OpenPilot Version 1 beta has been released

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Tim B, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    I am pleased to announce that OpenPilot v1 beta has been released. I hope to
    release the final V1 in January.

    At present, we are only releasing source code (with compilation instructions). I will try to do a binary release for Win32 and Debian Linux.

    You can get the code from http://sourceforge.net/projects/openpilot/

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
    Lead Developer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    masalai masalai

    Thanks Tim, I await the Debian binaries...
     
  3. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Awesome, Tim :)

    It's days like this that I wish I knew something- anything- about coding so I could help out with the project....
     
  4. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    If I gave you guys some specifics to meet, and some cash, could you add stuff to it??? The answer is probably depends on specs and cash...lol..
     
  5. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Mydauphin,

    Whether cash is required depends on what we're talking about...

    But yeah, ask away. If it's a case of bringing forward stuff that's in the roadmap (see the website), that's fine as well (radar and sonar will be really hard so I'm not doing those until next year). I'm going to be talking to some suppliers fairly soon (prob end of next month) to see if I can get UK chart supply sorted, and also some data from more exotic instruments.

    Binaries for debian Lenny are attached, though not officially released. ;-)

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. idpnd
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    idpnd Junior Member

    OpenCPN

    I have downloaded your software; I am very impressed with the documentation youve got going (roadmap / widgets specifically). I am particularly interested in the GRIB file support and the NMEA gauges widget.

    AFAIK the radar units mostly use proprietary protocols. Sonar, wind gauges and the like have been implemented successfully as part of NavmonPC (free, but sadly closed source and windows only). The developer does not wish to release the current code due to quality concerns; he is however discussing an open source cross-platform client here. Up to date nothing much has happened, apart from a bunch of people turning up recommending MS .NET and MONO frameworks for some reason :D

    I'm surprised OpenCPN has not had any mentions here - it's a free of charge, free software navigation system that is under development but apparently fully usable at this stage of development. Features of the most recent version, 1.3.0, include CM93 vector chart, S-57, raster chart (bsb3 .kaps) support, AIS support and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/opencpn - OpenCPN project page at Sourceforge

    http://bigdumboat.com/cpnindex.html - Lead developer's homepage

    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f121/opencpn-13653.html - Discussion

    Perhaps integration or code exchange between the two projects could be feasible?

    Best wishes,

    Max
     
  7. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    OpenCPN looks interesting, but the mechanisms used are very different from OpenPilot's (OP being a modular structure). OP also depends heavily on the GDAL libraries for chart format support, whereas it seems that OpenCPN supports this internally.

    Don't get confused between the NMEA parser and the gauges widget, they are two distinct blocks of code. If you wanted an instrument panel, you'd need at least three components: a SerialIO widget (to get the data) an NMEA widget (to parse it) and a gauge widget (to display it).

    GRIB support is present in v1b but it's crap. It needs a lot more time spent on it, and for the moment it's not going to get much attention from me, as I'm more concerned with getting the main charting finished. However, anyone who wants to pick up the GRIB class is quite welcome.

    Incidentally, "Sonar" refers to fish-finder type devices, simple depth readings are supported through the NMEA Parser.

    Which bit of the UK are you in Max?

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  8. idpnd
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    idpnd Junior Member

    Hello Tim,

    I gathered as much from your road map. Just wanted to point out there's a parallel & fairly advanced development with of some of the features intended for your core module :)

    The dual parser/gauges functionality is beautifully implemented (albeit in a closed-source, windows-only fashion) in navmonpc. I would love to see this functionality on my linuxpc :cool:

    Again, from your roadmap it appears you are looking at a similar set of features?

    This would be of interest for sailing route optimisation. I guess one would have to implement time scales depending on projected vessel speed? :eek: This is only implemented in rather expensive proprietary software at the moment. There is an optimisation algorithm for sailing simulation games, which the author may publish. Test it on his site, it works just like the $$$ implementations for racing.

    I guess this would produce a bit of a data stream in terms of volume (same for radar)? The latter seem to run proprietary formats anyway. The only rader <-> pc interface I could find is made by coden and it doesn't look particularly open-protocol.

    I am based in Norfolk. Grew up sailing Dutch inland waters. Sailing around Canary Islands again soonish.

    Best wishes,

    Max
     
  9. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Max,

    I'm not quite sure what you're driving at with the NavMonPC functionality, as, apart from the rolling road display, everything else is handled. There is no single consolidated GUI yet, as that isn't the point of version 1 (v1 is all about getting the bits working, then we'll put it together). There is also a demux widget (albeit undocumented) which will handle time-domain data and graphing.

