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Old 08-08-2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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Hi Just a quick question. I've been looking for nav software and found there's lots of it. I came across a program called Software on Board that runs C Maps. So I was just wondering if anyone has this and can tell me what it's like.

Can anyone tell me what type of gps antenna would be best (an internal or an external) My boat is aluminium and I'm not sure how the signal would go through aluminium, and is the accurancy of these units as good as each other.

While I'm at it if anyone is using some other software that is ok your opinion would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kevin
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:12 AM   #2
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Hi Kevin,

I have moved your post as it to this forum as it is of general interesst.

Let me try and answer some of your questions too:

* I came across a program called Software on Board that runs C Maps. So I was just wondering if anyone has this and can tell me what it's like. - Sorry, I am not familiar with this bit of software

* Can anyone tell me what type of gps antenna would be best (an internal or an external) - No doubt about it, an external antenna will give you better signal reception. In a GRP boat an ionternal antenna works quite well, but even there an external is better. In an aluminium boat you will probablöy not get an internal antenna to work at all.

* While I'm at it if anyone is using some other software that is ok your opinion would be appreciated - I use Navmaster Pro and British Admiralty ARCS / Australian Seafarer charts. Expensive but I don't think you can get better quality chatrts anywhere.

Aye,

Stephen
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:16 PM   #3
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I use a portable computer with several nav programs. The one that comes with a MapTech chartkit is good but then so is SeaClear II which is free and you can google SeaClear and download it. If you are in the USA you can download all the RNC charts from the NOAA.gov site, much better than the ENCs. They are also all free and cover all US waters from Hawaii and Alaska to the Virgin Islands to Maine and Canada. Have fun.

Lew
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:22 PM   #4
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I also use the Compact Flash gps by GlobalSat which fits into the PCMCIA slot. It comes with an external antenna but, on my boat, works fine without it as the card has its own antenna. I have tried using my Garmin but it needs a serial port and the old 9-pin RS232 connectors have been replaced by the USB ports. I have tried at least 3 USB to Serial connectors and none of the have worked.

Lew
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaescape View Post
Hi Just a quick question. I've been looking for nav software and found there's lots of it. I came across a program called Software on Board that runs C Maps. So I was just wondering if anyone has this and can tell me what it's like.

Can anyone tell me what type of gps antenna would be best (an internal or an external) My boat is aluminium and I'm not sure how the signal would go through aluminium, and is the accurancy of these units as good as each other.

While I'm at it if anyone is using some other software that is ok your opinion would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kevin
An internal antenna did not work in my aluminum boat so I used both a Magellan and a Garmin with good results with each as external antennas. I used Iogear as a 9 pin connector to usb port and it worked well. Sometimes you have to play with the computer a bit - some want the program turned on before the gps, some after the gps - who knows why - computers! I like MaxSea as a nav program - ask around your area and you will probably find a vessel with this on board as it is widely used and readily available.
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Old 08-12-2007, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaescape View Post
Hi Just a quick question. Kevin
Hi Kevin,

I use this software -- Software On Board. Yes, the maps are good C-Map I find are the best maps you can get for a chart plotter. The SOB software is pretty good value, which is to say it is cheap but sometimes I find it a bit clunky. My main gripe is that moving the mouse wheel zooms in and out a lot of increments, you have to click a button to zoom in small increments. Having said that the software is good and functional and I used it to navigate across the tasman successfully and into port in Opua. Having aerial photos built into the C-Map charts is good, also it has all sorts of contact details e.g. for marinas, coast guard, etc, all built into the map data (note that this is a function of the data not of the software).

Overall I'd give it 7/10.

Del
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input ppl. Just on this thing about serial ports to usb I have read and talked to boat shop ppl and that does seem to be a problem getting the gps to work. I have seen on the net a box called a multiplexer. This is suppose to correct the signal from 9 pin serial to usb.

Has anyone got thoughs on this.

Kevin
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by seaescape View Post
Thanks for the input ppl. Just on this thing about serial ports to usb I have read and talked to boat shop ppl and that does seem to be a problem getting the gps to work. I have seen on the net a box called a multiplexer. This is suppose to correct the signal from 9 pin serial to usb.

Has anyone got thoughs on this.

Kevin
Yes, if you are using a laptop that has no serial ports, and you have one or more serial NMEA devices, then you need a multiplexer. The best are the ones from Shipmodule (www.shipmodul.com). If you just want GPS input then get a USB GPS. I have one that I use on my laptop when travelling (ie away from the boat with all of its electronic skulduggery) and it works fine.

If you are on board and you have multiple NMEA devices, e.g. sum log, depth, GPS, etc, then all of them will output NMEA on serial and a multiplexer is a must.

I have Tacktick wireless navigation gear which has its own NMEA multiplexer and sender but it still outputs on serial port so you need to have either a serial input or a USB to serial converter on your laptop.

Del
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:25 PM   #9
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take a look at SOBvMax at www.digiboat.com.au Rated best buy by Practical Sailor for cheaper nav software paricularly if you own C Maps already
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