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Old 31-05-2012, 14:13   #1
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AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

I am wondering if I can connect my Raymarine AIS250 to my computer to use with OpenCPN. The AIS250 is currently connected to my chart plotter and VHF and I would like to leave those connections.

There is an integrated NMEA multiplexer in the unit with 2 NMEA ports an 34.8 kbaud IN/OUT and an 4.8 kbaud IN/OUT. Can I connect these to a serial cable and to USB to get the AIS data into OpenCPN? If so how do I do the connections.

Thanks!
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Old 31-05-2012, 14:32   #2
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

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Originally Posted by RickyEM View Post
I am wondering if I can connect my Raymarine AIS250 to my computer to use with OpenCPN. The AIS250 is currently connected to my chart plotter and VHF and I would like to leave those connections.

There is an integrated NMEA multiplexer in the unit with 2 NMEA ports an 34.8 kbaud IN/OUT and an 4.8 kbaud IN/OUT. Can I connect these to a serial cable and to USB to get the AIS data into OpenCPN? If so how do I do the connections.

Thanks!
You need two connections from the radio to the PC:

One 34.8k output from the AIS250 for the AIS data and one 4.8k output for the usual NMEA datastream. Both are RS232 type serial datastreams, if you want to use USB connections on your PC you need to get serial to USB converters.

Configure the 4.8 port on the "GPS" tab of the settings window, and the 34.8 port on the AIS tab.

To be able to upload routes and waypoints from OpenCPN you should also connect the 4.8 OUT port from the PC to the NMEA in of your system. But how to do that depends on if and how Raymarine supports that, which I don't know.

/j
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Old 31-05-2012, 15:14   #3
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

RickyEM,
What JesperWe posted is correct, however if all you want is to send AIS, GPS and other NMEA data to OpenCPN then you just need to connect the Receive Data and Signal Ground wires of a serial cable (Pinouts Here) to the 38.4 KB + and - terminals, respectively on the AIS250. You can leave the existing cable to your chart plotter on these same terminals. The AIS250 can talk to more than one listener (given reasonable cable lengths), but it can receive from only one talker.

If you send NMEA data from the chart plotter to the AIS250, then you will need to leave 38.4 KB input port on the AIS250 alone. That means you will not be able to upload data from OpenCPN to any of the NMEA devices connected to the AIS250.

If you do not have a serial COM port on your computer, then, as JesperWe stated, you will need a COM to USB adapter.

Given that you only want to send data to OpenCPN, you can configure the COM port at 38.4 KB and configure it in OpenCPN as AIS with GPS on a single port.

John
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Old 31-05-2012, 17:31   #4
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

Many thanks! Yes I believe I just want to send data to openCPN. I will be on my boat in 2 weeks and will examine the ports on the AIS250 then and see if I have any more questions. Thanks again.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:46   #5
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

Had a Raymarine tech on board and he ran the cable from the AIS unit. Boat was in a location with no boats sending out signal so could not verify operation with him on board. I gave him the pin outs from jstevens but the tech acted like he knew what to do. Now that I am cruising I am sure AIS in opencpn is not working, no targets in opencpn when the chartplotter (a C120) has bunches of them.

Now that he is long gone what should I do to troubleshoot?

I have the following two com ports which show working in windows 7 (64bit)

Com3 Intel Active management tech - SOL set at 38400 baud
Com 6 SeaLINK + 232 USB to RS-232 converter set at 38400 baud

There is also a raytech usb cable which sometimes gives me gps in my laptop from the raymarine system, but it is not reliable. Stops working while moving. More reliable is just a hand held garmin gps unit which I plug into a usb port and works with openCPN.

Thanks in advance....
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:55   #6
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

Ricky,
Which of the two COM ports is connected to the AIS250, and do you have it configured as the AIS port in OpenCPN? What is on the other COM port? Are you sending AIS and GPS traffic to OpenCPN on a single port or are they separated?
Did the tech connect the cable to the 38400B output terminals on the AIS250 or the 4800B terminals. I do not believe there is any AIS traffic on the 4800 port.

John
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Old 06-08-2012, 15:03   #7
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
Ricky,
Which of the two COM ports is connected to the AIS250, and do you have it configured as the AIS port in OpenCPN? What is on the other COM port? Are you sending AIS and GPS traffic to OpenCPN on a single port or are they separated?
Did the tech connect the cable to the 38400B output terminals on the AIS250 or the 4800B terminals. I do not believe there is any AIS traffic on the 4800 port.

John
Thank you

Com 6 seems to be the one connected (although the raymarine tech said it was com 3). Both ports are set on the laptop at 38400 baud and in openCPN have tried different port settings for GPS (shared with AIS or com 3 or com 6) and in the AIS tab (com3 or com6).

