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Old 10-06-2014, 12:48   #1
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AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

I have just bought a new AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and am trying to hook it up to my PC. MY PC uses Open CPN.

I installed everything according to the instructions that came with the instrument. When I connect the AIS receiver to my computer and my VHF antenna, the AIS power light comes on but I don't receive any data on Open CPN. (nothing comes up on the screen).

What could be the problem?
Do I need to install a program to interface between the AIS receiver and Open CPN? Do I need to install a driver?

Manny
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Old 10-06-2014, 14:35   #2
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

Manny,

how is the receiver connected?
what does the ICOM documentation say?
at OpenCPN, how did you set-up the incoming port?
.. right COM port, 38400bd?
(perhaps a look at the manual.. )

and we would like to hear which OS, which version of OpenCPN in order to be able to suggest how to search for solutions.

bcn
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Old 17-06-2014, 03:45   #3
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

is it possible there are no ships transmitting in the area? Maybe your antenna is damaged? Without using opencpn, you can run a program called minicom or hyperterminal (windows) and should see ais data (if the baud rate and serial port settings are correct) If you connect an LED or volt meter to the rx and gnd pins from the ais receiver it should flash a bit.
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Old 17-06-2014, 05:40   #4
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

Thank you both for your replies. I have been away from the computer for awhile so didn't respond sooner.

bcn:
Everything is set up by the book:
Serial to USB converter for data to PC
Connected to VHF antenna with proper VHF plug
Dedicated VHF antenna (no splitter)

Lots of ships in range in our area constantly so they should be showing up.

Open CPN 2.5.0
Donít see anything in the manual that addresses AIS setup with Open CPN or troubleshooting.
I will look at how the incoming port is set up.

boat_alexandra:
I am on the Red Sea with many ships around us and other sailors can pick them up.
The antenna is working fine.
I will try your other suggestions.

I also tried running it on C-Map and had the same problem....

Manny
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Old 17-06-2014, 06:15   #5
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

Manny,

first you might upgrade to OpenCPN 3.2.2

A lot of the connection stuff has changed and the manual refers to 3.2.2

There is no special set-up for AIS needed: it's a NMEA stream like the one from a GPS or an Autopilot, with the specialty that it runs at 38400 bd instead of just 4800 in order to be able to transmit the complete traffic.

Please create the COM port at Connections to receive the corresponding data from your AIS (--> manual Data Connections) and post perhaps a screenshot of the relevant part of the settings.

You are under Windows? Please check if the COM port you want to use does appear in the device manager.
Using an USB-serial adapter the COM port number may change depending where it gets plugged-in.
In the connection settings of OpenCPN you will find a drop-down list with all COM ports that are visible as well.

And come back with your findings please.

bcn
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Old 17-06-2014, 11:32   #6
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

bcn
Thanks for that. I need to sit with another sailor who is helping me out on this. So it could take a few days, but I will get back to and I'll try to get a screen shot too.
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Old 17-06-2014, 11:44   #7
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

Manny,

standing by...

If you and your supporter(s) can check if the output of the receiver really is getting into the PC ( --> suggestions from boat_alexandra) that would close another possible "hole" where data might disappear.
The ICOM docs about the unit are quite clear. You should use the PC-out clamp and not the Data-out connectors - even if almost all modern serial ports will accept the second one as well. Just in case...

Good luck

bcn
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Old 17-06-2014, 12:44   #8
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Re: AIS Receiver - MXA-5000 and Open CPN

bcn,
Thanks. I've made notes of all your feedback.
I appreciate the help.
Manny
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