www.noaa.gov is a great service for the boating community. Anyone can be sure their chart portfolio is complete and up-to-date with the latest NOAA charts. While the service works best when the computer is connected directly to the web site (via the Internet) it can be used in conjunction with any PC equipped with a CD-writer to bring charts to your Northstar GPS Chart plotter.
NOTE: This procedure was suggested and tested by a Maptech customer with a Northstar GPS chart plotter. It has not been tested by Maptech - nor is it a procedure that we directly support.
Step 1: Download the Charts
Visit www.noaa.gov to select the charts you wish to install on your Northstar GPS Chart plotter.
They offer two types of digital charts, RNC (Raster) & ENC (Vector), you will need to download RNC charts.
Follow the directions provided there and you will end up with a zipped folder on your Windows Desktop.
Step 2: Prepare a black CD.
Create a new folder on the root of a blank CD. Rename the folder "BSBChart".
Step 3: Move the chart files to the CD
Open the downloaded zipped folder, there will be numbered folders for each chart your downloaded.
Open all these folders and move all the BSB & KAP files into that BSBChart folder (on the blank CD)
Step 4: Burn the Charts onto a CD disc
Using the software that accompanied your CD writer, create a CD of the charts you have downloaded.
Thus, a valid chart CD should look like:
1. a BSBChart folder in the root of the CD.
2. a collection of .KAP chart files in the BSBChart folder.
3. a collection of .BSB chart files in the BSBChart folder.
Once you have verified this CD structure, write the charts to the CD disc. This will create a BSB Chart CD that can be read by your Northstar GPS Chart plotter.
Step 5: Install the Charts on your Northstar GPS Chart plotter
Take the CD to your vessel, and follow the usual instructions for installing a chart CD. The Northstar GPS Chart plotter will then update its chart portfolio accordingly.
Charts are now on DVD discs
Starting in 2007, all US regions are distributed on DVDs as part of our Chart Navigator and Chart Navigator Pro packages. As Northstar GPS Chartplotters are not equipped with DVD drives, the DVDs included in these packages are not compatible with the Northstar unit.