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Old 18-02-2008, 21:41   #76
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Originally Posted by Retcoastie View Post
Well, here is today's effort.

Laptop: Uninstalled SeaClear using Control Panel; Programs: Uninstall. I got a window that said SeaClear and all its components had been removed. I went to Explorer and checked C:\Program Files and a folder named SeaClear was still there, Hmmmmm. I deleted SeaClear folder from C:\Programs Files. I searched C:\ for "sea" and found nothing to resemble SeaClear. I installed SeaClear from a disk I had D/Led it to. I checked the Chart folder, only the four world charts. I opened SeaClear. I got the "Could Not Open Communication Port 1" window on a plain blue screen. I "OK"ed. SeaClear continued to load and showed a chart of Paris Landing on the Tennessee River. Checked Tools: Preferences: Comm and found NMEA Connection Tx/Rx 1 was Com 1 and 4800 BPS.Rx 2 and Rx 3 were 0.

Desktop: Installed SeaClear from the same disk. Opened SeaClear. Seaclear opened directly to the Z_World chart with the boat position at the prime meridian on the equador.Checked Tools: Preferences: Comm, and found Tx/Rx on 1, Rx 2 and Rx 3 at 0, 4800 BPS.

No GPS connected to either computer.

My Conclusion....I have a corrupt install of SeaClear but cannot uninstall all the components to attempt a clean installation. This makes me think that no matter what I connect, or don't connect, the problem will not go way on this computer. Therefore, rather than spend money on antennas, adapters, cables or GPSs I should just go get an older, used, cheap laptop to use on the boat. Boy I hate to do that. It just kills me to be defeated by a machine.

So, I'm still looking for thoughts of what to do. Keep 'em coming. One question tho for the SeaClear users. What happens on your computer if you start SeaClear without a GPS connected?

Thanks for all the efforts on my behalf. Its nice to know I'm not totally alone.

Ken
I just tried it on my home computer. I selected com ports that exist on my computer but with no device connected and seaclear loads without messages. I selected a com port that does not exist on my computer and got the could not open com port message. Have you tried selecting other com ports to see if one comes up without the error message?

I also think that the could not open com port happens if windows thinks that there is a device there and has grabbed it. I need to verify that. In my case had to do with a Windows 2000 bug that on boot up grabs anything broadcasting on a com port and says that's a mouse. Caused great fun as the mouse pointer jumped around the screen due to the GPS.

John
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Old 19-02-2008, 07:51   #77
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Hey Dan, nice post but what does this have to do with Seaclear?
Sorry, maybe I should have quoted where it came from, but WAY back in post #2:

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Originally Posted by S/V Elusive View Post
I know that MY concern would be if the FREE software STAYS free, or is it a TRIAL version that at some undisclosed time says: "Your time to try this program has expired. If you would like to continue using it, please ..." blah blah blah.
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The program is free, and NOAA charts are free. There are no hidden costs.
Yep. And there should be no need to buy a particular GPS, etc. So I'd say SeaClear is a pretty safe one to gamble on. If it goes away, switch. No big deal.

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As for the S57 charts. When you learn paper charts and are used to paper charts, it's difficult substituting vector based data. They look like a darn video game. I'll take the BSB's any day of the week as they are my paper charts.... only digitized.
I like having both. I like the paper look better because, like you, I can glance at it and it's all familiar. But as I use both on the same screen, I find that sometimes I can find things easier on the vector screen (the resizing of the text and the clean, clear colors). As I get more familiar with the vectors, I use them more and more. But, then, I still use the paper charts too. The real paper ones. I like pulling out the parallel rule and compass.
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Old 22-02-2008, 21:37   #78
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SeaClear Progress

Well, I'm making some progress.

I have found out that SeaClear will load and operate in DR mode with or without displaying the Comm Port message. My desktop worked but did not display the message.

My laptop has stopped giving me the Message! It now fires right up, without a GPS connected. I was doing all kinds of things one day and it quit. Sorry, I can't say what fixed it. I believe it was plugging the GPS into each port repeatedly while changing all kinds of settings. I'm not sure what combination did the trick.

I found out that I CANNOT talk to SeaClear with my Garmin GPSmap 76CS using the USB cable supplied by Garmin. The USB connector on the 76CS only talks Garmin. SeaClear hears NMEA. So for them to communicate I have ordered from eBay a serial data cable and a Serial-to-USB adaptor. Hopefully this will allow my 76CS to speak NMEA through the data connector, through the serial cable, throught the adaptor to my laptop USB port. Then, hopefully, everything will work correctly for me the way it does for others.

I'll let you know what happens when the parts get here. I'm so confident I have resumed converting the inland river charts to SeaClear WCI.

Thanks for all the wonderful support so far.

Ken
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Old 23-02-2008, 04:12   #79
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Have you installed the latest USB Drivers from Garmin?

Is your Garmin Interface page set to NMEA/NMEA?

Bob Stewart
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Old 23-02-2008, 06:46   #80
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Settings

That is part of the rub, Bob. The drivers are for the USB cable. The USB connection cannot be set to anything other than Garmin speak. Changing the output speak, only works on the Data connection. Hopefully the new cabling will enable the data port to speak NMEA to SeaClear.

