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Old 28-05-2014, 23:43   #46
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

> Turning a laptop on and off for navigation means one thing: you need paper.

Or a GPS/Chartplotter/tablet that you can navigate with once you have done your planning on the laptop and turned it off.

I find it trivial with Garmin to transfer routes/tracks/waypoints between the GPS/Chartplotter SD card and HomePort on the laptop.
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Old 29-05-2014, 02:43   #47
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

My new furuno Chartplotter has a USB socket and bluetooth for a mouse (and a monitor cable) In theory (I haven't tried it yet) you could hook up as big a screen as you want inthe salon and use a mouse to navigate around the charts.

Having said that - I still prefer paper for the overview it gives me
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Old 29-05-2014, 03:04   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
My new furuno Chartplotter has a USB socket and bluetooth for a mouse (and a monitor cable) In theory (I haven't tried it yet) you could hook up as big a screen as you want inthe salon and use a mouse to navigate around the charts.

Having said that - I still prefer paper for the overview it gives me
My Zeuses have DVI sockets for an external monitor. But the resolution is the video card is only 800 x 600 - less than my phone!!
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Old 29-05-2014, 03:32   #49
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

I don't think I've ever planned , on anything , except paper. However opencpn, or any good chart software on a 50 inch screen , I might reconsider.

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Old 29-05-2014, 03:57   #50
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
...... and they definitely have an Achilles' heel, power.
.
Not a high end system, but a cubietruck mini computer draws about 0.35a is quick enough for OpenCpn, the monitor rarely gets looked at for more than a few seconds down below so spends most of it's time turned off. Add AIS engine and gps it's still under 0.5A.


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Old 29-05-2014, 04:00   #51
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Maybe its me, but Im NOT seeing the problem here.
  • Chart out the entire trip.
  • Break each leg into the amount of travel your vessel does in a 12/24 hours period.
  • Break the leg into 2 hour sections so that a view can be had of the area you are in right now.
  • A simple touch of the button will give more or less detail.
You dont need a huge screen. 10/12 inches will give ALL the detail required.



Im beginning to think that we suffer from familiarity rather than the reality. Yes I like a chart to see the journey in the overall picture, but the fact remains that when we are in a particular area, our focus is on a small part of the chart only...... One touch of a button toggles to overview or detailed. With every required variant inbetween.






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Old 29-05-2014, 06:30   #52
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Maybe its me, but Im NOT seeing the problem here.
  • Chart out the entire trip.
  • Break each leg into the amount of travel your vessel does in a 12/24 hours period.
  • Break the leg into 2 hour sections so that a view can be had of the area you are in right now.
  • A simple touch of the button will give more or less detail.
You dont need a huge screen. 10/12 inches will give ALL the detail required.



Im beginning to think that we suffer from familiarity rather than the reality. Yes I like a chart to see the journey in the overall picture, but the fact remains that when we are in a particular area, our focus is on a small part of the chart only...... One touch of a button toggles to overview or detailed. With every required variant inbetween.






In simple water like that, I skip the paper, too. Not much planning needed for that, unless you have tides and currents to consider.

When the water is more complicated, you need to be able to see obstacles here and there at the same time in order to pick a rational path through them. Where I am now:

Click image for larger version

Name:	inavscs.jpg
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Size:	428.3 KB
ID:	82072
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Old 29-05-2014, 06:58   #53
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
My new furuno Chartplotter has a USB socket and bluetooth for a mouse (and a monitor cable) In theory (I haven't tried it yet) you could hook up as big a screen as you want inthe salon and use a mouse to navigate around the charts.
Yes, that works quite well.

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Old 29-05-2014, 07:09   #54
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Hey Aussi MarkJ....well written and entertaining as well.
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Old 29-05-2014, 07:11   #55
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
I just went through a long conversation over an email list about computers on boats, and they definitely have an Achilles' heel, power.

If it's not built around a 12 volt power supply, converting battery power from the house battery to 120 and back to what the computer draws is an enormous drain, in part because the double conversion is inherently extremely inefficient.

If it is built from the ground up to be a boat computer, the monitor will still be one of the three biggest drains on the house battery. On every boat in our fleet except one, an Apple laptop, which is one of the most efficient battery designs, will drain the house battery in less than three hours when the engine isn't running.

I've seen exactly one boat that has a computer on it for navigation with a reasonable 12 volt setup. That boat's system has both a 12 volt power supply for the computer and a 12 volt supply for the monitor, and the monitor is modified to draw low power. The two of them together still draw 36W. That boat also has five Group 34 batteries in the house bank, in part because of the navigation station.

Using a laptop with a GPS puck for navigation is one of those things that sounds great when you first hear it, but the details make it a fairly expensive proposition. Running a computer on a sailboat constantly (which is one of the main benefits of a plotter in the first place) is not as simple as buying an inverter and a puck, downloading some free software and plugging her in.

