Wind sensor decoder

As wind sensors utilize the NMEA 0183 protocol, they inherit the hardware layer too which meets the RS-422/RS-232 standards, (the implementation can be either). Signals can be single-ended or differential (two- or four-wire). The decoder can interpret both of these implementations.

The signals make up ‘sentences’ which should always start with ‘$’ and end with ‘<CR><LF>’. Everything in between these will be the useful data - this starts with a talker ID which is two characters, a sentence ID which is normally three characters (although proprietary sentences can differ), followed by the data which the sensor is outputting, and finally an optional two-character hex checksum prepended with an ‘*’. Most of these data fields are comma delimited.

The image below is an example of how it might look in the graph view:

Capturing and analyzing wind sensor communications with PicoScope 7

This guide will show you how to use the wind sensor decoder in PicoScope 7.

Select Serial Decoding from the tab on the left. If it doesn’t appear on the main page, select the More… tab and you’ll find it there.

Next, select Wind Sensor from the list of available protocols.

Select the corresponding input for Data. NMEA 0183 specifies default values for some variables. They are as follows: eight data bits, baud rate 4800 BPS (bits per second), one stop bit and no parity bits. Baud rate, threshold and hysteresis will automatically be calculated - note that these might need tweaking for some signals.

In the Display tab, ASCII is the pre-set option for Graph and Table Display Formats. This shouldn’t need changing.

Double-click a packet in the graph view to see the same packet in the table view, and vice versa, or use the zoom feature to focus-in on the appropriate areas of the decoder packets.