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Old 13-03-2015, 14:38   #1
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Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

I've bought a used Sony Z2 tablet for use with Gofree. Since there's no warranty, no reason not to try rooting it and getting Linux working on it.

I have a question, however - can I use NMEA data over a WiFi link? This is working beautifully on my IPlod with INavX, but I'm not sure what drivers or plug-ins will be needed to do it in Linux and OpenCPN.
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Old 13-03-2015, 14:53   #2
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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I've bought a used Sony Z2 tablet for use with Gofree. Since there's no warranty, no reason not to try rooting it and getting Linux working on it.

I have a question, however - can I use NMEA data over a WiFi link? This is working beautifully on my IPlod with INavX, but I'm not sure what drivers or plug-ins will be needed to do it in Linux and OpenCPN.
Your Xperia has a gps. Why not use it? See this: GPS problem on linux-on-android OCPN

No plug-ins & no drivers. Just GPS Share WIFI downloadable from Google Play for free. Get GPS Test while you're at it. This way you can observe gps satellite access, signal strength and more to ensure the gps is functioning properly.
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Old 13-03-2015, 15:01   #3
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

Because I want AIS and instrument data. Possible?
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Old 13-03-2015, 15:33   #4
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

Is the AIS data already being sent on the WIFI?
Is so, you should only have to configure a connection in OpenCPN to begin seeing the data. I think you need the AIS plugin as well.
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Old 13-03-2015, 16:13   #5
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Because I want AIS and instrument data. Possible?
Interesting possibilities here. GPS Share WIFI serves as a link between OpenCPN and the built in gps. However, with the hotspot option enabled in the android device settings, GPS Share WIFI should be able to receive nmea data from an external source and deliver it to OpenCPN via a network socket. Just like it does for an internal or external wireless gps. Seems reasonable that if OpenCPN AIS settings are for a network socket and appropriate address, GPS Share WIFI is going to care less what type of nmea data it is...

Unless someone who's already installed linux and OpenCPN on an android tests this theory first, you may become a trailblazer. I've been encouraging folks to try things like this to no avail.

In any case, if GPS Share WIFI doesn't work I'll bet there's another application already available from Google Play that will.
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Old 13-03-2015, 16:24   #6
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Is the AIS data already being sent on the WIFI?
Is so, you should only have to configure a connection in OpenCPN to begin seeing the data. I think you need the AIS plugin as well.
That's exactly the function I want. But this is not Windows! The question is how to do it in Linux, and over wireless. It will require a plug-in.

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Old 13-03-2015, 16:24   #7
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Interesting possibilities here. GPS Share WIFI serves as a link between OpenCPN and the built in gps. However, with the hotspot option enabled in the android device settings, GPS Share WIFI should be able to receive nmea data from an external source and deliver it to OpenCPN via a network socket. Just like it does for an internal or external wireless gps. Seems reasonable that if OpenCPN AIS settings are for a network socket and appropriate address, GPS Share WIFI is going to care less what type of nmea data it is...

Unless someone who's already installed linux and OpenCPN on an android tests this theory first, you may become a trailblazer. I've been encouraging folks to try things like this to no avail.

In any case, if GPS Share WIFI doesn't work I'll bet there's another application already available from Google Play that will.
Cool; I'll give that a try. Thanks.

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Old 13-03-2015, 16:37   #8
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Is the AIS data already being sent on the WIFI?
Is so, you should only have to configure a connection in OpenCPN to begin seeing the data. I think you need the AIS plugin as well.
If an external usb device like a gps is connected, and no special driver is required for the gps, then the android usb driver and linux gpsd will enable the gps to be used with OpenCPN. Otherwise, you'd need the special driver, like that required by Garmin. It must have been enabled when the android kernel was compiled and then loaded by the android system.

Otherwise there needs to be an android application like GPS Share that can bridge the divide between android and Linux using android APIs to create sockets and to facillitate the transfer of data between the two.
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Old 14-03-2015, 00:34   #9
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

Is the wifi net work ad hoc?

I'm not up on this but I struggled getting linux on an xperia talking to an ad hoc network.
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Old 14-03-2015, 13:29   #10
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I've bought a used Sony Z2 tablet for use with Gofree. Since there's no warranty, no reason not to try rooting it and getting Linux working on it.

I have a question, however - can I use NMEA data over a WiFi link? This is working beautifully on my IPlod with INavX, but I'm not sure what drivers or plug-ins will be needed to do it in Linux and OpenCPN.
I basically did something similar yesterday when trying to connect OpenCpn on android to OpenCpn on windows.
If your Wifi link device uses the same format as OpenCPN (well, just plain text NMEA over TCP/IP) this should not be a problem.


