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Old 27-11-2013, 12:31   #1
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Plug-In Install

Long-time sailor, new to Forum and Open-CPN. Like the idea of being able to produce polars for my boat (Island Packet 37) so installed Open CPN and downloaded the following files, which seemed to pertain to polar creation:
Rausch.7z.pdf
vdr_win32_pi16_v03_pi.dll
polar_pi.dll.doc

In one place I found an instruction to "7-unzip the rausch file, then change the filename from .pdf to .doc", but I don't see how an unzipper is going to unzip a .pdf file?

In the plug-in section of Open CPN, there are listed only Dashboard 1.2 and Grib 1.4 plug-ins. How does a person get the vdr file and the polar file above installed?

Thanks, will appreciate any help.
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Old 27-11-2013, 14:19   #2
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Re: Plug-In Install

IndioJon..
Welcome to he famous world of OpenCPN. I'm a happy user since some years.
From your file examples I assume you're running windows. You are correct in that all plugin files shall be placed in <Your path>\Opencpn\plugins\ (In my case c:\program\opencpn\plugins\)
And all plugins shall have the file and extension format like: xxxx_pi.dll. So the vdr.. can be put there directly. On the "polar" you've to delete the ending ".doc" before copying/moving.
Take away the ".pdf" from the compressed "Rausch.7z" and decompress it either by Windows default feature or by another uncompressing program. (Like 7-zip for example) That plugin I don't know so it may be more to read when decompressed.
The reason for the strange file extensions you've is that they are probably fetched from this forum where the .dll extension is not allowed. That's why folks fools the system by adding an admitted extension.

Apart from all this there is a wonderful help or wiki included in your opencpn. Or at opencpn.org. See About Plugins | Official OpenCPN Homepage and PlugIns | Official OpenCPN Homepage. From the download page you can also find a lot of plugins for direct download.

Good luck!
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Old 27-11-2013, 14:26   #3
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Re: Plug-In Install

There is an online file converter, from one format to another online;

Online converter - convert video, images, audio and documents for free
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Old 28-11-2013, 02:27   #4
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Rausch file is a nmea file it needs to be uncompressed. It will end in .nmea or .txt. This file has ais and data for creating polars. It can be read by vdr but it think you need to change end to .txt.

If you want to record polars or convert get potato (windows program). Search for "pc sail" thread.
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Old 28-11-2013, 10:07   #5
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Re: Plug-In Install

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Following Hakan's direction (tack sa mycket), I put the plugin .dll's in the "plugin" directory and got VDR to work, but was having problems with polar_pi.dll. Then I found a thread with posts by "konni" who developed the polar plugin and his posts directed me to the most recent file (polar_win32_pi17_v06_ov320_pi) that he had tweaked, and his polar plugin now comes up fine.

rgleason then suggested the "poleauto" program, developed by the fellow from France,
and I am wondering what that program does that konni's polar plugin does not do?

Background of why I care about polars: Working with programs like Maptech Offshore Navigator and then Nobeltec VNS, it became clear that the ETA calculations the programs made were only good for power boats...they didn't take into account tacking. No matter how much I pestered the tech support team at Nobeltec, they wouldn't change the program so that it would calculate ETA for a tackling sailboat. I did, however, like VNS' feature in their Sailing Plus Pack to have polar information automatically recorded, and there was even the ability to go back and edit the polars to remove erroneous data points that may have been present.

Then I got in communication with Dr. Craig Summers who developed "SailTimer", a program which calculates tacking time to destination (TTD). And the mobile version even records polar information so the calculations can be specifically tailored to an individual's boat. But there is no standalone PC (Windows) version of Sailtimer so the search continued.

I discovered that NavSim Technologies' "SailCruiser" had licensed Craig's algorithms, and their program, on a PC, produces tacking-corrected ETA to a route destination. But they haven't incorporated the polar learning ability! So I need a way to accurately record the polar information for my Island Packet 37, and be able to plug it into a navigation program that will not only show tacks as the wind changes (as SailCruiser will), but also integrate my own boat's polar data into its calculations to show optimum tacking angles as well as an accurate tacking time to destination.

Being new to Open CPN, I don't know if this issue has been raised, but it certainly would be nice to have all of those capabilities in one program...record data needed to create polars, create the polars for various configuration of sail, and then calculate and display tacks based on both the changing wind conditions (direction and wind speed) as well as the individual boat polars.

If anyone is interested, the discussion of TTD can be found on sailtimer.com, and there was also an extensive thread on the subject at PANBO (search "sailtimer").

In the meantime, if I want to gather the data and have a program create polars for my boat that I can edit, am I on the right track with konni's polar plugin. or is "poleauto" a better solution?
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:24   #6
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I would use both Konni polar and polauto if you have windows. You will learn from both, different techniques. Konni polars is simpler.

I agree with you about building a full featured integrated opencpn plugin that addresses the whole process. We are really almost there due Konni polars and dean's weather_routing.

Approaches:
1. Use Velocity Prediction Program to calculate your boats polars.
2. Record nmea data in best conditions for creating polars and run in a program with filters to improve the polar.
3. Get polar data from your designer or manuf
4. You can do allboth or just one.


I this discussion is very good to have
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:29   #7
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I would use both Konni polar and polauto if you have windows. You will learn from both, different techniques. Konni polars is simpler.

I agree with you about building a full featured integrated opencpn plugin that addresses the whole process. We are really almost there due Konni polars and dean's weather_routing.

Approaches:
1. Use Velocity Prediction Program to calculate your boats polars.
2. Record nmea data in best conditions for creating polars and run in a program with filters to improve the polar.
3. Get polar data from your designer or manuf
4. You can do all or just one.

I this discussion is very good to have
Wish it was in the thread Pc Sail because there is extensive discussion links to programs and files in this thread. Will bring it up next. Hope you post fresh ideas and techniques and questions to that. Thanks
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:20   #8
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Re: Polauto (was Plug-In Install)

After installing Patrick's Polauto program and working with it a bit, it appears that this is probably better than the polar-recording program built within Nobeltec's VNS (and now Time-Zero and Odyssey with the Sailing Pack). The filters make it possible to screen outliers before they skew the data, but if needed, the manual editing function allows the user to "touch-up" the final result before saving.

Now, as I mentioned previously, it is helpful to be able to have one's upwind tacks displayed and the tacking time to destination calculated, both based on the polar data. And as I said, SailCruiser (among a few other programs) has that ability, their drawback being that a person has to either enter all of the polar data manually, or import polar data (and if importing, the program only recognizes *.npp, which seems to be a proprietary format.

Interestingly, the working polar file in SailCruiser is *.xml, and a person can see that data by opening the file in a browser. So if Patrick's Polauto program could convert his *.pol polar file to *.xml, it could be placed in the SailCruiser program and "voila!" the correct polar data would be available for SailCruiser to calculate the tacks and time to destination.

I emailed Patrick a copy of the .xml file and the .npp file, but have not had a reply yet. I cannot post those files here because the formats are not allowed.

Comments, suggestions welcomed.
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