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Old 09-06-2007, 08:57 AM   #1
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Any advice on GPS and electronic charts to install on my laptop? (Dell) Interested in Indian Ocean area.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:26 PM   #2
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I am generally pleased with the Software On Board software and the C-Map charts.

The software is not 100% what I would like, but the charts are accurate, detailed, and reliable, and contain a wealth of other data normally only found in the thickest of cruising guides.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:52 PM   #3
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For NOAA charts go to their website,

http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/Raster/Index.htm

download whatever NOAA charts you want, RNCs are better than ENCs, for free. You can get free programs to read the charts (NOAA has links). I prefer SeaClearII of the free ones. The program that comes with the chartkits you buy at the marine store is fine and can be upgraded for a reasonable fee. Also there are fairly inexspensive programs and charts already downloaded on EBAY. These usually have a reader program such as SeaClear on them as well.

Almost any GPS should work as long as there is a connector. I use a PCMCIA card from Globalsat in the computer which works very well.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:25 AM   #4
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Hi I sort of asked this question some time ago. I done a lot of web searching and found a program called Maxsea 10.1.3.2 and charts called cm 93_3. Does anyone know about these charts. I think they are old c map type ENCs about 2005 vintage. They give you the whole world maps.

Globalsat makes a external mouse 20 channel gps with 4.5 mtr cable ps/2 plug then a short cross over custom cable from ps/2 to usb (MR 350) Cheapers price in OZ $102 plus cable $19. I haven't bought it yet but so far it sounds the best I've been able to find with usb.

Hoped this helps

Kevin
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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Hi Lew I checked your link and I couldn't find anything RNCs outside of Alaska and USA. Am I missing A link here.

who roo

Kevin
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:54 PM   #6
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We use MaxSea on our computer. We started with version 10 and now have upgraded to version 12, which came along when Furuno bought the company. MaxSea works with many of the different electronic charts, with free downloads of grib files. I have a great time planning our trips with it. Linked to the chartplotter, which taps into all the instrumentation, we can have the same information inside at the nav station as out in the cockpit.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew on Harmony View Post
For NOAA charts go to their website,

http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/Raster/Index.htm

download whatever NOAA charts you want, RNCs are better than ENCs, for free. You can get free programs to read the charts (NOAA has links). I prefer SeaClearII of the free ones. The program that comes with the chartkits you buy at the marine store is fine and can be upgraded for a reasonable fee. Also there are fairly inexspensive programs and charts already downloaded on EBAY. These usually have a reader program such as SeaClear on them as well.

Almost any GPS should work as long as there is a connector. I use a PCMCIA card from Globalsat in the computer which works very well.
I downloaded SeaClearII and a bunch of charts from the noaa.gov site (not that easy)(for me anyway).

Now I am reading the instructions on loading them into the program:

Installing BSB charts

The BSB/KAP file format is licensed from Maptech. BSB/KAP version 1 – 3 is supported. Projections

based on Mercator, Transversal Mercator, Polyconic, Lambert Conformal Conic, Sinusoidal and

Orthographic are currently supported.

Charts are available for most areas of the world from Maptech, NDI and many other sources. The

actual chart is in a KAP file, while the BSB file only contains data regarding coverage and similar. As

SeaClear keeps it’s own database, the BSB files are not needed.

Before using BSB/KAP charts in SeaClear they should be registered:

Start MapCal and make sure all KAP files are in the chart path.

From the top menu select “Tools-> Autoload list-> Scan for New Charts”. The KAP files will be

scanned for name, coverage and other data and listed in the SeaClear autoload database.

I don't know how to start MapCal and my menu selection Tools > There is no Autoload list.

I know it is the user and not the software but I can't get it!!

<edit>

OK I found MapCal but having it search for charts ..........0

I guess I will just have to keep clicking things..............
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
I downloaded SeaClearII and a bunch of charts from the noaa.gov site (not that easy)(for me anyway).

<edit>

OK I found MapCal but having it search for charts ..........0

I guess I will just have to keep clicking things..............
<edit>

Whew!

got it figured out.

Whew!

