notebook computer as gps chart plotter on small boat

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Tim.M, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I'm with Woosh on the Nobeltec. A little much to learn for the weekender but so damned good you begin to trust it totally - therein lies a problem but I'll take "too good of navigational aid".
    I have two HP Pavilions in a closet. Internet, games and movies for the kids on one, Nobeltec on the other. Never a problem since leaving the "placemat" crumb-catcher, coffee saucer, leaning post of laptops. Laptops truly suck if you have visitors that can access them.
     
  2. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    So I can get Nobeltec http://www.nobeltec.com/products/prod_suite.asp for around $500 for the software but each chart package from https://www.nobeltec.com/store/ costs $499 so a starting cost of $1000 plus the notebook. Not terrible. I saw some supposedly well weather sealed "industrial" notebooks being sold used on ebay that might be a lot more durable than your off the shelf dell for a wet environment.
     
  3. Catabolic
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Western Australia

    Catabolic Tusitala

    I can't agree with Tim.M's comment - "Not Terrible!" It may not be in $US, but for anyone outside the US it translates to a significant, and rarely justifiable expense to the average (impecuneous) yachtie. There has to be a less expensive way - what charting software programs will utilise the commercially produced charts, rather than have to utilise "locked" proprietory and expensive hardware?
    How do I get my notebook to read my Magellan electronic charts?
    There are numerous relatively inexpensive charting programs available, but they are not a lot of use outside the US (where the government makes charts available via the web) unless you are willing to scan existing paper charts, which defeats the object really. If anyone has found a realistic solution that is not locked into a specific manufacturer, please tell us!
     
  4. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Catabolic, this page has links that may help http://tuxmobil.org/linux_gps_navigation_applications.html , in particular look at the free map source quality on http://pygps.org/#mapview , http://www.waypoint.org/ , http://www.dfwmaps.com/ , http://www.wikimapia.org/ , http://openaerialmap.org/ , http://www.baum.com.au/~jiri/clew/manual.html , http://j2memap.landspurg.net/ , http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Gosmore , I will run http://www.gpsdrive.de/ , and use paper maps - gradually building up my own map database and local detail...
     
  5. erik818
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Sweden

    erik818 Senior Member

    I'm using a freeware called SeaClearII and currently an ordinary laptop computer. I bought a GPS reciever with a USB conector. I will buy one of those new tiny laptops with 8" displays to use instead of my (company property) laptop.
    GPS receiver: <EUR 50
    Laptop: EUR 300
    Seaclear: FREE

    SeaClear can use several digital chart formats. My charts are in the BSB/KAP format, which I believe is a standard of some kind. It also supports scanning paper charts. The program has enough basic navigation facilities for my needs, and I would say for the need of most private boat owners. I normally navigate with paper charts and have GPS and SeaClear as a backup in case I ever loose my position.

    Search for SeaClear on the internet and you will find several sites where you can download the program.

    Sea charts may be freely available on the internet for the area you are interested in. Last time I checked, for the Stockholm archipelago the cost for buying them in digital format was approximately the same as for paper charts (EUR 100 - 200). An advantage is that you get free updates to the digital charts. The Pirate Bay seems to know where to find them for a better price.....but updates are not likely to be included.

    I also like the origin of SeaClear. A programmer needed software for basic navigation. He couldn't find anything simple and cheap, so he wrote a navigation program that is now freeware. I like the arrogance and "how difficult can it be?" attitude.

    All in all, with legally purchased digital charts, the total cost is around EUR 500 for a laptop based GPS navigation system.

    Erik
     
  6. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Sigh :(


    all these things always look so good


    http://www.sping.com/seaclear/


    IF you are in Europe or USA


    for the rest of us trying to find a safe harbour on the southern tip of Africa or the lesser know islands elsewhere

    absolutely frikken nuttin :mad:
     

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  7. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    Don't get me wrong - it's a lot for me too and I'd prefer if it were cheaper. But I'm comparing it to off-the-shelf chartplotter units. For $750 you can get a 7" screen. If you want a 12" screen you're looking at $2500! The prices get very high if you want a nice clear view. Of course they're water tight and probably consume less power than a notebook for that price too...
     
  8. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    OK, I've downloaded seaclearII and I've downloaded the raster BSB charts from the NOAA site. I extraced the zip file and now have a folder BSB_ROOT. In BSB_ROOT I have a series of 5-digit numerical folders corresponding to the charts I selected which each contain a BSB file and several PTC and KAP files. I do not seem to be able to display the KAP files directly with SeaClear_2.exe. I can open and view the KAP files with MapCal2.exe in the sc_ii folder; I've tried resaving them form here, but don't understand how to get them to show up in the available charts in SeaClear_2. Can anyone help me - I don't seem to be able to follow the PDF Manual to get this to work. I must be missing something really simple.
     
  9. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    you been holding out on me Mas
    the lap top idea is perfect
    B
     
  10. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    go mac
    its the only reliable alternative
    way to even list the program thanks
     
  11. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    Is there a waterproof sealed mac notebook?
     
  12. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    Ild be surprised if its not in the works
    I tried to work with pc when I got into computers and it was a nightmare
    the minute I got a mac all the trauma went away and I could actually get some work done
    I know we can go round and round about this for a long time but I waste no time on viruses or spyware and my computer works every time I turn it on
    perfectly
    pc was a brawl from the word go and never quit torturing me until I finally gave up on it completely
    why, you got a waterproof virus proof spyware malware proof idiot proof pc

    ( all in good fun mate Im sure your referring to some kind of submersible nave aid, hell Im betting the scuba people have the best one. But for big screen and ease of use and preponderance of information; Ill go computer if its at all possible )

    cheers
    B
     
  13. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

    I was looking at some industrial pc notebooks that claim to be weather sealed (don't think they would be waterproof, but splashproof much more than a normal notebook) Something like a mac air with ssd drive would be ideal, but at $1799 it's $1000 overpriced for my wallet.
     
  14. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member


  15. Tim.M
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 48
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Wisconsin

    Tim.M Junior Member

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