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Old 07-01-2013, 16:20   #16
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

I am also in the pre-planning stage and plan to use a laptop plus a chart plotter as well as a handheld. my question, not totally unrelated, is will any of the computer based navigation products run on Windows 8 that any of you are aware of? I need to purchase a laptop for this (since my Mac will be dedicated to photo and film editing) and want to make sure I don't end up with an OS that will not work.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:31   #17
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbchristo View Post
I am also in the pre-planning stage and plan to use a laptop plus a chart plotter as well as a handheld. my question, not totally unrelated, is will any of the computer based navigation products run on Windows 8 that any of you are aware of? I need to purchase a laptop for this (since my Mac will be dedicated to photo and film editing) and want to make sure I don't end up with an OS that will not work.
I'm looking for an old Lap-top with the same goal.
I've found the old ASUS eee pc's to be excellent for this.
They are small, have an SSD drive instead of hard drive so no need to worry about engine vibrations or heavy seas. And work directly on 12V so no expensive adapter needed. I'm setting this system up now, haven't used it. I'm using an exterior GPS receiver a radargadget AIS receiver, a second 12V LCD screen built in behind plexi glass so I can follow at the helm and a waterproof trackerball to operate from at the helm.
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:35   #18
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

We have full paper charts for everywhere we have cruised for the last 40 yrs! I use these along with a simple handheld GPS and my sextant. Connie has her laptop with the Capt program and pretty much world wide charts on it with this abundance of stuff we have been most everywhere we wanted! When we started out we had charts and a sextant and a taff rail log! and that was enough, but the addition of a simple handheld gps did make things a bit more simple ! but I still ck with my sextant when conditions are right! and ck my chart position against Connies laptop every day at noon just for drill!! works for us ! but no way will i leave for anywhere without my paper charts!! but them Im old and set in my ways LOL
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:48   #19
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

Well, there are old sailors and bold sailors but no old bold sailors.
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Old 07-01-2013, 19:12   #20
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

OpenCpn works on Windows 8. I doubt you will have many problems with others as Windows 8 is internally quite similar to Windows 7 which has been around quite a long time now.

As for EEE PCs. These are OK if you have an external monitor, otherwise the screen is sometimes too small (like dialog boxes too big so that the OK button disappears).
I know they take 12v as input but never run them off the 12v system without a stabilizer, as your voltage will rise to 14,4 volts when charged, or even higher if you have a solar charger that performs equalization charge. Also computers really don't like voltage spikes, starting the engine could kill your PC.


I don't like using a laptop on a daily basis, on a small 28ft they tend to get splashed sooner or later. If you are really cheap on money / energy, get a waterproof android phone (Motorola Defy+ or similar, cheap on ebay) and the Navionics charts (15-20 USD for very large regions). Highly accurate and works every time. Not as comfortable as a good chartplotter / PC but way cheaper, almost no energy requirements and very reliable. After using it for several month side by side with an expensive chart plotter and PC setup, this became on of the more useful things (always on, no boot time, always at hand, etc).


BTW: Cruised one year, crossed an ocean, never used a paper chart. But be prepared (backup solutions, emergency chargers, etc).
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Old 07-01-2013, 21:24   #21
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

I love the laptop chart plotter.. My 23 is big but small if you know what I mean. My laptop is also my T.V. dvd player. I do small trips 3-7 days. Plan them for great weather. My 23 is a pop top and only when it rains do I protect my computer. I can find laptops running vista for $50-75 bucks on craigslist and I have a back up laptop in a waterproof bag allways. I print out the charts of harbors that are important to my trip and throw them into plastic folders and keep them in a binder for later use. A handheld gps and I'm set for a week or more if I want. I coastal cruize so I also hook my laptop to the internet via my smart phone. Its an all in one system and I love it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:29   #22
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
OpenCpn works on Windows 8. I doubt you will have many problems with others as Windows 8 is internally quite similar to Windows 7 which has been around quite a long time now.

As for EEE PCs. These are OK if you have an external monitor, otherwise the screen is sometimes too small (like dialog boxes too big so that the OK button disappears).
I know they take 12v as input but never run them off the 12v system without a stabilizer, as your voltage will rise to 14,4 volts when charged, or even higher if you have a solar charger that performs equalization charge. Also computers really don't like voltage spikes, starting the engine could kill your PC.


I don't like using a laptop on a daily basis, on a small 28ft they tend to get splashed sooner or later. If you are really cheap on money / energy, get a waterproof android phone (Motorola Defy+ or similar, cheap on ebay) and the Navionics charts (15-20 USD for very large regions). Highly accurate and works every time. Not as comfortable as a good chartplotter / PC but way cheaper, almost no energy requirements and very reliable. After using it for several month side by side with an expensive chart plotter and PC setup, this became on of the more useful things (always on, no boot time, always at hand, etc).


BTW: Cruised one year, crossed an ocean, never used a paper chart. But be prepared (backup solutions, emergency chargers, etc).
I still have old paper charts as a back up.

As for water damage, the laptop is going to be closed and tucked away inside a cabinet. I have an external screen outside which I can see from the helm and a waterproof Trackerball and keyboard outside.

Since I can't move the screen I might take out the lap top once and a while to do routeplanning inside.

