Avia Virtual Instruments for Windows PCs

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by yacht371, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. yacht371
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    yacht371 Yacht Designer

    [​IMG]
    Avia design has developed an inexpensive program to display sailing information (from NMEA 0183) on the screen of a laptop or other onboard computer. Several themes are avilable, this is the "Ingolstadt". A free download is available for trial.

    Avia Power is a NMEA 2000 application under development for power boat instruments.

    www.aviadesign.com
     
  2. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    I must admit that I like the artwork. However, OpenPilot has been capable of doing this for about the last 12 months. OP also allows you to build your own custom instrument panel.

    Tim B.
     
  3. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Anyone doing this in Linux?
     
  4. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I'm used to doing that sort of thing in Labview, which is rather expensive.... really easy to interface with all sorts of data acquisition hardware, though, and logging and data processing is a cinch. I know there are serial and CANbus drivers for Labview, thus one could almost certainly use it with NMEA 0183 and 2000.
     
  5. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    OpenPilot is developed under Linux (I'm using Debian Lenny, but it should be pretty distro-general). OP is a bit "Do It Yourself" (which means you have great flexibility, but it does require a general knowledge of how to compile code. There are plenty of test apps and samples around though, and if you get stuck you can always drop me an e-mail.

    Incidentally, OP also has a charting capability, with GPS tracks and AIS, ENC Charts and OpenStreetMap Support.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  6. yacht371
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    yacht371 Yacht Designer

    Avia Sailing is not intended to compete with Open Pilot or other Open Source projects. It is intended for less tech-savvy consumers, with the simplest possible configuration, standard windows setup program, and so forth. Although inexpensive, it isn't free. A great deal of care has been taken in the design and appearance aspects, and full technical support is provided.

    I haven't tried Open Pilot, but I did look at the documentation. An excellent piece of work, and it looks like it will do the job.

    aviadesign.com
     
  7. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Yes,

    I'll grant you that Installing OpenPilot is not quite as simple as Avia (but that's a question of what we're concentrating on).

    One of the next things we'll be looking at is implementing NMEA 2000 compatibilty (and no, I'm not promising when that will be done :p ).

    OpenPilot is written primarily for handling marine mapping, charts and navigation. The gauge widgets in OpenPilot were really an easy way to get my head around QT4!

    Latest screenshot is here:

    http://openpilot.engineering.selfip.org/gallery.php?display=Screenshots/Screenshot0020.png

    I would be very interested in any input anyone has to make. You can contact the development team through:

    openpilot-developers AT lists.sourceforge.net

    Cheers all,

    Tim B.
     
  8. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Anyone know of a system to connect none Canbus engine to Canbus system .
     
  9. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    OpenPilot has details (circuit and code) for an Analogue to Digital converter which may help you. It would be a pretty good solution if you intend to use a PC to drive the instruments anyway. It's available in the snapshot on the OP website.

    Tim B.
     
  10. nimbusgb
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    nimbusgb New Member

    Sorry only just joined but it may still be pertinent.

    FWmurphy and cantronik now both do converters to go from traditional engine instrumentation to canbus.

    I have fitted a system to my 23 year old Perkins 4108 and I'm very chuffed with it.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Using Windows for anything of critical importance like navigation is foolish. Windows is an unstable and unpredictable operating system.
     
  12. DaveJ
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    DaveJ Senior Member

    Of all the operating systems out there, windose is the most unstable, yet it is the most used, go figure, i guess its the VHS v BETA debate all over again.
     
  13. TerryKing
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Stability of Operating systems

    I've seen a dozen or more operating systems used in semi-critical applications, running complex tools/equipment in Semiconductor fabrication.

    Nothing is perfect, but most crashes I investigated had to do with application programs and communications subsystems that had some fault, or did not recover properly from some 'should-be-expected' condition like a timeout, hardware subsystem failure, or garbled data.

    Rarely was there a fault in the basic operating system internals, unless it was an early / beta build.

    Windows NT and IBM OS/2 guts are the basis for Windows XP family, and back in that day I saw that protect mode usually keeps a clean application running even when other applications in the box fail.

    Stripped-down Win XP SP2 and SP3 are used in a lot of complex systems and seem to be as good or better than QNX, Unix variants or specific ""Real-Time" operating systems.

    I have run "Tiny XP" , with NO add-ons or unknown downloaded programs, for 500+ hours, running an NMEA navigation simulator driving OziExplorer showing charts and some data, with no crashes.

    I'm planning, when I get finally moved in and my lab stuff unpacked, to try a similar run with OpenPilot.

    Lots of people have Windows problems, but they are usually caused by unstable applications, imperfect plug-ins, games, and viruses.

    I think Windows XP SP3 can be as stable as anything else, with the possible exception of a dedicated chart plotter. But we've heard of them hanging up also...

    Anyone running Windows XP on a live boat for many hours??
     
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  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I've had problems with heavy vibration or impact in boats. It makes errors on the reading of the hardrive. What kind of hardrives for laptops are there that handle say 3G accelerations?
     

  15. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Hard drives for Hard Use..

    Gonzo, the hard drives used in Laptops can take fairly high accelerations.

    I use a Hitachi 2.5 inch drive in the system I'm working on... Let me find it.. (I'm unpacking from another continent-move)..

    Hitachi HTS(E)541680J9SA00
    5V 700 ma
    80 GB
    SATA

    This is good for high accelerations compared to regular drives. Its also so light and small that it will be easy to shockmount inside the enclosure..

    Low power too: 3.5W. And I had Windows Power Management shut it off when not used for 5 mins. When Oziexplorer got to another chart, it took about 30 seconds to come up and get the new map...

    I hope to get back on this in about a month when things settle down. My wife has just designed and set up 3 school libraries at a new university just built on the Red Sea.. We just got into our almost-finished house, after living in a hotel for 8 weeks and riding the bus 3 hours a day.

    The good news is that we're right on the Red Sea, with a marina being built and a canal right by the island neighborhood we're in. Gonna build boats!!!
     
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