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Old 14-09-2015, 07:07   #16
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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These mobile devices are easy waterproof-able and daylight readable.
Well... Not really. Compare the readability of the screen of an iphone in full, direct sunlight with a commercial chartplotter and the difference is HUGE!
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Old 14-09-2015, 07:17   #17
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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Well... Not really. Compare the readability of the screen of an iphone in full, direct sunlight with a commercial chartplotter and the difference is HUGE!
Fully agree, and that's reason that if we would like to take generic SBCs like Raspberry PI, UDOO, etc. for an alternative navigation device, a good sunlight readable display is a deal breaker.

With quite extensive and actual market knowledge of the sunligh readable displays, there is a good explanation for the price level of commercial chartplotters. These type of displays are generally quite expensive, however prices are decreasing right now.

That is one of the reasons I took the challenge to develop my MIDC, because there is a good price point right now for developing a universal navigation instrument with some good specs.
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Old 14-09-2015, 07:40   #18
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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Well... Not really. Compare the readability of the screen of an iphone in full, direct sunlight with a commercial chartplotter and the difference is HUGE!
Agree. I have tried every iDevice, phone, pad and laptop I can find in daylight and so far the only thing I could easily see direct sunlight was the black and white Kindle which, as far as I know, will not work with anything but displaying Kindle books.

The display for me is also the deal breaker. Sure they exist but even non waterproof, the daylight readable screens I've found are significantly more expensive than a full chart plotter. Once you add the computer to run the system there is even a greater disparity in the costs.


There are Panasonic Toughbooks that have daylight usable screens but they are also pretty costly.
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Old 15-09-2015, 05:07   #19
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Re: OpenPlotter project

Ok, so it seems that we have an agreement here
There are only a few devices readable in full direct sunlight. That always involves high prices and more power. There are a lot of devices daylight usable but not in full direct sunlight (my Panasonic Toughbook is one of them). Here we can find really low-cost-power devices.

From the beginning of OpenPlotter Project we set 3 basic principles: open-source, low-cost and low-power; and a golden rule: always satisfy 2 of them. So we are focussed on indoor shock-water-humidity-resistant displays and sending data to outdoor usable daylight devices. Of course waiting for some readable in full direct sunlight device to fit our requirements and the results of tests done with cheap electronic ink screens. Do not forget that the target of this project are small and medium boats, DIY boats and makers in general.

Despite living and sailing in the Mediterranean under a blinding sun, personally I am willing to pay that price if I have a plotter, a multiplexer, a server, an AIS receiver, a computer, a forecast source... all-in-one low-cost, low-power and open-source with a community behind with great plans
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Old 15-09-2015, 05:29   #20
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Re: OpenPlotter project

Sailoog

Is there anyway of using the composite video input on some plotters to display third party data?

I use OpenCpn on a laptop below decks, the issue is getting the data on deck.




Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 15-09-2015, 05:36   #21
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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I am just playing around with the Freetronics Pileven board on my RPi, and think this would be a useful addition to the concept.

As well as allowing for analog inputs (I'm working on a tank level monitor) this board can also power the RPi through a regulated 2.1mm 12v input socket. It seems that this board is an easy way to provide reliable power and also be able to monitor boat systems and security.

Chris
No doubt ARM+arduino are a powerful team. For the time being we have achieved goals only with GPIO connectors but maybe in the future we will need some extra. What sensor are you using?
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Old 15-09-2015, 06:51   #22
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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No doubt ARM+arduino are a powerful team. For the time being we have achieved goals only with GPIO connectors but maybe in the future we will need some extra. What sensor are you using?
I'm working on a couple of projects with Arduino.

The tank monitor comes from the Practical Arduino book using differential pressure sensors. I have not been able to get the same sensors as that plan called for, but found a suitable replacement. I have the circuits constructed but not tested yet (the boat is still being built). I am also experimenting with IR motion sensors with the intention on coupling those with a camera to create a security system. Other plans include remote monitoring of DC electricity and boat location using a GSM connection to send SMS messages.

Arduino has the benefit of analog inputs for these types of systems that is lacking on RPi. Combining them into one device seems to be the best of both worlds - analog inputs piggy bagged onto a more powerful ARM machine.
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:14   #23
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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Fully agree, and that's reason that if we would like to take generic SBCs like Raspberry PI, UDOO, etc. for an alternative navigation device, a good sunlight readable display is a deal breaker.

With quite extensive and actual market knowledge of the sunligh readable displays, there is a good explanation for the price level of commercial chartplotters. These type of displays are generally quite expensive, however prices are decreasing right now.

That is one of the reasons I took the challenge to develop my MIDC, because there is a good price point right now for developing a universal navigation instrument with some good specs.
So what display are you considering for your open design ?

Thanks,
JM.
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Old 15-09-2015, 07:53   #24
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Re: OpenPlotter project

CH101ILFL-CT4 - Chefree Technology Inc. - Display TFT, 10,1" 1024x600 850cd/m2 PCAP USB BB - TFT LCD Display - Texim Europe - CH101ILFL-CT4-CHEF is just one of the possible ones.

