Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
KJ
El Capitan
 
KJ's Avatar
 
City: N Myrtle Beach, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Avalon
Vessel Model: Chung Hwa 46 LRC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 896
PC Nav

Inquiry*** Those of you that use*a laptop for your navigation (chart plotter, depth, etc.), what hardware/software do you use?* Does your system have touch screen capabilities?* What systems can you monitor from your laptop?*Can you use the system at either helm?*Do you need a special USB for Radar? **Does your system have inertial dampers?*Ooops!* KJ


-- Edited by KJ on Tuesday 19th of July 2011 08:08:37 AM
__________________
Advertisement

KJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2011, 11:43 PM   #2
Guru
 
Woodsong's Avatar
 
City: Atlanta
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,630
RE: PC Nav

I use a program called MacENC for my macbook (I gave up dealing with PC's about 2 years ago!!) and love it. No radar for me- just GPS/chartplotter. I use a USB GPS puck:
http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAA#ps-sellers

That is the exact GPS puck I use. It is great- connects right away and never lost a track yet. I can even walk around the boat with it and no issues.

I keep my macbook @ the lower helm. I have run a video monitor cable from lower station to the flybridge. THis allows me to connect a flatscreen @ the bridge to me macbook and see everything from up on the bridge. Additionally, I use a wireless mouse on the bridge which allows me to control my macbook from up on the flybridge. HECK of a lot cheaper than "marine GPS!"

Polarview is a program I want to really look into as well as it is supposed to overlay activecaptain data on top of the chart/GPS data.
__________________

Woodsong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 04:57 AM   #3
Guru
 
Tidahapah's Avatar
 
City: Mooloolaba
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Tidahapah
Vessel Model: Bert Ellis Timber motor cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,779
RE: PC Nav

I don't use a lap top but a small footprint PC.
Have been doing this for the last 16 years.
have used Nobeltec for the last 5/6 years and before that Tsunami and Australian C Plot.
I have the plotter/GPS and also my AIS system.
Radar and sounder are all seperate items, computer is also used for other stuff on the boat such as maintenance system etc.
Tidahapah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 06:12 AM   #4
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,153
RE: PC Nav

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:
Polarview is a program I want to really look into as well as it is supposed to overlay activecaptain data on top of the chart/GPS data.
*I won a copy of Polarview/PolarCom from Active Captain and I like it. It's acurate and easy to use. I only use it when I am force into the lower helm due to rain. It would definitely be great for a touchscreen. In fact, they mention that it's designed for it. Setting routes and waypoints couldn't be easier. One of the best features is that it integrates Active Captain information right onto the chart. Revies, details, local info, and contact info all right there for you. If I had one problem with this (and lots of chart plotters, is that it doesn't use NOAA raster or vector charts. It has the very cartoon-ish charts lots of plotters use. I don't know what it is about them, but I just don't trust them as much as NOAA charts. But that's just me.
Tom.B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 06:55 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 126
RE: PC Nav

I am in the process of moving from a desktop PC to a new 12 VDC car PC.* The move was necessitated by the untimely death of the old computer using XP.* I shopped around and found these guys in California who build/configure automobile computers:

http://www.mitxpc.com/products.asp?cat=10

This is the unit I bought which came configured with Windows 7 Home Premium, 4 mb of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, a tray style DVD/CD drive.* Total price was $540 and change.



My display is mounted above the helm and is not a touch screen.* I use a wireless mouse and a wired keyboard for interface.* No dampers, only added rubber bushings to help cushion the PC.* One of the reasons I went with a car style unit was that they are designed for a mobile environment (heat, dust, vibration etc).* I do not have any display ability at the upper helm (but then I never really use the upper station since it is usually wet up there).* My GPS is a Garmin GPS17xHVS standalone unit which feeds the computer through a Brookhouse NMEA multiplexer via a serial port.* My AIS communicates to the PC via a serial to USB converter.* Software is Rose Point's Coastal Explorer with both raster and vector charts for the PNW, British Columbia and Alaska.

