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TOPIC: NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation

NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 7 years 8 months ago #1828

  • MiddleSea
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Hi all,

I'm newly initiated into the RM world and still getting my head around the full capabilities of this awesome program. I would love to hear from anyone who has (or has ideas on how to) set up a system where an NMEA Bluetooth transmitter that is connected to my Lowrance HDS5, sends data to a Windows 8 (not RT) Tablet that then runs the RM program. I want to be able to effectively have the tablet running RM and creating live maps without the need to physically connect NMEA cords to it. Hope that makes sense?

Thanks in advance :)
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 7 years 8 months ago #1833

  • AnglingCharts
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I've been using many different applications over the years as survey tools, and one enduring lesson has been learned. Keep it simple.

It may all work brilliantly alongside the pier on a sunny day, but when you find yourself sitting in a washing machine trying to hang on to the wheel, and at the same time work out whats gone wrong with a system that's stopped logging data you'll be thankful of something that just "works".

We all benefit from feedback - so if you get something sorted that seems totally bombproof I'd love to know !

T
http://www.anglingcharts.com/

Mucking about in boats
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 8 months ago #4583

  • georgelewisray
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MiddleSea,
Any progress on this wireless notion?
As the IOT (Internet of Things) draws ever closer your idea is looking more and more like the normal way of doing things. While I am just starting the struggle to understand, use and create with Bluetooth 4.0 I do have a thought.
- - In this case I assume the data stream coming to RM is oneway so the diagram could be drawn serial=>Bluetooth=>serial. No need for for full duplex, handshaking back and forth, just bridge the gap one way. The depth recorder or depth/gps combo unit is simply a talker and RM is a listener. Amounts to cutting the serial wires , inserting a one way wireless link and the devices at either end are none the wiser.
- - IT may be a trivial DIY project using a new device on the market. The Light Blue Bean.

punchthrough.com/bean/
"The LightBlue Bean is a low energy Bluetooth Arduino microcontroller. Using Bluetooth 4.0, it is programmed wirelessly, runs on a coin cell battery, and is perfect for smartphone controlled projects."

So for about $60 for TWO Beans and a little code that is probably already in the sample code bin and little soldering we might be in business. I just need a bit of spare time and $$ and I want to build one.
...........
It is important to note that AnglingCharts is correct, in that this would add another mode of failure and so violates the KISS principle, (Keep It Simple Stupid).

********************
UPDATE_01:

TurnKey Solution: aprox $150US
www.pcworld.com/product/pg/1093134420/detail

"The FirePlug is a Class 1 Bluetooth to USB - serial adapter. It attaches to a USB port on your PC, but presents itself as a Serial Port. No Windows Bluetooth drivers or stacks needed! Unlike standard Bluetooth USB Adapters, this adapter has more than just a Bluetooth radio in the USB housing. It has an intelligent bluetooth serial device, capable of being permanently Paired with another bluetooth serial device, such as the BluePort XP (battery powered) or FireFly (RS232 adapter). With the FirePlug's onboard memory, you no longer need to rely on Windows to remember the connection. You can reboot your PC, turn it on and off, upgrade to Vista, you can even move the FirePlug from one PC to another - it doesn't matter. The FirePlug has the power to run the Bluetooth SPP (Serial Port Profile) on its own with no help from Windows, and it stores its bluetooth pairing information in its onboard flash memory. So set it up once and forget it! With the FirePlug's Class 1 Bluetooth Radio, you can transmit your serial data up to 100 meters (330 feet) away. FirePlug utilizes the latest in USB to serial conversion circuits. Just plug it into your USB port, and Microsoft certified drivers are installed automatically. Windows will create a serial COM Port, and then you can configure and control the FirePlug using simple ASCII strings (AT Commands) over the COM port, no GUI or API drivers into Bluetooth stacks need to be used or written. By using the simple COM interface, a more reliable and stable connection can be made and maintained. The FirePlug supports the latest and greatest Bluetooth specification 2.0 (which provides faster Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) and lower Bit Error Rate (BER)), but is also compatible with devices supporting the older 1.x specifications."


**************************

Roll your Own: $50 to $70 just for the modules, then you have to wire and power them.

Some info on implementing serial over Bluetooth:
learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/using-the-bluesmirf
"Are you ready to hit the airwaves and add Bluetooth to your project? With the BlueSMiRF and Bluetooth Mate line of products, you’re much closer than you think to replacing those pesky, tangled RX and TX wires with 2.4GHz wireless communication.
Each of these modules has a Bluetooth transceiver on it, meaning they’re capable of both sending and receiving data. They’re perfect for directly replacing a wired asynchronous serial interface. Free of wires, your devices can be up to 100 meters away from each other. On top of those benefits, these modules are also very easy to use. There’s no messing with Bluetooth protocols or the stack, just send data over a serial interface, and it’s piped through to whatever Bluetooth module to which it’s connected. In this tutorial we’ll cover everything you need to know about these Bluetooth modules. We’ll begin with an overview of the hardware, and the differences between each device. Then we’ll get into hardware hookup and example Arduino code. . . . . . . "

The modules pictured each cost $25US to $35US (two required) and the price difference is transmit range: 10M vs 100M range and the trade off is power consumption.

