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AISTed Lavino11-30-08  08:24 am
Coastal ExplorerTed Lavino03-04-20  06:09 pm
Electronic ChartsTed Lavino15 01-06-20  10:06 am
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Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 232
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, September 12, 2020 - 03:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Folks, an excellent, updated tutorial on getting OpenCPN running on a Rasberry Pi:


Mark Howe
Username: unclemark

Post Number: 816
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Friday, September 11, 2020 - 09:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks Ted.

Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 222
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Folks, lately I've been spending time with a product that seems to be a natural fit with the excellent open source chart plotting project OpenCPN. This product is a low cost, low power computer called the Rasberry Pi that runs a basic version of the Debian Linux distribution called Rasbian, It's very small, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, runs on 12v and consumes about 1 amp. You can purchase the kit with everything you need for about $70. You need to supply your own keyboard, display (HDMI compabible) mouse and storage (I'm using a micro SD card from the kit for the OS and an external SSD drive I had lying around for main storage, but you can just as easily use a thumb drive instead), Running OpenCPN on the Pi won't break any speed records, but is certainly useable.

Bottom line is low cost hardware with minimal power consumption, no cost US charts and no cost chart plotter application with a multitude of plug ins (Grib file overlays, AIS integration, etc.) and excellent third party support. Worth checking out!




Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 208
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

From Rose Point:

Coastal Explorer Online Seminar

So many people have reserved a place for the Coastal Explorer Online Seminar that we are concerned that we might not be able to deliver the best possible experience to everyone attending. Therefore both previously scheduled online seminars have been canceled.

However, we have produced a series of videos that include the entire seminar and have made them available on our website where you can watch them at your leisure. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but hope you will find the new videos even more convenient and informative than the live seminar.

We would also like to remind everyone that we have an online forum where anyone can ask questions or make comments about Coastal Explorer at any time and that we try to make sure that questions are answered in a timely fashion. Please feel free to use the forum to ask any questions that you might have about using Coastal Explorer.

To view the video seminar, visit: coastalexplorer.net/articles/entries/69266

To access the forum, visit: coastalexplorer.net/support/forum

Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 134
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 12:16 am:   Edit Post Print Post

For those who are looking for a low cost chartplotter application as an alternative to VNS and Coastal Explorer, check out OpenCPN.

Last year the MST 218 folks tried SeaClear with disastrous results due to useability issues. Like SeaClear OpenCPN is an Open Source application but is much more intuitive to use. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles or slick interface that the commercial applications do, but does support both raster (BSB) and vector (S-57) chart formats, real-time position reporting of your vessel and AIS targets.

Give it a try: http://sourceforge.net/projects/opencpn/

There is also an active user community at http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f134/opencpn-13653.html

and an FAQ at: http://www.bigdumboat.com/cpnfaq.html

Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 121
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, a note from Rose Point Navigation, makers of Coastal Explorer, version 2.0 of which is beta:

Beta 2.0 Update 1.1.9007 is now available.
This is a BIG update! Obviously we’ve missed the Dec 31st release date goal, but we are very close with this update. Here are the highlights of this update:
• Automatic Chart Updater -- This works much better and has a new user interface that is easier to use and allows separate raster and vector region selections.
• International vector chart support! -- Coastal Explorer now supports the S-63 vector chart format. These are copy-protected S-57 charts that are produced by just about every hydrographic office in the world other than NOAA. These charts are available from many sources including the British Admiralty, ChartWorld, and others. See http://www.primar.no/IPS/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=10842 for a big list.
• Navionics S-63 Chart Support -– Most S-63 charts are official charts from some government authority. That is great if you need official charts, but not so great if you don’t and would rather have complete charts. Just as NOAA is not done converting all of their charts to S-57, most other countries are not done yet either. However, ChartWorld worked with Navionics to convert their complete portfolio to the S-63 format. These are not “official” charts, but the Navionics portfolio contains over 25,000 charts which makes it the largest privately owned chart database in the world. These charts are only available at http://www.chartworld.com/ and are pretty reasonably priced.
• Canadian Marine Text Weather Forecasts. There are four Canadian forecast regions that are supported: Pacific Coast, Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and Atlantic Coast. The regions are not displayed graphically as are the US regions, however we don't expect this to be a problem since there are only four regions and they are widely separated.
• New “Tools > Download/Install Charts” command -– this replaces the old “Tools > Download Charts” command and is closer to the top of the Tools menu. It lets you download charts as before, but it also contains the options for automatic charts updates, and installing all sorts of charts.
• Panoramio photos in the Guide Book -- When the Guide Book Browser is open and you are connected to the Internet, you will now see some new symbols that represent photos on Panoramio. Click on one of the symbols to see the photo in the browser.

Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 71
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 09:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, a great blog on electronic navigation topics. Currently a discussion regarding the merits and issues with Raymarine's new E Series chartplotters.


Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 65
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2008 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, for all the geeks in the audience, a fascinating thread regarding installing an open source chart plotting application on the XO OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) system, essentially a ruggedized, low power consumption laptop that runs a flavor of Linux. Low cost in terms of HW and SW, low power consumption, fairly immune to the hazards of living on a sailing vessel (water and shocks). Sounds like a perfect fit, if one is inclined to get under the hood with Linux.


Also a parallel thread on the SSCA web site:


Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 62
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - 04:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, Jeppesen has updated VNS and Admiral suites of software to incorporate support for CMap's Max Pro vector cartography (whom Jeppesen purchased last year), renaming the suites VNS Max Pro and Admiral Max Pro respectively.

Jeppesen has now chosen to strip out raster chart support (Maptech BSB, SoftChart, NDI) as well as S-57 vector charts (see my post dated 12/22/07) from these suites, instead selling raster chart support as a $300 (MRP) option, although anyone upgrading from the current versions that include support for raster cartography will receive the Raster Pro Pack free of charge.

Also the software now requires a USB dongle to work.

Users of current VNS and Admiral software can receive an upgrade for the price of shipping ($6.50). Older versions can be upgraded for $130 plus shipping.

More info at:

Ted Lavino
Username: tlavino

Post Number: 53
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 06:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, for those using Nobeltec's Visual Navigation Suite (VNS) or Admiral navigtation software version 9, beware. The current update (version 9.3) removes support for industry standard S-57 format vector charts (available via free download from NOAA and a major selling point for upgrading from version 8), leaving support for only Nobeltec's proprietary Passport vector charts.


Excerpts from Nobeltec's bulletin, Correction of Defect, Section 3 (http://www.nobeltec.com/support/bulletin.htm):

# 3. Removal of the S-57 import functionality. The Admiral and VNS products no longer have the functionality to use vectors charts other than the NCX charts provided by Jeppesen Marine.
The S57 charts that you may have imported will be deleted or otherwise rendered unusable by Nobeltec Admiral or VNS by this patch.

Jeppesen Marine has chosen to not put the end user in a situation of ingesting chart data information that Jeppesen does not have control over. We are concerned about the safety associated with importing free data charts and in a process that cannot be controlled, monitored and verified to ensure the highest quality charts for our customers.

To say I find this behavior by Nobeltec shocking is an understatement. To say I find Nobeltec's explanation for this behavior less than truthful is an even larger one, considering the fact that the S-57 charts from NOAA comply with international standards and are regularly updated via Notices to Mariners.

David Sheriff
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 65
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 01:24 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

This is an excellent book. I considered using it as a text back when I was looking at teaching EN at Saddleback. The examples are from waters around the UK, but I thought the unfamiliarity to US audiences might actually be an advantage in generalizing the concepts.

Ted Lavino
Username: Tlavino

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 01:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Greetings folks, just finished a great primer on electronic navigation called The Adlar Coles Book of Electronic Navigation". Its mainly focused on hardware, implementation and useage aspects and includes includes topics on Radar, Chart Plotters, GPS, Computers and Autopilots. About $20 on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Adlard-Coles-Book-Electronic-Navigation/dp/0713657154/sr=1 1-1/qid=1163709836/ref=sr_11_1/102-1023967-5004935

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