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Old 04-06-2016, 13:34   #1
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Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

I am trying to transfer routes I created on my laptop with openCPN to my new CP155C chart plotter located at the helm station. My setup is a laptop connected via serial port to the plotter. I am using the VHF port on the plotter. The connections in and out are working (I get GPS position from the plotter to the laptop and I can transfer waypoints created on the laptop to the plotter). The problem occurs when I try to transfer routes to the plotter. The plotter seems to receive the nmea sentences OK (See attach picture) and show all waypoints from the route OK but but does not recreate the route itself. It gives an error message and only display the waypoints (no route whatsoever either on the chart or on the route list). Any idea what I should do to correct this or if it is possible to do it at all?

Thanks

P.S. I contacted Standard Horizon tech support with this question but they were as useless as tits on a board.
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Old 04-06-2016, 19:27   #2
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

Pierre,
What OS and what Version?
You could try oBabel, still beta but it has worked for others. Uses GpX and another program is integrated with the plugin (called Babel).

Look it up in the User Manual. oBabel | Official OpenCPN Homepage
Its for Garmin Plotters but it might help. Any questions ask Mike R.
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Old 04-06-2016, 19:53   #3
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

Can you try opencpn 4.0 and possibly older versions to make sure this isn't a regression?
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:55   #4
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

I have been able to transfer routes between my Garmin GPS72 and OpenCPN by just copying the GPX files. Maybe that will work with your Standard Horizon plotter.

Fabbian
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:14   #5
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

pierrre...

We have seen some GPS receivers that do not process NMEA route definition sentences properly, even though the waypoints are transmitted successfully.

Do you have any detailed technical documentation on your receiver? A list of accepted NMEA sentences, for instance?

Thanks
Dave
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Old 06-06-2016, 14:23   #6
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

Thanks for your comments

I am using windows 7 on my laptop with Opencpn 4.2.1724.

I will try obabel as soon as the weather improve (it is cold, windy and raining right now) and the plotter is outside...

I will also try older OpenCPN version.

The technical documentation about the plotter is quite slim. All the manual says about route transfer is: The GPS chartplotter can be connected to output Marks, Routes and tracks to many PC programs available in the aftermarket. To send or receive User points the PC Program must be able to receive NMEA WPL and RTE sentences.

The only insinuation that the plotter may receive route is is the last sentence mentioning " send or receive". Also, the plotter software has a function call "receive" in the route menu (the same function is also in the waypoint menu). I think the procedure is to activate this function first and then activate "send to GPS" in Opencpn. It works this way when transferring waypoints.

Although the plotter is brand new out of the box, the OS software on it is quite dated (2005). I requested a software update from Jeppesen. It should arrive sometime this week. I will wait to update the software (and the sun to show its face) before doing other attempts in route transfers.

Will keep you posted.
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Old 06-06-2016, 18:47   #7
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

OK, the rain finally gave up. Since I could not wait for my plotter update, I decided to try something else. I have on my laptop a 10 years old version of Chart Navigator Pro. I created a route with it and sent it to the plotter. The route transferred, no problem. I then uninstalled OpenCPN 4.2.1724 and installed the 3.2.2 version. Again, the route transferred, no problem. I went up one notch and installed 4.0.0. The route transferred, no problem. Finally, I went up again one notch and installed 4.2.0. This time no joy. The waypoints transferred but not the route. I took pictures of the NMEA sentences sent to the plotter by the chart navigator pro software, OpenCPN 3.2.2 and OpenCPN 4.2.0. It is obvious that the NMEA RTE sentences sent by the 4.2.0 version are not standards.
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Old 06-06-2016, 20:09   #8
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

pierrre...

It is obvious that the NMEA RTE sentences sent by the 4.2.0 version are not standards.

Not so obvious. Multi-part RTE messages are well defined in NMEA 0183. In fact, some devices can accept no more than two waypoints per RTE segment. And most devices have a maximum sentence length specification, which is why the multi-part option exists in the first place. But it seems that the StdHorizon plotter does not understand this format.

