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Pathaway Chartplotter for Windows Mobile 6

We are used to seeing a number of dedicated handheld chartplotter units like the Garmin 76CS and Raymarine RC400 both of which I have been using for the past 4 years. You may also know that Raymarine have now ducked out of the market for some reason. But getting reliable marine chartplotter software for the Windows mobile platform is rather more difficult.

MuskokaTech is a company that creates software applications for mobile devices – in particular GPS and plotting software.

Fugawi The Pathaway software from Muskoka is quite an exception . The “Standard” version is very capable and has the ability to “import your charts” …I haven’t tested this but will try to find out a bit more…but sounds very interesting and saves money if you have already got your Bluechart or Navionics charts.

It definitely imports the maps from Fugawi Global Navigator or Fugawi Marine ENC.

PathAway supports a wide variety of digital maps including the Fugawi World Digital Map Collection, many third party maps or even user scanned paper maps. Maps are highly compressed and can be any size and resolution that fits within your device memory.

Waypoints, routes and tracks can also be transferred between Fugawi Global Navigator or Fugawi Marine ENC and PathAway.

The Pathaway “Pro” version has some interesting “beta features” such as 2-way wireless remote location tracking. See where others are right from your handheld, share your location with others, or send to a central tracking service – now that would be cool for boats traveling in a flotilla on on the club regatta ! …And all without installing and AIS transmitter !

How about this software combined with the tiny HTC7510..mentioned here – now that could be a great combination!


HTC 7510 – Solid State Computer & Phone & GPS !

HTC7510Further to the post on the arrival of solid state computers in particular the HTC 7501 I see that HTC have got 2 new models…

The top of the range HTC 7510 now runs Windows Mobile 6, has a 16Gb flash drive for storage – more than enough for charts, tracks and waypoints – and as a mobile phone it will support :

o HSDPA/WCDMA: 2100 MHz for Europe
o 850/1900 MHz for USA,
o with up to 384 kbps upload and 1.8 Mbps download speeds
o GSM/GPRS/EDGE: Quad-band 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz (The device will operate on any frequencies available from the cellular network.)Click here for a full specification

Using the internal GPS and you could have a very capable chartplotter / phone / email / camera / web browser that can work with your current phone provider or WiFi when you are in the marina or in a cafe using a WiFi hotspot. Of course you would also need chartplotter software that works under Windows Mobile 6 such as the Pathaway software from Muskoka. more on that here…

For pictures of this tiny unit see Endgadget


Updating the C Series firmware v4.25

I have just got round to updating my C120 (all comments here relate to all C-series plotters) and thought I would put in one place all the relevant FAQ’s on the Raymarine site. You will have to have a Raymarine account to see these FAQ’s so register its well worth it.

First download the v4.25 software – product registration is required.

The main instructions for the upgrade process are FAQ 1219 these are comprehensive and accurate and list a variety of other FAQ’s to read on a variety of subjects like which CF card to use and so on..I am not repeating all that here. Instead I am listing some FAQ’s that I think will help you overcome errors that you may encounter – mostly by not following the instructions !

Being in IT I believe I have a healthy scepticism when it comes to “following the instructions”… in other words, I always follow the instructions totally literally… and then when it goes wrong, knowledge, experience and gut instinct kick in and then the real work begins;-)

But I can recommend that you follow the instructions here – totally literally – they work faultlessly… up until almost the last step… step 9.

Here is my advice…..

Step 9. In step 9 you are advised to remove the upgrade CF card – you must remove it.
Step 10. In step 10 you press reboot – DO NOT put your Navionics card back in (as I did – this is how I know!)
Step 10.1 Let the C-Series boot

C120 UpgradeStep 11 Press OK to verify that the software version shown is v4.25. If this does not happen you need
FAQ 1138

Step 12 Wait for the default map to load – in my case a map of the UK
Step 12.1 Now insert the CF card containing the Navionics chart software
Step 12.2 The software is automatically loaded and the boat appears on the chart in the correct location.

Not a major problem – but care needed just at these last few steps.

So well done to the software team at Raymarine – Its wonderful to see how a totally embedded and controlled operating system and proprietary software works so flawlessly….oh well, back to Windows Vista on my laptop now….:-)


Sandisk CF Cards and formatting in FAT16

To perform the software upgrade of a C-Series, E-Series or A65 display unit, you must have a SanDisk brand Standard Grade CompactFlash® (CF) memory card, and a CompactFlash read/write device to transfer data to it from your computer.

The CompactFlash memory card does not need to be a large capacity card. Any 32 MB or larger card will work fine for software upgrade purposes.

CompactFlash (CF) memory cards having storage capacity greater than 64 MB are typically formatted using the FAT32 file system. If you will be using a large capacity CF memory card (i.e. greater than 64 MB) with a C-Series display, it will be necessary to reformat the CF memory card using the FAT16 format.

E-Series displays are compatible with both FAT32 and FAT16 formatted CF memory cards. But C-Series are NOT.

When choosing a CompactFlash memory card, Raymarine recommends using SanDisk brand flash cards. While other brands may work in the C-Series or E-Series display, they were designed using SanDisk brand cards.


My CF card is not recognized by my C-Series display when trying to work with waypoint archives or software updates. How can I correct the problem?

Answer :

Generic CompactFlash (CF)memory cards can be used to archive waypoint and route data, and also to update the software in the C-Series Multifunction displays. In some instances, certain CF cards my not be readable by the C-Series display. This will result in a message like “retrieve failed” or “save failed” being displayed by the C70, C80, or C120. In the case of a software upgrade, suspect cards will not be recognized by the display and ignored during the boot sequence.

The cause of this problem is the type of formatting applied to the CF Card. Default formatting varies by manufacturer, card size, or whether the CF Card was previously used in a camera or other recording device.

It is possible to change the format of a CF card using a computer with a CompactFlash reader/writer.

CAUTION: Under no circumstances should you attempt to reformat a Navionics CompactFlash Chart Cartridge. Doing so will ERASE the map data from the card. If you are having trouble reading a Navionics CF Map Card, please contact Raymarine Technical Support or Navionics.

In reformatting the CF card, it should be formatted to FAT16 format. To do so, perform the following:

Insert the CF card into the PC’s reader/writer
Open a command tool (Start->Run->cmd)
Type the following the prompt in the command tool:

Format [drive letter:] /fs:FAT
Note: [drive letter:] in the above Format command should be replaced with the drive letter that your PC has assigned to the CF card.

Note: Some people recommend increasing the file allocation table block size from the default 512k to 4096k…using this command…
Format [drive letter:] /fs:16/12 /a:4096
I am guessing that they have found that this speeds up data access on some of the older CF cards – I personally don’t think this is necessary using CF cards produced in the past year with one of the many “express” brands…

When prompted for a Volume Name, press the ENTER key on the keyboard.

When formatting is complete, close the command tool

Remove the CF card from the PC’s reader/writerp


Garmin MapSource & Google Earth

Having upgraded my Garmin MapSource chart plotting software I thought I would just check out a few of my previously saved routes and fell over a menu option that I had never seen below which simply said “View in Google Earth” – ok, I am losing my sight, but I had honestly not noticed this before – so I clicked – and to my amazement, Google Earth loaded and zoomed right in on the exact lat/long for my route, and superimposed the route on a map of the English coastline with waypoints all labled and shown in the correct place !

Route - Mapoint

Route - Google

Garmin Mapsource route from Newhaven to Brighton…. …and Google earth with same route shown – just click to see a larger image.

Just click on the images to see a larger screen shot…