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Old 23-07-2018, 19:28   #1
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redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

I probably posted this in the wrong forum first (electronics) so I am moving it to this one for possible help. thanks...

Just got my new/used Catalina 2005 c320 and the old Raymarine electronics need to be upgraded. In an effort to take advantage of modern electronics and do things smarter not harder, I am hoping to start replacing things using more wifi and less cabling.. this should also be hopefully cheaper and more flexible.

I have started the process with a new tablet -- Asus Zen 3 with great display and a data card and built in GPS. I know its not real weather proof, but thats what backups are for.

I have bought and downloaded OpenCPN on it and now I would like to start connecting the wind, depth, radar, speed, "existing" instruments and make it the new chartplotter.

Here is where it gets a bit fuzzy to me.

1. do I need a new wifi hub router device to connect the tablet to the existing "seatalk" network ?

2. could I have more than one active chartplotter online at a time?

3. eventually I want to tie in existing 'sensors' from all over the boat and add new ones and monitor from a central tablet to manage all alarm conditions

4. since I want AIS in my future, does the Vesper XB8000 with its built in wifi go a long way to solving my problem?

Any and all suggestions, diagrams, or alternate methods are greatly appreciated. thanks
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Old 23-07-2018, 19:42   #2
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Re: redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

Brookhouse imux seatalk
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Old 23-07-2018, 20:08   #3
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Re: redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by seapop View Post
. Here is where it gets a bit fuzzy to me.

1. do I need a new wifi hub router device to connect the tablet to the existing "seatalk" network ?

2. could I have more than one active chartplotter online at a time?

3. eventually I want to tie in existing 'sensors' from all over the boat and add new ones and monitor from a central tablet to manage all alarm conditions

4. since I want AIS in my future, does the Vesper XB8000 with its built in wifi go a long way to solving my problem?

Any and all suggestions, diagrams, or alternate methods are greatly appreciated. thanks
1) Yes, you need a multiplexer that will convert Seatalk to NMEA-0183 over Ethernet. There are a few on the market. Actisense I believe makes one as do others. The multiplexer needs to output NMEA data on an IP network either via a built-in wifi or a plain wired Ethernet port. If the latter any old wifi router will convert wired Ethernet to wifi. Tell the multiplexer to send all NMEA data to a multicast IP address (last number can be 255). There are some open source projects for this part based on Arduono or raspberry Pi but mainly for IT geeks.

2) yes, the Seatalk plotter can still work. You can have multiple OpenCPN copies running and all receiving the same NMEA data.

3) not a problem.

4) maybe, but I don't think it converts Seatalk to NMEA. But that's ok, if all it does is send AIS data over a multicast wifi address with different port number than seatalk mux. Then all plotters that listen to that port can get AIS data. Just be sure you don't get more than one source of GPS data on the wifi or things will get a little crazy. Remember the old adage, man with two watches never knows the right time.
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Old 23-07-2018, 20:55   #4
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Re: redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

Networking is great when it works. Assume it won’t and make sure your devices can operate independently. BTW, we have Vesper 850 and love it. Great AIS and great anchor alarm. Very low power consumption.
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Old 24-07-2018, 01:44   #5
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Re: redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

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.... or raspberry Pi but mainly for IT geeks.
Have you tried openplotter? The latest openplotter for raspberry pi must be as near plug and play as any alternatives with menus for most more common sensors, no need for geekiness to load and set up .
Hard to think of another way to add voltage, pressure, temperature sensors etc which is so flexible, with signalk built in so you can actually get at the data easily.
https://docs.sailoog.com/openplotter-v1-x-x/features

Maybe not perfect for this particular setup as getting at seatalk isn't easy yet without spending a load of money on an adapter. (Seatalk NG should be OK with a canbus usb adaptor)
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Old 24-07-2018, 05:44   #6
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Re: redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

Installed a YakBak last year. Easy install/config. Very compact (literally just a few square inches). Very cost competative (especially compared to some of the expensive SeaTalk options). Responsive support. Worked great all season.

http://yakbitz.com/Default.aspx

A config feature I really like is that it can create its own AP or connect to an existing AP. This is handy if you already have a router aboard and dont want to lose connectivity via the router...the YaKBak just becomes another device on that network.

Happy customer.

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Old 24-07-2018, 05:54   #7
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Re: redo -- Would like to move to all/mostly wireless OpenCPN

If adding an AIS transponder, consider the Vesper XP-8000. It multiplexes data over wife (make sure it does the sentences you need) and works well for what we are using it for. Good luck!

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