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Old 11-17-2010, 06:38 AM   #21
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RE: gps/chartplotter

OR better yet, have both a plotter and a laptop. None of the plotters can match a laptop based program for speed and ease of plotting a course. But laptops are no good for radar in comparison to a nice bright plotter's screen.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:53 AM   #22
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RE: gps/chartplotter

I have run a stand alone radar and a laptop with gps for years... as long as you have the space why not?. I use SeaClear and download the Noaa charts for the area... it works great. I also have an additional charting program that has all the charts from all over the world... it has great plotting, waypoint features etc, it does suffer on inland rivers... that is where seaclear really shines. You would need to spend 3 grand to get the clarity and screen size i have with this setup. This year I added a verizon air card and the suite is complete.... with the exception of now I need to add AIS!...... the fun never stops!

I am in the process of changing the electronics in my new boat.... I am going to add a Garmin 640 as it will fit into the dash that the old Raynav chartplotter fits into....anybody used a G640 ?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #23
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RE: gps/chartplotter

I agree- for radar I'd have a dedicated screen for it. However, for just GPS, as others stated, you just can't beat the features, clarity, chart quality, and screen size of a laptop system. If I was using a PC for it I would probably get a small netbook or inexpensive laptop and never connect it to the internet except for chart download for fear of viruses. Luckily, I'm running Mac so I don't have to worry about viruses so I can add internet access and email to the features of my GPS. Heck, I can watch youtube while chartplotting without any danger of crashing everything.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:06 PM   #24
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gps/chartplotter

Quote:
superdiver wrote:

I have no such electronics on my boat yet... still doing it the old fashioned way with the paper charts...
Well there's nothing wrong with that.* A lot of boaters went--- and still go---*a lot of places totally successfully with paper charts alone.* We use paper charts every time we go out and built a chart board to sit next to the helm station.* In my opinion, nothing beats paper charts for getting the big picture fast.* And the US Navy taught my wife to*read and use charts and*it *wouldn't be right to let that expensive taxpayer-funded training go*to waste,*right?**We'd*have the ancora app raggin' on us in a heartbeat if we did.

We also have a Furuno NavNet VX2 radar/plotter (we did not get the depth finder option), and an Echotec GPS plotter.* (We have a Furuno Loran-C, too,*but now that*that system's been shut off we have to figure out what to put in its place in the panel.)

I stated earlier in this discussion that in our opinion, Furuno is the only worthwhile*way to go for radar and we think it is for plotters, too, if one is looking for an integrated system.* The computer-based navigation apps have come a long way in a short time, but navigating a boat on an iPhone screen is not anything we're interested in doing.* An iPad screen would be more acceptable.

As far as laptop-based systems go, I've had enough experience with Microsoft operating systems over the years--- everything we have at work uses them--- to know that I don't want to trust my actual well-being to anything written by the Micrsoft Kids.* Why layer one computer system--- the plotter--- on top of another one and a shaky one at that?* So we've got no use for the laptop based nav applications as slick and user-friendly as they are.

If you go with Furuno I don't think you'll be disappointed.* I haven't looked at their NavNet 3D so I don't know if it's worth it or not.* Since our NavNet VX2 is relatively new we have no reason to be shopping for anything different at this time.



*


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 08:09:22 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:26 PM   #25
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
Marin wrote:If you go with Furuno I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I believe Furuno's radar & fish finders are the best but their chart plotters are not
all that intuitive. (User friendly) This does not mean that the bells & whistles are
inferior to other brands, but rather somewhat more complicated. Pros love their
chart plotters but pros are out there using them almost every day. One of my
passions (I have three) is reviewing and operating most of the MFD units that
come on the market. Without question, I find the higher end Garmin units to
be very intuitive and the graphics will blow you away! Garmin's radar &
fish finders are "OK" but nowhere near the quality of* Furuno.



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Old 02-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #26
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RE: gps/chartplotter

I wouldn't go past a PC based plotter system. (small foot print PCs for space saving)
They have so much more capacity, re tracks, waypoints etc are faster and you can run the screen size of your choice.
I have been running PC based plotters on my boat for the last 16 years and swear by them.
Have used various systems, Nobeltec for the last 5 years and previously Tsunami, and TMQ C Plot.(an Australian commercial system)
All very good, not free but then in my opinion you only get what you pay for.

I also don't like screen sharing so have dedicated units so that they can all be visible at once using full screen.
Plotter, radar, sounder. AIS is on the plotter.
Also keep the boat computer internet free.

