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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-14-2009 12:55 AM
delan Off topic, but somewhat relevant if you're interested in PC's aboard. I replaced the power supply within my pc with a 12v PSU unit that's typically sold for cars, now I can run my pc continuously without an inverter (inefficient) or the genset.
I've built 9 so far at the request for friends, and during the evolution, I've gotten away from PC cases altogether, I now mount the motherboard, PSU and harddrive on a piece of plywood, then mount the dvdrive in the cabin, so it's easy to pop in a movie.
05-13-2009 12:21 PM
Boasun You can run any of several Nav programs on your PC and coupled with a GPS you will have ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display). And you can do more with your PC while the ECDIS runs in the background... Such as Voyage planning, Email, Logs, Grocery list, dreaded taxes and so forth...
The dedicated ECDIS's well you can display your chart...That's it....
05-13-2009 11:50 AM
Dick Pluta Someone needed my Garmin more than I did and I haven't replaced it yet. I now use a Holux GR-213 that I bought on E-bay for $28 with my PC. I have Sea Clear 2 and Chart Navigator Light. The Chart Navigator came with a Maptech chart set I bought for the Bahamas. The Sea Clear is a free download and uses the NOAA charts. I have been using them for about four years and have had no problems at all. It's a little tricky to get the NOAA charts into Sea Clear but once you overcome that hurdle it's a piece of cake.

If you have a computer with Bluetooth capability Holux makes units that can talk to it wireless.

The only problem I have is using a computer as a display. The marine environment isn't very friendly to electronics and we keep the computer under a plastic cover. Next season I'll get a marine unit, probably a MFD, and install it at the wheel where I can see it all the time. Otherwise, it's fine.

Dick Pluta
On the hard in Florida
05-13-2009 08:39 AM
sailingdog Google earth requires an internet connection, so isn't very useful for most boats.
05-13-2009 02:59 AM
celenoglu you might try google earth as well. You can use it as a map.
05-13-2009 02:20 AM
ben2go BUMPIN this thread to keep it alive and hopefully updated.If someone was interested in a cheap semi dedicated chart plotter, check this DIY article out. Duckworks - Building a home made Chart Plotter You could use it for wifi internet,software updates on the go,playing music,up to the minute weather updates,and downloading pics from a digital camera.Some food for thought.

Times are tough and to me gps is a safety device.Never a substitute for common sense and paper maps tho.So this is a cheap alternative to more expensive units.Keeps us shoe string sailors on the water.
01-31-2008 01:55 PM
JimsCAL I recently picked up some Delorme street map software at Staples that included a "hockey puck" GPS/USB receiver. Cost was $50 after rebate. I have had some Maptech software (Offshore Navigator Lite) that came for free with a Long Island Sound chartbook but never bothered buying a cable to interface my handheld Lowrance GPS. A little research found that I needed to download a driver to interface the Delorme hockey puck to the Maptech package. Seems to work fine. So total cost for hardware and software to turn my laptop into an automotive GPS AND ALSO a marine chartplotter (with maps of my cruising area) was under $100! Wow!
01-30-2008 04:27 PM

This is a generic puck for $30 that I saw on another thread. I'll be ordering it later for the same reason as Valiente. I could only find them for ~$80. So I was glad to find the link. The antenna will work fine with Seaclear or streets and trips. I broke my last one using it in the car. Unsafe mode of transportation.
01-30-2008 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
I had a puck type GPS but decided that it was too finicky. When the computer wasn't interfacing with it, it couldn't be used because the GPS didn't have its own display or power source. Often the interface between the two became unstable and the computer couldn't find the puck. With my handheld GPS and a USB cable everything seems to work fine. When the GPS quits talking to the computer (for whatever reason), the GPS is still useful.

I have a plotter and two handhelds already. I want the laptop/puck combo to practise with using SeaClear and other programs with NOAA raster maps.

Basically, it's fifty bucks to evaluate and give me something to play with. My current plotter is a Raymarine 420 and while good at acquiring, I don't plan on investing in cartridges for it.
01-30-2008 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by j34035 View Post
Garmin has a program called spanner you can download from their site that takes the garmin usb input and converts it to nmea on a virtual serial port. It may work with the puck. I am using it with my gpsmap 76 and it interfaces with Maptech perfectly. Also with Microsoft streets and maps.
Good to know! I don't think I need the Garmin puck, however, as I can use more generic pucks (I don't have a Garmin plotter or anything else particular reason why...)
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