how to connect ST60 + VHF+AIS on the single COM?
Thanks for the input.

I like the idea of not having any outdated chartplotter. I also had ST60, but I use SeaTalk to NMEA box to connect them to Multiplexer and then to Mac. The problem is that even if one ST60 instrument can talk NMEA, you have set of them, so to able to read all data you have to connect them together with pilot - make a SeaTalk network, which then can be connected to one port using SeaTalk to NMEA box as it will make one plain data stream from all the Raymarine staff. To connect your VHF+AIS you need at least 2 ports - one for GPS-to-VHF and another for AIS-to-PC, and they will work at different baudrates. So even if you have you GPS connected to PC through USB, 2 COM ports is not enough. You need 3 COM ports (or Multiplexer) and SeaTalk to NMEa box.
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Old 17-04-2012, 06:58   #5
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVI View Post
Thank you for your comments, but I think they are not relevant.
Your ST60 talk NMEA?

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Old 17-04-2012, 08:08   #6
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybonelli View Post
To connect your VHF+AIS you need at least 2 ports - one for GPS-to-VHF and another for AIS-to-PC, and they will work at different baudrates. So even if you have you GPS connected to PC through USB, 2 COM ports is not enough. You need 3 COM ports (or Multiplexer) and SeaTalk to NMEa box.
GPS connected to VHF. AIS is built-in into VHF as well.
So GPS+DSC+AIS shall be on the single NMEA0183.

So technically it should work with 2 COM ports
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Old 17-04-2012, 08:13   #7
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Your ST60 talk NMEA?

b.
yes, there is NMEA out on ST60.
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Old 17-04-2012, 08:48   #8
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVI View Post
yes, there is NMEA out on ST60.
OK. They improved.

You will need to multiplex if you have more than one instrument. Only one talker per COM.

Look for a multiplexer with max number of INs - just in case you want to add some instruments in the future.


Cheers,
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:25   #9
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVI View Post
GPS connected to VHF. AIS is built-in into VHF as well.
So GPS+DSC+AIS shall be on the single NMEA0183.
Nope. I have Navicom DSC VHF with built-in AIS. This means that they both use one aerial. As for NMEA it is not like computer USB port, it is one direction only. So there is only one talker and one or more listeners. As VHF is a listener for GPS NMEA sentences and a talker sending AIS NMEA sentences, there are to independent NMEA connections, each requiring a separate COM-port or a multiplexer. Check the manual, there should be a pair of wires for NMEA in and a pair for NMEA out.
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:55   #10
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybonelli View Post
Nope. I have Navicom DSC VHF with built-in AIS. This means that they both use one aerial. As for NMEA it is not like computer USB port, it is one direction only. So there is only one talker and one or more listeners. As VHF is a listener for GPS NMEA sentences and a talker sending AIS NMEA sentences, there are to independent NMEA connections, each requiring a separate COM-port or a multiplexer. Check the manual, there should be a pair of wires for NMEA in and a pair for NMEA out.
From the manual of GX2150: it is specially designed for the chartplotters with 1 single NMEA input. That means that VHF is echoing the GPS and AIS data in a single NMEA.
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:46   #11
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Yes, that's one of the nice things about the GX2150.

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Old 17-04-2012, 11:36   #12
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVI View Post
From the manual of GX2150: it is specially designed for the chartplotters with 1 single NMEA input. That means that VHF is echoing the GPS and AIS data in a single NMEA.
I checked the manual. It doesn't have built in GPS, so if you want your VHF to transmit GPS and AIS in one data stream, you need to connect your GPS directly to VHF, not to your computer. Is it what you plan to do? And your GPS should be NMEA - compatible, so it should have it's own 12V connection.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:51   #13
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Have you looked at the Shipmodul MiniPlex-2USB/BT with bluetooth connectivity? I read the WiBox Dual Port - Wireless Device Servers - Lantronix as requiring wifi connections to provide connectivity between units on it's network.

I am trying to create similar navigation solution, but I've decided to go with a budget chartplotter direct from China $530 vs $1800 for low end unit from S-H
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:04   #14
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris07732 View Post
I am trying to create similar navigation solution, but I've decided to go with a budget chartplotter direct from China $530 vs $1800 for low end unit from S-H
Can you share a link?
I may install a budget chartplotter at helm to "multiplex" the nmea/seatalk inputs.
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:18   #15
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Re: Budget wifi based PC Nav system

There is only one problem in your original post. You have not mentioned OpenCPN!!!
Anyway, I have (several) Laptop, OpenCPN, Matrix 2150 Seatalk, etc etc like you and am doing it all without a MUX just using the one built in Serial Port, and the other is a Serial to USB port.

Standard Horizon are working on the new Matrix design. Hoping to have a built in MUX and a USB output carrying everything. AIS/DSC/GPS and ?NMEA repeater?

No need for MUX
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