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Nexus Race Box and displaying this data on the XL20 mast displays

Nexus Race Box

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#1 jolly

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:29 AM

I'm having trouble figuring out how to display the 10 custom data files on the XL20's.

Some background:

I have an NXR system with 4 mast XL20,s, two Multis and a Race Box.

On the week-end I had my PC to link with the Nexus Server, and to calibrate etc from there, and I also had the Race Box connected and reading the SD card for polar data.

All good so far.......

What I couldn't figure out was how to show the 10 custom data fields on the XL instruments. Paging through them on the mast, there doesn't seem to be a custom page, so presumably I need to configure something?

The NXR manual mentions the 10 custom data fields that are available, but doesn't seem to explain how to include them in the range of pages available on each display.

What I am after is for the start sequence mast displays to show (setting 1) TTL, BIAS, STIMER and TWD (with the first three parts of the data from the Race Box server).

Then post start we switch to setting 2 for Boat speed/TBS; TWA/OPT_T; TWS ; TWD. So the top 2 displays I am hoping to toggle 50% each between "actual" and "target".

I guess if I can't get the toggling to work, I could show TBS on Multi 1 and OPT_T on Multi 2?

I've checked that the Race Box configuration file has the Race Box data paired with the 10 custom files, and it has.

Any help greatly appreciated.

#2 jarcher

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:31 AM

Jolly, I can help you. First, to get what is displayed to change pre and post start, you need to use the Race Box timer feature. Otherwise it can't know.

To tell the 10 custom data fields what do display you set this up in the config file on the Race Box SD card. If you like, post that part of your config file and I'll see if you set it up right.

How long have yopu had the Race Box?

Best,

Jim

#3 jolly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:16 AM

Jolly, I can help you. First, to get what is displayed to change pre and post start, you need to use the Race Box timer feature. Otherwise it can't know.

To tell the 10 custom data fields what do display you set this up in the config file on the Race Box SD card. If you like, post that part of your config file and I'll see if you set it up right.

How long have yopu had the Race Box?

Best,

Jim


Hi Jim,

We haven't used Race Box yet, as the boat has only just splashed, but I'm happy the config file is OK, as I set it up last week-end.

Priority was to get out racing (which we did) and then look at the finer points the intsruments can provide the following day. It is a J111, so sailing is the priority ; )

So, I spent a few hours getting the PC and NX software talking to each other, and getting rid of error messages on the Race Box, and making sure the cockpit button worked (which it does), but in the hour or so I had left, I couldn't find the custom fields in the fields available to the XL20's.

The additional Race Box data (TTL, TTB, ML, BIAS, TBS, PBS, TWA_opt etc.) have all been given their custom data numbers in the config file (the 0 to 10 fields), but my only issue is that I don't know how to access these custom fields on the mast instruments, the XL20's.

see here...

CUSTOM0_IS=MTL
CUSTOM1_IS=TTB
CUSTOM2_IS=TTL
CUSTOM3_IS=STL
CUSTOM4_IS=OPT_T
CUSTOM5_IS=OPT_A
CUSTOM6_IS=BIAS
CUSTOM7_IS=BL
CUSTOM8_IS=FTL
CUSTOM9_IS=STIMER
;
CUSTOM0_OS=TBS
CUSTOM1_OS=PBS
CUSTOM2_OS=OPT_A
CUSTOM3_OS=OPT_T
CUSTOM4_OS=OFF
CUSTOM5_OS=OFF
CUSTOM6_OS=OFF
CUSTOM7_OS=OFF
CUSTOM8_OS=OFF
CUSTOM9_OS=OFF


I've since read every manual that came with the kit, and others I've found on the web.......but still no joy.

My two guesses at the moment are to configure the XL20's with the Multi display, and use the ACCESS button to see if I can find more fields, OR through NX software, have a look in the sub-functions folder (rather than main functions folder) to see if the custom data is in there.

This is my job for the coming week-end, along side another sail of course!!

Cheers

#4 jarcher

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:16 AM

Hi Jolly, first off that bit of the config file looks good.

When did you get the Race Box? Please have a look at the SD card. There should be a file the sole purpose of which is to tell you what the version number of the firmware is. The version number is coded into the file name, the file itself has nothing in it. The file name is something like ver_1.08d. Version 1.08d is the current version. If you lack the file, or have an earlier version, I'll help you upgrade.

