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Old 16-09-2023, 16:09   #1
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Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Apologies in advance if my frustration is showing.

I've been relying on my tablet for awhile, and recently bought a Raymarine Axiom 9 and installed it (that was not easy but that's another topic). Holy cow, I swear they are trying to make the charts as difficult as possible. On a tablet, it was so easy.

EVERY major chart brand compatible with Raymarine looks like they need to physically mail me a card. WHY?? Why is there a download option for tablets but not for chartplotters??

And if I want to buy the card, it gets confusing.

1. Navionics, I like the charts, and price is not too bad, but not only do they need to mail me a card, but when I want to update, they need to send me another card?? This seems like a huge hassle and wasteful. Is there any another way?

2. C-Map. I actually like C-Map charts better, especially their night mode, but I already subscribe to C-Map on my tablet, so it feels insulting to pay for the same maps twice. However, I would still be willing to bite the bullet if it weren't for sticker shock - to get the full east coast of the USA, the price is staggering - several times what Navionics charges for the whole country. Also, they add to the confusion by offering "continental", "wide", and "local" charts, and while it seems they are in different stages of detail, I can't find much information on the difference.

3. Raymarine Lighthouse. This is the most confusing of all. Never tried it. And not sure anyone can. What the heck is wrong with Raymarine? First of all, they use the name "Lighthouse" for BOTH their operating system and their charts, so when I downloaded the lighthouse update, I thought I was updating a map. No such luck. No maps loaded. All it has is a crude outline of the shore. And I can't even buy the charts on their site. I must use a "voucher". And there is ZERO information anywhere on their site where to buy the vouchers!! I checked Amazon, and there's an entry, but it's been suspended or something. I checked on West Marine, and looks like you can buy the charts on a card, I guess. But it's not clear if they are the right charts for this chartplotter, and they still need to mail the card to you.

This is REALLY frustrating. It shouldn't be this hard. When I buy a car GPS, maps are already in it, then I pay for a subscription if I want to keep updating it. Which I can do by saving maps to a card. That's fair, and makes a lot more sense. What am I missing here? I am already regretting buying this chartplotter.
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Old 16-09-2023, 16:30   #2
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Navionics charts for the MFDs come on SD cards (or the mini version). Once you have one you can update it for up to 12 months and then if you renew they send you another card. Updates are downloaded to the card and you install that in your Axiom.


Don't waste your time on Lighthouse charts - they suck.
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Old 16-09-2023, 17:20   #3
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

You need the first physical card, this is for copyright protection. Then with the chartplotter you can actually update and renew online the same card=region you bought before at least with the e7d i have. Just done that today and worked.
As mentioned before lighthouse charts suck and c-map are outrageous expensive. So stick with navionics i suggest.
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Old 17-09-2023, 14:47   #4
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainRivet View Post
You need the first physical card, this is for copyright protection.
Just seems really odd they are so worried about copyright protection on a chartplotter, but not on a tablet.



Quote:
As mentioned before lighthouse charts suck and c-map are outrageous expensive. So stick with navionics i suggest.
Funny thing is, on a tablet, C-Map is very reasonable.
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Old 17-09-2023, 15:17   #5
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
Just seems really odd they are so worried about copyright protection on a chartplotter, but not on a tablet.





Funny thing is, on a tablet, C-Map is very reasonable.
On the tablet its online and if you download the chart its inside the app. You cannot access it externally seperately and hack it.
Same the SD card..they need to protect, if one hacks that and put it on a shared plattform or peer to peer download side their business model is gone.
Thats also the reason you can only renew it with the chartplotter and only extend by 12 month as you can easliy control this.
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Old 29-01-2024, 13:57   #6
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Quote:
Then with the chartplotter you can actually update and renew online the same card=region you bought before at least with the e7d i have. Just done that today and worked.

I'm new the the Axiom+ world. I have WiFi on my boat, and I *think* that my MFD is a guest on my boat's AP (which, incidentally, made my Radar inaccessible but that's another problem to solve).

How do I register and download? I'd rather not have to try to remove the chip if it's I the back of my Axiom+.
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Old 29-01-2024, 14:56   #7
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mshulman View Post
I'm new the the Axiom+ world. I have WiFi on my boat, and I *think* that my MFD is a guest on my boat's AP (which, incidentally, made my Radar inaccessible but that's another problem to solve).