As for a sextant, I've learned how to use them in Nautical college, used it a few times on board commercial ships as practice. But I don't have one of my own yet for on the sailboat. The good ones are damn expensive.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:39   #23
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
OpenCpn works on Windows 8. I doubt you will have many problems with others as Windows 8 is internally quite similar to Windows 7 which has been around quite a long time now.
I got frustrated with my windows 7 installed OpenCPN, laptop keeps crashing after a while, consistently. I understand the Open CPN works better with older versions of windows but I have no experience. Otherwise my laptop is in perfect condition, a good quality Asus one, and everything uptodate. So not sure what's the problem. Could be something as simple as a bad connection from the GPS or the serial adapter.
Anyways, I decided, as I don't want another laptop to run the open CPN, and I want something Marine quality outside in the cockpit, that the only way to go for me is to get paper charts and a quality GPS Chartplotter in the cockpit in front of the wheel.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:11   #24
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

First of all, learn to use your backup systems. Laptop navigating is so easy, convenient, and accurate, that you might otherwise not pay much attention to keeping your skills fresh with traditional methods. Learn to construct a Mercator plot sheet. This is basically just a blank chart with lat and long lines appropriately spaced for a given mid-latitude, and a compass rose. No need to have a paper chart for an ocean crossing. A plot sheet is also great for keeping your DR on. You can also plot your LOPs from celestial observations, advance or retard to get a fix, and then plot just the fix on your actual paper chart. Less clutter that way. Paper charting is a great backup because power is not needed. Fancy devices are not needed. You can make a chip log out of a piece of string and a chunk of wood.

But now the laptop, charting software and charts, and a GPS are simply the Bee's Knees. I am currently switching to OpenCPN but what I was using, Fugawi, is also pretty good. For U.S. waters, download the ENC charts. I like the scalability and seamless operation. I have a USB GPS dongle that came free with Microsoft Streets and Trips that works fine. You can keep all your waypoints and routes to share or to use again. You can see at a glance where you are in relation to hazards, your route, etc. You don't need a big table to spread out a bunch of charts. It really is the best primary navigation system outside pilotage waters. Just don't neglect to include a backup system that requires no electricity or electronics. That means, of course, paper charts of some sort, leadline, chip log, and basic celestial skills.

There are other alternatives to a laptop. The iphone or ipad are smaller and use less charging juice. I have iNavX on my iphone 4S and I love it, for US waters. Unfortunately getting other charts can be a convoluted process. You can't just load them directly from your PC. I also have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" droid tablet, and there are apps that allow you to copy charts directly to the device. Marine Navigator is good, and MX Navigator also, though I don't like using those *.gemf archives that MX uses.

When you consider the fact that your laptop or other device also has many other useful functions besides electronic chart navigation, the reasons to have a free standing chart plotter aren't so compelling. A plotter will usually be a little more robust and water resistant, but you can't watch a movie on your chart plotter, or listen to tunes with it, or send emails or download stuff with it. If you ask me, a laptop, tablet, or smartphone will do the job just fine. Just (I will say again) don't rely on it exclusively, and neglect to have a backup system that needs neither electricity nor electronic gadgets. Keep a DR at all times. You never know when you will have to fall back on it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:35   #25
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

A laptop or cell phone is fine, if you have a navigator who can always go below to use them. Unlike chartplotters, they are rarely daylight-readable, so if you are navigating on a PC or phone, you'll need paper charts to keep on deck, or you'll need to keep ducking below.

There's a reason chartplotters still cost extra, and that bright screen is a big part of it. Necessary? No. Terribly convenient? Forsure.
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Old 10-01-2013, 18:50   #26
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

11 years ago when I was in NZ a fellow sailor downloaded the whole world of charts on my laptop, I think it was Maxsea but there was another program other sailors had for free at that time so I might be wrong. It might have been cracked software but I'm not sure. I hooked up my GPS to it and it was a great program but like others here I'm still hooked on paper backup. Now we are going to give it one more go and I'm wondering what I should do for world wide charts for my laptop, I'd sure appreciate some advice.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:07   #27
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
A laptop or cell phone is fine, if you have a navigator who can always go below to use them. Unlike chartplotters, they are rarely daylight-readable, so if you are navigating on a PC or phone, you'll need paper charts to keep on deck, or you'll need to keep ducking below.
Thats why I said waterproof IP67 phone. They can all take spray, rain, etc, though I would not dunk them for a prolonged time. There are plenty of model available:
Motorola Defy
Sony Experia Active
Sony Experia V
Galaxy XCover
Panasoni Eluga
Caterpillar B10
plus many more

Screens are getting better and easily surpass older chartplotters. Not the latest model for 3000EUR though...
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:52   #28
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
I got frustrated with my windows 7 installed OpenCPN, laptop keeps crashing after a while, consistently. I understand the Open CPN works better with older versions of windows but I have no experience. Otherwise my laptop is in perfect condition, a good quality Asus one, and everything uptodate. So not sure what's the problem. Could be something as simple as a bad connection from the GPS or the serial adapter.
Anyways, I decided, as I don't want another laptop to run the open CPN, and I want something Marine quality outside in the cockpit, that the only way to go for me is to get paper charts and a quality GPS Chartplotter in the cockpit in front of the wheel.
I've had problems with those pesky usb/serial adaptors, one laptop doesn't like them but another idetical system seems fine. Might be that. Ocpn seems pretty solid otherwise.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:51   #29
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

hi triton 318
yes it is possible to have a software system put on your laptop you can select where you want to sail to and request an upto date permit when ever needed
you can contact me direct to discuss further
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:54   #30
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Re: Laptop With Digital Charts Possible?

hi you can get soft ware for your laptops i have just helped out a client of a company who needed to be able to go over the world with just his laptop and charts i can tell you about the software and you would be able to apply for the permits you need as and when you need them on your journey send me a message if you need more info on the soft ware and the costs
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