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Configuring the NGW-1 using Toolkit

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1. NGW-1 firmware version 2.620 or higher is required to configure an NGW-1 using Toolkit. If your NGW-1 has an older version of firmware, please update it following the instructions in the NGW-1 User Manual.

2. The NGW-1 can be configured remotely on the NMEA 2000 network using an Actisense NGT-1 or by using a direct connection to a PC from the NMEA 0183 side of the NGW-1. For instructions on connecting the NMEA 0183 side of the NGW-1 to a PC, please refer to the NGW-1 User Manual.

3. If using the remote connection method, choose the NGT-1’s COM port and baud rate (115200 or 230400 baud). If using the direct connection method, choose the NGW-1’s COM port and baud rate (4800 or 38400 baud).

4. There are three options for opening a device configuration document: the ‘Load from Device’ option (in the ribbon menu or by right-clicking the device in ‘Serial/CAN Device List’), the ‘New Config’ option (in the ribbon menu), or the ‘Load from File’ option (in the ribbon menu).

5. When using the ‘New Config’ option, or the ‘Load from Device’ option and the NGW-1 has not had a configuration sent to it before, the new configuration wizard requires the user to choose the ‘Starting with’ configuration option that provides the closest match to your requirements and give the configuration a relevant and meaningful name. Good configuration names help identify its use, for example “NGW for GPS 1000” or “NGW for Autopilot 108”.

6. The configuration document is fully editable: starting/base configuration, baud rate, ARL P-Codes, NMEA 0183 Rx & Tx Sentences and NMEA 2000 Rx & Tx PGNs.

7. The ‘Choose a new base configuration’ option allows a different factory pre-set configuration to be selected to set up the document.

8. The ‘Baud Rate’ needs to match the NMEA 0183 Talker/Listener that the NGW-1 is connected to. Lowering the baud rate will reduce the volume of NMEA 0183 data that can be sent and will require either
some NMEA 0183 Tx sentences to be disabled or their Tx Periods to be increased.

9. ‘ARL P-Codes’ are helpful to Toolkit and NMEA Reader and are typically kept enabled for configurations with a 38400 baud rate and disabled when the configuration requires a 4800 baud rate.

10. The starting/base ‘AIS Configuration’ enables almost all of the conversions the NGW-1 is capable of performing, and the 38400 baud rate can handle. The ‘Standard Configuration’ contains a subset of the possible conversions due to the much smaller 4800 baud bandwidth used by standard NMEA 0183 devices.

NMEA 0183 sentences and NMEA 2000 messages can be enabled or disabled as required using the ‘Rx’ (Receive) and ‘Tx’ (Transmit) tick-box columns. When enabling a sentence/message for transmission, the corresponding sentence/message must be enabled for receive in order to supply the NGW-1 with the required data.

For example, enabling DPT for ‘Tx’ will switch on transmission of the NMEA 0183 ‘Depth’ sentences, however in order for the NGW-1 to receive a depth value from the NMEA 2000 network, the corresponding NMEA 2000 Depth PGN 128267 needs to be enabled for ‘Rx’. To understand the corresponding NMEA 2000 messages and NMEA 0183 sentences, please refer to the NGW-1 Conversion List.

11. The ‘Tx Period’ of all periodic NMEA 0183 sentences and NMEA 2000 messages can be made faster or slower to suit the specific requirements of the installation. However, the resulting change to the ‘Estimated NMEA 0183 Transmit Load’ should always be considered: whilst reducing the transmit period should result in the NGW-1 sending that sentence more frequently, that will only be possible if there is sufficient bandwidth available on the NGW-1’s NMEA 0183 Talker output.

As ‘Non-periodic’ sentences and messages do not have a defined ‘Tx Period’ they cannot be configured – they will be converted by the NGW-1 as and when they arrive.

12. Once editing of the configuration is complete, it can be sent to the NGW-1 using the ‘Send to Device’ option (in the ribbon menu or by right-clicking the device in ‘Serial/CAN Device List’).

13. ‘Estimated NMEA 0183 Transmit Load’ bar
As NMEA 0183 bandwidth is limited, Toolkit visualises the estimated volume of NMEA 0183 data the configuration could allow the NGW-1 to generate if all enabled NMEA 2000 PGNs were received within 2 seconds of each other. As the ‘Transmit load’ bar is the estimated worst-case load on the NGW-1’s NMEA 0183 Talker output, it should be used as a guide and not a strict rule. Whilst any estimated load above 100% could result in the NGW-1’s NMEA 0183 Talker output becoming overloaded (and the transmit periods of some sentences going higher than what was defined in the configuration), in reality values above 100% can result in the expected transmit periods.

For more information on NMEA 0183 and how it works, please download our free guide to NMEA 0183 networking here: https://actisense.com/everything-to-know-about-nmea-0183-guide/
For more information on NMEA 2000 and how it works, please download our free guide to NMEA 2000 networking here: https://actisense.com/complete-guide-to-building-an-nmea-2000-network/