Chartplotters

Chartplotters

Postby Shaun » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:34 am

From: longdeepthinker (Original Message) Sent: 8/04/2006 2:24 AM
G`day members,
Anybody have any experience of, or opinions about, chartplotters and the various types of map systems available for them?
All comments welcome.
Thanks,
John Maloney.
"Aeolian"



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Recommend Message 2 of 13 in Discussion

From: slowcol Sent: 9/04/2006 2:14 AM
Hi John,

I have used a commercial chartplatter (about 5" screen NavMan I think) running cMap which was a bit of a disappointment after using my PC based system. The PC with its 14 or 15" screen is a lot clearer and easier to read from a distance - you need top be within a foot of the commercial unit. The downside, and it is a big downside, is that the PC is not waterproof. I've been operating my system for 18 months and there is no sign of corrosion or any other trouble. However I haven't taken on board that big wave yet so the jury is out. The PC runs the same cMap software - comes on a CD that you load then buy the licence unlock key. The price I quoted in the "How to do it" doc was the $US price but it is still reasonable given the size of the chart. If you can ensure a dry area then I'd recommend the PC based system. If you want a bulkhead mounted system you're probably up for a few grand for a new system with no more functionality. I understand that there are better charts around than cMap but for the money they seem to me to be adequate. Well at least I haven't run aground since I installed it.

Regards
Col

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Recommend Message 3 of 13 in Discussion

From: longdeepthinker Sent: 10/04/2006 4:32 AM
Hi Col,
Thanks for the response. Your article re your onboard system was most informative.
I have experienced a Raymarine Raychart 435 and a Furuno plotter. I was impressed with the Raymarine which uses Navionics charts.
Screen size is a problem as you mentioned. The big advantage with plotters is that they can be mounted at the helm due to the fact that they are waterproof.
My interest in plotters arose on a recent trip to Melbourne in a Roberts 35. ( I do not consider myself an experienced sailor ).
We went into Refuge Bay at night. Pitch black night, I could not see any opening to put the yacht through. We seemed to be heading for a solid black wall. Skipper kept telling me to trust the plotter but all of my senses were telling me otherwise. We got in safely and dropped the pick. I wonder if I would have attempted that with paper charts.
Back to Laptops. As a new chum to this I was hoping that you would add further info. regarding how your laptop is powered from the 12 volt system.
As a matter of interest here is a site link that contains a discussion on this topic.
Trust it is of some interest to the membership.
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthreaded. ... ge/vc/vc/1
Regards,
John Maloney.
"Aeolian"
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Recommend Message 4 of 13 in Discussion

From: slowcol Sent: 10/04/2006 5:29 AM
John, You're braver than I am - night sailing is hard at the best of times without having to navigate blind.

The Notebook I use is a Toshiba Satellite 1270 with a pretty much stuffed battery. I power it through a cheap low power Dick Smith AC/DC inverter. I haven't tried powering it direct off the 12v because I think it needs 15v. It probably would work though. I haven't had a problem with power consumption but then again I've changed over my 2 gel batteries about 6 months ago and have 2 solar panels that keep them sitting at about 13.5v. After about 5 hours out on the water with the inverter on, VHF, log, echo and autopilot the voltage drops to about 12.5v. I don't know how many hours I'd get out of batteries with the inverter alone. I've got more research to do haven't I?

Regards
Col
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Recommend Message 5 of 13 in Discussion

From: longdeepthinker Sent: 11/04/2006 3:56 AM
Thanks alot Col, most helpful.
John.

