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Old 31-12-2017, 14:29   #1
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Connecting chartplotter to computer

I bought a Garmin 54cv and i was looking to connect it to my computer. My idea was to do the route with my pc, using their application and then transfer all waypoints to the chartplotter.

I was expecting to find on the device a usual USB cable but...well that would be too simple isn't it?

Anybody knows the type of cable needed? I was looking on the web but I am not sure it is the right cable. Some cable seems to be to display on the computer and not to transfer data.

Thx in advance,

Chris
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Old 31-12-2017, 17:27   #2
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Does your plotter take micro SD cards? For some, you copy the route or whatever to a microSD to transfer it to the plotter.
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Old 31-12-2017, 20:09   #3
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

I build routes with Garmin free PC utility called homeport...I build the route...rename it to something I will remember,..export as a xxx.gpx file to the mSd.card..place card into plotter...works ok..
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:46   #4
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by maijipo View Post
I bought a Garmin 54cv and i was looking to connect it to my computer....I was expecting to find on the device a usual USB cable...
I think your expectations are too great.

Generally the only method of interconnection of marine electronic devices that is universal and open is via NMEA-0183 or NMEA-2000.

While marine electronics might have physical ports for Ethernet or USB, there is no particular universal data communication protocol for carrying navigation data on those media between devices.

Some marine electronic devices do have built-in FTP servers and support TCP-IP network protocols. You may be able to use the common FTP protocol to transfer data to a marine electronic device using that method.

More common is the "sneaker net" approach, as suggested by others, in which you physically move a common removable storage medium between devices and export and import the files to and from that medium.

I recommend you carefully read the owner's manual of your navigation device to see what methods it provides for transfer of data and what file formats it supports or imports.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:42   #5
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Current generation Garmin chartplotters use the ‘Garmin Helm’ app to connect via WiFi
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:15   #6
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA3JY View Post
Current generation Garmin chartplotters use the ‘Garmin Helm’ app to connect via WiFi
According to the Garmin webpage at

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/152837

the Garmin Helm app has been discontinued.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:41   #7
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post
According to the Garmin webpage at

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/152837

the Garmin Helm app has been discontinued.
It’s been replaced by the ‘Garmin Active Captain’ app...
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:56   #8
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Your expectations are not too great.

Referencing page 5 of your Garmin installation manual, your machine has NMEA 0183 connections (combined with the power pigtail).
NMEA 0183 uses RS422 protocol, which is compatible with RS232 for these purposes, which is the standard 9-pin serial port or DP-9 on a computer.
If you don't have a serial port, you can use USB with a serial to usb converter, sometimes called a serial emulator. They are like $10.

To transmit/receive NMEA 0183 to a computer, your will use Garmin wire 3 (Receive/Transmit (B) -), wire 4 (Transmit (A) +), and wire 5 (Receive (A) +) per manual page 5. Tie wire 3 into wire 2, the ground.
The DP-9's serial pins of interest are 2 (Receive), 3 (Transmit), and 5 (ground). Google "RS232 pinout" for graphics (image search).
So, going from Garmin to DB-9:
3 goes to 5.
4 goes to 2.
5 goes to 3.
Again, make sure Garmin wire 3 is tied to ground (Garmin wire 2).

Most programs designed to digest NMEA data will have instructions on how to allow the program to receive the data. It usually entails a setting within the program to allow communications to COM1 (or whatever COM the serial port is tagged as).

OpenCPN for instance will receive/transmit NMJEA data to from a chartplotter suing this method. I have also had it working with SeaClear.

If you call Garmin, the above is exactly what they will tell you, as some of their older units came with more detailed instructions, as RS232 interface was more common back in the day.

In case you don't have some old computer serial cord laying around, just go to your local electronics parts store, and buy a male DB-9 solder connector, and a few feet of shielded 3-conductor cable. (I used telephone cable once and it worked fine, and sometimes an old length of traducer cable works.) If the cable has more than 3 conductors, just don't use all of them, and pick your 3 favorite colors.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:01   #9
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

@bauer965 .

Thx. I am going to try this week to get the cable. I got the spec. I will let you know how it works.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:57   #10
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA3JY View Post
It’s been replaced by the ‘Garmin Active Captain’ app...
When your first suggestion was to use software that was no longer available, I think it was important to point that out.

Where do you get the new software you have now recommended? And how much does it cost?

That would be useful information to have.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:58   #11
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by bauer965 View Post
Your expectations are not too great....
I think your reply actually demonstrates just the opposite of that. The OP wanted a magic cable to enable communication. You've sent him down a very complicated path to accomplish the magic.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:09   #12
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post
When your first suggestion was to use software that was no longer available, I think it was important to point that out.

Where do you get the new software you have now recommended? And how much does it cost?

That would be useful information to have.
Wasn’t aware Garmin Helm had been discontinued until it was pointed out..
https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...e-introduction

An App search found its (free)replacement..

https://www.garmin.com/en-US/blog/ma...ng-experience/
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:24   #13
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

although this is a great answer to the vague topic header, it has nothing to do with copying route data, which was his actual question. that's normally done with the SD card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bauer965 View Post
Your expectations are not too great.

Referencing page 5 of your Garmin installation manual, your machine has NMEA 0183 connections (combined with the power pigtail).
NMEA 0183 uses RS422 protocol, which is compatible with RS232 for these purposes, which is the standard 9-pin serial port or DP-9 on a computer.
If you don't have a serial port, you can use USB with a serial to usb converter, sometimes called a serial emulator. They are like $10.

To transmit/receive NMEA 0183 to a computer, your will use Garmin wire 3 (Receive/Transmit (B) -), wire 4 (Transmit (A) +), and wire 5 (Receive (A) +) per manual page 5. Tie wire 3 into wire 2, the ground.
The DP-9's serial pins of interest are 2 (Receive), 3 (Transmit), and 5 (ground). Google "RS232 pinout" for graphics (image search).
So, going from Garmin to DB-9:
3 goes to 5.
4 goes to 2.
5 goes to 3.
Again, make sure Garmin wire 3 is tied to ground (Garmin wire 2).

Most programs designed to digest NMEA data will have instructions on how to allow the program to receive the data. It usually entails a setting within the program to allow communications to COM1 (or whatever COM the serial port is tagged as).

OpenCPN for instance will receive/transmit NMJEA data to from a chartplotter suing this method. I have also had it working with SeaClear.

If you call Garmin, the above is exactly what they will tell you, as some of their older units came with more detailed instructions, as RS232 interface was more common back in the day.

In case you don't have some old computer serial cord laying around, just go to your local electronics parts store, and buy a male DB-9 solder connector, and a few feet of shielded 3-conductor cable. (I used telephone cable once and it worked fine, and sometimes an old length of traducer cable works.) If the cable has more than 3 conductors, just don't use all of them, and pick your 3 favorite colors.
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Old 02-01-2018, 20:04   #14
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

Gosh, why not just use OpenCPN and be done with it?
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Old 02-01-2018, 23:01   #15
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Re: Connecting chartplotter to computer

I have tried a couple of the software packages which are supposed to transfer waypoint and route data from a computer to a gps or MFD and have found them to be pretty hopeless. However I have fairly extensively used OpenCPN on laptops and netbooks connected to my autopilot via a Digitec USB to RS 422/485 converter with excellent results.
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