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Old 11-24-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Laptop for GPS Chartplotter?

As a confessed computer nerd, I admit to being "fuzzy" at best on how to equip and configure my on-board laptop (Microsoft Windows 7) for use as a chartplotter. Step-by-step suggestions would be most appreciated.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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Are you using Open CPN? What GPS are you connecting to the laptop?
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #3
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We installed the Polar Navy software Polar View NS $50. Polar Navy - Marine Navigation Software A USB GPS puck $27. GlobalSat BU 353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver 710348180332 | eBay

The charts are free and they download right form the Polar View software. I like it a lot more than our Raymarine 760. 7" screen vs a 19" laptop monitor.

My 2cents
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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Sounds like the USB port is not configured for your GPS puck. Here is the step by step instructions.

Configuring serial port NMEA input in PolarCOM
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain K View Post
As a confessed computer nerd, I admit to being "fuzzy" at best on how to equip and configure my on-board laptop (Microsoft Windows 7) for use as a chartplotter. Step-by-step suggestions would be most appreciated.

You'll see from other posts that it's conceptually easy: software, GPS sensor, charts, E Voila!

I'll only add a couple things about laptops in general: usually not daylight visible in all conditions of bright/direct sunlight, usually not particularly waterproof, and you'll probably want a system that can be self-sufficient (i.e., not internet dependent) while underway.

Also, if you have a built-in chartplotter (or two, one up, one down?) you may want a software/charting system that is seamlessly compatible with your built-ins. If such happens to exist, depending on you're starting position.

Finally... there are apps that seem to work to varying degrees on various tablet hardware... for cheap. If the hardware has built-in GPS (without regard to cellular or Wi-Fi connections), you may find those to be viable alternatives to a bigger laptop. (Although I'm assuming you already have that, give the opsys citation.)

-Chris
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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What is "Open CPN?" Don't have a GPS connected to the laptop at this stage. Fryedaze, thanks for the links. Will check those out. Are the steps: 1. Get a GPS receiver, 2. Connect it to the laptop. 3. Get chart software, 4. Install required GPS and Chart software? Told you I was a nerd! Thanks for the replies!
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #7
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Here's the link for Open CPN. OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage

and the manual for GPS set up plus everything else.

OpenCPN User Manual | Official OpenCPN Homepage
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Sorry I figured a computer nerd was the same as a computer geek. Open CPN is free PC charting software. Yes you need a GPS connected to the laptop. Then you configure the USB drive to the type GPS signal (some will automatically connect) and you are done
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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OpenCPN is what I use. I like it because it's free and it can alternately display vector and raster charts for any given area. It's an easy click to switch to the other style of chart.

If I'm not mistaken, OpenCPN loads without charts. NOAA vector and raster charts are available free online.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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Also you can go ahead and install OpenCPN now then install the charts for your area. Config the gps when you get it... that way you can play with it now
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