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Old 02-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
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PC Navigation Again

I settled*my PC vs iPad debate yesterday and got a new 14" Dell Laptop. I have more need for word processing than I would want to do on*a tablet.

So, which navigation program should I install? A paid one or a free one?

I have a 6 year old version of*Offshore Navigator*on my other laptop and could load that CD on the new computer and download a few charts. But I have heard of a couple of free ones that are highly rated.


-- Edited by Doc on Saturday 18th of February 2012 07:47:24 AM
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Quote:
Doc wrote:
I settled*my PC vs iPad debate yesterday and got a new 14" Dell Laptop. I have more need for word processing than I would want to do on*a tablet.

So, which navigation program should I install? A paid one or a free one?

I have a 6 year old version of*Offshore Navigator*on my other laptop and could load that CD on the new computer and download a few charts. But I have heard of a couple of free ones that are highly rated.



-- Edited by Doc on Saturday 18th of February 2012 07:47:24 AM
*free one for me and free charts from NOAA...never been easier...got me to NJ from FLA last year although my free GPS did drop every once and awhile (more the GPS/my computer than the free program)
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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RE: PC Navigation Again

I have Fugawi and OpenCPN installed on two laptops onboard as well as all the NOAA and CHS charts for the Pacific Coast plus some expensive chips and special reader that I bought exclusively for Fugawi.* Occasionally I open Fugawi while we're underway just to see if I'm missing something on OpenCPN but it always frustrates me so completely that I quickly close it in disgust and go back to the free software.* OpenCPN does everything that we need it to do, does it accurately and is so easy to use that*I can't imagine ever using anything else.*
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Nobeltec
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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RE: PC Navigation Again

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Doc wrote:
I settled*my PC vs iPad debate yesterday and got a new 14" Dell Laptop. I have more need for word processing than I would want to do on*a tablet.
I had the same question as I do some of my writing on the boat and would like to on my longer trips for work.* The iPad has an on-screen keyboard that is pretty much worthless for serious writing although it's fine for sending tweets and e-mails and such.

So I was rejecting the iPad for this reason until I learned there are a variety of full keyboards available for use with the iPad.* While I write with Word (on a Mac--- I detest Micrsoft's operating systems), and Word is not compatible with the iPad, Apple's word processing application, Pages, is compatible with Word.* So with the iPad I'll be able to take my writing projects with me on a small, slim little tablet along with a good keyboard as opposed to having to lug around a laptop.* Who would have ever thought one would complain about "lugging around" a laptop computer?

Boat navigation is not an issue because I don't believe in using PC (or Mac) -based navigation systems on a boat.* But the Bluetooth keyboards make the iPad a truly useful device, for me anyway.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #6
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Thank you for you thoughts, Marin...I think...
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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RE: PC Navigation Again

I've used NobelTec, Fugawi, OziExplorer, and OpenCPN at work. Over the last few months I've had OpenCPN running on a secondary computer while the main nav computer runs NobelTec.

I really like OpenCPN. It's simple, but the bells and whistles it's missing are unneeded distractions for most situations.

I'm with Bob on the Fugawi interface. I'll still open it occasionally for special plotting functions during a survey but it mostly stays closed now.

I prefer OziExplorer's interface, but that might be because I've used it since the late 90s. I originally bought it as a poor man's digitizer - scan part of a chart, import it, set the reference points, and bang - you can easily capture hand plotted features as waypoints. If Ozi still has a shareware version it's worth trying out.

NobelTec is bog-standard for small commercial boats up here. Interface is fine, once you get over the "but that's not how OziExplorer does it!" problem I have. It seems to be ahead of the curve with AIS features and has some good tools to help troubleshoot NMEA networks. I'm not enthusiastic about their proprietary Canadian charts but access to good electronic Canadian chart data is a problem for every system.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:57 PM   #8
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Quote:
******* Doc wrote: I have more need for word processing than I would want to do on*a tablet.
******** Marin Wrote:

*The iPad has an on-screen keyboard that is pretty much worthless............. I learned there are a variety of full keyboards available for use with the iPad. .............. Apple's word processing application, Pages, is compatible with Word.*

Boat navigation is not an issue because I don't believe in using PC (or Mac) -based navigation systems on a boat.

******** That pretty much sums up my approach to what I need (and have) in a computer/word processor.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Marin wrote: Boat navigation is not an issue because I don't believe in using PC (or Mac) -based navigation systems on a boat.

I do believe in using a PC for navigation so I bought a new PC and I ain't gonna take it back. Furthermore I don't want anything to do with Apple's word processing applications. Most of my word processing is used by a big server in the cloud that, for my uses, requires MS Word. So there....but, I did buy a new carry bag for my new PC that also has a dedicated space for an iPad. So there again.

Now that the vitriolics are over, can someone walk me through how to down load charts? Is it possible to select the entire state of Florida in one download rather than selecting them one chart*at a time?
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Quote:
Doc wrote:
Marin wrote: Boat navigation is not an issue because I don't believe in using PC (or Mac) -based navigation systems on a boat.

I do believe in using a PC for navigation so I bought a new PC and I ain't gonna take it back. Furthermore I don't want anything to do with Apple's word processing applications. Most of my word processing is used by a big server in the cloud that, for my uses, requires MS Word. So there....but, I did buy a new carry bag for my new PC that also has a dedicated space for an iPad. So there again.

Now that the vitriolics are over, can someone walk me through how to down load charts? Is it possible to select the entire state of Florida in one download rather than selecting them one chart*at a time?

