I obviously need some help setting up Sea Clear. Could someone give plain English directions on how to download NOAA charts and get SeaClear to read them. Thanks.
Here is a fleshed-out version of the list in my previous post. I hope I haven't been to effusive here.
1. Download raster charts from NOAA.
You may want to have a temporary folder set up to store the downloaded files in before you go to this link:
Nautical Charts & Pubs
Download the files from the NOAA website to the temporary folder.
Extract the zip file contents to the temporary folder.
Set up a folder to store the charts so that they will be accessed from Seaclear. This can be anywhere on your harddrive but it makes sense to put it under programfiles\seaclear\charts. You will "tell" Seaclear where these files are in a later step. For discussion, lets call this "the working folder".
Use Windows Search to find all the KAP (.kap) files in the temporary folder. Be sure Search is set up to search in subfolders.
In the search results, select all the files or, if you know the chart numbers that you want, just select those.
Move these files to the folder you set up for Seaclear to use, the working folder.
Now you've got the chart files (.kap) where you want them. You need to tell Seaclear where they are. You do this by creating a database file that Seaclear will read to get the chart locations, the coordinates of the borders so that it can select the correct chart and other chart information such as scale. Mapcal is a program that creates this database file for Seaclear. You can specify the chart folder using the tools menu and selecting "Set Directories". Then Mapcal will read the filenames in the folder when you select "Scan for new charts" from the tools--->Autoload list menu". Next I select "update" from the tools--->autolist menu but I'm not sure what this does and may not be necessary. The final step in Mapcal is to select "recreate" from the tools--->autolist menu. This last step writes the database file that Seaclear will use enabling it to select and open chart files. When you open Seaclear, it will open this database and will be able to list and open your charts. The following steps-list summarizes this process. I did not make this list and it does not include the "Update" step I mentioned above. If anyone can tell me what the function of "update" is, thanks in advance.
2. Open MapcalII utility. This is a seperate program from Seaclear. You will find it in your Start menu.
3. (IN Mapcal) Tools--Set Directories.
4. (Mapcal) Assign the path to the working folder. Hit the button to the right to browse to the folder. Or, you can edit the list by typing in the box.
5. (Mapcal) Click OK.
6. (Mapcal) Tools-->Autoload list-->scan for new charts.
7. (Mapcal) Tools-->Autoload List-->recreate.
8. Close Mapcal.
9. Restart Seaclear (if it was open while using Mapcal).
10. (In Seaclear) File-->chart-->list all.
You may want to delete the temporary folder that you used for the download to free space on your computer.
Note, that to the best of my knowledge, Seaclear only uses files with the extension .kap and .wci. The .bsb and .ptc files that come from NOAA are not needed.
Disclaimer: I am submitting this post in an effort to be helpful. If I got something wrong, I am very sorry. I suspect I will still get stomped-on by someone, if history is any indication.