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Old 02-07-2017, 08:29   #1
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NMEA data over WiFi

I've been thinking about this for a while, and it seems like this area is heating up (there at least 2 KickStarter campaigns for NMEA WiFi gateways currently underway). Seems crazy to have all the on board data and an app that can display it and not connect the two by WiFi. But does anyone have any first hand experience with any of the available options? I can just imagine tearing my hair out when my data connection goes down just as something frantic is happening (some combination of drawbridge, current, gale, and an MOB). Any and all advice or experiences much appreciated.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:07   #2
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NMEA data over WiFi

I would argue that it is not heating up, but pretty well adopted by now.

I can offer first hand experience on two solutions.
1) turning your laptop that is connected to nmea directly into a wifi hotspot
2) I have vesper xb8000

The laptop solution worked, but not nearly as well as the vesper. A caveat to that is that the last time I tried the laptop was 5 years ago, and software available for that is probably far easier to configure now.

The Vesper, and I imagine many other plug and play devices, are just that. As soon as you work out the hardwire connections to the instruments you are in business.

I use inavx on iPad, and iPhone. The most recent release from couple of weeks ago does. Much better job of reconnecting when the device falls asleep. I get everything on the nmea network, along with the AIS data from the Vesper. It is perfect.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:26   #3
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

Quote:
Originally Posted by FChichester View Post
I've been thinking about this for a while, and it seems like this area is heating up (there at least 2 KickStarter campaigns for NMEA WiFi gateways currently underway). Seems crazy to have all the on board data and an app that can display it and not connect the two by WiFi. But does anyone have any first hand experience with any of the available options?
Been using raspberry Pi/Openplotter onboard for a while now, works a treat. All nmea plus much more over wifi.
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For DIY then you could make something for next to nothing using a ESP8266, must give that a go soon..
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:43   #4
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

I've been beta testing one of the devices from those KickStarter campaigns (this one), and it does work as advertised. As others have mentioned, this is pretty settled technology, and newer clients are better at auto-connecting to the WiFi.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:31   #5
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

I have vesper xb8000. Surely one of the best but as technician not really satisfied as it translates the incoming NMEA2000 bus to NMEA0183 but the conversion covers only basics, gps, log, wind, temp is no problem, I think AP will work too but I am not sure if the engine CAN is converted.

And this is the problem with all these units, they are merchandised and all tell you what super things they do but when it comes to the details... you gotta find out that it won't work.

Greez to the Vespermarine guys, the certainly did a good job but I expect a good underlaying hardware and ongoing software upgrades... Need not be free of charge but can be in the range of 10-50 USD for a main upgrade or a 10-20 USD annual membership or such..
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:35   #6
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

I've been using the Shipmodul WiFI mux for a few years without many problems. I'd say the biggest issue with the current crop of devices is that every manufacturer assumes that their box will be the one and only hub of the WiFi network, so your device(s) can't do anything else at the same time. Like receive mail or music. Or look at other data streams, such as the WiFi radar systems.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:42   #7
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

I don't know what other electronics you have, but I get NMEA over WiFi from two independent sources: [but only use one at a time- they broadcast the same data...]

1- Vesper Watchmate Vision AIS with WiFi has a great NMEA gateway built-in [As does their XB8000 as previously mentioned.]

Per the vendor:
Quote:
Translates NMEA 2000 navigation data and routes it over WiFi, USB or NMEA 0183
2- B&G Zeus2 broadcasts NMEA over the GoFree WiFi1 device. [I suspect the WiFi built-in to the next gen Zeus3 MFDs also do this, but have no first hand experience.]

FYI in case this is useful.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:24   #8
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

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Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
I've been using the Shipmodul WiFI mux for a few years without many problems. I'd say the biggest issue with the current crop of devices is that every manufacturer assumes that their box will be the one and only hub of the WiFi network, so your device(s) can't do anything else at the same time. Like receive mail or music. Or look at other data streams, such as the WiFi radar systems.
That is one thing I like about the FloatHub, it can attach to upstream WiFi (marina, [portable] hotspot, onboard, etc.) as a regular device (does not have to be an access point). And then you can get the NMEA data while still talking to the outside world. But it does _only_ NNMEA-0183 (regular and high speed), no NMEA 2000 at all (I gather they are working on that).
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:40   #9
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

Personally, I find too many of these gateway projects reliance on NMEA 0183 vs NMEA 2000 for messaging to be a step backward. I personally am using Digital Yacht's Signal K enabled gateway product which provides my NMEA 2000 data over wireless in a consumable JSON format which makes it easy to integrate into other on-board apps I am writing. Combined with their access point, I have a LAN, WAN access and the ability to integrate other devices (e.g. a local web server hosting my apps).

