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Old 07-05-2015, 06:20   #1
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Wifi GPS/AIS

Over the past year or so I have been experimenting with diffent solutions to provide wifi connection to my on-boat GPS (from Garmin 128) and AIS (from RO4800 VHF) with not much succes.
But now I found this router (vYacht Yacht automation) which for a reasonable investment (USD 148) does what I want .
Installation and setup is more or less plug-and-play, 12V DC supply and two wires from the 38400baud output from the VHF.
So now I can move my Win8.1 PC around the boat and still have Opencpn running with full functionality.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:43   #2
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

Don't forget to pass through the GPS signals from the RO4800 VHF also together with its AIS signals at 38400 to the router. So you will have the best solution.

Gerhard
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:56   #3
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

In my case, yes I pass the GPS output (at 4800baud) to the VHF (to make DSC emergency functions).

And then, at 38400 baud, both GPS and AIS signals are sent to the router and then picked up by Opencpn.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:04   #4
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

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Originally Posted by hhmcsv View Post
In my case, yes I pass the GPS output (at 4800baud) to the VHF (to make DSC emergency functions).

And then, at 38400 baud, both GPS and AIS signals are sent to the router and then picked up by Opencpn.
Perfect.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:13   #5
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

There is a handful of inexpensive alternatives:

- get a Win 8 tablet and use it as a serial multiplexer AP,

- get a s/h router compatible with DD WRT or Open WRT, plug your NMEA into the router, ready,

- etc.

The Windows 8 tablet (netbook, etc) is the more expensive wy BUT it allows for multiple NMEA streams to be merged before going wifi. The cheap router way is very inexpensive BUT it allows only one NMEA stream (few routers have two ports).

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Old 07-05-2015, 09:02   #6
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

This particular router has in my version two NMEA0183 inputs, I'm only using the one.
Other input formats are also possible in other versions: NMEA2000, Seatalk.
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Old 07-05-2015, 13:24   #7
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

Yes. Best solution. Whoever can afford should probably get one.

I have seen Sweden made ones for just a bit more than EUR 100 but have not used them yet. (I think one line in).

I only wrote about the Win 8 solution and a cheap router solution because nearly everyone today has a chaep netbook at hand and the s/h router way is about USD 5 plus some tinkering.

Win 8 solution is nice as the number of inputs is not limited.

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Old 08-05-2015, 05:00   #8
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

You could get the same functionality for cheaper without a vhf radio and probably less power:

raspberry pi ($35)
wifi usb ($10)
usb gps ($20)
usb rtlsdr ($8)
12v -> 5v switching regulator ($3)

Total is $76 about half of what you listed above, but more importantly the modular nature means the parts can be reused and failure is only partial failure as only one part breaks.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:01   #9
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
You could get the same functionality for cheaper without a vhf radio and probably less power:

raspberry pi ($35)
wifi usb ($10)
usb gps ($20)
usb rtlsdr ($8)
12v -> 5v switching regulator ($3)

Total is $76 about half of what you listed above, but more importantly the modular nature means the parts can be reused and failure is only partial failure as only one part breaks.
If you have all these cheap parts why not manufacturing and selling such a running system to people who needs it and from the earned profit buy a real computer e.g. a Mac?

Gerhard
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:13   #10
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

How would you get AIS-signals with this solution?
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:22   #11
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

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How would you get AIS-signals with this solution?
He is using an usb rtlsdr dongle and other toys...

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Old 08-05-2015, 09:41   #12
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post

(...)

Total is $76 about half of what you listed above, but more importantly the modular nature means the parts can be reused and failure is only partial failure as only one part breaks.
Mind a s/h router is USD 0 to maybe USD 20 top end.

There is a website where a guy describes how he wired a serial to wifi with a DDWRT router.

But the above does not have multiplexer, and involves some thinking and some tinkering. Easy for any Linux fan, not so for the crowd.

Win 8 tablets are new at USD 100, these can be converted into serial to wifi multiplexers / routers very easily. Probably about 50USD s/h in 6 months or so.

I am right now tinkering with a router (EUR 3,00) and Open WRT. I want data in via USB/ftdi but it may be beyond my skills. I am not a Linux guy, never been. Still fun to learn something new and smell the chips burning. ;-)

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Old 08-05-2015, 15:53   #13
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

As I mentioned above, over the last year I have tried different avenues to obtain the solution I desired. No success though (mea culpa ).
So my happiness was to experience an off-the-shelf-solution ready to go after half an hours installation
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Old 08-05-2015, 16:04   #14
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

Wouldn't a cellular (gps capable) iPad Air do the same thing? Our's functions as a wifi hotspot on the boat, sophisticated 3D navigation device which works hundreds of miles offshore, weather forecasts, a camera and.... it can even plays music all at the same time.
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Old 08-05-2015, 16:56   #15
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Re: Wifi GPS/AIS

Well no, such a system would not be able to receive AIS-targets. AIS can be found on the internet, but an offshore yacht without sattelite internet has no such thing. To my mind, the relevant AIS must be received directly by a VHF radio. The swedish Seapilot app (which was designed for the iPad) relies on AIS from the internet, which from my personal experience is lethal as you can not count on mobile internet coverage offshore (as in the Red Pimpernel: Now you see him, now you don't!)
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