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Old 03-12-2011, 11:51   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Boat: Broadblue 385
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Electronic Charts Use on Laptop

Since we have always sailed mainly around our harbour we have not used a lot our software on our Mac/Pc. And there was no need to connect computer and GPS. I have Rosepoint and opencpn on both my Mac (with Parallel 7) and my old PC. We have also GPS Raymarine C-102W. We are preparing to -hopefully - leave soon to sail the Carribeans.... So what I am not sure is how to manage cost effectively the electronic charts and their proprietary side. For the US we have all charts on Raymarine, Rosepoint and free download from NOAA.
Now I want to understand how the rest will work.

1) I will need to buy the charts for Central & South America for Raymarine (Gold Card). Then posssibly the electonic charts under the S57 which is the main standard if I understand correctly.

2) Once I have the files S57 can I download them under both softwares Rosepoint and Opencpn and can I use them on 2 computers (Mac & PC).

3) Anyway to download charts from the Raymarine GPS to the computers. Any possibility through Nmea or other.

4) How to connect the Mac to the Raymarine C120w.

I will certainly appreciate any comment/advise and/or link to any kind of information on how to do this. Thank y'all.
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Old 03-12-2011, 14:28   #2
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Re: Electronic Charts Use on Laptop

First thing I would do is stick to one chart format. ENC's are good but even the US has not created ENC's for all their charts yet. (ENC's are in part created from raster charts. If your trying to cost effectively manage chart costs and disgusted / confused with all the manufacturers proprietizing their ridiculously over-priced vector charts making it impossible to use your charts on a backup plotter and a brain-strain to transfer waypoints, routes and tracks, then I would stick to raster charts and use your laptop as your primary navigator / plotter. Keep your C120W as a MFD or backup plotter for those areas you already have maps for. Better you had a stand alone GPS versus the C120W internal but to do this, connect the C120w nmea out to your laptop then use the laptop nmea output to connect to the C120W nmea in. (this may cause problems and you might have to turn some nmea sentences off in your C120W). In doing this even though you may not have charts for a particular area on the C120W, you will still see your waypoints, routes and tracks on its built in world map. There is likely a better way but I am not familiar with the C120W capabilities.

Remember all your charts on the C120W will eventually need updating and a continual drain on your wallet but with the laptop and NOAA charts it's full coverage and its free.

Answers to questions:
2/yes, don't know about a mac.
3/If you can use other formats on Raymarine C series its news to me. Nmea can not be used to transfer charts.
4/A mac person can help here but on a windows machine the nmea wires to the serial port, or USB if you have a serial to USB adapter.

Your on the right track using your laptop as a plotter if your looking to control costs. No they are not ideally suited to a marine environment but good used ones are dirt cheap, can be bought in Botswanaland and can be replaced a dozen times for the cost of one headache filled proprietary chartplotter with all their infernal tricks that force you to keep paying and paying and paying.

Note: As I recall, Raymarine has expensive laptop navigation software that will interface with your C120W and will allow your navionics to be displayed on the lap top. Best confirm this though.
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