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Old 13-09-2011, 20:37   #31
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Re: DIY Research and Development

the mega sailboats/power boats (200ft plus class i have info on)
already use electronic circuit current sensors and shutdowns.
I thought what a lot of technology to replace a stupid breaker that works.
Then one of the crew reminded me that 200 ft is a long ways to walk
from the engineering hole to turn off a light left on by guests/crew.
It also lets them detect dead circuits before the billionaire owner does
in the dark with his toe.
That is why they use sensors and route all control back to a central location.
The systems are available, but I dread to think what an electronic component overcurrent/switch for a 200ft megayacht must cost.

However, these yachts are built to standard (mostly loyds) for insurance
reasons so the concept must be type approvable in EU/US.

cheers

gello
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:20   #32
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Re: DIY Research and Development

hello if anyone is still hanging out on this thread.

I have gone away and done some research regarding instruments.
Talked to technical representatives of Raytheon, Simrad, and Garmin.
They all had the same story, and the words that come to mind in response do not bear repeating. (ever watch Deadwood? you get my drift).

They all will use NMEA2000/0183 as the transducer bus to the
first control head. Then they convert to ethernet for subsequent
transfers of data and inter-head communications.
Perfect right?
WRONG.
None of them will disclose the data sentences, interface, ports, nothing.
In fact they were just plain rude at even being asked the question.
As usual, they are doing lip service to open systems but really
the only standard is the transducer bus.

Their philosophy still seems to be the same, sell transducers at
a "reasonable" price and then charge ungodly horrible markups on the
heads which lock you into a proprietary protocol that prevents you
from intermixing systems in their most profitable items.

So, I have decided to press ahead with creating my own instrument set.
I have been evaulating performance of display devices and implementations (which i need some help with, more in a moment).

The solution i am implementing will be a server based system so that
any device that can host a browser can act as a marine instrument.
This means pc's, smartphones, ipods, ipads, even a kindle will be able
to be an instrument and control your boat.

My requirements list are as follows:

1. Purchased transducers (wind, depth, speed, autopilot, engine, etc.) from any vendor conforming to NMEA2000/0183.

2. Any wireless browser enabled device capable of supporting
HTML5, javascript, and XML can be a display device (smartphones, iphone, IPAD, PC etc.).

3. Total systems cost <$200 exclusive of transducers.

4. Wireless communications among devices. (save for initial 2000/0183 entry point to server. as valuable as it is, wireless tranducer interfacing is deferred to release 2 mostly due to current cost of interfaces devices).

5. Wifi gateway integral so both access to the internet and ability
to monitor and control boat from the internet are available.

6. Interface to OpenCPN so every instrument head is also a wifi enabled
chartplotter/AIS device.

7. Video streaming on server so legacy radar systems (composite video)
and on-board entertainment systems may be viewed and controlled
from instrument heads.

8. Extensible architecture so additional instruments may be added by users and/or submitted for approval and download from bulletin board by other users.

9. Total system power exclusive of heads <2 amps@12VDC.

10. Total system availability (exclusive of cabling and tranducers) >.9995.



I welcome any additions or extensions to this list provided the
submitter is open to discussion and critique (as am i).
every requirement involves work and i would like to see this finished
in my lifetime.


As to the architecture, I have made a few preliminary decisions.

1. Debian or Centos linux sbc with Apache as central server.

2. DDWRT with DNSmasq as wifi control and gateway repeater.

3. NMEA2000 to ethernet gateway PIC based (i can get
both interfaces in a single chip with a CANBUSS stack to start).


I am leaning toward the BeagleBoard-XM (not the regular beagle board)
or the gumstix as the SBC. While the raspberryPI would be very attractive, so far it is just that; pie in the sky.
No one can actually get one.
The BeagleBoard has excellent support and has been in continuous production for three years now.


Finally, where i need a bit of help.
I coded up a test wind instrument to measure graphic performance
on various devices under javascript. (my two big concerns with this
architecture are
graphic performance of the device and page updates perfromance over the wifi to the sbc).

I have found wide differences
in the implementations.
I need some more info from other devices as my test base is relative limited.

