NMEA (was: a few Android apps I use)


 

Bob L is our NMEA wizard. Like Dan, he set up the AIS receiver in Wave Guide the hard way and, IIRC, has a bunch of other stuff hooked up together using NMEA. But he's using an old laptop or netbook for navigation...

NMEA is far from dead, but I went the easy way when I put an AIS receiver in Lazy Jack. This one is its own wireless network hub, so I didn't need to figure out how -- or if -- I could hook the Samsung tablet up with wires:

https://smile.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0784SV824/themotherofal-20

Dan's solution may require getting the NMEA signal into a wireless network gizmo somehow. USB to wireless adapters are cheap, but I have no idea how to get NMEA signals into and out of one. Bob?!

On 4/30/2022 7:50 AM, Dan wrote:
And, from the dark side of, yet a different, moon…Somewhat contrary to John’s guidance, I bought a used AIS receiver/antenna splitter on eBay, and it came from Denmark, I believe it was.  Turns out, the machine came with no directions, and it’s from the NEMA era.  Anyhow.  With the square, 4-pin ‘USB’ terminals, I had to get a batch of conversion connector thingies.  So, now I’ve got an AIS receiver that purportedly will output through a couple different cords (Male/male and female/female connections) to a little Wi-Fi fob thingie on the end of a burgeoning coil of wires.  So far, mebbee…
My hope, and shibboleth perhaps, is that once I get within gamming range of somebody with the proper knowledge base, they can show me how to make the Samsung tablet I got from John/Mary a while back to get it to do the AIS dance on the Navionics screen…T ’would be wunnerful.  At the moment, the whole fandango is installed and has a power light showing green when I fire up the vhf…And, then, the music dies…dan
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Bob Larkin
 

This is complicated.

The AIS (or GPS) with NMEA0183 only sends out a stream of sentences.  You want those sentences to get to a program, like OpenCPN, as they will be processed into useful stuff, like is that big boat going to hit me.  In order to get the stream into the tablet, many tablets have an OTG host mode for their little USB connector.  This requires an adapter with the connectors reversed, like this fancy 3 port version.

The AIS receiver can hook to an RS-232 to USB converter that can then plug into the OTG host  adapter.

That does not mean that it will work.  Android drivers should support the OTG host part.  But then the app needs to get the stream from the driver.  This again should work but it depends on the app design.  OpenCPN should work.  One tricky deal is that there are no AIS test signals at Diamond Lake.  So, the AIS receiver just sits there.  Not being able to test the AIS at home is a problem.

WiFi - The simple WiFi to USB adapter will not do the needed dialog so that it can be hooked either directly to the AIS receiver or via an RS-232 to USB adapter.  There are such things, but they need more smarts than the simple adapters.  They also need setup.   John, your WiFi network has the sound of such a deal.  I do not have experience in this area.

My own setup doesn't count as it was put together before tablets existed.  But it does work, and I like the AIS reports/displays of OpenCPN.

A few thoughts!   Bob


Bob Larkin
 

Also, watch the little USB connectors.  In the past the USB micro B was common on Android phones and tablets but now, USB C is running around.  It looks similar but isn't.  Get OTG Host adapters according to what you have.

Apple is all different, yet, of course.


 

Thanks, Bob! I knew you'd have something useful to say about Dan's problem. "This is complicated" is why I bought the Quark with built-in Wifi. <g>

I can't find the email where Dan said what brand of device he bought. Please tell us again what the make and model of your gizmo is, Dan!

Dan mentions a USB port, so I think there is a possibility it could send the NMEA sentences to a cheap Wifi hub. Whatever my Quark receiver broadcasts via Wifi is deciphered well enough by my nav tablet (a very near twin to the Samsung Mary sold Dan) that OpenCPN and Navionics can read the data without having to jump through any hoops. Why would that be difficult if Dan's gizmo can send the NMEA data through USB to a cheap Wifi hub?

