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Old 25-12-2010, 11:04   #1
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Standard Horizon Matrix 2100 and Open CPN

I just purchased the S.H. Matrix 2100 radio and I would like to connect it to my laptop that is running Open CPN on Windows 7 with a Global Stat BU-353 USB GPS. Has anyone done this? I would like to keep my system as simple as possible because of my limited $$. Thanks for any help or suggestions.

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Old 25-12-2010, 11:43   #2
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No but next time I go to the boat I am going to work on doing just that. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old 26-12-2010, 07:05   #3
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Can be done by setting up a GPS bus made from standard wire and terminal strip. A standalone GPS can power three devices.

However strongly recommend that the GPS unit be standalone for safety sake (powered either by batteries or 12V and not the computer), so the setup would be something like this: GPS > terminal strip>radio, computer, one more device. Your existing device becomes the backup if and when needed as it sucks power from the laptop. Should the laptop die your gps is dead in the water in the existing config. YMMV of course.

Its a really simple setup and works fine on my boat.

GPS>terminal strip>VHF, autopilot, laptop. (only proprietary cables are one for the Garmin, the rest being standard wire and an old used spliced USB cable)

Primary GPS is a Garmin Map76 and secondary is a standard USB puck. On my netbook with 8 hrs battery life when I run the puck and opencpn for testing my battery life dropped to 4 hrs or less. It sucks a lot of juice.
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Old 26-12-2010, 07:46   #4
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Hmmm... I can't imagine putting to sea with only a single GPS. Right now, I've just given one to a friend so I'm down to my last 5 GPSs on board: 2 built-in, 1 in the AIS, 1 hockey-puck backup, & a handheld for the ditch-bag.

As has been reported on at least 2 other AIS threads, the NMEA AIS signal from the 2100 is a bit low, & usually needs pull-up resistors to interface to other equipment. And even then, it will probably only feed one other piece of gear (ie, OpenCPN).
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Old 26-12-2010, 15:07   #5
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Thanks for your replies, the SH Matrix 2100 radio is the first piece of equipment as I'm starting from scratch with more to come. I just checked out the Garmin 76 and the 72H both appear to have the USB and the NIEMA 0183 Ports that I need to connect to the radio and the laptop for now. My first goal is to get the GPS and the AIS functions on the radio operational as I sort out the rest. I have not decided on what I want to do as far as a chartplotter goes yet. I have played with the idea of a second screen from my PC either in the companion way or at the helm running OPEN CPN. At a minumum I would like to do my route planning on my PC and share those routes to a seperate GPS or chartplotter. I'm trying to only purchase equipment that will serve another purpose later on, either as part of the backbone of the future system or used as a back up unit. I'm really at the early stages of trying to determine what I want and where I want it. The ultimate goal is to keep everything as simple as possible so it is very user friendly and of course energy stingy.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:10   #6
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I've just wired mine up using a shipmodul miniplex-lite multiplexer; it works well and has sufficent resources to handle different baud rates for gps and ais; also autopilot and dsc and uses only one usb port which OpenCPN shares.



Cheers, Jim
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:46   #7
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Thanks for the information, that was what I was looking for!!
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:45   #8
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The shipmodul miniplex-lite multiplexer looks interesting, but since it's powered by the USB connection to your computer, keeping your computer running is the only way to keep powered and everything connected.

I keep my laptop on most of the time when on the dock, but not so much I'm out. What does everyone else do? (I'm looking to wire up my NMEA devices as well)

Also, other than an inverter, how does everyone power their laptops? My laptop charger outputs 18.5v.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:06   #9
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Found info on DC adapters on this thread (Running a laptop from 12 volt supply) but still curious about NMEA solution. thanks... don
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:59   #10
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I'm starting from scratch on this boat. I plan on using my PC for my route planning and transfering those routes to a small garmin that will be used at the helm. I plan on only using the PC [and possible adding an additional large screen monitor that will be mounted under the dodger or so I can swing it out in the companion way running off the PC] for close navigation / AIS when greater detail is neccesary. The PC I have has a 8hr battery and will connect to my house bank as neccessary. I have two GPS recievers one in the Garmin that will be connected to the S.H. Matrix 2100 radio and 1 to the laptop. The Garmin can support 3 devices. This my pan for now and will see how it plays out.

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Old 26-01-2011, 22:34   #11
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Hi Hi Ho,
couldn't resist that haa ha, I'm about in the same situation , trying to set up a simple system that uses less power. I've decided to use the sh 2100 hooked up to this LCD option for Brookhuse NMEA multiplexers Multiplexer with a small screen! Through the multiplexer I'll feed wind, depth from cruzpro, Ais to both a eee pc and I'm thinking a gps type navigator at the helm.
With the multiplexer screen I can turn the computer off say at night or on long offshore voyages. Its also a good backup system. The eee pc is great, 12 volts! mine uses about 0.5 amps when charting with gps puck attached. I'm using Polar Navy for charting , which is so simple to use and cheap to buy, highly recommended. With this system I'll have 3 gps 's including garmin's gecko in a steel box (faraday cage). The gatehouse multiplexer is really useful as all info is at hand at the chart table. The main game is paper of course,all these toys are supplements to the paper charts so the cheapest and most economical in power is probably just the necessary charts and a couple of handheld gps's. Polar Navy has a programme included which gives neat instruments like wind (anologue) depth (digital) vmg etc. I havn't finished my system yet as we won't be going cruising at least till next summer and with these things its best to hold off as long as possible so one gets the latest tech.
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