Marin,
I see you have an Echotec plotter, used to have an Echotec sounder the best dam sounder I have ever used, CRT screen so a bit bulky, updated to a Furuno FCV 585 good sounder but still on the original transducer so this may be a performance drawback.

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:12 PM   #27
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RE: gps/chartplotter

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Marin,
I see you have an Echotec plotter, used to have an Echotec sounder the best dam sounder I have ever used,
Our boat didn't have a GPS plotter at all when we bought it, just a Furuno Loran-C.* So we installed the plotter not long after acquiring the boat in 1998.* At that time the Echotec 310MP was considered by the commercial fishermen in our area to be the best thing going.* Compared to today's plotters, it is not the most user-friendly interface--- you don't store waypoints and then combine them into*routes, for example,*you have to draw out each route separately.* But we still use it all the time along with our relatively new Furuno NavNet VX2.*

We generally split the Furuno screen between the radar on top and the steering information screen on the bottom.* We use the Echotec screen for the chart even though the Furuno's chart display is world's nicer than the Echotec's green-screen.* But we always run with the relevant paper charts at the helm, too, so we can get a better graphic view of the area*than the green screen.* And if we want a better chart display we can always switch the Furuno over.* But the Echotec has been a very reliable unit for us and it still works as advertised*so we see no reason to get rid of it.

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Old 02-18-2011, 08:55 AM   #28
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Paper Charts - Yes they are important, but PCs and chart plotters rule the waves. Ipads and*their clones with built in GPS and the ability to install charting programs are a rational alternative for second units. *An Ipad's screen is bigger than my "in thedrawer" Raymarine chart plotter of only a few years ago.*

Lest you get to fast on the send button, I bet I have invested more money than most in paper charts over the past few years.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #29
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gps/chartplotter

PS....before you put all your biscuits in the Apple basket. I am pretty sure all Apple products(I know iphone...don't know about iPad) use aGPS instead of true GPS. I may be wrong. But I do know the older iPhones did not use a dedicated GPS radio at all. They simply used the cellphone network and wifi hotspots to determine position...aGPS. Maybe the newer iProducts have a dedicated radio??? Just something to look into before you go feeling around in the fog.

And if you are truly going to rely on a device for navigation, I would rely on the folks that make navigation hardware and software as their main business. *Nothing wrong with having computer based software. *I would also have dedicated equipment on board as well. *I go across all consumer spectrums with this philosophy. *I buy sunglasses from Serengetti or Ray Ban....not Calvin Klein or Louis Vuitton. *Garmin makes a cellphone!!!!......I would never buy it.....but I would certainly buy their navigation hardware....you get the picture.


-- Edited by Baker on Friday 18th of February 2011 10:21:45 AM
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:46 PM   #30
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gps/chartplotter

And all the commercial vessels use computer based chart plotter systems.
and have done for years.
And you won't find a Apple among them.
Benn


-- Edited by Tidahapah on Friday 18th of February 2011 03:48:06 PM
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:04 PM   #31
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RE: gps/chartplotter

The iNAV app or Navionics allow*an Ipad to*work as*a very good touch screen chartplotter. I do not nor will I (not soon anyway) own one but i did check them out at a recent boat show. Stunning to say the least. As a second or third unit on a boat they may be the ticket. Cost, maybe less than $1000. Have you priced a big name plotter lately? I just bought a second NN3 unit for the flybridge - I was torn.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:59 AM   #32
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gps/chartplotter

Sunchaser, I don't think that iPad will do well in direct sunlight....I KNOW it won't. Your NN3 will work wonderfully in full sunlight. THAT is ultimately what you are paying for. Sunlight viewable displays are extremely expensive and are THE main cost of your NN3 or any chartplotter.

And Benn, I wasn't saying you shouldn't use computer nav apps, I was just saying you should probably have a dedicated nav system on board to fall back on. *Computer nav systems are likely more detailed and even potentially more user friendly with way more features. *But all of that does introduce the potential for problems. *So if it does go tits up, you still have a solid system to fall back on. *I mean, I fly a $100 million dollar airplane that has beautiful bright displays that do all kinds of neat stuff....but guess what is in the center panel....mechanical gyro standby instruments. *Regular simplicity for the last resort.

PS...the new United Airlines will be going with the iPad for their digital flight bags. I will believe it when I see it but that is what we have been told. We will be carrying around iPads instead of those 80lb flight bags full of charts and manuals. Sure will be nice not to have to carry around that bag anymore....or have to do chart revisions.....which is literally the worst thing about being a pilot.


