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Old 22-05-2010, 09:17   #1
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Question Central Data Logger for Sailboat - Any Ideas ?

I am looking for solution to log data on a sailboat from several sources:

- all navigation data: position, heading, speed
- voltage from batteries. Ideally I want to put sensor on each battery and transmit data about it state to central source
- wind speed, direction from raymarine or another network
- autopilot data

Data should be transmited and stored on central device, which can be ca connected to laptop using USB to view and analize it. I have found several offers on market for part of this features, but not with a complete features set one.

Any advices and information are welcome!
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Old 26-05-2010, 16:26   #2
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Hmm... no answers means there is no such device on market???
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Old 26-05-2010, 18:02   #3
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This is the premise of "seatalk" how it delivers I cant tell you.

http://www.raymarine.com/default.asp...1009&Section=2
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Old 31-05-2010, 14:34   #4
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Hmm... no answers means there is no such device on market???
I am just looking into a full instrument suite and discovering this may not be as easy as it should be. As an example, Raymarine uses ethernet for it Seatalk II, the bus it's current panels use. Their protocol stack appears to be proprietary though, meaning you can't plug non-Raymarine devices into it and have them communicate. You can bring in NMEA (serial RS-232 data) format data on a serial bus, but not via ethernet. Obviously I am going to have to do more research. I will let you know.
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Old 31-05-2010, 18:38   #5
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Most of the instrument systems will provide some way of outputting NMEA-0183 serial data. Usually a chartplotter has the capability to convert from whatever native format it uses to NMEA. There are also some multiplexers that convert Seatalk (Raymarine) to NMEA.

I collect all the data I can, using Furuno, B&G, ACR AIS transponder, and other instruments, by running it all to a NMEA multiplexer. The multiplexer also combines some of these data sources and delivers them to the chartplotter on a seperate output. The multiplexer provides a serial output that I feed into a multi-port serial/USB adaptor, along with the serial connections to several pieces of communications gear. I use my own program (NavMonPc -- it's free) to save and analyze the data, but there are other programs that will do this as well. If you only want to capture the data, a simple terminal program will suffice.

There are NMEA battery monitors available, but you do need to figure out a way to combine all these inputs. Actually, my program will take up to four serial ports, so it can be the multiplexer. Other programs also have multiple-input capability.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Most of the instrument systems will provide some way of outputting NMEA-0183 serial data. Usually a chartplotter has the capability to convert from whatever native format it uses to NMEA. There are also some multiplexers that convert Seatalk (Raymarine) to NMEA.

I collect all the data I can, using Furuno, B&G, ACR AIS transponder, and other instruments, by running it all to a NMEA multiplexer.
I use the same method on my current boat, with the exception that I run Coastal Explorer (Rose Point Navigation Systems) on my computer. But NMEA is a geriatric serial protocol that is basically one way when used like this. Normally that is fine, but if an instrument has issues, there is no way to interrogate it. It would be much better to have a common bus and use serial only where warranted.
The protocol boxes just take the mux output and place it into ethernet packets for the Seatalk II or other brand of ethernet bus.
Maybe what I want does not exist, but I want one bus if possible. Chip
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:20   #7
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Pay the money for expedition, its $1295 but its the BEST navigation, logging, racing software available. We have it now and I never look back, logs almost anything.
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Old 01-06-2010, 21:20   #8
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But NMEA is a geriatric serial protocol that is basically one way when used like this.
It's one way in my case because that's how I want it. There's nothing in the configuration that prohibits two-way communications though. The muxes are bidirectional, the computer interfaces are bidirectional, the instruments are (usually) bidirectional. There's nothing magic about ethernet, NMEA-0183, NMEA-2000, etc -- with the proper interconnect they all support full bidirectional connectivity. If I were designing a system from scratch in an ideal universe I would probably use ethernet. Unfortunately in *this* universe, most of the available gear uses NMEA-xxxx. My NavNet3D chartplotters and radar use ethernet, but the Furuno GPS and Fluxgate (and the rest of my gear) still use NMEA-0183.

The problem is with the gear. If you plan to interrogate it, it had better want to be interrogated. Most are instruments "send only" devices. Some will accept configuration messages that control the details of the output, but this is usually pretty limited in nature.

And here's another enthusiastic recommendation for Expedition. I use my program to feed data to Expedition, and am quite happy with it. It's not perfect, but neither is anything else out there and Expedition does most things very well.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irbiz View Post
I am looking for solution to log data on a sailboat from several sources:

- all navigation data: position, heading, speed
- voltage from batteries. Ideally I want to put sensor on each battery and transmit data about it state to central source
- wind speed, direction from raymarine or another network
- autopilot data

Data should be transmited and stored on central device, which can be ca connected to laptop using USB to view and analize it. I have found several offers on market for part of this features, but not with a complete features set one.

Any advices and information are welcome!
There are NMEA 0183 sentences to cover all the data you wish to record. These sentences can easily be saved to a text file for future extraction/analysis by a suitable application. Most PC based chartplotter programs have an option to save this data even if only for de-bugging purposes. Others have a facility to re-play saved data so this may go some way to solving your problem.

IMO NMEA 0183 whilst an old protocol, will be around for many years to come. If you remove the 4800 baud restriction provided by most sensors, it can be manipulated at much higher speeds. e.g. I have multiplexed NMEA boat data feeding my PC chartplotter at 57,600 baud via a virtual COM port.
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Old 03-06-2010, 22:08   #10
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This is going to depend on your electronics. If you have nothing, go buy a full NMEA 2000 compliant set as well as a NMEA to USB gateway. You plug your laptop\pc into this and it can be used in a variety of software like navigation programs (Coastal Explorer) and computer based gauges (Navmon PC). NavMon PC will the logging you're looking for. You can also try to search for NMEA Recorder and\or NMEA Logger. Here's one package I found by doing that: NMEA or GPS data logger - collects data from GPS or any NMEA compatible device to a disk or to other targets | AGG Software

Best of luck...
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:57   #11
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A cheap but complex solution would be too buy a Beagle board or something similar (not sure if an arduino could do it). Then outfit it as required.

Linux is free and probably has some software which could log everything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_Board $150
Case $50 or so (or make it yourself for cheaper again).

Beagle boards don't seem to have any serial connectors though a quick google search showed that someone has connected serial ports to a beagle.

There are also ethernet/wifi boards avaiable for beagles, as well as lots of RF kits (ie for battery voltage).

So it's definately possible and seems like a cheaper solution.

ps:- one nice thing about beagleboards and similar devices is very low power draw. The beagle board consumes about 2w. So if you want a device that will be on all the time it's a good solution.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:26   #12
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It's one way in my case because that's how I want it. There's nothing in the configuration that prohibits two-way communications though. The muxes are bidirectional, the computer interfaces are bidirectional, the instruments are (usually) bidirectional. There's nothing magic about ethernet, NMEA-0183, NMEA-2000, etc -- with the proper interconnect they all support full bidirectional connectivity.
FWIW, NMEA-0183 is NOT bidirectional since it only allows a single talker. To get bidirectional functionality with NMEA-0183 you have to setup 2 networks, i.e. 2 connections to each device. A NMEA-0183 mux will store, forward, and converge traffic from multiple networks onto a single network, but this requires a fair amount of 'traffic engineering' along with in the inability to have multiple like devices (can't distinguish between (2) NMEA-0183 GPS' on the same network). In contrast, both Ethernet and NMEA-2000 employ a media access control protocol that allows for multiple 'talkers' on the same network where traffic engineering and device identity is inherent within the protocol.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:52   #13
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I think I saw a standalone homemade nmea data logger on this forum's user microship's site
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