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Re: [gpsd-users] Newcomer, with a question

From: David J Taylor
Subject: Re: [gpsd-users] Newcomer, with a question
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2018 19:39:30 +0100

Newcomer to this list and GPSD in general, with a question way down at the end.

The story is this. On my little sailboat, I find that I tend to use my Android tablet (or even my Android phone!) more than I use my perfectly fine chartplotter, even though the chartplotter has the biggest screen of the lot.

I guess I like the human interface more; panning and zooming is more intuitive. Also, entering routes and waypoints is a whole lot easier on the little devices, if only because I can do it all at home.

But panning and zooming on these devices is also slow; the reduced horsepower is an issue. Also, the accuracy of my position using the internal GPS is not nearly so good as the fancy unit attached to the chartplotter.

So my plan was to use a Windows tablet running OpenCPN and connect the external GPS to the tablet via WiFi.

Sadly, that otherwise excellent (IMHO) plan took me down any number of ratholes .. virtual COM ports, UART->TCP bridges and so forth.

Then I looked closer at OpenCPN and discovered that the virtual COM port thing is now effectively built in to the software. Looking closer still, I discovered that newer versions of OpenCPN support GPSD, which looks like pretty much exactly what I want!

HOWEVER, what I don't want to do is have a largish PC running Linux on board; this is a _small_ sailboat.

So, what's the smallest Linux device with enough poop .. RAM, processing power, etc. .. that will do what I want; receive serial GPS info and rebroadcast it via WiFi?

Thanks for any thoughts.


I would look at the Raspberry Pi, even the low-end Raspberry Pi Zero W would do that job.

On a slightly related topic (precise timekeeping with NTP on the RPi) I have some notes which might at least trigger some ideas about connecting GPS devices:

SatSignal Software - Quality software written to your requirements
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