Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
porthole
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Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:55 am

This thread is for those that are using the Lowrance HDS Gen3 products and want to share any knowledge back and forth with installing, interfacing, and use. The HDS Gen 3 is a pretty sophisticated unit and I'm sure there a few of us who could benefit from sharing our experiences. (On the old forum there is a thread on the Lowrance Gen3 products, but it is mostly the tech introduction.)

Old forum thread on the Lowrance HDS Gen3

Firmware Update
For example, I found trying to update the system software using micro SD cards frustrating. After finally getting my first update success, I found that the WiFi capability greatly simplifies the system software update process. My latest update went very smooth using WiFi with the boat sitting in my driveway.

Flush Mount
I like the ability for flush mounting with the unit being attached from the front. Remove the trim bezel and four screws and the unit can be removed from the boat. This could be a plus (or minus) depending on where you keep your boat though.

Interface to Radio
Interfacing between my HDS Gen3 and a Standard Horizon GX-2200 was initially a challenge. Information I received from tech support from both Standard and Lowrance was incorrect.

Sharing GPS Data
The GX-2200 has built in GPS and AIS receivers. If connected to an external GPS the radio can be set to prefer that data over the built in GPS. That could be helpful for those mounting the radio in an overhead cabinet (as mine is). I now have position data transmitting and displaying on the GX-2200. I don't know how accurate the info is, but my displayed "position accuracy" went from about 250-feet with the internal GPS receiver to about 130-feet using the HDS Gen3 GPS receiver.

Display of AIS Targets
The HDS is receiving AIS data from the GX-2200. That is a neat feature. On the radio the AIS targets are small blips on an approximate two-inch circle. Not exactly the easiest to see. The range is limited to 15 miles, and prior to getting this interface working I had not given this much thought. I also get frequent CPA [Closest Point of Approach] alarms for some reason, Even though I have the CPA set for 2000-feet, I was getting multiple alarms while testing yesterday for a vessel that was 8-miles from my house.

AIS on the HDS is nice. Using the menu you can bring up "Vessels". Every vessel broadcasting AIS data will show up on display in multiple display orders. For example, using distance I had two boats displayed at the top. Tapping on a vessel identifier brings up another page with all the data that is being transmitted for that vessel. Tapping another menu button on the bottom brings up the AIS symbol displayed on your chart, with the typical electronic chart icons for AIS.

Initiate DSC Calls from Chart Plotter
Another feature which I do not have, is the ability to tap another menu item and place a DSC call to the target, providing you have a NMEA-2000 equipped DSC radio connected. If already out on open water and an AIS targets pops up on your screen, you can tap that icon and bring up the info page as well.

Range of AIS Targets
Apparently the GX-2200 is capable of receiving data much further then the 15 mile range limit on the radio. Listed on the HDS vessel display were all of the Ambrose Channel ATONs in the New York Harbor approach. Most of these were over 20 miles away. I didn't even know the ATONs were equipped with AIS. A quick google search found that Ambrose channel ATON's are on a one year experiment ending in December 2015.
Last edited by porthole on Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Duane
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porthole
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Re: NMEA-0183 Waypoint Transfer

Postby porthole » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:41 am

I asked Lowrance about waypoint transfer via NMEA-0183: "Is the HDS 7 Gen 3 capable of receiving and displaying latitude and longitude data in the form of waypoints from another device? Specifically what I would like to do is have waypoints from my Northstar 952 GPS transmit and be usable on my HDS 7."

Lowrance answered: "The NMEA-0183 only shares GPS information, no waypoint sharing."
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Duane
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jimh
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Re: AIS AtoN Target Display

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:00 am

PORTHOLE's comment on AIS target display: "Listed on the HDS vessel display were all of the Ambrose Channel ATONs in the New York Harbor approach."

That is very interesting. I was curious about the ability of the NAVICO chart plotters to display AIS Aid-To-Navigation targets. Perhaps you could take a screen capture of the chart display when it is showing an AIS AtoN target. I would very much like to see how the AIS AtoN target is displayed on the electronic chart of a NAVICO chart plotter.

jimh
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Re: FTP via WiFi

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:17 am

Lowrance GEN 3 device have a WiFi base unit included, and, apparently--I have not tried this myself--they also have a FTP server built into the device. This means that one can wirelessly connect to the GEN 3 device and use the FTP protocol to transfer files between the GEN 3 FTP host and a connected FTP client.

I have not seen this in action, as I don't have a GEN 3 device. There was a thread about this recently on another website. (That site seems to be off-line at the moment or I'd look up the thread and point to it.) This could be a very interesting option for moving files between a Lowrance GEN 3 device and a computer terminal. For example, instead of having to use the sneaker-net approach of writing files onto a removable memory card and carrying them from the GEN 3 device to your computer, you could just retrieve the files from the GEN 3 device via wireless connection and FTP. This could be such a cool feature that it is almost worth the cost of getting a GEN 3 (for me) just to play with it.

The FTP server is at the ip-address of the WiFi base, which is usually 192.168.1.1. You can connect to the FTP server with a typical ftp client of your choice. Once connected, the file directory includes the two memory slot cards and the internal memory of the GEN 3 device. There was some dispute about the ability to write files onto the FTP server; this apparently seems to change with the version of firmware on the GEN 3 device. In any case, it seems like you can always read files from the server. There was also some dispute about whether any credentials were needed to connect. It seems like that might vary with the firmware version, too. I'd be interested to hear more about the FTP server on a Lowrance GEN 3 from users that have one.

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Re: Initiating Radio DSC Call From Chart Plotter

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:26 am

Being able to initiate a digital selective calling (DSC) call to another vessel that has been discovered by its automatic identification system (AIS) broadcast containing its maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) by using an electronic interface on the display of chart plotter to control the radio is a feature that has been discussed before. I am not sure if there is a method for accomplishing this using the standard protocols of NMEA. Since I have not paid NMEA several thousand dollars to see the details of their protocol, I am just making an informed guess about this, but I don't believe you can do this using NMEA-0183 and the usual DSC sentences. I believe that such a control system may be possible with NMEA-2000 parameter groups, but that data might be sent in proprietary parameter groups, which would mean the radio and chart plotter would both need to have the custom parameter group ability. That usually means they'd have to be the same brand.

