The underlying idea was to create simplest multiplexer in the world. In our lab, the project was called “Simple Multiplexer”, but later we added a lot of features and removed the word “Simple”. Nonetheless, we are sure that it is still the easiest to install. Instead of a laptop and software, you’ll only need a paperclip.
The Multiplexer has six configuration presets with different port speeds and routing schemes. Presets can be selected by pressing a hidden button. Ports can be configured to auto-detect the speed of connected equipment.
In Preset #1 (see Picture 1), 3 of the 5 ports are configured for “AUTO” speed. This means that you need not worry about the speed of the NMEA 0183 equipment that you connect. Port #4 in the Preset #1 is configured for 4800 bps, but you need not worry that it will be flooded by AIS messages from Port #5, because according the routing scheme, it receives data from ports #3, #4 and SeaTalk.
Ports can be routed to themselves, which allows multiplexing of data from SeaTalk and 5 different NMEA 0183 talkers (see Preset #6 on Picture 6) and sending them to 3 or more different listeners (multiple listeners can be connected to a talker, but a listener can receives data from only one talker).
If you find no suitable preset, you can change any setting of any preset: speed, routing, data filters or tunnel mode. This can be done with a command sent to any port of the Multiplexer. In the settings you can also lock the button to prevent incidental switching of the preset by incompetent crew.
5 x NMEA 0183 ports (2 x TX/RX, 1 x TX/RX with galvanic isolation 2500 VRMS, 2 x RX only);
1 x SeaTalk port (multiple devices can be connected);
both “single ended” (RS-232) and “differential” (RS-422) NMEA 0183 connections are supported;
NMEA ports can be configured for any speed from 300 to 115200 bps, and to AUTO speed;
bi-directional data conversion between SeaTalk and NMEA 0183 with autopilot support;
individual filters on all ports (by datagram number, sentence formatter or talker ID) for incoming and outgoing messages;
individual routing rules for all ports, routing of NMEA 0183 ports to themselves is supported;
“tunnel” mode to connect old, non-standard and Navtex equipment;
firmware updates from the serial port are supported.