Current Version 2.3.1

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OTHER FEATURES

The Bottom Control Bar
The bottom of the screen is reserved for live navigation and other data.

 
The first line provides a hover link to loaded chart previews. There are four colours:.
Vector Charts- not selected.
Vector Charts - selected .
Raster Charts - not selected.
Raster Chart - selected.
The second line provides real time data from GPS: The information available is:.
Ship's Position.
SOG (Speed over Ground)
COG (Course over Ground)
Cursor(Lon/Lat of cursor)
From Own Ship - (Degrees and distance in NM)
True Scale.
Zoom
 
 
Navigating with The Plotter
 

Load Your Charts

Open the Tool Box and choose the tab marked "Charts".

 
Use the top window pane to locate and highlight the directories containing your charts. When you have a chart directory highlighted, chose "Add Selection". The directory you selected will then appear in the bottom pane of the window and be added to the The Plotter chart database.

 
Repeat this for all the chart directories you wish The Plotter to be able to display.

 
When you have finished selecting and adding chart directories, choose "OK".

 
A window with a progress bar will open showing that The Plotter is recognizing your selections.
NOTE: The Plotter can share chart directories with any other installed chart navigation system. There is no need to make a separate directory for The Plotter charts.
 
Get your GPS working

 
Open the Tool Box.


 
In the Settings tab, select the NMEA Data Source from the choices in shown in the drop-down box, and choose the port to which your GPS is connected. When the correct port is selected, the Chart information panel changes from pink to green.

 
If you are using a standard serial port, then choose the proper physical port number to match. If, on the other hand, you are using a USB GPS, then you will select the virtual serial port which was created by your GPS device driver. You may need to try several selections to find the correct port.
Hint: For XP/Vista: Using the Device Manager, look for a serial port which appears and disappears dynamically as you plug and unplug the USB GPS cable. This is your virtual GPS serial port.

 
When the properly configured GPS is connected, powered up, and recognized, then The Plotter will show a pale green background in the upper right window of the tool bar. This bar also displays the current chart's PATH, File name as well as its Chart Name and Edition Year.

 
If no GPS is present or recognized, the chart identification window will have a pale red, or plum colored background.
NOTE: The Plotter automatically configures baud rate, bits, parity, etc. These do not need to be separately specified.
 
Connecting Your Auto Pilot
The Plotter may be interfaced to any NMEA compatible autopilot which recognizes the RMB NMEA sentence. The serial port may be selected in the Tool Box dialog.

 
Using Routes
One of the key features of The Plotter is routes: The program allows you to create routes, gain useful planning data and to follow the route underway.
 
To use a route, either creating a new route, or load a previously saved track or route from file. Right clicking anywhere on the route line will generate a pop-up which contains the following:

 
Activate Route - turns the autopilot/route tracking on.
Deactivate Route - turns the autopilot/route tracking off.
Insert Waypoint - adds waypoint into route at cursor.
Append Waypoint - adds waypoint at end of route.
Delete Route - remove this route from The Plotter.
Reverse Route - reverses start and destinations, A -> B to B -> A. Useful for return leg journeys.
Route Properties - useful editor and summary of all waypoints, distances and ETA.
Export... - Saves the current route as GFX file.
Delete all routes - deletes all routes.
Send to GPS: Exports the current route and its waypoints to compatible GPS device.
Activate Routes
When the 'Activate Route' is clicked, a new display is opened top right. Clicking the ''Leg/Route' button toggles between"This Leg " and "Route".

 
The "This Leg" display shows the following data:

 
XTE: {abbreviation to be confirmed}
BRG: {abbreviation to be confirmed}
RNG: {abbreviation to be confirmed}
TTG: {abbreviation to be confirmed}

 
The track chart below the readout provides a graphical representation of the ship's true position relative to the course.

 
The "Route" display shows the following data:
ETA: The expected time of arrival at destination
BRG: {abbreviation to be confirmed}
RNG: {abbreviation to be confirmed}
TTG: {abbreviation to be confirmed}

 
The track chart display is the same as :This Leg".

 
Waypoints
Waypoints can be edited by right clicking on them. This generates a popup with the following options.

 

 
Please Note: 'Activate Waypoint' and 'Activate Next in Route' are selectable only when 'Activate Route' is turned on: At all other times, they are grayed out.

