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Old 01-01-2017, 13:53   #1
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Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

I've recently purchased a Matsutec HP-33A GPS/AIS transponder. I have made a patch cable using the included NEMA cord pin out and splicing it to a Serial DB-9 plug, I have continuity per the correct pin out diagram in the user manual.
I am trying to get Opencpn 4.4 to recognize the either the GPS or the AIS using the Serial connector dialogue on a Dell laptop running XP Pro service pack 3 and also on a Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 running Windows 7 Pro.
I'm stumped. I can't see any connection in either laptop on the NEMA debugger. I don't see the Com ports listed in device manager. I suspect that my port assignment is not working correctly. I'm sure that others are using this unit with Opencpn and appreciate some wiser head then mine explaining to me how to get it working.
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Old 01-01-2017, 23:41   #2
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Do you see any COM ports in device manager on either computer? If you have a DB9 serial port on either of those computers you should see a COM port listed. It's probably COM1, 2 or 3. You won't see a new serial port appear when you connect the cable. If you don't see any COM ports then they have been disabled. Have you used either of these computers with a GPS before?

Does Opencpn see a COM port when you go to connections? If so, you should try those and see if they work. The Matsutec unit sends both GPS and AIS sentences through the same COM port. Your COM port baud rate in OpenCPN needs to be set to 38400 for the Matsutec unit.

I have the black box Matsutec unit, but I helped a friend get his 33HA running.

Can you post the page for the wiring diagram of the Matsutec unit and tell us which wires you connected to which pins on the cable?
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:10   #3
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Did you swap pins 2 & 3 so the TX on the unit matches RX on the pc?
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:55   #4
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Quote:
Originally Posted by reflectionsv37 View Post
Do you see any COM ports in device manager on either computer? If you have a DB9 serial port on either of those computers you should see a COM port listed. It's probably COM1, 2 or 3. You won't see a new serial port appear when you connect the cable. If you don't see any COM ports then they have been disabled. Have you used either of these computers with a GPS before?

Does Opencpn see a COM port when you go to connections? If so, you should try those and see if they work. The Matsutec unit sends both GPS and AIS sentences through the same COM port. Your COM port baud rate in OpenCPN needs to be set to 38400 for the Matsutec unit.

I have the black box Matsutec unit, but I helped a friend get his 33HA running.

Can you post the page for the wiring diagram of the Matsutec unit and tell us which wires you connected to which pins on the cable?

I did not see a port listed when opening Opencpn.

I added connections and checked device manager for terminal properties to ensure a match. When I go to Hyper terminal it tells me the port I assigned in Opencpn is in use or has a conflict. Device Manager shows many Com ports assigned to Bluetooth.
I've attached the pinout diagram for both the Matsutec and the DB9.

I have moved the the DB9 tx and rx connections from 2 and 3 to 3 and 2. With no change, Opencpn NEMA debugger doesn't register a signal in either format of connection.
The Toughbook has an internal GPS which did register in the NEMA debugger until I tried to connect the Matsutec and then I disabled the internal GPS and it won't reconnect either. The Dell had a Delorme puck attached in the past but it is no longer plugged in and does not show up in Device Manager anywhere.
I'm wondering if the new version of Opencpn has created some kind of conflict or if the history of connections is blocking the Com ports somehow.
Thank you for taking the time to think about this problem.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf HP-33A 10-pin Connector Colours.pdf (69.1 KB, 81 views)
File Type: pdf DB9FemalePinout.pdf (99.9 KB, 52 views)
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Old 02-01-2017, 18:45   #5
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

I see they have updated their confusing diagram from the past!
Green Wire to Pin 2
Blue Wire to Pin 3
Brown Wire to Pin 5 (Did you connect this wire?)

If you can identify which com port # is the actual serial port on the computer, try setting the baud rate for the port to 38400 in the device manager. Right click the COM port>Properties>Port Settings bits per second to 38400.