Thanks

Ken
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Old 23-02-2008, 07:34   #81
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The USB connection cannot be set to anything other than Garmin speak. Changing the output speak, only works on the Data connection. Hopefully the new cabling will enable the data port to speak NMEA to SeaClear.
I'm very confused by this response in that it deals with two different subjects. The USB connection isn't 'set' to anything. It's just a sophisticated data cable with a required operating system driver to talk to your computer. This driver emulates a comm port. In device manager (Windows) you can set this to any comm port you like. However, in itself, it has nothing to do with any software or programming language and just facilitates a data connection.

The Garmin or NMEA protocol choice is the programming sentence structure choice and has to do with the communication sentence length as well as it's structure. This is the actual data. Unless the GPS and the software are talking the same language, nothing happens.

Once again, the data cable just carries this programming into the USB port and has nothing to do with the type of communication, nor does it care what is being communicated or which software is listening for it. It's sole purpose is to allow the data to be available to (in this case) Seaclear. If both GPS and Seaclear are set for NMEA and the USB driver is correct, everything will work fine as long as you select the correct comm port in Seaclear that the USB cable is emulating.

In debugging the GPS connection, run Mapcal.exe instead of Seaclear. It's in the same folder. Mapcal has a data communications window that allow a person to debug the interface.
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Old 23-02-2008, 09:35   #82
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Rick,

On the Garmin GPSMap76CS the USB and the data port are different plugs. The USB plug cannot be changed from Garmin speak. The data port is changeable. That was part of what was confusing me. I kept changing the GPS settings and nothing was happening. The changes were going to the data port and I was plugged into the USB port.

Ken
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Old 23-02-2008, 19:32   #83
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Rick said:
Quote:
In debugging the GPS connection, run Mapcal.exe instead of Seaclear. It's in the same folder. Mapcal has a data communications window that allow a person to debug the interface.
I hate to show my ingorance again, but where is this window located in MapCal????

Ken
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Old 24-02-2008, 05:47   #84
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That is part of the rub, Bob. The drivers are for the USB cable. The USB connection cannot be set to anything other than Garmin speak.
I was reading a manual for the 76 CSx which does support NMEA over USB. I found this quote on the Garmin site describing feature of the older 76 CS which explains what you already know. They put the USB in to allow fast chart downloads. NMEA requires the serial port.

"Fast USB connectivity makes loading charts and maps quick and easy, while navigation instructions can be shared with repeaters, plotters, and autopilots using NMEA protocols through the dedicated serial port."

Your USB to Serial adapter should take care of the problem.

I would still load the newest USB drivers if you haven't and I would upgrade the unit to the latest firmware that they released, version 4.2.

Bob Stewart
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Old 29-02-2008, 08:45   #85
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SeaClear Success

Well, the new cables have arrived. I plugged them in, installed the drivers, and SeaClear now appears to work as adveritsed.

Its interesting some of the difficulties that have had to be overcome. The main was figureing out the USB port on the Garmin 76cs does not speak NMEA. The second was the ports on this laptop. It has three USB ports and now that things are functioning I have figured out SeaClear sees them as COM PORTs 3,4,and 6. Who would have thunk it? No wonder SeaClear couldn't find them.

Anyway, thanks for all the ideas and thoughs.

Fair Winds

Ken
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Old 29-02-2008, 10:06   #86
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my mistake. Right folder, wrong program name. Goes to show what happens when I post from my recollection of Seaclear files. The debug window is in Seaclears companion program used to upload waypoints to the GPS.

Glad to hear that it's working. I think you're going to like it

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Old 29-02-2008, 19:27   #87
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The main was figureing out the USB port on the Garmin 76cs does not speak NMEA.
Yes, as I explained 20 or so posts back... Glad you got it working in the end...
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Old 29-02-2008, 19:39   #88
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As you did Scotte. It was buried in there, I just didn't connect what you were saying with what I was seeing.
Glad you and Rick and the others hung in. I'm slow, but I'm old so that is allowed. ;-)

Ken
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Old 02-03-2008, 13:54   #89
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AIS GPS Simulator

If anone would like to test their navigation program's GPS / AIS interfaces to see what they look like, I have written a program (free) that does this. It works on both Windows and Linux. I've tested it against SeaClear and Fugawi on XP and against SeaClear running under Wine in Linux on my XO computer. Think it should work on any navigaton program.

You need to have the Python program language installed buts its free too.

It allows you to see AIS targets and see what happens when an CPA alarm is tripped.

Its called AISGPS_SIM You can download it at:

phiggins

It comes with instructions and an AIS script file but you should be able to use any AIS script with it and assign your boat to any boat in the script.

Paul
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Old 12-03-2008, 16:31   #90
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This may have been covered already but I will ask again: Is there any GPS that seems to work better than others with Seaclear on a laptop? I am getting ready to buy a chartplotter, but by reading many of the posts here it seems I may be money ahead using Seaclear on my laptop with a GPS .
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