How do I register and download? I'd rather not have to try to remove the chip if it's I the back of my Axiom+.
Welcome to the new screwed up Axiom+ world...
Bad news you have to remove the SD card from the back of the plotter and update/renew the Sd card from your PC/Mac with the chart updater programm and SD cardreader.
I figured update via axiom not working with the plotter, at least was not possible with my new Axiom 7+ and expired SD card from an e7. Maybe if that SD card was already before in an Axiom/updated with that, that works but not if you had an in an older plotter before.
Can it be more complex and not user friendly...well we all know raymarine gives a s... about us...

Axiom and radar via wifi at the same time is not working. You can either
A) connect the Axiom wireless to the radar which creates the raynet UHP server so radar works
B) OR connect axiom to your wireless network
As soon as you connect to internet wireless the raynet wireless connection gets corupted and not working anymore and you have to reconnect the radar but then wirelss to internet is lost.
What works is connect the Axiom to the radar wirelessly and then connect a tablet to the axiom wifi ap and remote steer the axiom with a tablet and the raymarine app.

I highly recommend to connect the radar via cable to the axiom and connect the axiom then via wireless to your ap. Now you have online and radar at the same time.
An alternative way is comnect your axiom to your router via ethernet cable, you need an adapter raynet to rj45 for that and then connect the radar wirelessly. Then axiom is always online and you can connect radar wirelessly at the same time.

If you have your radar connected to a switch you cannot connect that to the ap/internet router as again also the wired connection creates an raynet UHP server and if you connect that to internet it interferes and you have again no connection to your radar.
Happened to me too.
I have 2 Axiom, the orca core, Quantum2 radar and cerbo GX wired to a switch (which is then the raynet or one net how its newly called) so they can all interact and share the data and can also share the map from the master Axiom to the slave, master must be on to do that. Connecting switch to internet the radar as well as slave Axiom doesn’t work, as soon as you unplug the router from the switch it works again.
All are also connected to a seatalk1/NMEA N2K network, here my old raymarine e7 is also connected but not to the switch as e7 runs on lighthouse 2 max while axiom on lighthouse 4 and that causes both to malfunction when in the same raynet. But in case axiom dies i can quickly plug in e7 and have radar to. The axiom as well as the orca core is then connected via Wifi to my boat router with starlink to be always online.
I know complex...needed weeks and have 2 raynet adapter for 200Euro lying around which are useless till i figured all that out...not just buy a new axiom and add it to the network and done as i assumed that works...nope not with f... raymarine.
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Old 29-01-2024, 20:41   #8
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

This is crazy. I thought that there'd be a way to get the radar to join my boat's wifi network. Nope, and thank you for saving me the time to try.

I think I'll do this, then:
Radar to Axiom: wireless, via radar AP.
Axiom to ship's network: wired, via raynet to RJ45. (Doesn't the Axiom have an RJ45 port on the back?)

Oh, and here's something fun. Today, I went to the boat to take a photo of the problem with the charts, where I only had the world chart. I turned on the MFD, waited for it to get a signal, and I had all of my chart data. Down to the individual slip, depth, everything.

Yesterday, on a 35 mile passage, it would have been really nice to have details. Nope, just the world chart with a big yellow blob representing California. But today I have full details.

Curious what I'll have tomorrow.

I also have Lighthouse 3.x on the MFD. I think to upgrade it 4.x, I need to connect it to my hotspot and do the upgrade. Is that going to work to update my Ray73 VHF and all of the other devices on my network?

I'm curious about something else: how would I know if my radar is connected via ethernet? Is there a way I can tell from the Axiom display?

What do you get with your orca core?

(and thank you for the warm welcome, @captainrivet!)
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Old 30-01-2024, 05:55   #9
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

I'm actually surprised there's not more outrage over the whole idea of chart data being proprietary to any given manufacturer.

The data are collected by various governments. In the US, we can download the data for free (theory being, we already paid for it.) Most other countries charge a nominal fee, but it's much less than the "big name" chart companies charge for the same data.

Yes, I understand there are exceptions. Some companies have found privately-sourced chart data which are better in certain areas. Great. Charge extra for that.

