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Old 02-09-2010, 17:13   #1
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Help with GPS Software, Please

Hi All
Im very new to the electronic navigation scene.
Did teach celestial at and coastal but before even Sat Nav.
Im trying to get with new picture but this brain is pretty old so try to take it easy please.
Can i use openCPN to open my friends LOwrance NauticPath mem card from a Lowrance LMS 332 model?? If not does anyone know of free software that i could use?? I'm in Australia and as everyone knows we dont get the charts free here.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:01   #2
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Probably not, most use a proprietary data format. Unless you can 'crack' the format so you can then convert it to an open format readable by OpenCpn or SeaClear, which is also a free navigation software, and is the one I use.
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Old 03-09-2010, 17:40   #3
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THanks Tony
I will persevere with learning how to download and use the U.S. charts. do you find Seaclear better then openCPN
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Old 04-09-2010, 16:03   #4
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Seaclear was the first PC software i came across. Subsequently I looked at OpenCpn. I like the idea of open source software but the dashboard in Seaclear I found very good, also the ability to have up to three inputs at different speeds is a good feature. I have a multiplexor to which I have attached a GPS antenna, speed, depth, temperature transducer, wind transducer and an AIS receiver.

Currently I only have a small trailer sailor with an open cockpit but as I have spent a lifetime working in systems design and networking I thought I would like to network everything on my boat. I also have a Tachyon carbon fibre fully immersible screen mounted on the helm which relays the PC screen. Expensive but herself liked the idea so I got my toy.

On a more serious side I have just finished networking all the equipment on a friends 54' cruiser before he embarked on circumnavigation. We installed a new chartplotter, AIS transponder, SSB, DSC VHF, and forward looking sonar in addition to the existing Radar, autopilot, depth wind compass. They ended up with three GPS antennae as there was an existing one and the chartplotter and AIS packages included GPS antennae. Everything is now networked such that both the chart plotter and either/both of their two laptops can display everything using Seaclear. The laptops can be located at the navigation desk or on the bridge, and if any of the GPS antennae fail the others can be switched in, and if all three failed they could use their hand held GPS but in this instance the AIS transponder would only function in receive mode.

They had a lot of paper charts and bought hundreds more from a friend who had circumnavigated a few years ago. They had all these charts scanned using an industrial size scanner and I then calibrated them all using the Seaclear Mapcal utility. A lot of work as most of the charts had additional charts within them i.e larger scale chart of a harbour or anchorage. Ended up with over three hundred images. There is another utility comes with Seaclear which enables you to stitch several scans together to form a single image. I have done this using 4 A4 scans to cover an A2 chart, but you don't need to stitch them together to form a single image as long as you can set the lat long of two positions, preferably diametrically opposite you can save them as separate charts and Seaclear automatically moves from one to the next.
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Old 06-09-2010, 14:28   #5
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SeaClear and NOAA charts


We have loaded SeaClear software into our computer, and NOAA charts, but I can't get SeaClear of open these charts. What do we do?
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Old 06-09-2010, 15:14   #6
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After you have unpacked the NOAA charts place the .KAP files in the Charts folder within Seaclear. Typically C:\Program Files\Seaclear\Charts. Run Mapcal 2 and under Tools - Autoload List click on scan for new charts. This will add all the .KAP files to SeaClear's list of charts and they will then be available in Seaclear.
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Old 06-09-2010, 21:09   #7
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Thread drift.....

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Old 06-09-2010, 22:09   #8
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HI, I HAVE DOWNLOADED WA_RNCs.zip. I dragged this file and tried to load it into SeaClear. Nothing happened. I can go to all programs and to SeaClear and can see all the charts listed under the chart file and they show KAP after them. If I click on the chart file I see the numbers of the charts. So in SeaClear I believe there are maps...but when I go to Mapcal and click scan for new charts...I still get just the 4 world charts. Now what? Thank you for your input. I know we're getting there. Lee
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Old 06-09-2010, 22:59   #9
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Suggest switching to a laptop with Nav software installed - works great

Try Ozi Explorer, Chartview Pro or Nobeltec to name a few
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:00   #10
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You have to unzip the downloaded file so that all the individual KAP files are in the Charts folder not just the .zip archive.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:09   #11
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