New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Discussion and support for the Nmea4Wifi multiplexer - a 4-input Nmea 0183 wifi multiplexer.
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Luis Sa
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Posts: 535
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 4:12 am

New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by Luis Sa » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:50 pm

Hello,

I am happy to announce that I finished the development of 2 multiplexers based on SMD (Surface Mounting Devices) technology. These multiplexers will have the designation of NMEA2WIFI-SMD and NMEA4WIFI-SMD. They are fully compatible with the existing multiplexers that will now be referred to as NMEA2WIFI-TH and NMEA4WIFI-TH since they are based on Trough Hole technology. The NMEA4WIFI-TH multiplexer was also redesigned and is based on a more common ESP32 module. Both NMEA4WIFI multiplexers (SMD and TH) now use spring type connectors. On the contrary the NMEA2WIFI multiplexers (SMD and TH) use high-quality 1.5mm2 screw connectors.

NMEA2WIFI-TH-SMD-DEMO.jpg
NMEA4WIFI-TH-SMD-DEMO.jpg

During the research and development stage of the SMD multiplexers, many prototypes were built in order to get robust and resilient products. Between these intermediate units I kept 2 units that I call NMEA2WIFI-DEMO and NMEA4WIFI-DEMO which are identical to the standard units except for the RF (Radio Frequency) power they produce. Instead of throwing away these units I am giving the possibility to previous and future buyers of my multiplexers to get these DEMO units at a very small price. In the remaining part of this post I describe the difference in RF power taking the case of the NMEA4WIFI multiplexer as an example. The same results apply to the NMEA2WIFI multiplexer.

When I test the 2 multiplexers in my lab, at a distance of about 1 meter and using my Android Xiaomi Note 8 Pro, I note almost no difference. Here are the 2 cases:

LAB-TESTjpg.jpg

In the case of a boat, both units should be usable in normal situations. I am able to use the DEMO unit in my house at a distance of 10 meters and with a thick wall between me and the multiplexer. In order to have a more precise idea of transmission range of both units I made an experiment in my garden shown in the picture below. For the 2 units, I show the wifi signal strength at several distances in terms of "number of bars", % of power and dBm.

field-test-1.jpg

The units work at the maximum distance I could go which was 50 meters. I noticed a slightly increase (or decrease?) of power at about 30 meters. I think that might have to do with a tree that exists at that distance.

Regards, Luis

schnapsy
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:19 am

Re: New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by schnapsy » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:51 am

Hello Luis,

My question might sound silly, I'm sorry, but I don't understand the difference between the standard Nmea4Wifi I own, and the new one called SMD.

Berst regards,
AlainS

Luis Sa
Site Admin
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 4:12 am

Re: New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by Luis Sa » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:16 am

Hello,

The version you have has through hole components and was assembled and tested by me. The new SMD version has Surface Mount Devices which were placed and soldered by a machine. In this case I only test the unit and solder the connectors. They have the same functionality.

The reason I am turning to SMD is that I do not have time enough to assemble the units myself. Now they are outsourced and I have more time for user support.

Regards, Luis

antoine
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:41 pm

Re: New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by antoine » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:04 pm

hello Luis,
I ordered and I received NMEA4 TH version.
I installed it and I was happy to see the nmea ports leds blinking, aknowledging receipt of 34000 and 8400 Bds signals on ports 1 and 2
however the port 5 led (connected to seatalk ng) does not blink.
my smartphone reads a wifi signal from NMEA4wifi with the address 192.168.4.2 instead of 192.168.4.1
shall I modify the receiver settings accordingly or shall I stick to 192.168.4.1?
furthermore I am unable to read any nmea sentence
my smartphone (samsung A40) runs with android
what application should I install to read the nmea sentences? or shall use a windows device instead?
thanks for your answer but do not hurry, enjoy a happy easter week end first
regards

Luis Sa
Site Admin
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 4:12 am

Re: New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by Luis Sa » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:49 pm

Hello Antoine,

Je lis le français sans aucun problème mais j'ai des difficultés à écrire. Si vous préférez, vous pouvez écrire en français et je répondrai en anglais (sauf si nous parlons tous les deux portugais :lol: )

There are some mistakes on what you wrote. 8400 baud is impossible (you meant 4800). Port 5 is an output port and you cannot connect to SeaTalkNG. SeaTalkNG is the Raymarine implementation of Nmea2000. You can read SeaTalk1 (not SeaTalkNG) on input port P4 if you set "Port 4 baud rate" to show SeaTalk. Led (red) on Port P5 will blink when data is sent out on that port.

I strongly suggest you to try simulation mode in order to adjust your receiving App to the multiplexer. With default settings when you try simulation you will see green led on P1 to flash fast (many sentences generated) and not so fast on P2. You will see the blue led on the module to blink to signal that UDP data is going out. If you return to the setting webpage and in addition to P1>UDP (P1 is to go to UDP) and P2>UDP (P2 is to go to UDP), you also check the boxes P1>P5 and P2>P5 (P1 and P2 also go to P5), you will the 2 green leds blinking, and both the blue (wifi) and the Red (P5) to blink when data goes out.

Try to download the Android App called SeaWi and read its documentation. Then try to see data coming from the multiplexer but in SImulation Mode. Use simulation mode to check the communication between the multiplexer and the App. Only when you are familiar with the settings of the multiplexer and the App, connect you real data at the multiplexer inputs. With SeaWi you can receive on UDP (choose "UDP Unicast connection") and set the port 2000 (the one you have on the multiplexer. To receive on TCP set port 3000, or other number, on the multiplexer and on SeaWi check the box "Set a TCP connection" and enter "TCP server address" as 192.168.4.1.

I do not understand your reference to 192.168.4.2 That IP should be the IP that the multiplexer gave to your device. The multiplexer IP is 192.168.4.1.

Ah, just noticed that SeaWi has instructions in many languages including French, of course. And also in Portuguese! Fantastic application!

Joyeuses Pâques. Cordialement, Luis

antoine
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:41 pm

Re: New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by antoine » Sat May 01, 2021 4:55 pm

obligado Luis
sorry to reply so late, due to the confinement I was unable to reach my boat for a month..
I reinstalled NMEA4 successfully, and I am now able to connect to the GPS and to the AIS via wifi!!! 80% of my request solved!!!
I applied the correct COM port settings, port 1 reads 4800bauds, port 2 reads 18400 bauds and port 4 to read seatalk. Unfortunately I am still unable to read the seatalk sentences. Using Open CPN I can list all received sentences and I do not find the wind and depth phrases. Maybe I do not use the right seatalk protocoll? my boat is equipped with Raymarine ST 60 units. I also tried to connect the raymarine instrument through an nmea-seatalk converter and I plugged its nmea output with port 3 of nmea4. No success either....
I will try your recommended application (seawi) and I will reboot the equipment. Could you tell me if port 4 should blink when connected to seatalk? also I fear I may have made a wrong connection with seatalk (red +12v and yellow data cables interchanged). could this have resulted in a damage?
Thanks for your time and your kind answers
so long
Antoine

antoine
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:41 pm

Re: New SMD Multiplexers and Wifi Signal Strength

Post by antoine » Sat May 15, 2021 11:21 am

I tried seawi and it worked fine, I could read all the correct seatalk data, even though the led light on port 4 did not light up.
Unfortunately all that beautiful display disappeared after about one minute. I wonder if I need to purchase a premium version of seawi or maybe the seatalk bus is saturated with too many data (AIS plus GPS plus all the data from instruments and pilot)

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