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Recommend Message 6 of 13 in Discussion

From: BigLofty4 Sent: 12/04/2006 5:03 PM
Hello John,
I use a Garmin 176c Chartplotter, but the recent version is the 276c - see http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap276c/ for pictures and complete specs. I mount it above the table in the dinette, and the aerial is on the pushpit rail. They take standard batteries, but you can also run them off the 12v cigarette lighter plug to the battery. They're not cheap -Whitworths are selling the 276c for $1299. Nonetheless, a good plotter in my opinion. The 176c connects to my PC via the serial port (newer models via USB), and I can upload/downolad and print charts, tracks, waypoints etc. I'll put up a picture of a track taken on a Twilight race on Sydney Harbour. If your PC is old and slow, the connection to the GPS tends to drop out. They are accurate most of the time to within about 5 meters - I've gone close to one side of a small marker in one direction and the opposite side on the way back, and the tracks are clearly differentiated.. The map system is the BlueChart system and it is not cheap either - you can buy CDs or cartridges, but then you have to buy unlock codes for the regions on the CD that you want to use. Garmin (GME) provide excellent support by phone and email, and the website is easy to use. Garmin also do a MetroGuide Australia, so you can use the GPS in the car as well. Let me know if you need more information.

Cheers
Cyril


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Recommend Message 7 of 13 in Discussion

From: longdeepthinker Sent: 13/04/2006 6:25 PM
Thanks very much for the responses, all helpful.

Future posts on this subject will be in the navigation/gps message board.

Regards,

John Maloney.


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Recommend Message 8 of 13 in Discussion

From: longdeepthinker Sent: 13/04/2006 6:38 PM
Hi Cyril,
Thanks alot.

Garmin products do appear to have a strong following amongst the yachting fraternity.

Plotter prices seem to be a problem for many. I think that plotters would be more widely used if the price came down.

I will keep in touch re this subject in the navigation message board.

Regards,

John Maloney.
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Recommend Message 9 of 13 in Discussion

From: wannabeace1 Sent: 13/04/2006 10:58 PM
hi members,i use a pirated copy of worldwide cmaps on my compac 800 mhz laptop hooked into a garmin 126 gps. power for the computer is 12 volt running through a 200 watt pure sine inverter which cuts down the power consumtion quite a bit,the system works fine with no problems

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Recommend Message 10 of 13 in Discussion

From: BigLofty4 Sent: 14/04/2006 4:14 AM
Hello John,

I'm pretty sure you are a subscriber to "Cruising Helmsman", but for the benefit of other members, there was a good article by David Kerr on "Making your own electronic charts" September 2005, pages 16-19. A bit more trouble, but certainly a lot less expensive than BlueChart. And hey! Legal!

Cheers
Cyril
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Recommend Message 11 of 13 in Discussion

From: BigLofty4 Sent: 14/04/2006 4:41 AM
Hello Col,

Yes, the big greenie over the stern is a worry when the PC is near the companionway. However, help is at hand! I attended a CYCA seminar on "Information Technology at Sea" this week - most interesting. This young chap pulled a laptop out of his bag, threw it onto the floor so that it bounced along the aisle, jumped up and down on it a few times, put it on the table and it started up as normal. It has a waterproof keyboard and he reckons you can leave it sculling around in the bilge without damage. It is called a Panasonic ToughBook for use in extreme conditions.

The downside? $6000

Cheers
Cyril

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Recommend Message 12 of 13 in Discussion

From: longdeepthinker Sent: 14/04/2006 5:33 AM
Strewth Cyril, 6000 is about a third of what my whole boat cost me!!!

Thanks again to everyone for contributions to this discussion.

Regards,

John.
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Recommend Message 13 of 13 in Discussion

From: Force_Fed17 Sent: 14/04/2006 5:55 AM
Hi Cyril,

I own a Panasonic Toughbook CF 27 which was purchased on Ebay for about $450. Comes with a touchscreen so you don't have to fiddle with a mouse or scratchpad unless you prefer. I don't treat mine like the young chap at the seminar did, but I am sure they could take a few knocks and bumps. Mine hasn't got the fastest processor but with enough RAM it runs my Navigation software quite nicely.

Cheers
Steve
"Blue Moon" MkIII Junkette rig,
Camden Haven River,
Mid Nth Coast, NSW

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