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Old 27-12-2007, 11:50   #46
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Aloha Seer,
Is your system aboard your boat? How much does your sytem cost? How much energy does it use? Lastly, I can't get google to even see the top of my house, much less any aids to navigation.
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Old 27-12-2007, 13:23   #47
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Like others have said, we also run a laptop with concurrent paper. Our software is Maxsea through a Shipmodul picking up data from a chartplotter and B&G intruments. We do not intergrate our radar or WH Auto into the system, they remain stand alone.

Laptops are so cheap it is easy to buy an extra off e-bay and stow it aboard. I like that the charts are easy to get and copies often get handed around. wink, wink, nod, nod,,,,,,,

Chartplotters are made for the enviroment so will be more robust but are more expensive and charts are a bit more expensive for them.

All that being said, we'll probably add another chartplotter to the aft cockpit unless I'am able to find a good sunlight viewable monitor that doesn't cost and arm and a leg.
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Old 27-12-2007, 13:46   #48
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As others have pointed out, laptops are virtually impossible to read on deck in daylight and are inadequately waterproof to be used there, or even below decks while offshore, in any event. They also use much more electricity than a dedicated chartplotter.

On my last boat I purchased a standard-horizon colour chartplotter and an identical unit in black and white as a back up. This was kept in the box and could be placed in the oven during an electrical storm. This has the advantage of giving you a direct 'plug and play' replacement for the head, the antenna and the cable should any of them fail.

On my current vessel I have a Garmin 2006C mounted outside at the helm and have just purchased a 3006C for the chart table. Both units can operate off the same charts/antenna, the second essentially as a repeater. Again, in the case of an electrical storm the one unit can be disconnected quickly and placed in the oven, and I now have a back-up cable and antenna usable on both units.

In addition, I have a separate fixed gps and a handheld gps and finally, a plastic sextant if I am very unlucky (and of course, I also keep paper charts as a backup).
Overkill? Maybe. But the chance of both chartplotters going down in these circumstances would be miniscule in comparison to the risk with a non-waterproof/resistant laptop with a single antenna/cable. Yes, the Bluecharts are expensive if you are planning on covering large areas (as were the cmap nt+ used with the Standard-Horizon). Yes, two chartplotters adds to your capital outlay (although in the present case, my boat already had the 2006C and the 3006C was compatible and still available). However, it strikes me that there are four areas where redundancy is critical to the offshore sailor: spare halyards/sheets/furling lines; spare sails; an accessible and usable emergency tiller; back-up navigation equipment/charts.

Sometimes more is more. If you can only afford one system, I would still recommend a dedicated chartplotter that is available in both colour and black and white models. I would mount it below decks where, despite being 'waterproof', it would be apt to develop less problems. I would, of course, still have a handheld gps, a sextant and paper charts as a backup. Later, if I had some additional cash, I would look for a black and white version of the unit as a back-up.

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Old 27-12-2007, 14:34   #49
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Aloha Seer,
Is your system aboard your boat? How much does your sytem cost? How much energy does it use? Lastly, I can't get google to even see the top of my house, much less any aids to navigation.
JohnL
Not on the boat at the moment, tho with the marina wi fi we have there, could do the same thing. I suppose if I was coastal where I can pull up internet thru the cellphone on verizon, I could use such a system in real time, but what I was talking about was looking at where you are going to cruise, before you go, either at the dock, an internet cafe, whatever, bring up the views of the places you're heading, overlay the gps coords, then print the whole works up in a series of charts. Since you are writing this, if you're not at sea, go ahead and download the google earth program and pull up say the bahamas. Tell me those views aren't useful They are to me, especially where you can clearly see where the channels are etc.

