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GPS Chart Plotter Sonar. HELP


Priority1

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Thanks Frank, I appreciate it. Unfortunately I can't make it to the seminar so I will PM you my address.

By the way, the solid state hard drive is looking like a good option right now. I am trying to decide on the manufacturer and style. I am considering this one

I would rather have an internal SSD but I am having trouble finding one that will fit into my old Dell.

I wonder if I can remove the current hard drive completely and just run the above mentioned SSD, by changing the boot sequence to boot from the express card slot?

I see you use Newegg. I just put together a duo core PC with hardware from there. My wifes Valentines gift.

I'm not sure on how you would configure that HDD, but I'm sure there is a way.

I may try running a small netbook or a refurb. Panasonic Toughbook. The Toughbook will take a splash.

I'll send the DVD tomorrow. Prez Day Today.:)

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I was running the SeaClear program off a USB and Compact Flash Card from my camera. You could get a USB flash drive and run it off that. It would be just as stable as a solid state HDD for a lot less $$$$. I haven't used it enough to know if you could save way points and other data to a flash drive. Rather than run a DVD on the pond or install the program to the HDD, the flash drive may be the way to go. You can get a 4 gig USB flash drive for $10. The charts are what take up the most room on the DVD. I wouldn't load them all.:)

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I was running the SeaClear program off a USB and Compact Flash Card from my camera. You could get a USB flash drive and run it off that. It would be just as stable as a solid state HDD for a lot less $$$$. I haven't used it enough to know if you could save way points and other data to a flash drive. Rather than run a DVD on the pond or install the program to the HDD, the flash drive may be the way to go. You can get a 4 gig USB flash drive for $10. The charts are what take up the most room on the DVD. I wouldn't load them all.:)

That's a good idea Frank, but I am concerned about the HDD still getting beat around and causing future problems at the initial boot or while underway. I wonder if the HDD would throw an error if the arm moved while the machine is idle?

I have of course never tried any of this, so maybe I should try what you suggested just to see if it will work. After all, if it doesn't work I am out nothing really, I could just proceed with my SSD idea. I have 5 or 6 flash drives laying around that would work.

I am really excited to try this. I have been researching transducers that I could hook up to make a fish-finder also, but have come up short on that search. Cruz-Pro make one for about $850, but I have only found one "real world" review, so the search continues on that end.

I know some people are reading this saying to themselves 'WTF tightwad, just go buy something from Cabelas and be done with it", but that is not my nature. After all, why buy something for $1000 when you can make it for only $2500.:D

Rayman. Thanks for that site. I ordered something from them a few years ago and everything went well, but in general Newegg seems to beat them by a few bucks and their shipping is lightening fast, but I do like to check with them before I hit the send button just to compare.

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I'm still playing with the SeaClear program, and I'm finding some very nice features. I can be viewing one of the many charts, and click on FIND BOAT and it centers the boats location dead center of the screen. I was just viewing some Lake MI areas.

We were talking about log books in a different thread. I need to create a couple of folders to store notes with in this program. It does take a little getting used to, but if I can figure it out anyone can.:)

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I just thought I'd post a screen shot of a portion of Muskegon Lake. I know a lot of folks here are familiar with that. The program comes with almost 4 gigs of charts. Of course you only need to load the ones you want. This one would have helped me a ton a couple of years ago. Navigating Muskegon lake can be tricky for someone unfamiliar with it. Zooming in and out with this program is simple.

muskegon_lake_screen_shot.jpg

muskegon_lake_screen_shot_2.jpg

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Every one of those sharp break lines holds fish in the fall:D:D

And Ken knows where every sharp break in that lake is located.:D

I just thought I'd post a screen shot of the SeaClear Log Book, along with my other folders. This program makes it simple to keep a log.logbook_screen_shot.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just bit the bullet and ordered a Panasonic Toughbook. It is a Refurbished model CF-29. This meets military specs and is able to handle rough use, including water being dumped on the keyboard. This has a 13.3 inch touch screen, and CDROM drive. It is viewable in direct sunlight. The size and sunlight viewing was important to me. The Priority1 and it's "Over The Hill Gang Crew", needs all the help it can get.:) Getting by without a chartplotter all this time had to hinder my shallow water program. Fair warning to Saginaw Bay Walleye," Watch Out Now".:lol: We can even play tunes while viewing the plotter. Heck!!! I just gotta burn the Fish On Song.

