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Old 22-02-2024, 12:09   #1
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Plugin VDR not recording

I am wrking on a fresh install of OpenPlotter on a raspberyy pi 4B. I have data coming from sensors through an Actisense NGT-1. The signal is translated from NMEA 2000 to Signal K and then through a Networkwork connection reading Signal K data to OpenCPN. Everything works and I can see the instrument readings but when I try to use the Plugin VDR (voyage data recorder) all I get is an empty txt file.

Why? What am I missing?

Do I need to send data in NMEA 0183 format from Signal K to OpenCPN? I am a bit lost here.
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Old 22-02-2024, 13:38   #2
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

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Originally Posted by J.Hernandez View Post
Do I need to send data in NMEA 0183 format from Signal K to OpenCPN? I am a bit lost here.
OpenCPN itself can handle NMEA2000 but, correct, VDR can record NMEA 0183 only. Not NMEA 2000 PGNs.
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Old 22-02-2024, 13:55   #3
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Thank you for confirming that. How do I go about this? Do I create a Signal K to NMEA0183 output with the plugin. I am not clear how to get OpenCPN to receive that data. By default OpenCPN only receives Signal K formatted data.

My end point here is to have data to develop polars for my boat.
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Old 22-02-2024, 16:21   #4
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Quote:
Do I need to send data in NMEA 0183 format from Signal K to OpenCPN?
Yes, as answered previously by Hakan.

Quote:
How do I go about this? Do I create a Signal K to NMEA0183 output with the plugin.
I honestly don't know why Rick and many others bother writing manuals when no one ever reads them.
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Old 22-02-2024, 22:28   #5
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Hernandez View Post
Thank you for confirming that. How do I go about this? Do I create a Signal K to NMEA0183 output with the plugin. I am not clear how to get OpenCPN to receive that data. By default OpenCPN only receives Signal K formatted data.
I think you have setup, or used default, Type: Signalk and Port 3000?
Disable that and make a new connection:
Type: Network, Network protocol; TCP, Data protokol: NMEA 0183, Address: The same as for SignalK, Port: 10110.
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Old 23-02-2024, 00:05   #6
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Thank you!

I tried and I see that my problem is different. The data from the sensors that I need to supply to OpenCPN in NMEA0183 format for VDR to receive it, it's NOT in signal K data format. Actisense sends that data in NMEA 2000 format. So I guess I need to convert NMEA 2K to NMEA 0183. I can't find a plugin to do that. I'm still stuck.
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Old 23-02-2024, 00:49   #7
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

If you've the Actisense connected to the Signal K server it will be converted to SignalK format. From there you can check the Signal K plugin "Covert from SignalK to N0183" and then receive all via N0183 to OCPN.
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Old 23-02-2024, 01:03   #8
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

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Originally Posted by stevead View Post
Yes, as answered previously by Hakan.

I honestly don't know why Rick and many others bother writing manuals when no one ever reads them.
Thank you. I'm going to read this further and see if I can get it going.
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Old 23-02-2024, 09:38   #9
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Update.

I read the instructions in the manual and follow them but in the end if I turn off the OpenCPN Signal K 3000 connection I loose data from my instruments. I tried to restore the previous settings and unfortunately now I can only get partial data from my instruments. Not sure what happened.

I also tried to do what Hakan recomended and enabled the "Convert SK to N0183 plugin and selected which data to pass through there. Then on OpenCPN I disbaled the SK 3000 connection and started a TCP Network connection at port 10110. I get not readings from the instruments that way.
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Old 23-02-2024, 12:26   #10
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

I tried that SK plugin and got it to work.
On SK in the plugin configuration I selected one 0183 sentence: HDM, since corresponding SK path is available. I set the time to 1000 ms. (time 0 = never I suppose)
Then in OCPN I created a Network TCP connection address 192.168.1.154 port 10110. (192.168.1.154 is the IP address of my PC where I also have the SK server.
And HDM is received viewing the NMEA Debug window so that will available for plugin VDR.

Note: No need to disable the SignalK connection. Both can live together. If data for the same sensor is received from both SK and N0183, SK will be prioritized by Dashboard. (No "jumping")
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Old 23-02-2024, 22:16   #11
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Hernandez View Post
Thank you!
So I guess I need to convert NMEA 2K to NMEA 0183. I can't find a plugin to do that. I'm still stuck.
The JavaScript plugin forthcoming v3 can decode NMEA 2k and you could generate the equivalent NMEA0183 sentences. It’s available in the beta repository now. Updated User manual in GitHub.
Actually, a script could write the NMEA0183 sentences to file directly without sending them out, bypassing VDR and saving complications from sending data out again.
I am minded to write such a script myself when I have time.
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Old 23-02-2024, 23:13   #12
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

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The JavaScript plugin forthcoming v3 can decode NMEA 2k and you could generate the equivalent NMEA0183 sentences. It’s available in the beta repository now. Updated User manual in GitHub.
Actually, a script could write the NMEA0183 sentences to file directly without sending them out, bypassing VDR and saving complications from sending data out again.
I am minded to write such a script myself when I have time.
I would love that script. I tried Hakan suggestion to change the 0 to 1000 ms and I get nothing. Still stuck.
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Old 23-02-2024, 23:17   #13
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

I f I create a new serial (not network) connection in OpenCPN to receive the data from the Actisense then I can see data (wind and depth) coming in the NMEA debug window but OpenCPN becomes unstable and closes up unexpectedly after a while. But those are NMEA2000 format.
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Old 24-02-2024, 00:48   #14
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

For Signalk you've to check for correct address and port.


I don't have a Actisense but a YD. There I can use NMEA0183 instead of NMEA200 for the serial connection. You could try the same for your device?
(You may have to close and restart O after switching to N0183 to be sure Actisense understand and change protocol)
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Old 24-02-2024, 02:53   #15
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Re: Plugin VDR not recording

Quote:
So I guess I need to convert NMEA 2K to NMEA 0183.
Yes, as has already been stated before, the VDR plugin only records NMEA 0183 data.

Since you're using SignalK Server it is capable of performing the conversion to NMEA 0183.

By default SignalK Server outputs NMEA 0183 over TCP, or with an optional SignalK Server plugin, can output NMEA 0183 over UDP. Clearly you have misconfigured either the SignalK Server NMEA 0183 over TCP or NMEA 013 over UDP settings and/or have not configured the matching settings in OpenCPN.

It does work and it's not rocket science. You do not need any other OpenCPN plugins to make this work.
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