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Old 16-01-2021, 21:44   #1
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Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Hi,
I hope this is the right thread for this. I have done extensive research on this and can't find the answer I am looking for.
Has anyone been able to send the NMEA 2000 data via the Vesper Watchmate XB-8000 to a Raspberry Pi but via USB, not Wifi.
I think this would be fairly easy via the XB-8000's built-in WIFI, but I would prefer to transfer data via USB if possible.
I am also aware of the PICAN-M device, which is very slick, I am considering it as it would solve the problem and get the NMEA2000 data directly into the Raspberry Pi, bypassing the need for the XB-8000 in the middle.
Any help more than welcome!
Thanks
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Old 17-01-2021, 01:20   #2
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

The answer is simple. Use the SignalK data server software.

Has built in the Canboat software. You only need an canbus adapter. Can be a Canable board or an Actisence NGT-1 and more options.

SignalK format input can be transferred (internal) direct to OpenCPN. Also NMEA183 is possible.

Or NMEA183 to NMEA2000 is also possible.

Works great.

Bram
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Old 17-01-2021, 01:45   #3
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Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

I do that from an XB6000, basically the same device without WiFi. No problems and it’s been working for four or five years now. Data can go straight into OpenPlotter or OpenCpn directly. If you have specific questions feel free to ask.
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Old 17-01-2021, 11:51   #4
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Thanks, yes I am specifically looking for XB-8000 to my Raspbery Pi 4 via USB without Wifi. It seems like AedanC has such a system working. Are you using the Linux USB Driver available on the Vesper Marine website:

(https://support.vespermarine.com/hc/...00-Transponder)

in order to interface? I am fairly new to the Raspberry Pi world, so was wondering if the generic "Linux USB driver" will work fine with the Raspberry Pi.

Thanks again
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Old 17-01-2021, 13:24   #5
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Quote:
Originally Posted by chillmobil View Post
It seems like AedanC has such a system working. Are you using the Linux USB Driver available on the Vesper Marine website:

(https://support.vespermarine.com/hc/...00-Transponder)

in order to interface? I am fairly new to the Raspberry Pi world, so was wondering if the generic "Linux USB driver" will work fine with the Raspberry Pi.

It's four or five years since I did it but I don't recall installing any special drivers. I'd recommend trying it with the normal Pi driver which are already installed first.


I'm afraid I'm 250km away from our boat at the moment and on lockdown for a few months so I can't check exactly what it's using right now.


Plug it in to a USB port, set it to 38,400 baud and see what you get.


By the way, the Vesper will convert some NMEA2000 PGNs (sentences) to NMEA0183 over USB but not all. There is a list of supported ones in the documentation and you can also see them through the configuration utility.



Good luck!


Aedan
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Old 17-01-2021, 14:21   #6
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

All computer systems work only with NMEA183. If you like to use tne NMEA2000 conection you need a system to convert NMEA2000 to NMEA183. But if your Vesper transmits also NMEA183 you can receive this with serial/usb connector.

If you like to input the NMEA2000 bus to the Raspberry you need a canbus receiver. Can be an Actisense convertor Or you can use the SignalK data server software. Then you need an Actisense NGT-1. Or the Canable canbus board ($ 29,-) or other canbus receiver board.

I prefer the SignalK server software with direct input of SignalK in the OpenCPN plotter software.

Bram
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Old 17-01-2021, 17:11   #7
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

I think the question needs clarification.
Quote:
Has anyone been able to send the NMEA 2000 data via the Vesper Watchmate XB-8000 to a Raspberry Pi but via USB, not Wifi.
Quote:
I am also aware of the PICAN-M device, which is very slick, I am considering it as it would solve the problem and get the NMEA2000 data directly into the Raspberry Pi, bypassing the need for the XB-8000 in the middle.
Are you investigating the Vesper XB-8000 because you:
1. Need an AIS transponder
2. Need an AIS transponder and also need a NMEA 2000 gateway
or 3. Just need a NMEA 2000 gateway ?

if the answer is 1 or 2. then Vesper are well known for their innovative products.
For answer 2, the XB-8000 also performs some conversions between NMEA 2000 & 0183 enabling some data to be consumed by directly OpenCPN. You will need to determine whether the list of converted NMEA 2000 Parameter Group Numbers (PGN) meets your requirements,

If the answer is 3, that you only need a NMEA 2000 gateway, then there are easier & less expensive solutions than the Vesper XB-8000. You also need to be aware that OpenCPN does not natively support NMEA 2000, you will need a gateway that converts NMEA 2000 to the two data formats that OpenCPN supports, namely: NMEA 0183 or SignalK

For a Raspberry Pi any CAN adapter that supports the SocketCAN interface can be used either by the TwoCan plugin for OpenCPN or SignalK server. My preference, given it's simplicity would be TwoCan.
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Old 17-01-2021, 23:14   #8
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Thanks for all of your help!

Quote:
Are you investigating the Vesper XB-8000 because you:
1. Need an AIS transponder
2. Need an AIS transponder and also need a NMEA 2000 gateway
or 3. Just need a NMEA 2000 gateway ?
I already own the XB-8000. I sailed with it from Fiji to NZ in 2019, a wonderful piece of gear it is. At the time, since we had just purchased the boat, I used it for GPS and AIS and broadcast that over Wifi and used OpenCPN on my Android Tablet. All worked really well. I was using the old non-networkable and original analog wind and water speed sensors.