To download the test fixture, go here.
Marine Instruments

There are two buttons. The right button adjusts the number of degrees
the needle moves per tick. Its setting doesn't matter much it is only
there to allow movement to even be seen on slow devices. Set it to
one degree if you have a fast device. Move it up toward 10 if it appears not to move.

The important button is the left one. As you click it and move the time between ticks down, at some point you will notice the needle start to lag, jump, perhaps the screen to flash, or even hang and quit.
I am interested in the lowest time value where the needle moves smoothly without
artifacts such as this.

To date i have the following results:
2.4Ghz P8600 Windows 7 PC:
Under firefox: 100mS.
Under chrome: 50mS,
Apple iphone 3G (yes, an antique): 1000ms,
Two different Android smartphones: 100mS

I don't need much more PC information unless you have a particularly
old or fast one. (a 32bit pentiumII would be interesting for instance).
However, I would love to hear from IPAD IandII users, iphone3GS/4 users, and some more android based phones and tablets if you can include the make and model of the phone. And hey, if anyone has
XBOX/WII/playstation that would be a curiosity. This instrument set should run on whatever you have. Wanna stick an LCD TV at the helm
and run it on WII while controlling it with movements in the air
like some kind of marine hawaii 5-0 console that sounds cool to me.

I will try and publish the architecture diagram when i get the spare time to put it in computer readable format. (its fall here in tennessee
and i do have to get wood in the shed lest i freeze on this mountain).

I appreciate any and all feedback either here on the forum or via
personal message.

And any comments on the javascript/css in the test script are also
welcome. I tried to code it to run quickly but remain in layers so a basic instrument could be defined (buttons, screen, etc) and then extended by layering atop it.

And finally, I AM NOT an artist though i wish i had that talent.
the colors on my test fixture are awful. any suggestions there
will be taken quite seriously. layout suggestions are welcome as well.

cheers

gello
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Old 29-10-2011, 17:21   #33
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Nice concept. Good luck.

Don
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:17   #34
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open system sailing instruments

thanks for the response.

i am surprised there has been no further interest.
seemed to be a popular idea when i first proposed it.
perhaps i'll just make it a one off if there is no further interest.

i hope there is no confusion, the $200 was the hardware cost
to build it yourself with software/diagrams from this forum.

This was not
intended to be a commercial product but rather a thumb in the eye
to the commercial vendors who are trying to lock us into their expensive
solutions.

rather hoped for some help putting together instruments while i
concentrated on the NMEA2000 stack which
needs to be written and the SBC server HW/OS.

pressing on,
cheers,

gello
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:13   #35
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Re: DIY Research and Development

I think there is quite a bit of interest, i know I am following it closely. Nearly 1,000 views so far. If i had some current coding skills i would certainly offer them.
I don't have any electronics yet for my in build cat but if you need people to do any testing i can soon get some and help in any way i can. Don't give up on the Pi as they seem to have a dedicated team and i would bet money it will be available in the new year.
One feature request if you are open for them yet is wind for a rotating mast.

Mike
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:37   #36
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Re: DIY Research and Development

wind for a rotating mast.
hmmm, how does one handle that?
is apparent wind designated as
coming over the bow or over a parallel line to the sail bisecting the mast?
Is there a different reading and where do you put the anemometer?
never thought about how you run cables in a rotating mast, that must
be interesting.
thanks for the feedback,
if i can figure out what it is, doesn't seem like an issue to do it.
you are right, you will have to test it. rotating masts are way beyond
my old fashioned rig.

current plan is to put a rotating ring around the apparent wind instrument
showing true wind in both angle and compass degrees.
perhaps a second arrow or a third rotating ring showing mast angle might work.

cheers

gello
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Old 06-11-2011, 17:17   #37
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Re: DIY Research and Development

Wind over the bow is enough for me.
I was going to use an Airmar PB200 and a Maretron DSM250 for the display. The PB200 has a rate compass and calculates apparent that will need correcting. B&G use a pot to deduce the rotation but the 2 others that i know about use a second fixed compass to calculate the angle of rotation. The easiest woud be the compasses i would think, but more expensive Easier to calibrate and no linearisation that a pot would need.. My mast will be able to rotate +/- 180 degrees which makes a pot difficult.
The PB200 will be at the mast head and wiring shouldn't be too difficult with a big enough loop to handle the rotation. If i can't get the corrections working i was going to mount it at the rear on a short post but then it is affected by the influences of the sails etc.
If you can construct a new PGN using a fake Manufacturer and model ID's then any normal NMEA 2000 displays would be able to read the new info. Hopefully you will be able to do that

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Old 06-11-2011, 20:09   #38
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I don't quite see the point of this. There are already two Nmea wifi servers out there already.