To prove this theory, please try to build and upload a route with exactly two waypoints, and lets see what happens.

Assuming success, we will need to add this as a Feature Request, to provide some way to signal the need for a single long RTE message for some devices.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:29   #9
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

Pierrre would you mind preparing some notes to augment the user manual afterwards?
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:06   #10
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

bdbcat...

Sorry about the "obvious" comment. So this morning I tried what you proposed. I reinstalled OpenCPN 4.2.1706 and created a route with only two waypoints and sent it to my plotter. Again, I got an error message and the route did not transfer. I attach picture of the message and the nmea sentences sent to the plotter.

If you look at the picture (opencpn420.jpg) that I attached to my post of yesterday, you will see that the RTE sentence including the route name and sentences defining waypoints number 1 and 2 were not sent but several WPL sentences were duplicated (waypoint number 8 is even triplicated).

On the picture I attach today (opencpn42nmeadata.jpg), the sentence defining the route (with the route name and wpt numbers) is there but only one waypoint sentence (wpt number 1) was sent to the plotter.

I could be wrong but it seems to me that the issue is with the sender (opencpn 4.2 and up) rather than the receiver (plotter).
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:15   #11
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

I had a second look at the picture I sent with my original post. The multiple route sentences sent seems OK but WPL sentences defining waypoints 1,2 and 3 were not sent. All other waypoints sentences were duplicated.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:01   #12
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

One more thing I tried.

I installed Opencpn 4.2.1724 in parallel with Opencpn 4.0 on my laptop and tried to transfer the exact same two waypoints route to my plotter with both versions of Opencpn. I used the same connection (port) while I did both transfers. Again the route transferred with 4.0 worked and the exact same route sent with the 4.2.1724 version did not.

As you can see in the pictures below, the nmea sentences sent by the 4.0 version included first the two waypoints definition snetences(WPL) and then the route definition RTE.

The nmea sentences sent by the 4.2 version included the two waypoints sentences, in duplication, and no route sentence (RTE) whatsoever. It is interesting because the route transfers I tried earlier had the RTE sentences but some waypoints sentences (WPL) were missing and/or sent after the RTE sentence.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:10   #13
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

pierrre....

I agree that there is some inconsistency in the WPL and RTE sentences sent. Some WPLs missing, and sometimes the RTE missing.

I guess if you try this multiple times while monitoring the output from OCPN, you may see various combinations of WPL and RTE?

Also, please note that the duplicate WPL sentences are intentional. Some plotters need the waypoints twice, and it seems harmless to send duplicates for other plotters. So you may always expect to see duplicate WPLs.

Anyway, I'll take a more detailed look at this tonight.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:25   #14
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

pierrre...

Also, please check the OpenCPN logfile after sending a route. You should see explicit log messages showing the exact sentences OCPN thinks it has sent, one by one.

Dave
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Old 07-06-2016, 19:10   #15
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Re: Transfering routes from opencpn to Standard Horizon plotter

I think this is related to b81c9760065d7329d0990db9a3da5b173142ccbb

I don't know why the rte sentence is missing, but the garmin gps I was testing on was throwing away the first waypoint sent. OpenCPN has a lot of fancy delays inbetween sending nmea sentences, so depending on timing the routes would be missing various waypoints or get none at all because once the string of waypoints was reset by a delay, then the next waypoint would get dropped.

I figured the harmless solution was to just send all the waypoints twice without delay which ensured they always got through, and indeed it worked up to 69 waypoints (and probably many more but I got tired of pushing the few buttons on the garmin to test this so many times) in a route without any problem this way.

Now may be you can revert this commit and see what it does on your standard horizon, and if that fixes it, then all I can say is we either need to:

1) remove all the delays from nmea messages and send as a single continous stream for the entire route duplicating the first waypoint
2) have some sort of user option to define which hack we should apply because we have no way to detect what kind of gps we are dealing with afaik.

I don't understand why duplicated waypoints would be a problem as they should be ignored or replace the first message. It seems like both standard horizon and garmin are the ones with the bugs in them.
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