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Old 01-03-2012, 13:15   #76
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Re: Interfacing NMEA Data to Computer

Wow, last time I looked the magic box was over $500, IIRC. This is way more affordable and certainly will make life easier for you, it wasn't clear that you already had that. $160 MSRP, wow...Raymarine gets rational about something. Who'd a thunk.<G>

Yes, if your laptop has bluetooth built in, it can use a bt keyboard and mouse, and that will allow you to get rid of two USB cables. Of course a bt mouse will still need POWER, so either you get one that can recharge on a USB cable, or one that uses AAA batteries, or pick some other choice. For 425 or less you should be able to get a bt mouse from a name brand, that uses a usb cable to recharge itself. Probably the simplest way on a boat, and if the batteries go dead just use it on a USB hub.

Must be someone making solar-powered mice by now, right? <VBG>
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:30   #77
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Re: Interfacing NMEA Data to Computer

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OK, the B-100 AIS you have has (2) NMEA 0183 ports, (1) NMEA 2000 port, and (1) USB port (which is a HS NMEA 0183 port). But let's just talk about the (2) NMEA 0183 ports. One of them is 4800 baud and the other is 38400. Each one has a tx and rx. You stated the 4800 tx was connected to the 'NMEA in' of the ST-NMEA box (providing GPS data to the RM gear). Connect the 4800 rx to the 'NMEA out' of the ST-NMEA box. Per the manual on the B-100, it will multiplex each 0183 rx to the other 0183 tx, this takes care of the multiple talker problem. So the instrument data coming from the ST-NMEA into the B-100 on the 4800 port will be multiplexed with the GPS and AIS data on the 38400 tx port. Connect that one to your laptop via a USB serial adapter @ 38400.

The manual doesn't mention whether that multiplexing feature works on the USB port or not, but it might be worth a try, it may save you the cost of a USB serial adapter. BTW, be sure to configure (with proAIS) the B-100 to send full GPS data out, I think it defaults to something less than normal GPS output.

From page 19 of the B-100 manual:

Thanks! So it sounds like I might not need to bother with the Serial to USB converter if the AIS unit is multiplexing on its own. Now that you mentioned it I did connect the RX wires to the NMEA out on my seatalk to NMEA converter when I hooked up the TX wires to the NMEA in. So I guess Im back to just needing to get my rigs back up so I can connect AIS antenna and get this system going.

Oh and the guys over on the Open CPN thread are saying there is something called the dashboard plug in that will show my instrument data in open CPN. Now if I can just get this pesky day job out of the picture...
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:12   #78
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So partial success. I got the ais working and via the USB connection am getting gps and ais data on my laptop. I am not getting anywhere with the seatalk to nmea converter though. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with the converter. When powered up there is a green light that says seatalk. There is another led that says nmea but it is not lit. I have the ais transponders nmea tx wires connected to the nmea in on the converter and the rx wires from the ais connected to the nmea out on the converter. Are there voltage readings I should be seeing if the nmea data is being sent to the converter?
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:39   #79
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Re: Interfacing NMEA Data to Computer

"I have the ais transponders nmea tx wires connected to the nmea in on the converter"
In theory that is right, but in practice whenever an rx/tx pair isn't working, the best thing to do is reverse the wires and see if that fixes it. Apparently there are A LOT of things out there labelled "TX" meaning "Connect your TX wire here, this is my RX port" when they all should be labelled "this is MY TX OUTPUT" and vice versa.

Hiring a copywriter, an illustrator, a translator, a proofreader, an engineer...Why hire five skilled pople to write a manual when your cousin can knock it off in the basement after school? (sigh)

Unless whatever you have connected to the NMEA input, isn't actually putting out NMEA data strings, or is putting out the wrong version. I've seen a GPS happily chattering away in something like version x.3 and being ignored, while setting it to version x.0 or x.1 all of a sudden makes things happy. Doublechecking all the menu options sometimes is all it takes. But first take some Bonine or Marezine, they have sedative value.<G>
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:40   #80
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No luck switching the rx and tx wires. Im suspecting the nmea seatalk converter as I'm able output gps info to the laptop just fine from the ais. There are what look like 3 LEDs on the converter and so far the only one lighting up is the seatalk one. I see 3.25 volts on the nmea tx wires although the polarity appears backwards. I don't see any voltage on the rx wires again making me think the converter is shot. I believe it did work at one point because before I got rid of the old gps it was supplying gps data to seatalk devices. Wondering how to test converter or if that's what is just did with the meter...
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Old 06-03-2012, 20:52   #81
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Re: Interfacing NMEA Data to Computer

I don't know what Seatalk converter you have, but the one I had back in 2006 would not have been able to convert the typical 38400 bit/s AIS NMEA data. It was designed for a 4800 bit/s NMEA interface (and may not have even known how to translate AIS).
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:46   #82
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Re: Interfacing NMEA Data to Computer

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I don't know what Seatalk converter you have, but the one I had back in 2006 would not have been able to convert the typical 38400 bit/s AIS NMEA data. It was designed for a 4800 bit/s NMEA interface (and may not have even known how to translate AIS).

My AIS unit that is providing the NMEA data is supposedly doing so at 4800 baud rate. Im going to try posting this issue as a new thread since its not really related to getting NMEA data on a computer.
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