Getting USB > Serial to work is kind of a black art now. It really is almost 
worth finding an old laptop with a serial port.
IMHO the FTDI versions – the real ones – tend to work best.

The various fake knockoffs tend to have all kinds of issues.
BTW – Almost forgot – OpenCPN has raw NMEA windows you can open for 

From: CnC-List [] On Behalf Of Marek 
Dziedzic via CnC-List
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:39 PM
Cc: Marek Dziedzic
Subject: Re: Stus-List USB to Serial - reading NMEA stream


I cannot answer any of the really technical questions, but…

There is, generally, a problem with eth USB2Serial adapters. One of the most 
common is that the adapter does not have the real Prolific h/w; rather is an 
imitation. This happens even if you purchased the adapter from a reputable 
source. This is a reasonably well know issue. To the point that some s/w 
developers refuse to support a solution if a USB2Serial adapter is used. I had 
major stability problem with my previous weather station that used a serial 
connection and a special rain dance or waving a chicken leg was often required 
in order to make it connect.

So, in short, there may not be a bullet proof USB2Serial driver.

Ottawa, ON

From: CnC-List [] On Behalf Of Dennis C. 
via CnC-List
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 17:26
To: CnClist <<>>
Cc: Dennis C. <<>>
Subject: Stus-List USB to Serial - reading NMEA stream

Really technical question here.

I'm try to solve a puzzling issue on Touche'.  I installed a Noland AM43 
multiplexer to gather wind data from my Nexus instruments and send it to my 
Simrad WP30 wheel pilot.  That works now.  However, in the process, the WP30 is 
not receiving the waypoint arrival alarm.  When the WP30 was interfaced 
directly to the GPS, it always deactivated "Nav" mode when we got to 0.10 nm of 
a waypoint and the arrival alarm activated.  Now I hear the GPS audible alarm 
but the WP30 keeps on steering.
I know the WP30 is receiving GPS data because it steers right past the waypoint 
and gradually changes course and navigates dutifully to the next waypoint in 
the route.  The Nexus instruments show all the correct data, distance/bearing 
to waypoint, course to steer, cross track error, etc.

I have what I consider the appropriate sentences programmed into the Nexus NMEA 
output slots; APA, APB, RMB, etc.
I want to read and log the data stream.  The AM43 has a USB port.

I have a Dell mini laptop with a Prolific PL2303 USB to Serial driver 
installed. It usually shows on COM3.  I have two applications, GPSinfo and 
DPort Lite (a lite version of Hyperterminal).  I can see the NMEA data stream 
from my Globalsat BU-353 GPS adapter on both applications but I have to unplug 
and re-plug the BU-353 in some mystical order for it to be seen in DPort Lite.
Since there is no Wi-Fi or internet at my marina for troubleshooting, I want 
some reasonable assurance that when I connect to the multiplexer, I will see 
data.  I two questions for the cyber-minded folks.
1.  Is there a bombproof USB serial driver that will work every time with DPort 
Lite without having to plug/unplug/reboot or place a chicken wing under a 
cypress tree at full moon?
2.  Where in the APA, APB, RMB sentences is the arrival alarm data and what 
characters signal on or off?
Dennis C.
Touche' 35-1 #83
Mandeville, LA

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