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Old 19-09-2011, 05:30   #31
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Yeh. Just load it up and run it. It's really simple to use. The discussions tend to be among the programmers who are constantly developing and tweaking it, so you really can get lost trying to read them. There's a pretty good on-line user's manual on opencpn.org if you need to read up about how to use some feature.

Bon voyage!
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Old 19-09-2011, 06:07   #32
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Re: starting from scratch

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Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
. . . 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?
You can get rather involved in all the features and whizbang stuff on computer based navigation programs if you like or just use them as moving map displays.
- - Connect a GPS to the netbook and bring up a map on the display. The "little boat" symbol will give you a fair estimation of where you are. Then as the boat sails along you can see at a glance how far you have gone and how far it is to your next landfall or destination.
- - Be sure to get the paper booklets of the Explorer Charts which I have and use even though my boat has a very advanced integrated computer navigation system. There are a lot of little "details" in each Explorer Chart that can be seen on the paper chart version and are important. They are also on the electronic version of the chart but you would need to "pan" around and zoom in or out to properly see them. It is a lot simpler to view them on the paper chart booklet.
- - Keeping it simple is the key to hassle free navigation - IMHO - and as you gain experience with your netbook navigation system you can utilize more of the features like waypoints and routes. But to start the "moving map" display is a great way to begin and have a quick glance of where you are in relation to everything around you.
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Old 19-09-2011, 07:42   #33
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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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.

I have friends who have a handheld GPS hooked up to their computer, but they keep their computer below. I prefer to have my chartplotter right where I can see it in the cockpit but it works for them. However, they are close-to-shore sailors. They're more worried about shoals than getting lost in mid-Atlantic.
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Old 19-09-2011, 15:52   #34
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

The Budget Setup would be to have the lapbook/netbook down below with a "hockey puck" GPS hooked up to it.
- - One step up the ladder of costs is to get a 15" LCD monitor, a wireless mouse, and a flexible miniature rubber keyboard and mount the LCD up in the cockpit probably with a plexiglass enclosure around it. The size of the monitor is just a matter of how much you want to spend. The 15" LCD can be had for $50 +/- and the larger ones for about $100 or so. An monitor extension cable connects the lapbook/netbook to the monitor.
- - The computer is down below safe and secure from any splash water. And now you have a great computer nav system with the display up in the cockpit.
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Old 19-09-2011, 16:34   #35
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Any notebook. $100-400? Waterproof USB GPS from ebay $60. Free software openCPN. Get electronic charts free of a freind or torrent site. Total $160-500 depending on notebook. This is what I done but I already have a decent notebook. The notebook can also be your onboard entertainement to watch movies, recive weatherafx etc. The downside is it will be very non resistant to sea water. One splash and you will better have a decent backup system.
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Old 19-09-2011, 22:33   #36
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Seriously splurge for the 22in. Will be great for movie night too!

I like Active Captain, anyone else? I also use blue nmea (android app to bluetooth the phones gps to laptop)
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Old 19-09-2011, 22:55   #37
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

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Seriously splurge for the 22in. Will be great for movie night too!

I like Active Captain, anyone else? I also use blue nmea (android app to bluetooth the phones gps to laptop)
Sorry for the threadjack, but does anyone know of a decent 22" (or bigger) monitor/hdtv that has an external power supply that can run on 12v?

OR

A decent sized screen with the least power consumption?
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Old 20-09-2011, 05:21   #38
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

VIZIO monitor / HDTV from Walmart. I threw away the transformer and wired directly into the 12V circuit.
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Old 20-09-2011, 05:43   #39
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Re: starting from scratch

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Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
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?
I was going to post a rely but am too distracted by your avatar!
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Old 20-09-2011, 07:30   #40
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Re: Budget Setup - display

Some power requirement information here: Marine WiFi
Seems the LCD ones use significantly less power. I know you can use a Kill a watt meter for the 120v but what about measuring direct 12v? Some suggestions about mounting a small monitor viewable fromt eh cockpit are very worthwhile but getting a 22" able to rotate around might be a challenge.