Of course I have no real use for it since I don't have a boat but I am still dreaming and looking at the pictures and all.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:57 PM   #9
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Hey, Therapy - How are you getting along with Sea Clear? I'm very much at the learning stage with it - and not finding it "user friendly"!! There was a tutorial series of videos mentioned somewhere but I cant find them...anyone know their whereabouts? Tony

Hey, Therapy - How are you getting along with Sea Clear? I'm very much at the learning stage with it - and not finding it "user friendly"!! There was a tutorial series of videos mentioned somewhere but I cant find them...anyone know their whereabouts? Tony
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:04 AM   #10
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since we're not traveling by boat outside the US, except for the Bahamas, I can't help with electronic charts since we can use downloaded NOAA free charts.

For a GPS, however, several years ago a boat delivery skipper friend said he used Deluo - and here's a great USB GPS that's the size of a dongle flash drive: http://www.deluogps.com/product.php?id=10-038-00

Here's a link to a place to buy, for $65 USD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16858232024

I have an older model of the USB GPS from Deluo, and it works exceptionally well on my laptop. I paid $70 for mine, and now an even smaller and easier to set up one for $65. Amazing. But look through their products, you might find more you like, like the travel mouse with a GPS in it!

J
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:59 AM   #11
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Google Earth at Sea...

I know it sounds strange, but we've been using satellite images to augment our electronic charts for four years now. No matter how the good the charting software is, it is limited by the accuracy of the underlying charts. Most electronic charts are very accurate around the major shipping ports and lanes of the world, but who wants to sail there. There is not a lot of work being done to upgrade the charts for our cruising grounds.

We started using Sat photos in Eastern Fiji where the charts were off 7/10 of a mile, but not a single offset.. it was random. On our trip though Tuvalu, Kiribati to the Marshalls (no Cruising Guides!!) it worked amazingly well. Check out the anchorage in Onotoa Kiribati (1.825383S, 175.543985 E). In Cmap etc it is off by a bunch and there appears to be only one outer anchorage (with a couple of random soundings). If you look on Google Earth you can see the tight entrance into the inner lagoon, you can even see the coral heads. If you load our Google Earth Track you can see our path into the inner lagoon.

A lot of charting packages have interfaces to Google Earth (GE), if not GPS Utility (http://www.gpsu.co.uk/) has an interface from/to pretty much everything. I use OziExplorer (you can also make/calibrate charts from screen shots or scans and it uses Nasa's Mrsid Landsat Satellite images). I create waypoints in Oziexplorer, import them into Google Earth and compare. If they need adjustment I tweak them in GE and send them back to oziexplorer.

Even if you don't want to go through the hassle of import/export to check waypoints, you can use GE to find rough ideas of spots to anchor (by looking at water color etc). We use a hand held depth sounder in the dinghy to scope it out first. Depending on the area and the scans you can use the water color/depth to get a better idea of rough depths in the area.

Google Earth does not require an internet connection but like all things cruising, it does require planning. When GE is not connected to the internet it uses previously viewed data ("the cache") to display the images. So get connected in port, scan the areas want to have available at sea. Disconnect from the internet, select No when it asks you if you want to diagnose your connection problems and double check your work.. Presto the best satellite imagery for where YOU want!!

Some notes for those following in our track.. Indonesia (has horrible charts with deep anchorages), it helped us find anchorage spots where we would have never even looked. The reefy areas of the Red Sea (where you want a good idea what's around) were bad; especially the coast of Sudan. If you are planning on spending any time in the Maldives, Sat Photo's will help with anchoring options. Eastern Fiji and the Island north it was a real help.

For more details check out Google Earth at Sea in our Computers at Sea section.

Hope this helps..
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:01 PM   #12
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Ooops.. left out a HUGE thing..

Even with Satellite Photos from Nasa and Google Earth, we almost never look at our charts while anchoring.. Nothing beats your eyes, and you'll find me on the fore deck and sometimes even standing on the bow pulpit or in our ratlines. KT follows our rough track and waypoints (entered before we get there) while I give corrections based on what I'm actually seeing.

I've seen or heard of 100's of boats hitting things because there are too busy watching their charts!! They are just a guide!!
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:18 AM   #13
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I my be a odd ball (I have been told that before) but is there anyone using a Mac (Apple) PowerBook aboard? What Nav software are you using? and GPS software are you using?

Do you connect to your SSB radio for weather Faxes, email etc How ? What software?

Regards

Derek and Darlene

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Old 07-19-2008, 10:57 PM   #14
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Hello D&D,

What Madel Power Book ? With Firewire? Titanium 0r Aluminium ?

Go to our Cruiser's WIKI >>> Contents >>>> Communication -- the articles should provide initial answers.

Richard
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