You will need the Android tablet, running OpenCPN under chroot Debian. The Android is connected to the Wifi network, the chroot Linux and OpenCPN can use that connection. You just need to configure the OpenCPN on the tablet to connect to the given port and it will read NMEA messages and show all data. That is position, instruments, AIS. AIS targets show up on the chart right away, for instrument data other than GPS you need to activate the dashboard plugin which is already installed with OpenCPN.


No need for the internal GPS, the position is already in the NMEA stream that comes from your NMEA Wifi link.
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Old 14-03-2015, 13:34   #11
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
I basically did something similar yesterday when trying to connect OpenCpn on android to OpenCpn on windows.
If your Wifi link device uses the same format as OpenCPN (well, just plain text NMEA over TCP/IP) this should not be a problem.


You will need the Android tablet, running OpenCPN under chroot Debian. The Android is connected to the Wifi network created by the windows machine, the chroot Linux and OpenCPN can use that connection. You just need to configure the OpenCPN on the tablet to connect to the given port and it will read NMEA messages and show all data. That is position, instruments, AIS. AIS targets show up on the chart right away, for instrument data other than GPS you need to activate the dashboard plugin which is already installed with OpenCPN.


No need for the internal GPS, the position is already in the NMEA stream that comes from your NMEA Wifi link.
OK . . .

But is there any reason why we can't connect directly to the ship's router, instead of going through the PC? It seems a big disadvantage to be dependent on the PC running, if it's possible to connect directly.
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Old 14-03-2015, 13:37   #12
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Is the wifi net work ad hoc?

I'm not up on this but I struggled getting linux on an xperia talking to an ad hoc network.
The problem is with Android and ad-hoc networks. Doesn't really work. You need to change a few things, if I'm not mistaken you need root for this. There are a few apps that say they can make it work, but they all come with an appropriate disclaimer.

If you have Windows 7 or 8 you can search for details about "hosted networks" and how to set it up, or get a program called "virtual router" which does it for you. Some wifi modules can, some can't do this.


Another approach:
Have you tried it the other way round? Most android devices can create a wifi access point (called tethering, used primarily to share the 3G connection with some other device). Your PC or whatever can connect to this access point no problem, this is not an ad-hoc network. This usually works very well.
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Old 14-03-2015, 13:39   #13
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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OK . . .

But is there any reason why we can't connect directly to the ship's router, instead of going through the PC? It seems a big disadvantage to be dependent on the PC running, if it's possible to connect directly.
Sorry, my mistake. I used a windows PC for testing this and mentioned it in the text, but of course you can connect directly to the router.

I edited my post above to remove that reference
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Old 14-03-2015, 14:07   #14
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
I basically did something similar yesterday when trying to connect OpenCpn on android to OpenCpn on windows.
If your Wifi link device uses the same format as OpenCPN (well, just plain text NMEA over TCP/IP) this should not be a problem.


You will need the Android tablet, running OpenCPN under chroot Debian. The Android is connected to the Wifi network, the chroot Linux and OpenCPN can use that connection. You just need to configure the OpenCPN on the tablet to connect to the given port and it will read NMEA messages and show all data. That is position, instruments, AIS. AIS targets show up on the chart right away, for instrument data other than GPS you need to activate the dashboard plugin which is already installed with OpenCPN.


No need for the internal GPS, the position is already in the NMEA stream that comes from your NMEA Wifi link.
Rabi,

Happy to see in spite of your contempt for OpenCPN running in a chroot system - 'never intended for use on androids' - you are leading the way in experimenting with extending the use of OpenCPN in the environment. AIS, position and instruments to boot. From here it isn't a huge chasm to jump in bypassing the need to use a computer via TCP. It's doable.

Keep at it Bro.
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Old 15-03-2015, 07:18   #15
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Re: Getting NMEA Data Onto a Rooted Android Tablet

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Rabi,

Happy to see in spite of your contempt for OpenCPN running in a chroot system - 'never intended for use on androids' - you are leading the way in experimenting with extending the use of OpenCPN in the environment. AIS, position and instruments to boot. From here it isn't a huge chasm to jump in bypassing the need to use a computer via TCP. It's doable.

Keep at it Bro.
No worries, I still stand by the "not intended to run on android" statement. I'm not saying it doesn't work but...
The underlying architecture is akward, it lacks in terms of useability and ergonomics. It's a special solution for a selected few that want OpenCPN on android now and can live with the drawbacks. It's not mainstream and it's certainly not the way forward. It's just a workaround while we wait for a real android OpenCPN port.

I removed the chroot environment from my tablet so I will not digg deeper into this.


Bypassing the PC is not an issue at all. There are a few devices available that expose the NMEA data stream via TCP or UDP over wireless networks. Like the Brookhouse iMux or some devices from digitalyacht. It has certainly been done before.
The question is why would I want to bypass the PC?
A permanently installed micro PC or Raspberry or tablet or xyz can do the same and much much more, for less money and at a similar power consumption.
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