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Old 13-09-2009, 07:18   #16
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Globalsat has a new Bluetooth BT-368 GPS. Fits in the palm of your hand 40 x 70 x 9 mm in size. Made primarily for the Bluetooth smart phone crowd but could be cool aboard. Pretty cheap too at about $60. They also have a USB dongle too. It has no user interface so you need to tie the signal to software on a Bluetooth enabled device. The new SiRF star III chipset is doing some nice stuff. It's been designed for doing urban street navigation so the receivers are pretty robust making them even better aboard.

I am going more toward wireless instrumentation. I also see using handheld devices more instead of repeaters that are hard wired. The Bluetooth multiplexer looks very nice. TackTick does this with all their wireless instruments but they don't use Bluetooth as it uses to much power. It's about the same price though. Their NMEA unit is hard wired as are the through hull transducers. Everything integrates itself automatically via wireless LAN and the displays and wind transducer are solar powered. The LAN was set up to conserve power. The wind instrument can run basically forever with no outside power. They all integrate the available data to display some complex things like true wind speed and true direction. Getting rid of the wires is so much nicer. The money you save on installation right now makes up for the increased price and the portability is a bonus.
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Old 13-09-2009, 10:35   #17
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"The new SiRF star III chipset "
I thought that was already about 5 years old, and a generation IV chipset with much lower power consumption, and still slightly higher sensitivity, had been out for over a year now?
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Old 13-09-2009, 13:56   #18
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No products, the III products are only about 3 months old. The new IV is lower powered but what they are doing is using predictive logic on the ephemerids to cut lock time. In a smart phone driving downtown locks are very difficult. Guess who can buy any phone they want? Inside a car is the same problem going in and out of shadows. III shuts down to save power where IV does not totally shut down but goes into a suspend mode so it can jump out faster. That is the "new lower power feature". On the water you couldn't lose lock unless the US Navy blasts you with an EM pulse (been there it lasted about 1/2 day and whacked the wind instrument too).

The whole point of IV really has little to do with anything you might need on the water, but of course smart phones now could be a great hand held nav tool. III already does a shutdown if you lose blue tooth lock for 10 seconds. If you shut down the device you don't need to worry you forgot the GPS receiver because it does so already. It just has no way to go back on on it's own. That is what they want for cell phones.

The IV is pretty darn small. You could line up 6 chips across a US dime. and probably fit almost 2 dozen on the surface of a dime. They expect to sell them for cameras and cell phones and they could be pretty much standard in a couple years built into anything. Lowjack for your fridge.
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Old 13-09-2009, 15:30   #19
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Like what makes you think Ray is NMEA ???

I believe you need the SeaTalk-Nmea box (from Ray).

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Old 13-09-2009, 16:25   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"The new SiRF star III chipset "
I thought that was already about 5 years old, and a generation IV chipset with much lower power consumption, and still slightly higher sensitivity, had been out for over a year now?
Hellosailer is 100% correct as far as Sirf Star III goes. It was released at the start of 2004 - SiRFstarIII Runs Hard and Fast on GPS Signals to Make Life Easy for LBS Users; Speed and Sensitivity Breakthroughs Highlight Third-Generation GPS Architecture. - Free Online Library. My Garmin GPSMap76CSx has a Sirf Star III chipset, and it came out at the beginning of 2006 (and was hardly the first - various other (non-Garmin) units were released in 2004 and 2005). Definitely been around a few years...
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Old 13-09-2009, 16:30   #21
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Like what makes you think Ray is NMEA ???

I believe you need the SeaTalk-Nmea box (from Ray).
Which bit are you replying about? You may or may not need one, many Raymarine devices support NMEA0183 out of the box. Including the ST-series instruments (though output only), which was the original topic of this thread... Unfortunately it has drifted in several different directions.
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Old 14-09-2009, 06:39   #22
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As per Beausoleil expl - ST60 no NMEA, box required. Newer ST60+ NMEA.

From the box as per earlier posts. Some problems may be expected as the Ray interface box is problematic for the PC when it is not the only talker on the system (like if you have your Ray instruments and say an AIS box from another company). Getting things in via different COMs is not all that great either given Windows problems with re-establishimg COM/ USB things on re-start or re-connecting.