But for the most part, and especially in the US and Canada, these companies just convert government-provided data into a proprietary format so they can charge more for it. Oh, they might add fishing spots or some other useless gimmick to make it seem like they're adding value.

No thanks. I'm just fine with US and CA government charts in this part of the world. Most apps offer the ability to download both (albeit with a nominal fee for CA.)

This is a very strong argument for making a tablet your primary chartplotter, and leave the fixed-mount one as a backup, or to display other NMEA data.
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Old 30-01-2024, 06:46   #10
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
EVERY major chart brand compatible with Raymarine looks like they need to physically mail me a card. WHY?? Why is there a download option for tablets but not for chartplotters??
Hadn't seen this before...

Not true for our Furuno and Garmin MFDs.

NOAA or C-Map chart updates down-loadable to mini-SD card for the Furuno. Garmin chart updates down-loadable to SD card for the Garmin. Latter also offers a WiFi download process, but I haven't bothered with trying that.

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Old 30-01-2024, 15:28   #11
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mshulman View Post
This is crazy. I thought that there'd be a way to get the radar to join my boat's wifi network. Nope, and thank you for saving me the time to try.

I think I'll do this, then:
Radar to Axiom: wireless, via radar AP.
Axiom to ship's network: wired, via raynet to RJ45. (Doesn't the Axiom have an RJ45 port on the back?)

Oh, and here's something fun. Today, I went to the boat to take a photo of the problem with the charts, where I only had the world chart. I turned on the MFD, waited for it to get a signal, and I had all of my chart data. Down to the individual slip, depth, everything.

Yesterday, on a 35 mile passage, it would have been really nice to have details. Nope, just the world chart with a big yellow blob representing California. But today I have full details.

Curious what I'll have tomorrow.

I also have Lighthouse 3.x on the MFD. I think to upgrade it 4.x, I need to connect it to my hotspot and do the upgrade. Is that going to work to update my Ray73 VHF and all of the other devices on my network?

I'm curious about something else: how would I know if my radar is connected via ethernet? Is there a way I can tell from the Axiom display?

What do you get with your orca core?

(and thank you for the warm welcome, @captainrivet!)
You need an adapter cable raynet to rj45 to connect axiom via ethernet cable.
You can see your radar connected via cable if you click on radar symbol the standby/power on popup comes and you can simply start or stop it right away.

Orca core together with any apple or andriod phone or tablet is a complete chartplotter replacement that also connects to radar.
The orca core contains 9axis compass and 10Hz GPS with fast forward ROT heading for the doppler functions of the radar and it connects also to your N2K network making all data incl. AiS avaliable on all connected devices.
Its 550Euro (the EV1 for doppler costs 1000Euro) with 1 year worldwide maps incl., yearly fee is 139Euro for premium features like offline maps. Downloaded Maps stay on your devices and are accessible after subscription expires. My old raymarine autopilot worked right away out of box just connect core to N2K and it worked.
Got it because of the 10hz ROT GPS for the doppler as cheapest on market that works with doppler (my old raymarine from the S2G AP is not compatible with doppler) and got orca as backup to raymarine but its so good that raymarine is now my backup...
Google orca navigation...
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Old 01-02-2024, 12:34   #12
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Another UGLY thing about Axiom is that you can only use ONE chart at a time - there is apparently NO WAY to combine multiple charts (Navionics, Lighthouse, ...) onto one SD card. And you have to fiddle with the SD card slot which is - most INconveniently - located in the back of the unit... access to it being from the galley, etc. Aaargh. Raymarine sucks.
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Old 01-02-2024, 14:59   #13
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

Should come in the Axiom kit, there is this remote SD port accessory.

https://www.raymarine.com/en-us/our-...te-card-reader
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Old 02-02-2024, 04:39   #14
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Re: Why can't I download charts for Raymarine chartplotter?

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Originally Posted by DiStefano View Post
Another UGLY thing about Axiom is that you can only use ONE chart at a time - there is apparently NO WAY to combine multiple charts (Navionics, Lighthouse, ...) onto one SD card. And you have to fiddle with the SD card slot which is - most INconveniently - located in the back of the unit... access to it being from the galley, etc. Aaargh. Raymarine sucks.
Well thats not an issue as only navionics is usable the other 2 suck even more then raymarine especially lighthouse charts...
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