We were recently contacted by a Korean Sea Captain who wanted to know why he could not get his iAIS to work with OpenCPN on his laptop. At first we assumed he was connecting through USB but then we found out that OpenCPN has recently introduced a completely new Data Connection module and now supports TCP and UDP network connections.
This is great news for anyone that wants to go wireless and after downloading the latest Beta release of OpenCPN V3.1.1328 we were able to hook up our iAIS and work out what needed to be done. As you can see from the screen shot above, we have setup a UDP connection (UDP supports multiple connections) on 169.254.1.1 Port 2000 which is the common network setting for all of our wireless devices.
It is possible to filter out particular NMEA sentences, which is what our Korean Sea Captain had done, but we recommend no filtering unless you know a lot about NMEA 0183 and have a particular interfacing requirement/restriction.
Once all of the settings are made in OpenCPN, scan for Wireless networks, connect to your wireless device and then OpenCPN will start to read all of the NMEA 0183 data wirelessly.