NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

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smartcom
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NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

Postby smartcom » Sat May 13, 2017 7:08 pm

People may be interested in a new project coming up on Kickstarter for a new, low cost NMEA0183 to Wi-Fi gateway device.
Have a look at www.nmeatools.com for more information, and the chance to wn one in a prize draw.
Tim

smartcom
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Re: NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

Postby smartcom » Tue May 30, 2017 9:21 pm

Just to let people know, this is going live tomorrow (the 31st) at 0800PDT / 1100EDT / 1600BST.
There will be a limited number of devices for just £50/$65 each.
As soon as it goes live, there will be a link to the Kickstarter page from http://www.nmeatools.com
Tim

Belle Serene
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Re: NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

Postby Belle Serene » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:52 pm

No need to pay that much to connect your phone or tablet to your instruments by wifi.

I used a cheap RS232 (which is the serial protocol on which NMEA is based) to wifi convertor, bought directly from the Chinese manufacturer (they sell for ten times the price on eBay).

smartcom
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Re: NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

Postby smartcom » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:47 pm

Yes, you can do that if you want. Just note that electrically RS232 is not the same as NMEA0183, so it may may not work: NMEA uses a different voltage range and is a differential signal whereas RS232 just uses a single data wire and the electrical ground. NMEA is also opto-isolated on the receive side, which makes it more resistant to interference.
On the power supply side, does the Chinese device come with a power supply or do you have to supply your own? And does it cover the full 7 - 32V DC found on boats? And is it designed to keep powered up when you start the engine, for example, and the voltage drops.
And how is their technical support?
As always, you get what you pay for.
Tim

Belle Serene
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Re: NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

Postby Belle Serene » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:49 pm

smartcom wrote:Yes, you can do that if you want. Just note that electrically RS232 is not the same as NMEA0183, so it may may not work: NMEA uses a different voltage range and is a differential signal whereas RS232 just uses a single data wire and the electrical ground. NMEA is also opto-isolated on the receive side, which makes it more resistant to interference.
On the power supply side, does the Chinese device come with a power supply or do you have to supply your own? And does it cover the full 7 - 32V DC found on boats? And is it designed to keep powered up when you start the engine, for example, and the voltage drops.
And how is their technical support?
As always, you get what you pay for.
Tim


Yes, it works fine. My degree was in electronic engineering; I could happily address each of your points and explain to you why the solution works fine. It takes your instruments' NMEA sentences straight from your boat's network and transmits them by wifi on a network named as you choose and encrypted if you want. Enables any NMEA iPhone/ iPad/ tablet/ smartphone app around your boat to give you instrument repeaters, and gives tablet/ iPad chartplotting software such as iNavX the information it needs.

But perhaps you'd just sow more doubt for the uninitiated by making more generatisations and asking more questions. Much of the leisure marine industry, and perhaps the marine electronics industry in particular, trades on people's ignorance to justify premium prices.

Good luck to you: what you are doing goes some way to enabling boat owners to do what they want without needing to buy over-engineered and over-priced solutions for their purposes. I just went the whole hog, for purely personal purposes.

smartcom
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Re: NMEA0183 to WiFi device coming up on Kickstarter

Postby smartcom » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:25 pm

I'm glad the device worked for you, but I do not work by spreading doubt - - just what I've learned from being involved in marine electronics and computers for about 35 years. If we could make it cheaper we definitely would, as we started this as an enabler for the app for our TeamSurv project (www.teamsurv.com) as there was nothing at a sensible price and decent quality on the market.

A long technical debate probably wouldn't get us anywhere, but just for the record RS232 has voltage levels of +3 - +15V for 0 and -3 - -15V for 1. NMEA0183 specifies +4 - +15V and -15 - +0.5V. So where there is an overlap it will work, depending on the NMEA and RS232 interfaces, but it isn't guaranteed. Also, the opto-isolation is needed in quite a large number of installations, due to intereference and/or ground loop problems, but again not always.

Tim


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