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Re: GPS Position Accuracy

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:58 am

The accuracy of a GPS receiver position solution is mainly dependent on the particular location of the receiver and the position of the satellites used in the position solution at that instant. Without getting too technical, the more satellites in view and the more favorably their lines of position cross at your location, the more accuracy in the position solution. This parameter is usually computed by the GPS receiver and given in terms of two dimensional accuracy as HORIZONTAL DILUTION OF PRECISION or HDOP.

Any particular GPS receiver will have a range of HDOP with time, as the location of the satellites relative to the receiver's position on Earth is constantly changing. The more satellites in view, the more likely some of the satellites will be in the most favorable alignment relative to the receiver position to produce a position solution with low HDOP. HDOP is expressed as a metric, with higher numbers meaning less accuracy or more dilution of precision. Many GPS receivers present the HDOP data to the user in some sort of information display. If trying to compare accuracy of two GPS receivers, the comparison should be made at the same time or at least when the HDOP metric is the same for both receivers.

GPS receiver position accuracy can be enhanced by use of an augmentation system, typically the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) for users in North America. Using an augmentation system helps to reduce errors caused by ionospheric variations. A GPS receiver with WAAS augmentation will generally produce a more accurate position solution than an non-augmented receiver in North America. But most GPS receivers made today include WAAS augmentation reception.

If two modern GPS receivers were in the same location and got position solutions at the same time, and if there was a remarkable difference in the HDOP, I would suspect that the cause of such a difference would be due to the view of the sky available to the two receivers. One of the receivers may have a better view of the sky and could be seeing more satellites or could be getting the WAAS data, while the other might see fewer satellites due to obstructions in its view of the sky and might not be able to get the WAAS data.

To learn more about the data available from a GPS receiver as presented to the user Lowrance chart plotters, see my article on Satellites In View.

porthole
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Re: AIS AtoN Target Display

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:46 am

jimh wrote:PORTHOLE's comment on AIS target display: "Listed on the HDS vessel display were all of the Ambrose Channel ATONs in the New York Harbor approach."

That is very interesting. I was curious about the ability of the NAVICO chart plotters to display AIS Aid-To-Navigation targets. Perhaps you could take a screen capture of the chart display when it is showing an AIS AtoN target. I would very much like to see how the AIS AtoN target is displayed on the electronic chart of a NAVICO chart plotter.


I forgot to take pics when I was trying it out, but will do, perhaps today. The max range on my GX-2200 screen is 15 miles, so the ATON's if they would show up on the radio were out of range.

Yesterday I had the boat out.
There were several tug and tows that were within range.
I found the CPA and TCPA alarms annoying to the point of turning them off on the radio. Clearing the alarms only resulted in the alarm sounding again within a 30-60 seconds. With the radio in an overhead cabinet the display is difficult to see when you need to use the bottom of your glasses to see.

The HDS displayed the AIS targets when I was zoomed into a level that the targets were within, meaning when the tug came within 1/2 mile of my location it was displayed on the 1 mile range of the HDS (guessing to the exact ranges).

The HDS gave a proper alarm notification on the screen when the target was within my 2000' or 3 minute CPA settings.

Pictures to follow.
Thanks,
Duane
1999 Outrage 21
1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

porthole
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Re: GPS Position Accuracy

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:59 am

Perhaps this should be moved out of my HDS Gen3 thread?

"More satellites in view"

Isn't it not more then just the number of satellites in view?
I was under the impression that position accuracy is enhanced as the satellites in view are spread out. Meaning 12 satellites almost directly overhead will yield a less accurate position then 12 satellites spread across all points of the sky view.

You also mention 2 receivers in the same position at the same time and the differences of the HDOP.

It just happens I got back my last Northstar from service. In prep to sell several units I hooked them up to test.
Since I sometimes have more free time on my hands then things to do, I set all the units on the dash of the 21 and turned them on.
I took some pictures of the SAT info and would post if interested.

[Yes--that sounds like an interesting topic, but start a new thread. Thanks--jimh]

Units tested:
Lowrance HDS 7 Gen3 (installed in dash)
Northstar 952W (WAAS) (installed in dash)
Northstar 952 DW (differential and WAAS)
Northstar 958 W (WAAS)
Northstar 951 D (differential) (differential not connected as I had no differential coupler antenna whip)
Humminbird 997c

I had them all on at the same time and all the antennas were within 2'.

jimh wrote:The accuracy of a GPS receiver position solution is mainly dependent on the particular location of the receiver and the position of the satellites used in the position solution at that instant. Without getting too technical, the more satellites in view and the more favorably their lines of position cross at your location, the more accuracy in the position solution. This parameter is usually computed by the GPS receiver and given in terms of two dimensional accuracy as HORIZONTAL DILUTION OF PRECISION or HDOP.

Any particular GPS receiver will have a range of HDOP with time, as the location of the satellites relative to the receiver's position on Earth is constantly changing. The more satellites in view, the more likely some of the satellites will be in the most favorable alignment relative to the receiver position to produce a position solution with low HDOP. HDOP is expressed as a metric, with higher numbers meaning less accuracy or more dilution of precision. Many GPS receivers present the HDOP data to the user in some sort of information display. If trying to compare accuracy of two GPS receivers, the comparison should be made at the same time or at least when the HDOP metric is the same for both receivers.

GPS receiver position accuracy can be enhanced by use of an augmentation system, typically the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) for users in North America. Using an augmentation system helps to reduce errors caused by ionospheric variations. A GPS receiver with WAAS augmentation will generally produce a more accurate position solution than an non-augmented receiver in North America. But most GPS receivers made today include WAAS augmentation reception.