Doodles, my wife is giving me a really hard time about the boat name (and avatar). She is pushing hard for something more "acceptable".
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Old 20-09-2011, 07:58   #41
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

I have the Standard Horizon CP190i and am quite pleased with it. So far have used it for about 500nm of sailing. Internal antenna works just fine inside or outside. Charts included are excellent (actually better than my 8yo C-Maps which I finally disabled). Waterproof, mounts outside easily, and is much more reliable than a notebook or laptop (would you believe Windows still crashes? Especially if you use it at the same time for other activities while you are sailing?). Interfaces with AIS easily. I do have Coastal Explorer running on a laptop downstairs, where it belongs, and use it to upload routes and waypoints to the CP190i. OpenCPN would be a budget option there. But for actually running the boat, interfacing with the autopilot, etc. I use the CP190i, with CE used for planning, detailed replanning, detailed situation assessment (all without interfering with actual navigation), and getting free USG charts to support that (their automatic chart updating is very convenient). Previously had a CP180e and the new charts make the CP190i a much better buy. Saw the CP190i for sale at Standard Horizon CP 190i 5 for $449.95 so it definitely fits your budget. I have had GPS since 1991 (Magnavox MX100) and think the SH190i is an excellent system and a real value. And regularly use it to drive my boat on legs of ~100nm with no problems.
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Old 20-09-2011, 08:09   #42
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

This one is 3amp. @12v 12Volt 22 HiDef Widescreen TV w/Built-in Digital Tuner & DVD Player NTD2252 - $331.15 :

Mounted with this inside companion way. http://www.ergotron.com/Products/tab...S/Default.aspx
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Old 20-09-2011, 08:22   #43
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Already have a laptop. Our HTC EVOs are bought and paid for too. Only going to keep one active when we go cruising, but the other can still be used for its gps. Last is having both phones rooted, so you can tether. That's my plan...
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Old 20-09-2011, 11:14   #44
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

Many of you are planning on using screens inside, or building a hood, or...

But just in case there are some of you that are not aware of how screens work in sunlight:

A standard monitor or TV is not going to be viewable in daylight.

Brightness is measured in candela per square meter, c/m2 or also nits. c/m2=nits. Same thing.
  • Daylight viewable means visible outside with no clouds, but no sun directly on the monitor.
  • Sunlight viewable means the sun is shining directly on the screen
  • Standard monitors and TVs range in brightness between about 250-400 nits.
  • Daylight viewable is usually defined as 800-1000 nits.
  • Sunlight viewable is usually defined as 1500+ nits.
So far, in the several other threads where people have been looking for inexpensive daylight/sunlight viewable screens, they have not been found. They seem to start at about the $1k mark, and go up steeply as the size goes up.

There are a few smaller screens (5-7") that can be found, but these are not usually suitably for use with a PC, unless the software has been specifically written for small screens.

The odds of an inexpensive one coming out does not seem good to me. Think about it. What's the market? Systems built in cars have the screens aimed so the reflection is from the inside roof of the car, so they don't need to be as bright. There's just about a zero market for screens that can be viewed when the sun is shining directly on it. Not much of a market for screens that can be viewed outside on a sunny day. ATM or Kiosks? They can use a bright CRT. Much cheaper. Burns a lot of AC, but that's OK for an ATM.

The reason for the previous paragraph is just to say I'm not betting on the price of 1500nit screens coming down in the near future. I think your decision is to either find a way to not use the screen outside, put up with an inconvenient outside screen (hood, etc.) or, save all the money you can by finding cheap PC, power supply, GPS, software, charts, etc., but bite the bullet and shell out the change for the monitor. In my experience, everything can be found very cheap, except the screen.

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Old 20-09-2011, 11:29   #45
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Re: Budget Setup - Navigation GPS / Chartplotter / Notebook

$500... hmmm. A used set of paper charts (any age), Explorer charts and a handheld gps or the best you can afford with what's left.
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