I'm going to add a Garmin Color FF also. Gotta make a call to a friend on a demonstrator.

My LMS 350 Lowrance Will either come off or move to a less prominent spot. It served me well. We always had a tough time seeing it untill the sun got high enough. Once the sun was high in the sky, the hardtop shaded it.

I just built a new PC for my bride. Her 10 yo P3 was a lil slow. Ya have to do a few things on the home front to be able to get away with more on the boat.:lol:

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Still waiting to get my gps puck, Had something come up that took priority. I have been playing with the program and that thing is really impressive. If a used notebook holds up for even a couple of years it will be worth it.

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  • 1 month later...

On another web site a member made some assumptions that I provide some one with illegal GPS soft ware. This is NOT the case. The software I sent to members of this site and others is free for the downloading including the charts. I just didn't want anyone here thinking it was illegal.

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I had it on the boat in the garage and it worked fine. I had it in the truck it tracked and worked fine. I haven't had my boat in the water yet. I'm using a waterproof military spec CF-29 Panasonic Toughbook. I don't see any reason why it will not work. The GPS capabilities is better than most. It maintained signal underground in my basement as well as in a steel building.

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On another web site a member made some assumptions that I provide some one with illegal GPS soft ware. This is NOT the case. The software I sent to members of this site and others is free for the downloading including the charts. I just didn't want anyone here thinking it was illegal.

Frank, don't let them get to you. The knowledge you have shared over the years, with other anglers, far outweighs the idiotic comments of a couple of people (who probably would not have the brass ones to say similar comments to your face).

Keep up the good work!!:thumb:

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Tony, A warm welcome to the GLF site.:) It's a little different here, and Mike GLF makes sure it stays friendly. Even the moderators are instructed to twist peoples arms and make them smile.:lol: Holler if you need any help. Thanks for the kind words.:)

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Hi, I'm another one that followed the tread from the other site.

I read through this thread and being a bit of a geek I think going with a solid state HD would cancel the need for a rough service laptop. I have an old dell 2.4ghz laptop that I and going to use and see how long it will last. I was also thinking of hooking my hummingbird depht finder/GPS into the laptop or at least piggy back the GPS antenna to the PC. Going to have to sit down and figure that one to see if it's possible.

Anyway, I'd like to say hello and thank you Frank and others for all the great information.

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Steve, A warm welcome to you. You will like it here. If you want a copy of that DVD let me know. The SSD may help. One of the main reasons I opted for the Toughbook, is it will take a splash. Let us know if you need any help.:)

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This post is a great read. I have always wondered about a pc based gps, I checked out one used by a DNR officer and was intrigued by it. I also like that the pc is versatile and has many other uses, such as the mentioned access to the net with wifi. I may be interested in trying a set up like this some day.

Thanks for all the info Frank.

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I was also thinking of hooking my hummingbird depht finder/GPS into the laptop........ Going to have to sit down and figure that one to see if it's possible.

If you figure it out, please post how to do it. I have not been able to do it yet, but in all fairness I have not had a ton of time to sit down and really give it a go.

I think that would be the ultimate in fishing upgrades, especially for those that have hard-tops, because they have less water issues.

I would love to have a 15 inch "fish finder screen".

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Thanks Frank, I have seen that one, but I can not find many reviews from users, so a grand seems like a real leap of faith. I really can't imagine it would be that hard to adapt a transducer to a computer but there is very little/no info out there on how to do it.

I would even settle for, (and have seriously considered) getting a $99 fish finder and cutting it open to try and adapt it to my laptop. Sounds like a winter project to me, I dunno.

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