If two modern GPS receivers were in the same location and got position solutions at the same time, and if there was a remarkable difference in the HDOP, I would suspect that the cause of such a difference would be due to the view of the sky available to the two receivers. One of the receivers may have a better view of the sky and could be seeing more satellites or could be getting the WAAS data, while the other might see fewer satellites due to obstructions in its view of the sky and might not be able to get the WAAS data.

To learn more about the data available from a GPS receiver as presented to the user Lowrance chart plotters, see my article on Satellites In View.
Thanks,
Duane
1999 Outrage 21
1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

porthole
Posts: 599
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Re: Initiating Radio DSC Call From Chart Plotter

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:09 pm

As you brought up in the old forum, [initiating a radio DSC call from a chart plotter] is not possible on a NMEA 0183 network.

I found somewhere in the HDS documentation that to initiate a DSC call from a target displayed on the HDS, the DSC equipped radio must be on the NMEA 2000 network with the HDS. I do not recall if the requirement includes having a same brand radio such as the Link 8 and the HDS Gen3.

While observing AIS targets yesterday on the open water I tapped the target and brought up the info page. At the bottom was a "greyed" out menu choice to place a DSC call.

At this stage in my life I see no reason to update electronics to include a radio that will communicate DSC calls placed by the HDS.
But, had this technology been out 15 years ago I would be all over it. I ran a lot of charters and many were at night and anchored up with divers in the water. The ability to accurately place a call to a tug and tow running down the beach at night would have been a huge comfort factor. It was not unusual to see 10 or more tows running 3-7 miles off the beach at night in the New Jersey area.

jimh wrote:Being able to initiate a digital selective calling (DSC) call to another vessel that has been discovered by its automatic identification system (AIS) broadcast containing its maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) by using an electronic interface on the display of chart plotter to control the radio is a feature that has been discussed before. I am not sure if there is a method for accomplishing this using the standard protocols of NMEA. Since I have not paid NMEA several thousand dollars to see the details of their protocol, I am just making an informed guess about this, but I don't believe you can do this using NMEA-0183 and the usual DSC sentences. I believe that such a control system may be possible with NMEA-2000 parameter groups, but that data might be sent in proprietary parameter groups, which would mean the radio and chart plotter would both need to have the custom parameter group ability. That usually means they'd have to be the same brand.
Thanks,
Duane
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1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

jimh
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Re: DSC Calls to AIS Targets

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:14 pm

While it would be handy in some situations to be able to make a DSC call to an AIS target--like a big ship bearing down on you at night while your boat was encumbered and could not maneuver--the big question is would the ship answer the call? In the Great Lakes all commercial traffic is supposed to maintain a radio watch on CH-13. I have called some commercial ships that were very close to my boat on CH-13, hailing them by name because I could see their name--and not gotten a return call from them. But having a chart plotter able to control a radio would be a nice feature. On my boat the radio is tucked away and out of sight, so getting its control interface on a chart plotter would be a nice way to run the radio. But that's another topic, I guess.

Any chance on posting the appearance of the AtoN AIS targets on the HDS Gen 3 plotter?

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Re: HDOP

Postby jimh » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:43 pm

Information on HDOP is available from Wikipedia.

porthole
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Re: DSC Calls to AIS Targets

Postby porthole » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:06 pm

jimh wrote:Any chance on posting the appearance of the AtoN AIS targets on the HDS Gen 3 plotter?


There is a brief description under the pics in case you can't figure out what you are looking at.

http://s96.photobucket.com/user/porthole2/Boats/Lowrance/story
Thanks,
Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:23 am

Thanks for posting the screen captures of a Lowrance HDS Gen3 showing AIS AtoN targets. Below is the most interesting screen capture, showing both the chart plotter's icons for the aids and the AIS AtoN icons for the aids, overlaid. The use of radiating magenta lines apparently is suggesting a radio signal:

Image

I will have to research the recommended icon presentation for AIS AtonN targets for comparison.

I am glad to see that NAVICO has provided for aid-to-navigation targets in their AIS presentation on the chart plotter. I have been awaiting the appearance of some targets in radio range of my chart plotter to see how it would represent them--if it does at all. I am a bit skeptical due to the age of my chart plotter (an HDS first generation) and the lack of any firmware update for it for several years.

porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:20 pm

There are 3 types of AIS equipped AtoNs that will be part of the AIS plan:
Real - a real AtoN broadcasting AIS data
Synthetic - a real Aton that has it's info broadcast from a base station, as if the transmission is coming from the AtoN.
Virtual - as it sounds, an AtoN that is not really there but will be displayed on a chart (electronic or paper) as if an actual AtoN.

Unfortunately, in the screen shot I provided you can not tell what kind of AIS AtoN is shown because the chart's overlaid [icon].
I would also guess that the [magenta] lines are indicating a radio transmission.

I will try again today with the SD card removed to see how it changes if at all and using the internal Lowrance chart.

I also have the paid version app of Marine Traffic, interesting that this app does not show any AIS AtoNs

As far as general AIS data goes, it would be nice to see the vessel's name on the AIS data page. We boat near busy ports and know many of the commercial fishing vessels that transit the inlet on a regual basis. Tapping the AIS icon and having a name along with an MMSI # would make for simpler hailing of the "Amber Waves", instead of "vessel approximately 3.5 miles due east of Manasquan inlet heading outbound ......"

Within cell tower range I found out you can simply google search "MMSI #########" and come up with a vessel name.
Thanks,
Duane
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1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

porthole
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Re: DSC Calls to AIS Targets

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:33 pm

jimh wrote:
-the big question is would the ship answer the call? In the Great Lakes all commercial traffic is supposed to maintain a radio watch on CH-13. I have called some commercial ships that were very close to my boat on CH-13, hailing them by name because I could see their name--and not gotten a return call from them.



Many a times I have called vessels and not received an answer. I will say though, tug captains almost always respond. It is the foreign flagged and commercial guys who don't.