I've seen at least a half-dozen small companies at the big boat shows trying to bring IoT type of monitoring to the boating community, but none have seemed to really make a dent in the marketplace. It seems that the market is actually quite small - owners of lower priced boats aren't willing to spend the boat bucks necessary to bring these systems on board while the big boys will spend on systems provided by the established manufacturers (e.g. Navionics GoFree Vessel products, BEP/Mastervolt cZone etc). Add to the mix that none of these types of system are truly plug-and-play, you limit your market to owners with some technical inclination/desire to tinker and a boat that is expensive enough to justify the cost of the sensor systems. Without significant buy-in you can quickly find yourself with a (near) one-off piece of technology on board.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:48   #10
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

Hello,

I have designed one multiplexer based on the ESP8266 system. One of the inputs receives Nmea183 instrument data from one of the output ports of my CW90 Raymarine chartplotter. The second input of the multiplexer receives AIS data at 38400 baud. I use an Android app named SeaWi to see the instrument data and the AIS targets on my smartphone.

NMEA183 TO WIFI MULTIPLEXER

Regards Vladis

PS: If the moderators of this forum find this post inappropriate, please just deleted it and accept my apologies.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:10   #11
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

SV Delos just had a recent refit of their electronics. Very informative video ending with Brian showing all data displayed on a tablet via Wi-Fi.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:12   #12
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

I plugged our nmea183 data into a plain s/h wifi router. I have used an old adsl router that was a givaway from an adsl provider.

I used the following components:

1. serial to USB cables (one per each talker), (about 10 USD each)
2. a s/h wifi router with USB socket, (1.5 to 4.0 USD)

The router makes the data wireless and doubles up as a multiplexer.

It uses about .25A at 12V.

You do not need any dedicated devices for that. But they are available if you prefer shopping to building. Some have nice Apps bundled (e.g. Vesper AIS blue box).

I use various Apps to read the data. Some are better than others. OpenCPN is very good for a plotter device. NKE App is great for a display device.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 03-07-2017, 14:30   #13
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Lightbulb Re: NMEA data over WiFi

I use a 'Yakker' nmea0183 to Wifi unit. Inexpensive, small, simple, reliable. Available direct from the inventor at Yakker.
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Old 03-07-2017, 18:52   #14
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

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Originally Posted by tatomaceda View Post
SV Delos just had a recent refit of their electronics. Very informative video ending with Brian showing all data displayed on a tablet via Wi-Fi.
Yup, including radar overlay and he did it with a $49.00 USB WiFi hub of some kind. It's all above my head..

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Old 03-10-2017, 13:42   #15
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Re: NMEA data over WiFi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladis View Post
Hello,

I have designed one multiplexer based on the ESP8266 system. One of the inputs receives Nmea183 instrument data from one of the output ports of my CW90 Raymarine chartplotter. The second input of the multiplexer receives AIS data at 38400 baud. I use an Android app named SeaWi to see the instrument data and the AIS targets on my smartphone.

NMEA183 TO WIFI MULTIPLEXER

Regards Vladis

PS: If the moderators of this forum find this post inappropriate, please just deleted it and accept my apologies.
I have made extensive test with new firmware. First at my home with electronic used on my sailboat, and then also at sea.
My setup is:
- NMEA2WIFI (nmea to wifi converter)
- Daisy AIS (AIS receiver, connected via RS-232 TTL built-in interface to NMEA2WIFI on P2)
- Humminbird Matrix 17 with GPS (Fishfinder with serial GPS receiver, connected via RS-232 interfaceto NMEA2WIFI on P1)
- Raymarine ST1000+ autopilot (NMEA autopilot, connected via RS-232 interface to NMEA2WIFI on P3)
- OpenCPN on android smartphone
I have left home test running couple of times. The longest test takes 2 complete days. And I didn't found any issue. The system was stable and reliable all the time.
I have also run a test on my sailboat. Duration of this test was 2 hours without any problem.
With NMEA2WIFI I have advantages:
- Now I have redundancy. If my GPS connected to Fishfinder stop working, I can use GPS on my smartphone.
- If navigation on my Fishfinder stop working, I can drive autopilot from Open CPN on android smartphone.
- If the weather is bad, I have all essential data on my smartphone too.
- I can use andhor alarm and AIS radar on smartphone - that is not supported on my Humminbird.
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