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Old 24-05-2022, 05:41   #31
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How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

You will be better off mixing in few DIY open source solutions with commercial electronics.

Here is where you should stick with commercial

Radar, multiplexers, cockpit chartplotter, wind, depth, speed sensor, windlass, offshore SSB, VHF with DSC. Victron for solar/wind chargers.

Here is what you will be better off DIY:

Nav station low power computer (ex raspberry pi4 with BBN OS).
Maiana AIS transducer (I think it gives you polish registered MMSI).
HamRadio/SDR decoders on pi4.
Custom sensors via esp32 (SensESP, EspHome), (liquid levels, chain counter) power monitoring HomeAssistant on pi4,
Media playing audio/video,
WiFi Hotspot, LTE router connected to pi4.
Barograph. Weather GRIBs. Climatology.
Data collection. Cameras.

Autopilot can be either commercial or pypilot based (there is one commercial based on pypilot too)


Compass and gps - you will need several and some of them can be DIY via IMU (gives you also heel, pitch, roll)



For very complete list of what you can DIY and how to integrate.

https://bareboat-necessities.github....reboat-os.html

If you can get ahold of raspberry pi4 you can just install that OS image and play around with it keeping in mind that it can be your nav station computer. It will help you to evaluate which parts you need to be commercial products and what is possible DIY.

It also has features not available in any commercial products.

Fair Winds!
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Old 24-05-2022, 06:09   #32
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Here is some info on one electronic refit project I’ve been involved with


https://raw.githubusercontent.com/SY...ystem-arch.svg

Color coded (existing and to be added)

Here are prices for DIY components

https://github.com/SY-Alcazar/SY-Alc...uired-Items.md

For touchscreen you can consider

https://bareboat-necessities.github....mi_touchscreen

It was $222 plus shipping for 10”.
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Old 24-05-2022, 06:11   #33
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Make sure and post about it!


Do you think about commercializing this?


Have you played with one of the new Furuno ones?


Any commercial unit would now be based around the u-bloc F9 series modules as this supports “ moving base “

My old design uses much older tech

The hemisphere is a good unit also but a bit dated now
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Old 24-05-2022, 06:20   #34
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How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

If you like playing with electronics and computers and are willing to put in the time then DIY is fine but most people are not so inclined

I would always recommend that the base package , chart , radar , AP and base instruments are integrated and from the same manufacturer. Less hassle , more likely to work and easily serviced around the world.
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Old 24-05-2022, 06:34   #35
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

With the latest OpenCPN Version, it is really easy to build your own Chart Plotter.

I played around with Raspberry Pi's and Open Marine/OpenCPN for a couple years now but since I'm not great with Linux it took some time plus loading the SD Card etc.

This year though I used my old Toshiba Laptop from home which has the Windows 10 OS which I'm used to using.(I built a tower for home use)

It took about 10 minutes to download OpenCPN on the laptop for Windows 10 and all the RNC charts I needed by state (I loaded Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina)

That laptop is now on the boat and I don't have all the wires etc to deal with as with the Raspberry Pi, keyboard, monitor, etc

I just plugged in the USB GPS Puck and the USB NMEA 0183 GPS/AIS data coming in from my SH VHF and that was it. (plus doing the connection within OpenCPN. The Debug is nice to use with that also)

Whole project took 10-20 minutes.

Cost was zero since I already had the Laptop, and $17.00 GPS Puck.

Also my AIS this time was zero because I already had the SH VHF/GPS/AIS and the RS 485 adapter to bring in the NMEA 0183. (and spares) The SH VHF a couple years ago was about $350. I believe it's a GX2200)

The newer SH GX2400 uses NMEA 2000.

https://www.amazon.com/DSD-TECH-Conv...88473584&psc=1
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Old 24-05-2022, 07:05   #36
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Yes, if you get an nmea2000 to wifi device (actisence or yacht devices) it's plug n play. AIS, GPS, instruments, and autopilot follow route are all supported with no special configuration.
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Old 24-05-2022, 07:17   #37
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

I'm a big fan of OpenCPN, and use it at the nav table for all my passage planning and navigation, but it is not well suited for pilotage. It is also far less stable than commercial plotters.
Can you elaborate on this? What can a chart plotter do for pilotage that opencpn doesn't?

I run OCPN on windows 10, and my longest passage was 31 days without a crash. I skip x. x. 0 releases which is good practice with all software. I hear Lighthouse 4.0 on Raymarine plotters has issues.

