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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010
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Laptop GPS

Does anyone use a laptop or netbook with marine GPS? If so what hardware and what software? If there is a good reason not to use this combo, I'd like to know what it is. I would use this on inland lakes and on the Great Lakes.
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Old 12-28-2010
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Maptech software - no longer in business

BU 353 - USB (serial) GPS receiver

Compaq laptop

XP

Canadian Hydrographic Service charts
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Old 12-28-2010
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I use pretty much the same as Jack, maptech offshore navigator, BU353 puck gps on a Dell laptop running XP, I can't think of any reason not to use this combo in addition to your other resources.
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Old 12-29-2010
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I have used Maptec lite and Ireland east coast charts linked to a Garmin GPS on my Acer laptop for the past 6 years without any problems. Also have a trial disc for a much cheaper pc plotter that covers all of Ireland and UK and am thinking of upgrading.
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Old 12-29-2010
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A search of this site will reveal lots of threads on this topic.

Some comments. Seaclear II is a free program. Free charts are available from NOAA, but not sure about what's available for the lakes. A USB GPS is probably the easies way to go. Don't rely on a PC as your only source of charts and navigation. You need paper charts and at least a cheap handheld GPS.
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Old 12-29-2010
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The charts for the great lakes are available from NOAA as well. There is also OpenCPN and a few others out there. Here is the "Sticky" thread on downloading charts. Link

I would second what others have said about having a back up GPS and paper charts of your area as well. Laptops & water really do not get along that well.
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Polar View NS is awesome. Polar Navy - Marine Navigation Software, cost is $39. You can get the BU 353 gps reciever on amazon for around $30. I run it on my macbook.
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Quote:
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Polar View NS is awesome. Polar Navy - Marine Navigation Software, cost is $39. You can get the BU 353 gps reciever on amazon for around $30. I run it on my macbook.
Will it display Canadian Hydrographic Services charts which are a BSB4 format?
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Any GPS will work as long as it has nmea output which they all do.

Buy a USB to RS232 converter - can be found on ebay for £2 and you are set. plug the two NMEA wires into pin 8 and 2 and you are set.

Easy as pie, as for the software, opencpn and you can get the charts from any friendly sailor for the EU, buy them a beer.
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Quote:
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Will it display Canadian Hydrographic Services charts which are a BSB4 format?
I am not sure about the charts. I would contact polar navy or check out their website.
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