08 September 2010

Your Help Needed to firm up the NMEA 2000 database

My reverse-engineered database of NMEA 2000 data is getting pretty good at reading NMEA 2000 data. The 'standard' depth/speed/temperature, GPS and AIS messages are all parsed pretty well now.

What is still in a nature of flux are the more 'outlying' messages such as DC/AC control, the ISO commands, configuration commands and the manufacturer proprietary commands.

I will work up the Simnet/Navico/Lowrance proprietary commands myself over time, as my network has those in abundance.

The nature of reverse engineering does mean that it is not possible for me to be 100% sure of messages being correct until I have manually compared the raw data with known data, but it will help if you send me logfiles of the 'raw' data logged by the reader programs of your own bus, especially if it contains devices I haven't be able to get my hands on yet.

Here is a list of devices that I have logfiles for already. If you have anything NOT on this list, please make a log and send it to me in compressed (zip or gzip) format. The best logs are those that show all messages from 'start' of the bus. Unless I ask you for more, or you want to show me AIS sentences that the software doesn't analyze correctly, about 30 seconds of log will do.

  • Airmar DST200 sensor
  • Airmar PB200 sensor
  • Lowrance HDS8
  • Lowrance EP65R sensor
  • Mastervolt NMEA2000/Masterbus converter
  • Navico NAIS300 AIS
  • Simrad AT10 NMEA converter
  • Simrad AC42 autopilot computer
  • Simrad AP24 AP control head
  • Simrad IS20 Wind display
  • Simrad IS20 Wind display
  • Simrad IS20 Wind display
  • Simrad IS20 Wind sensor
  • Simrad RC42 compass sensor
  • Simrad RS82 VHF
  • Simrad WR20 Remote

To create a logfile, do the following on Microsoft Windows in a command prompt window after unpacking the latest packetlogger code:

C:\packetlogger\win32> actisense-reader
Usage: actisense-reader <com-port> [<baud-rate>]

<com-port> is an integer from the following list:
3: COM3 - Actisense NGW/NGT NMEA 2000 Gateway (Available)

<baud-rate> is an integer from the following list:
4800 38400 115200 230400 (default is 115200)

C:\packetlogger\win32> actisense-reader 3 > my-small-or-big-boat-logfile.log

Note that the first command shows you a list of all COM ports. It should show you which COM port the Actisense device is using. Choose the number for that port in the second command. Let it run for a few seconds, then press Control-C to stop the reader. Zip up the file.

On Linux, the comparable action is:

$ actisense-serial /dev/ttyUSB0 | gzip > my-small-or-big-boat-logfile.log.gz


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