OpenPlotter Documentation

Updated a month ago

What is OpenPlotter?

This chapter needs to be written/updated/translated

There are people who buy boats but there are also people who build them, why not build your own electronics too? OpenPlotter is a combination of software and hardware to be used as navigational aid on small and medium boats. It is also a complete home automation system onboard. It works on ARM computers like the Raspberry Pi and is open-source, low-cost and low-consumption. Its design is modular, so you just have to implement what your boat needs. Do it yourself.


  • Chartplotter. With OpenCPN, a navigation software with useful plugins.
  • Weather Forecast. Download and visualize GRIB files with zyGrib.
  • NMEA 0183 Multiplexer. Multiplex and filter data inputs from any number of serial and network interfaces. Send and filter to any number of outputs.
  • SignalK. OpenPlotter uses SignalK as the base protocol to interact between different networks. Input data has to be converted into SignalK. SignalK data can be converted to NMEA networks.
  • Diagnostic. Checks the data traffic of NMEA0183 input and output. On Signal K it is a kind of data explorer.
  • WiFi Access Point, Ethernet, GSM. Share data (NMEA 0183, Signal K, remote desktop, Internet connection, gofree) with laptops, tablets and phones on board. Connect to internet on port through the same device.
  • Remote Desktop. Access to OpenPlotter desktop from the cockpit through your mobile devices.
  • Headless. Easy start without monitor.
  • SDR-AIS. Receive and decode AIS with cheap DVB-T dongles. Calibration tools Included.
  • Electronic Compass and Heel. Read magnetic heading and heel angle from an IMU sensor. Tilt compensated. Calibration tools Included.
  • Barograph, Thermograph and Hygrograph. From pressure, temperature and humidity sensors.
  • Multiple temperature sensors. Get data from coolant engine, exhaust, fridge, sea...
  • Special Sensors. Detect opening doors, windows, tank level, human body motion...
  • Wireless Sensors. Detect temperature, humidity, ...
  • Analog Sensors. To read voltage, amperage, resistance. Shows Battery status, power consumption, tank level...
  • Magnetic Variation. Calculate magnetic variation for date and position.
  • True Heading. Calculate true heading from magnetic variation and magnetic heading.
  • True Wind. Calculate true wind from apparent wind and either speed through water (speed log) or speed over ground (GPS).
  • Rate Of Turn. Calculate the rate the ship is turning.
  • Remote Monitoring. Publish data on Twitter or send it by email.
  • Actions System. Compare a custom value with any data flowing through your system and use it as a trigger to run multiple predefined actions.
  • Custom Switches. Connect external switches and link them with actions.
  • Handle External Devices. Relays, LEDs, buzzers ...
  • System Time Tools. Set the system time from NMEA data and set the time zone easily.
  • Tools. Integration of self programmed modules and advanced feature modules.
  • Startup Programs. Select some program parameters to automatically launch at start.