I no longer have an NXR instrument, but I did have one for testing. You'll want to make sure that each NXR instrument is at the latest version of its firmware. Also, I recall, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, that you have to tell each instrument that you want it to display a custom field and which one you want it to display. This is done with the free Nexus RACE software.

Just wondering, whre are you and the boat?

#5 jolly

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:05 AM

Hi Jolly, first off that bit of the config file looks good.

When did you get the Race Box? Please have a look at the SD card. There should be a file the sole purpose of which is to tell you what the version number of the firmware is. The version number is coded into the file name, the file itself has nothing in it. The file name is something like ver_1.08d. Version 1.08d is the current version. If you lack the file, or have an earlier version, I'll help you upgrade.

I no longer have an NXR instrument, but I did have one for testing. You'll want to make sure that each NXR instrument is at the latest version of its firmware. Also, I recall, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, that you have to tell each instrument that you want it to display a custom field and which one you want it to display. This is done with the free Nexus RACE software.

Just wondering, whre are you and the boat?


Thanks for the info.

I'll have another go at this tomorrow, on the water.

We are hull #77, Mojito, launched last week-end in Hong Kong.

Cheers,

#6 jarcher

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:51 AM

Okay, good luck. Don't forget to check the version number...

#7 jolly

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:38 AM

Okay, good luck. Don't forget to check the version number...


Hi Jim,

Success today with custom fields, as these are accessible on NX software through "sub-functions" so I just need soem time to get what I want from the Race Box data on to the mast displays

our software version is "V_C_1.05A" so not the ver_1.08d, that is the latest. If you can help me upgrade that would be great.

also the data out CSV file after the session on the SD card is on universal time (no way of changing that I guess as Nexus runs on UT?), but the date is 1 Jan 2000, so I wonder if there is a way of updating the date on the system?

Cheers,

Simon

#8 jarcher

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:49 AM

Hi Simon, I'm glad to hear you made some progress.

On the clock, one thing I went back and forth on was whether or not to include a real time clock. It would have made time easy, but then there is a battery, and it needs a way to set it and so on. So there is no actual time clock. The Race Box gets the time form the GPS, including the offset to GMT so it does record time in GMT. Maybe in the next version I'll add a config option to set the local GMT offset, but I considered it a low priority. First, its easy to change the time in a spreadsheet after you load the CSV file. Next, offshore races sometimes cross time zones.

As for whether or not the date is recorded, it depends upon what the GPS is sending to the system and whether the GPS is connected to the FDX server or the Race Box.

Also, just FYI, most people have an ordinary GPS that outputs updates at 1HZ intervals via NMEA 0183. In this hookup, the FDX server hands the Race Box position updates every two seconds. So I recommend people connect the GPS to the Race Box directly. Alternatively, you could get an nGPS which is slightly higher speed, 2Hz position and 5Hz COG/SOG. I'm working on a 10Hz GPS. The prototype works very well with the Race Box, but more on that to come.

Its important that you upgrade the firmware, and I am happy to assist. In a nutshell, you'll need a USB cable (type B to type A) and some software. If you have a Windows computer available it will be easiest. If you're skilled with computers it will be easy, if not its probably best if I walk you through it. You can PM me your direct email if you like, I'll send the files you need directly to you.

Best,

Jim

#9 jolly

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:41 AM

Hi Simon, I'm glad to hear you made some progress.

On the clock, one thing I went back and forth on was whether or not to include a real time clock. It would have made time easy, but then there is a battery, and it needs a way to set it and so on. So there is no actual time clock. The Race Box gets the time form the GPS, including the offset to GMT so it does record time in GMT. Maybe in the next version I'll add a config option to set the local GMT offset, but I considered it a low priority. First, its easy to change the time in a spreadsheet after you load the CSV file. Next, offshore races sometimes cross time zones.

As for whether or not the date is recorded, it depends upon what the GPS is sending to the system and whether the GPS is connected to the FDX server or the Race Box.

Also, just FYI, most people have an ordinary GPS that outputs updates at 1HZ intervals via NMEA 0183. In this hookup, the FDX server hands the Race Box position updates every two seconds. So I recommend people connect the GPS to the Race Box directly. Alternatively, you could get an nGPS which is slightly higher speed, 2Hz position and 5Hz COG/SOG. I'm working on a 10Hz GPS. The prototype works very well with the Race Box, but more on that to come.

Its important that you upgrade the firmware, and I am happy to assist. In a nutshell, you'll need a USB cable (type B to type A) and some software. If you have a Windows computer available it will be easiest. If you're skilled with computers it will be easy, if not its probably best if I walk you through it. You can PM me your direct email if you like, I'll send the files you need directly to you.

