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Old 11-12-2007, 14:32   #1
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Question NOAA Charts on handheld Magellan XL GPS

Hi everyone, I've recently purchased a Magellan eXplorist XL handheld GPS unit. I've also been playing around with downloaded NOAA ENC and BSB chart formats on my notebook PC. I have several applications that can view these charts as well as provide realtime navigation when the XL is attached to the PC.

I have a radar / GPS on board the boat, but would like to be able to use the handheld for backup purposes. I can buy Magellan's BlueNav charts, and may do so if I'm unsuccessful with this project; but I believe there must be a way to do this with freely downloadable technology.

Has anyone successfully been able to get ENC or BSB (KAP) files converted to the Magellan eXplorist format? If so, what did you use for the conversion? After many online searches, I suspect this may be a multi step, multi tool process.

Thanks in advance for any advice and guidance.
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Old 11-12-2007, 17:49   #2
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Unfortunately the file formats are not compatable and FWIW I have yet to find a file able to convert ENC to either the Magellan or Garmin BlueChart formats (which is very frustrating!).

s/v HyLyte!
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Old 31-01-2008, 07:41   #3
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Delorme

Just released a unit that will do this. Get this, they ahve to be "Converted" to work on the unit. Guess who does the conversion..

Delorme...
Guess how much...

$50 a chart!!!

Yeah, that is going to sell well...
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Old 31-01-2008, 12:22   #4
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Quote:
Has anyone successfully been able to get ENC or BSB (KAP) files converted to the Magellan eXplorist format?
I have used both ENC and BSB to make PocketPC versions of the maps that worked with PathAway and Fugawi. Both these software packages run on Palm and PocketPC GPS enabled handhelds but none of them use true vector graphics but they do have desktop versions that can convert them into formats that can be used on the handheld.

The eXplorist isn't really a generalized handheld computer that will run other general software. It only runs proprietary software preloaded. For the same money a regular PockePC with GPS can do more. Garmin has a hand held that does and you can now find many handhelds that run all sorts of applications. These would include smart phones as well. I have a Mio that I like a lot. It will take a 2GB SD Memory card so you can fill it with maps. Some of the smartphones now hold 4 GB micro SD chips.

Right now I would say PathAway is the better handheld software product. It has more features than the Fugawi version that is included in the desktop version. PathAway can use generic maps.
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Old 31-01-2008, 12:36   #5
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FWIW, I have NOAA raster charts running beautifully on my IPAQ 3850. I have a DVD with ALL U.S. charts, and have loaded all Chesapeake Bay charts and a few others onto the IPAQ.

The IPAQ is old technology, and very inexpensive. You can put together a great little handheld for about $200. Mine has:

64mb internal memory
1 gb additional memory chip (fits into the IPAQ itself)
an expansion pack which the IPAQ slides into
an extra battery located in the expansion pack
a Scandisk compact flash adapter which slides into the top of the expansion pack
a 20-channel GPS card which slides into the compact flash adapter
Maptech's Pocket Navigator
Memory Map Navigator
Microsoft's Active Sync

Works like a charm. Also, it's a real computer, complete with Internet Explorer, Excel, Word, etc. I've also loaded PocketDOS so I can run my DOS navigation programs (like PC Nav). Also, a PDF reader.

Neat little package.

Bill
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Old 03-02-2008, 18:44   #6
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I'd recommend an HTC Touch, if you want to go the PocketPC route. It will accept an 8gb SDHC memory card so you'll have plenty of space for maps. I use mine with a 50-channel keychain Bluetooth GPS receiver that's about the size of four quarters stacked up.
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Old 03-02-2008, 19:36   #7
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Interesting read about that here
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: DeLorme PN-20, first &$?!ing look
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:15   #8
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There are some significant differences between a PDA and a dedicated hand held. I spent alot of time trying different solutions for software on a Motorcycle - and the needs are similar. Tough, water tight, and easily used.

Most PDAs cannot be used out in the open, except on clear, calm days. They also don't have cotrols that can be used to completely control the software without using a stylus. Using a stylus in weather, with gloves on would be promblematic. Of course, at that time, the PDA would not be on deck, as it would succumb to the water/rain in no time.

Chris

PS - I have a LXE MX5 extreme rugged PDA for sale if somebody wants to go this route. Full keyboard, mucho tough and waterproof.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:13   #9
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I agree. My PDA is only going to be used as a third backup.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:24   #10
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OK, thanks for all the PDA solutions.... BUT, I have an Magellan eXplorist XL (not a PDA, but a dedicated GPS receiver with a nice sized screen) that I'd like to use to read NOAA charts. So no one has successfully been able to convert these to the required format? Now that boating season is under way, I've started playing with this again. I've successfully converted all the Great Lakes into various "standard" formats (JPG, BMP, etc.) and am looking into Magellan's own Mobile Mapper utility that might be able to do the trick for me. I'll update this post with the results soon.
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Old 11-06-2008, 22:49   #11
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I have an explorist 600 and I would love to have the ENC charts on the unit. Please let us know of any success you have with this.
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