Our NavLink converts from PGNs to NMEA0183 sentences that are then transmitted wirelessly to OpenCPN via a TCP/UDP network connection. This is the only way to realistically handle this on a PC/Mac/Linux computer, as there is no wireless NMEA2000 protocol currently defined and no computers
have the CAN bus hardware
interface that NMEA2000 is based on.
It would be possible for the OpenCPN developers to support one of the NMEA2000 gateways like the NGT-1 from Actisense or the Gateway from Maretron, but each gateway uses its own proprietary library to pass the PGN data to the application, so it would take quite a lot of time and effort to support these gateways in OpenCPN.
The downside of our NavLink method is that not all PGNs are converted and so things like Engine
Data would not be transferred. That said, all of the popular GPS
, Instrument (speed, depth
, etc) and AIS
PGNs are converted and this is what most people want and what the current
OpenCPN application and plugins support. Also any autopilot
data that OpenCPN outputs should also be converted to drive an NMEA2000 autopilot
, although I have not personally tried this yet.
For the time being, I think that NavLink provides a pretty good method of connecting OpenCPN to an NMEA2000 network.
Hope this answers your question.