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Old 25-03-2014, 13:35   #1
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OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

This is the start of a branch off the OpenCPN Radar Overlay PlugIn which is getting too confused with the two types of radars (Garmin and SimLow) and the associated plug-ins.
It's been a problem that bdbcat and cowelld are are both Daves, but with enormously different talents and abilities with programming.
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Old 27-03-2014, 09:11   #2
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

The plugin must be combined with the plugin Garmin, and lead the development of opportunities for all radar sources.

General suggestions for plugins radar
FS#1353
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Old 29-03-2014, 05:38   #3
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baikal View Post
The plugin must be combined with the plugin Garmin, and lead the development of opportunities for all radar sources.

General suggestions for plugins radar
FS#1353
Baikal…
Must and must I suppose you mean could?
To a point I agree that it would be convenient to combine the two plugins and I have earlier claimed the same opinion. But I’m no longer equally convinced.
Both plugins are in principle sharing the same rendering method and both radars are talking UDP and using an IP connection method. Apart from that it’s a lot of differences. But if someone wants to spend efforts to put them together I’ll truly support it. But now it’s like it is? And for the user it may be of less importance since a boat like ours seldom has two radars and then to choose the right plugin is a one time occasion?
If you suggests a plugin suitable for all radars on the market it's not that easy. There's a lot of reversed engineering to be done for each and every manufacture. Dave R did the huge initial engineering using a Garmin and financial support from the forum. Then adoptions to fit the BR24 type was made by Dave C and Kees. But since this is a open source project you or anyone else are free to do more engineering to find the function of every other gadgets you like. And make one plugin for all as well. But still someone has to do it.
For the other items on your Flyspray post I’ve some personal comments:
  • The radar scanner doesn’t have a clue of the north without a compass. So I don’t understand
  • The range could be viewed in a box but it’s already shown by a range circle or if in auto range mode by the actual chart scale on the screen.
  • Yes – done in the Control dialog.
  • I don’t understand what you mean.
  • I don’t agree to make a standalone radar screen. The advantage of the plugin in combination with OCPN is to see where on the chart radar targets are located. A stand alone radar screen is what I already have to my old analogue radar?? And the plugin already has an optional mode to show the radar picture in a heading independent upright position. The option is called: "Radar standalone" but still shown on the viewed chart. ( I hope I'm correct here. I haven't' yet tried it. The function is still a bit buggy but we are working on it.)
Håkan
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Old 29-03-2014, 12:10   #4
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Baikal...Alll..
To complete my last post.
I've tested the radar standalone function after some adjustment.
So we have these two radar viewing possibilities:

Radar overlay:
Radar picture on: Actual viewed chart.
Radar picture centre: Boat position or if not available screen centre
Scale: Screen scale
Range: Auto or manual
Angle of radar picture: HDT or HDM (+Var) or COG or Upwards to screen top. Prioritized on availability.
Zone alarm function: Yes

Radar Standalone:
Radar picture on: Black screen over the chart.
Radar picture centre: Boat position or if not available screen centre
Scale: Screen scale
Range: Auto or manual
Angle of radar picture: Upwards to screen top
Zone alarm function: Yes

See screen captures. The red ring is the actual manual range limit. (Please don't care about the strange radar picture compared to the chart. I'm testing at home playing a VDR file )
/Håkan
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Radar overlay.jpg
Views:	646
Size:	106.8 KB
ID:	78362   Click image for larger version

Name:	Radar standalone.jpg
Views:	590
Size:	65.6 KB
ID:	78363  

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Old 30-03-2014, 20:20   #5
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

(Continued from my comments on the 'OTHER' thread.)

After I overcame my problems with the Lowrance equipment, I now have the 3G radar up and running. I'm getting radar signals on the OpenCPN display and it tracks range as I zoom the chart range in and out. So, I'm thrilled. I have it running in my garage and on the top of the car, 30 miles inland. So I have no idea if it is a true signal, but by golly it's up and running. The next step is to mount it on the boat and take it down to San Diego (trailer boat.) That way I can have an actual chart and compare the overlay with the chart.

That's not that simple, since I have to remove (and eventually sell ) the JRC radar that's presently installed.

A few comments. I have a sequence where I turn on the radar first and then bring up OpenCPN. And I run the signal through an Ethernet hub, so that I can see that both interfaces are active. I used Wireshark to verify that data is coming through.

Finally I ran the radar directly into the computer. That worked well. I used both a crossover cable and a straight cable. Couldn't see any difference.

I am absolutely thrilled.

My only request would be to have the range displayed, since the radar picture just shows the objects it sees, which may not be correlated to the range at which the radar is set. Some range icon would allow one to check the range. However, as presently configured, the radar does track the chart scale, at least in the garage.

Boris
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Old 30-03-2014, 21:01   #6
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Boris
"Finally I ran the radar directly into the computer. That worked well. I used both a crossover cable and a straight cable. Couldn't see any difference."

