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Old 13-02-2013, 10:17   #1
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NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Am new to this latest beta and am trying to get NMEA Data out of OpenCPN, over my Wi-Fi to an android tablet, presently running the free version of iOnboard from Digital Yacht.

Itís a test rig with just a GPS connected via com1 to XP running OpenCPN.

I canít make the connection though!

If I use PolarCOM on the XP p/c as a server then the TCP link works I can see the GPS status fully within iOnboard on the tablet, so the building blocks are there.

Back to OpenCPN on the XP server. GPS status is shown on OpenCPN, and I can see ďblueĒ output messages in the NMEA debug window, but they donít reach the tablet.

Iíve tried searching for more info on how to setup this network output port, but canít locate any. Is there a more detailed guide anywhere?

Am using TCP port 10110 for both PolarCOM and OpenCPN, but Iím unclear what I must use for the Network address entry, and other settings such as Priority within OpenCPN. The port has the output box ticked, and the output filter is set to allow all messages. XP firewall is disabled, and in any case PolarCOM works as the source on the same port.

Any pointers much appreciated.
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:54   #2
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

AndyBa..
First; if you don't have read Data Connections | Official OpenCPN Homepage please do. There are some good examples that may suit you.
Second; I've used broadcast within the local PC, winXP, as well as what I think is your case thoughout a local network. But I use UDP instead of TCP. That protocol is maybe more suitable for NMEA broadcasting. For the sender e.g. OCPN I use 192.168.x.x as address and port 10110. (The wiki suggests 255 instead of my "x" but the "x" is really working as well) The reciever will pick it up even if the address is leaved empty but you must give the port 10110.

Since the UDP is broadcast around the entire network, also to the sender, I use to filter all incoming data for the sender connection. See my attached config:

Give it a try.
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Old 13-02-2013, 11:53   #3
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Thanks Hakan.

Yes I have studied that pageÖ more than once! But must admit I couldnít get my head around it totally.

I think the difference between setups is ďserverĒ or ďbroadcastĒ.

Both the android softwareís Iíve tried, iOnboard and Sail Tracker Polar NMEA ask for an IP address and Port in their configuration. Itís not obvious in the settings if it is a TCP or UDP port and no way to set / change it in either. Google suggests that at least Sail Tracker Polar was TCP only.

But I failed to get Sail Tracker to receive data from even PolarCom so gave up on that. Iím presuming that iOnboard was also fixed as TCP as thatís what worked in the Polarcom server config.

So Iím beginning to conclude that both the android apps I have are looking to connect to a TCP server for their NMEA feed, whereas Open CPN is broadcasting.

If so I need to either get the OpenCPN Network port to run as a server, if possible, or find an android app capable of receiving UDP broadcast messages?

Does this sound correct?

Regards
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Old 13-02-2013, 12:20   #4
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

AndyBa..
Now we are outside my experiences. I've only tried to transmit between PCs. But I should have tried with TCP and let receivers try to connect to the IP address of the PC running OCPN. and still port 10110. (Port number is not important as long as all uses the same. And 10110 is often not used by other and is also in some way standardised to NMEA)
Have you tried the "Frisco" AIS broadcast mentioned in the wiki? (You'll see it also in my config.)Try to connect the iOnboard and sailtracker to that and then get a receipt for the TCP traffic as such. If that is working it must only be an addressing issue for the OCPN connection that can be solved?

There may certainly also be others here ho have done what you are trying. Let see if they are coming in.
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Old 19-02-2013, 12:59   #5
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

AndyBa...
It may have been a change to the TCP logic in the beta 3.1.147 available at opencpn.org/downloads. May be you should give at try.
I tried with IP address 0.0.0.0 port 10110 for the server/sender and for the client I used the servers IP address and the same port. Work fine but it was between PCs. You could try with all other stuff you got as clients.
See also OpenCPN Release Candidate Version 3.1.1417 Released for more discussions about the use of TCP.

HŚkan
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Old 08-04-2013, 21:15   #6
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Hi
You can check Google play for an application named GPSBridge, its quite easy to receive OpenCPN location via UDP and send it back to others apps like navionics and google maps. The regular application currently have a bug and is not showing the waypoint date (bearing, crosstrack error, distance) but the boat edition is working.

