Today we would like to share a case study of Jon Kinne, sailor from South Peoria Marine, who describes how Serial Port Splitter by Eltima Software helps his daily routine.
industry: Marine Electronics.
How Serial Port Splitter helps Marine Electronics
Jon Kinne has been a long-time sailor and has developed an interest in integrating computers into the on-board navigational instrument network via WiFi and Ethernet. This has led to testing various components both on the bench and aboard his boat.
Alex Taylor: What challenges made you search for this kind of software?
Jon Kinne: Aboard “Indigo”, a 37-foot cutter rig, a laptop computer running SailCruiser (NavSim Technologies) receives data to control the autopilot on COM3. At the same time, I need to run a program called Polauto, which collects data on wind and boat speed to produce sailing “polars”, and it needs the data from COM3 as well. And to complicate matters further, the hardware which transmits the data (NGW-1 from Actisense), needs to be monitored at the same time by a program (on COM3) called NMEA Reader.
Alex Taylor: How did get to know about Serial Port Splitter by Eltima Software?
Jon Kinne: I have been using Virtual Serial Port Driver and Serial Port Monitor in my testing since several years ago, and have reported on my experiences in previous Case Studies. So when I needed a solution to this ports problem, I thought of Eltima first.
Alex Taylor: Did you try other products for the same task before choosing Eltima solution? Why did you prefer our product?
Jon Kinne: In the spirit of trying to be an informed consumer, I looked at VirtualPlex-1 from ShipModul (www.customware.nl)to compare its features against Serial Port Splitter. Rather than wanting to see the data split into more ports, I just wanted to share the same port with the several applications. Not only is that possible with Serial Port Splitter, but an additional benefit is being able to customize the port settings as shown on screenshot below.
Alex Taylor: Please, describe how you are using our product now.
Jon Kinne: I think the picture above is the best way to show how well Serial Port Splitter works in this instance. To the left, you can see the Polauto program running (note the “COM3” in the green box) and displaying the wind direction and speed. Then just to the right is the SailCruiser program, also displaying the wind direction and speed graphically via the large arrow, and simultaneously using COM3. To the right of that, the NMEA Reader window is showing the actual data sentences coming into the laptop on COM3, with the MWV sentence, which drives the wind displays in Polauto and SailCruiser, highlighted. Behind that to the upper right, the window displays the Port Splitter information, showing the 3 programs which are all using the data from COM3 at the same time (astute observers will note that the wind speeds and directions are slightly different between the 3 programs…this because each program averages the instantaneous data on a different schedule). In all, Serial Port Splitteris very efficient and does exactly what I need it to do!
Alex Taylor: Are you happy with our software at this point? Why or why not?
Jon Kinne: To say ‘I am happy’ is an understatement! Serial Port Splitter has solved my problem elegantly and easily.