One of those days

Ever have one of those days where everything you try to do doesn’t work? Yeah.

First I started to rebed 2 more of my chainplates. Got most of the way through, and then ran out of resin. Ugh. So then I decided to figure out the connection from my chartplotter to my laptop.

I was using a program called OpenCPN, which is open source and free. The idea was that I could plot courses in the comfort of my cabin one evening before a trip, and then upload them to my chartplotter, while grabbing GPS data, wind speed etc from the chartplotter to the laptop, meaning I could view wind speed etc at anchor without having to go on deck.

Simple right? Except OpenCPN doesn’t support NMEA2000 (which everything else uses). Which meant I had to use NMEA0183 – which as it turns out, my chartplotter bridges all the NMEA2000 info and spits it out as NMEA0183 on a port (excluding AIS).

SO, in theory, all I had to do was take that wire, hook it up to a DB-9 serial connector, and whack it on my PC.

Hookin’ up some tiny wires, do do do

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Configuring the NMEA sentences on the NSS8, la la la

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….. aaaaaaaaaaaand the bloody thing refuses to work, fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Ok, I find a slip of paper saying the wiring diagram for the NSS8 is wrong, and the tx/rx wires are reversed, ughhhhh, so I reverse them.

More faffing around with tiny wires

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Still doesn’t work. Cue frustrated screeching.

Using a port monitoring program I can see that the laptop can see incoming messages from the NSS, it’s just not being picked up by OpenCPN.

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Here is the connection window in OpenCPN

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So, I’m at a bit of a loss.

To sum up, everything I tried to do today was a dismal failure – but at least nothing caught fire.

Matt

7 Comments

  1. NMEA 2000 is a compact binary message format as opposed to the ASCII serial communications protocol used by NMEA 0183.

    Is OpenCPN expecting ASCII or what ?

    So the question is does the plotter reformat the message or transmit nema2000 packet at the slower rate ? Skip

    • Yeah, my chartplotter takes the N2k input, reformats it and outputs it as a serial NMEA0183 output. I can see it transmitting but OpenCPN doesn’t seem to want to handle it :\

    • Throwing the whole mess into the ocean and having a beer occurred to me more than once…

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