*If you are downloading from NOAA...you can download an entire USCG district at a time if you want.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:31 PM   #11
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RE: PC Navigation Again

I'm also a big fan of OpenCPN and don't forget the plug-ins for it either, like Google Earth, Logbook (two availabe) and weather Grib files.* Google Earth linked in to OpenCPN is superb, giving a side panel GE view of where you are on the chart at the same scale, move the pointer on the chart and GE follows plus can be zoomed right in to look at features in photo view.

Open CPN will run both raster and vector charts and both are free to download for the USA from NOAA.* You can chose to download charts individually but more sensible options include by Coastguard District or by State.* I have downloaded all of the east coat from Chesapeake southwards and including all*Florida ones in both raster and vector formats, you can have both types simultaneously*loaded into OpenCPN and jump between*the types with a mouse click on a bar at the bottom.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Give PolarNav a try. Free trial download. Every few months it goes on sale for 30 bucks, and the developer allows you to load it on 5 different machines per single license.

Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It's a standard chart program that uses Raster and Vector, whatever you feed it.

I like the fact that it works with ActiveCaptain. When you have a high speed connection you can tell it to download the ActiveCaptain database for as wide a region as you want. Then if you are away from a internet connection it will still display the info.

AIS also, as well as NEMA and a autopilot driver.

Worth a try - I own it and use it, along with Offshore Nav, and OpnCpn. I'm really used to OSN but I'm slowly switching over to PolarNav. OpnCpn is great but there are license issues between AC and the developers or OpnCpn.

Mike
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:53 PM   #13
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Another thumbs up here for Opencpn with both raster and vector charts from NOAA.* I use the chart plotter in close up view and the laptop in a broader view simultaneously. With the laptop I can generate waypoints for the next day and upload them into the chartplotter (it is much easier this way).*
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Quote:
Great Laker wrote:
Another thumbs up here for Opencpn with both raster and vector charts from NOAA.* I use the chart plotter in close up view and the laptop in a broader view simultaneously. With the laptop I can generate waypoints for the next day and upload them into the chartplotter (it is much easier this way).*
Same here, and I have a 19" PC monitor, keyboard and mouse on the dash that I plug into the laptop.* I love my Chart Plotter, but this gives you the ability to have two different full screen chart views going at the same time.* Also when fishing we can have*the sonar*full screen on the plotter and the chart on the PC.* Very handy and it's way cool!!

Larry B
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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RE: PC Navigation Again

I am thinking hard about upgrading my old*Lowrance GlobalMap 1000*( old technology ) to the Lowrance HDS-10 Gen2**so I can load the Navionics Platinum+Charting on it. I have the basic Navionics on my iPad and love it for planning a trip while away from the yacht.



*Elwin
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
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RE: PC Navigation Again

I've just set up OpenCPN and downloaded all the USCG raster and ENC charts plus the USACE river charts. It was a single download for each type.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:23 AM   #17
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RE: PC Navigation Again

This one is not "free".... but for $16.95 its a pretty darn good deal!! You're buying a disc and paying mailing...

http://www.officialnoaacharts.com/

What's really nice is that the program and all are not memory hogs and it works quite well. You can add a GPS puck to your laptop...and it becomes a GPS.

or google SeaClear II better yet.... go here and download it free: http://www.seaclear.net/ Has all the charts built in.....
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:12 PM   #18
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Well I made a mistake. Not a big deal but it must be my age with getting mixed up on the computer.*:frustrated:

I went on the Lowrance site to buy a HDS-10 Gen2 sounder and somehow with all my online searches I wasn't able to find one in Canada but got directed through all my searches to Marine Wholesales in FL. They were the only ones I could find that had it that would ship to Canada. Last weekend I took a trip to Cabelas and wow there was one sitting on the shelf ( same price as what I ordered ). *Oh, well it was ordered now so I'll wait.

I started to question the salesperson and found out in short order that I knew more about it then he but two fellows came by and one guy had a HDS-5 and he started talking about the new units that were on the market with the side-scan instead of the ones on display.

I stated that I just ordered the Gen2 from Flordia and the more I talked the more I got worried if it actually was the Gen2 that I ordered or not. All I knew I was back and forth on so many websites with some outfits had the Gen2 but wouldn't ship to Canada and those that didn't have them but other units in stock would ship here. Even from the Lowrance site in the HDS-Gen2 tab, it directed me to dealers that only carried the older brand, so I wasn't sure any more.

I went to my truck and got on the iPad to see what the heck my order was and low and behold, it was the HDS Gen1 and not the Gen2*mfg:*although I ordered the side-scan transducer with it, I was thinking why didn't they question me.


Not that there is much of a difference but the overlay Structure Map is what I wanted and the unit with the newest technology.

Anyway, I called Marine Wholesales and they will take back the one they shipped me and will send me the one I thought I had ordered.*

Once I get it, I am then going to order the Navionics Platinum+. Just hope the heck I can concentrate on ordering that correct..*:clueless:

Elwin*
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:33 AM   #19
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Elwin,
I have also just ordered and received the HDS 7 gen 2 with side scan and navionics platinium card.
This is for my new 173 CC fishing boat.
You probably get it a bit cheaper in the USof A than we do down here in Aus.
A few of my mates have them and reckon they are the ducks guts.

Can't wait to get mine out and tested once I get home from work.

The 10" unit should be pretty awesome on the dash.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:24 AM   #20
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RE: PC Navigation Again

Ya agree.. can't wait either.*

Elwin*
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