use of laptop as GPS chartplotter

phil

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Hi all- this question may have been asked before but a quick search did not turn up a clear answer.

I have a Magellan color plotter which I hate. Cannot get charts for it and its not supported anymore. I mostly use it as a true compass with my charts (Long Island). I have a netbook computer (9 inch screen) which I think would make a dandy chartplotter. Is there a way to use NOAA charts with what software? and a plug in GPS antenna and make this setup work?

Thanks for any advice.PD
 

Helen L

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Windplot, Navigator. There are cheaper softwares out there but lack most features. I'm a Windplot guy.
 

Blacktide

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I'm using OpenCPN and so far I like. It helps you upload the NOAA charts.
 

Wharf Rat

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Depending on the chipset and RAM you have on the PC, I am in love with MaxSea's TimeZero Navigator and Nobeltec's Odyssey. Both include NOAA's raster and vector charts, and are easily upgraded for free. The software costs around $400, Windplot I believe is a bit more expensive and geared towards the professional fisherman, but I feel Odyssey is a much easier program to use and ridiculously fast when zooming in and out. What kind of processor do you have in your computer? That would tell me if you have the PC HP needed to run that software smoothly.
 
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RKrough

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I have been using "Seaclear" for several years on a Dell mini 9 netbook with a cookie sized GPS receiver and I'm quite happy with it. Seaclear is a free download and is very popular with the sailing hippies. It uses NOAA charts.

SeaClear GPS Navigation Software
 

phil

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Depending on the chipset and RAM you have on the PC, I am in love with MaxSea's TimeZero Navigator and Nobeltec's Odyssey. Both include NOAA's raster and vector charts, and are easily upgraded for free. The software costs around $400, Windplot I believe is a bit more expensive and geared towards the professional fisherman, but I feel Odyssey is a much easier program to use and ridiculously fast when zooming in and out. What kind of processor do you have in your computer? That would tell me if you have the PC HP needed to run that software smoothly.


Thanks WR.

I have no idea about the processor in the netbook, but since thats all that will be running at any one time, I suppose it will be adequate, but I will confirm processor requirements prior to any purchase. Looking for a low cost solution as well. Plotters that are supported and that I can actually SEE and out of the budget, hence the netbook.
PD
 

phil

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I have been using "Seaclear" for several years on a Dell mini 9 netbook with a cookie sized GPS receiver and I'm quite happy with it. Seaclear is a free download and is very popular with the sailing hippies. It uses NOAA charts.

SeaClear GPS Navigation Software

Thanks for the link RK- the seaclear site says that BSB encrypted charts that are produced by NOAA cannot be used, but you do use them correct? I think Im missing something....
PD
 

RKrough

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Thanks for the link RK- the seaclear site says that BSB encrypted charts that are produced by NOAA cannot be used, but you do use them correct? I think Im missing something....
PD

Phil,
There are 2 types; BSB.CAP charts that are encrypted and BSB.KAP charts that are not encrypted. The downloadable charts from NOAA are not encrypted.
 

Wharf Rat

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Phil,

Download and run this program on the machine you are looking to run your plotting software on, and take a screenshot and post it if you can. If I see that, I can tell you if you can run a TimeZero platform. I have a copy of MaxSea TimeZero Navigator I will give you for $350 with shipping included, has every NOAA raster and vector chart loaded, no time wasted worrying about downloading and uploading various ENCs, and is worth every cent.

CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting

To take a screenshot, just hit PrintScreen, then go to MS Paint, hit EDIT, then PASTE, then Save As JPEG/JPG, then upload it here or maybe use PhotoBucket or ImageShack to shrink it to 800x600 if the file is too long. Then I'll be able to tell you if it will fly.

I don't mean to sound pushy in any direction, I'm just a real PC nav software nerd who would hate to see someone settle for an inferior program that involves headaches with very little installation and/or post-install support.
 

chasmoe

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phil

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Thanks RK. Looks like you really have to pay attention to those .suffixes..
PD
 

RKrough

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I have been using my Samsung Android tablet the past month with the MX Mariner app that utilizes NOAA raster charts. It works well though not as good as the PC based software. Accuracy is within 50 -75 feet based on the fixed structures I have encountered. Good enough to find your way around in daylight. I wouldn't want to rely on it at night or in a fog.

IMG_0193.jpg
 

JimRP31

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RK are you using a external GPS antenna? Do you know if they make a Ipad app as well?
 

RKrough

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RK are you using a external GPS antenna? Do you know if they make a Ipad app as well?


No provision for an external antenna that I'm aware of,just the internal gps antenna.

There are chart apps several for Ipad and Iphone. Keep in mind that the wifi only Ipad doesn't have a built in GPS. you have to use the 3g or 4g enabled Ipads.

A friend of mine brought his 46' sailboat up the ICW using the Navionics app on his Iphone after his chartplotter quit in North Carolina. The Navionics app uses the vector charts like a regular chartplotter.
 

VPC

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computer

i would like more info please at your convinience contact me ty
 

Wharf Rat

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Check out the Bad Elf and Bad Elf GPS PRO. The PRO is a Bluetooth based WAAS sensor that can provide position data to multiple devices, and also eliminates having to use a battery bleeding internal GPS. For PCs, the Nobeltec SIRF3 chipset USB GPS is the best on the market, works with every program. We keep both units in stock, as we have a lot of Nobeltec/MaxSea users and people who use iPad Nav Apps as a backup.
 

hntrss

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I run my pc with 30 dollar GPS I got from amazon. PC Windplot recommended this usb driven Gem and it works perfectly. I can get the name and model number off it tomorrow if anyone needs it. I fish pinpoint tiny bottom drops and it is dead nuts accurate.
 
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