Anyway, I don't believe chart plotters have any advantages except better construction suitable for the cockpit, which is also a valid and fair reason to spend $1000 on one.
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Old 24-05-2022, 07:24   #38
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
With the latest OpenCPN Version, it is really easy to build your own Chart Plotter.

I played around with Raspberry Pi's and Open Marine/OpenCPN for a couple years now but since I'm not great with Linux it took some time plus loading the SD Card etc.

This year though I used my old Toshiba Laptop from home which has the Windows 10 OS which I'm used to using.(I built a tower for home use)

It took about 10 minutes to download OpenCPN on the laptop for Windows 10 and all the RNC charts I needed by state (I loaded Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina)

That laptop is now on the boat and I don't have all the wires etc to deal with as with the Raspberry Pi, keyboard, monitor, etc

I just plugged in the USB GPS Puck and the USB NMEA 0183 GPS/AIS data coming in from my SH VHF and that was it. (plus doing the connection within OpenCPN. The Debug is nice to use with that also)

Whole project took 10-20 minutes.

Cost was zero since I already had the Laptop, and $17.00 GPS Puck.

Also my AIS this time was zero because I already had the SH VHF/GPS/AIS and the RS 485 adapter to bring in the NMEA 0183. (and spares) The SH VHF a couple years ago was about $350. I believe it's a GX2200)

The newer SH GX2400 uses NMEA 2000.

https://www.amazon.com/DSD-TECH-Conv...88473584&psc=1
100% agree. I have years of experience with Linux, and always recommend against a RPi. Fine if you enjoy the needless work, but like you said, I can have a working plotter in 10 minutes on Win10. And it runs fine on the cheapest laptop you can find, so it's not even more expensive than a pi after you buy a monitor power supply and case and everything else.

An laptops are cheap and available in stores everywhere if it fails. Every had to repair or replace Raymarine gear in a foreign port? Or ship a Pi overseas?
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Old 24-05-2022, 07:41   #39
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How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
100% agree. I have years of experience with Linux, and always recommend against a RPi. Fine if you enjoy the needless work, but like you said, I can have a working plotter in 10 minutes on Win10. And it runs fine on the cheapest laptop you can find, so it's not even more expensive than a pi after you buy a monitor power supply and case and everything else.



An laptops are cheap and available in stores everywhere if it fails. Every had to repair or replace Raymarine gear in a foreign port? Or ship a Pi overseas?


Laptops consume way more power though. Raspberry is more power efficient
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Old 24-05-2022, 08:04   #40
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutTime1 View Post
Would you order a new boat without an electronics package and install OpenCPN on it ? What could you build for $5K ?
Maybe order a smaller boat if you run out of budget...??? Of course you get an electronic package (B&G) with a new boat. Not doing so is insane!

"That can be easily fixed." That's a good one, ROFL!!! You might find that coding OpenCPN is less easy (and maybe much less fun) than you imagined: old codebase, people with different opinions, legacy constraints etc. And I doubt that someone who buys a shiny new boat is happy with the dated UI (and unfortunately you won't be able to easily fix this, wxWidgets is not Qt and designers don't work for free).

For about 5K you get: - Vulcan 7R plotter: 800, - Triton with DST-810 sonar and WS 310 wind: 1'500,
- Halo radar: 2200, - n2k backbone: 700. It's about the same with OpenCPN (screens are very expensive) but with a missing NMEA backbone you are screwed when you sell the boat.
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Old 24-05-2022, 08:19   #41
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrouch View Post
You will be better off mixing in few DIY open source solutions with commercial electronics.

Here is where you should stick with commercial

Radar, multiplexers, cockpit chartplotter, wind, depth, speed sensor, windlass, offshore SSB, VHF with DSC. Victron for solar/wind chargers.

Here is what you will be better off DIY:

Nav station low power computer (ex raspberry pi4 with BBN OS).
Maiana AIS transducer (I think it gives you polish registered MMSI).
HamRadio/SDR decoders on pi4.
Custom sensors via esp32 (SensESP, EspHome), (liquid levels, chain counter) power monitoring HomeAssistant on pi4,
Media playing audio/video,
WiFi Hotspot, LTE router connected to pi4.
Barograph. Weather GRIBs. Climatology.
Data collection. Cameras.


