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Old 03-31-2019, 07:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Retriever View Post

I've been playing with TimeZero in my iPad and I like it, but it crashes too frequently (at least once every 24 hours) and occasionally AIS targets stop updating but stay on the screen. Rebooting the app fixes the AIS problem, but it's disconcerting, especially because the continued presence of old AIS targets can cause all sorts of problems.
Interesting that you have had issues with Time Zero. I have had it running on iPad for over 2 years with no hiccups. I wonder if another app on yours is causing issues? I do not use AIS on the pad.
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:23 PM   #22
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I am hoping to replace the old, very large Dell PC tower that is currently running Coastal Explorer in my boat. I have just started looking at the NUC equipment. Could you describe what you have? Memory? RAM? Etc.... many thanks!
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:03 PM   #23
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Interesting that you have had issues with Time Zero. I have had it running on iPad for over 2 years with no hiccups. I wonder if another app on yours is causing issues? I do not use AIS on the pad.
Similarly, I’ve never had an issue with the iPad app but I have a clean iPad Pro I only use for Nav stuff and Maretron.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:08 PM   #24
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We also have never had a problem with Time Zero running on our iPad or 2 PC's.........
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:38 PM   #25
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I'm also an OpenCPN user. I built a PC with a touch screen into the flybridge to use it and have a second one I'll soon put in at the lower helm. I've only used it for one short cruise so far, St. Pete to Clearwater via the ICW, but it worked well for me.

I have it fully integrated with AIS, DSC, radar, the autopilot, etc, etc, etc.

To the person who asked about how to get the charts...For US waters, they are free. it comes with a pre-installed plug-in to download them from NOAA, among other sources.
It is all integrated and works nicely. At least it has so far.

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Old 04-01-2019, 12:12 AM   #26
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Software

The most recent version of OpenCPN is intriguing; new UI, support for radar, multi panel on a single screen, etc. I’ve often thought when PC based platforms can read radar and sonar the MFD becomes the backup.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:44 AM   #27
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Airstream345,

My last boat had a PC-based system circa 2007 that was branded an "i3 Navigator". It was a custom system that had radar, sonar (fishfinder/depth founder), 3D contour charts that integrated with the fish finder, normal chart plotting, autopilot integration, photo charts, (and, with the software upgrade) AIS integration, XM weather, etc. The screen was a waterproof touch panel that was an amazing 1500 nits. And, I could have most of it on both the upper and lower helm at the same time. The exceptions were that radar, weather, and the fish finder were selectable upper or lower, but not both at the same time.

The only two things that were, in my opinion, suboptimal about it was that it didn't knit chart grids together automatically, i.e. it didn't switch from one grid to another until the boat did or it was done manually, and the touch screen was finicky when wet with rain or heavy condensation, so I added an outdoor trackpad. The fish finder was very good, but circa 2007 and didn't do chirp, front/side view, etc. It had a huge 15" screen upper and lower.

...if the platform wasn't orphaned when the company's founder passed away and it was sold off, I'd have put another one in my new boat. But, I didn't want to put a 12 year old unit in to a fresh install. My point is that PCs have been able to do this really well for a while now.

Regardless, in my new boat, I put an OpenCPN system that most of what the old one did, except it doesn't do contour charts or integrate the fish finder. And, it works great (so far, it is new). And, it does do some things the old one didn't, especially with respect to wi-fi and being able to share radar on the upper and lower helm (versus having it on the upper or lower helm, but not both at the same time). My only complaint with it is that I put a 10" screen in on the flybridge -- and miss my old 15" screen. I might end up upgrading.

The shortcoming I've found on most of the PC based systems isn't the software, processing power, ability to integrate, or anything like that. It is that it is really hard to find a 1500nit, waterproof touchpanel for a reasonable cost. I paid a lot for a 10" screen that is, iirc only 1000nits, and is only 1024x600 native resolution (it scales to do higher resolutions).

I'm happy with it in that it works well. But, I'm not happy with it in that I find myself needing to put my nose to it to see detail or to constantly zoom in and out and it that it doesn't have room for anything but the chart view (with overlays like AIS and Radar) on the screen -- stand-alone radar and virtual instruments just take up too much space to stay resident versus popping up and down as needed.

Although I haven't put it in, yet, for the lower helm, since it doesn't need to be water proof, I was able to get a 15" touchscreen, the Elo, at a decent price.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:55 AM   #28
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Just for the record, ditto no issues with the older Time Zero (V2.xxx) on a laptop.

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Old 04-01-2019, 09:37 AM   #29
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Guys, I have a problem that maybe someone can help with: I have NMEA 0183 with a simrad AP25 AP, I'm trying to use CE on my laptop, but can't figure out how to connect it. How can I hook up to the AP? I know I have to use a USB but does anyone how or where to connect on the AP or do I somehow hook into my 0183.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:48 PM   #30
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I don't use either product. I'm only familiar with them from what I've seen around the docks and on forums.

But, my memory is that the AP25 has NMEA-0183 inputs. I think the plotter is conventionally connected to the one at TB14. Here's a link to the manual:
-- Simrad AP25 User Manual | 172 pages

So, basically, if all you want to do is to connect your PC with CE directly to your AP25, you just need to give your PC an RS422 port for the NMEA-0183 output and connect it directly to the AP25 NMEA input.