But now the plan is to really set myself up tech-wise for 3 years of South Pacific cruising. We will be expanding the NMEA 2000 backbone with a B&G wind, water depth and temp sensors and I will also connect a Vulcan 3 9" chatplotter for viewing in the cockpit. I plan on feeding the XB-8000 GPS and AIS into this NMEA 2000 backbone. So far this seems A-OK.

But I also want to create a super low power consumption system for the chartplotter inside. The "smart boat system" so to speak. I purchased a Raspberry Pi 4 for this and will connect it to a low power portable 13" HD screen which I will mount in place. A new digital B&G (or similar) radar will feed both the raspberry pi/open cpn and the vulcan chartplotter via ethernet and a network switch in between.



Everything left of the radios will be replaced by a small raspberry pi with a 13" HD portable monitor which I will mount on a new teak panel.

So both inside and outside systems will use the same data from the NMEA backbone but in a sense I will have redundancy of "computing" and, unlike the chartplotter which sucks a decent amount of power, I plan on leaving the Raspberry Pi ON all of the time as it will also monitor barometric pressure and potentially freezer, fridge and engine room temp sensors. Based on my research it also appears possible to connect my Victron BMV-702 battery monitor to the Raspberry Pi via the VE Direct USB cable and I have found a few open source serializng code examples to dump the data in an InfluxDB.

I am using a lot of fancy terms to me, but really I am just getting started with this. But if you're anything like me, I love messing about and learning new things so this is all good fun. :-)

The one thing I have not been able to find easily online, and the reason for this post, is whether or not I can simply connect the Vesper Marine XB-8000 to my Raspberry Pi via USB and be able to see my NMEA 2000 data (GPS, AIS, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Water Depth, Water Temp) or if I need any drivers or anything. I understand the data will flow via Signal K but do I need to do anything to "see" the data or will it all work as-is. Perhaps the reason I cannot find anything online is this is a non-issue.

From the answers on this thread, it seems I can plug and play and Signal K will ensure the data is displayed to OpenCPN.

Thanks for all of your help, I think when I'm done with all of this I will create a big blog post summarizing my approach. If anyone is interested in one day following our voyages, our blog is alulasails.com We hope to fly back to NZ in the early fall (vaccination dependent I am guessing) and resuming our sailing adventure then. Cheers
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Old 18-01-2021, 03:44   #9
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

The XB does a bi-directional translation of pretty much all sentences between 0183 and 2k. It does this now on my boat.

Therefore if you took the 0183TX wires to serial and serial to USB the end result would be your data stream in 0183 format via USB.

Not sure if one can go from 0183 wire to USB. Of course radar data would bit be in that stream.
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Old 18-01-2021, 04:15   #10
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
The XB does a bi-directional translation of pretty much all sentences between 0183 and 2k. It does this now on my boat.
... ...
It doesn't do all translations, it's quite a small subset actually. This table is an extract from the XB8000 user manual.

If you need a comprehensive translation set you will have to use one of the other approaches already mentioned.
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Old 18-01-2021, 05:26   #11
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
It doesn't do all translations, it's quite a small subset actually. This table is an extract from the XB8000 user manual.

If you need a comprehensive translation set you will have to use one of the other approaches already mentioned.
Agreed, but what data relevant to the OP is missing? The list cover COG/SOG, boat speed, depth, heading, wind dir/speed... of course all the AIS info.
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Old 18-01-2021, 07:21   #12
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

I don't know about the OP but in my case I'm missing rudder angle (N2K->0183) and pitch and roll/heel (0183->N2K). Nothing for engine data either though not needed on our boat.
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Old 18-01-2021, 11:16   #13
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Quote:
Based on my research it also appears possible to connect my Victron BMV-702 battery monitor to the Raspberry Pi via the VE Direct USB cable and I have found a few open source serializng code examples to dump the data in an InfluxDB.
I also do this, I read the data from the BMV and convert it to NMEA0183 in one python routine, that feeds into kplex where it is combined with several other feeds, eg instruments, gps, solar panel data etc. Kplex then delivers the combined feed to another python routine which feeds it all into influxdb. Grafana is then used for data viewing. Let me know if you want copies of the code.


If you are using NMEA0183 in anything but the most simple of cases kplex is invaluable.


So far I have not really found a compelling reason to use SignalK, perhaps that will change someday.

Aedan
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Old 18-01-2021, 12:28   #14
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

Thanks @AedanC, I have PM'ed you for copies of the code. Exciting stuff. :-)
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Old 18-01-2021, 13:29   #15
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Re: Vesper XB-8000 to Raspberry Pi via USB

I'm not certain if the Linux USB driver on our website will work on your Pi. The USB driver is needed to create a virtual serial port. But it might already be present in your disto already since this is pretty common. If not, look for an FTDI virtual serial port driver.

And if that doesn't work you could use the NMEA 0183 output from the XB-8000 as it carries the same data stream. It will have GPS, AIS, anything coming in on the 0183 input, and the conversions from N2K instruments.
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