You can remove the old unused COM port assignments. It shouldn't make a difference but it may help in determine which COM port is assigned to the physical port. Search for "Using device manager to remove unused COM ports"

Which COM port numbers show up in OpenCPN? The unused ports should not show. Only those that are active.
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Old 02-01-2017, 20:28   #6
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

I just had another thought, or faint memory might be a better term. I seem to vaguely remember that I needed to change a menu setting in the Matsutec unit to get it to transmit data. The Matsutec units are almost an identical clone of Furuno systems. Go to Menu>I/O Setup and check the settings for Data1, Data2 and NMEA Version. If I remember correctly, the Matsutec unit was set at "None" for Data1 and it should be NMEA. Set NMEA-Ver to 2.0
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:08   #7
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Quote:
Originally Posted by reflectionsv37 View Post
I see they have updated their confusing diagram from the past!
Green Wire to Pin 2
Blue Wire to Pin 3Brown Wire to Pin 5 (Did you connect this wire?) yes


If you can identify which com port # is the actual serial port on the computer, try setting the baud rate for the port to 38400 in the device manager. Right click the COM port>Properties>Port Settings bits per second to 38400.
Did that too

Which COM port numbers show up in OpenCPN? The unused ports should not show. Only those that are active.
Com 2, 3 4, 15, 20 I tried connecting to each of them, no success. I looked at ms32.exe in the run utility and saw that COM 2 was still set at 9600 baud even though I had reset it to 38,400 in Device Manager.

I just had another thought, or faint memory might be a better term. I seem to vaguely remember that I needed to change a menu setting in the Matsutec unit to get it to transmit data. The Matsutec units are almost an identical clone of Furuno systems. Go to Menu>I/O Setup and check the settings for Data1, Data2 and NMEA Version. If I remember correctly, the Matsutec unit was set at "None" for Data1 and it should be NMEA. Set NMEA-Ver to 2.0. I'm set at NEMA, my options are V 2.1 and 2.3, tried both.
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Old 03-01-2017, 19:58   #8
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Looks like you have exceeded my pay grade.

At this point, I don't know if it's a problem with the COM ports or a problem with the Matsutec unit.

At this point I would try backing up and reconnecting a known working GPS to the serial port on the computer to determine if it's a problem with the port setup. I'd also try to use a serial to USB converter and connect the Matsutec unit via USB. In this case you'll be certain to know which COM port is being used and you can verify that the Matsutec unit is functioning.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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Old 03-01-2017, 23:24   #9
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Use a Terminal program to check the COM port in order to know if you are getting data there at all.

Remember that you can only run one program at a time at a serial port.
If you don't close the program which sets the Matsutec parameter, no other program will access the port.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:04   #10
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

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Originally Posted by reflectionsv37 View Post
Looks like you have exceeded my pay grade.

At this point, I don't know if it's a problem with the COM ports or a problem with the Matsutec unit.

At this point I would try backing up and reconnecting a known working GPS to the serial port on the computer to determine if it's a problem with the port setup. I'd also try to use a serial to USB converter and connect the Matsutec unit via USB. In this case you'll be certain to know which COM port is being used and you can verify that the Matsutec unit is functioning.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Thanks for the time you spent thinking about this. At the least you have confirmed that I've taken the logical steps, so far.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:20   #11
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

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Originally Posted by bcn View Post
Use a Terminal program to check the COM port in order to know if you are getting data there at all.

Remember that you can only run one program at a time at a serial port.
If you don't close the program which sets the Matsutec parameter, no other program will access the port.
Hello; Thanks for the response. Can you recommend a program? I've used Hyper Terminal but it doesn't tell me what is using the serial port and I'm not very sophisticated about how to sort out serial ports. I've been reading online but am over my depth of understanding.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:30   #12
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Putty works well on Windows. It says it's a telnet client but it can also work perfectly as a Com port terminal and it's easy to use. Aedan.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:44   #13
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

You can find putty here: http://www.putty.org/
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Old 13-01-2017, 11:40   #14
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

Thanks Aedan, and all.

As an update:
I'm pretty much convinced that the patch cord, I made, is bad as I've received a serial to usb converter and am not getting signal through with that either. I'm waiting for receipt of a female DB-9 to wire connection device that I found online. Once received I should be able to determine if the Matsutec is outputting a proper signal.
At this point I hope the worst case scenario is that I'll have to buy a NMEA multiplexer. I really don't want to send the AIS back to China, that is the real worst case scenario.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:48   #15
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Re: Matsutec AIS to Opencpn connection help

As update to all interested: My worst condition occurred and I had to return the unit to China after a number of confusing e-mails where language was a barrier.
The good news is that I've received another unit and it worked immediately. I've connected it to two different laptops and it streams info to both. So the company stood behind the product, and sent me a new one. My next hurdle with them is reimbursement for the $72.75 it cost to send the defective one back.
I'm pleased that I now have a unit that works with OpenCpn and even if I eat the postage I still have an inexpensive AIS Transponder.
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