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Old 18-01-2013, 11:44   #1
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Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

I don't have instruments here. I do have a decent nmea file.
I'd like to test Polauto.
Polauto will accept Com 3, Com 4 etc with various baud rates.

I've tried NavMonPC, and loaded the Nmea file and tried to set up a Virtual port and got a little lost. Before digging into it further, I thought I'd try Opencpn VDR plugin to the read the file, which also works fine, and then try sending the nmea data stream out to a port that Polauto could read. Is there a simple way to accomplish this?

Thanks
Rick
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Old 18-01-2013, 11:47   #2
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Also should I be using O 1309 instead of 1224?
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Old 18-01-2013, 15:35   #3
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

I'm going to try to figure this out.

Here is how you can run the Nmea file using Opencpn
AIS Simulation - Run VDR to play AIS Nmea file
This creates a Nmea data stream, using the Rausch.nmea file.

Now I need to send the Nmea data out of OpenCpn to Polauto.
Polauto expects a Nmea data stream coming in on Com3-Com6 at some known baud rate.

What is a Virtual Port?
Older GPS's and Navigation programs were written for "serial" RS232 ports or"COM1 COM2 etc" Newer computers have USB plugs, and may need to use a "Serial to USB" adapter plug along with a Serial to USB driver which creates a "Virtual COM Port" which utilizes the USB port. This driver may provide a path for data in Nmea 0183 format to pass from one device to be received by another.

Here is some other information about Creating and using Virtual Ports
AIS Made Easy, Sort Of by Lew Del -below taken from Lew's writeup.

In this case we are not interested in getting a "diiscriminator" data stream from hardware, we have the Nmea data file running in OpenCpn with the VDR plugin in "play" mode.

When two programs will not talk to each other directly Virtual Com ports are often needed. NavMonPc -Instrument, GPS and AIS data and also can create virtual ports, there is a patch for 64 bit windows. Download. it. Tben go to GpsGate Client - Products and download "Free GpsGate Client For Windows". GPS Gate Client is intended for sending data from one GPS to several programs but it integrates itself into NavMon. Install GPS Gate Client first then NavNonPc. NavMonPc will ask if you want to install Franson Serial Tools. -Say no, this is what the patch fixed. If, perchance, you have already installed NavMonPc on your computer you have to uninstall it and the Franson drivers before doing the new install. See NavMonPc User's Guide Supplement 1.13 for more information.

Close everything down then open NavMonPC.
Go to "File/Connections/Virtual Port A,B,C".
Virtual ports are on the left. We need two ports.

Set "Virtual Serial Port A" to an unused Com port 7. Click "Connect" and tick the "Autostart" box.
Do the same for "Virtual Port B" using a different Com Port number (I used 8).

Open OpenCpn. Under "Tools/AIS" in the "AIS Data Port" drop down menu select Virtual Port 8.

Open AISMon. Tick the Serial Output box, select the other Com Port, Virtual Port 7 and set Baudrate to 38400.

Now to see if it works. In AISMon click "Replay File" and navigate your way to where you stored the LA_LB_Snippet.wav file. AISMon should show the following under Demodulator Counts, Syncs: 103, Valid: 99 96%, Errors: 4 4% if it is decoding properly. [We plan on using OpenCpn to play the Nmea file.]

Open NavMonPc. Click "AIS" on the Tool bar. Click on the little "AIS List" box. If the Virtual port configurations are still visible click "Done". Now go back to AISMon, replay the wav file and click "Start Monitoring". The NavMonPc AIS Status box should go green and say 39 targets. Also you will get a listing of all the 39 targets.

Open OpenCpn and head to Los Angeles (33deg42min N, 118deg15min W). You will see a bunch of yellow triangles (Ships!). Everything works.
Because the data input is not continuous after a few minutes the programs consider the data out-of-date and it will disappear. Go back to AISMon and replay the wav file.

Note that no changes are necessary to any of your GPS input settings.

After a fresh boot, open NavMon first to get the virtual ports started, then AISMon and OpenCpn. GPSGate does not need to be started. However it starts itself when the computer boots. I thought this was rather presumptuous of it and disabled it's autorun function.

