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Old 04-03-2018, 17:50   #1
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Opecpn Gps for Mac

Hi everyone, I have recently downloaded opencpn for my MacBook Pro and have charts for the whole world downloaded but have no idea how to set up the Gps. I have read everything on google and watched youtube for hours and all I get is that I should install a usb gps. I am guessing that must be outdated information. Am I correct in that assumption or do I really need a usb gps?

Side note, there is no opencpn for iPad, iPhone so I plan to download navionics as well as a secondary. Surely on a phone you would not need a bluetooth gps ....

Thanks in advance for any help or advice. Just bought my first boat. Very excited take her over in 5 days so I am trying to prepare.

Cheers
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Old 04-03-2018, 18:21   #2
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

There is no GPS integrated in a MacBook, so you really DO need and external source of position information.
It may be USB, it may be Bluetooth or it may be some device on your local network (This device may even be your iphone running a specialized application).

From the affordable USB pucks, the US GlobalSat BU-353 is probably the most popular one, but the options are virtually unlimited.
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Old 04-03-2018, 18:28   #3
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

You want a GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver, available on Amazon currently for $35. I'm sure there are others, but I can confirm that this one works on a MacBook Pro. You may need to adjust the settings in OpenCPN under connections for the data port after the driver is installed for OpenCPN to properly communicate with it.

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Old 04-03-2018, 18:41   #4
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

Yep, I've got this one and it works great with my MacBook Pro. It gets a good strong lock even when below at the nav station.

Plug in the GPS to your USB port prior to starting OpenCPN then in OpenCPN->Preferences->Connections look for a DataPort that includes "usbserial" in its name and enable it.

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You want a GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver,
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Old 04-03-2018, 19:51   #5
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

Thanks everyone, wow, so I assumed the find my MacBook used gps but it actually uses the wifi... didn't know that.

Cheers, I will have to get on amazon.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:07   #6
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

I use the same GPS with my Mac and can echo the satisfaction you've read from the others.

Be aware that the GPS has a magnet in the base, so don't put it too close to a compass.

One thing I do to have a display in the cockpit is to run a VNC application on my iPad so that I can share my Mac's screen. This allows me to leave the Mac below deck (plugged in and dry) and view the display on the iPad from deck. Doing this will require that you have some sort of wifi network set up on your boat. Since I'm coastal most of the time I have the cell phone on and use its hotspot as a wireless hub, but you should be able to set up something different without much effort.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:25   #7
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

Just a warning...many people, including myself, haven't been able to hook up an external GPS or other devices to MacBook Pros running the recent High Sierra upgrade. However, I have been using the GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver for some time on a Macbook Air running Sierra and have had no problem getting the GPS date into MacENC, for example.

However, with my new Macbook Pro I have been totally unsuccessful in setting up a USB port to bring the GPS data into MacENC. Apple is unable to solve the bug, whatever it is. Frankly, it's a pain and if anyone else has solved the problem it would be good to know the fix.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:35   #8
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

I'm running High Sierra (10.13.3) without issues using the BU-353S4 on both MacENC and OpenCPN.

The difference might be that I configured all of these under Sierra prior to upgrading to High Sierra.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:20   #9
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

The Globalsat S4 was just OK for its time, but that is past. Today, for $13 (one third the price) you can buy a modern uBlox 8 USB GPS/Galileo/GLONASS/BeiDu puck. It will work out a very accurate position very quickly, using your choice of three of the four systems combined. See https://www.ebay.com/itm/BN-808-USB-...72.m2749.l2649

If you connect the GPS directly to OpenCPN it will not be available for other apps. Instead install GPSd, which will handle connection to pretty much any GPS, and make the data available to multiple apps through virtual ports. Support for configuring the uBlox 8 is currently under development for GPSd; otherwise the Win-only uCenter app can be used to configure (ugh).

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Old 05-03-2018, 23:05   #10
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

Just a GPS can be had fairly cheaply. But, if you take the integrated approach, you can get a Vesper XB-800 AIS for your yacht. That has the added feature of providing a NMEA2000 bridge to TCP/IP, and a wireless router. Your computer should connect to your wind, depth, autopilot etc (assuming you have a suite of N2K instruments). Very useful and easy to integrate (I use a Mac mini, I assume PowerBook will be the same.

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Old 07-03-2018, 17:09   #11
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

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Originally Posted by SierraHiker View Post
Just a warning...many people, including myself, haven't been able to hook up an external GPS or other devices to MacBook Pros running the recent High Sierra upgrade. However, I have been using the GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver for some time on a Macbook Air running Sierra and have had no problem getting the GPS date into MacENC, for example.

However, with my new Macbook Pro I have been totally unsuccessful in setting up a USB port to bring the GPS data into MacENC. Apple is unable to solve the bug, whatever it is. Frankly, it's a pain and if anyone else has solved the problem it would be good to know the fix.
I just got a BU-353S4 and in less than 5 mins had it talking to my MACBook pro with High Sierra in OpenCPN. Had to go to the globalsat web page and download the latest driver.
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Old 07-03-2018, 17:14   #12
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

Funny I just was screwing around with this. If you want an at least temporary solution download GPSIP for your iPhone (around $10) and use it as the GPS for OpenCPN. Works great at least for testing and learning purposes. I have yet to use it in a real world situation though so no guarantees...

GPS2IP can turn your iPhone or iPad into a wireless GPS for interfacing with navigation software on your local network, a server sitting on the internet, or anything in between.
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Old 23-07-2018, 14:38   #13
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

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Originally Posted by bletso View Post
I just got a BU-353S4 and in less than 5 mins had it talking to my MACBook pro with High Sierra in OpenCPN. Had to go to the globalsat web page and download the latest driver.
I had it working on Sierra. I have 10.13.4 and it will not load. I even went to the Prolific site to find the latest driver. I follow the instrucitons exactly and remove the old driver from /Library/Extensions/ and reboot, install the new driver, reboot, plug in the GPS and check for the driver. It refuses to load.
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:12   #14
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

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It refuses to load.
More likely, the Mac refuses to load it. I have moved away from the Mac after 30 years (yes, Mac Plus days) so I can't provide specific help, but generally all OSes are locking down kernel extensions (kexts) and refusing to load unless signed. In this case it looks like it requires user approval: https://developer.apple.com/library/...59/_index.html


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Old 23-07-2018, 16:06   #15
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Re: Opecpn Gps for Mac

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
More likely, the Mac refuses to load it. I have moved away from the Mac after 30 years (yes, Mac Plus days) so I can't provide specific help, but generally all OSes are locking down kernel extensions (kexts) and refusing to load unless signed. In this case it looks like it requires user approval: https://developer.apple.com/library/...59/_index.html


Greg


I did that. Now I'm suspicious that Parallels is grabbing the driver.
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