-- Edited by Baker on Saturday 19th of February 2011 10:06:42 AM
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:46 AM   #33
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
Baker wrote:Sure will be nice not to have to carry around that bag anymore....or have to do chart revisions.....which is literally the worst thing about being a pilot.
So what's second because it is about to become #1. :>))

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Old 02-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #34
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RE: gps/chartplotter

The continuous decline in life style quality felt industry wide. And for me that was the number ONE issue and has been for quite some time now. Evidence by declining quality if schedules regardless of seniority, declining number of days off between trips, more and more "back side of the clock" flying together with daytime flights withing a trip pairing, minimum crew rest layovers, declining pay scales, loss of pensions,........, but I digress.

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Old 02-21-2011, 04:17 PM   #35
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
Baker wrote:

Sunchaser, I don't think that iPad will do well in direct sunlight....I KNOW it won't.

PS...the new United Airlines will be going with the iPad for their digital flight bags. I will believe it when I see it
On a recent flight back to Seattle from Charleston (well, Atlanta, really), a fellow across the aisle from me was reading a book on his brand new iPad.* I was reading a book on my Kindle.* The plane made a course adjustment and the sun came in the windows on my side of the plane and hit his iPad screen.* The person in the window seat was not inclined to close the shade so that was the end of this fellow's reading and he took out a regular book.

I know we're looking at all sorts of applications for the iPad here.* Don't know about pilot stuff but for maintenance operations in particular*it has a lot of potential that's being actively explored.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:43 AM   #36
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RE: gps/chartplotter

I recently tried the computer based nav program called Open CPN with a cheap puck GPS on my net book. It worked great as long as I was inside. Since I don't have a inside steering station, it's pretty much useless unless it's cloudy. But it's a great and cheap backup and good for planning.

John B, you'll love not lugging your brain bag. USAir went to aircraft based brain bags about 2 years ago. Cheaper than computer based and if it can be done cheaper, USAir will do it. The FAA awarded some money to USAir to test a EFB which they installed on about 20 Airbus'. The 10" screen is hard wired into the AC system and will display current position on the airport pages in addition to all the other approach plates. I guess it gets it's position data from the Aircraft GPS. The FAA is on a big push to reduce runway incursions and they are using USAir and these EFB to see if giving the pilot a pictorial view of the aircraft position helps reduce ground incursions. It automatically updates the charts through the internet via some sort of card and I think security issues have prevented the FAA from turning them on. So for about a year we've had these EFB's which have been totally useless.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:19 AM   #37
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RE: gps/chartplotter

I can't believe the intensity of opinions here. What's the big deal?
Marin wrote:
"If you go with a dedicated plotter the only brand worth considering in my opinion is Furuno."
How rediculous. Opinion or no. There's lots of systems out there and they all work well but some have better details in some ways than others. We choose one unit or system over others because we LIKE it better. Just like boats. PCs have advantages over plotters and plotters have advantages over PCs. The difference is fly stuff. The idea that if you don't have the stuff I have you'll be in a dark cave and totally lost is childish. Marin made that remark on page 1 and it seemed to give everyone else license to do same. That said here's my opinion.
I like the Plotter because:
1. * It's brighter*** ..much brighter. Not sure why that is in that my new iMac is so bright I never run it at max brightness. Do you guys run your laptops on computer batts instead of 12v boat power? It would seem to me the PCs could be as bright and contrasty as my iMac but all PCs I've seen are very dark and w very little contrast. It must be like reading a book in half light.
2.** Like Walt says it's more user friendly.
3.** It's reported to be more dependable.
I like the PC because:
1.** Bigger screen.
2.** More economical
3.** I think there's more information like tidal currents. And people say the PC display shows more information from the chart.
About the latter I seem to recall someone saying ALL the information from the charts is on the Plotter so I'm wondering how a PC could be better than a plotter in this regard. I don't like it when I zoom in to check out an anchorage (I do that a lot especially when underway) and the shoreline is a series of straight lines saw tooth style and there's no soundings. I've been told that's because there's there's no more information on the chart and I've looked at charts and found this to be true but I didn't take an extensive survey. Other than that the only thing I'd like plotter wise is another plotter so I can see the close in information for immediate navigation information (like a rock 200yds dead ahead) while I surf around at charts and chart information far from the boat where we will be in a few hours time. I don't like multi-function displays. My radar came w it's own display and all I need from the sounders is a number.
I think I'd do fine piloting my boat w a PC system or another brand of plotter and assuming that one brand is supreme and all others garbage is nonsense.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:58 AM   #38
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:

