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Old 06-15-2020, 10:57 PM   #1
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What GPS to use?

I have a newer laptop and a Navionics account.
Currently using my I-phone but would like to swap over to the laptop screen.
Looking at the
GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver (Black)
Any issues with it?
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:25 AM   #2
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My concerns with a laptop are:

1) Is it adequately daylight viewable?

2) Can it be mounted securely in rough seas?

3) Can it be adequately protected from water?*

*NOTE: Not just rain. We've taken very heavy spray (buckets) on the upper bridge doing 8 kts in 8 foot seas. Enough that it was the equivalent of standing in the shower with your clothes on. Admittedly....very rare, but it would have taken out a laptop.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
My concerns with a laptop are:

1) Is it adequately daylight viewable?

2) Can it be mounted securely in rough seas?

3) Can it be adequately protected from water?*

*NOTE: Not just rain. We've taken very heavy spray (buckets) on the upper bridge doing 8 kts in 8 foot seas. Enough that it was the equivalent of standing in the shower with your clothes on. Admittedly....very rare, but it would have taken out a laptop.
We mostly use a lower helm mounted Garmin that's a few years old. It has a small screen. But I wanted to bring the laptop this time with the Navionics. Not mounting it, just tossing it on the table so the wife/kids can also see where we are at, and headed to. Its not going to be a fixture in the boat as I agree it would be best mounted.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:03 AM   #4
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Why not just purchase new or used tablet. I use a Samsung 10 inch, works fine on its own without a GPS receiver, it has one internally.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:50 AM   #5
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Why not just purchase new or used tablet. I use a Samsung 10 inch, works fine on its own without a GPS receiver, it has one internally.
Probably not a bad idea.
But I was trying to use what I have. The laptop is new... I have an older I-pad but its wifi only and linking off a hot spot like our phones does not work very well.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:55 AM   #6
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We've been using a laptop as our primary chart plotter in the pilothouse since the 90's. No flybridge so visibility and water are non issues.

It sits on a non skid mat on the chart table. We've been in some big seas and the laptop stays put.

We use a Furuno GPS.

If water getting on the laptop is a concern, have a boat top shop make a clear vinyl water resistant cover for it. We had one on our laptop when we had a flybridge boat and the cover saved the laptop on many occasions.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:04 PM   #7
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You didn't say what kind of laptop. The GPS must be compatible with the laptop operating system. I bought one of those GlobalSat GPS a few years ago and it would not work with my version of Windows.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonR View Post
I have a newer laptop and a Navionics account.
Currently using my I-phone but would like to swap over to the laptop screen.
Looking at the
GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver (Black)
Any issues with it?
I don't think Navionics runs on a PC. Tablet is your best option.

I use XGPS wireless with ability to support 5 concurrent devices. Very handy to be able to support more than one concurrent device, especially if you have guests aboard. Quite a bit more expensive ($129)
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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I don't think Navionics runs on a PC.
Yes it does, using their Chartviewer. I use a laptop to plan a route, I find it easier when using a mouse. Routes entered there synch with all of your devices.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:19 PM   #10
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I use an iPad mini with a bad elf Bluetooth GPS receiver running aqua maps. Works really well. I use the same set up when flying little airplanes and use ForeFlight.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:41 PM   #11
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While it's different software, I run navigation software on my all in one computer with a simple GPS receiver that plugs into the usb port. I find it slightly more accurate than the Garmin GPS as it has a tighter overlay when running the same course past fixed marks. It was about $20 from Amazon


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Old 06-16-2020, 02:45 PM   #12
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Our GPS puck for enabling the laptop is a GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB unit. In early 2017 it was $36 from Amazon. Easy install. Works well inside the saloon.

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Old 06-16-2020, 03:38 PM   #13
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I have a VFAN puck I had to do some instally things using their disk and another no-name puck I have had for many years which just runs on any old windows laptop. I don't think there are likely to be many pucks out there which are not compatible with Windoze. I don't go anywhere without my laptop and its Coastal Explorer sitting alongside whatever plotter is aboard the vessel.
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Old 06-16-2020, 04:27 PM   #14
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I have a couple GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receivers and have great luck with them on laptops or micro-computers running OpenCPN. I recommend you confirm compatibility with the software you plan to use, either the OS or chartplotting software, but it's a basic GPS puck that provides standard messages that most software should expect.

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Old 06-16-2020, 04:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John R M View Post
Yes it does, using their Chartviewer. I use a laptop to plan a route, I find it easier when using a mouse. Routes entered there synch with all of your devices.
Thank you John! Great tip.
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Old 06-16-2020, 04:49 PM   #16
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I've been using the ublox gmouse ones on eBay for around $20
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Old 06-16-2020, 04:59 PM   #17
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Yes it does, using their Chartviewer. I use a laptop to plan a route, I find it easier when using a mouse. Routes entered there synch with all of your devices.
Well.. sorta. I mean it's a website - it's not running on the PC. So it only works for you if you have an internet connection. The OP hasn't mentioned any other devices that he's synching with. I don't get the feeling that's what he's looking for since he wants a GPS. That implies that he's looking for live location chartplotting.

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Old 06-16-2020, 05:17 PM   #18
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Well.. sorta. I mean it's a website - it's not running on the PC. So it only works for you if you have an internet connection. The OP hasn't mentioned any other devices that he's synching with. I don't get the feeling that's what he's looking for since he wants a GPS. That implies that he's looking for live location chartplotting.

BD
Correct, I would like to have it live on the PC while under way so the wife/kids can look at it. While under way I use the same app on my phone/ and the Garmin/paper.


I use the Navionics a lot to plan routes/ expected time/ fuel use and yes I can share to other devices I have, my phone, the wife's, a few laptops around the house/office/car.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:06 PM   #19
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I use a laptop running Coastal Explorer using a USGlobalsat BU-353-S4 GPS puck (as one of the available GPs sources) and it works great. I also use the "non-skid" mat under it, and so far it has not moved an inch, even in some reasonably unsettled seas. I don't want to be out in much more than that. I also use an IPad running Navionics, using old Raymarine plotter as a backup. All told I have 4 separate GPS sources onboard, so good redundancy (unless GPS itself goes down).
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:49 PM   #20
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Garmin and Aqua Map on an iPad Pro.
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