I have two DSC equipped radios. Making a DSC call from one to the other - that will get your attention, and unitl you at least cancel the alarm, it will keep your attention. That may help in getting vessels to answer.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:47 pm

Re how an AIS Aid-to-Navigation (AIS AtoN) should be displayed, the recommendations are given at

http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/updates/ais_aton.html

For electronic charts in vector format (ENC) the cited reference says, "NOAA charts will depict the AIS signal with a magenta radio circle centered on the position circle of the aid." The example shown also has the legend "AIS" in magenta near the AtoN or the legend "V-AIS" for a virtual AtoN.

I guess NAVICO took that one better and provided a depiction of a radio signal by having a series of magenta concentric arcs radiating from the position.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:54 pm

On a paper chart, the radiating magenta lines represent a fog signal.

Interesting, on the HDS AIS overlay, all of the Ambrose channel markers have the magenta lines.
On the paper chart only about half of the AtoNs have fog signal symbols.
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Re: Fog Signal

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:02 am

On the NOAA ENC chart, the green can is indicated as having a fog signal, a gong. Here is how the official NOAA ENC chart US5NY19M appears for that same location:

NOAA_ENC_Chart.jpg
NOAA US5NY19M chart excerpt
NOAA_ENC_Chart.jpg (39.63 KiB) Viewed 26722 times


The chart was rendered in POLARVIEW NS, a very nice chart plotter application, and, by the way, available for the MacOS. (I saved the screen capture as a lo-quality JPEG, and that's why it is a little fuzzy.)

I never noticed those magenta radiating lines before, but now that you mention they represent a fog signal or gong, I see them on many floating aids, even the one in front of my house!

I guess the indication of having an AIS signal associated with the aid is just the magenta circle around it. It seems NAVICO forgot the "AIS" legend that is recommended.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:51 pm

Just some observations when looking at chart differences.

Navionics iPad app using government included charts and Lowrance HDS Gen3 using Navionics chart SD card with AIS data from a Standard Horizon GX-2200 VHF overlaid.

App - this is Ambrose channel (New York harbor approach) 8 AtoN's, 4 with fog signals (curved magenta lines radiating out from the AtonN)

Image

HDS - same area, black squares represent AIS data received for the Aton

Image

App - Ambrose AtoN 21 & 22. note that only "21" has a fog signal

Image

HDS - This screen grab shows both 21 & 22 as having a fog signal

Image
Thanks,
Duane
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porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:03 pm

Clicking on one of the icons on the HDS will bring up whatever the available information is that is stored.

As it turns out, when you click the AtoN, four small corner brackets pop up, I guess showing where on the screen the info page can be retrieved.

Clicking the #22 AtoN from the chart, with the AIS data overlay only brings up a tab with the AtoN name, tapping that name will bring up the minimal MMSI data page related to the AtoN.
Not very useful.

Image

Image

Although the AtoN number does not look like anything other then text, it turns out it is a link to the chart card's stored AtoN info page.

The number I refer to is partially obscured by the cursor, it is "22"
That is where I have to click to bring up the info on the Navionics card. Anywhere else closer to the AtoN brings up the AIS info page. There is no menu or button on either of the info pages to jump back and forth between AIS or chart data.

This is at max zoom.

Image

Image


My tip of the day.
Last edited by porthole on Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Thanks,
Duane
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1999 Yamaha SW Series II 200

porthole
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:36 pm

To Lowrance tech support I posted the following question.

Question: Is there a way to access the files stored on the SD cards over the wifi connection? Specifically I want to download screen shots without removing the SD cards to my Macbook (under Mac OS or WIn 7)?

Answer: Currently there isn't a way to remotely access the files from the SD card in the unit.

I figured out how to access my HDS Gen3 from my laptop using my WiFi network.

Copied from this post

jimh wrote:To ftp with MacOS, just open the TERMINAL application. Then use the ftp command

ftp 192.168.1.1
to connect. For user-id use anonymous, and for password try blank password.


I got an error of "connection refused". But, it gave me an idea.

I looked up the MAC address on the HDS @ 'settings' - 'wireless' page. I opened up my router admin in a browser and found the attached device with the matching MAC address. I copied and pasted the associated ip-address and pasted that into a browser.

Image

Clicking on the hyperlinked "Logs" opens up a page called "Index of /userdata/Logs"
Once on that page all of the folders on either inserted SD card are visible and can be opened.

Entering "ftp://" [in a web broswer] in front of the ip-address opens [a browser window showing ]the file structure showing the left and right memory cards and the folder "userdata/".

Don't know why, but all of the screen shot files with extension .png can be opened or downloaded. The wallpaper files with a .jpg extension are shown but cannot be accessed.
Thanks,
Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:36 am

Based on the screen capture above showing a webpage, it appears the Lowrance HDS Gen3 device must also have an HTTPD server as well as an FTP server. That is quite interesting. Many devices made today incorporate their own HTTPD server so you can connect to them with a web browser. With the HTTPD interface you can only see what Lowrance wanted you to see. With an FTP connection you can see more of the files. If you cannot transfer a file, that file probably has its permissions set to prevent you from reading it.

While connected to the FTP server, you can usually see a listing of file permissions by using the ftp command "ls -l" (list directory's files in long format). Or try the command "dir". If the file you are interested in seeing does not allow non-root users to read it, you probably won't be able to transfer it.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:44 am

Lowrance first-tier technical support is really only there to give the very new-to-electronics freshwater bass angler some advice on the most basic problems of connecting or using the myriad of fish finders and chart plotter made by Lowrance. They probably are not sufficiently familiar with rather advanced and obscure topics like the inclusion of an FTP server in a chart plotter on an HDS Gen3 to be able to support that function. Or, they might be under orders to not mention it.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:36 am

Over on the HT forum there is a good thread on Simrad structure scan.
I posted the pics of my sonar color pallette shift and was advised the reason my screen changed as it did was because I had the downscan overlaid on the 2D screen.

Image

Image
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:27 pm

One of the things I like is the easy install for flush mounting. But, that is not without a drawback.

These pictures were taken as I did the removal. The time stamps on the pics have them at 3 minutes from start to finish.