----
So in summary, it appears I must uninstall NavMonPC, install GPS Gate Client, reinstall NavMonPC and patch, then set up two Virtual Ports A & B using unused COM 7 & 8, in Polauto assign COM 7, and in OpenCpn assign COM 8.
Then in OpenCpn "play" Rausch.nmea file with VDR plugin. There must be a simpler way to get a nmea data stream into Polauto.

Does anyone have a simpler and better technique using the new OpenCpn communications?

Thanks,
Rick

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Old 18-01-2013, 16:00   #4
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Found this interesting -From Sailias
GPS into VHF Radio from PC Running OpenCPN with USB Device ?

... Windows cant deal with mutiple com connections natively, you need to setup virtual com ports. Both with linux and windows, I prefer to have the gps talker on its own and the putters and all other listeners services by the talker. Its a really simple setup.

Any GPS talker can provide data to three devices max. Same for AIS data.....just setup a separate bus (hard wire) and connect it to a terminal strip and hang three devices from that strip. Its a very safe way of doing things onboard where nav data is considered at least in my book as mission critical.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:20   #5
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Yacht Vahalla diagram of data flow .. NavMonPC. ....has the capability of splitting an incoming data signal into up to six data output signals (as of version 1.10 released 16 Sep 11). These signals can range in speed from 4800 to 38400 bps .. GPS to AIS data speeds.

Also the details for NavMonPC show

-Flexible filtering and routing of input data

-Multiple RS-232 serial interfaces, and TCP/IP network interface

-Multiple "Virtual serial port" outputs of bridged / routed data for use by other programs.


There are some good instructions for using and setting up NavMonPC serial and virtual ports
here Installation of NavMonPC between USB GPS and OpenCPN

It no longer appears that NavMonPC 1.11 and on requires GPS Gate Client for our purposes.

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Old 18-01-2013, 19:42   #6
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Now I've been trying NavMonPC for reading the Nmea file and outputting that data to another program like Opencpn or Polauto.

NavMonPC File - Nmea - Play seems to work fine. I've tried 1x 10x 100x and set up two Virtual Ports A & B. The Data Window now shows the Nmea data stream for "Client" and each of the Vports A thru F. Under File - Connections - Virtual Ports A,B,C. The Client and Serial A-D show no data.

Two ports were set up Com7 and Com8 with Autostart checked the line below shows [closed] "Connect" has been clicked. Clicking moniter shows both Virtual ports working streaming data.

In OpenCpn, I realized you must Add a connection, configure it, then Apply it. So I Add Com7 and Com8, serial, 0 priority at 38400 baud, no output, Filters In:none, Out:none with Accept only sentences. Dashboard does not seem to be recieving data and toggling the hide show AIS targets does nothing. The signal does not seem to be getting through. I can read the file in OpenCpn using VDR and I see AIS so I know it works.

Have similar problems with Polauto.
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Old 19-01-2013, 09:42   #7
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Dear Tiersp,

I have been learning about the improvements to Polauto v4 without a Serial Nmea connection, mostly in Manual mode and have been writing my experience and some suggestions which I will forward direct to you if you would like, ...after I am successful at running a Nmea script through virtual comm ports to Polauto, using NavMonPC or OpenCpn, because I would like to experience the other modes more completely. I do not have instrument connections available here.

I find Polauto to be much improved and am very encouraged. Right now I need some help with several things:
1. I have put my polar files for the boat in C:\ProgramData\Polauto, but when I try to change the directory for polar files this choice does not come up. I do not see C:\ProgramData nor can I enter it manually in the data area.

2. Right now the polar directory is pointed at C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Polauto\Polars

3. I can select and load those files, but for some reason I cannot enter data in the popup spreadsheet. Also what does "init" do? Will it overright my polar??

4. Insofar as using Opencpn and NavMonPC to read a Nmea file and create a virtual com port, I have used both programs and can successfullly read a nmea file and see instruments and ais data in both programs. Also have set up virtual com ports in NavMonPC (Vcom7 and Vcom8) and then tried to connect from within Polauto via Com7 or Com8. Tried the same with Opencpn's Serial ports. I may be missing something here, but I can't seem to enter a com port manually in Polauto (nothing shows in dropdown) and there seems to be nothing in my Win7 Control panel to create such ports (I am used to Win XP) and my laptop has only USB ports. Of course we are talking about making an "internal" serial com port (no need for an external port because both programs:
A. Sending Program: NavMonPC or OpenCpn that reads the nmea file and sends it to a (virtual) serial port.
B. Recieving Program: Polauto that connects via a serial port and recieves the nmea data
reside on the same computer.
Do you have any suggestions with regard to getting Polauto more receptive to incoming nmea stream from the Virtual Port?

