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Old 28-03-2012, 20:10   #1
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Puck GPS & my computer

I have just purchased a trawler and moved on board.
We plan to cruise for 5 years
I would like a back up chart plotter.
I have a desk top PC on board.
It has been suggested that I just down load the NOAA charts (they seem available) and install a "puck GPS" and "plug it into the compuer"
Sounds great! But some questions:
1. What sort should I purchase? There are a lot of choices.
2. I want to mount the puck inside the RPH under the windshield. Will it pick up the satelites thru the glass OK.
3. I am assuming I will plug it into my desk top (under the counter) via a serial port or USB. Will my computer - or the chart program I down load - automatically detect the GPS signal and display my location on the chart?
Thanks, BOB
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Old 28-03-2012, 20:28   #2
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

This is what I bought and works perfect.
GlobalSat BU-353 SiRF III USB GPS receiver (795945035308) | eBay

I have mine mounted under the fiberglass deck of my boat and it works fine. Download opencpn and the two will interface for a first class chart
plotter.
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Old 29-03-2012, 05:37   #3
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by rblackman View Post
It has been suggested that I just down load the NOAA charts (they seem available)
They are. Here... Nautical Charts & Pubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rblackman View Post
2. I want to mount the puck inside the RPH under the windshield. Will it pick up the satelites thru the glass OK.
Yes, the glass will be no problem at all. Glass, fiberglass, and canvas generally do not block the GPS signal to any significant amount. Mounting a GPS underneath a metal roof of some sort is the only time you would normally run into a problem.
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Will my computer - or the chart program I down load - automatically detect the GPS signal and display my location on the chart?
That depends entirely on the software that you use. Some detect the GPS automatically, some require a degree of setup. Like brankin, I use opencpn and it detected my puck GPS without any setup.
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Old 29-03-2012, 06:07   #4
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by brankin View Post
This is what I bought and works perfect.
GlobalSat BU-353 SiRF III USB GPS receiver (795945035308) | eBay

I have mine mounted under the fiberglass deck of my boat and it works fine. Download opencpn and the two will interface for a first class chart
plotter.
I bought this puck for charters and it works just fine!
It even has a magnetic bottom that you can stick on things quite easily.
What I did was buy a 10' USB extension cable so I could route it from my laptop at the Nav table all the way to the cockpit.

Make sure to look up the latest drivers online and install those instead of whats on the included CD.
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Old 29-03-2012, 06:11   #5
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

I have just set one up for a mate with windows 7 . Had to use a program called Xport to get it to see the the USB puck GPS. If u get a serial to USB cable to run a hand held GPS running NEMA out u may need to try a few drivers before u can get it to work.The problem is not generaly the charting software but the USB to serial drivers.We used Open CPN when we got the drivers sorted it worked great.

Hope this helps
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Old 29-03-2012, 06:16   #6
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

BU-353, and Open CPN, works better than my installed equipment.
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Old 29-03-2012, 06:23   #7
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

There is a new BU-353 IV (BU-353 S4 ) that seems to work faster than the older models
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Old 29-03-2012, 06:51   #8
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Smile Re: Puck GPS & my computer

Thanks for the fast replies. I am amazed! Now have the info I need to proceed with the project. Thanks to all the respondents. BOB
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Old 29-03-2012, 10:42   #9
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

We have been using a Sirf III based puck too. It receives inside OK - ours is a foam sandwich roof.

b.
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Old 29-03-2012, 11:05   #10
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Re: Puck GPS & my computer

Bob, Consider another option, We have our laptop at the lower helm and the computer GPS is connected via a hand held Garmin. The hand held can go multiple duty, a back up if the plotter on the flybridge fails, take it along in the dinghy, etc. It sits in the helm window just as a puck would and gets a great signal. Look closely and you will see it. Chuck

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