OpenCPN (WiFi)

OpenCPN (WiFi)

OpenCPN is one of the most popular marine navigation software packages and is completely Open Source, meaning that Windows, Mac and LINUX users can install and use the software for free!

This section explains how to receive NMEA data in OpenCPN V3.2 or higher from an NMEA to WiFi server or from an AIS Transponder/Receiver with built-in WiFi.

If you want to receive NMEA data from USB (with an NMEA to USB adapter), please click here.


1- Set up a WiFi NMEA connection

This post assumes that you have already connected your computer wirelessly to one of our wireless NMEA
products. For more information on setting up a wireless connection, please refer to the User Manual for your Digital
Yacht product.

With the latest V3.2 and higher versions of OpenCPN you can have multiple data connections and to create a new connection you must click on the “Settings” icon (spanner) and then click on the “Connections” tab. As you can see below, we currently have no Data Connections setup and so we click on the “Add Connection” button.

Now we select a “Network” Connection by clicking the check box next to the Properties “Network” option. You should now see the window change to the layout shown in below and you need to fill in the following settings:

  • Protocol: UDP, TCP or GPSD. TCP protocol is more reliable, allows bi-directional data transfer but only one device to connect at a time, while UDP is a uni- directional, broadcast protocol allowing up to seven devices to all receive the same data.
  • Address: 
  • DataPort: 2000 

None of the other settings usually need to be changed and once you are happy that everything is correct, click on the “Apply” button to save the settings and you will see the new connection now in the list.

Receive NMEA data on OpenCPN


If you wish to test the connection, click on the “Show NMEA Debug Window” tick box and a new window will show raw NMEA data scrolling down the page, with the time it was received and the connection it came in on.

show debug nmea in opencpn

Once you are happy that your new wireless connection is working correctly, click “OK” to exit and return to the Chart screen. You should now see the Boat displayed accurately on the chart, if AIS data is coming through then a series of AIS targets should also be displayed on the chart and if you have the Dashboard Instrument Plugin installed, you should be able to display instrument data as well.

WiFI connection in OpenCPN

Important Note
We have had some reports of customers having to go in to the Input Filtering “Accept Only” options and clicking the
“Select All” Sentences button. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason for this and we recommend only changing the Input Filtering if no data is being displayed and you are sure everything else is set and working correctly


2 – Configure AIS parameters

You need to make sure that AIS targets are activated. Go to the top menu bar > AIS and tick the parameters you want.

AIS settings in OpenCPN

You can also configure others AIS parameters such as CPA/TCPA alarms and the display of AIS targets in the OpenCPN menu. By configuring CPA/TCPA alarms, your PC can trigger an audible alarm.

If you want to configure those parameters, go to OpenCPN settings > Ships > ‘AIS Targets’ tab.

AIS settings in OpenCPN

AIS targets will now be overlay in your charts.

AIS targets in OpenCPN