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Old 21-08-2010, 05:56   #1
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Angry Autopilot

I can't get my autopilot to follow a route. Instruments and autopilot ia Raymarine, and all information like gps - wind - and log transferred correctly to OpenCpn, but I can not send route to the autopilot. I have a NMEA Interface box, where Sea-talk signal comes in, and converted to RS 232 who go into the computer. I have also tried to set up NMEA UD in interfaxe-box but only GPS signal to map. No data sent to the autopilot. I have been in the toolbox and tried to set the autopilot up with all the gates - but notting help. What did I do wrong.?
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Old 21-08-2010, 17:07   #2
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I had to do the following.

Set the output of OpenCPN thu a comm port. My laptop doesn't have any comm ports. I had to get a USB to Comm port cable with some electronics built in to convert USB to 9 pin D shell connectors serial interface. The OS assigned the comm ports.

On my ST5000 I used the NMEA (183) Input pins.

To my surprise it worked.

OpenCPN only outputs NMEA 183. If your auto pilot only receives SeaTalk, you will have to get the NMEA 183 output of OpenCPN translated to SeaTalk. My understanding is SeaTalk is a bus so any data put on the bus will be seen by all things attached to SeaTalk.

Hope this helps.
Gordon
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Old 22-08-2010, 03:12   #3
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Autopilot

I have connected my computer with this USB convertercabel til seriel port but this doesn't work, and this PC - SeaTalk - NMEA Interface Box E85001 which make seatalk to NMEA. I have the GPS on chart but can't get the Autopilot to follow a route.
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Old 22-08-2010, 08:09   #4
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I have the same instruments and it work beautifully. I take the NMEA signal from the autopilot (NMEA out) to my computer. The signal from the PC goes to the autopilot (NMEA in). When the route is activated the openCPN is steering the boat!
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Old 22-08-2010, 09:06   #5
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autopilot

This was a new way to do it, I will try that next weekend. Thank you for your answer.
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Old 22-08-2010, 09:28   #6
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Originally Posted by danamatic View Post
This was a new way to do it, I will try that next weekend. Thank you for your answer.
A problem I had in the beginning.
I have a S3G autopilot. The (-) minus in and output for the NMEA signal on the autopilot is not internally connected in the autopilot, so you need to connect 2 minus cables or make a jumper on the autopilots connction blocks.
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Old 22-08-2010, 11:19   #7
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I looked at the manual for the SeaTalk interface. In two places it states:


Note:
Data will not be transmitted to SeaTalk if it is already present on the SeaTalk bus.

From that the plotter output or anything that is supplying SeaTalk sentences to the AutoPilot needs to be disabled.


Gordon


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Old 24-08-2010, 09:12   #8
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Seatalk Interface box, Laptop NMEA routes from OpenCPN

The Seatalk box has two output lines for PC 'RS-232 interface'. Those are GND and the TX signal.

If you have only those connected to your serial cable (the normal way to install the box and have a PC connection coming off it) then you can ONLY receive NMEA data down the serial cable (listener only).

Raymarine sell a special cable at an extortionate cost to allow the PC to send data as well as receive it (act as both a talker and a listener), but it's not really needed.

What you need to do is connect the serial cable up to both the 'PC RS-232' output lines, and also to the NMEA in lines.

You will need to identify the unused data wire on the serial cable (TX and GND should already be connected I think, so you are looking for RX). Google for a pinout of the DB9 connector, and use a multimeter to test connectivity on the wires. I may be wrong about which of RX and TX is currently connected, anyway... you will need to connect up the other line).

Once you've identified the correct wire, make the following connections in the Seatalk bridge box.

1) Add a connection from the existing PC RS-232 GND line to the NMEA In -ve line
2) Connect your new signal wire up to the NMEA in +ve line

You should now be able to send route info from OpenCPN on the Laptop up through the bridge into the SeaTalk network. It worked straightaway for me once I'd made these connections.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 24-08-2010, 13:05   #9
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Laptop NMEA talker... through SeaTalk bridge or into the Plotter

If you have BOTH a Seatalk bridge and a Plotter/RADAR/Multifunction head in your system then there are two ways to run OpenCPN as part of the system as I understand it, and these can require different wiring setups.

The Seatalk bridge based PC NMEA talker input that I described in the last setup allows OpenCPN to be the "course computer". OpenCPN has to be running, and the route has to be active in OpenCPN in order to get data on your Seatalk instruments. That's the setup I have at the moment.