    Much of the functionality will be very similar between OpenPilot and OpenCPN, as you would expect, and you are right to suggest that we discuss possible interchange of ideas with them (we are an open-source project after all).

    Radar and Sonar are both proprietry, so it will be interesting to see how much help I get from manufacturers to implement their systems. NMEA2000 also faces similar issues.

    I have considered route-planning with GRIB data and polars, and making it work for round-the-cans or coastal racing, but I don't think it's a particularly simple job. It would be a great feature though. If you would like to work on the existing GRIB class (and please feel free to) just give me a shout and I'll add you to the developers list.

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
  10. idpnd
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    idpnd Junior Member

    Hello Tim

    That's the spirit :) The CM93 implementation seems to be of particular interest around the community, as worldwide vector charts are available from jeppersen (boeing subsidiary) and these are also widely "shared" online and amongst cruisers (albeit illegally).

    I fear the manufacturers of boating gear are not particularly interested in their components becoming interchangeable (i.e. commodified) for economic reasons. Nothing quite like selling an "integrated system" at a lovely monopolistic margin. So not much hope for the radar imHo. Same for NMEA2000, where a plethora of connectors seems designed to limit interoperability.

    NMEA 0183 on the other hand is by now omnipresent and may permit integration of the sensors/navigation system on commodity (pc) hardware. One could use a NASA masthead sensor or analogue->digital converters, thus cutting out the expensive display units etc.

    Wouldnt it be nice.. The developer discusses his approach here, and it does sound horribly complicated, although he did say he may contribute the code to an open source project. You can see it implemented as a google maps overlay here. Unfortunately I'm not much of a talent on the programming front myself. I would be glad to provide documentation or translations as & when.

    Thanks for your attention, best regards

    max
     
  11. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    This may be heading back a bit toward the integrated system approach, but I found the TackTick instruments to give me pretty much everything I need in a way that can be interfaced to a laptop, and at a reasonable price given that my boat had no existing instrumentation other than a fathometer. Rather than going directly to the laptop from the NMEA interface, I added a Shipmodul NMEA multiplexer with Bluetooth. That way, my system communicates wirelessly with the laptop. With this approach, I only needed to run two 12V DC cables - one to power the transmitter for the triducer and compass, and the other to power the NMEA/GPS interface and multiplexer. No other wiring was required, and I can collect all the data on my laptop from anywhere in the cabin.

    For what I'm doing, recording the data was more important than displaying them. And I have the conventional TackTick instruments for normal sailing display.

    As for a chart plotter display, the laptop is really only useable inside the cabin. I had planned to use Open Pilot, but just haven't had the time to install it and learn to use it. I was thinking of maybe using a palm-top computer as a cockpit repeater/controller.

    Having just navigated down the San Juan channel in fog so thick we couldn't see either side with just the digital readout of COG, I'm starting to think a radar may be in my future, and that may drive me to a matching commercial display unit - ouch!
     
  12. Johannes
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    Johannes Junior Member

    Gongratulations Tim for OpenPilot !

    I'need your help to install it on my pc for testing. Perhaps, you can send me a binary for windows ? Do you have tested with S.57 Inlad Ecdis-Charts ?

    If'you want I can send you one. Please net me know, if you are intrested.

    Thank you very much,

    Johannes
     
  13. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Johannes,

    Easy bits first, OpenPilot has been tested with the NOAA ENC Charts. These are in S-57 format, so any similar charts should work. I can check other charts if you like (as long as you have permission to distribute etc. etc.)

    Due to dependant library support I'm not currently (officially) supporting OP on MS Windows, however...

    Compiling windows binaries is a little more tricky. Most of the widgets should compile quite simply with QT4 and MinGW. The one that causes problems is the map widget. This is because it relies on the GDAL (GeoData Abstraction Libraries) and these are not well supported under Windows. There is a version of these libraries by Frank Warmerdam which will work on windows. I have compiled OP against these libraries before, so it is possible, but I have not done it recently.

    I am not currently at home, so I can't try to build windows binaries immediately. I will try to get something posted on the forum by the end of next weekend though.

    If you want to e-mail me a chart I can check it's compatibility easily enough.

    Thanks for your interest,

    Tim B.
     
  14. Johannes
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    Johannes Junior Member

    Thank you very much for your post. Please send me your e-mail adress, then I'll send you one of the austrian inland waterway maps.

    My e-mail adress is groisz@gmx.at

    Sincerely,

    Johannes
     

  15. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Breaking News:

    The OpenPilot Map Widget (which depends on the latest GDAL Libs) will compile on Windows! This is good news, as it means I'm getting ever closer to a possible cross-platform solution. However, I have no intention of officially supporting the windows platform at present (until we get a developer who wants to!).

    Cheers,

    Tim B.
     
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