It is all very simple to cable but then sometimes gives trouble to get it all work.
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Old 14-09-2009, 09:08   #23
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As per Beausoleil expl - ST60 no NMEA, box required. Newer ST60+ NMEA.
*sigh* Again, ST60 does have NMEA output on some instruments. Why do people continue to insist it does not? Here, go to page 8 of this ST60 (NOT ST60+) manual: http://www.raymarine.com/SubmittedFi...81039_4www.pdf
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Old 14-09-2009, 10:19   #24
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for 9 years I had my PC (with build-in RS232) directly connected to my Raymarine (then Autohelm) Autopilot, to the NMEA_in and NMEA_out connectors and never had a problem. No mux, no special Raymarine hardware, PC Navprogram directly controling the autopilot. Today I use openCPN, freeware and displays ENC (free for US) and CM93/2 and BSB raster charts.

Read this site with tons of information and further links how to do it

Peter Bennett's GPS and NMEA Site
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Old 14-09-2009, 11:51   #25
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for 9 years I had my PC (with build-in RS232) directly connected to my Raymarine (then Autohelm) Autopilot, to the NMEA_in and NMEA_out connectors and never had a problem. No mux, no special Raymarine hardware, PC Navprogram directly controling the autopilot. Today I use openCPN, freeware and displays ENC (free for US) and CM93/2 and BSB raster charts.

Read this site with tons of information and further links how to do it

Peter Bennett's GPS and NMEA Site
Same here. Then, one day, I decided I wanted speed, depth, wind speed & direction data on the laptop (which lives in the nav station). The additional data is nice when making my hourly log entries. I have ST50 instruments which do not have NMEA out so I bought the E85001 NMEA interface and all was good. Not life & death, but nice.

Then, along comes AIS, and I decide I want AIS on the laptop (at the Nav station) and on the chartplotter at the helm. AIS data runs a 38400 baud while NMEA 018x runs at 4800. The Brookhouse mux provided the data speed conversion functionality. The Brookhouse mux also replaced the E85001. While I was at it, the mux also made it possible to supply NMEA position data to the DSC capable VHF, and to the SCS Pactor modem for automatic position reports whe using the SSB on Winlink or Sailmail.

I agree, for basic position data and direct computer control of the autopilot nothing additional is needed. But if you want more data displayed on the laptop and elsewhere, then your system has to grow. That is my story & I am sticking to it! And don't even ask what it was like trying to get a laptop, a Standard Horizon chartplotter, a Garmin chartplotter, a ST7000 autopilot, and ST50 instruments all to play nice with each other. Plug & Play? I think not.
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Old 14-09-2009, 12:09   #26
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Raymarine auto pilot course computers have had NMEA IN for years. My 1991 ST7000 does.
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Old 14-09-2009, 12:32   #27
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Correct, the ST7000 with 300 Course computer has NMEA in and out.
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Old 14-09-2009, 12:58   #28
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Scotte is correct. The instruments I used - ST60 - were probably some earlier make. (ST depth and ST60 speed - but not the multi - just two separate units).

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Old 14-09-2009, 18:21   #29
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AIS:
AIS (receiver only) is NMEA out only @ higher speed. NMEA - out signals can be split, in my case, for redundancy my E120 and my PC are connected.
Now what to do with all those NMEA signals in the PC?

I am NOT opposing multiplexers like Brookhouse and others, I am technician, this is not religion for me, but sometimes it can be done without. A good hardware multiplexer has the advantage of electrically separating your PC from your navigation electronics through optocopplers, if you spend the money, go for a good one, your SSB will like it too!

AIS, DSC, GPS-mouse and NMEA coming in the PC and (historically grown) Raytech RNS, FUGAWI, Navpack, openCPN and some other programs want all this data too, same time, I bought Franson GPSGate, a software multiplexer. Worth the money (40$), muxes several inputs to as many virtual or real COMports as you like, including your browser, Google Earth, Visual Passage Planer etc.
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Old 14-09-2009, 18:22   #30
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Very interesting.
I consider my self pretty computer savy, having built many systems, and do my own network management, built web pages, handled a pretty nice web site, etc, but most of what I have read is a bit above me for now. Not sure what half the stuff your talking about is.. but I guess its like anything else, reading it is one thing, doing it, another.
I thank all that have contributed to this discussion, and if someone has a better, newer, greater idea, please post it as well.
Bob
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