Turning a laptop on and off for navigation means one thing: you need paper.
My navigation laptop and our chartplotter draw the same amount of power. If your computer is drawing down your house batteries in 3hrs, you either have the wrong computer or insufficient house batteries. A typical large inefficient laptop draw is 5-7A, which means your house batteries are 25Ahr?

DC-AC-DC conversion is not an enormous drain, or much inherently inefficient at all. A small brick converter is 95% efficient and contributes only a few hundred milliamps in overhead.

Most people are using laptops, which lend themselves very well to DC power, even if you need to use a DC adapter to boost the DC voltage.

I would not put Apple laptop batteries in the category of "most efficient design", and we own three of them so I speak from experience.

Group 34 are starting batteries. If someone had 5 of them in their house bank, they probably didn't know what they were doing, and I doubt that number of batteries was driven solely by the need to use a computer for navigation.

I don't get the comment of turning a computer on and off for navigation. That is also how we use our chartplotter as well as our computer. It is also how we used paper charts (get them out and put them away). We never run the chartplotter or paper charts constantly when not navigating. What would be the point?

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Old 29-05-2014, 07:22   #56
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In simple water like that, I skip the paper, too. Not much planning needed for that, unless you have tides and currents to consider.

When the water is more complicated, you need to be able to see obstacles here and there at the same time in order to pick a rational path through them. Where I am now:

Attachment 82072
Aw shucks Dockhead - you don't need no paper for that. A good hand in the bows with a line throwing the lead, a little light-handed helmsman and away you go!

Been there done that - paper in that area is very useful
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Old 29-05-2014, 07:34   #57
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In simple water like that, I skip the paper, too. Not much planning needed for that, unless you have tides and currents to consider.

When the water is more complicated, you need to be able to see obstacles here and there at the same time in order to pick a rational path through them. Where I am now:

Attachment 82072
I set depth minimums, and draw a straight (ish) path to where I want to get. Then I zoom in a little and follow the course. Once I have an idea of the obstacles, I can change track. I believe it is the same, only your experience with paper is far superior to mine as is your ability to view it from a larger perspective.

I tend to work "outside in" with screens. Its what Im used to and have got comfortable with.

This is in no way a disrespect to paper charts or the lack of comfort in using a computer chart........ it is a learning curve that needs to be undertaken and if the comfort zone is not there, then that is another matter completely.

Sail carefully!
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Old 29-05-2014, 07:55   #58
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
I set depth minimums, and draw a straight (ish) path to where I want to get. Then I zoom in a little and follow the course. Once I have an idea of the obstacles, I can change track. I believe it is the same, only your experience with paper is far superior to mine as is your ability to view it from a larger perspective.

I tend to work "outside in" with screens. Its what Im used to and have got comfortable with.

This is in no way a disrespect to paper charts or the lack of comfort in using a computer chart........ it is a learning curve that needs to be undertaken and if the comfort zone is not there, then that is another matter completely.

Sail carefully!
Your technique will work with reasonably simple water, and that's more or less what I do myself. In many cases you can plan on a plotter because you have safe, deep water over most of the passage, and you have some idea of how to get out of or into the places at the beginning and the end. Then you just double check by zooming in along your courseline (that "fly over" function of Furuno sounds really useful for this).

But when the water gets more complicated, with many obstacles over much of the passage, you just can't solve it without the whole picture. A good way to imagine the problem is to visualize a maze -- how to get out of it? If you can't see the whole maze, but can only zoom in on a little bit of it at a time, it will be extremely tedious and time consuming, if it is possible at all. You can't just "change track" when you see an obstacle, because "changing track" negates your solutions for all the previous obstacles -- you have to start over again. If you can see the whole maze at once, however -- you can pick a way through it.
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Old 29-05-2014, 08:30   #59
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

Dockhead, you may want the paper but you still have to lay out the route in the plotter. We deal with this all the time in the PNW. Even if you have paper you still need the GPS driven picture to avoid the obstacles along your route. A chart on the table tells you that there is a rock/reef ahead but your eyes only give you an approximate fix on your own position. In the absence of local knowledge that is not good enough. You will run aground or be forced to proceed very slowly.

It takes time to set up the route in the plotter and do the zoom in and out needed to refine a safe route. I do it at anchor the night before and then check it when I load the route in the AM. If I find a mistake I fix it prior to departure. The most challenging use of the plotter always happens if conditions force me off my route. Extreme low visability navigation on the fly in narrow rock strewn passages inhabited by fast super ferries is stressful to say the least. Nevertheless the work of doing the setup first has always payed off.
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Old 29-05-2014, 08:32   #60
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Re: More Thoughts About Paper

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"Hey, skipper, what's that sixty inch monitor in your cockpit for?!"
I am waiting for the first tablet computers with a screen of the size of half an admiralty chart...
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