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post #1 of 4 Old 10-27-2012 Thread Starter
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Advice on Laptop Nav Software for Planning

I'd like to buy a lower cost Nav. software with GPS sensor pick up. I want to use this software at home -- plan routes and famiarize myself with my picked route(s). I want to use my laptop to up load as well (perhaps) to the Nav. Equipment (software route up load) on the boat.. if posible and compatabile.

I have just found -- LapTopNav for $ 99.00 bucks and they send you a GPS pick up. I bought a similar program from Delorne when I was trucking. I ran the GPS sensor out my wing glass and put it on my west cost mirror for sat. signals. This system was fairly cheap, $69.00 bucks (1996) and worked well for big truck trucking. I liked the big screen feature and could glance down at the laptop and see check my route with ease.

I'm looking to buy a multi-unit down the road and just want to work with planning at (primarily) home and back up nav. on the boat. I have a Garmin 60 ** ?) and used it for boating in PA. It's a great hand held, software update ($ 199.00 ?) for it but small screen.

I did read about all the free stuff (in Electronics); I'd like to hear about the LapTopNav.. has anyone used it and other advice on what to buy (best bang for buck) ?

Thank You,

Avery
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Advice on Laptop Nav Software for Planning

Try SeaClear and OpenCPN, both free. Once you get out of the house, you can add any GPS on the market. Plain GPS "pucks" can be cheap these days.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Advice on Laptop Nav Software for Planning

I like OpenCPN and use a BU 353 for a GPS receiver. I use Canadian charts, so I have to buy them. Your NOAA charts are free. With free software, big bang for bucks.

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Advice on Laptop Nav Software for Planning

LapTopNav is just SeaClear, NOAA charts, and a USB GPS receiver. SeaClear is free. As in, costs absolutely nothing. NOAA charts, too. Download them anytime you want, completely free. So what you are paying $99 for is the USB GPS. You can buy a USB GPS off of E-Bay, or Amazon for less than $40.

Some people don't want to take the time to download the software and charts for themselves, and so they think this kind of deal is worth it. Okay, maybe so. On the other hand, what are they going to do when it comes time to update the charts (which will happen soon) or the software (which will happen eventually)? Are they going to spend the money to buy the CD again!?!

Crazy.

My advice is to forget LapTopNav, download some charts from NOAA (find them here... Nautical Charts & Pubs), then download BOTH SeaClear and OpenCPN and try them out. Decide which one you like and uninstall the other.

Now all you need is a way to feed a GPS signal to the PC. Do you still have that GPS you got from Delorme? It will probably work just fine. Give it a try. If not, buy yourself a new USB GPS from Amazon for $30-$40 and you'll be all set.

Good luck.
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