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Old 02-10-2016, 08:04   #16
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Interesting, can you explain your setup a bit more? How does the rpi "feed" the tablet.
I had alterior motives with a bigger box (running a plex media center as well to Rokus in each stateroom and salon) but I like the simplicity of the setup you describe.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:05   #17
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Disagree,... a lot! , the Pi 3 is easily fast enough as a nav computer, not zippy fast like a modern laptop more more than enough IMHO. I've done many miles with it. And a waterproof xperia tablet in the cockpit fed from the pi, just a few years ago would have been a high end system but now drawing very little power and fast enough for what we do for not many dollars. Add the extremely powerful openplotter ontop of opencpn and you've a good system Also, switch off the monitor and the Pi power draw drops down even more, I just leave mine on all the time.
conachair...
What you say is sure true, the Pi is a nice low power machine. Unfortunately what Kees says, that the graphics drivers are still badly broken on it, is true as well. There sure are scenarios where the Pi is already usable for OpenCPN. There are scenarios where *working* OpenGL is really needed though and there it still plain sucks.

Pavel
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:10   #18
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Boss,

I am not making a point.

I am trying to shoot cupid arrows poisoned with mixture of doubt, indecision and know-how.

Look: you have mentioned a Dell touch screen.
Q1: Does Dell offer drivers for Linux (Mint)?
Q2: Do the drivers include touch capability?

Supported Operating Systems​

Browse the net for Linux and touch screens discussions. I have noticed some amount of frustration at some user forums.

The box: Make sure your Linux skills are up to the task. I have found many Windows / Mac users completely puzzled with setting up / updating and maintaining Linux distributions. No problem though, if you are a Linux man.

Think about the alternatives: for way less money you can plug a stick computer into any hdmi screen possibly getting all you want from such a system.

If you are planning on a touch monitor to be powered via the USB, make sure the box specifications provide enough power via their USB port. Otherwise all benefit of unregulated supply on the box is lost.

And are you sure you do want a touch screen for a nav application. My touch experience with nav apps has been negative this far. Think about boat movement at the dock vs. out at sea. Think about your hands at the dock vs. your hands when you pop inside after just having winched a sheet in the rain.

It does make a big difference.

Etc. Research.

Building boat systems and components since 2007. Started with laptop bases, moved on to netbook bases, last two we built around solid state devices netbooks and tablets. I played with Linux but fell back on Windows after some sour disappointments.

If you are a Linux 'genius' a box like this is for you. Re-think what I said about touch screens. Check all components compatibility before buying any piece.

Big hug,
b.
Thanks for clarifying, I have no concerns with my Linux and tech skills, I do have some with getting my nmea to Ethernet working well but I just haven't messed with that before.

On the touchscreen I have the same setup at home (mint/dell) and it works great but haven't installed opencpn. I do agree a touch panel can be a pain so I'm planning to embed a trackball in the dash as well, wireless keyboard in a drawer when I need it.

I'm still in the concept phase so the input is super useful.

Did you ever build a setup where you broadcast nmea on your network (if you had one) so everything from the dedicated nav box to iPads/etc had access to ais, sonar, etc?

Thanks
AC
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:22   #19
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
Interesting, can you explain your setup a bit more? How does the rpi "feed" the tablet.
I had alterior motives with a bigger box (running a plex media center as well to Rokus in each stateroom and salon) but I like the simplicity of the setup you describe.
With my setup ais, gps & wind go into the pi as nmea, then openplotter takes anything coming in and feeds opencpn with it and also acts as a wifi access point sending anything coming in over wifi. It also sends out the data as signalk. In addition it's easy to set up ds18 thermometers which will also be sent out as signalk and MQTT so from any smartphone/tablet you can keep an eye on the engine temperatures or whatever. It has an powerful actions menu tab so, for example, if you have a voltage sensor chip connected and the battery gets below 12.3v or whatever it could send an email or tweet (assuming you're logged on to the internet). As it's low power i use it as a wifi repeater, the Pi3 has wifi built in so I have a higher power wifi usb dongle and a good antenna up the topping lift which picks up marina wifi then the Pi rebroadcasts if down below for anyone wanting it.

Not zippy fast and not even a proper release yet, but it's been very stable so far.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:37   #20
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by nohal View Post
conachair...
What you say is sure true, the Pi is a nice low power machine. Unfortunately what Kees says, that the graphics drivers are still badly broken on it, is true as well. There sure are scenarios where the Pi is already usable for OpenCPN. There are scenarios where *working* OpenGL is really needed though and there it still plain sucks.

Pavel
The hardware drivers are still beta and really not very stable, I never use the pi for real with it turned on. Without that turned on i find it extremely stable, not zippy fast, thing a chart plotter from 5 years ago. Very complicated route planning with lots of panning and zooming might get a bit annoying but for everyday stuff I find it plenty fast enough, considering the very low power draw you get in return

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Old 02-10-2016, 08:44   #21
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

So is the tablet running opencpn then and the pi really just translates nmea to Ethernet?
I've been trying to figure out the best way to do nmea to Ethernet then wan (I'll have an onboard network), this sounds interesting. Similar to the Digital Yatch box? But does other protocols too?
Digital Yacht Ntn10 Nmea To Ethernet Adapter
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:57   #22
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
So is the tablet running opencpn then and the pi really just translates nmea to Ethernet?
It's actually TCP over wifi, but there's a network socket on the Pi3 so it probably goes out there as well.

