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Old 02-21-2016, 08:02 PM   #1
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adding chartplotting capability to a Garmin GPS128

I have a perfectly good Garmin 128 working well with my autopilot. We use a Samsung phone and Navionics to give us the mapping. I would like to hook up my old Compaq laptop to the 128 as a chartplotter. How would I do it? Should I do it? Thanks guys.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:46 PM   #2
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Why do you need to hook up the laptop to the GPS? Why not get a $30 USB GPS and just plug it into the laptop? You then have two GPS's and no hassle... Run OpenCPN, Navionics, or something else on the laptop
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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Panhandler, is it that easy? Great idea but won't I have to also install software that can translate the GPS signals and put them on the maps? I am a novice! What would be the total purchases involved to get this running? Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:44 AM   #4
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Oceania, yes it's that easy. Buy a $30 puck GPS antenna and plug it into your USB Port. Download the free OpenCPN software and you have full charting capability.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:52 AM   #5
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That's what I have done for the last 4 trips to/from Fl. Laptop, OpenCPN, GPS puck and 300 watt navstation inverter to keep the laptop running.

I will say having a real chartplotter backup is nice as every once and awhile, OpenCPN will crash....it's a problem with my laptop and shutting off the COMM port I believe....so unless a IT wiz...backup is recommended but it can be almost any cheapo plotting system...
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceania View Post
Panhandler, is it that easy? Great idea but won't I have to also install software that can translate the GPS signals and put them on the maps? I am a novice! What would be the total purchases involved to get this running? Thanks.

Yes, as Dimer2 said. Just buy a USB GPS puck with good reviews off amazon. Install the drivers and plug it in. Download and install OpenCPN. OpenCPN has good documentation so just study it a little and you should have no problems. Depending on the speed of your laptop, loading charts may be slow.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:23 AM   #7
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And for another $200 you can add an AIS receiver. Just plug it into another USB port. You gotta love OpenCPN!
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
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Check out OpenPlotter for a complete system, including AIS, that you can do yourself as well. Very cheap.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:33 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the help guys! I'll check this out and let you know what I set up this spring.
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