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Old 09-01-2015, 04:14   #1
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How many use OpenCPN?

I have the program on one of my laptops and kept meaning to use it on the boat. However the usb gps receiver I have doesnt work with windows 8 and I dont fancy using my win 7 machine on the water. Will have to get a win 8 compatible puck.

Im always impressed with the ongoing production of the program, and the regular updates here on C.F. Seems a lot of people are working their butts off to make the best program they can.

For those that use the program, either the stable version or the latest beta, can you tell us, as a user, the experience that you have with it, whether its easy to use or useful or as good as it appears to be?

I am not associated with OpenCPN. Im just at the crossroads of updating my hardware, and am intrigued by both the concept and what appears to a good working piece of kit.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:23   #2
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

It is better than it appears to be at first glance. There are many features that will surprise a new user. It has gotten more robust over time and is now very stable. At least in the US where charts are free it is all one needs to plan and navigate in real time. It has AIS capability. There are too many cool features to list here but one of the coolest is the ability to automatically create charts from Google Earth and load them in OpenCPN. In just a few minutes you can create a surface chart of any place in the world. It won't have depth information but it can be surprisingly useful. Some are using this feature to "correct" charts in places where the old charts are known to be "wrong".

Several people are working on radar integration but that's still not as slick as commercial MFDs.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:06   #3
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Knowing where to find the Coast Guard maps and opencpn software on the internet and being able to unzip the files have been too much for some people. Also, you have to tell opencpn where the Coast Guard files are located on the computer. I know this may be simple to a lot of folks, but I know of one major American Sailing Association sailing school owner that could not deal with it.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:14   #4
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pirate Re: How many use OpenCPN?

I like it as a back-up.. have a private set of CM charts on a stick that give different info to the CM charts on the Nimble program so in suspect areas I Toggle between the two and my paper for safety.. '09 and '11
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:17   #5
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Im in the UK and have a number of files....Cm93s. and have played in Bristol Harbour a few months ago. I have the latest CPN release and need to set it up, add a win 8 gps puck and then go move around the Channel. I need to check what other charts I have for compatibility with the program.

Always good to see an open source product actually become a worthwhile and useful venture.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:54   #6
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
Knowing where to find the Coast Guard maps and opencpn software on the internet and being able to unzip the files have been too much for some people. Also, you have to tell opencpn where the Coast Guard files are located on the computer. I know this may be simple to a lot of folks, but I know of one major American Sailing Association sailing school owner that could not deal with it.
I have been working on a tool that would download all the NOAA and Corp. of Engineers charts for the US then install them in OpenCPN without the user knowing anything about web addresses or how to install charts. If there is interest I will try to speed up the process. If someone knows of such a tool already then that would save some time obviously.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:33   #7
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

It's the only one I use. As well as easy zoom, easy range and direction display, routes and all the usual stuff, it also has AIS display and Google Maps overlay.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:43   #8
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

I'm playing with in on an old Motion Computing tablet I have on XP.
Really thinking that it will negate the need for a MFD or other device down below for me.
I don't see using it at the helm, but that's a hardware concern, not a software one.
I'm no computer guy by any means, but finding the charts, un-zipping them etc. was very well explained on the Open CPN webpage, I had no issues with that, need a good connection though, would have never worked on my Marina's Wifi.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:52   #9
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
I have been working on a tool that would download all the NOAA and Corp. of Engineers charts for the US then install them in OpenCPN without the user knowing anything about web addresses or how to install charts. If there is interest I will try to speed up the process. If someone knows of such a tool already then that would save some time obviously.
A long time ago, I have prototyped https://github.com/nohal/chartdldr_pi
Quite a layer of dust on it, but at the other hand can be resurrected.

Pavel
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:00   #10
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Using OpenCPN with CM93 since about 6 years. For me it is the best Navigation software ever. Not too much features on the surface but lot of capabilies and goodies in the options. Charts... of course always with an actual paper backup.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:35   #11
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I like it as a back-up.. have a private set of CM charts on a stick that give different info to the CM charts on the Nimble program so in suspect areas I Toggle between the two and my paper for safety.. '09 and '11
A dozen years ago in Malaysia there was a large, expensive yacht that had three different electronic chart displays on board. The owner sent her up on a rock when two out of three of the displays didn't show the rock, only one did. He figured he could safely ignore it......bad move.

I know somebody with your experience Boatman, would never make that mistake. Just thought I'd highlight it for others who may run into (pun intended) a similar situation.

Cheers.

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Old 09-01-2015, 10:38   #12
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

It's my primary navigation device. I've got it hooked to a SH VHF for AIS and it works well. Old XP laptop. USGS charts. Heck, I don't go many places and I could really navigate by sight most the time - but it's nice.

I find the U/I a bit klunky, but it's a fine chunk of software.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:17   #13
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
I have the program on one of my laptops and kept meaning to use it on the boat. However the usb gps receiver I have doesnt work with windows 8 and I dont fancy using my win 7 machine on the water. Will have to get a win 8 compatible puck.

Im always impressed with the ongoing production of the program, and the regular updates here on C.F. Seems a lot of people are working their butts off to make the best program they can.

For those that use the program, either the stable version or the latest beta, can you tell us, as a user, the experience that you have with it, whether its easy to use or useful or as good as it appears to be?

I am not associated with OpenCPN. Im just at the crossroads of updating my hardware, and am intrigued by both the concept and what appears to a good working piece of kit.
I used OpenCPN for a few years with a Win7 Acer-One netbook and BU-353S4 USB GPS receiver. It worked ok, but zooming and moving around the charts was a little clunky IMO. I don't have a chartplotter. My navigation is done with GPS and paper charts or with free OpenCPN and NOAA RNCs. On the netbook I got 4-6 hrs of battery life. The open source guys have my thanks for the continuous effort improving the program.

I just got a Win8 ASUS T200TA hybrid/tablet that gets about 11 hrs and the touch screen makes zooming etc much easier. With help from guys here on CF it turned out to be easy getting the OpenCPN 4.0.0 ship locator to work. The Win8 GPS/Geolocation Sensor worked different than the old Com Port method in Win7. I got help at Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN and at Windows 8.1 GPS Configuration OpenCPN 4.0.0.

I don't know if it makes a difference in speed/performance, or if OpenCPN 4.0.0 is better than 3.2.2, but I only loaded the NOAA Raster Charts for CA, OR, WA, and AK this time... before I loaded all of the US RNCs and ENCs.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:20   #14
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
A dozen years ago in Malaysia there was a large, expensive yacht that had three different electronic chart displays on board. The owner sent her up on a rock when two out of three of the displays didn't show the rock, only one did. He figured he could safely ignore it......bad move.

I know somebody with your experience Boatman, would never make that mistake. Just thought I'd highlight it for others who may run into (pun intended) a similar situation.

Cheers.

Dhillen
He wouldnt?
Oh.....
OK..........
He wouldnt......
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:43   #15
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Re: How many use OpenCPN?

Thing I like about Open CPN, is it's paper charts with all the margin data, notes etc., OK maybe not literally paper, but it's not someones proprietary conversion
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