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Old 03-11-2011, 20:22   #1
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GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

I'm sure the answer is somewhere in the forum.

What I am looking to understand is how you go about setting your PC/notebook with chart plotting software, electronic charts, etc so that I can use it in addition to my boats garmin chartplotter.

I guess I need chart ploting software and I've seen reference to Opencpn which I have downloaded. Maybe there are not for free alternatives and other open source options?

Next I guess I need some charts to load into the PC? Where can I select and download the ones I want? Intially Greek Islands and Turkey, and the rest of the Mediteranean.

Are there open source free charts?

Finally I guess I need some kind of GPS device to connect to, or download into my PC?

Any guidance appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2011, 20:31   #2
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Re: GPS chart plotting with a PC/Notebook

I bought a $25 GPS "puck" that attaches to my USB port. That gives OpenCPN the GPS location. For the US you can download the charts from free from NOAA. My country - Canada - charges us for them. Dunno much about Europe but I expect the situation is similar. There are chart sets called CM93 floating around which as near as I can tell are technically bootleg copies but are so old that nobody cares anymore. I was offered a set at Trawlerfest in Anacortes last spring but the guy offering them was such an all around prick I said no thanks just so I wouldn't have to spend any more time around him. YMMV

I also purchased a copy of Fugawi with their proprietary chart package. It runs on the same computer using the same GPS puck. I use a program called GPSGate to allow me to send the signal from one GPS input to two pieces of software running simultaneously. I don't do that very often because OpenCPN is so good but there are (a very few) times when Fugawi has better imagery.
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Old 03-11-2011, 21:22   #3
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

sea clear
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Old 03-11-2011, 23:12   #4
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

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Originally Posted by miles1865 View Post
sea clear
???????
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Old 03-11-2011, 23:18   #5
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

SeaClear GPS Navigation Software

Here's a link to seaclear software.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:50   #6
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Re: GPS chart plotting with a PC/Notebook

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There are chart sets called CM93 floating around are so old that nobody cares anymore.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:00   #7
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

...and this is "UPDATED"(2010) Maptech Med. chart


..and this is the same year CM93 that "are so old that nobody cares anymore".

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Old 06-11-2011, 04:19   #8
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

Can anyone show me where to download CM93 charts from?
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:02   #9
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I've CM93 Charts, OpenCPN, GPS Puck and new Note book.... just cannot get them to tie together.... this techie stuff is a killer...
Can see me retreating back to my 10yr old H/H GPS again....lol
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:13   #10
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

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Originally Posted by Kojiro View Post
Can anyone show me where to download CM93 charts from?
Have you tried googling CM93 Torrent download? - You might get some hits.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:31   #11
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

Well, if you are on the shore you can use something like Google Charts with GPS plug-in. Then you only need a GPS USB puck.

If you want to use the PC away from the Internet, then you will need some sort of:
- charting software, e.g. OpenCPN,
- electronic charts,
- GPS unit (you can use a USB puck or you can use your chartplotter's data out.

Go to threads devoted to OpenCPN on this forum and you will find about all freebies. If your chartplotter outputs NMEA then you have all the elements you need.

b.
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Old 06-11-2011, 16:31   #12
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

Thanks everyone so far.
At the moment I'm a bit lost in this whole confusing IT thing.

I have OpenCPN installed.
I've downloaded what appear to be CM93 files from a site called First Load Ikarus.

I boot up OpenCPN and all I can seem to get is the blacl screen with the green outline of Europe, etc etc. I try and point it at one of the CM93 files but nothing changes.

Any ideas about what I'm doing wrong? This should be easy.
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Old 06-11-2011, 16:32   #13
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I've CM93 Charts, OpenCPN, GPS Puck and new Note book.... just cannot get them to tie together.... this techie stuff is a killer...
Can see me retreating back to my 10yr old H/H GPS again....lol

That's it, exactly. This should be easy.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:41   #14
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Re: GPS Chart Plotting with a PC / Notebook

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Originally Posted by Kojiro View Post

I boot up OpenCPN and all I can seem to get is the blacl screen with the green outline of Europe, etc etc. I try and point it at one of the CM93 files but nothing changes.

Any ideas about what I'm doing wrong? This should be easy.
All your charts should be in one directory, or sub directories of one main directory (make sure they have been uncompressed after down loading them as they may be in RAR or other format).

You need to open the toolbox, go to the chart tab and then browse to the main directory containing the charts. Select that and then check the box to rebuild the database.

Good luck - I've found it to be a fantastic system!
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