Electronic Chart Question - Again.... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2008
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Electronic Chart Question - Again....

Ok, so I know where to go get free electronic charts for anywhere in the U.S., but where can I get free charts for the rest of the world?

Maptech provides free NOAA electronic charts at http://www.freeboatingcharts.com/ for anyone who needs the link. All you need is the software to view them. Discount paper charts can be bought at http://www.discountnautical.com/products.htm (these are real NOAA charts, not reproductions & thier service is excellent), and on the really cheap side are black and white reproduction charts from http://www.tidesend.com/.

Am I missing any other good chart sources? I'd really like to be able to download the NGA charts for the rest of the world, but I can't find them anywhere.
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Old 01-15-2008
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I been looking everywhere for free electronic charts for other parts of the world. I have had no luck.

Also for a free source, here, you can get the electronic charts and scroll down and get the Coast Pilot PDF Books, and somewhere in all this I found Chart #1 download as it not available anymore from what I understand. Chart 1 good as it give a lot of info on using the Charts. If, I can find it again I will add the link in this as an "Edit"
http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/

I use this Chart Reader;
http://www.seaclear.net/
I use both Windows 2000 and Linux and it works with both for viewing the Charts. I not figured out how to connect my GPS for real time, but, I know it can be done.

The tidesend.com, Cam told me about when I asked and the Paper Charts are Grey Scale, so there is some Shading to distinguish Land from Water. But, even these can get expensive when doing World stuff. They do have a Circumnavigation Package of about 4-5 Charts for $25.

I wanted Hard Copy backups in case for some reason I lost Computer. This about all I can say.

Here the Chart 1 link;
http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/mcd/chart1/chart1hr.htm
I downloaded the 85 MB deal. But, it a little hard to see, I not sure if it the quality of the PDF files, or my computer.
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Last edited by Gryzio; 01-15-2008 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Add additional details
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Seaclear will only read the raster or BSB format electronic charts, not the newer ENC format IIRC.

It depends on what GPS you have, but most will work if you set them to NMEA 0183 protocol. However, they do need to have an NMEA serial port. Many of the smaller, less expensive units only have a USB-based connection.

BTW, the Garmin units that support NMEA 0183 output, like the GPSMap 60/76 series are set to Garmin's proprietary protocol by default. NMEA 0183 protocol uses 4800, 8, n, 1 for the data settings and doesn't require flow control IIRC and will connect to any serial port or USB-to-RS232 serial port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryzio View Post
I been looking everywhere for free electronic charts for other parts of the world. I have had no luck.

Also for a free source, here, you can get the electronic charts and scroll down and get the Coast Pilot PDF Books, and somewhere in all this I found Chart #1 download as it not available anymore from what I understand. Chart 1 good as it give a lot of info on using the Charts. If, I can find it again I will add the link in this as an "Edit"
http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/

I use this Chart Reader;
http://www.seaclear.net/
I use both Windows 2000 and Linux and it works with both for viewing the Charts. I not figured out how to connect my GPS for real time, but, I know it can be done.

The tidesend.com, Cam told me about when I asked and the Paper Charts are Grey Scale, so there is some Shading to distinguish Land from Water. But, even these can get expensive when doing World stuff. They do have a Circumnavigation Package of about 4-5 Charts for $25.

I wanted Hard Copy backups in case for some reason I lost Computer. This about all I can say.

Here the Chart 1 link;
http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/mcd/chart1/chart1hr.htm
I downloaded the 85 MB deal. But, it a little hard to see, I not sure if it the quality of the PDF files, or my computer.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post

BTW, the Garmin units that support NMEA 0183 output, like the GPSMap 60/76 series are set to Garmin's proprietary protocol by default. NMEA 0183 protocol uses 4800, 8, n, 1 for the data settings and doesn't require flow control IIRC and will connect to any serial port or USB-to-RS232 serial port.
So, the Garmin will work with the Seaclear software? Maybe?
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Free Chart #1 Download. NGA site has notice to mariners, chart updates, light lists, and all kinds of goodies. Just can't believe no one has the NGA charts available for electronic download.

http://www.nga.mil/portal/site/marit...c24fd73927a759
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It would help if you said which model Garmin you have. The smaller, less expensive ones will not, since they do not have an NMEA serial port, as I said before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryzio View Post
So, the Garmin will work with the Seaclear software? Maybe?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryzio View Post
So, the Garmin will work with the Seaclear software? Maybe?
I don't think so. I was at the Toronto Boat Show today at a place called RadioWorld ($2,100 for an ICOM M-802 plus an AT-140 tuner...not bad!). I asked for a USB GPS "puck" receiver and they produced a Garmin product priced at $75. I said that I wanted to use SeaClear and a GPS receiver to run simulations and to practise waypoints on electronic charts, plus dinking around on Lake Ontario and the fellow said that the Garmin unit was "proprietary" and only worked with Garmin chartplotter, or something. I lost interest at that point.

So, O sages of Sailnet, what kind of GPS receiver do I need to buy to convert my PC into a plotter and does it have to be the serial port style? Can I use cheap or free software to teach myself how to play with this effectively before I buy some honking mainstream nav software?

I won't tell you my thoughts when I learned the Furuno stand-alone "vertical display" radars won't send their screens to a PC...Grrrr... I just want the ability to either 1) send radar imagery to a larger screen, and 2) perhaps have either a side-by-side or an overlay option with a chartplot screen.
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I have a low end Garmin hooked to a pc through a USB to serial adaptor. I think the garmin model is GPS 72. I also bought one of those USB hockey puck GPS's that came with Microsoft Street Maps for about $60 U.S. Both work. Originally, I was hoping that I could upload waypoint info from my P.C. to Garmin, but that didn't pan out.
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Thanks Val and SD

I not very knowledgeable of Seaclear, so, that why I was wondering about Garmin. I did find a Garmin E-Trex Legend and it just a small Hand Held. It say it have the Serial Adapter and compatible with the NEMA protocol or whatever. But, it not have an External Antenna jack, and I was wanting an External Antenna jack. So was look more at something a little more expensive.

But, if Garmin not work with Seaclear, I will watch here and see what said.

I can get the BSB Charts into Seaclear and view them like a Chart, this about what I learned so far and that great for free charts. I can use a Hand Held and get a fix and look at the Chart and see where I am.

I just not want to buy something that not work with Seaclear, as it going to be hard enough to learn something that will work. If, that make sense.

Maybe I making it more confusing before I ever try.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erps View Post
I have a low end Garmin hooked to a pc through a USB to serial adaptor. I think the garmin model is GPS 72. I also bought one of those USB hockey puck GPS's that came with Microsoft Street Maps for about $60 U.S. Both work. Originally, I was hoping that I could upload waypoint info from my P.C. to Garmin, but that didn't pan out.
This the Garmin I thinking of. I thought it have an External Antenna jack if I read the specs correct?

Are you using this with the Seaclear Software?

I edit and add; It not BSB files but KAP files that I have in Seaclear.
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Last edited by Gryzio; 01-15-2008 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Add details
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