[img]../../download.spark?ID=967462&aBID=115492[/img]

Overlaying radar onto a PC screen is not as simple as just using an USB interface.* Both Nobeltec and Coastal Explorer have their own branded radar units (and some others) which must be used to achieve full integration.* In our case we have a separate, standalone Furuno 1715 radar.
Steppen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 07:14 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Tomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 148
RE: PC Nav

If you haven't already done so, take a look at Open CPN, opencpn.org , free software developed by cruisers with links to free downloads of all NOAA vector and raster charts of US waters and Army Corps charts of rivers/lakes.
Tomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,153
RE: PC Nav

Quote:
Mike wrote:
My install runs NOAA raster charts. It will also run the newer NOAA ENC S-57 vector charts if you prefer those.
*I guess I need to figure out how to do that.
Tom.B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 02:32 PM   #8
Veteran Member
 
RickH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 35
RE: PC Nav

KJ,

We run Coastal Explorer Express ($100 version of the full-featured program) on a close out Toshiba Satellite from Best Buy.* The Toshiba runs Windows 7 Home Premium and a $35 USB hockey puck GPS from Amazon.**Rose Point's Express is somewhat stripped down version of their full program, but gives you full nav functionality,routes/planning, weather updates (with WiFi) and logging, which I do not use.* There is no AIS function, but as a Great Lakes cruiser, that's not a deal breaker for me.*

I sampled Open Captain and Sea Clear, but found them both wanting in function and ease of use.* Rose Point is very intuitive and well-supported.* I don't have an upper station so I can't comment on that, but in the warm dry pilothouse, sunlight viewing of the raster charts on the Toshiba is not a problem.* We're on year 3 of the Toshiba without a hiccup.* If this one dies, I'll buy another and still come in under the price one Toughbook.* As further incentive, Rose Point's charting update features are a joy to use, and take almost no time at all to redo your entire chartbook.

Rick
RickH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
Guru
 
rochepoint's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Rochepoint
Vessel Model: 1985 Cheer Men PT38 Sedan
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,192
RE: PC Nav

OK, I am a little over the top and like to try different nav software. The lower helm has an old IBM Thinkpad wired to the Furuno GPS. My favorite computer is a Panasonic Touchbook with a touchscreen with makes operation on the boat a breeze, it has a built in GPS so you can navigate anywhere, no wires just close the lid and move it. For software I have Nobeltec, Polar Navy, Open PCN and a couple of other trial programs. My favorite is Nobeltec followed by Polar Navy. I also take along my work Macbook Pro, it runs both Nobeltec in a windows partition and Polar Navy wired to the GPS. Can't beat Polar Navy for the price and it does anything you could ask with great tech support for those dumb questions.
rochepoint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 02:58 PM   #10
Veteran Member
 
Penny Lane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 46
PC Nav

We use a small format HP Pavilion with Coastal Explorer and Vista 64 on Penny Lane.* We have a prexeisting Furuno radar at the lower helm on its own screen.

We have a small Furuno 7000F fishfinder/depth/plotter on the flybridge.* We also have an AIS receiver and a handheld Simrad AP21 plug in autopilot that can be used at either station and switched to*be driven by*either the PC or the small Furuno unit.* There are backups for much of this including hand held GPS, and the ancient but still working Tridata for Depth.

How it all works.

There are two*serial cables*at each helm that hook the (1) depth, GPS, autopilot and (2)AIS to the computer. Since the Furuno likes the in and out on different ports, we also have a serial cable that connects the computer directly to the Furuno.* We use this to upload routes and waypoints into the smaller unit as a back up.

Step one is to lay out a route on the PC in Coastal Explorer, we then copy that route into the Furuno (takes a minute or two.)

Step two. Inside? or, Outside?*If outside, with clear visibility, may just use the Furuno with or without the auto pilot.* The Furuno screen is too small for the AIS data and the radar is only at the lower station.* But, all else works and the autopilot does a great job preventing the skipper from wandering where the SF Bay currents would take him.

If the PC is desired for its larger display, more info or just the AIS, it can be connected at either station via a two port serial to USB converter. This converter uses a chipset provided by FTDI, the name on the cover is immaterial.* This is critical.* Converters based on Prolific chips will crash and crash often. Set up takes about five minutes.

I have a sun shield for using the PC on the flybridge as I have never found an affordable daylight viewable screen.

It really is all second nature after the first few setups.* But, it does beg the question, why bother?* For me, the answer is that I am much more comfortable with PC technology.* I find it affordable, cheap to upgrade or replace, etc compared to two 13" displays.* I like setting up routes anywhere on the PC and then bringing them to the boat for a quick upload.* I like the redundacy of having a backup PC, back up GPS, etc. that was free for the asking. There's a lot of leftover laptops out there. Finally, I really like Coastal Explorer.* It does all I could ask and the US charts are free.

*

cheers,

*

*

*

*


-- Edited by Penny Lane on Friday 22nd of July 2011 02:59:42 PM
__________________

Penny Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What Nav lights do you have? 7tiger7 Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 29 01-23-2012 05:59 AM
New netbook and OpenCpn nav software Roostor Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 1 08-31-2010 03:51 PM
Nav computer problems Keith Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 2 10-17-2008 08:29 AM




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012