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Old 07-06-2022, 23:08   #106
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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Hey Sharky,

, for how long do you have the monitor?
Where did you get it?
Exact model?

Thanks,

Fran
I've had it for 4 months, and it lasted a wet winter in Portland Oregon. Got it from alibaba, company is sihovision. Only complaint is that it's a bit block shaped
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Old 08-06-2022, 01:13   #107
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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I've had it for 4 months, and it lasted a wet winter in Portland Oregon. Got it from alibaba, company is sihovision. Only complaint is that it's a bit block shaped
Thank you. Wet winter in Oregon sounds jucky enough to be an endorsement for the unit :-)
Do you know the exact model number?
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:14   #108
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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Thank you. Wet winter in Oregon sounds jucky enough to be an endorsement for the unit :-)
Do you know the exact model number?
I also have a Sinovision screen, 10.1" daylight 1000 nits with auto adjusting light sensor.

I have put this on the very sturdy Ram mount with ball connector.

I had a resistance monitor before, but now a capacitive touchscreen. This works much better.

But I also use a Logitech wireless keyboard with a pad in combination with the touch screen.

And an Ipad as a vnc client.


I have the model SL101. Is not completely watertight. Only the front panel.

Regards,


Bram
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:56   #109
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Weíve been cruising full time for a year, currently in Mexico. I have been in the school of thought that our Raymarine is our primary plotter, navionics on the phone or tablet are used often and secondary, paper charts are the backup and OpenCPN was loaded on a laptop just in case, but I never used it because, frankly, I didnít like messing with it. Setup is easy but using it was annoying.

Then, three things happened, a cruiser we met held a seminar on using OpenCPN. It turns out, I didnít know how to use OpenCPN properly. That was lightbulb moment number one. Then, the second thing is he showed us how to use mbtiles to overlay Google and bing images on top of charts. That was amazing and highly useful. The third thing was that we started getting into zones where the Raymarine charts lack detail, are inaccurate, and thereís no other option that will work on the Raymarine.

On the OpenCPN I have ďShawn and HeatherísĒ excellent guide charts, navionics charts, and satellite imagery, and while switching between them is now much easier, the OpenCPN UI is still a but of a mystery to me in some places, but itís absolutely a game changer for us.

Now, OpenCPN on an android tablet is our primary navigation tool, the Raymarine provides a backup, has the data about our voyage and is our radar screen. The charts are vaguely helpful, but the tablet is our go-to.

For OpenCPN I had to learn about chart groups, that was the main key. MBTiles have made it possible for us to anchor in some amazing places, itís pure magic as far as Iím concerned. If you are going to remote places, you absolutely must have this system.

Go to the chartlocker website, spend the time to watch s/v Migrationís video, load the MBTiles, setup your chart groups properly, and boom, OpenCPN becomes awesome.

Now that Iím reading about brighter, waterproof screens widely available, I will be looking into upgrading when we are back in a place where we can do some upgrades. Screens just werenít available when we built our system six years ago. I wonít get rid of the Raymarine, but Iíd like to have the OpenCPN on a screen instead of a tablet, which can and does overheat. Especially here in tropics , a few minutes accidentally in the sun and it will shut down.

Iíll just add this, OpenCPN is awesome, designed for serious navigators. I think the User Interface and User Experience is confusing in parts. I give much respect to the hard working developers on the project, but Iíve talked to many people now that also had the ah-ha moment about the Chart Groups. Over time it has become easier to use, and will become easier.
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Old 08-06-2022, 07:31   #110
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

I got my professional start as an academic computer scientist and became involved with product development much later in my career. I've worked with a lot of different kinds of engineers. One thing that I've encountered over and over again, is the truth of the old adage, "Theory is a lot closer to practice in theory than it is in practice."

