Discussion- Multi-purpose Onboard Computers

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by TerryKing, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    Ok, I am now compiling QT4 under MSVC 9 (express). To do this, you will need to make sure that "nmake" is in the path, then run vcvars.bat. Then you can compile QT4.

    I have improved the timing for the log file. It now logs a floating-point time in seconds.

    The Serial IO class has also been improved so that it can be used to combine GPS traces.

    Tom, I'm still working on the MacOS Version. I'll let you know how I get on.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  2. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    GPSAngler,

    The following links might be helpful for automatically detecting cities.

    http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/gazetteer/
    http://stuff.mit.edu/geo?location=Southampton
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazetteer
    http://www.earthsearch.net/intSearch.php
    http://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/gazetteer/
    http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html

    The last link is of particular interest. as it gives text files with the names of points of interest and their locations for a significant number of locations.

    It might be worth having a "gazetteer" directory and loading any files that are in there, rather than loading all the data. This would allow you to have data for multiple countries, without having silly amounts of data.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  3. goboatingnow
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Ireland

    goboatingnow Junior Member

    Just to move back to the hardware, I agree with a previous poster that (a) performance ( requirements) are being over estimated and that (b) the on board pc should be focused soley on nav etc, if you want to use a spreadsheet or word process then use a laptop.

    In my case I am playing around with a design that uses 3 mini-itx's units networked and I like the look of the flex tainer http://www.tri-m.com/products/engineering/flextainer.html to house it

    The three system provide redundancy, one is a nav computer, one is a general purpose pc and one is a media server. However any one of them can run the nav software.

    They are all XP systems, I find if you just install bare bones XP remove all teh bloatware, trun off lots of stupid feature, ( indexing etc) you get a good reliable system ( furuno think so NAVNet3D is a headless XP system)
     
  4. Tim B
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    Ok, head above the parapit time again.

    Tom, I haven't had any luck porting OP to Mac, but I will keep trying.

    GPSAngler, I couldn't compile QT4 with MSVC, so OpenPilot almost certainly won't compile. Win32 & MinGW (the GNU for Windows compiler) is known to work with OpenPilot, so could I suggest using that for the time being. MinGW will Co-exist happily with MSVC.

    Mike Slinn of MarNav has agreed to help by writing a much more general NMEA interface, which we will use vis the same widget API as we do at the moment. This will be great, as it will stop us having to worry about the input data format.

    GoBoating, I can see where you're coming from with three separate machines, but I think the phrase "Sledgehammer to crack a nut" springs to mind. It is possible that you would want to separate the functionality, but is this to allow different screens in different locations, or to increase stability?

    XP is very popular, but I wonder if it is the best thing to use for this purpose. I see no reason why a single machine (particularly running Linux) couldn't handle all three tasks (at roughly 1/3 of the power) from 3 different locations. I know that there is a fair amount of Nav software for XP, but I honestly didn't see anything that really impressed me. Hence why I'm writing OpenPilot, which is now becoming usable. You also have the problem that you are now working on a deprecated (well, almost) OS. This means that it's not going to be easy to get hold of, and I wouldn't be surprised if much of the software moves to Vista (if it hasn't already), which will require a much more powerful machine.

    The simpler you can make the setup, the more reliable it will be. Furthermore, the less computational power you need, the better.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  5. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    OpenPilot Feature!!!

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I have finally written the one-page summary. This includes a map of the GPS track log, and details about the track. At present it only operates on the GPS data. See the attached pdf Files for examples of what op_OnePage does.

    I'll post a windows and Linux (Debian Lenny) binary as soon as I can.

    Cheers All.

    Tim B.
     

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  6. goboatingnow
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    Location: Ireland

    goboatingnow Junior Member

    TimB

    The three PC idea, is really a function of building it yourself. In practice I tend to buy a couiple of boards and the incremental costs are small, onboard it gives reducndancy

    as to XP the main reason is the profusion of software
     
  7. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    goboatingnow, by using "wine" you have the benefits of Linux and none of the hassles of "Windows" - - for the few applications I cannot find for unix like operating system wine meets the XP role easily and no service licensing for non commercial use of Linux....
     
