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Old 30-06-2016, 04:09   #16
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

Yes, thats mentioned above. you can do it with NMEA0183 - but waypoints only, not routes.
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Old 30-06-2016, 04:10   #17
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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Yes, thats mentioned above. you can do it with NMEA0183 - but waypoints only, not routes.
Fair enough - this uses 2000 though.
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Old 30-06-2016, 04:13   #18
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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I have managed to send waypoints over the network from OpenCPN to Zeus2 chart plotter. At present I haven't found a way to send routes.
All achieved using the "Send to GPS" menu option and enabling "receive waypoints" on the Zeus. I have created my own gateway device which I connect to via bluetooth that does the hard work.
Very interesting -- can you post details on this setup? I guess it's serial to BT and BT to serial? Sounds very useful.
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Old 30-06-2016, 04:32   #19
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

Its a simple device that plugs into the NMEA 2000 network. The network provides its power, and it uses something like 50mA. The device has a bluetooth receiver which you can connect to (tested from Mac and Raspberry Pi), which then creates a local serial port on your computer.

Via the serial port you can:
- receive all the network data for wind, depth, speed, heading, position, AIS...
- send waypoints, plan to add support for BTW, DTW, XTE...

I have also added a barometric pressure sensor to the device because I didn't have one elsewhere on the network. It will also navigate the last route sent (i.e. calculate BTW, DTW, XTE and next waypoint) so that you can turn off your laptop. The navigation data will continue to be displayed on things like Triton displays.

I am in two minds about what to do with the project. I recognise that the software and electronics might be beyond a lot of people, so have considered making a few to sell. They would be pretty cheap to make in fact - certainly less than 100.
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Old 30-06-2016, 04:56   #20
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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Originally Posted by adwuk View Post
Its a simple device that plugs into the NMEA 2000 network. The network provides its power, and it uses something like 50mA. The device has a bluetooth receiver which you can connect to (tested from Mac and Raspberry Pi), which then creates a local serial port on your computer.

Via the serial port you can:
- receive all the network data for wind, depth, speed, heading, position, AIS...
- send waypoints, plan to add support for BTW, DTW, XTE...

I have also added a barometric pressure sensor to the device because I didn't have one elsewhere on the network. It will also navigate the last route sent (i.e. calculate BTW, DTW, XTE and next waypoint) so that you can turn off your laptop. The navigation data will continue to be displayed on things like Triton displays.

I am in two minds about what to do with the project. I recognise that the software and electronics might be beyond a lot of people, so have considered making a few to sell. They would be pretty cheap to make in fact - certainly less than 100.
OK, so it's fundamentally an N2K to 0183 converter, right?

But it looks like it does not merely convert -- it also will actually do navigation -- did I understand that right? This is very intriguing and might be some kind of solution to my problem.

How does the device interact with a plotter? The plotter will receive the navigation command and will display the route and waypoints. And I guess you can cancel navigation, accept next waypoint in the route, etc., using the plotter. I would know the answers to these questions I guess if I had used OpenCPN as the active navigation device, but I haven't tried this.
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Old 30-06-2016, 05:12   #21
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

You have it about right. Its a 0183 to 2000 converter, using bluetooth instead of wires. It also navigates along a known set of waypoints - this means that it constantly calculates BTW, DTW and XTE from current position along the route. It has a number of rules that it uses to determine which is the next waypoint which all seem to work very well (been refined over time) so there is no need to interact with the device. Want a different route? Just send a new one from OpenCPN using the "Send to GPS" menu option.

When used with the plotter, you send your route from OpenCPN, and the plotter will receive a list of waypoints that can be stored in the database and used to navigate, using the plotter.

Without the plotter, instrument displays will receive all the info they need to display your position relative to the route and the next waypoint. For example the 'highway' view on the Triton display.

The more I use it the more it is changing the way I use navigation devices on my boat. For example, the Zeus doesn't get switched on that often, and I am using OpenCPN on my Macbook more.
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Old 30-06-2016, 05:59   #22
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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Originally Posted by adwuk View Post
You have it about right. Its a 0183 to 2000 converter, using bluetooth instead of wires. It also navigates along a known set of waypoints - this means that it constantly calculates BTW, DTW and XTE from current position along the route. It has a number of rules that it uses to determine which is the next waypoint which all seem to work very well (been refined over time) so there is no need to interact with the device. Want a different route? Just send a new one from OpenCPN using the "Send to GPS" menu option.

When used with the plotter, you send your route from OpenCPN, and the plotter will receive a list of waypoints that can be stored in the database and used to navigate, using the plotter.

Without the plotter, instrument displays will receive all the info they need to display your position relative to the route and the next waypoint. For example the 'highway' view on the Triton display.