My current setup is:
- GPSGates getting GPS information thru serial port
- OpenCPN using TCP to get location from GPSGate
- OpenCPN sending current location and its current waypoint to GPSBridge thru UDP
- GPSBrigde show waypoint, location, etc and emulate the internal GPS so navionics can show the current location.

As a disclaimer, i'm the developer of GPSBridge. I found this thread while looking for another apps that could do what my is doing. Also, i will suggest in another thread to publish a free version of GPSBridge which will work only with OpenCPN is the developers accept my project.


Richard
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Old 09-04-2013, 20:09   #7
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

AndyBa is this the Sailtracker software? Google/Android app. Looks pretty good.
Thanks Hakan and kobold for the information.

Kobold I hope they accept your offer to make a GPS bridge for OpenCPN, might be very useful, if the Opencpn connections which Hakan and others worked so diligently on is not working in that situation.

GPSBridge
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Old 21-04-2013, 10:23   #8
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Hi rgleason. Apologies for not responding sooner, but been away in the sun

I eventually gave up trying to output nmea info from OpenCPN, and adopted a different route.

I am now running a mini-pc with Neal Arundaleís excellent nmea router and com0com to get three nmea feeds onto the screen. com0com generates the virtual com port which OpenCPN is then configured to connect to.

I can now also use other software such as Seaclear and PolarView on the mini-pc, just configure them to use the same virtual com0com port as was assigned within OpenCPN.

In addition the Arundale nmea router also outputs nmea using TCP/IP to the LAN port of the PC. From there it goes to my on-board wireless and onwards via wi-fi to either a tablet, or backup laptop. So that solved the OpenCPN TCP output issue.

For the wi-fi Iím actually using a wireless Ethernet router, running the DD-WRT firmware. This doubles as both a receiver to pick-up and stray wi-fi in port. So I then get internet reception on the mini-pc. But it also has a virtual Access Point configured, so the very same received internet is locally re-transmitted within the boat along with the nmea info being output from the mini-pc using the Arundale nmea router.

So on my tablet I have both internet when in port, and nmea when at sea with no need to change anything.

Iíve tried the Digital yacht iOnboard, and Pro-Sail Tracker Polar apps on the tablet. Both have different features, but more importantly both work fine when configured correctly.

So yes it is the Sailtracker software.

As an aside if you want UK charts on a tablet have a look at the Marine Navigator Pro app, which together with the android charts from visitmyharbour look to be an excellent solution, and not bad price wise either. Not used this combo in anger yet, as itís only just become available. (No connection)
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Old 21-04-2013, 11:51   #9
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Andyba

Thanks for the report.

Neal Arundale NMEA Router and AIS Decoder. I've used NavMonPC and OpenCPN, don't know why you had trouble, but Neal's appear useful too.

"..outputs nmea using TCP/IP to the LAN port of the PC" I believe Opencpn does this too. Hakan could help if there are problems.

"..goes to my on-board wireless and onwards via wi-fi to either a tablet, or backup laptop. So that solved the OpenCPN TCP output issue." --Its working, so thats good, but I believe Opencpn supports this too.

For the wi-fi I’m actually using a wireless Ethernet router, running the DD-WRT firmware. --Thanks, I am also familiar with DD-WRT because I wanted a guest wifi

typo " in anger yet," anchor?

I'd be very interested in your mini-pc. What is its manuf, model, features. graphics etc..do you have a handle on the amount of power used / hour for the full setup including wifi and just the mini-pc? What techniques do you use to save power? How fast is the mini-PC with opencpn running?

Thanks very much for your report. Its helpful.
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Old 21-04-2013, 12:17   #10
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Incidentally, I have Raymarine Instruments and Autopilot 4000 Wheel with a Standard Horizon VHF/DSC with a GPS puck wired to it. I have been looking at getting NEMA to the PC..
gadgetPool.de - !!!! Tiny USB SeaTalk NMEA Link
OR gadgetPool.de
Quote:
Here's what I think I could do.

