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Old 23-10-2012, 07:57   #1
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Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

Hello, I am new to Opencpn and just registered to the Forum. I have done a lot of research on my problem that follows but have not seen a solution to passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable.

I have a serial cable connected to a wire going to my Furuno GP-32's output port wired as follows:

5= ground, 3= transmit, 2= receive.

This cable is connected to a Prolific USB Serial adapter. When connected to Nobletec, Maxsea and SeaClear It will work as Data "IN" and Data "OUT" to the autopilot.

When the cable is connected to Opencpn Versions 2.1, 2.5 or 3.1 when connected to a PC with XP, Vista and Windows 7 I get the same result. Data "IN" is okay but Data "OUT" gives the following message in the log:

11:46:58 PM: Autopilot output device open failed: COM4

If I use a BU-353 GPS in the "IN" port and my cable in another port as "OUT" (with the Furuno turned off) the cable will pass XTE, DTW and BTW to the autopilot. On one computer it also passes COG and SOG and on another it doesn't. In both computers I have gone into the ini files and
inserted:

[Settings]
AutoPilot NMEA Sentence Out=RMB;RMC

So, in summary, my cable will work as Data "IN" and Data "OUT" but not at the same time.
Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Allen
sv Honalee
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Old 23-10-2012, 08:59   #2
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

You didn't specify what your "NMEA data source" port is.
Is COM4 also your "NMEA data source" port in the GPS options tab?

If so, also check that the "AIS Data Port" in the AIS tab is set to "None".
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Old 23-10-2012, 10:44   #3
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

With a single cable for "IN" and "Out", which the Opencpm manual says will work, uses the same port for "IN" and "OUT" so in my case both ports are Port4. The "AIS Data Port" in the AIS tab is set to "None".

Allen
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Old 23-10-2012, 11:19   #4
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

Could you show us the whole program log from application start to the error message? (Not the whole file, just the last run is fine).
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Old 23-10-2012, 12:33   #5
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

Here is the log:

13:05:42: 2012-10-23
13:05:42: -------Starting opencpn-------
13:05:42: Version 3.0.2 Build 2012-07-07
13:05:42: MemoryStatus: mem_total: 2940 mb, mem_initial: 7 mb
13:05:42: SData_Locn is C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\
13:05:42: Using existing Config_File: C:\ProgramData\opencpn\opencpn.ini
13:05:42: Setting Viewpoint Lat/Lon 9.5647, -78.8581
13:05:42: Setting Ownship Lat/Lon 9.5647, -78.8581
13:05:42: System default Language: en_US
1:05:42 PM: Opencpn language set to: en_US
1:05:44 PM: ChartSymbols loaded from C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\s57data\chartsymbols.xml
1:05:45 PM: Using s57data in C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\s57data
1:05:45 PM: Setting Viewpoint Lat/Lon 9.5647, -78.8581
1:05:45 PM: Setting Ownship Lat/Lon 9.5647, -78.8581
1:05:45 PM: NMEA Data Source is....Serial:COM4
1:05:45 PM: AIS Data Source is....None
1:05:46 PM: Using WVSChart datafile: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\wvsdata\wvs43.dat
1:05:46 PM: NMEA AutoPilot Port is....Serial:COM4
1:05:46 PM: Autopilot output device open failed: COM4
1:05:46 PM: OpenPD: 368, new_count = 1 for COM4
1:05:47 PM: PlugInManager searching for PlugIns in location C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins
1:05:47 PM: PlugInManager: Loading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/dashboard_pi.dll
1:05:47 PM: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/dashboard_pi.dll Version detected: 106
1:05:47 PM: PlugInManager: Loading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/grib_pi.dll
1:05:47 PM: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/grib_pi.dll Version detected: 107
1:05:47 PM: ChartDB Cache policy: Application target is 1024 MBytes
1:05:47 PM: Loading chart db version: V016
1:05:47 PM: Chartdb: Chart directory list follows
1:05:47 PM: Chart directory #0: C:\CM93-2009\CM93
1:05:47 PM: GPS Watchdog Timeout is: 6 sec.
1:05:47 PM: Initializing Chart C:\CM93-2009\CM93
1:05:47 PM: CM93Composite Chart Root is C:\CM93-2009\CM93\
1:05:47 PM: Loaded CM93 Dictionary from C:\CM93-2009\CM93\
1:05:47 PM: Loading CM93 cell C:\CM93-2009\CM93\02700840/E/02980843.E
1:06:29 PM: opencpn::MyFrame exiting cleanly.
1:06:29 PM: Chart cache purge
1:06:29 PM: PlugInManager: UnLoading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/dashboard_pi.dll
1:06:29 PM: PlugInManager: UnLoading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/grib_pi.dll
1:06:29 PM: Stopping Secondary Thread
1:06:30 PM: ClosePD: 368, count_after_close = 0 for COM4
1:06:31 PM: and so CloseComPortPhysical
1:06:31 PM: Stopped in 2 sec.
1:06:31 PM: Chart cache purge
1:06:31 PM: LOGBOOK: 2012-10-23 18:06:31 UTC OFF: Lat 9.56474 Lon -78.85810 COG 269.40000 SOG 0.00
1:06:31 PM: opencpn::MyApp exiting cleanly...
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Old 23-10-2012, 13:19   #6
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