The downside is that you need to know when the photos were taken, i.e. how recently so you don't miss new shoreside developments, etc.

seer

as for price of equipment. any lappie will do, you could make the charts any res you like.
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Old 27-12-2007, 15:45   #50
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I was just on a friend's boat that had directv as well on the chartplotter and was wondering if you could network a computer to also display there as well?
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Old 27-12-2007, 16:08   #51
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I was just on a friend's boat that had directv as well on the chartplotter and was wondering if you could network a computer to also display there as well?
In the case you saw the chart plotter has two inputs so you can connect the two signals without a network. I can do the same thing on my desktop monitor. DTV has some issues with networking that go beyond the scope of this forum. You would need a DTV DVR box to do that. Once you can integrate it to a computer network you can have a network on the boat. This actually is the direction all Instrumentation is headed toward
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Old 27-12-2007, 19:29   #52
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Seer,
Can't get a clear picture of Hilo Bay on Google Earth. Can you try? The zip is 96720. I can only get dial up here. This will be a determining factor as why folks don't use that concept for nautical navigation.
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Old 28-12-2007, 09:46   #53
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John, interesting, closest I can get a clear focus on your 96720 is up on a mountain and the camera view is from like 30k feet. Interesting. do you have a mil installation near you? some sections are 'fuzzed' out intentionally.

Down at the hilo harbor, you can see this dramatically as you scroll north to the next map where the resolution is multiples better. This could be due to Homeland security concerns about the harbor, mil concerns, or just old photos I suspect homeland security for while you can clearly see my boat in the marina/yard, in ne florida, right across the street is a supposedly secret covert ops base that on google, shows no detail whatsoever but I can sure see it with the naked eye heheh. spooks at play

In any event, i'll take a quick run around the caribbean, but so far for Bermuda, Bahamas, etc. the detail is clearly sufficient to give one a pretty good picture of what is what and where I'm a Google Earth novice so it may be that the pro version offers access to more maps etc. I'll play with it and let you know.

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Old 28-12-2007, 11:21   #54
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Seer,
No military bases. We do have cruise ships in an out of the harbor but they shouldn't be blocking out anything on the Bay for that reason. There is nothing here that homeland security should be worried about.
Your system of google earth and lat long overlays might work for the Bahamas/Bermuda but I certainly wouldn't depend on it for real time navigation.
Kind Regards,
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Old 28-12-2007, 13:17   #55
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John, well, just went around the globe, (on google lot of the hot islands etc. Most places have plenty of resolution. a big external HD storage drive could store this stuff. I don't know, but I suspect this system will only improve. There are no doubt ways to add in additional overheads of the major ports etc. With google earth pro you can plug in magellan and garmin gps units soooooo...I don't know. My comp has a 17 " monitor, and I'm thinking I'll incorporate this stuff into the boat before I head out. Lots of fun to play with and there's nothing quite like the bird's eye view of inlets, etc. Even a place as remote as Lord Howe Island has sufficient detail to see people on the deck of their boats at anchor

In any event, I think that the future sees all this stuff coming together inside a pc.

seer
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Old 28-12-2007, 19:35   #56
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Seer,
No military bases. We do have cruise ships in an out of the harbor but they shouldn't be blocking out anything on the Bay for that reason.
JohnL
Methinks the base is just well hidden.
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Old 28-12-2007, 21:56   #57
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Can't confirm it on direct personal evidence, but I have been told by several knowledgeable people in the field that Canada maintains some kind of an underground sub base near the south end of Vancouver island, that is accessed underwater by the subs.

I once had occasion to be out with my father one night on his boat and went below while he was piloting, when I got a call from my brother that "some kind of BIG military ship is coming up fast flashing all kinds of lights"...well I ran topside just in time to see them fire some kind of tracer type shell across our bow at which point I grabbed the wheel and did about a 130degree to port and hit the throttles

Not exactly sure of where we were (this was many many years ago) but I remember checking the chart a bit later and seeing an "area restricted, do not enter" type designation at that location on the chart. Guess they were serious about it too

I know for a fact that Gibralter has some amazing things under that rock

soo its not entirely impossible for something interesting in an about Hawaii

In any event, some of the detail on the google earth stuff is amazing, which reminds me...do all Aussie women on boats go topless? hehehehe


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Old 30-12-2007, 12:53   #58
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CaCanada maintains some kind of an underground sub base near the south end of Vancouver island, that is accessed underwater by the subs. seer

Do you mean the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental Test Range at Nanoose Bay, mostly used by the USN to test torpedoes ?
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Old 30-12-2007, 13:26   #59
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Nope, not Nanoose bay.
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Old 30-12-2007, 16:42   #60
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See and Therapy,
Nope, no such thing in or near zip 96720. You don't need to ask me how I know but I do know.
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