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  #21  
Old 11-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawingknots View Post
i finally got the time to experi9ment with connecting my gps to my laptop last night,as soon as i pluged it in the gps screen showed that i was connected to the pc and became unfunctional,the easygps screen doesn't tell me anything can anyone help a poor dummy out,thanks
It's not only you. I found Sea Clear EXTREMELY hard to use and annoying. I switched to OpenCPN (free) and Polar Navy (free for planning). I use Polar Navy on board.
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  #22  
Old 11-19-2011
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thanks everyone so much! the only fault i find with this forum is lots of people [myself included] here are long on opinions but silent when hard info is needed,again thanks for sharing your knowlege
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Old 11-19-2011
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I have a 400C. use it routinely for coastal cruising and find it very useful. screen is small, but one accommodates. agree laptop is best used below deck. I use laptop as backup to gps.
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Old 11-19-2011
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bornagain.yes i think i can navigate with only the 400c too i was just hoping i could use my laptop for more info and detail,lol yup the screen is a bit small,i'm going to need stronger glasses
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Old 11-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
It's not only you. I found Sea Clear EXTREMELY hard to use and annoying. I switched to OpenCPN (free) and Polar Navy (free for planning). I use Polar Navy on board.
I've heard this so many times that I have to agree that it's true. But that has not been my experience at all. Either I've stumbled onto the magic secret, or I don't make use of the features that are causing difficulty.

The one absolute rule of SeaClear is that you must run the separate MapCal program any time you add more charts. The first time you do this, you need to copy/paste in the pathname of the charts if you don't use SeaClear's default location (I tell SeaClear to look in the same folder as OpenCPN so that they share the same charts). Then you need to have it scan the directory so it can build its database. From then on, you don't need to worry about MapCal unless you add more charts.

The benefit of SeaClear is the ease with which you can move from one chart to another. So if you're planning a long cruise that takes you across multiple charts, it's so easy and quick to change charts just by double-clicking on the margin of the chart that's showing. Then other features like "Best Chart" to get the highest resolution, or "Smaller Scale" to get a lower resolution that covers more area. I also like the route editor for creating routes, and I use G7toWin to translate their route file format to .gpx to transfer into my Oregon 400c and/or OpenCPN.

But I do not use SeaClear for anything other than this, so maybe that's why my experience is better.

OpenCPN does a lot of things better for en route usage, such as course up (instead of north up) and quilting. But it's a little slower to change from one chart to the other, which is the prime reason I don't use it at home for planning. It also has a very nice display of AIS targets, with nice ability to customize the display and alarms.

I tried PolarNavy once and found the interface very non-intuitive. Maybe if I stuck to it I would have learned.
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  #26  
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wow i can see that this is way over my head,your saying i need to buy or get my own seperate charts,download them onto my pc or gps before sea clear or any other program will be of benifit,like i said before i'm sure i can navigate using only the 400c's built in charts at least u.s. coastal areas
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Old 11-26-2011
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The entire set of NOAA charts, in raster format which work with SeaClear, are available for free from the NOAA website. There are some folks selling CDs of these as well on EBay, etc. for a few bucks along with other public domain documents like pilots. I originally bought one of these for $15. Well worth the money because my old dial-up service would have taken 2 1/2 years to download all those charts. They are also nicely filed and accessible.

As far as your hardware connection goes, they all have their own little problems. As I mentioned above, make sure you specify "Garmin USB" protocol when you select the GPS. My version of SeaClear works with no problems with both Garmin GPS units but I can remember having to wrestle with Open CPN and Sailcruiser. You just need to fiddle around until you get the right configuration with your hardware. Make sure your computer is seeing the GPS before even trying to use it with the software. You may need to download the latest driver that will work on your machine.
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Old 11-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawingknots View Post
wow i can see that this is way over my head,your saying i need to buy or get my own seperate charts,download them onto my pc or gps before sea clear or any other program will be of benifit,like i said before i'm sure i can navigate using only the 400c's built in charts at least u.s. coastal areas
Go to NOAA, choose RNC or ENC, download into the Chartkit folder that sea clear points to and you're done. Every week or so the charts are updated. The update usually comes out after the Tuesday LNM is posted.
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