Best,

Jim


Hi Jim,

I've PM'ed you with a message.

simon

#10 10726

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:33 AM

I also have an Nexus Racebox. Where can i find the latest firmware? On Nexusmarine homepage i can only find version 1.05a. Jarcher is refering to an version 1.08d ?

I have also problem with logging GPS data, such as Date SOG COG ... the only GPS information i can find on my logfile is the time. I have the old Nexus GPS installed on the server.

 

 

//Bosse 



#11 P2 Marine

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:07 PM

I also have an Nexus Racebox. Where can i find the latest firmware? On Nexusmarine homepage i can only find version 1.05a. Jarcher is refering to an version 1.08d ?

I have also problem with logging GPS data, such as Date SOG COG ... the only GPS information i can find on my logfile is the time. I have the old Nexus GPS installed on the server.

 

 

//Bosse 

Hi,

 

I have the 1.08d upgrade all nicely zipped up with the AVRDUDE script and DOS batch file.  The script runs from the C:\ prompt.  You will need to edit the .bat file to specify the COM port your Race Box is on and the baud rate.  PM me your email and I'll send it to you.

 

Cheers,

Rob



#12 jarcher

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:32 PM

Hi Guys...

 

Rob, thanks for helping these guys out!

 

The latest released firmware can be found at:

 

http://ontargetmarine.com/downloads

 

You'll see a few files with 1_08d.hex in the file name. You'll see which is for the Race Box and which is for the RP4N. From a feature standpoint, they are the same.  

 

If you have never done an upgrade before, you'll need to first download the RB_UPGRADE_DIST.exe file. That will give you a folder with some tools and support files, and also the 1.05a.hex revision. Then you'll want to download the latest HEX file, and put it into the same folder. Edit the upgrade.bat file to have the name of the new hex file, and also make sure the COM port is set, and you should be able to upgrade.

 

If you have a problem, you may need to move a switch on the hardware. Both the RP4N and the Race Box have a "reset enable" switch. Here are instructions for moving it on a Race Box, excerpted from an email I sent to a customer:

 

Actually, if the upgrade was successful, then the new version number would be in a file name on the SD card. So if you still have only 1.05A then it didn't work. If you also have a file called 1.08D then it did work. The new firmware will not remove the file from the old firmware, but you can do that yourself.

 

When you run the update.bat file, you should see a bunch of # marks going across your DOS window from left to right. It takes about 30 or so seconds. The blue DATA LED will be flashing rapidly as the firmware is uploaded and then verified.

 

There are a bunch of reasons why it might fail. If you did everything on your PC right, you should be able to plug in the Race Box and your PC will add a COM port. If it did all that and you correctly edited the update.bat file to have the new COM port number, then there is a possible hardware change that needs to be made.

 

Some of the Race Boxes shipped with a particular switch in the OFF position. This switch is under the inner lid, so you'll need to remove that. Be very careful. The screws that hold it in place have a head that us unusual here in the US. I don't know about Canada, but if you can find the right tool that's preferable. If you use a phillips head screwdriver be careful. Also, note that these four screws also hold the circuit board down to the base. Finally, keep in mind that the screws just set into plastic, so be careful not to over tighten or drive them back in crooked.

 

The switch you need to check is labeled “RESET_ENA” on the circuit board. In order to upgrade the board, it needs to be set to on. I attached a picture of what it looks like. Please also notice the jumpers in the upper left hand corner. These also need to be set as pictured. These can be set with the inner lid in place, so check these first.

 

You can leave it on after you're done, but there may someday be some PC software that will cause it to reset if you do. Currently, I believe the Nexus Race software and Expedition are fine, although that may change some day.



#13 jarcher

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:34 PM

Here is a picture...

 

Attached Files



#14 jolly

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:42 AM

Hi Guys...

 

Rob, thanks for helping these guys out!

 

The latest released firmware can be found at:

 

http://ontargetmarine.com/downloads

 

You'll see a few files with 1_08d.hex in the file name. You'll see which is for the Race Box and which is for the RP4N. From a feature standpoint, they are the same.  

 

If you have never done an upgrade before, you'll need to first download the RB_UPGRADE_DIST.exe file. That will give you a folder with some tools and support files, and also the 1.05a.hex revision. Then you'll want to download the latest HEX file, and put it into the same folder. Edit the upgrade.bat file to have the name of the new hex file, and also make sure the COM port is set, and you should be able to upgrade.

