SailNet Community banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
old guy :)
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings

I have a sight impaired friend - he sees but will never be able to get a car driving license. He sails a West Wight Potter 19 which he calls Blind Ambition. He has a Garmin 76 GPS. He has a laptop on board.

Question:

Has anyone written a program that will take the GPS sentences coming from a Garmin and display them as data BIG on a laptop.

Thanks

Rik
 

·
Courtney the Dancer
Joined
·
3,971 Posts
I haven't seen or heard of any program to make the text size larger on the 76. On my newer Garmin 3210 there is an option for text size, at least for soundings. Maybe a larger display would help? Hope you figure something out that helps.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
It shouldn't be that difficult to do, given that GPS sentences are just serial text data coming in over a serial port. Might try looking HERE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
A couple of suggestions -- first, the Garmin 76 has an NMEA output and Garmin sells a PC interface cable https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=574. Maptech and others sell PC software which will plot GPS data on electronic charts.

There are other Garmin handhelds with better displays than the 76 -- the Garmin 76Cx or 76CSx have color screens, bright backlights and configurable background colors. The color screen is going to be more easily readable for someone who is visually impaired.

Last, he could simply get a GPS PCMCIA card for his laptop and eliminate the cable all together. I have no direct experience with these, but perhaps someone else can chime in.
 

·
old guy :)
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
He has the 76, he has the cable and he connects it to his laptop. He is writing his own software to do it - but I just thought I would check here for him in case anybody else has done it. He wants to put a "Garmin 76 like display" full screen on the laptop screen so he can see the direction to the next waypoint.

I have passed on the links to him.

Thanks

Rik
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
He has the 76, he has the cable and he connects it to his laptop. He is writing his own software to do it - but I just thought I would check here for him in case anybody else has done it. He wants to put a "Garmin 76 like display" full screen on the laptop screen so he can see the direction to the next waypoint.

I have passed on the links to him.

Thanks

Rik
Go to Maptech: Topo Maps Charts Navigation Software GPS and FREE Online Mapserver and check out either Chart Navigator or the U.S. Boating Charts software -- I think this has what your friend is looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,475 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I'm not sure what you mean by GPS sentences, so this may be of no help, but if you can interface the laptop with the GPS, the Nobeltec software can customize the view all sorts of data - including text size & colour for SOG, Bearing, Distance to next Waypoint etc. You can change your heading line to various colours and thicknesses as well.

I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I can't take a screen shot if you'd like. We use a USB GPS, and set the laptop on the companion way hatch (calmish weather of course!) in the pilothouse. This way, we can see if we're on course, and relevant data on the screen from about 6ft away. I'm in Canada, but I figure they'd display the same down south...
 

·
Old as Dirt!
Joined
·
3,486 Posts
If his computer is using Windows, go to the Control Panel and click on the Accessibility Options which will allow him to adjust the size of the screen display to meet his needs.
 

·
Sea Slacker
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
What your friend needs is an NMEA (GPS) data display on a computer with configurable "dials". Most NMEA using programs do not have decent instruments (and those that show any output rarely have data windows that resize significantly or at all).

This is a "big secret under wraps" (and, personally, I hate talking about things that are not ready yet) but Polar Navy is working on virtual instrument console right now. If your friend is interested, get in touch with me and I can have the very first releasable version available for testing. It will include custom-sized digital instrument output for variety of data (i.e. he could size a single instrument to the entire screen).
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
Rick, as HyLyte mentions, the newer versions of Windows have some great accessibility features in them, and some vendors pack in even more. Start with changing the system defaults to very large fonts, enable the screen magnifier OR THE SCREEN TALKER which will speak the text for him.

Probably don't need anything special there.

I'd also call Garmin and ask them what they know, odds are they've got something in mind for the sight impaired. And, pretty much all of their newer "car" navigation systems speak directions. Some of those can be used with marine charts instead of road maps, that might be the real easy solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Kurzwell makes several programs for those such as you describe, and seem to be always looking for ways to help the visually impaired. A call to them might be productive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,428 Posts
We have a program callled sail-ability which uses cat rigged dinghy's and a 'joystick' which steers and pulls on or releases the main sheet. Disabled sailers _usually kids sit next to an instructor and sail around the bay / harbour etc.

Also another program' for blind sailors is running at a club level and has trips from day sailiing to circumnavigating australia.

I have met a few sailors (old salts) who are now blind. They still go out (with sighted people) but their input is invaluable. They can tell if off course or sails flapping etc.

The old adage applies (- excuse me Nike) - "just do it"
 

·
old guy :)
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Mission accomplished

Thanks all.

I think I have hooked Adam up with the right guy.

Now we wait to see what he gets up to.

:)

Rik
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top