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Old 01-02-2008, 22:02   #1
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GPS MAPPING for cars...why not boats?

The GPS systems that are in cars are compact...low priced....when are the companies going to "get it" and provide the same thing for boats.

The only thing they would need to do is provide a means of updating them.

Anyone curious?
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Old 01-02-2008, 22:07   #2
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Chief Engineer,
I'm under the probably mistaken impression that chart display gps's do just that, and update the position by gps. Is it the ludicrous cost difference you are addressing?
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Old 01-02-2008, 22:30   #3
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The ludicrous cost difference is one.

How bout one that talks......You will be turning to starboard in 1/4 mile to a course of 45 degrees.......The Golden Gate Bridge Center Span in 5 miles
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Old 02-02-2008, 00:24   #4
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They do sell car based GPS units that can be used on boats. You just need to load in the right charts...which are also sold. Check the West Marine catalog.

The problem is that for charts you really need a lot of pixels as opposed to road maps where you dont need as many.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:24   #5
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I'll pass on the talking GPS. The last thing I need is yet somebody else telling me what to do and where to turn.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:26   #6
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I agree, I have a wife for that
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:57   #7
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I have a $600 chartplotter (garmin) on my pedestal and a $2000 gps in my car. I guess that might make sense if one considers it's a lot easier to get lost in a car.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:27   #8
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So far the GPS units for cars that I have seen are too small for anything boat related. They are limited in manyways. None of which are criticle for a Car, but certainly are for Boats. Namely accuracey. The Boat GPS has to place you as close as possible to where you are. The Car one doesn't. The software keeps the little Icon of "you" on the road. The actual position will not actually be on the road. That is corrected within. Then there are features like NMEA and the software that talks to autopilots and other instruments. All up, low end Boat GPS is about the same as low end Car GPS cost wise. It is the upper end where you see the major differences.
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Old 02-02-2008, 14:09   #9
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"when are the companies going to "get it" and provide the same thing for boats."
As soon as you show them the size market economy of scale, for fifty million marine units to be sold every year. Of course, you'll have to figure out a way to sell 49.95 million more small craft next year in order to do that.

My friend bought one of those incredible $150 "clearance" Magellan talking car mapping GPS units this winter, and the funny thing is? You can use it on a boat too, just load your charts up. Remember, those incredibly inexpensive units have to be kept DRY, too, so make sure you are selling big dry small craft to go with them.<G>
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Old 02-02-2008, 14:17   #10
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Actually the GPS part is the same. There are only a few chip makers out there. A GPS is mostly a single chip. A good car GPS is actually harder to build and they don't really have any on the market. They don't in practice work well downtown because GPS is a line of sight signal. The signal bounces around and screws up the satellite signal timing. When you lose GPS lock it takes a while to reacquire the lock. A boat GPS is already far more accurate given the lack of obstructions. The NMEA out isn't a huge problem.

The display needs are actually more demanding. The super bright displays do cost more.The issue of brightness is significant as the lighting level in a car is less than in a boat. The design of the case need only be water resistant to a far less degree than for marine use.

Car GPS systems have other problems. Mostly the maps are pretty poor. Address accuracy is also poor and often incorrect. Lots of missing streets. There really isn't a good program for keeping them up to date either. The single chip prices are way down now so in car GPS devices are easy to build cheap. It does not mean they function all that great compared to what you get on the water.
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Old 03-02-2008, 19:21   #11
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GPS to DSC radio

Just finish my VHF session and learned that some GPSs can be interfaced with the new generation DSC vhf radio so that it will give your boat position when sending a Mayday signal on dedicated channel 70 ...voice message being sent on channel 16 of course...

On nice feature is that; you can make a routine conference call if you have programmed the ident.# of those boats DSC radios into your DSC radio memory ...i can see this feature used in a race/regatta
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Old 03-02-2008, 23:51   #12
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Just finish my VHF session and learned that some GPSs can be interfaced with the new generation DSC vhf radio so that it will give your boat position when sending a Mayday signal on dedicated channel 70 ...
Thats GMDSS isnt it?
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:45   #13
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Only a small subset of GMDSS. It covers many more options than just DSC over marine VHF frequencies. Inmarsat, ePIRB transponders, HF DSC, etc.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:50   #14
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GMDSS

Yes this is one aspect of the GMDSS system ..

That also includes the COSPAS-SARSAT-NOAA satellites looking for the 406 MHZ signal sent by an EPIRB beacon...
Also the Sart transponder which respond to a 9 GHZ radar interrogation
and the NAVTEK weather and secutity device for working boats( WWNWS)

The DSC radio is still a 25 watts VHF radio and so:is still a " line of sight " antenna communication system good for 50 nautical miles ( remember the earth curvature ?)...hence the epirb and sart beacons......
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