The NMEA Sage How To Use Page
To use the NMEA Sage Control Suite in Visual BASIC 6.0 one must first place the controls in one's VB Toolbox. Launch Visual BASIC as you usually do, and point your mouse cursor to the Toolbox (if the Toolbox is not visible, select the menu option "View" and the "Toolbox" from the drop-down menu that will appear). With the mouse cursor over the Toolbox, click the right mouse button once and you will see a floating pop-up menu with an option that says "Components..." When you select that menu option you will see the Components dialog window.
This is the Components dialog window. Once you have downloaded the .OCX files from the web page to your computer you must tell Visual BASIC where those files are. You may do so with this dialog window by selecting the "Browse..." button. You must remember where on your computer the location of the .OCX files is when you downloaded them. When you select the "Browse..." button you will see another dialog window: the Add ActiveX Control dialog window.
This is an image of the Add ActiveX Control dialog window. You may add the .OCX files here by selecting one and hitting the "Open" button.
The Components dialog box will appear again with the ActiveX control being added to the list. Once they are in the list you may add the control(s) to your Visual BASIC Toolbox by placing a "check" in the check box in front of the control's description.

To go back to the Visual BASIC editor, select the "Close" button.

You will see new icons in your Toolbox. To add these to your forms you may "double-click" them, one at a time, with your left mouse button and they will be placed on the Visual BASIC form you have showing.

Most of the NMEA Sage controls are resized by their Width Properties: their Height Properties will be calculated by the controls themselves. This allows the controls to retain the correct height-to-width ratios. (A few of the NMEA Sage controls do not need to retain pre-set height-to-width ratios: these may be set to any height and width.)

To have a control fill an entire form you may use something like the following:

Private Sub Form_Resize()
    ctlPilot1.Left = 45
    ctlPilot1.Top = 45
    ctlPilot1.Width = Me.Width - 200
    Me.Height = ctlPilot1.Height + 500
End Sub
In this example the NMEA Sage Pilot Control, which resizes by its Width Property, is located to the top left corner of the form, and the width of the control is set to almost the same width as the form. The form's height is then set to a bit higher than the height of the Pilot control. Using a form with a resizable border, the above code will allow the end user to resize the Pilot Control display by stretching the form's width.

NMEA 0183 and personal computer hook-up To hook up your computer to NMEA 0183 devices you need a cable with three conductors (wires) with a RS232-C serial plug on one end: the plug is usually a 9-pin "D" connector and it plugs into the back of your computer. All of the NMEA devices on the vessel will have two or three wires coming from them: a Receive Data wire, a Transmit Data wire, and a ground wire. These wires are usually red, green, and black or white. (Some devices will not have a grounding wire.) All of these wires will be connected together at a central point, often at a terminal block (the "NMEA buss").

NMEA 0183 and personal computer hook-up, 9-pin 'D' connector Your serial cable must have wires going to the Receive Data and Transmit Data pins (on a 9-pin "D" connector these are pins 2 and 3, respectively; on a 25-in "D" connector they are pins 3 and 2, respectively) and it should also be grounded (pin 5 on a 9-pin connector, pin 7 on a 25-pin connector). Connect the Receive Data and Transmit Data wires on the serial cable to the NMEA buss and then test the computer's COM port to see if any NMEA traffic occurs; if not, swap the connection at the NMEA buss. You may use the NMEA Sage Talker control to look for NMEA traffic.

Your computer should have its serial port settings to 4800 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity ("4800,n,8,1"). This is the default for the NMEA Sage Talker control. If the NMEA devices on your vessel have differing baud rates, you will have to use the lowest common baud speed (usually 4800 baud) so that they will all talk on the same wire. Devices that have proprietary protocols, such as Garmin GPS receivers, must be configured to use their NMEA Interface settings before they will talk to the NMEA buss. If all of your NMEA devices run at a higher baud rate, set the NMEA Talker control to that baud rate.

NMEA Sage Home Page

The Banded Compass Control
The Compass Control
The North Biased Compass Control
The Goto Control
Course and Speed (Ground)
The Position Control
Engine RPM Control
The Rudder Control
The GPS Satellite Health Control
The GPS Satellite Elevation Control
Set and Drift control
The NMEA Talker Control
Depth and Water Temperature Control
The Wind Control
The Cross Track Alarm Control
The Pilot Control
Waypoint Plotter Control
Goto Simple Control