15 September 2010

NMEA2000 support and DSC calls on a Simrad RS82/87

Yesterday I received an email query from someone who wanted to know whether a Simrad RS82 will put out the DSC Call Information, PGN 129808. As I had to visit the boat anyway I was able to run a small test by making an individual DSC call to my own VHF from someone else's RS82.

The good news is that making an individual DSC call is very simple, at least on a RS82, and I will definitely use this capability more often now that I have been reminded how simple it is.

The bad news is that, at least with the software version I've got in my RS82, it does not transmit the NMEA 2000 standard PGN but a Simrad specific PGN 130816. It is clearly a PGN that was defined early on in Simrad's Simnet/NMEA2000 adoption cycle as it is very much text based whereas all standard PGNs are all very much binary field based. This did make it very easy for me to add support for this PGN (although a few minor fields are still guesses on my part).

Here is an example of the PGN 130816 in action:

2010-09-14-16:53:05.600 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 156; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 1; Text = INDIVIDUAL CALL
2010-09-14-16:53:05.711 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 92; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 2; Text = RECEIVED FROM RS81/82
2010-09-14-16:53:05.805 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 92; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 3; Text = CALLER ID: 244087177
2010-09-14-16:53:05.879 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 92; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 4; Text = CATEGORY: INDIVIDUAL
2010-09-14-16:53:05.990 6   9  36  59904 ISO Request:  PGN = 60928
2010-09-14-16:53:05.994 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 92; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 5; Text = REPLY ON CHANNEL 77
2010-09-14-16:53:06.088 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 84; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 6; Prio = 1; Text = STOP ALARM: SELECT CHANNEL 77
2010-09-14-16:53:06.166 3   9 255 130816 Simrad: Text Message:  Manufacturer Code = Simrad; Industry Code = 19; Product Code = 16393; A = 84; B = 1; C = 1; D = 7; SID = 7; Prio = 2; Text = STOP ALARM

Note that the information in the call did not contain GPS position. Unfortunately I forgot to wait for the sending VHF to obtain a GPS position, so I have no idea what will be sent out when that does transmit a location.

If someone knows whether my guess at the 'Product Code' and 'Prio' fields are correct, and what the meaning of fields A, B, C and D is then please do tell.

And if you have a RS8x with newer software than me and are able to test DSC calls, or know whether its software can be updated know whether SW version 2.3 provides any updates in this area then I'm all ears.

The new packetlogger can be downloaded at the usual place.

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