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Old 05-12-2013, 16:17   #1
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NMEA 2000

Is there any way to get OCPN to work with a NMEA 2000 network? I've seen a few products that allow you to connect the NMEA 2000 network to a computer over USB, but I don't know if it's going to work with OCPN. Here's one: Maretron | USB100 that says it will automatically convert to NMEA 0183, but they don't have drivers for Linux (which I'm planning on using, unless I have a good reason not to). Then there's this one: Compatibility. Actisense makes another product that is specifically listed under the "Supplementary Hardware" section of the OCPN website, but that page has a list of compatible programs and OCPN isn't one of them.

So is there anything out there that would let me use NMEA 2000 with OCPN, preferably on Linux? If that first one by Maretron (or something like it) would work with OCPN but require Windows, I might use that OS just so I could use NMEA 2000...
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Old 05-12-2013, 16:22   #2
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Re: NMEA 2000

I have used the maretron unit to do exactly what you are asking. If I were to buy one for that purpose, however, I would buy the actisense unit. If you have maretron sensors, then buying that makes sense, as you can use it to do firmware updates, etc.

Chris

Edit: I am using Windows, not Linux.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:59   #3
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Re: NMEA 2000

We have both the Maretron and Actisense. Both work fine with OCPN. If I was to get only one, it would be the Actisense.

Mark
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:30   #4
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We have both the Maretron and Actisense. Both work fine with OCPN. If I was to get only one, it would be the Actisense.

Mark
Are you using Windows? It looks like the Actisense only works with Windows and Mac.
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:17   #5
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Re: NMEA 2000

I don't think Actisense's products are tied to any particular OS at all.

The NGW-1 is simply a micro-c N2K connector on one end and NMEA0183 bare wires on the other end, that get connected to a RS232 or 422 serial connector (then to the PC through a USB-serial).

The NGT-1 is USB-NMEA2000 with micro-c on one end and usb on the other.

Both simply provide NMEA data on a computer port. You need to configure a port to use it with any operating system.

We only use Mac and Windows, but I can't see why it wouldn't work the same for Linux.

Actisense does make software for reading and manipulating NMEA data which is PC only, but it isn't required to get those data into another program like OCPN.

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Old 06-12-2013, 20:15   #6
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Re: NMEA 2000

I have used both the Actisense NGT and NGW, the NGT is a true NMEA200 to USB converter but seems to miss a couple of conversions that it doesn't expect to find on the 2000 network such as DSC sentences. The NGW seems a little more versatile.

Most software will only output autopilot information in NMEA 0183 so the NGW is better suited if you want to control an autopilot or upload nav date to a GPS.

Windows only experience I am afraid. I gave up on Linux when windows 7 started working ok for me.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:44   #7
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
I have used both the Actisense NGT and NGW, the NGT is a true NMEA200 to USB converter but seems to miss a couple of conversions that it doesn't expect to find on the 2000 network such as DSC sentences. The NGW seems a little more versatile.

Most software will only output autopilot information in NMEA 0183 so the NGW is better suited if you want to control an autopilot or upload nav date to a GPS.

Windows only experience I am afraid. I gave up on Linux when windows 7 started working ok for me.
I should say that I don't use the NGT-1 with OCPN as it is a NMEA2000 to USB interface with no translation from NMEA2000 PGNs.

I use a NGW to interface the NMEA2000 network to USB 0183, this is then split to virtual serial ports by Franson's GPSGate. The GPSGate logs raw nmea which I then process with R to produce weather statitics; the virtual serial ports connect to OCPN if it's running, Dr Depth, Airmail, WxtoImg etc..

So while my instrument network, a very simple Furuno setup, is all NMEA2000 and my main Nav software, Maxsea Timezero, is NMEA2000, all my other PC based navigation stuff is NMEA0183.