Marin wrote:
"If you go with a dedicated plotter the only brand worth considering in my opinion is Furuno."
How rediculous.
What's ridiculous about it?* That's my opinion.* If I'd left out the "in my opinion" you'd be right.* But that's how I feel.* In my opinon there's Furuno and then there's everything else and I wouldn't buy any of the "everything else" brands if a radar is involved.* Furuno has too good a reliability track record and*repuation for excellent and prompt service when it's needed to settle for anything less.* *But that's just*me.* Doesn't mean anyone else*has to agree with me.* But if someone asks me what*radar or integrated radar/plotter*I recommend, the only one I'm going to recommend is Furuno because that's the ony one I would ever buy.* So I'm having a hard time seeing how that position*is ridiculous.

We will be acquiring a new*GPS plotter for our Arima fishing boat in a month or two.* Just a plotter--- no radar.* We're not going to go with Furuno for that because for this particular*boat it wouldn't be cost effective.* So we're going with another brand which, I'm sure, will work just fine for what we need it to do.

As to PC vs Mac, I use both every day, both desk-type and laptop,*and in my opinon it's six of one half dozen of the other in terms of screen brightness, etc.* In the applications I use there are some that a PC handles better and there are others that a Mac does a better job with.

But my*attitude toward computer-based chart plotters is that I don't believe in layering one computer application (the plotter) over another one (the computer's operating system).**Particularly an operating system from Microsoft.* Of course I do this all the time with all the other applications I use--- Avid editing systems, Adobe AfterEffects,* ProTools audio applications,*Photoshop, etc.* But I'm not using these applications*to navigate our boat in the fog
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:51 PM   #39
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Marin,It just sounded like you said Furuno is next to that bearded fellow up in the sky and all other brands are garbage. I read "not worth considering" as marketing for garbage. And being closed minded. You should have said "the way I feel about it" is bla bla bla. And closed mindedness is ridiculous. But that's OK Marin as I've prolly said a few ridiculous things somewhere along the way myself.


About the Mac/PC thing I've had 3 computers since I've been on TF. The 1st was a small and old Mac that was given to us by Chris's brother. It got me started. I learned to post on TF and WBO on that one. Then we spent $1000 on a Compac PC over in Ketchikan. * And after a year or 2 w that (the thing drove me nuts at times) I bought a 27" iMac all in one at the Apple store in the University Village in Seattle. I know part of the reason the PC had so many issues was that it had Vista program. That set us back $2200 plus $300 for the router/time machine. I love the programs and the way things are presented AND the beautiful pictures. The name of the sales girl we bought the iMac from is Kady. Believe this or not but her parents named her after the Kady Krogen Yacht. A really neat lass and not an ounce of push in her sale at all. I'm learning new ways of doing things all the time. Very clean. Almost no unwanted stuff comes in at all. I have no laptop and when I go out of the house I go into a computerless world. Never even use a cell phone here in Alaska * *...just don't need one.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #40
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gps/chartplotter

Eric--- I have always used Macs at home. In fact we bought the third Mac sold in Seattle in 1984 (the inside of the case has the signatures of everyone at Apple who worked on the Mac project from Steve Jobs on down). I much prefer their user interface to PCs. Boeing standardizedon PCs years ago so I have no choice in the matter at work. But I've found that once you're in an application like Word (which I write with at home on a Mac and at work on a Dell) or just about any other application the differences between Mac and PC as a user (as opposed to a program designer/code writer) are pretty minor.

They say that Macs tend to be favored by creative people and PCs by analytical people. A generality, for sure, and the distinction has been blurred to a degree by the ability to run many of the same applications on both platforms. But I find the stereotype still has validity to it. For example, ever notice that in movies and TV shows, 90 percent of the time when someone is shown using a laptop it's a Mac. Even when you know damn well that the situation in reality would call for a PC. You're not going to find a government agent or a cop or a CSI invstigator or a rocket scientist with a Mac. They'll have a PC for the same reasons that Boeing standarized on PCs. But on a movie or TV set, the only computers you'll find almost everyone using is a Mac. So that's what they put in their scenes. I see this all over the world, not just in the US. We work with airline people all overthe planet--- always PCs.* We also work with airline's ad agency people from countries as diverse as Turkey, England, Egypt, and Germany.* Always Macs.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 22nd of February 2011 02:52:31 PM
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