Secondly NMEA is open and most of the standard PGNs are actually in the public domain. So why bother reinventing the wheel.

Dave
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Old 06-11-2011, 23:39   #39
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Re: DIY Research and Development

Why do this at all?
For much the same reason openCPN has been embraced
by this forum when there are five or more commercial charting
packages out there already.

choose your reason, there are dozens.

g
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:22   #40
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Re: DIY Research and Development

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whimsical View Post
Wind over the bow is enough for me.
I was going to use an Airmar PB200 and a Maretron DSM250 for the display. The PB200 has a rate compass and calculates apparent that will need correcting.
The PB200 produces both apparent and true wind speed and angle. It has a GPS, and uses COG and SOG to calculate true wind speed and angle. It also has a compass, and uses that to calculate true wind direction (possibly also with COG). The PB200 can output all the heading and GPS info if you want it to (over NMEA2000 anyway, not sure about 0183). You could probably use the PB200 heading information from the masthead, and heading information from another compass mounted in the hull, to deduce mast angle if you calibrate them well enough. I don't know if that would be as accurate as a POT, but it might be worth a try.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:44   #41
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Re: DIY Research and Development

This is the fist time I have seen this thread. I am very interested. I've been wanting to make an auto pilot remote using nmea0183 that would go back to a server for control. Basically use an ipod touch to control my auto pilot both in degrees changes, and "go to" type messages. I don't really have the know how to make that happen, so a shorter goal was to just try to make a wired remote. In any case, while I may not be much help writing software, I will definitely follow your progress. Thanks,
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Old 10-11-2011, 19:46   #42
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instead of pot or compass, why not a magnet and a hall effect sensor.
will detect angle with no phys connect and may get to work through deck.

and yes, my goal also is to include a wireless autopilot remote in this with capacity to steer by wind as well.

does your pilot take commands over
nmea0183? that would be unusual but
very useful. i had to build an interface
for my current homebrew wireless remote (total cost for remote $35).


thanx for the interest.

gello
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Old 10-11-2011, 19:52   #43
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Re: DIY Research and Development

My pilot can be controlled with 0183 I am 90% sure. I am not 100% sure about degree changes, but it should take directions to a waypoint.
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Old 14-11-2011, 04:29   #44
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Re: DIY Research and Development

Quote:
Originally Posted by gello View Post
instead of pot or compass, why not a magnet and a hall effect sensor.
will detect angle with no phys connect and may get to work through deck.

gello
Gello
A hall efect sensor would be difficult, would be fine if the mast only rotated to a set point but it is totally variable to 360 degrees plus. An encoder disk won't work either as i have a fixed carbon post through the deck that the mast rotates on hence the ring would need to be about 250mm diametr to fit over the tube. I think 2 compasses would be the easiest.

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:04   #45
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Re: DIY Research and Development

Quote:
Originally Posted by gello View Post
Anyone interested?
Thank's for this posting.
I'm also very much interested.
Do you have a Website or some place, where we can find your older projects ?

Over the years I also have built quite a few hardware/software devices for the boat.
It all started, when I got my boat, and found that my GPS can't talk to the autopilot and other instruments.

I started to build a "translator", put that device on my website, got a lot of requests from others who had the same problem.

What I found - there are quite a few sailors interested in all sort's of gadgets and devices, but not very many of them can/want to deal with electronics, chips, software or soldering iron :-)

I tried to make my Website, so that others can show their projects, devices, gadgets - but 99% of the requests where just "whre can I buy the assembled and tested device.

Anyway. It's nice to read, that others are sort of doing the same and I hope we can learn from each other.

I'm not sure, if a forum is best place for information and discussions of a complex project like yours. I think a wiki might be better suited - would be easier to follow and different threads and topics could be grouped.
Just my 2 ct.


Frank
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