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Old 11-05-2024, 10:16   #46
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

I've been using MxMariner for years. Until NOAA stopped updating raster charts, it was always my primary charting app. I love the fact that, as you scroll around, it displays in real time how far the cursor is from your present location. I'm looking forward to the new ENC version!

I think I paid a nominal, one-time fee of something like $10, probably over 10 years ago. I'll still pull it up from time to time, just to see those place names which are missing on the new charts, or to do a quick "how far are we from there" check.

Unfortunately, as raster charts go stale it's becoming less useful, even dangerous. Removing it from the play store for new users was the right thing to do. Yes, I know, some folks keep using outdated charts for years. Not me.
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Old 11-05-2024, 13:45   #47
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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I believe the Fire tablet does NOT have an internal GPS.
I have a USB GPS module that I can attach.
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Old 11-05-2024, 17:04   #48
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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But FWIW, I'm not sure I can agree whether NOAA's vector charts are missing info or not... since various data points do or do not display (using default settings) depending on zoom level. So far, I haven't actually proved anything NOT there... after some IN/OUT adjustments. Haven't done exhaustive comparisons, though...

It's a small thing, but ALL roads and similar landmarks are gone from Vector charts.


Place names may still be there, but they come and go so randomly, and are so badly placed, that they are essentially gone.


It's not "missing" per se, but mark characteristics (number, light notes, etc) are all but impossible to get. It's like using a cell phone while driving -- how can you safely navigate while scrolling and clicking and selecting just to find which mark on your screen is flashing quick green. Every mark on the Choptank River is labeled the same -- "Choptank River Lighted Buoy." (to be fair, it also includes the number, right on top of the buoy so you can't read it).
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Old 11-05-2024, 17:07   #49
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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I'm looking at purchasing a new (used) sailboat and before I do that and dump a load of $$$ into a chart plotter and associated electronics, I just want to play around with some Android charting software. I go to Play Store and there are a ton of different apps. Can anyone recommend one that's actually totally free?
ArgoNav is an Android app that I think provides decent charting/nav functionality for free. It's recently become a Freemium model, but I think the nav is available by setting up a free account. Not quite a "nav system" but it will place your boat on a chart.
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Old 12-05-2024, 04:32   #50
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Every mark on the Choptank River is labeled the same -- "Choptank River Lighted Buoy." (to be fair, it also includes the number, right on top of the buoy so you can't read it).
Ours don't display that way.

Every mark is numbered and the number is easily read -- not right on top of the mark.

At certain zoom levels the light patterns can be described and visible. Latter is an optional setting, in ours.

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Old 12-05-2024, 05:39   #51
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Update on MarineWays. Turns out it's adware too, but it doesn't seem to be lobotomized.
Don't understand a word of that.
But why does it have to be free?
Just penny up for Navionics etc for Pete's sake; it costs less than a pack of flares where I live....or about 15 mins worth of the apprentice mechanic that's fixing the outboard on your tender
For such an important and powerful resource it is a literal drop in the ocean when it comes to boat ownership!
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Old 12-05-2024, 06:20   #52
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Ours don't display that way.

Every mark is numbered and the number is easily read -- not right on top of the mark.

At certain zoom levels the light patterns can be described and visible. Latter is an optional setting, in ours.

-Chris
That is interesting. My copy of O is 5.8.4, and is pretty much bone-stock (since I only armchair navigate, and use a chart plotter for real navigation, I haven't done much tweaking). Frankly , I'm surprised that my copy is current -- the current version hasn't been updated in almost a year! This image is just down the creek from me (Solomon's Island) and typical of most marks. I can zoom in and out, no change (one of the benefits of vector is that the mark/text remains constant in zooming -- but in this case, it's a negative!). Is this something I can change in options? I've snipped the same detail in raster for comparison.


