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Old 08-08-2011, 06:55   #16
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

A note about using Garmin units: You can upload .gpx waypoints and routes into a Garmin unit. If you use a program like Easy GPS to convert your waypoints/routes to .gpx format, you can then upload routes created in other formats into a Garmin unit. It will not give you chart display, other than the base map, and is not useful for close-in navigation but is useful to navigate a route in open water where where you don't necessarily need to see a detailed chart.
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Old 11-08-2011, 23:53   #17
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

I think a navigation for beginner is as simply as possible. I have a GPS Locator, only cost me 29usd.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:37   #18
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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Originally Posted by cruifish View Post
I think a navigation for beginner is as simply as possible. I have a GPS Locator, only cost me 29usd.
so you plug the locator just in your laptop? what charts u using then?
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Old 14-08-2011, 11:34   #19
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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next project:
navigation. budget: as cheap as possible. 500 us$
want to cruise the bahamas/caribbean.
For those of us who are not inclined to build our own computer, what about a Android based tablet with charts loaded in? May be hard to read for hours in sunlight, but my primary use is leaving/entering harbors or other tight quarters. No fan so it can be put in a baggie, 8 hour battery life, about $200 total start-up cost. Comments?

For long passages in open water, I use a compass and check my handheld for position every hour or so. Mine does NOT have charts on it - only nav-aids (BIG mistake), but I do my PR's on paper.

Thanks,

John
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Old 14-08-2011, 11:43   #20
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so, can i connect the garmin 440 to my laptop and use the same charts for planning? or would i need to have extra charts for my laptop?
Yes you can with Garmin homeport
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Old 14-08-2011, 11:47   #21
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Get copies of paper charts on the cheap, handheld gps, hand bearing compass, pencil, dividers. You can get all of that for well under $500.
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Old 14-08-2011, 11:47   #22
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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For those of us who are not inclined to build our own computer, what about a Android based tablet with charts loaded in? May be hard to read for hours in sunlight, but my primary use is leaving/entering harbors or other tight quarters. No fan so it can be put in a baggie, 8 hour battery life, about $200 total start-up cost. Comments?

For long passages in open water, I use a compass and check my handheld for position every hour or so. Mine does NOT have charts on it - only nav-aids (BIG mistake), but I do my PR's on paper.

Thanks,

John
Oops! It appears that most of the charts in windows, linux, etc. won't run on an Android tablet. Is there a netbook that is solid state and doesn't need a cooling fan? Or a tablet that can download NOAA charts? Or a reasonably priced app that let's the Droid do what I want?

Hey, I don't even own a smart phone - I own a sailboat, instead!

John
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Old 14-08-2011, 13:44   #23
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I have netbook with a 64gb ssd drive, it's a 10" Samsung (sc10? I think) with matte screen and a gig of ram. USB gps puck and opencpn with cm93 charts (2010) of the whole planet

I don't like it. Id be happy to sell it for $200 ...Can't see it in daylight worth a darn. Not waterproof at all, i dont care for the software, and the other options are too expensive, and even the 7 hour battery life is not so great compared to handheld mapping gps.

For $500 max budget, I'd get two garmin 76csx's and try to find charts for them on the cheap... Or just get a current model low end plotter (like the ones mentioned above) with all the bells and whistles and preloaded charts of the US. And then use my non-mapping gps (paid $8 for it at a thrift store) and paper charts a the backup.

I'm currently using my iPhone for navigation. It works well, and having a touch screen is a really nice feature to use on charts, it can be put into a waterproof case, but has to be charged daily (with it's current older battery). But I already owned it before I got the boat, I don't think o would buy one, or a tablet, for the sole purpose of navigation. Mainly because they are not even close to being weather resistant (or spill resistant, or drop resistant, or dropped in the bilge water resistant...) and they are more expensive than the low end handhelds and plotters respectively.

If you're going to spend $200 on a phone, or $400 on an ipad, or anything in between... It just seems to make more sense to me to spend the same amount on a dedicated, well proven, waterproof, nav unit. Even if it's just a low end handheld, it's going to perform better and last much longer than anything else.