 

If you have a problem, you may need to move a switch on the hardware. Both the RP4N and the Race Box have a "reset enable" switch. Here are instructions for moving it on a Race Box, excerpted from an email I sent to a customer:

 

 

Actually, if the upgrade was successful, then the new version number would be in a file name on the SD card. So if you still have only 1.05A then it didn't work. If you also have a file called 1.08D then it did work. The new firmware will not remove the file from the old firmware, but you can do that yourself.

 

When you run the update.bat file, you should see a bunch of # marks going across your DOS window from left to right. It takes about 30 or so seconds. The blue DATA LED will be flashing rapidly as the firmware is uploaded and then verified.

 

There are a bunch of reasons why it might fail. If you did everything on your PC right, you should be able to plug in the Race Box and your PC will add a COM port. If it did all that and you correctly edited the update.bat file to have the new COM port number, then there is a possible hardware change that needs to be made.

 

Some of the Race Boxes shipped with a particular switch in the OFF position. This switch is under the inner lid, so you'll need to remove that. Be very careful. The screws that hold it in place have a head that us unusual here in the US. I don't know about Canada, but if you can find the right tool that's preferable. If you use a phillips head screwdriver be careful. Also, note that these four screws also hold the circuit board down to the base. Finally, keep in mind that the screws just set into plastic, so be careful not to over tighten or drive them back in crooked.

 

The switch you need to check is labeled “RESET_ENA” on the circuit board. In order to upgrade the board, it needs to be set to on. I attached a picture of what it looks like. Please also notice the jumpers in the upper left hand corner. These also need to be set as pictured. These can be set with the inner lid in place, so check these first.

 

You can leave it on after you're done, but there may someday be some PC software that will cause it to reset if you do. Currently, I believe the Nexus Race software and Expedition are fine, although that may change some day.

 

I see there's a new Firmware upgrade, but I think I'll stay with the old version. No problem with that is there?

 

Having got my RB working with the NXR displays a while ago, I don't wish to tinker again, in case it stops working!

 

I've been happy with the product; and I tend to just use the start line info, and the polar data, and the data records (if I wish to be a bit nerdy and review performance post-race)...



#15 jarcher

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

The new firmware does fix bugs in earlier releases. If you tell me which firmware you're on, I can tell you which bugs were fixed. If you're on 0.05a you should upgrade. Testing does indicate the latest release works properly with NXR displays.



#16 NZW

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:10 PM

Hi Rob/Jim

 

We have new Nexus gear, still setting it up, and wondering ... should our nGPS be connected directly to the Racebox, or to the NX2 server, or doesn't it matter?  We have our nGPS plugged in to a Racebox, have made the appropriate changes to the config file...

  • POSITION_DATA_SOURCE = 0 

.. but no GPS data showing up. The implied benefit to the direct-to-racebox nGPS wiring was to get higher data speeds, but manuals don't seem to be explicit about this.  The Racebox manual makes the direct-to-racebox option seem like a second choice for ordinary NMEA GPS receivers.  So maybe we should just be going directly to the NX2 server?



#17 jarcher

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:27 PM

Hi NZW...

 

The nGPS is a Nexus network device, and therefore can only be connected to the Nexus network which is connected to the Nexus server. Don't connect the nGPS to the server NMEA connections, it has to be connected to the Nexus network, along with the HPC (if you have one) and the displays. In this event, the Race Box will get its position data from the server using FDX.

 

With the nGPS installed, the Race Box will get two position updates per second, and 5 COG/SOG updates per second. This actually works quite well.

 

If you have a standard NMEA 0183 GPS receiver connected to the Nexus server, then the Race Box gets one position update every 2 seconds. This does not work so well, although people have reported success with it. This is true regardless of how many updates per second the GPS receiver sends to the Nexus server.

 

If you have a GPS receiver that sends standard NMEA 0183 data, then this can be connected to the Race Box directly. If this GPS receiver sends 1 update per second to the Race Box, then that's an improvement over connecting it to the server. If you have a GPS receiver like the Garmin 19x which can send 5 or 10 updates per second, then that's a huge improvement. The Nexus server can not accept high speed NMEA data, so don't try connecting a 19x directly to a Nexus server.