Interesting. I wonder if this is due to a thread race condition. Could you try the following:

1. Set both NMEA input and AP output to None.

2. Stop and restart OpenCPN.

3. Set NMEA Input to COM4 and "OK".

4. Re-open the options window and now set AP Output to COM4 too.

5. "OK".

And see if this changes anything.
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Old 23-10-2012, 16:10   #7
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

Okay, here is the way I got the autopilot pass through on both of my computers including COG and SOG (my Raymarine SPX30 needs to receive RMC). It has to be done in exactly the following order:

1. Check the ini file and be sure you put in the AutoPilot NMEA setting as follows:
[Settings]
AutoPilot NMEA Sentence Out=RMB;RMC
[Settings]
ConfigVersionString=Version 3.0.2 Build 2012-07-07
NavMessageShown=1
ShowDebugWindows=1
ShowPrintIcon=0
etc
etc

2. Be sure the GPS is receiving data and put into Port4 on the computer.

3. Open Opencpn and be sure it is receiving GPS data in Port4. Change the GPS "IN" and "OUT" Port to "None" then "OK". Close the program.

4. Open Opencpn and make the GPS "IN" Port4 then "OK". Right click on a waypoint and click "Go to here" and the autopilot shows nothing. Close the program.

5. Open Opencpn and make the GPS "OUT" Port4 then "OK". Right click on a waypoint click "Go to here" and the autopilot shows the data.

I turned the computer off and then back on and opened Opencpn and the pass through is still working without having to repeat the above.

Surprising that with my many, many tries I didn't hit the right combination. Guess my cable is non-standard as everyone would have the same problem. I wired the serial connector myself probably 10 years ago.

Thanks for your help it is much appreciated!

Allen
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:12   #8
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

The important bit here is not enabling the GPS in and AP out at the same time.
This has nothing whatsoever to do with your cable but as I thought it is a race condition between two different threads in the program.

That particular code is being rewritten anyway for the next release so there is no point in digging further into the causes.

Glad you got it working. Don't be surprised if it fails again in the future, but you know what to do then.
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:36   #9
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Re: Passing navigation data to my autopilot using a single cable

Got your post but already wrote the following which is the same conclusion!

I have played with Opencpn on my issue and found that if I open the program with the "IN" and "OUT" ports configured it won't pass the info. If I open the program and they are both configured I can change the "OUT" Port to "None" and leave the "IN" port at PORT4, click okay, and then change the "OUT" port to PORT4, click okay, and then the data is passed to the autopilot.

The Autopilot setting does have to be in the ini file before you start.
A lot simpler!

Allen
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