Wow, before this effort we had three unattached networks on the boat:
- Raymarine Seatalk – A proprietary RS485 based one for theirs systems
- NMEA 183 – A standard network also serial based
- The Full Sail Net – An Ethernet/ WIFI system for chart plotter and such
Now we have tied it all together, it required some new boxes and the use of off the shelf components with new software but now everybody talks to everybody. The AIS radio talks to chart plotter, the Wind gauge talks to the auto pilot, the VHF knows where it is sitting at any given time and reports our location to Coast Guard and everything is reachable via mobile devices (phones, old Ipad etc.).
I am passing data around using a broker (KPLEX) and collecting it from the various components via USB based serial interfaces which can support RS485 and RS422 which is then posted to the broker and is available via TCP connections. Lots of fun. Who said embedded systems can not be made to jump, and proprietary networks can not be hacked and decoded, not me.