It will work with a straight through cable, however you really should use a crossover cable if there is no hub. This reduces the incidence of data problems, and loss of data, such as NEXT. Same as any other Ethernet connection....
Matt
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Old 30-03-2014, 21:04   #7
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Hakan, thanks for your work - the latest plugin from you and Dave C works really well!!!
The only suggestion I have at this stage is an adjustment for the Auto Gain level. Seems a bit to high for me - when I go to manual, and reduce it from the Auto settings, I get a better image of the boats around me in the marina - yet to test it at sea. Will do so this coming weekend, and report back!
Thanks again - Great Job!!
Matt
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Old 31-03-2014, 02:28   #8
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Hakan, thanks for your work - the latest plugin from you and Dave C works really well!!!
The only suggestion I have at this stage is an adjustment for the Auto Gain level. Seems a bit to high for me - when I go to manual, and reduce it from the Auto settings, I get a better image of the boats around me in the marina - yet to test it at sea. Will do so this coming weekend, and report back!
Thanks again - Great Job!!
Matt
Matt..
Dave C the lucky gay is out sailing but he's the one to primary esteem. But try this one (you're on Win - Yes?) There is small adjustment for the reported range. The aim is that the desired range you, or the auto function, send shall also be equally returned. Please if you have the possibility to report I'll appreciate. I haven't been able to test it in real.

Boris...
Nice to hear about another working system.
The range is now reported as a red circle indicating the manual range limit. Or if in auto range mode the screen edges are the range limit.
And I may have a analogue Furuno for sale as well

Attached a windows binary. I'm trying to automate the zone alarm sound file location. But it's not ready so in this .dll it is searching for the file in a probably wrong location. So please:
If you don't have put your sound file location to the opencpn.ini do like this:
-Start OCPN including the new radar_pi.dll
-Shut OCPN down
-Open and edit opencpn.ini in your data location. (See OCPN ?-menu)
-Below settings for [PlugIns/BR24Radar] edit this to fit your system. (\\Program files\\ ??):
Code:
RadarAlertAudioFile=C:\\Program\\Opencpn\\sounds\\4bells.wav
Håkan
(Save and discard the .doc from the file name)
Attached Files
File Type: doc br24radar_40328_pi.dll.doc (160.0 KB, 181 views)
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Old 31-03-2014, 21:14   #9
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Håkan, I took the boat out today to test the radar with your latest plugins.

Range is working well!

Guard Zone Alarms work, but only sound a couple of times then go quiet, despite echos still being in the zone. IMO the alarm should continue while echos remain in the zone. Perhaps a mute button for a select-able period might be good?

Thanks again for your help!

Matt
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:46   #10
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
..............Guard Zone Alarms work, but only sound a couple of times then go quiet, despite echos still being in the zone. IMO the alarm should continue while echos remain in the zone. Perhaps a mute button for a select-able period might be good?...........
Matt... Many thanks for the test. And yes -- the sound is also for me not that reliable it should be. I'll do my best to understand Dave's code and see what I can do.
The alarm sound is intended to be continuous repeted as long the alarm is active and any target is inside the zone.
The intended way to switch it off is to make the alarm zone "inactive" in the "Radar Control" dialog box. For me that's OK instead of a mute button?

Håkan
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:11   #11
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder, a project " BR24 radar (Beta) is now open into Tracker/Flyspray.

OpenCPN::Tracker pi - BR24 Radar (Beta): Tasklist

How to get to Tracker / Flyspray ?
Tracker/Flyspray is here OpenCPN::Tracker All Projects: Tasklist
Login and Registration is here OpenCPN::Tracker All Projects: Tasklist at the top

Serge
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:47   #12
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

There was also a github for BR24: https://github.com/cowelld/BR24radar_pi.git
But no changes seen since 3 months.

Gerhard
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Old 01-04-2014, 13:42   #13
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

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Originally Posted by CarCode View Post
There was also a github for BR24: https://github.com/cowelld/BR24radar_pi.git
But no changes seen since 3 months.
Gerhard
We know - we know! Please be patient with a retired hobby coder. (That's me.)
But it's in the ( what's the English expression)- file. Dave C has made a nice job and now the most seems to work as expected. He was today talking about a update of the git hub but there's some minor issues left.
I know it's tested in Unix and Win but I don't know the status for Mac. I may be that your knowledge will be useful?

Håkan
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:01   #14
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Thanks to all who are working on this project. I've been a little slow in getting the GitHub site updated and for that I apollogize. I've just done an update. Matt (Neptune's Gear) has stepped forward to write a user's guide which we hope to publish soon and forward to G. for his translation. (I haven't worked with Flyspray simply because I'm getting overwhelmed with logins, passwords and threads.)
Currently Hakan and I are collaborating on improving the package. Kees has recently made comment and we'll include him in our future efforts. He may not make any program contributions but his insight into marine electronics and knowledge of C++ makes him invaluable. He's recently refered a fellow cruiser who has a 4G unit, NSS7 and compiling capability as a "PANBOT" which means we're under PANBO scrutiny or at least have their perspective. That's good. I've also asked Kees to take down his Git site since it isn't current to our efforts.
Hakan and I will hopefully have a refined product to release soon. The devil is in the details. (Hakan uses that word when commenting on my programming.) There's been a lot of catching up but I feel we're on an even keel now and can make some headway.
Again, thanks to all for their contributions.

Hasta,
Dave C
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:11   #15
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Re: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

Ok, so the money has come through from my insurance company and I'm now building a list of items to buy

I dont think it matters which scanner I get from the Navico range, I suspect they all have the same firmware? Obviously the 3G and 4G are different though.

Being in Europe, they are all supplied with the RI10 interface box but I cant see thats relevant to an installation that will use only OCPN as its display?

Have any of you got heading data out to the scanner to stabilise the output? Or am I misunderstanding something here - basically what connections are required to get the chart overlay to align.

Finally it looks like MARPA function is processed in the scanner which requires heading data. Does the BR24 plugin support MARPA function at present?

Thanks ... Robbie
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