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Expedition, Nexus NX2 server, FDX- problems with wireless serial


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#1 Jorma

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:45 PM

I've been building a system with only one (on-deck) computer (Toughbook CF-H2) and wireless transfer of data from NX2 server and GPS (Garmin 18X 5Hz) to the on-deck computer. Expedition as tactical software.

I have played with two wireless systems that work perfectly fine with the GPS. The systems are:

1) Bluetooth based (2 Parani SD1000 's)
2) WLAN based (Moxa Nport 5250A (serial to ethernet) and AWK-3121 WLAN-AP

The problem is that the NX2 server cannot (?) be configured to boot up in FDX mode. It needs a command to switch to the FDX mode issued at NMEA standard rate (4800bps). After that the server goes into FDX state and starts to communicate at 19200 bps.
The wireless modules have to configured to a fixed baud rate. I can give the "go to FDX" -command at 4800 bps, but after that I have to change the configuration to 19.200 bps, which complicates things and is waste of time. With normal serial-cable connection the transfer from 4800 bps is done automatically without my activity.

Any solutions in mind?

Jorma

#2 Expedition

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:28 PM

Hello,

Ask Nexus. They used to have a patch that made the server always start in FDX mode.

Nick

#3 P2 Marine

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:22 PM

Hi Jorma,

Here are the ASCII files to start NX2 in either FDX or NMEA mode. I will assume you know how to send them to the server..

Start FDX Mode

Start NMEA Mode

Cheers,
Rob

#4 Woolfy

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:55 AM

Now how'd you get those patches Rob?

#5 P2 Marine

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

Hi Woolfy,

The short answer is that I got them from Sweden ;-)

The reason I needed them is because I was using Nexus gear in weather buoys. The Nexus server was connected to a 900 MHz modem that transmitted data to a control boat running Expedition. Each buoy was a "boat" in EXP and we ran strip charts of the wind data at three different locations on a race course. Since there were no displays on the buoys, and they were transmit only I needed the server to boot in FDX mode. Pictures follow. It was such a cool project it was banned by US Sailing and ISAF....

Cheers,
Rob

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#6 P2 Marine

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:49 PM

Hi Jorma,

In FDX select Navigate -> Routes -> Send File to Nexus. Browse to the file and upload it, then reboot and the server will start in FDX mode. Given Woolfy saw the post and didn't scream bloody murder I'm guessing the patch is still valid. You could verify with him...They do like their secrets at Nexus...

Cheers,
Rob

#7 Jorma

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:16 PM

Hi Jorma,

In FDX select Navigate -> Routes -> Send File to Nexus. Browse to the file and upload it, then reboot and the server will start in FDX mode. Given Woolfy saw the post and didn't scream bloody murder I'm guessing the patch is still valid. You could verify with him...They do like their secrets at Nexus...

Cheers,
Rob


Thanks Rob,

Sounds quite clear.

I'll give it a try tomorrow, when I'm at the boat.

Perhaps Woolfy will give us the "Harry Potter and the Secrets of the Nexus Server (part 1)" some day ;-)

Nice piece of equipment you have there!



Jorma



#8 Woolfy

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:38 PM

Rob,
Very cool buoys... Where's the logic in banning them? :rolleyes:

Jorma,
We're not that secretive about our toys, but we have found that not being too open boosts sales, as all the competition has to buy everything new we put on the market to try and work out how to catch up! :P

#9 jarcher

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:35 AM

Woolfy, using such buoys would violate the rule against getting help from off your boat that's not generally available to all racers. I was working on a similar project, though, to record data and see if there are trends I could use. But getting data in real time - not allowed.




#10 jarcher

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:39 AM

Jorma, if you're planning to use the Nexus Race Software with your server starting in FDX, you'll find that that software has trouble establishing communications with the server. The Race Software assumes the server has started in NMEA and, if this is not true, it has issues. This may be changed in a future release of the Race Software because a certain very cool and new piece of Nexus equipment can be accommodated. However, if you use the Race Software while sailing and want to calibrate or use T.R.U.E. during the race, you may want to think twice about changing your server to start in FDX.

#11 jarcher

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:06 AM

Woolfy, using such buoys would violate the rule against getting help from off your boat that's not generally available to all racers. I was working on a similar project, though, to record data and see if there are trends I could use. But getting data in real time - not allowed.


In fact, check out this thread:

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=135521




#12 Jorma

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:52 PM

Jorma, if you're planning to use the Nexus Race Software with your server starting in FDX, you'll find that that software has trouble establishing communications with the server. The Race Software assumes the server has started in NMEA and, if this is not true, it has issues. This may be changed in a future release of the Race Software because a certain very cool and new piece of Nexus equipment can be accommodated. However, if you use the Race Software while sailing and want to calibrate or use T.R.U.E. during the race, you may want to think twice about changing your server to start in FDX.


Hi Jarcher,


Thanks for the comment.

I cannot quite follow your thought on FDX mode and Nexus Race software (NR). If I understand you right, you say that the NR has problems starting, if the server is already in FDX-mode.

As you know NR leaves the server in FDX mode, when you exit NR. That is how I get my server in the needed FDX mode.

If your suggestion would be right , I would have hard time exiting NR and starting it again. That is not the case. This evening I did 3-4 rounds of starting and exiting NR with no problems either with the program or the connections.

Am I missing something?

