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  #31  
Old 09-13-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

My 100% vote goes to "Marine Navigator Lite" for droids. Just read the instructions, download the maps you want and put them in the folder it specifies.

Works perfect and is free, you just have to tinker a little to get it started as the instructions help you with.
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  #32  
Old 09-16-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProLuke View Post
My 100% vote goes to "Marine Navigator Lite" for droids. Just read the instructions, download the maps you want and put them in the folder it specifies.

Works perfect and is free, you just have to tinker a little to get it started as the instructions help you with.
I concur completely. I used it a lot from the cockpit recently while sailing around Catalina Island. Was great for pointing out rocks and coves.
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  #33  
Old 09-16-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

I use Navionics on my Iphone, along w/ my old Iphone as a backup and paper charts for reference. I've sailed through Biscayne Bay at night several times w/ no problems on my way to and from Elliot Key & Fort Lauderdale. Stiltsville can get a little hairy at night.
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  #34  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

how do you envisage running this?, where will you be sailing?, Seaclear ll is definitely good but a bit of a bear to get running, however as the US Charts already have a .KAP extension embedded into the chart file it is a lot easier to load as there is no calibration involved just a lot of clicking, warning do not buy the CD with all the charts listed as they are already on the NOAA site under RNC charts, there is also a yahoo chat group that si willing to help out and they are very knowledgeable and forgiving
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  #35  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

This would make a good poll....

+1 for Polar Navy
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  #36  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

On my big laptop I have OpenCPN and it works great as a basic navigation and routing using my USB GPS. My netbook has Polar which I loaded because of a recommendation here and it works just as fine. On my two droid devices I have Marine Navigator Lite which this thread reminded me to update. I accidentally included the Keys to Mississippi charts and...it will be quite a while till the update completes LOL.
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  #37  
Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

We have used SeaClear II for the the past two years. Although it is a little clunky to begin with, it becomes second nature with daily use. I loaded the program onto the cheapest netbook Walmart had to offer and added a puck GPS from Amazon. This went on a small swinging table mounted just inside the companion way. This setup was flawless from Baltimore to Georgetown Exuma and back. We did have a real chart plotter with Navionics charts but the small screen size and tedious route creation, it was not as good as SeaClear. We also had a spare laptop with the software loaded and ready to go. Offshore we would mark up our paper charts as we went along. While on the ICW, route planning took only a few minutes with SeaClear and Skipper Bobs anchorage book.

The netbook turned out to be pretty durable. Once in Nassau the backpack with the netbook went to the bottom of the dingy. Salt water poured from the netbook when we got to shore. We rinsed it in fresh water, let it dry out, and I,m using it now. For the Bahamas charts we used the CYC digital charts that came with our paper ones.

PS
A wireless mouse made manipulating the program from anywhere in the cockpit a lot easier..
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Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exkma367 View Post
We have used SeaClear II for the the past two ... I loaded the program onto the cheapest netbook Walmart had to offer and added a puck GPS from Amazon...
The netbook turned out to be pretty durable. Once in Nassau the backpack with the netbook went to the bottom of the dingy. Salt water poured from the netbook when we got to shore. We rinsed it in fresh water, let it dry out, and I'm using it now...
That sounds good. I went a different route, bought a used Dell Latitude and changed out the HD for a solid state drive (faster, less battery power). Updated the bios, and installed W7 and drivers. I got a plastic shield specifically formed for the keyboard which protects it fairly well from wet hands, coffee, and cocktails, all except the two lower extra mouse buttons. I also installed a lighted keyboard and extra RAM, all ebay items, so cheap. This allowed me to buy several heavy duty batteries which will fit my business Latitude as well, also inexpensive on ebay but good Dell batteries. So I can run the laptop for probably 36-48 hours straight on batteries alone. I can also recharge from my solar powered house battery.

In the dinghy, I set the laptop pack up on a square flotation cushion, which kept it out of the water.

I did not use free software, however. I paid $17 for an older DeLorme "TOPO" program, and for $29 was able (with the patience of Job) to download all east coast charts, harbor charts, offshore charts, etc. from N.E. Maine to around the Fla Keys and the Gulf. These are the same charts I have on my paper copies, only lots more of them. With a cheap older GPS usb puck it worked very well. Except that visibility in bright sunshine with Polaroids on was not good, really needed the shelter of the companionway to see clearly.

Incidentally, the TOPO was a useless program for the land, only useful for the sea. It would take a full time workforce to download any large area, they have a terrible system and should just sell you DVDs. A comparison of the same map between TOPO and National Geographic's NE topographic software showed that the Delorme product was blurry and low contrast, the Nat Geo maps were very sharp and clear, and you got discs covering a huge area with no downloads.
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  #39  
Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

I use OpenCPN on my Macbook Pro and EarthNC Marine Charts on my iPad. Like them both a lot.
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  #40  
Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Free or low cost GPS navigation software?

Great thread and gave me lots of leads and ideas.

A friend recently gave me a jump drive with Open CPN on it and all the maps of the keys for me to play with. I hope to learn more about it soon.
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