The tablet is a sony xperia which will run opencpn as an app or can vpn into the Pi, which means it's basically a remote monitor for the pi.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:01   #23
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Right, your basically just creating an adhoc network, no reason it couldn't use the Ethernet port.
I'll check this out, I have an extra pi at home. On that note are there any nmea emulators or did you need to do the full setup/testing on your boat?
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:10   #24
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
Right, your basically just creating an adhoc network, no reason it couldn't use the Ethernet port.
I'll check this out, I have an extra pi at home. On that note are there any nmea emulators or did you need to do the full setup/testing on your boat?
Not fully up on wifi, but i think its an infrastructure access point rather than an ad hoc.

Sorry but don;t know of any nmea emulators, I actually have an arduino doing some nmea multiplexing along the way so could use that for testing, though living on a boat nmea0183 is never far away

Which Pi do you have? It took the Pi3 for opencpn to really become usable.

PS, It's quite easy to set up openplotter to work headless so if you don't have a monitor handy you can still use a tablet or pc to have a look and a play.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:26   #25
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

I think it's the 3, I'll check later today, this is interesting and may solve my nmea to Ethernet challenge. I'll still use mint as my opencpn platform.

Do you know if open plotter can also send? For instance courses to an autopilot unit?
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:42   #26
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

OpenPlotter uses O 4.4.0
Yes, you can multiplex, filter and forward as in any other Linux install.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:09   #27
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
Interesting, can you explain your setup a bit more? How does the rpi "feed" the tablet.
I had alterior motives with a bigger box (running a plex media center as well to Rokus in each stateroom and salon) but I like the simplicity of the setup you describe.
You don't need to be a Linux genius. Everything works right from the box. It is a bit different. But so what ? OpenCPN with the OpenPlotter additions work great and these are all you need as a board computer. Multiplexer, Wifi Access Point, VNC server, SignalK server etc etc.

If you don't have an AIS transponder you can simple take and DVB-T dongle (Cost around € 10,-), do the calibration in OpenPlotter and you have an AIS receiver with AIS objects on your OpenCPN chartplotter screen.

OpenGL is not yet perfect, but it works very fast. It gives some problems when zooming out too much. But this is a matter to be solved in the next kernel update to 4.5+.

With the Accespoint and VNC server you can operate the Raspberry OpenCPN screen on every other system. Windows, Ipad, Android. Or simple receive the NMEA data to your navigation software on another system.
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:43   #28
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Is there any major reason to go openplotter on rpi versus one of those dedicated devices? Like digital yatch or nemo?

AC
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Old 02-10-2016, 14:48   #29
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And are you sure you do want a touch screen for a nav application. My touch experience with nav apps has been negative this far. Think about boat movement at the dock vs. out at sea. Think about your hands at the dock vs. your hands when you pop inside after just having winched a sheet in the rain.
Yes this is a really valid point. I have used touch screens over many 10s of thousands of miles. There is very really no advantage to them, apart from that they are in vogue, and many disadvantages.

Think about these points:
Difficult to use when the boat is moving around a lot
Struggle with mushy cold wet skin
Dont like water droplets (despite all the pics that you see of units outside).
Parallax can be a problem if you are not in precisely the correct position to match sight-line and fingers (you rarely are in yacht under sail)
The touch interfaces are not very good generally (the latest Furuno stuff looks better).
The cheaper ones keep going out of calibration.

I prefer to go with a wireless trackball or a water resistant keyboard ( the modern ones are indistinguishable to type on from a standard keyboard).

Most work OK at the dock (some don't even manage this) but at sea it's very different.
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Old 03-10-2016, 00:53   #30
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
Is there any major reason to go openplotter on rpi versus one of those dedicated devices? Like digital yatch or nemo?

AC
It is an amazing combination. A mass production board of which more then 10.000.000 are produced. A micro SD card as the "hard-drive".

In Raspian Linux there a simple program to make a back-up copy of the Micro SD card.

4 USB ports and Ethernet.

Has WiFi and Bluetooth on the board.

Has sound via HDMI or via audio port. For AIS alarms or simply playing music.

Low power consumption is very important.

Low cost. You can simple buy 2 boards, to have a spare one on board.

OpenCPN is running very well on this system.

Installed here one set with a touchscreen monitor. Load some touchscreen drivers and calibrate the screen and fix the outcome calibration in the config.

Waiting is now for a full working OpenGL driver and SignalK support in OpenCPN. And a watertight Tablet to be used outside via VLC.

In OpenPlotter most of the OpenCPN plug-ins are all ready installed. You only have to switch these on.

Zygrib is included to download Grib forecasts.

It is really all you need on board.

I'am using the alu case from Flirc. Cost around € 15,-.

BTW: Digital Yacht also comes with an almost similar Linux system called Aqua 50, with OpenCPN etc.

To be introduced on the Mets Marine Trade exhibition next month in Amsterdam.
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