You can use something the marine specific Actisense USG-2:
-- https://www.actisense.com/product/usg-2/

Or a generic USB<->RS422 device:
-- https://www.amazon.com/Serial-Conver...gateway&sr=8-1

If you'd like to connect more things, since RS422 is a multi-drop (single sender, multiple receiver), not multi-point (multiper senders and multipler receivers) serial bus, you'll need to get a buffering multiplexer. to get all of the data where you want it to go. It'll basically let you take data from multiple sources and send it to multiple sources and, within reason (buffering capacity) do it without losing to collision, etc:

There are bunches of these, from inexpensive to top dollar, some include the USB connection so you won't need a separate device for that. they have different numbers of inputs and outputs. Some have USB, Ethernet, NMEA-2000, and/or Wi-Fi, too:
-- ShipModul Marine Electronics
-- https://www.navstore.com/actisense-p...8aAjRhEALw_wcB

But, the basic idea is that NMEA-0183 is a RS422 serial standard, so just get yourself from the USB serial port on your laptop to that, and from there to the AP25. This can be via a simple, direct connection, or via a multiplexer, or even with wireless or ethernet in the middle. .
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:49 PM   #31
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Guys, I have a problem that maybe someone can help with: I have NMEA 0183 with a simrad AP25 AP, I'm trying to use CE on my laptop, but can't figure out how to connect it. How can I hook up to the AP? I know I have to use a USB but does anyone how or where to connect on the AP or do I somehow hook into my 0183.
You'll need either a serial port which most laptops today do not have, or a serial-USB adapter. OR a multiplexer, like Actisense NDC that will have a USB conversion on board. Rosepoint's Nemo interface will work splendidly as well. How you approach it is dependent on how much of the ship's system data is on NMEA0183 and how much of it you wish to utilize.



You mentioned an AP. The AP25, if I'm not mistaken is the control head, and if memory serves me correctly, you'll need to connect to the AP's computer not the control head to port CE's output to the AP. You may want to port the AP's heading data to CE as well, it will keep the "own vessel" icon correctly oriented. If you have other data like AIS, or GPS, you'll be aiming for the NEMO or NDC, since you'll likely be using NMEA data from more than one source. You can't just put all the wires together on a terminal block. Hence, the multiplexer. From that juncture, USB to the PC will provide all the data CE can use.


You'll need to get some manuals out, and diagram out exactly what you want to accomplish, how it will be connected and then look at color codes for each piece of gear, polarity e.g. TX/RX, baud rate, and then get it all wired up. Don't panic, it's not terribly difficult, you just need to be organized and be able to read the manual. A diagram is a must, otherwise you'll have a cluster.... of wires and.... they're small....

Plenty of help on the forum, NMEA is good old guy stuff.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:11 AM   #32
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Thanks to both of you guys, I tried wiring directly from USB to the AP computer but still couldn't get it o operate. I bought a USB GPS and it seems ok but not sure. Wouldn't the AP's compass be the one I really need?
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:23 AM   #33
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Thanks to both of you guys, I tried wiring directly from USB to the AP computer but still couldn't get it o operate. I bought a USB GPS and it seems ok but not sure. Wouldn't the AP's compass be the one I really need?

The easiest approach (from my experience) would be the Nemo Gateway, as it handles both N2K and 0183. Everything goes into the computer by Ethernet cable or, if through a wireless Router, by Bluetooth. That would be my approach. It’s very easy to use at the basic level.

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Old 04-02-2019, 09:37 AM   #34
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I should add that connecting the autopilot involves using both the “listening” and “talking” ports on the Nemo Gateway.
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:29 AM   #35
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Quote:
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Thanks to both of you guys, I tried wiring directly from USB to the AP computer but still couldn't get it o operate. I bought a USB GPS and it seems ok but not sure. Wouldn't the AP's compass be the one I really need?


Don't be offended-- What you're describing is not possible. The USB connection is incompatible with any of your onboard devices for direct connection. Don't keep monkeying with trial & error connections, if you apply power to the AP serial NMEA connections via a USB pigtail you could seriously damage the AP!
Get qualified help or plan to spend some time educating yourself on how to do it correctly!
Re-read the posts above, they give you the options, and several posts have described what steps you need to follow. It's not a difficult task if you know how, BUT- there's no shortcut to that knowledge other than a credit card to pay someone who already has it!
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:09 PM   #36
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I've used Coastal Explorer since it was originally released, Time Zero for at least 6 years, and OpenCPN for about 5. They all have their pros/cons just like chart plotter manufacturers.

I would try to find a neighbor or friend that has CE or TZ and play around with it just to get a feel for the differences. They are very close in features, unless you pair it with particular hardware. OpenCPN is free, so you can download and try this one on your own.

I was a CE fanboy for years, and used it on my last 2 boats extensively, and love the interface and features that Rose Point has added over the years. With the addition of the Nemo Gateway, it really made CE a powerful application that could be the central system controlling the boat underway.

On my new boat, I have invested in Furuno radar, autopilot, and chart plotters, and decided to use Time Zero Professional over CE because of the deep integration. The UI/UX of TZ is not as good as CE in my opinion, but the integration is far better than anything out there - controlling the radar, cameras, autopilot, and synchronizing things all without much problems - those are features few other pieces of software have.

I still keep CE updated and working, and it can still control my autopilot and run the boat if TZ dies.

I also agree that the TZ iPad app is a great tool (someone mentioned it above) and have several friends who use it extensively. It is 90% similar to TZ Pro and the TZT 2 MFDs for that matter, and those companies seem to be investing money in cross-functional features and sync.

OpenCPN is also good, but it is behind both TZ and CE in terms of complete features and user interface. It has gone through a lot of updates and improvements in the last few years, and is a solid contender. It has the plus of being open source, and has integrations with other tools like SignalK that are harder/not available with the commercial ones. The biggest challenge I have with it is reliability and user interface. The reliability has gotten better, and the UI has improved, but it is still a ways from being as easy to use as CE and TZ.
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