I have also noted, frequently, the degree to which software people grossly underestimate the complexity of putting a physical product together. When I see someone ask, "What's the big deal, IP67 connectors are a buck each?" I kind of roll my eyes. Your product is going to live or die by the way that the flexing of the sidewall of the IP67 case that you duly specified and sourced, interacts with the stiffness of the mounting flange on the IP67 connector that you also duly specified and sourced. And a million other little interactions and factors that are, in practice, extremely difficult to foresee.
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Old 08-06-2022, 14:06   #111
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

My system is a mixture of old transducers and new RPi based DIY electronics and is detailed in the video below:

https://youtu.be/enPFlHpmJVA

I also have a custom Sinovision 15.6" monitor that is IP67, 1000Nits, optically bonded and has an external dimmer from 0-100%. I also made a video reviewing it:

https://youtu.be/3y9jBpOEguE

I have been using OCPN and Openplotter/Signal K as my primary navigation and information source for the last two years and have had few issues with it. I do have a Garmin chartplotter as back up, as well as a phone and spare SD card.

Having said that, I would probably get depth, wind, boat speed, VHF and Autopilot fitted from the factory.
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Old 12-06-2022, 15:00   #112
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Has anyone figure out how to integrate the "goto" or similar GPS based autopilot function on OpenCPN to an autopilot? I really like being lazy and not having to check and adjust the GPS compass setting on bluewater passages due to set and drift. I have used the alarm function when "drifting" outside a preset bandwidth. Its just not the same and does add passage time. The branded packages are a lazy man's dream for this calculating continuous set and drift on long passages.
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Old 12-06-2022, 15:26   #113
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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Has anyone figure out how to integrate the "goto" or similar GPS based autopilot function on OpenCPN to an autopilot? I really like being lazy and not having to check and adjust the GPS compass setting on bluewater passages due to set and drift. I have used the alarm function when "drifting" outside a preset bandwidth. Its just not the same and does add passage time. The branded packages are a lazy man's dream for this calculating continuous set and drift on long passages.
I have a ShipModul that bridges the NMEA 0183 and 2000 and WiFi all together, so I can send route and waypoint sentences and they show up on my autopilot and vice versa. So yes, itís doable, but unfortunately I think I needed to do more filtering because this setup was making my NMEA 0183 crash. But anyway, what you want to do is possible if you have the right translator hardware/software/whatever. I like the ShipModul because itís low power, powerful, and designed for marine environment.
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Old 13-11-2022, 15:40   #114
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Hey PNWSalmon,
Thanks for what you wrote about your A-Ha moments with OpenCPN. Really happy to hear that.


As you know, something I stress is that relying on a single chart source (like a chartplotter) is really not safe as most charts have errors somewhere. I'll soon be adding a page to TheChartLocker.com to make that clear as I have a collection of errors found on a variety of different electronic charts.



As someone who started computing in the ancient days before Windows, the OpenCPN UI doesn't bother me too much, but I completely understand how for those didn't start with the early PC navigation programs, it may be a difficult interface to master. But I believe, as you said, it's worth it.


As for screens, we feel the same as you. I think our next step will be running OpenCPN on a Raspberry Pi with a good screen. But that will have to wait until we are somewhere where we can do the research, and receive the products.


Thanks again and bon navigation.
Cheers,
Bruce
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Old 13-11-2022, 16:00   #115
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

[QUOTE=bbalan;3705794]Hey PNWSalmon,
Thanks for what you wrote about your A-Ha moments with OpenCPN. Really happy to hear that.


As you know, something I stress is that relying on a single chart source (like a chartplotter) is really not safe as most charts have errors somewhere. I'll soon be adding a page to TheChartLocker.com to make that clear as I have a collection of errors found on a variety of different electronic charts.



As someone who started computing in the ancient days before Windows, the OpenCPN UI doesn't bother me too much, but I completely understand how for those didn't start with the early PC navigation programs, it may be a difficult interface to master. But I believe, as you said, it's worth it.


As for screens, we feel the same as you. I think our next step will be running OpenCPN on a Raspberry Pi with a good screen. But that will have to wait until we are somewhere where we can do the research, and receive the products.


