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Old 18-07-2006, 11:25   #31
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Gees. Well I'm AOK re: the BSB vs. RNC, but I better get this PDQ or I'll go OFM.
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Old 04-02-2007, 15:34   #32
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After reading this thread and finding out that it is going to cost almost as much to connect my current GPS to my laptop as it is to purchase one of these GPS's Im going to get one.... so any recomendations on which one I should get as a backup. I have a maptech chart CD. Which one should I get??
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Old 04-02-2007, 20:13   #33
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However dont mount the receiver to close to the compass, as most gps/mouse have a powerful magnet in them!
I run the same setup as SSullivan, USB GPS thing on a Mac Laptop using MacENC. I wanted to store the GPS in the compartment next to the starbord compass, so I opend it up and pulled out the magnet. Still works fine. I was worried the magnet might have some sort of purpose besides weight/sticking to roof of a car.

Pulling out the magnet was no big deal.

-jim lee
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Old 05-02-2007, 15:45   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
After reading this thread and finding out that it is going to cost almost as much to connect my current GPS to my laptop as it is to purchase one of these GPS's Im going to get one.... so any recomendations on which one I should get as a backup. I have a maptech chart CD. Which one should I get??
That echoes my question. I think a laptop GPS would make a great back-up. After viewing ebay and finding only DeLorme USB GPS's. I went to the DeLorme site to see if it was compatable with other map software. I didn't find anything helpful at all.

They have several of these:
eBay: DeLorme Earthmate GPS LT-20 with Street Atlas 2005 (item 120081127645 end time Feb-05-07 19:30:00 PST)

Now my questions are:
1) Will this GPS work with other map software? (ie. MapTech)
2) Can one download "Marine Maps" to use with DeLorme software?
3) Or am I better off going with something else?
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Old 05-02-2007, 15:55   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
After reading this thread and finding out that it is going to cost almost as much to connect my current GPS to my laptop as it is to purchase one of these GPS's Im going to get one.... so any recomendations on which one I should get as a backup. I have a maptech chart CD. Which one should I get??
This echoes my question. I think it would make a great back-up. After searching ebay all I found was DeLorme USB GPS receivers. And after viewing their site,which wasn't very helpful, I have a few questions on this GPS:

eBay: DeLorme Earthmate GPS LT-20 with Street Atlas 2005 (item 120081127645 end time Feb-05-07 19:30:00 PST)

1) Is it possiible to download "Marine Maps" and view them on their program?
2) Will this GPS work with the MapTeck program?
3) Is there a different USB GPS I should be looking at? (I didn't see where anyone volunteered any brands or model numbers).

Thanks
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Old 05-02-2007, 16:15   #36
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GPS/laptop

My primary (at the helm) GPS is a Compaq iPAQ PDA with a GPS sleeve, running Maptech Pocket Navigator. For back-up, and to have a much larger display, I connect a Garmin etrex to my laptop, running Maptech Offshore Navigator. I bought the etrex and a serial-to-USB+power converter cable on ebay.

It works great, and the Offshore Navigator app on my laptop uses the same Maptech electronic charts as the iPAQ uses. It is great to have a back-up and the superior visibility and route planning capabilities of Offshore Navigator running on the laptop.
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Old 05-02-2007, 17:55   #37
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I use a HOLUX blue tooth wireless GPS with my laptop and RayTech 6.0 w/C-Map...works great.
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:02   #38
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Just to clarify for some. You can easily hook your laptop up to the existing chartplotter on your boat. You do not need to buy a gps unit for the laptop. It's the NMEA bus, it's standard on all marine electronics and it's only two wires to connect up.

I highly recommend Fugawi MARINE software. It handles most electronic chart formats, including the free NOAA ENC and BSB charts, and it is very low priced with a lot of great features. Weather grib file overlays, make your own charts, use scanned in maps, etc. Really good stuff and was about $179 USD.
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Old 16-07-2007, 22:40   #39
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Originally Posted by tgarvey
My primary (at the helm) GPS is a Compaq iPAQ PDA with a GPS sleeve, running Maptech Pocket Navigator. For back-up, and to have a much larger display, I connect a Garmin etrex to my laptop, running Maptech Offshore Navigator. I bought the etrex and a serial-to-USB+power converter cable on ebay.

It works great, and the Offshore Navigator app on my laptop uses the same Maptech electronic charts as the iPAQ uses. It is great to have a back-up and the superior visibility and route planning capabilities of Offshore Navigator running on the laptop.
I am looking into this setup. Soungs like you are happy with it, any problems at all? If you could choose any pocket PC to replace your iPAQ with the sleeve, which one would you choose? Also, have you tried to use any of the free NOAA charts on the iPAQ?
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Old 17-07-2007, 05:09   #40
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I've used both the Ipaq sleeve and a Pocket PC with integrated GPS. The Pocket PC is the same screen resolution for all of them. The newer processors are faster and will give you a quicker display update. I've use the Fugawi marine with both BSB and ENC charts BUT they are converted to a Pocket PC format using Fugawi desktop and Windows Active Sync. The Fugawi software will work with a cell phone that has integrated GPS so long as it runs Windows Mobile or Palm O/S. A Pocket PC program called "Pathaway" is perhaps more fully featured than the Pocket PC version of Fugawi.