 

The new Race Box firmware will work nicely with the Garmin 19x. It will accept 5 or 10 (I recommend 5) updates per second and use that to time the start line, and it can also send the position data out to the server at 1 update per second so that the Nexus system can display your position on its instruments. For this to work, the Race Box needs to be connected to the Nexus server NMEA input. Garmin will be releasing some diagrams about this soon. The reason for this is that the server has no ability to accept position data via FDX.

 

I know this is a bit convoluted, so feel free to ask any questions needed to clarify this. 



#18 jolly

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:25 AM

I'm on 1.05A and all is working fine except three things:

 

1. sometimes the line pinging button doesn't record one end of line or the other

2. I found the line bias info way too wacky to be useful......better to watch flags, other starts and windex to see favoured end!!

3. DW stbd gybe data is fine, but when we gybe to port the RB thinks we are going UW again as it sets polar targets at 40TWA. When we gybe back to stbd all is fine agian, and we receive the DW polar data

 

other than that, everything going fine, so I'm tempted to leave well alone.

 

The new firmware does fix bugs in earlier releases. If you tell me which firmware you're on, I can tell you which bugs were fixed. If you're on 0.05a you should upgrade. Testing does indicate the latest release works properly with NXR displays.



#19 jarcher

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:13 AM

I'm on 1.05A and all is working fine except three things:

 

1. sometimes the line pinging button doesn't record one end of line or the other

2. I found the line bias info way too wacky to be useful......better to watch flags, other starts and windex to see favoured end!!

3. DW stbd gybe data is fine, but when we gybe to port the RB thinks we are going UW again as it sets polar targets at 40TWA. When we gybe back to stbd all is fine agian, and we receive the DW polar data

 

other than that, everything going fine, so I'm tempted to leave well alone.

 

The new firmware does fix bugs in earlier releases. If you tell me which firmware you're on, I can tell you which bugs were fixed. If you're on 0.05a you should upgrade. Testing does indicate the latest release works properly with NXR displays.

 

Issue 1, this is the first I have heard of it, although I am tempted to say its probably your rhythm on the pressing. In testing, I do this constantly and I have never seen that. Or, maybe your button needs a really firm press, or has dirty contacts or something?

 

Issue 2, that's a fair complaint and this has not changed. For that to work well, calibration has to be pretty much perfect, damping has to be set just so and you have to generally be able to get very accurate true wind direction. I should work to improve this feature, and I'm open to suggestions and input on it.

 

Issue 3 is fixed in the latest FW. Additionally, per a customer request, the changeover TWA can now be specified in the config file.

 

But Jolly, if you're happy with your existing FW, then by all means, feel free to not upgrade. There is no harm, and you can always upgrade at a later date to a later version. As you probably know, no firmware is perfect and I can't guarantee there is not some bug lurking in the latest. Like racing, changing firmware is all about risk management. ;-)



#20 NZW

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:58 PM

Thanks!  Will be back to the boat in the next day or two, will plug nGPS into NX2 server.  

 

Hi NZW...

 

The nGPS is a Nexus network device, and therefore can only be connected to the Nexus network which is connected to the Nexus server. Don't connect the nGPS to the server NMEA connections, it has to be connected to the Nexus network, along with the HPC (if you have one) and the displays. In this event, the Race Box will get its position data from the server using FDX.

 

With the nGPS installed, the Race Box will get two position updates per second, and 5 COG/SOG updates per second. This actually works quite well.

 

If you have a standard NMEA 0183 GPS receiver connected to the Nexus server, then the Race Box gets one position update every 2 seconds. This does not work so well, although people have reported success with it. This is true regardless of how many updates per second the GPS receiver sends to the Nexus server.

 

If you have a GPS receiver that sends standard NMEA 0183 data, then this can be connected to the Race Box directly. If this GPS receiver sends 1 update per second to the Race Box, then that's an improvement over connecting it to the server. If you have a GPS receiver like the Garmin 19x which can send 5 or 10 updates per second, then that's a huge improvement. The Nexus server can not accept high speed NMEA data, so don't try connecting a 19x directly to a Nexus server.

 

The new Race Box firmware will work nicely with the Garmin 19x. It will accept 5 or 10 (I recommend 5) updates per second and use that to time the start line, and it can also send the position data out to the server at 1 update per second so that the Nexus system can display your position on its instruments. For this to work, the Race Box needs to be connected to the Nexus server NMEA input. Garmin will be releasing some diagrams about this soon. The reason for this is that the server has no ability to accept position data via FDX.

 

I know this is a bit convoluted, so feel free to ask any questions needed to clarify this. 







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