Overview of Bluetooth: learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/bluetooth-basics

This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
E. Cayce
Last Edit: 6 years 8 months ago by georgelewisray.
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 8 months ago #4624

  • Matt
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Looks interesting George - let us know if you build one!
I would have thought just one unit would be required, assuming the PC already has a bluetooth adapter? It is relatively easy to get bluetooth to behave like a standard serial port - something I've done a few times simply using an Android mobile phone as a bluetooth GPS recevier (hooked up to ReefMaster).
Matt
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 4 months ago #5541

  • DiveExplorer
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Have anyone tried this, and get it to work ?

I have laptop that I would like to hook up to my depth finder and watch as I map in real time.
Humminbird 581i HD DI.
Mapping the ocean floor and search for history
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 4 months ago #5550

  • Walleye Slayer
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As a former DrD user for many years I am new to Reefmaster, I to have an interest in Live 3D charts/Mapping. I have successfully created a cable from the LOWRANCE HDS 7 GEN 1 using a Profilic PL2303HX cable to the Lowrance NMEA 0183 connector. I have a windows tablet with reemaster trial version that RM folks have graciously extended my trial for testing. THANKS.

I have tested data on shore and can read NMEA sentences both position and depth, now the test is on the water this weekend. I have several Topo Maps that I am trying to get into reefmaster with limited success as I have limited time. I can import JPG images of highly defined topo maps but the calibration is very extensive. I have Global Mapper software and my next step is to try and create a KML file from Global Mapper that is calibrated as the import map is limited to KML and JPG/BMP.

I have CAL files for the JPEG images but RM does not allow calibration from a file (or at least I have not figured it out yet).

Stay tuned for updates before my trial expires!!!!!
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Last Edit: 6 years 4 months ago by Walleye Slayer.
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 4 months ago #5551

  • DiveExplorer
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Excellent Walleye, thanks for posting. It will be interesting to hear how the trials come out.

My laptop have internal GPS which works with RM. Shows position in RM.

But I have not yet been successful for the depth finder to "talk" to the computer and the RM. I have tried both Bluetooth and serial cable, but without luck. I used some cheap bluetooth gadget so I´m was not disappointed when that did not work, but I thought using a cable would work. I´m also a former DrD user. At the time Per suggest that I would try Parani serial to bluetooth adapter. Maybe that would work ?
Humminbird 581i HD DI.
Mapping the ocean floor and search for history
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 4 months ago #5559

  • DiveExplorer
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Ok I managed to get it to work, with cable that is. NMEA COM cable to serial to USB. I used Tera Term software to see if I got the data from depth sounder, and when I managed to get that it worked with RM.

Next is to try if i can get the data via bluetooth.
Humminbird 581i HD DI.
Mapping the ocean floor and search for history
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 3 months ago #5579

  • DAVES
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not sure if this might work for what u want but check out on google ...vexillar sonar Tbox works on wifi
<*)))><
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 6 years 3 months ago #5581

  • DiveExplorer
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Interesting, never seen that before. Thanks for posting, but I´m searching for a different solution I think.
Humminbird 581i HD DI.
Mapping the ocean floor and search for history
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 4 years 10 months ago #8179

  • Darren
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I've had a go with this myself. Lowrance NMEA output sliced to a serial cable, this is connected to my PC and reefmaster; voilla! Which works pretty well thank you RM!

Then I got a serial to wifi data transfer box. This is connected to my Lowrance and should stream data to my PC. But here I am stuck, the wifi box indicates it's receiving data but when I create a virtual port on the PC, no data arrives. I'm stumped!

If anyone has this type of setup working, I'm all ears!
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NMEA Bluetooth To Tablet For Wireless Operation 4 years 10 months ago #8181

  • georgelewisray
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Things to consider:
(1) look for a tool that will allow examination of raw data on a serial port to see what if anything is getting through .
(2) consider that serial protocol allows for hardware handshaking and in some situations the port will be waiting for a hardware handshake. This takes the form of a pin (input) being a particular logic level ( i.e. 1 or 0 => 5V or ground .... to complicate things a bit but probably not an issue in most cases these days the original RS-232 spec was for shop floor/industrial use and voltage levels were something like +&- 32VDC , but these days it seems that the 5VDC of TTL logic chips is the new common voltage level so +5VDC and 0VDC would be used. ) . . . . Look at the documentation for the serial => WiFi and see if handshaking is mentioned and possibly there may be a dip switch or a jumper to configure it. )
This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
E. Cayce
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