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Old 09-01-2009, 17:59   #1
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USB GPS Receiver stick dongle ?

Hi,

I want to use my laptop as a backup chartplotter in case my Garmin ever gives out. I was wondering if anyone has used a USB GPS stick dongle to drive a laptop software package, or Do I need something that has to be mounted on the outside of the cabin ? The stick dongle is cheap, but is it powerful enough to work well ??
thanks - Bob
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Old 09-01-2009, 18:19   #2
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I've used one, a Haicom IIRC. Although it worked ok alone it worked best with its external antenna attached. We've since moved onto newer technology and have regular GPS USB antenna's on both our laptops. Both work really well with the "puck" antenna sitting on the dash of the boat.
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Old 09-01-2009, 18:37   #3
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I have two gps receivers that never see the light of day and work just fine. One is a stand alone, very old Garmin and the other is a puck type but both are at the nav station and receive data inside.

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Old 09-01-2009, 20:20   #4
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Quote:
The stick dongle is cheap, but is it powerful enough to work well ??
thanks - Bob
For the USB interface from a RS-232C interface. The "pfranc" serial port to USB connector dongle works the best. Just Google it and you can get one. RS232C never was a fully cooked standard. There are USB GPS hockey puck style GPS receivers out there and they do work. One of the good things is on the water you don't have the issues of land based systems. For example in downtown Boston you couldn't get a decent GPS signal no matter what you bought unless it was a ring laser gyro.
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Old 17-01-2009, 00:49   #5
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i use a puck type gps to the usb port (purchased via amazon for about $25). i have a pilot house arrangement and it sits inside but can "look" up thru the main forward pilot house windows. works great. i run it with s.o.b. nav software (from digiboat) and c-map max

it provides me with independent back-up to the raymarine chartplotter etc
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Old 17-01-2009, 14:06   #6
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All our GPS antenna are inside the boat and work fine through Glass and Fibreglass
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Old 17-01-2009, 15:25   #7
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Our backup GPS is a Garmin 76 CSx which plugs into the computer with a USB plug for use with the Garmin charts to load charts. But also it has a NMEA port that goes into the USB so we have real time plotting (used especially on Google Earth).

Below the handheld aquires satelites faster if I hold it up to an overhead window.

In the USA the Garmin handhelds are less than half the price of the same units in Australia... $270 on sale aprox. The USB GPS receivers seem to be over $100. So would you think its better to pay extra money and get a full hand held plotter?

Garmin GPSMAP 76CSX Handheld GPS with Barometric Altimeter and Electronic Compass


List Price:$589.99 Price:$269.97
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Old 18-01-2009, 22:18   #8
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the one i'm using is the "GlobalSat BU-353 WaterProof USB GPS Receiver" available for $US39 via amazon
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Old 19-01-2009, 21:16   #9
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I am using GlobalSat MR-350 and it locks perfectly and fast inside the cabin. Its advantage is that is waterproof, designed to be installed permanently outside with 3m of standard cable. Installation was a breeze and it works with SeaClear II without any problem.
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