Dan's table uses the older, asymmetrical little USB port. Just one port, that doubles as a charging port. My newer tablet has the new 'C' port and I sure like that there's no wrong way to plug the cable in. <g>

On 5/1/2022 10:10 AM, Bob L wrote:
This is complicated.
The AIS (or GPS) with NMEA0183 only sends out a stream of sentences. You want those sentences to get to a program, like OpenCPN, as they will be processed into useful stuff, like is that big boat going to hit me. In order to get the stream into the tablet, many tablets have an OTG host mode for their little USB connector.  This requires an adapter with the connectors reversed, like thisfancy 3 port version. <https://www.amazon.com/TUSITA-Adaptor-Charging-Adapter-Raspberry/dp/B00LTHBCNM>
The AIS receiver can hook to an RS-232 to USB converter that can then plug into the OTG host  adapter.
That does not mean that it will work.  Android drivers should support the OTG host part.  But then the app needs to get the stream from the driver.  This again should work but it depends on the app design. OpenCPN should work.  One tricky deal is that there are no AIS test signals at Diamond Lake.  So, the AIS receiver just sits there.  Not being able to test the AIS at home is a problem.
WiFi - The simple WiFi to USB adapter will not do the needed dialog so that it can be hooked either directly to the AIS receiver or via an RS-232 to USB adapter.  There are such things, but they need more smarts than the simple adapters.  They also need setup.   John, your WiFi network has the sound of such a deal.  I do not have experience in this area.
My own setup doesn't count as it was put together before tablets existed.  But it does work, and I like the AIS reports/displays of OpenCPN.
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Dan
 

Well, that sounds, er, complicateder, 'n complicateder...What i installed is made by Comar Systems and is called an AIS-Multi. The USB port is a square one, with four pins showing. I went from that, with a combo cord to a male-to-male usb connection that allowed for another cord to put the wifi fob on. And, there it sits. Question:

I have an old laptop, running Windows 7, with two usb ports. I use it on Walkabout as my word processor, and to some extent photo reservoir (also has an SD card reader and a disc reader/player.) I also bought a (simple?) gps receiver that has a usb-end on it. What's chances of putting Navionics on the laptop and plug in the usb cord directly, coming from the fandango of cords out of the AIS receiver/antenna splitter...and put the gps receiver in the other hole?

Yeah, what could go wrong with this????


Bob Larkin
 

Hi Dan - As you describe it, you have a correct collection of USB connectors and cables.  The AIS apparently has the old big type B USB connector which is great.  If you have 2 USB ports on your laptop, put the AIS into one and the GPS into the other.  If needed, a USB hub can expand the number of ports available from the laptop and hubs usually work without problems.

The rest is software and that is anybody's guess.  Drivers are needed and Navionics also needs to connect to the received data.  The AIS receiver Web page makes reference to driver software: "The AIS-MULTI will also output NMEA 0183 data via the USB
connector. You will need to install the drivers on the CD supplied before the unit will operate correctly."   Assuming that the AIS merely puts a serial stream of NMEA 0183 data to the USB, you may not need a driver beyond what Microsoft supplies.   But there are other possibilities!  You may need to help Navionics find the data by specifying a COM port in a data window or menu.  If you can find a big boat that is transmitting AIS, you can test all that.

Good Luck!!   Bob


Mark Neuhaus
 

Hi Dan,

On Mon, May 2, 2022 at 3:57 AM Dan <danashore@...> wrote:

  I also bought a (simple?) gps receiver that has a usb-end on it.

Can I ask what make/model you bought?  Built in maps?

Mark


 

I think I pointed Dan in Almostcanada to one of these:

https://smile.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AMAJFUO/themotherofal-20

No maps included.

On 5/3/2022 8:02 PM, Mark N wrote:
Hi Dan,
  I also bought a (simple?) gps receiver that has a usb-end on it.
Can I ask what make/model you bought?  Built in maps?
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Mark Neuhaus
 

Hi John,

On Wed, May 4, 2022 at 1:06 PM John Kohnen <jkohnen@...> wrote:

I think I pointed Dan in Almostcanada to one of these:

https://smile.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AMAJFUO/themotherofal-20

No maps included.

Ah, yes, the good old simple GPS puck.  I almost bought one years ago to use with Microsoft's Streets & Trips software.  Luckily, my handheld Garman GPS unit plugs into my laptop and works fine with OpenCPN, SAS.planet, and other mapping software.  I'll be interested in seeing how his setup works.

Mark


 

Works just like you've got an internal GPS in your device, except that you have to tell your nav program to get location data from a com port.

On 5/4/2022 5:08 PM, Mark N wrote:
...
https://smile.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AMAJFUO/themotherofal-20 ... Ah, yes, the good old simple GPS puck.  I almost bought one years ago to use with Microsoft's Streets & Trips software.  Luckily, my handheld Garman GPS unit plugs into my laptop and works fine with OpenCPN, SAS.planet, and other mapping software.  I'll be interested in seeing how his setup works.
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John <jkohnen@...>
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's. (Mark Twain)
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