The other method is for OpenCPN to transfer the route to the Raymarine course computer (in the chart plotter/MFD) through the NMEA input into that. You can't do this through the Seatalk bridge, it must be done into the plotter's NMEA input. This should actually transfer your waypoints and route into the plotter, after which I believe it probably has to be activated on the Raymarine device, but in this case, you don't need OpenCPN running after the route has been 'uploaded' and activated to get all your seatalk instruments displaying CTW, DTW, XTE etc.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 24-08-2010, 13:45   #10
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bluearcus....

Good diagnosis. The Seatalk I/F that I have is old, and never works as an NMEA listener. It is only a talker, converting existing Seatalk to NMEA.

For my A/P, I connect the NMEA out-line from the PC to the NMEA in-line on the Autopilot course computer. A/P commands get to the A/P by NMEA, not by Seatalk. Works for me.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 26-08-2010, 11:12   #11
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Laptop listens to the boat, boat won't listen to the laptop

Last week we bought a boat with a Raymarine ST6001 autopilot, ST60 Speed & ST60 Multi on board. There is also the raymarine RS232 converter (E85001) on board.
Hooking up my laptop with a USB to RS232 I got signal to my laptop, speed, depth, GPS, etc. So my laptop was listening to the boat
The other way around seems impossible. I've turned the system inside out, checked every cable. There is a signal coming out of my laptop, but the autopilot doesn't see/hear it. I've found 2 possible ways to connect the laptop to the RS232 box: NMEA and direct RS232. I tried them both (still believing I need to connect NMEA) with no succes.
I tried to follow Mike's (bluearcus) solution with no succes. As I understand there are three wires important: TX (out) RX (in) and Ground. I've found the three cables, connected TX and RX, and cross-wired the ground to the minus of both NMEA in and out.

What I am wonder now is that there is a 'talking' NMEA183 beside my laptop?

I'm open to suggestions
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Old 26-08-2010, 12:00   #12
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Originally Posted by no-use View Post
Last week we bought a boat with a Raymarine ST6001 autopilot, ST60 Speed & ST60 Multi on board. There is also the raymarine RS232 converter (E85001) on board.
Hooking up my laptop with a USB to RS232 I got signal to my laptop, speed, depth, GPS, etc. So my laptop was listening to the boat
The other way around seems impossible. I've turned the system inside out, checked every cable. There is a signal coming out of my laptop, but the autopilot doesn't see/hear it. I've found 2 possible ways to connect the laptop to the RS232 box: NMEA and direct RS232. I tried them both (still believing I need to connect NMEA) with no succes.
I tried to follow Mike's (bluearcus) solution with no succes. As I understand there are three wires important: TX (out) RX (in) and Ground. I've found the three cables, connected TX and RX, and cross-wired the ground to the minus of both NMEA in and out.

What I am wonder now is that there is a 'talking' NMEA183 beside my laptop?

I'm open to suggestions
What AP controller model do you have? Connect the laptop directly to the AP controller NMEA ports. Some RM models will actually prioritize the ports, no nav data on port1 it'll listen for nav data on port2.
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Old 26-08-2010, 12:32   #13
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Interesting suggestion
I don't remember the AP controller model, will check. I did notice it has 2 NMEA ports, didn't try to connect the serial cable direcly to those ports though.

Will try tommorow.

Thanks!

Regards,

Gerben
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Old 28-08-2010, 00:21   #14
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Tried to connect my laptop/rs232 output directly to the AP (RM 150G), directly to the ST6001 AP or ST60 Multi (all have NMEA input) with no succes.
The only thing I can think of now is that my output from the laptop is not recognized. There is an output, but perhaps it is not correct transmitted/translated by my USB -> serial converter.

One of the above solutions should have had a result I guess?!

There is at least one good thing about this all: I did get to see and learn all the wiring in/around the instruments

Next up is buying another USB -> serial converter. Can anyone recommend one (one that has proven it works)? Thanks!

Regards,

Gerben
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Old 28-08-2010, 02:14   #15
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One of the best USB/RS232 converters I ever used is the Keyspan USA-19HS. A little bit more expensive but worth the money. Comes with drivers for any OS 32-bit or 64-bit and is still supported with updates. Where other Prolific and the such converters failed, the Keyspan works.
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