Image

Image

Image
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Duane
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Acseatsri
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby Acseatsri » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:15 pm

This is what I've been working on. I originally had the displays flush-mounted, but the 45 degree angle of the dash plus the long reach made it difficult to work with the touch screens. I also made mounting pods to mount the stereo and VHF radio farther forward and tipped them forward 30 degrees so you could see them. The older boats just weren't built to house today's modern large screen electronics.
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alanlong49
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby alanlong49 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:59 am

Like porthole, I've been testing the HDS built-in HTTPD Server, but with a Gen 2 Touch; I also have a Gen 3 but haven't tested with it yet. Here is my feedback on using the HDS FTP and HTTPD interfaces:

CONNECTING
For those who may not have read the earlier posts, if you open a windows browser and type in the IP address of your network-connected HDS unit, you get a screen of file transfer options. You can use these options to transfer files to your PC over the network instead of having to use SD cards. I can't find this functionality documented anywhere so I'm just exploring. So far, I haven't hurt anything in my HDS but I don't expect to get any help or sympathy from Lowrance Tech support if things go south.

DOWNLOAD USR
The "Download USR file" option seems handy since it not only downloads the file, but automatically initiates the export on the HDS. In other words, you don't have to press any buttons on the HDS to get the export to happen. A bit of a bummer: the USR export file is created as Version 5 and there's no way to tell it you want anything different, like, say, version 3 or 4.

UPLOAD USR
The "Upload USR" is not quite as automated. When you Upload a file, a prompt appears on the HDS telling you that "A new User Data file has been uploaded to the local device" and asks if you want to Import it. The choices are YES, DELETE, and NO. So you have to interact with the HDS device buttons. But my testing shows a bug. A waypoint uploaded this way can be corrupted as it imports to the device's internal waypoint repository (I don't know if I should call it a database.). I'll post screen shots so you can see the corruption.

The upload function doesn't seem to care if the USR being sent to the HDS is version 4 or 5 (and the same corruption can appear with either version). Also, the waypoint corruption was not obvious to me at first. I uploaded and downloaded hundreds of waypoints at a time, from InsightPlanner, ExpertGPS, NavigationPlanner and other sources, before I noticed that some were being corrupted or simply not loaded. I think it may be some kind of End-of-file or buffer problem, as the affected waypoints are always near the end of the file being loaded. Also, the web upload is pretty quirky about not letting me re-load the same filename back to the HDS device. I'm not sure what's going on with that, whether it's the device, web interface, or operator-error.

LOGS
The "Logs" choice lets me navigate folders and files inside the HDS device itself. It's been handy to download sonar logs, screenshots, USR files, and settings files to my PC. Even better, by following the instructions at the top of the LOGS screen, you can use Windows Explorer (instead of a browser) to transfer files. I can easily copy and paste files from PC to MemoryCard (inside of the HDS device) and vice versa. Loading waypoints using this method hasn't corrupted any waypoints, but you do have to press buttons on the HDS to get the USR to load.

Of course, pressing buttons on the HDS device is not a deal-buster for what I'm doing. I just use a tablet and GoFree to do that. But if Navico did more work in the HTTPD interface they could make network transfers GoFree free.

I also used plain ol' FTP from a Windows Command prompt to transfer files from HDS to PC (and back) over my network. Cludgy, but it can be done. If folks don't love Unix/DOS they shouldn't bother with this. I just did it to test for waypoint corruption: there was none.

If anyone can help me with the problems I've encountered, please chime in. I only started testing this after I installed the latest (Dec 21 2015) firmware so maybe it worked better before.

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Good Waypoint
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BadImport.JPG
Corrupted Waypoint
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alanlong49
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby alanlong49 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:42 am

I found the quirk with not being able to re-upload the same filename into my HDS Gen2 Touch using the HTTPD interface. It's Operator Error along with an Undocumented Feature.

When a USR file of Waypoints/Routes/Trails is imported from the SD card then the HDS internal database is directly updated. But when the HTTPD interface is used to "Upload from USR" the file being uploaded is first saved in the HDS's internal memory before it's loaded to the database. So the just-uploaded file is now resident on the device. If you try to re-upload the same file, the HTTPD interface will let you and reports "Upload successful". But the HDS device apparently just silently discards the request to receive an already-resident file.

The location of newly uploaded files is within the folder Files-My Files->transfer. SELECTING the transfer folder will let you see it's contents, and you can delete individual files. Pressing the DownArrow to the right of the transfer text gives you choices to Delete (or Copy) all previously uploaded files. See screen shot. After a file is deleted from this folder you can re-upload the same filename to the device.

My testing shows that the HDS device looks beyond just the filename (perhaps at file size too) when determining if the file being uploaded IS the same as a resident file. Files with the same name but differing in content WILL upload. So you could say it was Operator Error to do a needless re-load. BUT if you have separate files for different lakes, and load the HDS with waypoints and routes for only where you intend to fish, then you would run into the same-file problem when you attempt to reload a lake's file IF it were unchanged from the last time you used it on the device.

(BTW: The "transfer" folder is not the same as the internal folder "Files->Transfers (0/0). I'm pretty sure that the similarly named "Transfers" folder is used for transfers between the device and Navico (firmware updates, InsightGenesis, GoFree). The (0/0) by the folder name changes with the number of files there.)

Since files uploaded with the HTTPD interface will accumulate here it's good to know where to clean house if necessary. So now the Feature is unofficially documented.

transfers folder.png
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:59 pm

ASIDE to both PORTHOLE and ACSEATSRI: thank for posting your helm photos. You both have very cool helm stations.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:33 am

At the Atlantic City Boat Show I was hoping to get some questions answered and see some demos.

The Simrad, Lowrance and B&G booth was rather small. There were no demos of the radars or auto pilots. I really wanted to play around with a radar demo to see if it was feasible to try and run radar on a 7" screen. The devices were in demo mode and radar was locked to a set range (300') and no way to overlay properly.
The factory rep was not very helpful as well. Asking what are the differences between the 3G and 4G radars besides $800 and the answer I got was the 3G was a better option "it's what all the tournament guys are using"

Disappointing, especially considering I am already a product owner looking to add on to what I have.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby Acseatsri » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:26 am

Jimh- Thank you for the compliment. It's the third try after the first 2 layouts were a failure in my mind.

