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Old 09-06-2015, 11:44 AM   #1
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Coastal Explorer GPS problem

At the start of this year's summer in Alaska we decided to bite the bullet and upgrade our navigation laptop, GPS and navigation program.

Since 1995 we have been using Nobletec Captain on our Gateway Solo laptop running Windows 95. We have been using a Garmin 72 GPS mounted in our pilot house. We have been extremely happy with this setup, but thought perhaps it was time to upgrade given the age of our laptop. We purchased a Toshiba laptop, Coastal Explorer and the Rosepoint (CE) GPS puck.

We have spent a good part of the summer trying to get this system working. One of the most important ways we use our nav program is to set a mark where we drop anchor, turn on tracking, add a radius circle to the mark and set the edge of the circle to where we pull when setting the anchor. We then use this info to determine if we are dragging.

Using the new system we were unable to get a tracking while at anchor (no spaghetti track). The folks at Rosepoint have been very helpful in trying to figure out the problem and, after trying it for themselves, determined there was a problem with the GPS. It seems there is a new SiRF chip in the GPS.

They communicated with the GPS manufacturer and thought that they had come up with a work-around. We had them download software updates to the GPS, but still had the same problem.

We were unable to use our old GPS on the new computer due to cable connection problems and, of course, CE wouldn't run on our old laptop with Windows 95. However, our old program, laptop, and GPS worked like a charm for the summer.

They have one more fix they would like to try, but as that we are done boating for this year, we will have to give it a test when we get back south by walking around in our yard carrying the laptop and puck. If that doesn't work, we will be returning the GPS for a refund.

We were never very happy with the CE program in general as it seemed difficult to maneuver around in the program-not very instinctive. Although, this could just be due to our years of using Nobletec. A local computer guru said that he could load our old Nobletec program on our new Toshiba and we may just go this route for the future.

Has anybody else had this problem with the SiRF chip? What was the transition like for others who have made the switch from an old Nobletec program to CE?

Thanks, Tator
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:22 PM   #2
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Maybe try using one of these as your GPS source.

Collections - Bad Elf
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Coastal Explorer GPS problem

Don't give up in CE. It's a very good program and quite intuitive, I find. The issue is with the GPS you purchased. I found that my CE recognized my new AIS just fine, so it's either the GPS or your network or both, not the CE, in my view. Peter (Twisted Tree) is quite knowledgeable with CE and associated electronics so perhaps he has some thoughts.

Just a thought. I wonder if this is a voltage issue since it happens when you are at anchor with the engine off. It might be a good idea to check the voltages in your electronics with the engine off.

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Old 09-06-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
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When I switched to a new computer I had trouble with CE. I decided to replace the old GPS puck and buy the new puck directly from Rosepoint. With the new puck, everything worked fine.

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Old 09-07-2015, 01:40 PM   #5
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I have used three GPS pucks on my laptop with CE.
They all work fine.

I get them on Amazon for $28 each.
There is no point in buying the 4 times more expensive CE puck
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:31 PM   #6
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The problem is definitely the GPS and it is a puck purchased from Rosepoint. We did try another puck purchased through Amazon before buying the Rosepoint puck and it gave us a different set of problems.

Does anybody else use CE and the Rosepoint GPS with the SIRF chip to track their route while at anchor?

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Old 09-07-2015, 06:12 PM   #7
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How about a roof mounted GPS antenna? I found similar problems with the internal GPS in my AIS. I got an external Furuno GPS antenna which solved the problem in the case of the AIS. Your problem may also be a conflict in the network, if you have other systems hooked up.


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Old 09-07-2015, 07:37 PM   #8
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The GPS works fine while cruising. The problem seems to be in ability to detect small movements in a small radius while anchored. Rosepoint also recognizes this as the problem but has been unable to provide a solution sofar. There is nothing else hooked up to the system.

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Old 09-08-2015, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tator View Post
The GPS works fine while cruising. The problem seems to be in ability to detect small movements in a small radius while anchored. Rosepoint also recognizes this as the problem but has been unable to provide a solution sofar. There is nothing else hooked up to the system.



Tator

Yes and I noticed the same problem with AIS transceiver that I installed this year. It wandered and gave erroneous positions on the chart when I was at the dock. It improved when I installed an external antenna...so while it seems better when the vessel is moving, I think the positioning may be imprecise...and this is probably a precision issue, rather than accuracy. For a discussion on precision and accuracy for GPS:

http://gpsworld.com/gnss-systemalgor...recision-9889/

Not all GPS devices are created equal, and I suspect that for some devices, GPS precision and accuracy are affected within the cabin of a vessel.


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Old 09-08-2015, 03:20 PM   #10
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Sometimes there are simple solutions.

i sit in the pilot house on the bench seat.
Mu laptop is connected to the GPS puck i have put out the back porthole and it laying on the e=deck of the flybridge. It works fine with CE.

If I don't want that back window open, I wedge the puck on the side window, at a 45 angle. It works fine.

What else can i say.
Is your goal to look for a solution or to actually have a solution?

(Yes, I'm feisty, the winds are dying and I'm leaving tomorrow.)
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:54 PM   #11
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Can we assume you disabled idle timeout on the new laptop?
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:41 PM   #12
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I think this a precision versus accuracy problem. I have 3 separate GPS inputs to CE on my boat. The most accurate is the Garmin NMEA2000 GPS, that also drives the Garmin 4212 MFD. The next is the NMEA2000 from CAMINO AIS, and the least accurate is the GPS puck I bought on Amazon that came with Microsoft Streets and Trips. I admit I have never used CE for an anchor watch, I use the Garmin MFD for that, since it is always on to control the Sirius XM radio, and for sonar purposes. Since what you are looking for is a track in CE, the precision of the track put on the screen is dependent on the interval at which CE paints the track on the screen. I have mine set for every 5 secs. I forget the interval that CE defaults to, but if that interval is too great, the plotted track when zoomed in to where a chart shows "overscale" is generally not very useful. I use the 5 sec interval as I can then check my drift when fishing, or when at anchor compare that plot to the MFD plot. To keep current draw down, I generally shut off the computer at night.

Tom
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