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    Re: Laptop as a GPS?
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2015 Oct 23, 19:41 +0000

    There is a free charting program called OpenCPN.  Loading it onto my computer and playing with it is on my "to-do" list.   But I understand it's quite good, quite competitive with some of the top (and very costly) PC-based programs such as The Cap'n. 

    The United States Power Squadrons teaches two offshore navigation courses that combine teaching basic CN with using modern tools (I've seen a statistic that says that less than 10% of recreational boaters making an offshore passage these days even know CN much less use it), so the US Power Squadrons' course seems a nice combination of modern and "backup."  

    They just made a switch from The Cap'n to OpenCPN.   A member of this list, Stan Klein, is a leader in USPS's offshore navigation course development, perhaps he can elaborate on the features of OpenCPN.

    You can use any charting program to display a chart, plot a course on the chart, etc, etc.   But if you actually want to display your position on the chart, you need GPS input.  Many hand-held GPSs can be made to talk to a computer, but often only with a specialize interface since the GPSs tend to talk something called NEMA2000 and not USB.  On the other hand, the USB-port plug-in you describe is exactly what's needed.   I have a friend (non-sailor) who plays with tracking his position on earth (eg, while flying on a commercial flight) using one.


    From: Steve E. Bryant <NoReply_Bryant@fer3.com>
    To: luabel@ymail.com
    Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2015 2:42 PM
    Subject: [NavList] Laptop as a GPS?

    I would like to use my lap top as a GPS. I have a Dell Studio XPS.
    (If you are familiar, I would really like to replicate the long discontinued Garmin "276c" GPS which was equipped with street and coastal marine charts.  It suited my purpose well.)
    Do any of you use your lap top as a gps with the ability to measure straight line distances between waypoints and the direction between them?  I know Google Earth has useful functions; I use them.  
    What I may be talking about is using my laptop as a chart plotter; some how that sounds more expensive and like more hardware than I would care to manage.   
    Please advise me as to where I might look to evaluate the viable options.
    Sent from my iPad

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