Running Ubuntu on the XO makes it quite responsive. Not as good as running the same configuration on my PC but very adequate. Lets say its not frustrating to use. But the XO's other qualities like low power consumption
make it ideal for his application.
To elborate a bit on the simultor sending messages to the radar: I really like the idea of having AIS for collision
avoidance. As I said in previous postings, it would have really come in handy when we were crossing the gulfstream to Cuba
in the middle of the night when we had a lot of traffic around us. Having radar was nice but trying to determine if they were a threat to us took a lot work. AIS would have really helped in this situation.
I have a Furuno 1722C radar/chartplotter but it doesn't support AIS. To get a new radar with AIS support would cost around $6000. But while reading the Furuno radar documentation
I noticed it supports ARPA (see: Automatic Radar Plotting Aid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
) which gives you a lot of information like AIS such as CPA/TCPA. To get ARPA you need to feed target tracking messages (TTM) to the radar set . These messages contain the range and bearing (also speed and course of each target). All this information is in AIS messages.
So I when wrote my simultor program to test the navigation
programs, I realized if I allowed it run in a non-simulation mode to actually receive AIS and GPS messages, I could extract the necessary information from the AIS messages and create TTM messages that I could send to the Furuno radar at the helm
. This gives me much of the same information as AIS. For instance as you can see from radar display the small circle is the target and the vector line shows it direction and speed. If I put the radar cursor on it it will tell me the course and speed and also the CPA/TCPA. It doesn't give me the MMSI or name of the ship but a short hop down to the Nav station to look at SeaClear would tell me that information.
I'm still having some issues with this feature. If I feed many TTM messages to the radar it doesn't display all of them. I have not been able to figure out why yet. Work in progress...