1. PC with Opencpn (has software mux and filtering features) also NavMonPC
2. USB Hub- Tiny SeaTalk NMEA Bridge with galvanic isolated USB with Serial Plug for Seatalk Connection
3. USB Hub- Galvanic isolated RS232->USB dongle For GPS Puck ---> VHF/Dsc Nmea out ---> USB Hub
Use an additional 'Serial Plug for Seatack Connection" for #3 above, can use for Nmea too I think?
4. USB Hub - USB Software Defined Radio (SDR) RTL 2832U+e4000 or R820T DVB-T Dongle for AIS and Weatherfax
5. USB Hub - Spare for Mouse or maybe the GPS Puck direct to PC.

I suppose I should be worried about the GPS Puck and SDR Dongle which is probably not galvanically isolated?
Could I put the galvanic isolation on the power side of the hub somehow so it covers all devices?
Do you have USB-Serial adapter with galvanic isolation?

I will also need a 12dc to 5vdc power supply that would be adequate. (one of my hubs says 5vdc, 2.5A)
don't know if that will be adequate.
If I had a galvanically isolated 5vdc supply would I need the Tiny Seatalk NMEA bridge to be galvanically isolated?
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Old 21-04-2013, 13:38   #11
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

The mini-pc is home made. Itís based on a Jetway JNC96-525. See mini-itx.com. Four reasons for choosing that one. 1. 12v direct supply. 2. Passive cooling. 3. 2x Com ports. 4. I needed an IDE port for a slim line IDE CD/DVD that I already had. There may well be other moboís now available.

Itís in one of their boxes, with the CD drive and a SATA Seagate Hybrid Momentus XT drive. Must admit that it still finds W7 a bit sluggish even with plenty of RAM, but once it is up and running it works fine and is stable. It could well be a bit quicker with XP? Never had a noticeable issue with OpenCPN. It does do the job. And itís playing iTunes through the stereo at the same time!

I also have an elderly 15Ē 1024 x 764 TFT which fits in the nav area great. Itís one of those with an external power brick which I have dispensed with. You canít seem to buy this size and type of monitor these days, so I hope it lasts! This is also native 12v in.

Both the above are fed with a 12v DC-DC convertor so as to cope with battery voltage variations. Sourced via eBay, direct from the Far East. It may well work without it, but Iíve never tried it.

Case is not ruggedized or moisture / water proof, but hey ho!

Not sure of current consumption, Iíd have to get a meter out, but it does seem to run and last. I looked at a different way in choosing the most energy efficient components I could reasonably source, and if I then had a power issue then Iíd have to get a bigger battery! To date Iíve never had an issue so it canít be a dig draw.

I tend to power the wireless only as a luxury and only when necessary.
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Old 21-04-2013, 14:32   #12
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Thanks very much, the momentus drive is a good pick I think. Those mini-pc are not cheap. Are you a power boat? Putting a meter on this little setup would be a very big help.

I think someday we're going to have All-in-one 10"-12" display's with Cd that will work, but that may be awhile. How is your display? Do you shield it?
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Old 21-04-2013, 15:12   #13
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Jetway JNC96-525 95 Lb
Jetway JNC98-525E-LF | TechwareLabs

These appear to be effective, 12v, with no fan, important in sea environment, if starting fresh one might try to step up a notch.
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Old 22-04-2013, 03:53   #14
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
Are you a power boat?
No, I am 11.7m steel with a 32sq ft main, 11 UK tons, and 660 ah house battery.
See Dixdesign.com, Dix 38 Pilot, full draught version. Mine is the red one at the top, after I blasted and primed it, and at the bottom, the inverted hull under construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
How is your display? Do you shield it?
Again no to shielding. Biggest issue is sunlight as it's a Pilot House.

Next time I get chance I'll measure the current consumption.
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Old 25-04-2013, 14:44   #15
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Re: NMEA output over TCP with Beta 1405

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
Putting a meter on this little setup would be a very big help.
Measured today using the Heart interface Link 2000 monitor.

3.8 amp with 13.0v batt voltage, total for the following:-

1. 12v DC - DC convertor
2. mini PC unit, with CD drive spinning, and USB chart stick , and 500gb USB portable drive connected as backup drive.
3. 15" TFT monitor at quite high brightness.
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