Jorma

#13 Jorma

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

Hi Jorma,

In FDX select Navigate -> Routes -> Send File to Nexus. Browse to the file and upload it, then reboot and the server will start in FDX mode. Given Woolfy saw the post and didn't scream bloody murder I'm guessing the patch is still valid. You could verify with him...They do like their secrets at Nexus...

Cheers,
Rob



Woolfy,

I'd just like to check with you. What do you think of Robs files and maneuver.

Bloody murder or just OK ?

Jorma


#14 Jorma

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

Rob,
Very cool buoys... Where's the logic in banning them? :rolleyes:

Jorma,
We're not that secretive about our toys, but we have found that not being too open boosts sales, as all the competition has to buy everything new we put on the market to try and work out how to catch up! :P



This goes to Woolfy anf Jarcher,

first, don't take me wrong. I am a great fan of Nexus as I have it on my cruising boat and I am actively racing on a fairly competitive boat with all Nexus system. Fairly happy with both of them. Just talking about improving. I've been also racing with B&G H3000 system and have found good documentation and customer support on their side too.


About the secrets of NX2-server. I realize the commercial aspect of keeping server documentation down and somewhat obscure (like on the T.R.U.E -process).

On the other hand NX2 server is old bones and I sure would like to know it better. I find B&G and NKE having more open policy on their systems. I don't think Nexus would lose anything on being more open on details.

Just to give you an example is the T.R.U.E calibration that looks promising on paper. I hate it because I don't know the specifics it is doing. What data is stored and where? Is it just one upwash correction for the present wind or does it contain a "true" TWA/TWS correction table. Can I edit the variables directly in server or do I have to go always through T.R.U.E process which is hard/impossible to run after the race has started? An many more questions. Luckily the nRace wind sensor has helped a little bit and brought Nexus closer B&G and NKE.

I still prefer Expedition and its versatile ways of tweaking almost everything. It is so nice to edit the TWA/TWS table while sitting on rail and bring TWD more stable in varying early spring races with tricky winds (shear, gradient etc ..) .

That is the way for Nexus to go. Just give us the details and you'll win our hearts.

Jorma

#15 Woolfy

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:08 PM

Jorma,
I'm working from a very rusty memory here, but I've checked with Nick (Expedition)and he (with the same proviso, agrees), if you use the software to lock the server in FDX mode as long as you've got the Expedition set up to run with NX2 software you shouldn't have any issues at all with what you're trying to do. As Jim has pointed out you will loose the option to use the Nexus Race Software, but I don't think this is an issue to you, you're using Expedition.

This brings me to your comments about things like the T.R.U.E. process and the NX2 server etc. The race software is not designed to be anything more than a tool for getting equipment like NXR configured correctly for optimal use by the end user, getting all the NX2 and NXR kit calibrated as accurately as possible for club/regional level racing and giving owners a level of advanced calibration not available using other systems without blowing out their budget and buying the likes of H3000, as well as giving them the option to use ansd build basic polars, in no way do have any aspirations to supply it as an alternative to a truly high performance product like Expedition....it is free afterall.

For your average club level racer the ability to use the advanced calibration features to get things like the difference in laminar flow from tack to tack calibrated out and wind information corrected prior to the start or (given clean air) even during the course of a race added to features like the automatic correction of wind data taking in account angle of heel assuming an HPC is fitted, gives them a product that stands head and shoulders above comparatively priced competitors systems. Sure we could make it more sophisticated, but 99% of our customers would never use the features,in fact based on fedback given at far too boat shows attended, I suspect for a lot of potential customers this would be a complete turnoff.

For people like yourself Race Software is ideal for getting the basic calibration right but to take things on another level and the absolute maximum out of our product you will need to use a bolt on like Expedition...in fact as we develop new product ourselves it is standard practice for us to have a chat with the likes of Nick and if necessary send out pre-production gear for them to test against...obviously we don't extend the same courtesy to the makers of Deckman ;) We're not in the sophisticated tactical software game there's others that are far better at that than we are and we try and work withem to get the best out of both products, in this sense we are a lot more open than many. What we strive to produce is a product that gives those that are into that aspect of sailing the raw data at level of accuracy and reliabilty to make the processing and manipulation of that data straightforward and the option of then sending that data to our displays as custom sentences, 2 in the case of NX2 and 10 with NXR.

#16 jarcher

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:29 PM

I cannot quite follow your thought on FDX mode and Nexus Race software (NR). If I understand you right, you say that the NR has problems starting, if the server is already in FDX-mode.

As you know NR leaves the server in FDX mode, when you exit NR. That is how I get my server in the needed FDX mode.

If your suggestion would be right , I would have hard time exiting NR and starting it again.


This has been my experience.

That is not the case. This evening I did 3-4 rounds of starting and exiting NR with no problems either with the program or the connections.

Am I missing something?


Nope, if it works for you, then thats great!

BTW, I don't work for or speak for Nexus. I just thought I would mention that. I don't want to convey the wrong impression.

#17 Jorma

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:14 PM

Jorma,
I'm working from a very rusty memory here, but I've checked with Nick (Expedition)and he (with the same proviso, agrees), if you use the software to lock the server in FDX mode as long as you've got the Expedition set up to run with NX2 software you shouldn't have any issues at all with what you're trying to do. As Jim has pointed out you will loose the option to use the Nexus Race Software, but I don't think this is an issue to you, you're using Expedition.


Hi Woolfy,

Thank you for confirming that procedure should not be lethal. I'll give it a try later (after the race) and come back with results.

Jorma




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