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Old 02-07-2019, 04:39 PM   #1
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USB bridges into NMEA-0183 and 2k

I'm about to add an Airmar 220WX to our boat and have noted some issues with being able to mask GPS being transmitted from it. As in, avoiding conflicts or 'too many' devices squawking GPS onto the bus. Supposedly their Weathercaster will interface with more than one kind of USB-2k bridge.

Any suggestions on bridges? Or ones to avoid? Sometimes it's not about knowing what's good... it's about learning what's BAD too.

Airmar U200: Airmar
Maretron USB100: https://www.maretron.com/products/usb100.php
Actisense NGT-1: https://www.actisense.com/product/nm...terface-ngt-1/
Yacht Devices YDNU-02: NMEA to usb: NMEA 2000 USB Gateway

The Airmar unit looks to be the most versatile, in that it has both 0183 and 2k connections. But how programmable is it?
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:02 PM   #2
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I used the Actisense one on my boat, but have since decommissioned it and now use a Nemo Gateway. I’ve not had a problem with “too many GPS devices” causing conflicts. I just select the one I want to use for plotting.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:06 PM   #3
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I've been running an Actisense NDC-4-USB for 5 years. The software enables you to prioritise sources (eg GPS), set different baud rates for 0183 inputs etc. My Furuno Navpilot is N2K, and connected to the MFD (Navnet 3D network). The MFD is connected to the Actisense as well. I can send routes/waypoints from the PC to the NavPilot, so I have a somewhat integrated 0183 & N2K set-up, provided the MFD on the FB is on. The MFD does the integration of the two protocols.

You might want to consider the RosePoint NEMO gateway. These days it could be a better way to go.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:50 PM   #4
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I'm about to do an install with a Modpul Miniplex-3Wi-N2K this weekend. I can let you know how it goes Monday. It is intended to bridge NMEA-0183 data with NMEA-2000 data coming from Simnet, Seatalk-NG, and bridged from Seatalk-1 with USB for an OpenCPN plotter and WiFi.

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Old 02-07-2019, 07:34 PM   #5
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If you decide to go with the Maretron unit let me know, I have one left over from the last project I worked on and probably won't be using it for our new boat.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:33 PM   #6
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I'd forgotten about the Nemo, thanks for mentioning it. Do you know if it'll handle doing updates to Airmar gear? The WeatherCaster software requires using a COM port for communication. Does the Nemo have a driver to do that over an Ethernet connection?
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:16 PM   #7
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I just checked and found that I have not installed the Weathercaster software on my NUC. It was installed on the original computer (Windows XP Paxcom, circa 2010). My Airmar unit seems to work fine, but I am uncertain what the Weathercaster software does and does not do. However I do see apparent wind displayed on my Coastal Explorer chart display and it also shows on my Maretron display and I believe it to be correctly displayed in both cases.

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Old 02-08-2019, 03:30 PM   #8
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I don't think the Weathercaster software is of much value, unless you have a dedicated display just for the Wx info. Certainly on my PC I never use it.

Time Zero Navigator (or Coastal Explorer) will integrate all of the key parameters into a side bar on your chart display.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insequent View Post
I don't think the Weathercaster software is of much value, unless you have a dedicated display just for the Wx info. Certainly on my PC I never use it.

Time Zero Navigator (or Coastal Explorer) will integrate all of the key parameters into a side bar on your chart display.
I agree. Since I last posted I looked at a PDF on the Weathercaster Software and the features it provides don't interest me as I see everything I need to see WRT wind information on either my Maretron display, Coastal Explorer or my Furuno F150 display. It's an option for Coastal Explorer to display the a wind direction and speed arrow right on the Chart, beside the "Own Vessel" Icon. That's very helpful at a glance.

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Old 02-08-2019, 07:58 PM   #10
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I'm only planning on being able to connect it for configuration purposes. I don't plan on keeping it running.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #11
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There are twin goals here. One is to be able to get to the Airmar devices to update and configure them. The other will likely be getting 0183 data back out for the existing Simrad autopilot. I may end up with two gizmos, one to do the updating, the other to bridge the data.

I'm going to map out the B&G and 0183 stuff tomorrow. The old H1000 displays are coming out but there appears to be some 'entanglement' of them with the autopilot. Which may also explain an ST60 that's literally hidden inside the helm console.

I think it's taking GPS from a GP-320B connected into one MFD12, then over Ethernet to another MFD12 which is sending 0183 back out again to "some devices". Included in that 0183 data may also be some heading data, also coming into another MFD12 and Ethernet.

I've never been a big fan of trusting MFDs at bridging data. You're always at the mercy of whatever the MFD vendor thinks is "the right way" which ends up not being what the other vendors think.
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