3. Setup of the Software

Topics in the Setup chapter are:


Qastor can be started from your desktop by clicking on the Qastor icon  or by selecting 'Qastor' from the Start menu.

The program starts up in its main window:

Communication Setup

This paragraph describes the procedure of setting up new standard NMEA or AIS devices.
In most situations the communications settings don't change between consecutive uses of Qastor.
These settings are therefore stored in the Project Settings.

1) Go to “File” on the menu bar and then “Communication Setup” to enter the communication setup.

2) Select the primary positioning source:

  • Standard NMEA for ADX, HarbourPilot, other NMEA (GPS) devices
  • AIS for pilot plug connectors e.g. AIS pilot

3) Add the devices for all necessary connections. For each device the following window will appear:

4) Choose a clear description as the name. 

5) Select a COM port for serial/Bluetooth connections or TCP/IP for network/WiFi connections:

  • For COM ports select the correct Baudrate
  • For TCP/IP connections enter the host IP address or host name and the port number.

6) Press “OK” when the properties of the device are set. Qastor will return to the Positioning Devices page.
    The device that is added will be displayed and can be edited or removed.

7) The device is now configured and ready to be tested: Select the device and click “Start Test”. 


If the device is configured correctly the data will be displayed in the test window.
In the lower corner on the right hand a green light indicator will also flash when data is received.

When the green light is flashing but the data is not visible this indicates that probably a wrong baud rate is selected.
As long as the test is running all other buttons will be disabled.

8) Select “Stop Test” to finish the test.

9) Repeat steps 1-8 for all devices and click OK when done.

Supported protocols

Qastor can read the following NMEA messages:

  • NMEA messages:
    • GGA
    • GLL
    • HDG
    • HDM
    • HDT
    • RMC
    • ROT
    • TLL
    • VHW
    • VTG
  • Proprietary messages:
    • NDPPU (ADX format)
      • supports Heading, and Pitch or Roll movement depending on placement of sensors
    • PRDID
      • supports Heading, Pitch and Roll

Transit Setup

The Transit Setup is used at the beginning of each transit to configure the important parameters.
If you use the same setup all the time, an auto-load vessel setup can be selected in the Advanced Settings.
Setups of previous transits can be loaded using the "Load Vessel" button.

1) Go to "File" on the menu bar and then "Transit Setup". Or click the Transit Setup button: .
    The Transit Setup opens on the Dimension Page:

2) Set the parameters in this page to the right values:

  • Name
  • Shape
  • MMSI
  • Dimensions
  • Offsets

All values can be selected by dragging the vessel shape with the mouse, and fine-tuned using the buttons, or entered using the keyboard.

Note that the button on the right top can be used to hide settings that are never required. (Only with administrator rights.)

3) Continue to the Safety page.
    The draught, keel clearance and height are used to determine safe waters and safety calculations:

4) Continue to the Remarks page.
    Here you can enter specifics on the vessel setup and add attachments, e.g. pictures of the setup.

5) Continue to the Secondary Vessels page if you use secondary vessels (e.g. for tandem mooring mode).
    The setup is similar to the Dimension page.

6) Continue to the Tide page to select a tide method and/or values.
    Note that the tide method can be saved.

7) Finally, continue to the Route page to select the route for this transit.

8) Click OK to close this window and optionally save the setup.

Recording a voyage

To record a voyage follow the next steps:

1) Go to “File” on the menu bar, select “Record Voyage” and then select “Start”.
2) To finish the recording go to “File” on the menu bar, select “Record Voyage” and then “Stop”.

Alternatively, automatic recording can be enabled in the Advanced Settings. (With administrator rights.)

For a more extensive explanation please consult the online Help.

Return to: Qastor Quick Start