I did click around in various option places, and can't find a way to add additional detail on marks. Do you recall where you made that change? It would be especially helpful on non-mark features, such as prohibited areas and such. You KNOW you want to read the mark characteristics, you don't necessarily realize that faint red line is a prohibited area.
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Old 12-05-2024, 06:43   #53
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Don't understand a word of that.
But why does it have to be free?
Just penny up for Navionics etc for Pete's sake; it costs less than a pack of flares where I live....or about 15 mins worth of the apprentice mechanic that's fixing the outboard on your tender
For such an important and powerful resource it is a literal drop in the ocean when it comes to boat ownership!
This is a tough one. Here on the East Coast of North America, $50/year gives full, updated charts of, well, everywhere (US and Canada for sure, as well as Bermuda, most of the Bahamas, and large parts of Mexico. I recently (2021) bought C-Map charts for my Furuno when I went into Canada, at something over $400. Even "free" apps, like OpenCPN, can't solve the chart problem outside the US, so it takes 8 years of subscription to equal one chart update!
For me, the equation is slightly different. It's a backup system, which makes it pretty expensive.
For someone needing a primary system, it's very reasonable -- and more so since it is a "download and run" system -- you could buy one year and be instantly running, while deciding how to get your final system.
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Old 12-05-2024, 08:29   #54
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

Using OpenCPN on my Linux desktop 5.8.4-3. Here's what I get with these settings:
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Old 12-05-2024, 09:17   #55
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Using OpenCPN on my Linux desktop 5.8.4-3. Here's what I get with these settings:
That's interesting. First, Windows seems to be at 5.8.4-0. And, when I apply those tick marks (which I'm pretty sure I already tried), no change. I did re-download and reinstall, but no change (and since the download added a (1), it means it's the same name -- so probably no change).


While I mostly use it for armchair navigation, I do carry it aboard, and use it for route planning and such (not pushing routes to the plotter, as I very rarely actually use "routes," but looking at tomorrow's run for awareness). Since it's something I do use casually, and carry for emergencies, it's worth learning its quirks.
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Old 12-05-2024, 10:16   #56
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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That's interesting. First, Windows seems to be at 5.8.4-0. And, when I apply those tick marks (which I'm pretty sure I already tried), no change. I did re-download and reinstall, but no change (and since the download added a (1), it means it's the same name -- so probably no change).
Make sure you have "Chart Information Objects" selected. Hit Apply and OK. If you still don't see the light characteristics zoom way out and then back in again, and possibly scroll to another area and then back. For some reasont the zooming and scrolling to other areas and back works to refresh the view for me.
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Old 12-05-2024, 11:34   #57
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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That is interesting. My copy of O is 5.8.4, and is pretty much bone-stock (since I only armchair navigate, and use a chart plotter for real navigation, I haven't done much tweaking).

Do you recall where you made that change?
Didn't realize you're probably talking about viewing charts in OpnCPN... and I was just talking about vector charts in general.

But FWIW the tool I'm using is TimeZero Navigator v5 and I don't have it jus here... but the change is in Options/Vector Charts (or something like that). Something about mark detail...

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Old 20-05-2024, 18:05   #58
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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ArgoNav is an Android app that I think provides decent charting/nav functionality for free.
Hey and thanks for the suggestion. It's not bad for what I want to do and it's only slightly lobotomized. Winds and tides won't load (and probably some other stuff) unless I pay ~$20/yr to subscribe. One of the better options that I've found so far.
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Old 20-05-2024, 18:13   #59
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

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Don't understand a word of that.
But why does it have to be free?
Just penny up for Navionics etc for Pete's sake; it costs less than a pack of flares where I live.
What I mean by lobotomized is that there are certain functions removed unless you pay for them. Really, this is just to play around on and I'm using a Fire Tablet which is about as basic and low end as you can get. I doubt that I'd ever take on the water. My goal (FWIW) is to purchase a B&G system at some point and after I spend that much money, I won't be able to afford paying anything for non-essential software.
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Old 20-05-2024, 18:25   #60
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Re: Best Free Android Charting Software

Oh I think you will want a back up system for when your B&G system crashes or just for moving around in the boat, even to have on your phone etc so you can check out a place someone has suggested at the beach barbecue...
I'm saying as far as the costs involved in boat ownership go, paying a annual subscription for Navionics or the ones suggested, above is a drop in the ocean, literally.
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