NMEA proxy on an Ubuntu distro

To be able to use brainaid’s TCP NMEA proxy on an Ubuntu-flavored Linux distribution, you’ll first need to install Oracle Java 7, as the applet won’t run on OpenJDK or IcedTea:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

Step 1 gives a lengthy warning for you to use Java 8, but go ahead and press ENTER to continue the installation.
Step 3 will install Java, including a browser plugin.
(See also: www.webupd8team.org/2012/01/install-oracle-java-jdk-7-in-ubuntu-via.html)

After installation has finished, click the link or button on brainaid’s toolbox page to start the proxy using “Open with” option Oracle Java 7 Web Start (default). A warning to the effect that Java is outdated will appear. Just check the option to suppress the warning until the next update, and start the proxy.

Now that the NMEA proxy is up and running, you may want to test if data is being broadcast. Start a terminal and type

$ nc 5010

You’ll see the NMEA sentences scroll by as they are being received. Kill netcat when you’re done. You’ll now need to redirect the TCP stream to a virtual serial port using socat. At the prompt, type:

$ sudo socat -d -d TCP:localhost:5010,reuseaddr pty,link=/tmp/qtvlm.pty,raw,echo=0

After socat reports that the connection has been succesfully made and the data transfer has started, send it to run in the background by pressing Ctrl-Z, followed by bg %1 (or whatever the process id is). The next task is to run and configure QtVlm. Because pty is really just a link to /dev/pts/1 (or 2, whatever the case may be), depending on your permissions, sudo rights may be required. Type

$ sudo /path/to/launchQtVlm

Keep the terminal window open and switch to QtVlm. Open menu Boat | Boat(s) settings to open the GPS data access window and select option Serial mode and at Name enter either /tmp/qtvlm/pty or /dev/pts/1 (or whichever number socat returned), and select any speed. Click Ok to confirm the settings and close the window, and click on Start GPS. That’s it, you’re all done.