On https://www.hackster.io/mvandervoort...lay-controller I regularly publish my progress. There is a lot of background information there what I would like to share now. The ultimate sunlight readable display hasn't been chosen right now. I expect to post detailed information at the end of October.

Manfred
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Old 16-09-2015, 01:11   #25
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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Sailoog

Is there anyway of using the composite video input on some plotters to display third party data?

I use OpenCpn on a laptop below decks, the issue is getting the data on deck.




Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
I do not know. Is it really a video input or a RCA/jack connector? Is it labelled "video input"?

Usually plotters have NMEA 0183/2000/seatalk input/output to get external data but I am afraid they are not able to get external video/audio data.
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Old 16-09-2015, 01:52   #26
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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I'm working on a couple of projects with Arduino.

The tank monitor comes from the Practical Arduino book using differential pressure sensors. I have not been able to get the same sensors as that plan called for, but found a suitable replacement. I have the circuits constructed but not tested yet (the boat is still being built). I am also experimenting with IR motion sensors with the intention on coupling those with a camera to create a security system. Other plans include remote monitoring of DC electricity and boat location using a GSM connection to send SMS messages.

Arduino has the benefit of analog inputs for these types of systems that is lacking on RPi. Combining them into one device seems to be the best of both worlds - analog inputs piggy bagged onto a more powerful ARM machine.
You are the man building the boat and electronics

Most of your experiments are in the OpenPlotter TODO list but in order to keep it compact, simple and cheap we will try to do it without analog sensors. When it is necessary we will start a new distribution based on another board with analog inputs like Beaglebone Black or the new UDOO. Actually this was the original plan, creating Raspberry and Beaglebone distributions with OpenPlotter scripts implemented (OpenPlotter RPI, OpenPlotter BBB) but we are a small team with small resources, step by step...

Let us know about your progress please!
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Old 16-09-2015, 03:34   #27
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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Do not forget that the target of this project are small and medium boats, DIY boats and makers in general.
My experience is that there are a great many people, particularly in northern europe and scandinavia, whose motivation for DIY is not cost saving but interest, flexibility and politics (i.e. open source). As it seems that you have the opportunity to acquire some funding through hardware sales, then finding/testing and making available a high-value (but low power :-) robust waterproof display might be a good revenue source while providing users with hardware which they can be assured is fit for purpose. Obviously has risk (not everyone who says they want one will buy one, needs time and possibly outlay (if you can't acquire test samples)) but I suspect that this may be viable to the benefit of all
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Old 16-09-2015, 05:47   #28
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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My experience is that there are a great many people, particularly in northern europe and scandinavia, whose motivation for DIY is not cost saving but interest, flexibility and politics (i.e. open source). As it seems that you have the opportunity to acquire some funding through hardware sales, then finding/testing and making available a high-value (but low power :-) robust waterproof display might be a good revenue source while providing users with hardware which they can be assured is fit for purpose. Obviously has risk (not everyone who says they want one will buy one, needs time and possibly outlay (if you can't acquire test samples)) but I suspect that this may be viable to the benefit of all
Yes you are right but this is southern Europe. We share motivations with northern but we are a little more concerned about costs . Our earnings from hardware sales and accessories are small and it allows us just financing a sustainable development. Since this have to be an open-source project this should result in synergies with people everywhere. Obviously we are waiting for mvandervoort's project and others to progress.

Our perfect scenario could be a cheap hdmi display connected to OpenPlotter in protected enclosures mounted on boat cabin and sending data to a sunlight readable system on cockpit by wifi. That outdoors system should have just touchscreen display+ARM board+Wifi to minimize connections and cost. Two relatively cheap redundant systems.

Risk can be minimized with a good crowdfunding campaign.
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Old 16-09-2015, 08:47   #29
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Re: OpenPlotter project

There is a thread where some discussion is going on on the practical things of a SBC using on board with sunlight readable screens and how to construct them. The MIDC is aiming to be the flexible and powerful hardware platform for initatives like Open Plotter, SignalK, OpenCPN, Open Sailing Processor et al. There are some generic challenges which all these projects have in common: sunlight readable display, Wifi AP, low power, sensor/transducer connection agnostic and being affordable.

My MIDC can be one of the hardware platforms which will arise sooner or later. They are all of us choices for boating electronics and digital navigation, just like Open Plotter will do. So a good cooperation between us could be of the benefit for the user. I'm open for it.
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:36   #30
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Re: OpenPlotter project

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There is a thread where some discussion is going on on the practical things of a SBC using on board with sunlight readable screens and how to construct them. The MIDC is aiming to be the flexible and powerful hardware platform for initatives like Open Plotter, SignalK, OpenCPN, Open Sailing Processor et al. There are some generic challenges which all these projects have in common: sunlight readable display, Wifi AP, low power, sensor/transducer connection agnostic and being affordable.

My MIDC can be one of the hardware platforms which will arise sooner or later. They are all of us choices for boating electronics and digital navigation, just like Open Plotter will do. So a good cooperation between us could be of the benefit for the user. I'm open for it.
Thanks mvandervoort. OpenPlotter is already working and sailing with tested hardware and software following the development plan but the only aspect that we have not resolved yet is the sunlight readable display so we are looking forward to your progress in this field on that thread and your page.
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