Porthole- the radar overlay on the chart (if you have a heading sensor or Point 1) is fine on a 7" display as long as the display isn't too away. I often DON'T overlay the radar when running at night, instead opting to split the display, running the chart at a low zoom range and zooming in the radar to a separate 1/4 mile range to pick up lobster buoys and high fliers when running offshore. If you do want to overlay, the chart zoom always coincides with the radar. It's pretty cool to look at above-water rocks on the chart and see the rocks "painted" by the radar exactly on the chart. This tells me that the range and heading sensor are both dead on.

But if you can afford more, bigger is always better.:)

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:05 pm

porthole wrote:At the Atlantic City Boat Show I was hoping to get some questions answered and see some demos....The factory rep was not very helpful as well. Asking what are the differences between the 3G and 4G radars besides $800 and the answer I got was the 3G was a better option, "it's what all the tournament guys are using."

Disappointing, especially considering I am already a product owner looking to add on to what I have.


Marine electronics today employ very sophisticated methods. Until very recently these methods were more or less limited to military applications because of the very high cost of the electronic devices to implement them or because the methods themselves were kept secret from the general public. With the cost of electronic computer processing at a ridiculously low level, with the cost of manufacturing ridiculously low because of the existence of a giant consumer electronics industry in China, and with the fundamental methods declassified, a recreational boater can now buy and use devices that provide amazing capabilities at modest prices that before now were completely out of reach to them.

There has probably not been a corresponding increase in the awareness of or understand of the technology embodied in these products, either by the customers or the sales people involved in promotion and distribution of them. That a person at a boat show representing himself as a "factory rep" cannot explain the underlying technology of two similar products and distinguish between them with any sort of clear explanation of what they do differently does not really surprise me. The "factory" does not send to consumer boat shows the actual engineers or scientists or inventors who create these technical marvels; they send some fellow who has had a good track record in selling their product to dealers and big box stores from their sales department who manages sales in that particular region. If you want to find a well-informed technologically competent representative of these really advanced products, you will have to expand your hunt beyond the local boat show sales booth. That is unfortunate, but I think an honest appraisal of the situation.

You can see this in the marketing of the products. The notion of using descriptions like "3G" or "4G" exemplifies the lack of effort in trying to market the product in terms of its technology. Calling something "4G" just informs us that it is a newer version than the "3G" product. Similarly, calling a product that contains a GNSS receiver that can utilize multiple constellations of satellites and provide its output on a NMEA-2000 network a "GPS antenna" is another example of intentional technical ignorance in marketing. And the similarly overused and under-defined acronym CHIRP, now given to every fishfinder being made, is another example. Products are promoted with these terms with almost no technical explanation of what they really mean, and the consumer is supposed to just open their wallet and buy in. And, for the most part, they do. So the manufacturer has little need to change or to send valuable scientists, engineers, and software developers to local boat shows.

By the way, the last several local boat shows I went to were almost devoid of electronics company booths, and the one or two vendor booths were just staffed by the vendor sales force, with no factory support or representative. At least you got to talk to someone from the factory, even if his efforts to explain and differentiate products were not satisfactory.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:54 pm

Acseatsri wrote:Porthole- the radar overlay on the chart (if you have a heading sensor or Point 1) is fine on a 7" display as long as the display isn't too away. I often DON'T overlay the radar when running at night, instead opting to split the display, running the chart at a low zoom range and zooming in the radar to a separate 1/4 mile range to pick up lobster buoys and high fliers when running offshore. If you do want to overlay, the chart zoom always coincides with the radar. It's pretty cool to look at above-water rocks on the chart and see the rocks "painted" by the radar exactly on the chart. This tells me that the range and heading sensor are both dead on.

But if you can afford more, bigger is always better.:)


H'mmm - go big or go home :-)
I have the 7" display as it was originally purchased for my 17 Outrage and I never envisioned needing anything bigger.

No point 1 or heading sensor, I'm holding off on that as I plan on getting the pilot.

I was a bit vague I guess. I was hoping just play around with overlays, split screens etc. When you only have a 7" screen, real estate gets eaten up quickly splitting. Ideally I want to see displays of radar, chart and bottom. Squeezing all that onto 7" is a "big" jump coming from my old CRT Furuno 14" radar.

I did spend some time setting the screens of the 3 HDS Gen3's (7, 9 & 12") to the same settings. And the 9" screen appears bigger then the 2" diagonal increase would seem. I have given myself enough to think about now. Keep the 7" display and get a 2nd 7". Sell the 7" and replace with a 9". A second display running only radar at night would be nice, but maybe not $1200 nice. Might be time to off my collection of Northstars and the Humminbird 997.

I am not sure if I am correct on this, but I think one of advantages of the 4G radar is the ability to adjust the beam width, e.g. from a typical radome width to an open array width. My old fashioned big Furuno open array did a great job finding the sticks that mark many of the channels around here.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:00 pm

jimh wrote:At least you got to talk to someone from the factory, even if his efforts to explain and differentiate products were not satisfactory.


And I got to explain to him how easy it was to update the system software and copy files back and forth over wifi (detailed on the posts above)
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:17 pm

I've decided on a bit of a changeup.
I was using a Northstar 952 alongside my HDS Gen3.
I have future plans to add the 4G RADAR and the more that I thought about it the more I was not liking the idea of trying to cram so much onto a 7" screen. Chart, RADAR, sounder (up to 3 types) and pilot control.

Decisions.
Sell the HDS 7 Gen3 and replace with a 9" version (the 12" is completely out of the question).
Replace the Northstar 952 with the Humminbird 997c S.I. that came with the boat and worked pretty good.
Start unloading my Northstar collection and buy a second HDS 7 Gen3

I opted for a second HDS 7 Gen3. So in the next month I'll get to try modern networking on a boat. In the past, the biggest networking I have done was the AIS stuff and interfacing an auto pilot on a prior boat.