Just my personal opinion, obviously a lot of people are using tablets, netbooks, and phones, and they claim to be happy with them.
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Old 16-08-2011, 12:08   #24
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

I bought a Panasonic CF-29 Toughbook for $230 on E-Bay. Shock proof, waterproof, solid magnesium frame etc. Its the kind they give the troops in Iraq. Its an older model and isn't the hottest computer around but it runs Open CPN and the Open Office productivity suite. I confess I upgraded to a larger memory and a larger disc drive. I'm running Ubuntu Linux 10.10 (FREE), the Open Office Suite (FREE), OpenCPN (FREE) and Matrix Mariner MMGPS (FREE). You could also get a BU-353 waterproof usb hockey puck GPS receiver for less than $40 and a plastic sextant all for about your $500 limit total cost. A current Almanac, a quartz watch and a TI-35 solar calculator (keep it in a ziploc bag) will do all you need to do in Celestial Navigation. A Grundig (Eaton) Yachtboy II for another $100 or so for time signals, weather, news etc. would complete my version of a minimal kit. This will give you a redundant system, electronic and celestial. Take paper charts in case the computer quits. Stick to E-Bay and free software if you want to save money.
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Old 16-08-2011, 14:26   #25
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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Get copies of paper charts on the cheap, handheld gps, hand bearing compass, pencil, dividers. You can get all of that for well under $500.
navigating solo I usually do running fixes with a handheld compass (10USD ) and a used chart (cost of a copy ) Haven't got lost yet. And the old ways are still usable when wet!
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Old 16-08-2011, 15:38   #26
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Here in Europe, many people use an Ipad with the Navionics charts,
which cover all Europe, except England and the Baltics, for 60 Euros.
Don-t know about the costs for US/carribean waters.
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Old 16-08-2011, 15:44   #27
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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navigating solo I usually do running fixes with a handheld compass (10USD ) and a used chart (cost of a copy ) Haven't got lost yet. And the old ways are still usable when wet!
I'm always amazed at how accurate my dr plots are. Usually within a pencil lead's width of the gps fix. People pay a lot more attention when they have to figure out if a light on the horizon is a specific light, or if the shape of an island is the one you're looking for, etc.

My biggest gripe by far on the water is the dumbing down of navigators. If you don't use your skills you'll go rusty; just no way around it.
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Old 16-08-2011, 15:49   #28
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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. If you don't use your skills you'll go rusty; just no way around it.
True words
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Old 16-08-2011, 18:29   #29
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Dirt cheap would be a s/h "Old style" handheld GPS (plug in and battery power) - will give your co-ordinates (2 minutes to plot on a chart) and also gives a track to follow between waypoints.

Plus is that can live outside downside is that no pretty pictures - but you've got a chart down below for that.......just need to plot your course beforehand and keep a memory jogger notepad on deck (10 miles from X to Y on a bearing of ZZ degrees - then turn left etc etc), can even make / borrow your own chartlets for approaches for use on deck - it's probably called something like a Navigation officers logbook, or summit?

Obviously some paper charts - paper seems to have gone out of fashion so should be cheap to pick up a decent portfolio, don't worry about them being bang up to date (as long as the islands / continents are on them ) - you can always update them later.

I am presuming that the boat has a compass already fitted - in which case I would consider spending some of the budget getting it swung (or at least checking that it doesn't need it / what any deviation is).

The other 400 bucks can be spent on Beer - my first upgrade though would be a notebook with charts / GPS / AIS.
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Old 18-09-2011, 21:11   #30
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Re: starting from scratch

House sold, jobs quit so we are serious - headed for the Bahamas in November. Have a handheld 76cx, a 4 yr old Garmin chartplotter (mid Atlantic chip) and a 1 year old netbook ( and full set of Explorer chartbooks). Should I just load and learn Open CPN on the netbook or ?? I must be getting old because I am starting to have some trouble following some of the Open CPN discussions. Want to keep life simplified - suggestions?
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