It is all fairly obvious, but a simple USB-connected Garmin
has its merits ...
- of course it provides LAT, LON, COG, SOG to OCPN...
- having a direct USB interface it does not require any troublesome serial-USB converter
- it does not require any manual intervention before uploading WPT/RTE data during operation
- it does extend nicely the precious computer screen
area (providing e.g. the well-visible and illuminated dashboard)
- once it has the current
routes and a nice set of waypoints uploaded, it is a good backup device for essential dynamic passage
data (all with an independent power supply!)
- this backup device is a very portable one (even portable to a swim or a grab-bag)
- once sufficiently offshore
(with a couple of hundred deep-sea miles ahead), the laptop
can be disconnected and safely stowed away from mechanical and environmental dangers
- the uploaded static POI database is generally sufficient for deciding on the course in the open sea, and for making a landfall (all on very little power)
- it collects the track data all the time
If only I could make it all work with OCPN to the full potential...
What is still needed?
- a single-click way of sending (and restoring?) all WPT/RTE data up to the handheld... no dialogs, no questions, no confirmations... even a timer should be able to do it silently
- a separation between current&dynamic (recently modified, created ad-hoc) set of WPT/RTE vs. well-established&static collection of these - parallel to the separation between Waypoint set and Points-Of-Interest database in the handheld
- the difference between POI and WPT space: POI is essentially read-only, mainly meant for display/lookup/show details, prepared and managed as GPX by external tools (e.g. offline OCPN+EasyGPS or imported from some other sources), no need to backup, since it is already stored in some file
- perhaps just backup the loaded files list (disguised as some invisible WPT?)
- same way of save/restore should work with any external storage
- be it a GPS
via USB, some memory stick or a folder in the native filesystem - just configure&forget
- perhaps another tab in the Route
Manager - for Files (aka Layers) : Import
, Delete, Delete All, Properties, Show, Hide - on a per-file basis, (No export)
- not sure how to/if migrate single
objects from Layers to WPT/RTE space: Edit - makes a copy? or just drop manually a mark on top of a POI shown?
- for individual POIs - perhaps Highlight?
seems not so far away...