Antares Charts

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cpedw
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Antares Charts

Postby cpedw » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:03 am

I've spent much of this season ploughing through the new CCC book Cruising Scotland. In it I found reference to Antares Charts which appears to be a worthwhile amateur project to survey interesting corners of Scotland and make the results freely available. I plan to subscribe before next season, and to get a computer that won't flatten the battery in minutes to run it on (is Santa reading this?).
Has anyone else found out about Antares? Any experience of their product?
I've found the CCC book extremely dull, by the way, though the pictures are nice.
Derek

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Nick
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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Nick » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:57 am

.
Sorry, I've moved this thread to Gear and Gadgets as that would seem to be its rightful home . . .
- Nick 8)

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Telo » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:48 am

I don't know about the Antares idea, but I wonder whether it has been superceded by the publication on disk of over 800 UKHO charts by MemoryMap.

We don't have a chartplotter, so it's handy having allthe Admiralty charts in the laptop as a back-up for the occasional passage in fog. It's just such incredibly good value, I'm not sure there is much point in using other sources on a laptop.

Unlike the thew UKHO-RYA CD-ROM, the MemoryMap files are stored on the hard disk thus reducing battery drain. At forty quid, I heartily recommend it.

I found the Companion text to be fine - it's not intended be SDs, gives a good overview for each area. I agree that the CCC pictures are very good.

;-)

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Nick » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:33 am

.
The Antares charts might allow Shard's return to Loch Teacups without embarrassment :shock:

As they are a raster format it looks as though they will be useable with OpenCPN (may require some tweaking though - CPEDW, you are surely our man for trying this out?)

The Memory Map software sounds like a remarkably good deal - a complete UK chartplotter for £95. I have sent an enquiry to them re. OpenCPN, AIS input and chart updates and will publish the results here when I get them.

As those of you who read our blog of this Summer's cruise know, we relied extensively on OpenCPN running CM93 charts once we ran out of paper chartage North of Bergen. In fact, we found the electronic charts invaluable even when we did have paper - all Norwegian pilots recommend having the largest scale charts you can and using a magnifying glass . . .

We used OpenCPN in preference to the CMAP software because it allows for AIS input from our NASA AIS engine, but we have also found it to be a more reliable platform. We ran it on an EEE-PC netbook running Windows XP with a 20GB solid state drive. The SSD means it is slightly more rugged than a machine with a whirly HD, plus it is quicker to boot into Windows and uses less power. With a car adapter you can run this wee machine for hours with no huge power drain, especially if you have it set to go to sleep between forays into the chart. (The EEE-PC has a 12V input, aso no step-up required - but beware cheap car adapters, the one we got from Ebay the day we left caused serious interference on the VHF).

Here's a pic of the netbook strapped under the sprayhood in chartplotter mode. Main downside was that the screen was hard to read in sunlight - but that wasn't too much of a problem on our trip :stillraining

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................................................................................eeepc under the sprayhood on Fairwinds
- Nick 8)

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cpedw
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Re: Antares Charts

Postby cpedw » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 am

Shard wrote:I don't know about the Antares idea, but I wonder whether it has been superceded by the publication on disk of over 800 UKHO charts by MemoryMap.;-)


As I read it, the advantage of Antares is that it gives considerable up-to-date detail of places such as Tinker's Hole and Ulva Ferry. So it supplements UKHO charts. It's also free. I should mention I've not seen the charts yet, just the website.
Derek

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Nick » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:20 am

cpedw wrote:
Shard wrote:I don't know about the Antares idea, but I wonder whether it has been superceded by the publication on disk of over 800 UKHO charts by MemoryMap.;-)


As I read it, the advantage of Antares is that it gives considerable up-to-date detail of places such as Tinker's Hole and Ulva Ferry. So it supplements UKHO charts. It's also free. I should mention I've not seen the charts yet, just the website.
Derek


You can send off for the charts on CD . . . info on interfacing them with a chartplotter is specific to Global Mapper, which is only free to download in trial format, the full version cost s $250 or so. They also recommend the Oregon plotter. Antares charts will be an brilliant if they can be used with OpenCPN, but I am not going to invest over two hundred quid on new software or an Oregon plotter just so I can get into Loch Teacus . . .

The Antares website does not work in INternet Explorer 7 or 8 but is perfect in Firefox. If you only have IE here is a link to the page on using the charts.