 
Activate Waypoint
When the 'Activate Route' is clicked, the first route waypoint will be highlighted and flashing. This priority is changes with 'Activate (this) Waypoint', moving the active status to this mark: It then becomes highlighted and flashing.

 

 
Activate Next in Route
This advances the highlighted waypoint to the next in the route.

 
Remove Waypoint from Route
Deletes the selected waypoint from the current route.

 
Remove Waypoint from Route
Deletes the selected waypoint from the current route, BUT NOT THE CHART.

 
Mark/WP Properties
This option provides details and editor for the waypoint.

 

 
Options:
Mark Name - any alpha numeric text label.
Show Name - check box which show/hides the waypoint name.
Mark Icon - The waypoint can have anyone of a number of graphical icon marks, each representing a specific function/place type. Useful for identifying anchorages, buoy type, fuel stop, etc.
Latitude - Latitude of the mark: Direct entry of position will move the mark to the new location.
Longitude - Longitude of the mark: Direct entry of position will move the mark to the new location.
Cancel - aborts any changes.
OK - updates the changes to the chart.

Route Properties.
The route properties box contains both editing and data display functions.

 


 
Name: Editable - the alphanumeric title of the route.
Depart From: Editable - the alphanumeric title of the departure point.
Destination: Editable - the alphanumeric title of the destination.
Total Distance: Not editable - total distance in nautical miles.
Plan Speed: Editable - Hulls speed in Knots.
Time Enroute: Not editable - Estimated passage time based on distance x hulls speed.
Waypoints: Not editable - list of waypoints. The data lists is:
Waypoint ID - by number.
Waypoint Name - by number or name set in Waypoint properties.
Distance: - the distance between waypoints - the distance shown for waypoint 1 is the distance from Own Ship's position and waypoint 1: It is not added to the total route distance.
Bearing - the Bearing in Degrees True from waypoint X to Waypoint X + 1.
Longitude - position of the mark.
Latitude - position of the mark.
Elapsed Time.
 
General Chart Queries
Clicking anywhere on the The Plotter chart opens a pop-up box with four useful functions:

 
Drop Mark Here: This places a new mark on the Chart. This can be edited as waypoints above.
Move Boat Here: This moves the boat to the current cursor position.
Measure: This launches the Measure tool. [see below]
Object Query: Right-click any object then select Object Query, This launches the Object Properties Box

 


 
  By clicking on any category in the left panel, details will be displayed in the right panel.

 
 
The Measure Tool
The measure tool is accessed from right-clicking on the chart and selecting the measure option.

 


 
By left clicking on the chart then moving the cursor to a new position, a real-time display is given of bearing (degrees) and range (nautical miles). To cancel the measure tool, right click the chart and select 'measure off...'.

 
 
Overzoom
A new feature is the 'Overzoom' indicator. When zooming in on chart beyond 4x, the text 'Overzoom' appears top left, to remind users safe accuracy of the chart may have been exceeded.
 
Hot Keys
The following hot key shortcuts are defined:
  • F1: Not currently used.
  • F2: Toggles Auto-Follow On and Off
  • F3: Show ENC Text.
  • F4: Activates the measuring tool.
  • F5-7: Not currently used.
  • F8: Auto Follow On
  • F9: Auto Follow Off
  • F10: Select Smaller Scale Chart (Scale In).
  • F11: Select larger Scale Chart (Scale Out).
  • F12: Toggle Hide/Show Chart outlines.
  • Arrow Keys: Move the chart within the screen view
  • Ctrl + L-Arrow: Smaller Scale Chart (Scale In) - [F10]
  • Ctrl + R-Arrow: Larger Scale Chart (Scale Out) - [F11]
  • Ctrl + 1: Normal brightness
  • Ctrl + 2: Dusk brightness
  • Ctrl + 3: Night brightness
  • Ctrl + Z: Zoom In
  • Ctrl + X or - : Zoom out
  • Ctrl + O: Show/Hide Chart outlines [F12]
  • Ctrl + S: Show/Hide ENC test [F3]
  • Ctrl + M: Drop marker at current cursor position.
  • Ctrl + Q: Quits The Plotter
  • Ctrl + spacebar: Man Over Board, sets MOB Marker at current GPS position

 

 


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