Anything you'd like to tell us about navigation, navigational aids and related topics will be covered on this page.
If you have experience of using anything from a sextant to the latest state of
the art device, and would like to share
hints on the use of it with newcomers to the art, if you've mastered a complex piece of modern technological navigation equipment and would like to let the rest of us into the secrets of
it, we'd love to hear from you.
If you are not already familiar with the story of how John Harrison
revolutionised navigation in the 1760's you may like to read all about it.
We would be interested to know which item of modern navigational equipment you'd
choose, if any, should you be obliged to pick but one.
For us it's our trusty
radar - we could manage without the GPS quite happily but the loss of the radar
would be truly upsetting. The image shown here is of a part of Admiralty Bay,
Bequia, showing the many yachts, and a few small ships, at anchor.
We were interested to find that many have found radar images hard to interpret,
as we ourselves would have done, had it not been for the fact that a retired
radar officer was kind enough to give the captain a crash course during a
charter a few years ago ( he had never used the radar on board, dismissing the
images as a blur of meaningless green blobs).
The navigation officer aboard
the SS Africa had, likewise, explained the meanings of the blobs to your Managing Editor
some forty-odd years ago (it's true what they say about the ease with which
children learn because they don't know it's supposed to be difficult!) during a
voyage from Trieste in Italy to Mombasa in Kenya when she went visiting all the
places passengers are not supposed to enter...
There is news, further down this page, for those who have not already heard it,
of a new radar overlay program for electronic chart users - making the radar
image come to life for the onlooker...it's all quite exciting, even to those of
us who don't actually use the electronic equipment, the progress being made is
A discussion of GPS anomalies might be very interesting….including the most
common anomaly, according to a few bemused people around a table in the bar, the
other week...which had nothing to do with how the GPS functions, but everything
to do with the fact that a lot of people have purchased boats and taken to
cruising around in them with next to no navigational or other skills, because
the advent of the GPS has made it possible for them to get around.
This used to be no more than a topic of scathing comment amongst properly
trained and/or experienced sailors.
Now it is becoming cause for genuine concern. Not the least of the dangers is
the tendency of novice sailors to seek advice from publications and each
Where a seasoned sailor will interpret any and all information received
and use his skills to get around, a novice is more likely to adhere rigidly to
whatever the 'experts' appear to be saying. With more and more vessels being
motored at sea, (this being easier than actually sailing,) and many of them
using the same 'waypoints' as one another, having read the same publications,
the dangers of collision can surely only be increasing...
What do you think? Have you had a close call, or even a
collision as a result of this syndrome? We're interested in everything you have
We'd like to hear from anyone currently using navigation
with a view to running an article about the programs available and
readers' experiences with them in a future issue of MarineZine. If you have experience with using navigational software
as one of the aids you employ, we'd appreciate
hearing from you. We are interested in hearing from seasoned navigators
and novices alike.
We would also like to hear opinions on the cost of acquiring charts
for these programs. Do you feel the charts that go with your software
are fairly priced?
Kees, aboard 'Ilios' would like to know whether Astro-navigation tables for
next and/or future years can be found anywhere online?
Can anyone tell us if such a service exists and, if so, how to find it on the
We'll publish any answers here so that Kees can see them from
wherever he finds himself...
Got a question? Got an answer? Got information/news which may affect other
readers? Why not drop us a line?
E-mails to MarineZine_editor@linnetwoods.com
Radar Overlay for Electronic Charting Display
You asked for it, Nobeltec appears to have done it...
You may have heard that Nobeltec was acquired by Jeppesen
Sanderson a while back - this seems to have been a positive move and, as
has been keeping busy, looking for, and usually finding, ways to keep
their clients impressed and happy with the product range.
On every customer survey Nobeltec have done in recent years, the number one requested
feature has been the ability to overlay a radar image on top of their electronic charting
Three years of hard work culminated in the release of their radar overlay
If you are one of the many who thinks old-style (non-overlayed) radar displays are hard to
interpret, the RADARpc
may bring a surprised smile to your face.
" With RADARpc, radar just became a lot more intuitive and user
says Nobeltec's newsletter editor Tim Whelan.
The RADARpc plugs straight into a standard laptop or desktop PC using a PCMCIA
card, USB port, or PCI card and features true radar
overlay at around $2,600.00 for existing Visual Navigation Suite 5.0
Full specifications on this product,
including sample screen shots are available on their web site: http://www.nobeltec.com.
For information on their Tides and Currents software you can log onto http://www.tides.com
If you are a user of RADARpc we'd love to hear what difference
it has made to your relationship with your radar, if any, and whether you would
recommend it to other navigators.
Trimble's BD750 RTK GPS Card
Trimble, founded in 1978 and located in Sunnyvale, California, now hold more than 200
U.S. patents on GPS and related technology, with over 180 additional patents
Trimble brought out the BD750, a compact Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Positioning System (GPS) card for machine and vessel
positioning, guidance and control applications.
The card provides system integrators with the highest level of integration, accuracy and response from a
dual-frequency GPS receiver. Its compact Eurocard form factor allows for easy integration with minimal demand on
The BD750 is accurate and fast with centimeter-level positioning. Dynamic
platforms, such as autonomous machinery, require virtually instantaneous position reports multiple times per
second. It delivers positions to guidance or control loop software with an unprecedented latency of less than 20 milliseconds at 20 times per
This responsiveness is matched with horizontal accuracies of 2 centimeters and vertical accuracies of 3
For even more precise applications, the BD750 provides horizontal accuracies of 1 centimeter at a 5 Hz rate with a small increase in
Interfacing and configuration is easy with the BD750. The card is designed to plug right into an application with minimal
An easy-to-use application file interface enables the receiver to be completely programmed with a single
The BD750 can also be configured by a Windows-based Configuration Toolbox and Remote Controller software. The card includes support for the
industry-standard CAN (Controller Area Network) architecture.
The BD750 uses the most advanced technology from Trimble.
The accuracies, update rates and latencies are made possible through a GPS architecture specifically designed for demanding dynamic positioning
Custom-designed hardware with Super-trak signal technology and EVEREST
multi-path rejection technology provide superior satellite tracking.
The BD750 can receive both differential GPS corrections and Trimble's published Compact Measurement Record
(CMR) differential data simultaneously.
The card then chooses the optimum source for seamless navigation.
The ability to calculate the baseline vector between two moving receivers to centimeter accuracy is available as an
option which provides robust heading on a moving platform or reliable separation between two dynamic
We believe the BD750 to have been available, through Trimble's worldwide dealer
network, for around a year now.
Are you, or is anyone you know, using this system? Are you a supplier with
good reports from clients on this equipment? We'd love to hear
comments from anyone in a position to make them.
|We'd love to hear from you - we are interested in what
you have to say, whether as a user of navigation equipment or as
a supplier, an experienced navigator or a total novice...