I also ordered the autopilot. I figure I'm getting the pilot for almost 1/3 the normal cost. There is a current rebate on a combo purchase of $300 and I had planned on buying the heading sensor anyway, that's worth another $200.

I have 4 Northstars (1 sold, 3 to go) and a nice Humminbird for sale ................
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:59 am

Now a question for anyone here that has successfully set up two Lowrance HDS Gen3 chart plotters. Specifically:

--two HDS Gen3 MFD's
--LSS-2 StructureScan HD transducer
--Airmar TM150 Transom Mount CHIRP Transducer
--Ethernet connection
--NMEA-2000 network connections
--Point-1 (from the autopilot kit)

Did you get it to work as you think it should?

I'll call these HDS 1 and HDS 2 with my installation. HDS 1 was installed months ago with a LSS-2 StructureScan HD transducer and Airmar TM150 Transom Mount CHIRP Transducer. On this HDS 1, one or two routes are saved as well as about 20 waypoints. Software was also updated to the latest version last week.

HDS 2 Installed with the software updated prior to installation.

Both devices displayed the same software, Version 3.0 release 53.1.110

HDS 1 connections:
--power and NMEA 0183
--TM150 transducer
--LSS-2 transducer
--Ethernet cable (yellow connector) to HDS 2
--NMEA 2000 network connection to network backbone

HDS 2 (new unit) connections:
--power
--Ethernet cable to HDS 1

NAC-1 Autopilot Computer connections:

--power
--NMEA-2000 network backbone
--hydraulic pump not connected yet

Doing this in my garage so transducers are not hooked up yet. What I got.

--both HDS's display the Navionics cartridge and charting inserted in HDS 1;

--no waypoints are displayed on HDS 1, which is where I saved them, but they are all displayed on HDS 2;

--the screen brightness does not sync between the 2 devices. I am assuming when I adjust the brightness on HDS 1 that HDS 2 should follow.

During this test HDS 1 rebooted to an old version of the software, still version 3.0 but an earlier release! I now have Version 3.0 release 53.1.108.

I did the auto configure, although I don't know what it really did.

The Point-1 sensor from the autopilot kit displays on both units under settings, but HDS 2 has an error, the Point 1 being not valid

There is more, but that is what I recall at the moment.

Do both HDS units need to be connected to the NMEA-2000 backbone?

Should the transducers be connected as one to each HDS?

Should I be able to mirror the two HDS's if I chose?

I assume "network" sonar would mean either transducer is available on either device, correct?
Last edited by porthole on Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:22 am

To the best of my knowledge, there is no bridging or gateway between the NMEA network and the Ethernet network among Lowrance devices (or any other brands for that matter). If you want the NMEA-2000 devices to be available to the second HDS device, you need to connect that device to the NMEA-2000 network.

To the best of my knowledge, Lowrance devices don't really share a transducer via Ethernet. One device can share the screen of another device's SONAR function that is using that transducer by sending the screen data over Ethernet, but I don't think it actually sends the signal from the transducer. The best information about what can be shared over NMEA-0183, NMEA-2000, and Ethernet among Lowrance devices is found in a somewhat obscure PowerPoint presentation created by Navico called the HDS System Overview. You can find this on-line sometimes; try this link. Toward the end of the document there is a graphic table presentation of the matrix of networks and functions which will be very helpful in understanding what data can be shared where. Also, this document pre-dates some of the newer functions like sharing navigation charts, so use it with that understanding.

AUTO-CONFIGURE is generally a NMEA-2000 process in which one of the Lowrance chart plotters looks at the all the devices on the network and tries to configure itself to use them. Generally when you find that a list of devices on a Lowrance chart plotter shows that one device is "invalid", it means that chart plotter cannot use that other device and has given up on it. I have seen this happen if the power to the network is left on, but some other device that connects to the network is not itself powered on. The network keeps trying to reach that other device, then, after some period of time (maybe a few hours), the chart plotter device decides that the other device is no longer valid. Exactly how that might apply to your situation I will have to leave to you to figure out.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:32 am

Re display of waypoints: as I recall you have to turn on display of waypoints on an HDS. See

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/refere ... pointsMenu

for a possible hint to where this can be controlled on the HDS. The reason you are not seeing waypoints on one of the devices might be due to not having the option set to show them.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:44 am

jimh wrote:To the best of my knowledge, there is no bridging or gateway between the NMEA network and the Ethernet network among Lowrance devices (or any other brands for that matter). If you want the NMEA-2000 devices to be available to the second HDS device, you need to connect that device to the NMEA-2000 network.



Thought that might be the answer, guess I'll be looking for a 2000 tee and short cable

jimh wrote:The reason you are not seeing waypoints on one of the devices might be due to not having the option set to show them.




It was late when I gave up last night. What I found odd is the waypoints that were displayed, were not displayed on the MFD that they were stored on.

Thanks for the links.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:06 am

porthole wrote:[What I found odd is the waypoints that were displayed, were not displayed on the MFD that they were stored on.


I believe that when the two HDS chart plotters are linked via Ethernet, their waypoints are shared automatically, with the outcome that the waypoints that were on the first device are now also on the second device as well. There might be some peculiarities about how Lowrance decides which device is a master and which is a slave regarding the waypoints. In any situation where data is automatically replicated on a network among several devices, it can become quite interesting to see what will happen when new data is added. Since I don't have the luxury of two chart plotters, I never have to worry about this, but having more than one chart plotter seems to be very common today in recreational boats; I assume Lowrance must have worked out some method to keep the waypoint sharing from swallowing its own tail, to use a snake metaphor.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:46 am

Ahh, standards. My outboard pilot came with a NMEA 2000 starter kit. By installing a second HDS Gen3 I needed one more port. So I picked up a tee and cable from West Marine.

Turns out the Garmin parts are not the same. Here is a Garmin Tee attached to the Lowrance 4-way tee. No way to screw this to the bulkhead. Had to go to a different West Marine to get the correct tee and cable.