With all these options I find the following downsides:

1. Screen brightness in full sun isn't really great on a Pocket PC.
2. A splash of salt water and it's all over.
3. They have to have 12 volt power at the helm or the battery gives out in a few hours. A 12 auto volt adapter is required and solves the problem.

Having an integrated desktop / Pocket PC (or Palm) solution is nice. The PC laptop is better for planning then you upload to the small device leaving the laptop secure below.

On the Pocket PC side the cheapest solution I know of is the Mio 350. It is a Pocket PC with a GPS chip inside for about $200 (check on eBay). The 550 adds Bluetooth wireless for more money but is otherwise the same. It's very compact.

When we got the current boat it came with a Raychart 400. It's a pocket PC sized screen in a larger marinized case that uses Navonics chart chips you can install inside the case. When you add up the cost they are not cheap but the screen is very very bright and it can take a splash. That would the two critical things about it over a convectional Pocket PC. It has an NMEA cable / power connector too. Navonics chips are spendy but with a few chips you can cover the east coast. Navonics are the best looking vector chip based solution, though ENC charts look just as good but lack a few features like tides and currents.
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Old 17-07-2007, 06:34   #41
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I've mentioned this before, but how many people are tied to the actual helm? It seems most are, even with larger yachts. I see the trend for these immense instrument pods at the helm and now plotter displays back there. Frankly, I don't get it. And it's damn ugly too. But perhaps my way of sailing is different. It suits me.

I have two plotters below,a Standard 170cp and a Raymarine C80, but I rarely look at them when underway. The nav instruments (speed, wind, depth and NMEA) are on a panel above the companionway and this includes a KVH sailcomp which does duty as a NMEA repeater. The KVH gets its waypoint info from the Raymarine. I set waypoints down below and then rarely go there to look at the plotter. There are exceptions of course at night, bad weather for radar and AIS viewing.

I also almost NEVER hand steer, ie using the helm. Shiva is equipped with a below decks Alpha 3000 auto pilot which has a compass dial to set the course. How instuitive! Tack? turn the about dial 100° The auto pilot controls are in the coaming port side at the forward end of the cockpit in a recessed GRP box, and the engine instrumentation is on starboard directly opposite.

So I typically position myself in the cockpit to port where i can control the heading with the auto pilot dial, the engine RPMs if we are motoring (on the pedestal), and see all the instruments above the companionway AND be under the dodger, out of the sun, spray and rain.

And now for my cockpit plotter. I use a Garmin IQue 3600 which has an amazingly bright screen, uses blue charts and is zoomable to any scale! The little PDA lives under the dodger next to the companionway where there is a 12v plug to recharge its batteries. The internal batts don't last long with the 12 channel WAAS and full brightness of the screen on.

The little plotter shows me where I am relative to reality. I can pick it up and look at it and face forward, to the side and even aft. It has a heading line and I can use my autopilot control to "aim" at a mark. It does not support waypoints, but that is done by the Raymarine and the cockpit repeaters.

Since I single hand 99% of the time, I have to do sail trim etc, tacking, gybing and the auto pilot does the helm. I have no need to stand behind the helm and having instruments there would be wasteful. Yet I have many instruments in the front of the cockpit where they can be seen from anywhere in the cockpit. Nav information is viewable from any place in the cockpit and it does not interfere with seating.

I can even sit in the companionway and see the below deck plotters, but the little IQue's screen is fine for close work at arms length. And I have all the other features of a PDA and street navigation too! So when we stop in some new town, I have a database and we don't need maps to find our way around... even when / if we rent a car... road navigation for all of the USA. (separate chips)

This little IQue is the cat's meow and I love it on board. It does all it needs to do... give me a visual plot of where I am and where I am heading so I can compare it to my surroundings... what I see with my eyes. Cheap, reliable, portable and easy to use. Plus it is a back up for the main GPS.

Think about setting up your boat's instrumentation and controls to accommodate the way you sail. I did. A laptop... insane in a seaway. End of story and a current hog of enormous proportions.

But people do give me with a quizzical look because I am rarely at the helm when I am sailing or underway. I am fully in control of the vessel and very aware of my environment. The Alpha is one amazing pilot.

jef
sv shiva
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Old 17-07-2007, 14:11   #42
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Originally Posted by speedoo
I am looking into this setup. Soungs like you are happy with it, any problems at all? If you could choose any pocket PC to replace your iPAQ with the sleeve, which one would you choose? Also, have you tried to use any of the free NOAA charts on the iPAQ?
Speedo,

I haven't looked at later PDAs, mine is an iPAQ 3765, about five years old. It works well, but there are drawbacks: the battery life is short, so I have to always have it plugged in to a 12v socket; as another poster mentioned, it isn't waterproof, so one splash could do it in.

On the plus side, as compared to a fix mounted GPS, I can sit comfortably in the salon or cockpit and do route planning, and the integration with the laptop version of Maptech is great.

No, I haven't tried the NOAA charts.

Tom
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