I got the driver (for vDash and USB To Serial) installed on the laptop and I was able to connect to SeaGauge just fine. However; I was wondering why SeaGauge was not offering up a WiFi connection. I called support and was told that the AdHoc WiFi connection (used by SeaGauge) was implemented differently on different operating systems and that I would get more joy from installing a router and connecting the SeaGauge to it. I looked into this and it would not be that much of a problem and would provide more options as well. In the end I decided to simply fall back on a wired NMEA 2000 network. I think this will be the most reliable. The downside is that one of the two tablets I had planned to use to display gauges is going to have to be a small marine MFD (ie Furuno FI-70) instead. I also have to commit to the Furuno chart plotter now rather than later.
So off I went to the marine store and ordered the chart plotter (Furuno GP1871F) and some NMEA 2000 network stuff. The chart plotter will get installed in the lower dash – along side the VHF. I will connect the VHF to the chart plotter via NMEA 0183 connection to provide AIS info to the chart plotter. This is the same as on Merva but on Merva I was not able to make it work 100% – just the GPS from the radio and no AIS.
An MFD (or two) will get installed in the upper dash at some point but for now the chart plotter will show the charts and the engine gauges.
I had a chat with the mechanic about coming in tomorrow and he is so busy with his water taxi clients that he can not spend time on Euphemia. I guess I am on my own. So I started dissecting the engine harness. It looks like a lot of it is not actually used. Even the bad-ass fuse is not being used.