Navionics PC chart viewer / planner: does it work?
I wonder if anyone else has had the dreadful experience I have with Navionics software and can help. Navionics neither answer their phones nor respond to email enquiries.
Recently (at LIBS) I bought a chart portfolio on a 'plug-n-play' microSD cartridge - Gold XL9 series - which wasn't cheap at £199.
The very thin and superficial 'manual' which comes with it says to plug into your PC, go to their website and the charts will 'register' automatically and you can then get updates or download the free PC viewer. It is this process which doesn't work; I have tried it on two laptops, one running XP SP3 and one running Vista.
Quite apart from having first to download a .exe file and install a program ('Navionics World') to be able to interact with their 'store' - which is pretty bizarre in itself - the instructions simply don't work. They say to plug in the card, then launch their 'Navionics World' application, and registration will happen automatically and one will be able to download the free viewer. This clearly isn't working; while I can see the files on the SD card in a file explorer window, it seems that the 'Navionics World' application runs ok but can't see the Navionics Gold SD cartridge (or maybe doesn't try or cant get through a firewall or ... no diagnostics or help or useful FAQ are available).
Has anyone succeeded in 'registering' a recently purchased Navionics chart and can help? And it it worth the bother (since Navionics are clearly incompetent at PC software, maybe their viwer will be pants in any case)?
Well, I finally got through to Navionics UK and was told how to register. The procedure bears no relation at all to the instructions, and is not obvious. Neither is it automatic.
You click on the link marked 'get latest GPS', and then many layers and registrations and downloads later it works. But anyway that much is sorted, and the lady was helpful.
So for feedback on the program (which is 300MBytes!!). Well it's quite the most carp piece of software I've ever seen.
1. It has no layer capability, so you get millions of rock symbols, some of which are dangerous, but most of which are at depths >100m. They can't be turned on or off, so useless for planning a route, and no advert for vector charts: you've GOT to be able to turn on or off layers in a vector chart.
2. The text for things, eg bridge heights, wanders around, so mostly it's over other things and not readable.
3. There are no colours used to designate water depths, it's all white from off soundings to LAT (yes, really, I couldn't make this up!).
4. When one clicks the mouse over a feature a dialogue box pops up - very promising - except it does not show any info until one clicks on an arrow, then one gets a second menu box, which one clicks on, then one gets info (like 'Rock, depth 104m) , then one clicks back, then one clicks 'done'. What a palaver.
5. To cap it all the geographic range of the plotter does not include the charts I bought (Norway to Svalbard), so half of them can't be seen. So actually even if one forgives the ultra poor UI, it actually does not work.
Basically, AVOID THIS RUBBISH
Navionics PC chart viewer / planner: does it work?
I bought the same package yesterday at the LIBS and will be attempting the same thing (albeit using a Macintosh). But not yet... as the Navionics guy told me that the 12 months worth of free upgrades starts when you register the package on-line and I'll leave it until the start of the season (probably April) before I do this. Apparently it will be possible to do on-line updates once the 12 months is over though the cost is yet to be decided by the Italian owners of the company. So by delaying I at least have the chance of starting the season in 2013 with up-to-date charts at no extra cost. But hopefully the update process beyond the 12 months will be cheaper than the previous system which involved swapping your SD card for a new one.
Re the Planning Software, it appeared to me when I looked at their website earlier, that this can be downloaded as part of the registration process though, if you have managed to do this without registering, I'd be interested to know.
I'll report back as an when I register and will monitor this thread in the meantime.
Re your update, that is disappointing. The Navionics guys told me that the free version is a 'Lite' version of a £99 programme. Maybe that would do the layering etc.
I bought the navionics app for my android phone, its very good, interacts with the gps etc and is a good backup. I downloaded the pc app expecting it to be the same, it isnt, doesnt interact with the gps so can only be used for "looking" at where things are and worst of all, only works good if the screen is bigger than 768 in depth, so no good on my netbook. They started to talk to me via email a few weeks ago and now completely ignore me. Credit card company next for a refund methinks!
Originally Posted by jdc
First, the registration process although rather convoluted is well worth doing - i have had 12 months of updates downloaded to my card ( c300MB each time).
At first update, you will be offered the chance to download and install the PC App. Once this has downloaded, it will then proceed to download to your hard drive the same c300MB of chart data.
The planner can hardly be called that. Yes, you can create routes and export them to the card but no tidal calculations etc. It is not too bad as a reference when looking for next years sailing and where to go, plus keeping the charts updated as previously mentioned.
There is some association set up on my Win7 PC as whenever I insert the Navionics CF card it automatically launches the update software.
As also mentioned, delay the registration until, say, April so the 12 months starts ticking from then.
Now, if Navionics were to also make a heavyweight planner like PCPLotter.....
Navionics - bored staff
I was interested in the Navionics cartography but the woman on the Navionics stand at the LBS was more interested in texting than talking so we left. Why do exhibitors staff stands with people who are clearly bored and have no interest in the products or customers?
I bought my chart almost a year ago. Several attempts over the months trying to get their adobe air based app working on my old laptop. It never did, but this may have been down to the rubbish Linux implementation of AIR (which didn't run the Reeds app either).
When I got my new laptop I kept windows 7 on one partition and tonight I've used that to try and update my chart. Worked fine (despite the non-obvious route to get there). Demands your details to register but made up ones work just fine.
Disturbingly it told me that my 10 month old chart is up to date with the freshest data. Perhaps that just means "No updates since you first registered 2 minutes ago". I downloaded the latest anyway.
PC app looks just like the android app only..errr. on a pc. tidal data was on there which makes it better than raytech planner which is the only other thing I have.
Now just have to hope that the chart still works when I plug it into the plotter tomorrow evening...
I think labyrinthine registration processes are common. I bought the Imray Digital Chart for the North Sea at the Boat Show and the registration was a horrendous three step process. However, I can say that Imray are incredible helpful and now the software is running, for around £90 I have all the North Sea from Scotland to Dover Strait and the corresponding Europe Coast. It also has tidal streams so you can get real time course to steer information.
Have only played with it so far, but it installs on two PCs - the home one for planning and the laptop for use on the boat - and looks very good.
The tide software is from January to December so it didn't make any difference waiting for the sailing season - I'll have to renew next January anyway but Imray do a 30% discount. I'm impressed so far.
I phoned Emma up at the time of this post and fair do's to her she expedited a refund. It hit the bank today.
Originally Posted by jdc
Cracking girl, full of common sense.