For very complete list of what you can DIY and how to integrate.

https://bareboat-necessities.github....reboat-os.html
+1 to this thinking. In addition to standard navigation instruments, charplotter, AIS etc a bunch of DIY tools I find extremely useful:
  • Signal K Server that enables a lot of cool things
  • Battery monitors that integrate with boat network via Signal K
  • Bunch of cheap home temperature sensors and barometer that integrate with boat network via Signal K
  • AIS stations for AISHub and MarineTraffic (I use MarineTraffic and AIS Hub a lot so this is my way of contributing)
  • Anchor alarm that integrates with my Fusion stereo system (so you get a WW2 air raid alarm from boat stereo if anchor drags!)
  • Windy weather station to share weather reports with fellow boaters
  • Saillogger to automatically log sails and places you visit

Disclaimer: I developed the last two on the list because I needed tools to do such things
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Old 24-05-2022, 09:43   #42
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutTime1 View Post
I'm looking at price lists on new boats. The "electronics package" on dual helm cruisers is typically $12-15K on a new boat for a pretty standard B&G package. Not including anything at the chart plotter table.

Would you order a new boat without an electronics package and install OpenCPN on it ? What could you build for $5K ?

Where would one get some nice sunlight readible waterproof touchscreen displays for the helms ?

Thanks
AboutTime1, Dockhead has given you a lot of accurate and solid information.

But reading between the lines of your comments I'm thinking you are concerned about the cost of a new instrument system and trivializing the effort it takes to put one together yourself as a way to justify not buying the system off the shelf. Plus, some of your comments indicate a lack of experience and knowledge about sailing. That's OK, we all started knowing very little but thinking we knew it all.

From my perspective we all need a below decks system for route planning and careful navigation. In my case OpenCPN serves me well and the laptop platforms are cheap and plug and play. I have spares. My newest Dell is very low in power usage. Build your own RPi if you are a hobbyist. I'd rather be sailing.

Why a "below deck" navigation system? Because on that dark and stormy night when you decide a course or route change is needed, hanging onto the helm and poking your hands through the wheel while the boat is pounding and heeling, and the rain and wind is furious, trying to do serious navigation in your foulies isn't going to be fun. Better to be sitting at your nav station where it is warm and dry and and quiet and you can use a keyboard and a mouse, and look at an unobstructed 15" screen.

Fed into this below deck system is AIS, SSB and Pactor, back-up drives, WiFi and Cell boosters, a few GPS receivers and a basic plotter, VHF, Printer, Stereo, and the sailing instruments (more abut that below), etc.

You need some on-deck screen and information for piloting. An MFD at the helm is useless to me, as a sailor. Unless you are planning to spend all your sea time sitting in a helm's seat behind the wheel that display isn't where you need it. If you are motoring everywhere, OK, fine. Set it up like a tugboat wheel house or an aircraft cockpit. We sail our long passages sitting in the cockpit away from the wheel while the boat steers on auto or wind vane. While steering, such as in races, our attention is on the sails and sea state, not the MFD. What we use for our display is an android tablet mirroring the info from our other systems. We carry it with us around the cockpit.

BTW our autopilot is separate.

Finally, most of what we need while sailing is sailing instrumentation: Wind (speed, angle, direction, etc), boat speed, heading, etc. We have found that a good sailing instrument package (such as B&G) is essential. True wind information (relative to the water) is essential. Calibrated water speed is essential. Accurate heading information is essential. Deriving this information from GPS is not accurate.

Setting up, connecting, debugging, and calibrating all of this is a big job and important, but we do it. We're serious about sailing and need good information.

So:
  • OpenCPN on a laptop below deck for navigation (fully integrated with everything)
  • Android tablet with navigation, pilotage, and sailing instrumentation for cockpit usage.
  • Good sailing instrumentation for constant monitoring of what is going on at the given moment.
  • A complete and properly installed and weatherized system which is tested, debugged, and calibrated.
  • Spares for everything

We are sailors and would rather be sailing than developing hardware and software, so this is what we chose.
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Old 24-05-2022, 12:39   #43
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrouch View Post
You will be better off mixing in few DIY open source solutions with commercial electronics.

Here is where you should stick with commercial

Radar, multiplexers, cockpit chartplotter, wind, depth, speed sensor, windlass, offshore SSB, VHF with DSC. Victron for solar/wind chargers.

Here is what you will be better off DIY:

Nav station low power computer (ex raspberry pi4 with BBN OS).
Maiana AIS transducer (I think it gives you polish registered MMSI).
HamRadio/SDR decoders on pi4.
Custom sensors via esp32 (SensESP, EspHome), (liquid levels, chain counter) power monitoring HomeAssistant on pi4,
Media playing audio/video,
WiFi Hotspot, LTE router connected to pi4.
Barograph. Weather GRIBs. Climatology.
Data collection. Cameras.