I have started a thread on Cruiser Forums Opencpn here
Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Thanks for all your efforts to develop a good recording and editing tool for polars.
Rick
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Old 19-01-2013, 09:49   #8
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Paul responded to my question on the NavMonPC yahoo.com/group forum, see below:

Hi,

The problem is Win7/64, but fortunately there is a solution. The virtual serial port driver included in NavMonPc doesn't work with the 64-bit OS, and the driver vendor is no longer supporting this product. The fix is to install GpsGate (this is an inexpensive and useful program, but the free/evaluation "client" version is fine). You will probably need to un-install NavMonPc, install GpsGate, then re-install NavMonPc *without* installing the virtual serial port driver. The GpsGate drivers are completely compatible with NavMonPc.

I describe this driver issue and solution in the one of the recent User's Guide updates on the NavMonPc website. Let me know if this doesn't work for you.

Another solution (perhaps) is, if Polauto can take data from a TCP/IP server, to use the NavMonPc server instead of the Virtual Serial Ports.

Good luck,
Paul

I had thought it might be the problem, but was not sure, thinking NavMonPC 1.4 had possibly solved the driver problem. See thread here Yahoo! Groups

So I have some uninstalling and GPS Gate Client to install, etc. to solve the Virtual Port problem.

That leaves a couple of other problems to lick.
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Old 19-01-2013, 10:23   #9
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

About Win 7 x 64 Driver Fix for Virtual Ports see page 7
http://www.navmonpc.com/UserGuide/Na...ement-1.13.pdf
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Old 19-01-2013, 11:08   #10
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Uninstalled NavMonPC, installed GPSgate Client, installed NavMonPC 1.13.
Started NavMonPC played nmea file, set up Virtual Serial Ports A & B on Com7 and Com8.
Started Polauto. Was able to select Com7 port set at 3840 baud. Shutdown. Started.
Can see nmea data in upper right window next to the plus. I click the plus and the popup window shows no nmea data. The program is blinking at me as if recieving data. Turned off filters. Tried to init a new polar in manual. Then set on Full auto. Still blinkiing. Shutdown. Open it. See it registers boat speed at 7.85 nds. There appears to be no wind data, but I know NavMonPC show wind data. Must be settings. In config it was set to Real or True wind. Set to Apparent Wind, the polars started recording automatically. It seems to be working. Now I need to find some actual sailboat nmea recorded files. So, the NavMonPC virtual port A (set to Com7) is working with Polauto serial set to Com7, 38400 baud. NavMonPC is playing the nmea file and Polauto is receiving it and plotting a polar.
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Old 19-01-2013, 12:26   #11
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Hi Rick ,
do you still nead a nmea file to test polauto ?

I can send you one of the real Kirke

Hartmut
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Old 19-01-2013, 14:46   #12
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

That would be absolutely wonderful, the real Kirke! It would be nice to gather a collection of them somewhere for others to use. If the real Kirke is as fast as the virtual one, I'll have to slow the nmea input!

I'm using the AIS raush.nema which is not so much for polars!

do you need my email? How do we do that? I think this forum deletes those if I post. Ah if you click on my profile there will be a way to send an email to me. Otherwise you can perhaps attach it here if it is small enough, with an appropriate suffix.

Thanks Rick
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Old 19-01-2013, 15:10   #13
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

With NavMonPC playing the file and outputting to a Virtual Port (Com7) and Polauto on Com7 38400 baud using AIS rausch.nmea file, it seems to be working creating a polar, with some good files and some filtering on (this has none) it may make sensible polars. Hartmut I'll send you the polars it makes. In qtVlm format? Send me 3-4 files if you would or upload.
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Old 19-01-2013, 17:45   #14
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

i have send you an PM

here is the snapshot of my HR381 polar
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Old 20-01-2013, 12:31   #15
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Re: Test Polauto by using OpenCpn w/o instruments

Hello Rick,
There is a little bug in the English release 4 of Polauto.
It's why you have difficulties to import .pl files.
I have put the new Polauto.exe in the Hisse-et-heo forum.
Sorry for the mistake.
Patrick
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