I am thinking about a project to multiplex a number of marine instruments. They all talk serial NMEA-0183 at 4800 baud.
Some of the instruments are time critical and pass only a single sentence and I would want to pass through the data in real time (or near real time) whilst others are less time critical and pass a burst of sentences (up to 70) which would I would want to buffer and pass through when time permits.
A couple of questions.
1) Do you think the Arduino is a suitable platform for this application? 2) Any ideas on buffering the less critical serial data. External Hardware?? 3) I am considering using the software serial library to allow for four serial inputs and one serial output. Do you think this is the right approach.
You can buy these things commercially, but like most things they are dearer than my DEAREST will allow me to spend so I would like to give it a go with my Arduino! ;D
Happy to provide more information if required