The problem with trying to interface them with OpenCPN is that they cover such small isolated areas that you would actually have to be there to see if they worked. (Whereas I trialled OpenCPN with CMAP charts at home with the GPS on the windowsill). If they had mapped Cuan I would give this a go, but the nearest to us is the entrance to Loch Spelve. Anyone got any ideas on how to make these charts work with OpenCPN and test them at home?

(I would have thought Cuan was a good candidate - since we got the plotter two years ago it has been obvious that the chart is not quite right . . . )
- Nick 8)

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby cpedw » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:06 am

I don't understand the problem with the website; there's a list of tabs on the left of each page, including "Using the charts". Is that what you linked to (there is no link for me at "here").
They claim that the free trial software is fine for their product but I have no experience of it. I agree that using a format that isn't widely usable is disappointing, and makes you suspect their motives...
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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Nick » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:13 am

cpedw wrote:I don't understand the problem with the website; there's a list of tabs on the left of each page, including "Using the charts". Is that what you linked to (there is no link for me at "here").
They claim that the free trial software is fine for their product but I have no experience of it. I agree that using a format that isn't widely usable is disappointing, and makes you suspect their motives...
Derek


I was a bit hasty. It turns out that the Antares website does not display correctly in either Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, but is perfect in Firefox. I have amended my post above and the link now works.

The Antares charts are raster format so I have no doubt they can be made to work with OpenCPN, but it may require some jiggery-tweakery.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby cpedw » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:49 am

Nick wrote: ... but it may require some jiggery-tweakery.


Then you, Nick, are clearly the man for the job!

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby ash » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:06 pm

Nick wrote:.
We ran it on an EEE-PC netbook running Windows XP with a 20GB solid state drive. The SSD means it is slightly more rugged than a machine with a whirly HD, plus it is quicker to boot into Windows and uses less power. With a car adapter you can run this wee machine for hours with no huge power drain, especially if you have it set to go to sleep between forays into the chart.

Just out of interest - what model / screen size is your Asus? netbook? The current 10" models seem to be HDD.

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Nick » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:28 pm

ash wrote:
Nick wrote:.
We ran it on an EEE-PC netbook running Windows XP with a 20GB solid state drive. The SSD means it is slightly more rugged than a machine with a whirly HD, plus it is quicker to boot into Windows and uses less power. With a car adapter you can run this wee machine for hours with no huge power drain, especially if you have it set to go to sleep between forays into the chart.

Just out of interest - what model / screen size is your Asus? netbook? The current 10" models seem to be HDD.

Ash

It's the 900. The screen is 8.9". There are a few available on Ebay eg THIS ONE

They come with Linux. I put a copy of XP on from a USB drive. The only problem is the 4GB partition quickly gets too small for Windows unless you are scruplulous about installing everything to the bigger partition and don;t download too many Windows updates. I will probably reformat it over the Winter to one 20GB partition, or even fit a bigger SSD - prices are now reasonable.

When not on the boat I take it on short trips to keep up with emails (I can work on it but it is a bit small) and at home I use it plugged in to the HiFi and a portable HDD as an MP3 player.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby ash » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:32 pm

Nick wrote:It's the 900. The screen is 8.9". There are a few available on Ebay eg THIS ONE

Thanks for that info - the XP rather than Linux had me confused. I'm hoping to buy a netbook sometime in the future to take away with me when I'm working. Not sure if I really need a SSD. Looking for 6 cell battery. Thinking about W7 but might be better to stick with XP which I already have on my laptop. Was hoping to spend sub £200 but might need to stretch to £250 if I buy new.

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Bodach na mara » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:45 pm

What has happened to Antares Charts? Neither the link above nor any of the links from te results page in a Google search work. The only thing I can access is a cached version of a bit of the home page.
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Re: Antares Charts

Postby ash » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:08 pm

Wight Dawn wrote:What has happened to Antares Charts? Neither the link above nor any of the links from te results page in a Google search work. The only thing I can access is a cached version of a bit of the home page.

That's strange - I can access the site OK on Google Chrome but don't seem to have the menu down the left hand side on IE8.

Try these links

http://www.antarescharts.co.uk/index_files/Page4901.htm
http://www.antarescharts.co.uk/index.htm
http://www.antarescharts.co.uk/index_fi ... lector.htm

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Re: Antares Charts

Postby Mark » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:24 pm

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