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Old 12-05-2014, 12:56   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Far down South
Boat: Admiral Catamaran, 40'
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Aargh! Raymarine PC problems!

Please help! I am trying to interface my computer with my onboard electronics.

I have searched a-plenty but suspect I am to electronically illiterate to find a solution in all the online postings.

Onboard electronics are a Raymarine E7 chartplotter in the saloon(to enable wireless network) and a Raymarine E90W in the cockpit. ( Radar, AIS also)

Computers are a Windows notebook and a MacBook.

I have planned routes on my iPad with the Navionic app and interfaced that with the mfd's but I would like more from the system than that provides.

I also do not want to have to go through three file changes to get the routes into the mfd's. (ruling out the use of my MacBook with MacEnc as I understand it)

I understand that Lighthouse II will accept the .gpx file format but that's not compatible with my E90W.

Will Raymarine only accept .fsh file formats. Does that mean I cannot use OpenCPN or Maxsea Time Zero either. (i have OpenCPN running on both the Windows and Mac notebooks and MacEnc on the Mac)

I want the ability to plan routes while not onboard and also the ability to use the computer fully integrated as a mfd/chartplotter while underway.

I have been looking at the Maxsea program and would like to head in that direction.

Does that mean having to bite the bullet and buying a E95 mfd?

Would really appreciate some advice as I have not been in the game for long.
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Old 13-05-2014, 22:45   #2
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Re: Aargh! Raymarine PC problems!

Can't offer advice but would love to know more too. I have the E7 and E125 displays, Navionics and iNavX on iPad. I have not had time to dive into integrating with the Raymarine set-up - for the moment I'm accepting that I'll have to programme the route twice.

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Old 14-05-2014, 03:39   #3
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Re: Aargh! Raymarine PC problems!

Hi Onno,

I can only share with you my limited understanding of these systems. Please realise that I may be mistaken in some of my beliefs.

You can connect your iPad with Navionics app to your E7 wirelessly so you only have to plan your route once on the iPad.

Once connected you select the route that you created on the iPad on your E7 display. (I'm not onboard but I think it's under "My Data" or the likes.

Once you have done that both the iPad and E7 display the route and track your progress.

This also means having to buy mapping for your E7 and then again for your iPad.

Nice, but I find you can only do very basic planning on the iPad. Also if you want to change the route underway it becomes difficult and cumbersome.

It is not a comprehensive planning and navigation tool such as MacENC, OpenCPN, MaxSea etc.

Unfortunately Raymarine has/had it's own proprietary file format and accepted none other.

That meant transferring routes from the above mentioned comprehensive software packages meant changing file formats three times, using 2 different programs, to get it into a Raymarine mfd.

I believe this also means not being able to navigate live with this software as you are not tracking your progress on your computer. I would love confirmation or denial from the more knowledgeable.

Raymarine, since being taken over by Flir, seems to have come to their senses and have now improved the software on their chart-plotters.

The new software is called Lighthouse II and accepts the commonly used .gpx file format.

This should allow wirelessly connecting eg. MaxSea TimZero to your chart-plotter and having the same integration as with the iPad and Navionics app.

Only much more comprehensive allowing sophisticated, intuitive intefacing that also integrates weather, tides, instrumentation etc.

I would also love this confirmed or corrected by somebody, please!

A Problem I have is that when the Pro's start explaining these systems they use a language which I have little understanding of. I am not a electronics or software/hardware guy and am therefor on quite a steep learning curve.

It somewhat reminds me of the MSDos days and how the improved Windows interface opened computing to the masses. It seems marine electronics is going through a similar jump in advancement.

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