Autopilot can be either commercial or pypilot based (there is one commercial based on pypilot too)


Compass and gps - you will need several and some of them can be DIY via IMU (gives you also heel, pitch, roll)



For very complete list of what you can DIY and how to integrate.

https://bareboat-necessities.github....reboat-os.html

If you can get ahold of raspberry pi4 you can just install that OS image and play around with it keeping in mind that it can be your nav station computer. It will help you to evaluate which parts you need to be commercial products and what is possible DIY.

It also has features not available in any commercial products.

Fair Winds!

Excellent reply. Thank you.
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Old 24-05-2022, 19:25   #44
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
Can you elaborate on this? What can a chart plotter do for pilotage that opencpn doesn't?

I run OCPN on windows 10, and my longest passage was 31 days without a crash. I skip x. x. 0 releases which is good practice with all software. I hear Lighthouse 4.0 on Raymarine plotters has issues.

Anyway, I don't believe chart plotters have any advantages except better construction suitable for the cockpit, which is also a valid and fair reason to spend $1000 on one.
Yes, I agree that the primary advantage of commercial plotters/MFD's is "better construction suitable for the cockpit", and that is a huge factor.

Imagine this, if you will -- it's the middle of the night, it's pouring down rain and blowing half a gale, and you're trying to get into an unfamiliar port, channel markers hard to see drowned out by lights on shore, and a tide is ripping.

You're in the cockpit trying to guide her in, it's cold, you're wearing gloves, you're running radar. What kind of device do you want to be using in this situation, which is not hypothetical by the way?

The whole device is waterproof, it's hardwired to the boat systems so you don't have to worry about batteries running down, it's hard installed at the helm so you don't need to handle it or worry about dropping it or knocking it over, and besides the ruggedized touchscreen you have, crucially, a few buttons and knobs you can manipulate with your gloves on. That's optimized for pilotage in all conditions.

That's worth its weight in gold and would be a lot of work and expense to replicate DIY, particularly the non-touch aspects of the UI.

Then besides that, the interface is made for this screen size and input controls so you can always read it without faffing around with it. I say again, I love OpenCPN, and use it at the nav table, but the interface is designed for large screens and for use with a trackball or mouse. I've used it on tablets and the interface is not good for that. It's not what you want at 0 dark hundred in the rain in a hairy pilotage situation.

If someone really wants to cheap out, it's possible to get by with a single Vulcan at the helm (or at one helm position), which can be had for under a grand. Use O at the nav table with a big screen and trackball. I think multiple people in this thread have recommended this kind of setup, which is pretty common.

What concerns stability -- you've had better luck than me. But I've just built a new on board computer system based on a Jasper Lake Pentium Silver processor. Although I'm an old Unix guy I've never really wanted to faff with Linux for this application (too many other jobs on board) so I'm running Windows 11, and the recent O release. So far it runs like a dream. Maybe it will be more stable than what I've had in the past.
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Old 24-05-2022, 19:35   #45
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
100% agree. I have years of experience with Linux, and always recommend against a RPi. Fine if you enjoy the needless work, but like you said, I can have a working plotter in 10 minutes on Win10. And it runs fine on the cheapest laptop you can find, so it's not even more expensive than a pi after you buy a monitor power supply and case and everything else.

An laptops are cheap and available in stores everywhere if it fails. Every had to repair or replace Raymarine gear in a foreign port? Or ship a Pi overseas?
I sure agree with you about the convenience of Windows, which I only hate slightly, and less and less lately.

I love Linux, but my God the drivers . . . Good hobby stuff but I don't have time for that on board.

Laptops are great for the reasons you state, but you should also consider minicomputers, which are getting better and better and smaller and smaller. I built a system for my friend's Discovery 67 last fall and just mounted the computer to the back of the monitor, which I fixed installed at the nav table. Really simple installation. Power by PD so easy to create a DC power supply (monitor with external power supply can also be powered directly by DC).

Then you don't have the laptop and all the cables all over the nav table.

One caveat about Windows -- it's getting harder and harder to keep it out of your data. On our transatlantic in January we had 2gb of fast satellite traffic which despite my best efforts did get sucked down prematurely, so we ended up using the slow data for most of the crossing. Control over data is a big advantage of Linux, maybe a killer advantage if you need to be connected through a sat system for your weather and nav data.
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"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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