I have checked the AIS unit and on the NMEA 38.4 OUT there are two cables (one goes to laptop the other I assume to chartplotter (which is getting AIS information). One is going to the laptop and has a red wire to + and a black wire to -. The other cable on NMEA 38.4 OUT has a green wire to - and a white wire to +. There is also a cable with two wires to NMEA 38.4 IN (brown to - and yellow to +).

There are no cables to NMEA 4.8 baud either in or out.

Does this help you help me?

Could the black and red wires be going to the wrong pins on the 9 pin com cable that is connected to a com to USB adapter?

Is there a feature in the charting software to allow display of raw data to verify something is being sent to opencpn?
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:03   #8
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

Ricky,
It appears you are receiving GPS and other NMEA data on one COM port and only AIS data from the AIS250 on the other. If I am correct OpenCPN should tell you which one is the GPS/NMEA port by indicating a GPS active when you configure the correct port in the GPS tab of the Toolbox window. The other port should be the one from the AIS250. The first step should be to sort out which port is which, if you haven't already done so.

You can monitor the NMEA traffic on the GPS port by clicking on the "Show GPS/NMEA Data Stream Window" checkbox in the GPS tab of the OpenCPN toolbox.
AFAICT OpenCPN provides a data stream monitor only for the port designated for the GPS. Once you have sorted out which ports are which you can monitor the AIS traffic (if any) by temporarily setting the GPS port as shared with the AIS port.

It does appear the problem is in the cable that was made up and connects to the USB adapter. I assume the tech who made it up just cut off the male end of the cable and picked the red and black wires from the 9 or 10 wires in the cable. Those cable colors don't conform to the pinout I provided in an earlier post. However, there does not appear to be a standard color coding for RS232 cables, except maybe for a single manufacturer. You can test the cable with a multimeterr for continuity between the cables connected to the AIS250 and the pins on the female end of the cable which connects to the USB adapter.
You should get continuity between the red cable and the RD pin in my diagram and continuity between the black cable and the SG pin in my diagram. If not, test the other wires (hopefully the tech didn't cut them off flush, just taped them to the outside of the cable. Otherwise you will have to strip off more of the cable jacket.
You may not be able to directly test the continuity at the female terminal as the probes on most multimeters are too thick to go into the pin sockets. You may need to insert a brad or needle into the sockets to get a good contact.
Hopefully it is a problem with the cable and you can find the correct wires and start receiving AIS in OpenCPN. If the cable tests good, but still no AIS then the culprit may be the USB adapter. They are cheap, try another make.

Good luck,
John
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Old 27-09-2012, 11:39   #9
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
RickyEM,
What JesperWe posted is correct, however if all you want is to send AIS, GPS and other NMEA data to OpenCPN then you just need to connect the Receive Data and Signal Ground wires of a serial cable (Pinouts Here) to the 38.4 KB + and - terminals, respectively on the AIS250. You can leave the existing cable to your chart plotter on these same terminals. The AIS250 can talk to more than one listener (given reasonable cable lengths), but it can receive from only one talker.

If you send NMEA data from the chart plotter to the AIS250, then you will need to leave 38.4 KB input port on the AIS250 alone. That means you will not be able to upload data from OpenCPN to any of the NMEA devices connected to the AIS250.

If you do not have a serial COM port on your computer, then, as JesperWe stated, you will need a COM to USB adapter.

Given that you only want to send data to OpenCPN, you can configure the COM port at 38.4 KB and configure it in OpenCPN as AIS with GPS on a single port.

John
I am on the boat now. What is the correct way to connect openCPN to my Raymarine system, if I want to both send and receive data in openCPN? I would like to get AIS and also send waypoints to my C120 chartplotter.

I am seeing NEMA data flash by in my com6 seatalk usb connection. Do I set "autopilot output port" in openCPN to com6? I have done that but waypoints set in openCPN (for example by right click on a chart and then "go to here") are not appearing on the C120 chartplotter. Any tips on how to do that?

What is GPSD Data Source in openCPN? that is greyed out and set to localhost

In case it matters, this afternoon a Raymarine tech is installing a 650 and removing the 250.
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Old 27-09-2012, 12:01   #10
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

Waypoint "Go To here" will not send the waypoint to your plotter.
To actually send wpts/routes from Opencpn you open the route manager window, select the route or wpt, and hit the "Send to GPS" button.

I believe for this to work you need to hook OpenCPN GPS in/out to the NMEA0183 connections of your RM system. Unless the RM system can accept waypoints over the AIS port, which seems unlikely. Ask the RM tech!!

(And in this case you also need to route the 38kBaud AIS feed to the PC on a separate port)
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Old 27-09-2012, 12:08   #11
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Re: AIS250 Raymarine receiver to computer?

Ok, thank you for showing me that. I have tried a simple route and then send to GPS. Still doesn't appear on chartplotter C120. I will ask Raymarine tech as you suggest...
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