Thanks again and bon navigation.
Cheers,
Bruce
s/v Migration
Makemo, Tuamotus[/QUOTE

Bruce , Iíve been sharing the files all over the Sea of Cortez all summer and passing on your teachings. Many people donít want to mess with opencpn until I show them. Then they canít wait to get it going.

Your seminar in La Cruz was truly magical. Giant oceanic Manta Rays are incredible. You really opened our eyes about them. I feel like the opencpn was the cherry on top.

Weíve been following your travels. Wishing you the best. Thank you for all you do for the cruiser community.

By the way, I received your newsletter this week. So itís working !

Oh and final note , Iíve been using computers since 1981, but opencpn still gave me a hard time. I guess many of us are just spoiled by ďmodernĒ UIs. But as you pointed out, our Raymarine keeps putting out features useless for cruises and OpenCPN is solely focused on navigation. We strive to have three independent sources of charts though, so itís ok.

Thank again for all you help.
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Old 06-01-2023, 06:37   #116
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

I am a 56 year old IT guy. I have found that trying to "roll your own" of something like this to save some money is almost always a bad idea. I am sure you could do it. But you will spend tens (hundreds) of hours monkeying with it. You will be doing your own support. What you end up with in the end will likely not be any better than what you could turn-key, probably worse.

Leave this to the pros. Buy a package and go sailing instead.
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Old 08-01-2023, 19:26   #117
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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I am a 56 year old IT guy. I have found that trying to "roll your own" of something like this to save some money is almost always a bad idea. I am sure you could do it. But you will spend tens (hundreds) of hours monkeying with it. You will be doing your own support. What you end up with in the end will likely not be any better than what you could turn-key, probably worse.

Leave this to the pros. Buy a package and go sailing instead.

You couldn't be more wrong
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Old 08-01-2023, 19:46   #118
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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You couldn't be more wrong
Well, thatís pretty aggressive.
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Old 08-01-2023, 20:06   #119
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

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Well, thatís pretty aggressive.
Not at all
Aggressive was saying leave it to the pros with no idea who has been involved in the OpenCPN project or, by the sounds of it even trying it.

Also what makes a pro and what makes you think they know what they are doing?

I have purchased plenty of things and paid for services over the years by so called "pros" that were total ***** and had to be repaired properly by an amateur
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Old 08-01-2023, 22:03   #120
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Re: How does OpenCPN compare to B&G, Raymarine and Garmin ? New boat install ?

Thanks for sharing the files, PNWSalmon. And for your kind words.


RIglehart, I have to disagree with you. Having owned the same boat for over 30 years, installed all the systems, upgraded them, upgraded them again, and again, and cruised over 60,000 blue water miles, my experience has shown me that the engineers who design marine instruments and charting programs rarely have a clue as to what it is really like to use those tools at sea. A perfect example is the trend toward touchscreens without buttons. Try using a touchscreen with wet (and possibly cold) hands in rough seas. It's a ridiculous exercise. When one uses instruments every day when sailing, the muscle memory of your fingers allows you to pull up the information you need without even looking. Impossible to do with a touch screen. And of great value in a dicey situation when you need to keep your eyes looking out but need to switch an instrument to display different data, or control an autopilot. Usefulness is what matters at sea, not flash, and that is definitely something that most big companies don't recognize because they have marketing departments that have to sell a lot of product.



OpenCPN's interface may not be flash, but it is definitely useful for those navigating daily. When we cross atolls in the Tuamotus, it is incredibly valuable to be able to switch between 3 different satellite views and 2 different marine chart views with a single key stroke (1, 2, 3, etc. to switch chart groups). Not possible with any chartplotter on the market.



The main point I would like to make is that we don't use OpenCPN to save money. We use it because it is vastly superior to anything put out by Garmin, Navionics, B&G or any of the other big companies. It may take more effort to learn, set up and use, but it is absolutely worth it.
Best,
Bruce
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