Image
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby fixer01 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:37 pm

With regards to the FTP and HTTP support, there's more detailed documentation available on the GoFree website:
http://www.gofreemarine.com/developers

The HDS Gen3 (and other Lowrance/Simrad chartplotters) include FTP, HTTP, NMEA-0183 streaming over TCP and also a websocket interface that allows you to get access to GPS, sonar data (depth, etc), standard sensors on the N2K network, alarms and AIS (if available) - kind of a predecessor of Signal-K. There's also a service discovery protocol if you have more than one chartplotter on the network.

I really like how Lowrance/Simrad are making this functionality available to outside developers. As far as I can tell they're the only major manufacturer doing this, all the others are still keeping everything secret.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:26 pm

porthole wrote:...Turns out the Garmin parts are not the same...


Yes, I could have told you that--wait, I did tell you that:

The Network T-connectors made by Lowrance (or Evinrude) and the ones made by Garmin have the standard DeviceNET Micro connectors and are compatible, but, if they are daisy-chained together, the drop cable connectors will fall out of mechanical alignment, that is, the orientation of the connectors in the molded assemblies has not been done on the same angular offset. This can make it difficult to mount a string of Network-T connectors of mixed Garmin and Lowrance brands to a bulkhead.


Source: http://continuouswave.com/whaler/refere ... A2000.html

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:33 pm

fixer01 wrote:...The HDS Gen3 (and other Lowrance/Simrad chartplotters) include FTP, HTTP, NMEA-0183 streaming over TCP and also a websocket interface that allows you to get access to GPS, sonar data (depth, etc), standard sensors on the N2K network, alarms and AIS (if available) - kind of a predecessor of Signal-K. There's also a service discovery protocol if you have more than one chartplotter on the network.


All that data! It would almost be worth it for me to get a new HDS Gen-3 chart plotter just so I could mess around with it on the bench with it attached to an Ethernet TCP-IP network. That ought to be enough fun to get through a winter of no boating.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:12 pm

jimh wrote:
porthole wrote:...Turns out the Garmin parts are not the same...


Yes, I could have told you that--wait, I did tell you that:

The Network T-connectors made by Lowrance (or Evinrude) and the ones made by Garmin have the standard DeviceNET Micro connectors and are compatible, but, if they are daisy-chained together, the drop cable connectors will fall out of mechanical alignment, that is, the orientation of the connectors in the molded assemblies has not been done on the same angular offset. This can make it difficult to mount a string of Network-T connectors of mixed Garmin and Lowrance brands to a bulkhead.


Source: http://continuouswave.com/whaler/refere ... A2000.html


Yes, I missed all that. In my defense though, I never gave NMEA 2000 a thought until last week when I opened up the auto pilot box.

I did pick up a matching Lowrance network T-connector and a few extra two-foot-long extension cables. Waypoints and routes appear to be sharing properly, but not necessarily in real time. The display brightness now works as expected, adjust one HDS and the second follows along.

Should be fun once they are back on the boat and connected to the transducers.
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:19 pm

In order to take full advantage of networking multiple HDS Gen3 displays, they need to be connected to a NMEA 2000 network and with a Lowrance specific ethernet cable that is to be connected between the two units.

Two Gen3 MFD's networked. There are quite a few items that are not shared between the two, but there is also quite a few items that are, including a one device screen brightness adjustment that is mimicked on the 2nd device.

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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:46 pm

If you add the Lowrance autopilot to the mix, the autopilot control is a menu item on the HDS, and it takes up a bit of real estate.

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But if you "X" out of the Outboard pilot menu you get a 1 line readout at the top of the screen.
Look close and you can see the pilot is currently in "power steer" (PS) mode on a heading of 150 degrees.

Image
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:12 pm

Waypoints. Haven't figured out why yet, but the waypoints are not automatically going from one unit to the other (or displayed if that is actually what is going on).

When I first connected the two units with an ethernet cable and the N2K grid, HDS #2 displayed the waypoints and routes from HDS #1.
The other night I entered maybe a dozen waypoints from the comfort of my kitchen using my iPad.
HDS #2 does not display any of the new waypoints.

I also do not get navigation info displayed from one unit to the other.

As another experiment, I set HDS #2's GPS source to the internal antenna. Accuracy level was about 9.5' on HDS #1 while it jumped to 29' on HDS #2.

More GoFree info from Navico
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Duane
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby porthole » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:04 pm

When one of two networked HDS Gen3's are interfaced [using NMEA-0183 direct serial connection in a point-to-point connection] with a VHF with AIS output capabilities, only the physically connected HDS will display AIS vessels.

Networked by Ethernet cable direct, by NMEA 2000 network, and by WiFi wirelessly on the same wifi network.

Dual HDS Gen3 devices that are networked via NMEA-2000 and Ethernet cable do not share AIS data.
Last edited by porthole on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lowrance HDS Gen3: Installation, Interfacing Tips, and Use

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:29 pm

porthole wrote:Dual HDS Gen3 devices that are networked via NMEA-2000 and Ethernet cable do not share AIS data.


I don't understand this statement. Neither HDS Gen-3 is the originator of any AIS data. How could they share something neither of them originates? AIS data comes from an AIS Receiver and the data output from that receiver.

I think you have an unreasonable expectation. I think you are expecting that one of your HDS devices is getting some AIS data from a NMEA-0183 connection, and you expect this data to be sent to the other device via "NMEA-2000 or Ethernet." Such an action by the HDS would require it to be able to receive AIS data from its serial port in NMEA-018 protocol, then translate that data into NMEA-2000 protocol data parameter groups and transmit those PGNs to its NMEA-2000 network; then do the same data translation and electrical translation for its Ethernet network--but there is no standard in existence for transporting NMEA-0183 or NMEA-2000 over Ethernet that I know of, nor does Lowrance make any claim it can do this in an HDS. Actually, I doubt you can find any device that can do this sort of translation from one protocol to another, then a third translation to encapsulate and transmit the data on a third protocol.