  8. goboatingnow
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    Location: Ireland

    goboatingnow Junior Member

    i know must give linux more time
     
  9. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Have a look at "Linux Mint" - http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php - Download Linux Mint 5 Elyssa either "Main edition" or the "x64 Edition" - as "iso images" they will self boot and lock out the HDD till you install....

    "Our latest release is Linux Mint 5, codename "Elyssa". Please choose the edition you wish to download. If you're new to Linux Mint or if you're unsure as to which edition is right for you, choose the Main Edition."

    I am satisfied, but yes still a little way to go, and brother supports its printers with its own drivers for Linux and both Nvidia and AMD have drivers for all but the latest video cards... I have found if a package does not work with your hardware try one of the other of many choices to find and identify your personal likes and functionality....
     

    Attached Files:

  10. TedZ
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Glens Falls, New York

    TedZ Junior Member

    I have not read every thread in this very interesting topic and i apologize if this has been covered.

    Are you folks all aware that Rabbit makes a $50 board and gives you software that interogates and therefore makes available every NEMA sentence when connected to a GPS. There is every output you could want. I add software that gives a precise 0 to 5 VDC WRT speed for datalogger input. There are many possibilities. Written in Dynamix C. I understand this does not cover the entire scope of the discussion. Just an aside.

    Also, if i were to do a system as discussed i would most certainly want it talking to my cell phone...high water and/or low temperature alarms for example. SMS works fine for that and is easy.

    www.rabbit.com

    Ted
     
  11. burgoynebc
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: BC Canada

    burgoynebc Junior Member

    Hi Ted re your post on rabbit

    I had a look at the rabbit link you posted on the NEMA interpreter board and did not find it. Can you give me the rabbit ref number please???
     
  12. TedZ
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Glens Falls, New York

    TedZ Junior Member

    Any of the Rabbit 5000, 4000, 3000 and probably 2000 will give you the software and hardware to connect a GPS with NEMA output to one of the board's serial input ports. I would select one of the $99 (on sale now) development boards and see if what you get matches what you want, i.e. your laptop or desktop's environ (a nine pin serial port makes life easy but a GOOD USB to serial converter will work fine) and a easy connection to the GPS which may require a couple wires in a connector you buy.

    Rabbits are not consumer toys...they probably exist in 60 to 80% of anything you have that is microprocessor based. Dynamic C is easy if you have ever programmed in anything especially C, C+ or C++. You have to read the manuals but what you can do is limitless. You essentially enter a world where you can do what you want to anything you want with the GPS or any other input, i.e. temperature, pressure, switches, alarms etc. etc.

    I hope this helps. If it doesn't we should talk and if we are both in front of computers i can walk you through an order.

    Ted
     
  13. Tim B
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Southern England

    Tim B Senior Member

    Hello All,

    Sorry I've been so quiet recently. Apart from trying to find a new job, and all the normal stuff, I have been starting to document OpenPilot. Now I know I was talking about releasing in January, but that just isn't going to happen now (given that it's now Feb). Just documenting the map widget is a huge job. I'm using Doxygen, and the auto-generated titles came to 102 pages!

    Now, onto Rabbits... Nice idea, and I'm all for embedded systems, but there are a multitude of different embedded systems. I have not yet had the time or money to explore the embedded world as much as I would like, so I'm not best qualified to advise. There are however, cases for embedded systems and PC systems, and the application will dictate which is required.

    Just as a side note (for those who haven't been following OpenPilot), don't be so glib about the data manipulation software. Whilst conceptually the software is not too complex, there is quite a bit of work involved.

    Cheers all,

    Tim B.
     
  14. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Chasing the elusive Rabbit...

    Hi Ted,
    Could you put URL pointers to a few representative Rabbit products and info? Some of us don't know anything about the Rabbit stuff except a few magazine ads...

    Thanks!
     

  15. robotics
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Germany

    robotics Junior Member

    here you can find a complete solution :
    www.nomatronics.com

    marine PanelPC MagicView(pc included in Desktop) with low energy (2,6A on 12 V 15")
    availelable in 10" / 12" / 15"
    and with Magicplex8 you can connect, route,mix,filter your data from marine devices like gps/ais /Log .... generic.

    regards
    robotĂ­cs
     
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