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Old 03-07-2014, 10:40   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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opencpn 3.2 as a full tracking navigation system on small Hunter 23.5

This may help some one or not. A few years ago I purchased a Hunter 23.5 didn't have a lot of options or electronics and was fun to sail off the coast of FL. Well one day I decided to go on a camping trip and stay out for a night in front of one of the local Island. The whole night after dark I could not sleep in fret of winding up in the middle of the golf upon waking. I was using a small hand held gps for navigation. After that day I went on a quest and a mission to find the lowest cost ancore and navigation. Note I am a research and designer for fun. I work with electronics and communications all day at my job. On my research path I came across Opencpn. I Loved it a real system designed by great people and the price was right. No Designed a Custom Core 2 duo laptop I got for $50 bucks and then got a usb gps for $25 now the race was on the system worked great and with the free electronic charts from the NOAA it really helped out on a real system that works for navigation. I couldn't stop there after finding out it was capable of running an autopilot I had a lazy crew and going out was a lot of effort and with out some one to run the tiller and keeping a straight line to the wind it could some times be dangerous out in the currents and waves I ended up getting a Raymarine St 1000+ I created a custom cable with adapter and set it up to the pc running Opencpn using the NMEA 1883 comm. and tested it works. After Open CPN Installed the ability to run and control the individual sentences to each usb port things took off. I was able to get a radio that has AIS/DCS and wired a custom cable to that set up the speeds to each port from radio now I had GPS on the radio and also AIS signals to my computer and DCS to my computer. Now I found that the autopilot would also run off the gps signal since Open CPN Distributes the information to each device. Well why stop now. I got safety from the radio and the autopilot to nav. for 20 miles with out a hiccup off the go here now from the laptop. Well what about wind I could use that right not just for the autopilot to run off of but also to see on a screen the exact numbers on a screen for the direction so I can test to see what angle off the wind gets the best speed from my sails. So off I go and I found I just needed a communications converter from raymarine very simple and a very low cost weather sensor from a company in England which outputs NMEA not just sensor readings I also integrated a 3 way calibration switch into the comm wiring and wala a full fledged system that works it reads out wind also note when the auto pilots is wired using raymarine communication and run through the raymarine communications converter now you actually get a true compass reading from the auto pilot on the pc also. this system is great its like having a 15k system on a small sail boat. That cost less than 1k a real winner and very unique. If any one is interested in the design. Let me know. If any one in the open CPN project is interested I have a full schematic of the system 2 years It is still running and in full operation.
ruddog is offline   Reply With Quote

enc, hunter, navigation, opencpn

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