The more I use it the more it is changing the way I use navigation devices on my boat. For example, the Zeus doesn't get switched on that often, and I am using OpenCPN on my Macbook more.
This sounds really interesting, but I think it's important to understand exactly how this will interact with the main nav system.

So your device becomes the active navigation device on the network -- I think I understand how that works. I believe that will give nav data not only to devices like Tritons, but will allow the pilot to steer in Nav Mode, and will display the route graphically on the Zeus plotters. Is this all correct?

Just a couple of questions:

What happens if the system needs confirmation of a new waypoint (Nav mode does that if course change is more than x)? I guess that has nothing to do with the Nav process; rather it's part of the pilot's routine.

"Cancel Navigation" and "Restart Navigation" commands from the plotters would work normally, I guess? Or do they only work from the active navigation device?
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Old 30-06-2016, 06:31   #23
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

Some good questions, which I don't know all of the answers to because I haven't tried all the different ways of using the device with plotter and/or OpenCPN. I tend to do one of the following:
1) create a route on OpenCPN. Send the route to the device. Shut the lid on the laptop and allow the device to continue navigation. If changes are needed, or I want to check progress, open the laptop, make any changes, resend the updated route and close the laptop again.
2) create a route on OpenCPN. Send the route to the device and also receive it on the plotter. Then I use the waypoints to create a route on the plotter and get the plotter to navigate. Any changes to the route are subsequently done on the plotter.

I haven't actually turned the plotter on in scenario 1 to see what is displayed on its screen. The Tritons do display the navigation info properly though.

Does that help?
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Old 30-06-2016, 07:08   #24
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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Originally Posted by adwuk View Post
Some good questions, which I don't know all of the answers to because I haven't tried all the different ways of using the device with plotter and/or OpenCPN. I tend to do one of the following:
1) create a route on OpenCPN. Send the route to the device. Shut the lid on the laptop and allow the device to continue navigation. If changes are needed, or I want to check progress, open the laptop, make any changes, resend the updated route and close the laptop again.
2) create a route on OpenCPN. Send the route to the device and also receive it on the plotter. Then I use the waypoints to create a route on the plotter and get the plotter to navigate. Any changes to the route are subsequently done on the plotter.

I haven't actually turned the plotter on in scenario 1 to see what is displayed on its screen. The Tritons do display the navigation info properly though.

Does that help?
You are sending routes to a Zeus with your device? I thought Navico said that it can't be done.
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Old 30-06-2016, 07:13   #25
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

The route is received on the plotter as a list of waypoints. You then need to create a route from them. I haven't yet found a way of receiving the route as a route.
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Old 30-06-2016, 07:49   #26
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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The route is received on the plotter as a list of waypoints. You then need to create a route from them. I haven't yet found a way of receiving the route as a route.
OK, cool. But what is a "list of waypoints"? Do the new waypoints just appear among all the other waypoints already on the system, or are they bundled somehow, to facilitate making a route out of them? If the former, that won't help me much due to the large quantity of different waypoints already on the system.
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Old 30-06-2016, 09:09   #27
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

The waypoints do just appear in the waypoint database on the plotter. But we worked out that, if you use custom icons or other attributes, you can very quickly set a filter to display only the imported waypoints.
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Old 30-06-2016, 09:12   #28
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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The waypoints do just appear in the waypoint database on the plotter. But we worked out that, if you use custom icons or other attributes, you can very quickly set a filter to display only the imported waypoints.
Clever.


But I think on balance it will be easier to use a thumb drive. That's because route creation in OpenCPN is so convenient and fast, incomparably better than in the Zeus.

It's a really important issue for me because of the nature of navigating in the Baltic archipelagos, where you need sometimes dozens of waypoints for one day's passage. It can take bloody hours using the plotter. I'm not exaggerating.


I wonder if you could somehow map the plotter drive, to the network, so you could transfer it that way?
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Old 30-06-2016, 09:17   #29
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

Its a fair point about creating routes on the plotter, which is why we use OpenCPN for route creation, and then simply upload it to the device (i.e. usage #1 above). The advantage then is that we don't need to leave the laptop on all the time to do the navigation. I'm still experimenting and refining the software though, so maybe we can end up with something smarter eventually.
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Old 30-06-2016, 09:19   #30
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Re: Route Transfers to Navico (Simrad, Zeus, etc.) Plotters from O

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Its a fair point about creating routes on the plotter, which is why we use OpenCPN for route creation, and then simply upload it to the device (i.e. usage #1 above). The advantage then is that we don't need to leave the laptop on all the time to do the navigation. I'm still experimenting and refining the software though, so maybe we can end up with something smarter eventually.
It sounds like it's Navico which needs to come up with something smarter. If their plotters can accept GPX waypoints, why can't they simply accept GPX routes?
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