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Old 16-08-2010, 05:36   #1
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GPS Interfacing

Hi

I am sure my question is a common one and there must be an obvious solution...

If I have a single GPS antenna (eg. Furuno GP37) and multiple devices that need to receive the GPS data (eg. the GPS display, a chartplotter, a PC with Maxsea software, an autopilot, and a VHF radio with DSC), what piece of equipment or setup do I need to send the GPS data to each device?

Is there a standard piece of equipment that accepts the NMEA 0183 input and outputs the data 5 ways?

Thank you for any suggestions.
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Old 16-08-2010, 09:37   #2
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A single NMEA talker (your antenna) can drive multiple listeners. The number of listeners that you can connect in parallel depends on the output capability and input drive requirements of individual devices. Typically, a single talker can drive 3-4 listeners but I have seen 5 listeners being driven without any problems. Just connect them all in parallel and see if it works ok. If there is a problem, you will need an NMEA expander, buffer or multiplexer device that can supply more outputs. These devices do more than just parallel wiring. They provide amplification of the signal, have short circuit protection, eliminate ground loop problems and have full isolation of the outputs.

Eric
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Old 17-08-2010, 01:38   #3
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As said above as long as the input impedances of the connected devices are not too low (not dragging down signal level) then several can be connected to your single GPS NMEA 0183 source by paralleling across the output.

If you wish to feed several programs on a PC/laptop the situation is different as only one COM port can be fed with GPS signal & only only program connected to receive it. The answer is to use a utility such as GpsGate or the currently free NavMonPC although the latter is not a dedicated program. In each case they allow extra virtual COM ports to be created & fed by the single GPS source. Each of many programs can then be set to connect to its own virtual COM port & receive the same GPS signal.
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Old 17-08-2010, 04:13   #4
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Thank you for your help. I have found what I was looking for at Shipmodul.com
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Old 17-08-2010, 11:39   #5
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Slight Thread Drift perhaps but: I bought a Garmin "hockey puck" gps to use with Open Cpn.

Well - It doesnt work!! Unfortunately Garmin gps's apparently dont like Win 7 and they dont intend to update their Spanner program to Win 7 either.

I tried Franson gpsgate but although it recognised the gps, still didnt get it to work with OpenCpn and seemed to have some sort of interface problem which caused a few Blue Screen of Death.

Oh well.....unless anyone has any bright ideas, its back to the drawing board.......Tony
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Old 17-08-2010, 12:02   #6
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Been using Windows 7 in various forms for nearly two years now & haven't found a single program that doesn't (eventually) run with it out of maybe 200, most written to work with XP or Vista.

True they don't always install out of the box but using compatibility mode usually solves the problem. Driver versions are the usual stumbling block but Googleing invariably provides an answer.
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