I couldn't get the NGW to pass DSC msgs so my AIS receiver and DSC VHF are connected directly via NMEA0183 with the AIS connected to the PC via USB.. a real mish/mash but it all works.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:03   #8
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Re: NMEA 2000

You won't be able to use the Actisense NGT-1 with OCPN. The NGT-1 is N2k data only in Actisense format, hence the software needs to be written to specifically work with it.

The NGW-1 (N2k to 0183 gateway) comes in 2 flavors, ISO and USB. As mentioned above, the ISO model is bare wires, hence you can connect it to a serial port. The USB version would require USB drivers for your OS.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:20   #9
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Re: NMEA 2000

OK, I'm a little confused. If I got the NGW, how do I attach the bare wires to the computer? Do I just take a serial cable and cut it open and solder? Is there a guide as to which wire goes where? And then once I do that, it's still passing N2k info isn't it? Would I then just use software to interpret the data?

I'm hoping to make my system as "turn-key" as possible. I'm starting to think it'd be smarter to just go with Windows...
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:24   #10
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by Toubab View Post
OK, I'm a little confused. If I got the NGW, how do I attach the bare wires to the computer? Do I just take a serial cable and cut it open and solder? Is there a guide as to which wire goes where? And then once I do that, it's still passing N2k info isn't it? Would I then just use software to interpret the data?

I'm hoping to make my system as "turn-key" as possible. I'm starting to think it'd be smarter to just go with Windows...
If you use Windows, the NGW-1-USB is convenient. Otherwise, you need to understand RS232. Assuming your using a USB/Serial adapter, you'll need a 9-pin D-shell and crimp/solder.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:36   #11
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by Toubab View Post
OK, I'm a little confused. If I got the NGW, how do I attach the bare wires to the computer? Do I just take a serial cable and cut it open and solder? Is there a guide as to which wire goes where? And then once I do that, it's still passing N2k info isn't it? Would I then just use software to interpret the data?

I'm hoping to make my system as "turn-key" as possible. I'm starting to think it'd be smarter to just go with Windows...
RTFM

If you do you will find the page that I have clipped and is attached to this post.

No it's not passing N2K the NGW converts N2K to 0183.. you'll be fine, just take your time and follow the instructions.

Chris
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Old 07-12-2013, 14:58   #12
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
RTFM

If you do you will find the page that I have clipped and is attached to this post.

No it's not passing N2K the NGW converts N2K to 0183.. you'll be fine, just take your time and follow the instructions.

Chris
D'Oh! I always forget that step. lol

So I think the last question I have before I'm ready to buy is that this page: NMEA Gateways & Multiplexers | Official OpenCPN Homepage says that directly hooking up NMEA 0183 to a serial port isn't recommended. Does that mean I'd need the NGW-1-ISO plus a multiplexer?
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Old 07-12-2013, 15:50   #13
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by Toubab View Post
D'Oh! I always forget that step. lol

So I think the last question I have before I'm ready to buy is that this page: NMEA Gateways & Multiplexers | Official OpenCPN Homepage says that directly hooking up NMEA 0183 to a serial port isn't recommended. Does that mean I'd need the NGW-1-ISO plus a multiplexer?
The NGW-1 will connect to a RS232 serial port. NMEA0183 is RS422 which has slight electrical differences vs. RS232. The NGW-1 handles these differences.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:04   #14
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Re: NMEA 2000

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Originally Posted by Toubab View Post
NMEA Gateways & Multiplexers | Official OpenCPN Homepage says that directly hooking up NMEA 0183 to a serial port isn't recommended. Does that mean I'd need the NGW-1-ISO plus a multiplexer?
I think that in the manual when they talk about "direct connection" that they mean a wire directly from the serial port of the PC to the instrument network. If you use an NGW, which incorporates opto-isolation, then you are not directly connected, electrically. It is a very safe way to connect to your network.

Chris
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Old 09-12-2013, 13:31   #15
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Re: NMEA 2000

So I just need to get something like this: Amazon.com: Your Cable Store 6 Foot DB9 9 Pin Serial Port Cable Female / Female RS232: Computers & Accessories then cut and splice following the instructions that come with the NGW-1, right?
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