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Old 07-01-2010, 13:47   #1
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Handhed ENC?

Are there any handheld or mountable GPS units that can receive ENC or Raster charts without the use of (tedious) Fugawi? If not, why doesn't someone make one and put Garmin out of business?
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Old 10-01-2010, 19:15   #2
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I am very surprised no one has commented on this yet.
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Old 10-01-2010, 20:26   #3
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To my knowledge no one makes a handheld GPS that uses free NOAA charts. All Garmins use their own proprietary charts, and the few other brands I've seen seem to use some variation on CMAP or Navionics.

One option is to use an iPhone with iNavX, which supports NOAA raster (but not vector) charts. There are a variety of threads around about the iPhone and options for waterproofing.

Another is to find a weatherproof tablet PC, or use a netbook or similar down below hooked to a weatherproof monitor on-deck. On either you could use OpenCPN which supports both NOAA ENC and raster charts.

None of that is very satisfying, I know, but that's the state of things. Most GPS manufacturers appear to be doing everything they can to keep you locked into pay-charts.
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Old 10-01-2010, 20:33   #4
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I have a pocket PC -- an older IPAQ 3850 -- which runs Maptech's navigation program and uses the free NOAA raster charts. It has an expansion battery pack and a Compact Flash GPS. The displayed charts are pretty darned good.

Works well, but battery life ain't great so it's best to leave plugged into a USB port or the mains.

These can be had on eBay and elsewhere for very little money...I think under $100 for the whole shebang.

Bill
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Old 10-01-2010, 20:36   #5
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I would love to use that of a laptop and free charts but it just doesn't seem feasible (see: Smaller Solar Panels) It strikes me as utterly ridiculous that we are paying out the nose for something that is available for free. The average Garmin card is $300. What's the deal here?
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Old 10-01-2010, 20:39   #6
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unbusted67,

BUSTED!

Your original post said you wanted a "handheld".

If you're talking laptop, then there are several free options. As mentioned above, OpenCPN is an excellent program which reads both raster and vector charts.

The charts themselves, as you know, are free.

All you need pay for is the laptop and a plug-in GPS. Lots of them available for very little money.

There you go.... what's wrong with that?

Bill
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Old 10-01-2010, 23:09   #7
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Bill thanks for the heads up but if you check out that link to the other thread you will soon learn that my power limitations and boat size will not allow me to use my toughbook CF 18 with open CPN and built in GPS. Hence the question about hand helds. Believe me if it were up to me I would gladly bring my laptop and use it as my primary electronic navigation aid. Maybe we could stick to the topic of hand-helds though because I have already dedicated three other threads to my CPU woes. Thanks

Anyone have any experience with these? Looks like you can get all of the NOAA ENCs for $30 a year. Beats Garmin.

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELi...&section=10461
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