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Old 03-09-2013, 07:55   #1
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Just Getting Started

I'm just entering the OpenCPN world, so bear with me. I'm old school - paper charts, celestial navigation, dead reckoning kind of stuff - so this is all pretty new to me. I've been out of sailing a while but am hoping to own a boat by the beginning of next season. So I'm trying to do some catching up.

I've downloaded the program and have it up and running on my home PC. I'm in the process of downloading charts in RNC form. And I'm seeing them come up in the program once I load them in. So that much is working.

First question: Why RNC & ENC? Is ENC for navigation electronic equipment, such as that installed on your boat?
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:37   #2
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Re: Just Getting Started

Julie,

Congratulations on your download.

S-57 ENC charts are in Vector format (digital entities and objects) while RNC are in Raster format (pixels). If you read Noaa's website you'll get a better description.
http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/enc/

Noaa RNC Charts or BSB (because Maptech did much of this work, as I understand it) is one of the formats used to convert paper charts to be useable by software programs. It is still very useful. -Others may give a more accurate history below.
http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/Raster/

These charts are current and freely downloadable and you can use them with Opencpn.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:14   #3
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Re: Just Getting Started

It does seem the ENC charts are for electronic navigation equipment, from what I read. I know when I try to load in ENC_ROOT folders, nothing happens. When both ENC_ROOT and BSB_ROOT are in the same sub folder, it loads in only the BSB_ROOT files.

But in the ENC section on NOAA's website, there's a link to ENC Viewers and OpenCPN is one of the programs listed. But I can't figure out how to get OpenCPN to accept ENC files.

What I'm wondering is if I want to get to know the program and how it works, should I be using raster or electronic files. If electronic is the way to go, can I do that on my home PC? If so, how?
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:52   #4
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Re: Just Getting Started

Julie,
You must go into Options > Charts > Loaded Charts
and add a directory pointing to the ENC chart location.

Then you need to make some Chart Groups under the "Chart Groups" tab.
Learn how to make configure and select chart groups for your use.
The are great for creating groups of charts that you need for certain areas, or for the big picture without being too detailed and bogging down processing.

You can select chart groups very quickly from the cursor with a right click and select from the menu, find "chart groups" and select, once they are set up.

Hope this helps. Also read the manual please , and help us correct/improve it, if you please we need your help.

You are doing a good job learning.

Rick
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:14   #5
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Re: Just Getting Started

Okay, here's what I've done so far:
1. Created a folder named "NOAA Charts"
2. Created sub folders for each state or area I have sailed in or expect to.
3. Downloaded the zip files for each state or area.
4. Extracted the ROOT files from the zip file.
5. In OpenCPN - Options>Charts>Add Directory>Apply. Then the files load.

This has worked for BSB_ROOT files just fine so far.

When I had BSB and ENC folders in the same sub folder, OCPN would only load the BSB files. I then created new folders for the ENC files and moved them to their respective folders. Then I was able to load in the first ENC files.

When I went back to OCPN, I saw no difference in the area where I had just loaded a ENC directory. Should I have seen any difference?

I've read some of the manual but after a while it's TMI. I have to apply what I've read and then go back to read some more.

My biggest concern was if I was going in the right direction by using RNC files or if I should instead be using ENC files. It takes time to download from the Internet and then upload the files into the program so I didn't want to be heading in the wrong direction.
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Old 03-09-2013, 13:29   #6
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Re: Just Getting Started

Julie Mor....

Not withstanding the trouble loading ENC's, (we will get back to that in a minute), most cruisers will be more comfortable with RNCs.

a. They "look" just like the charts you have seen/used all your life.
b. They load faster in OpenCPN.
c. NOAA updates the online charts frequently, so they are close to up-to-date always.

So, take a look at the RNCs for you cruising area, and see if you agree. You may not need or want ENCs. I use RNCs almost exclusively for real underway navigation with OpenCPN.

Now, on the failure of ENC.

May we see your logfile?
You can determine the logfile location on your system by inspecting the "help" icon on the OpenCPN toolbar. Find the logfile file, and upload it here, please.

Rick is spot on, by the way. If our documentation is wrong or misleading, we would love to correct that in order to get new users up and running ASAP.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 03-09-2013, 13:38   #7
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Re: Just Getting Started

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
Okay, ....
My biggest concern was if I was going in the right direction by using RNC files or if I should instead be using ENC files. It takes time to download from the Internet and then upload the files into the program ......
Hello Julie,

I do understand your concerns, but the chart management in openCPN is very easy.

My suggestion is to create (for example) a global directory called Charts with a several sub directory; one for each type of chart (bsb, enc, raster...) or country (USA, Europe...) you want to identify.

In OpenCPN menu : Options > Charts > Loaded Charts

On the Upper part : tell to OpenCPN where it will be able to get all your charts (in fact tell him to get them in the global directory).

On the lower part : create a group for each type of maps you have (can be by type, can be by country...- it is up to you).

And remenber, always select the 'reindexed option' when you have done something with your charts.

therefore; when ckicking on a map at the screen with the mouse's right button you will have able to select (releated to the lower part)
which group you want to see on your screen.

Serge
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Old 03-09-2013, 17:20   #8
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Re: Just Getting Started

I wonder if this is a symbols problem? Maybe the logfile Dave asked about will advise.

Julie, you can find the location of your log file and ini (initialize settings) file by going to the About (? icon) for Opencpn. There are two pathnames in the window, also the quick way is to just hit the "Copy ini" or Copy "Log" buttons.

Then just paste it into a Word document, save and then attach to a reply in this thread.

Thanks.

Dave needs your log file.
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