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Old 23-08-2009, 21:06   #16
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Yup, loaded them this afternoon. So $20 lost. I guess now I can make pretty backdrops for images or something. If anyone needs a nice PNG or JPG of an area of a NOAA chart, just PM me.
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Old 23-08-2009, 21:13   #17
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Originally Posted by Down2TheC View Post
Yup, loaded them this afternoon. So $20 lost. I guess now I can make pretty backdrops for images or something. If anyone needs a nice PNG or JPG of an area of a NOAA chart, just PM me.
Well, look at it this way. When it comes to boats, loosing only $20 is a bargain.

-dan
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Old 26-08-2009, 15:14   #18
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A chartplotter cheaper than PC + software + charts. And waterproof. And less power consuming. And easier connections.

The new Garmin 620 cream, if a bit small screen does not bother you.

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Old 26-08-2009, 17:13   #19
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I prefer the flexibility of a PC. (plus work paid for the laptop... I spend $80 on the USB GPS.) And with the netbooks coming out today power's not an issue. The laptop is dual purpose but once the next gen of Atom processors come out in the fall, I think the boat will get a dedicated Netbook for Xmas.
Were I voyaging I'd certainly want a plotter at the helm.
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Old 27-08-2009, 07:02   #20
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Has anyone tried the fit-pc2 in there boat.
It seems good, low power consumption @ 6w, runs on direct current and is smaller than a compact disk, price is good also.
check out Fit-Pc Ireland
thinking of getting one but would like to know if anyone has tried it.
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Old 27-08-2009, 09:42   #21
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I tried many dedicated PC solutions and they all sucked.

What we found works best / cheapest (other than a dedicated plotter with cartridges placed at the helm) is have a laptop just ticking in the locker and linked to a standard LCD monitor attached above the navstation + a keyboard on the charttable. Should the laptop die on you, you take the other one and just plug it in. And it doubles as entertainment station / Internet wi-fi, etc. in port and at anchor. Ours also connects to the plotter and sends WPTs - faster than entering them on the plotter's smallish screen.

Surprisingly, it took some trial and much error to find a good mouse to use when out at sea - and we learned to use the keyboard interface a lot in the process.

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Old 27-08-2009, 09:54   #22
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I have a c120 at the helm and love it. No problems so far. On longer sails I take my laptop loaded with GPSNavx as a backup and for planning the next part of the trip.
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Old 27-08-2009, 10:22   #23
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Quote:
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Has anyone tried the fit-pc2 in there boat.
It seems good, low power consumption @ 6w, runs on direct current and is smaller than a compact disk, price is good also.
check out Fit-Pc Ireland
thinking of getting one but would like to know if anyone has tried it.
Theres quite a lot of these low-cost "industrial pcs" around. Make sure you look for the fanless, SSD harddisk versions, these should consume the least power. Incidentally, thats exactly the type of hardware youd find inside a commercial chartplotter (minus the daylight capable led and the exorbitant cost).
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Old 27-08-2009, 10:43   #24
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Well in this day and age you are almost certainly going to have a pc or laptop on the boat in any event, so it is not fair to compare the cost of a pc + navigation software with the cost of a chartplotter.

But yes, if you want a waterproof pc with a sunlight viewable screen to use in the cockpit, then the cost goes way up.
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Old 01-10-2009, 18:37   #25
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Well , not really.
Lets see... cost of a dedicated pc on board.... varies of course, but one can be built for 300-500.
OS 99 for linux to 250 for windows
Monitors, Well there the price can be all over the place, but 19" at the nav station 250, plus swing arm mount, then the cockpit sunlight viewable, water resistant touch screen, is 1500.
Then software... go cheap with a free open source program, or expensive with nobletec admiral max pro.... 1500 plus charts.
So you have a total of between 2150 to 4000 plus. And thats for 2 screens, plus the ability to change os, software, charts, ect. Things change fast in the new electronic world, a chartplotter does not. A pc is upgradeable.
Last I checked at good chart plotter was 2100 for a 10" garmin plus charts, or over 4000 for a furuno, but will only work in one place... and won't give you the flexability of a dedicated system with mp3, video, internet.. etc.

So really the cost of a pc based system is lower, unless you insist on something like a panasonic toughbook, which I would not. Much cheaper to build your own, or have someone build it for you like stealth computer.

But I guess if I had money to burn, the dual dedicated chartplotter upgraded every 5 years would be the way to go.....
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Old 01-10-2009, 20:42   #26
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I bought an eee PC 901 (solid state harddrive) last year, loaded SeaClear and NOAA charts and loved it. Last week I bought the newer, larger screen eee PC as a backup unit for $279.

I do enjoy redundancy and now have 2 standalone chartplotters and two GPS for under $700. By the way I do have a 3rd backup - a handheld GPS, and a 4th backup - a sextant.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:46   #27
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I don't know where you got the idea that SeaClear doesn't read BSBs, it does. I have over 1600 NOAA BSB charts from NOAA and SeaClear reads them all.

You may have found thought it doesn't read them because of they way they are download from NOAA, and then unzipped into subdirectories. This is easily fixed by:
- Downloaded zip file from NOAA then open the file. This will launch WINZIP.
- Click the extract button
- Fill in Extract to: C:\Program Files\SeaClear\Charts
- In lower left corner click "Files" and then in box to right of it enter: *.kap
- Make sure "Use Folder Names" checkbox is NOT checked
- Click "Extract" button
- Start MapCal_2 (SeaClear should not be running) and select Tools..AutoloadList...Scan for New Charts
- Exit MapCal_2
- Start SeaClear and select File ..charts
Maybe from here... SeaClear GPS Navigation Software
where is says:

SeaClear II uses raster charts and can use most BSB/KAP version 1 - 3 and GEO/NOS commercial charts. Encrypted charts, like BSB/CAP can not be used.

But thanks for the info on converting them. Have not tried the program yet. Will download it now.
Bob
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:40   #28
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I got misdirected by that too. But I've tested and SeaClear loves the NOAA downloads. I just selected all of the BVI's, downloaded one big zip, and autoloaded the whole area. Too simple.
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