Connecting to a GPS
In order to use many features of MacENC™ a GPS must be connected to your Mac before launching MacENC™ (If no GPS is connected see "Simulate" below. If you wish to use the same GPS that GPSNavX™ is using see "GPSNavX" below). Typically a cable provided by the GPS manufacturer is used to connect to your Mac. This cable is usually designed to plug into the serial port. Mac's do not have a traditional serial port so a USB to serial adapter must be used. We strongly recommend the Keyspan High Speed Serial Adapter be used. Another option is a USB GPS or Bluetooth GPS which supports NMEA data. NMEA 2000 is supported via the Actisense NGT-1.
Note: Garmin GPS do not support NMEA data (the standard for marine instrumentation) over their USB cables, as such a Garmin PC interface cable and a Keyspan Adapter must be used.

Connection Driver Port Name Recommended Rate
Keyspan High Speed Serial Adapter Keyspan Driver
KeySerialX or USA19H1X 4,800
TN-200 USB GPS, Shipmodul Multiplexer, NMEA Data Cable FTDI Driver usbserial-XXXX 4,800
MR-350 USB GPS / BU-303 / BU-353 USB GPS

Prolific Driver

usbserial 4,800
Bluetooth GPS Setup Guide   4,800
Actisense NGT-1 (NMEA 2000) FTDI Driver usbserial-XXX 115,200

Once the GPS is turned on make sure that it is transmitting NMEA data. This is normally configured in a setup menu on your GPS. You may also need to set a serial rate (connection speed). .

Select menu item "Connect" in the "GPS" menu. If the Settings drawer is not open select the "Settings" button to open it. In the Settings drawer the correct serial port and rate can be selected. Also select the type of GPS. The menu item "Connect" on the "GPS" menu will not be available if there is no OS X compatible serial port found on your Mac.

If the GPS is properly connected and is transmitting NMEA data then the GPS panel will display the received data. A good connection will be indicated by a GREEN icon next to the "Settings" button in the GPS panel. If a RED icon is seen it most likely indicates the rate selected in the Settings drawer is not the same as the GPS is using or the GPS is not transmitting NMEA data. If the icon shows only YELLOW it indicates NMEA data is being received, but it cannot be interpreted. Symptoms of this include incorrect rate or a GPS which is not transmitting the NMEA data that MacENC™ can interpret. If the icon alternates between GREEN and YELLOW this is normal.

To have the GPS Data repeated out to a port (i.e. one that is connected to an autopilot) select the "Repeat" check box and select the port and the rate. Any active waypoint will be created in the repeated NMEA data ($GPAPB, $GPBOD, $GPBWC, $GPRMB, $GPXTE, $GPVTG and $GPWPL) sentences. This allows an autopilot to steer to the active waypoint (including those in a route). These created NMEA data will also be shown in the monitor drawer (highlighted in YELLOW text). Select "Autopilot Only" to restrict the repeated stream to the former NMEA data in addition to any GPS NMEA position sentence.

Select the "Transparent" checkbox to make the GPS panel semi-transparent.

The "Monitor" button will open/close a drawer that displays the raw NMEA data. Use the "Start" button to enable output and the "Clear" button to erase the contents. If the GPS is properly connected you will see a stream of NMEA data displayed when the "Start" button is selected. When GPS data is being repeated to another port it will be enclosed in brackets "[ .. ]".

The "Satellites" button will open/close a drawer that displays the status of the satellites in use. HDOP (Horizontal Dilution of Precision) and HPE (Horizontal Position Error) give an indication of how good of acquired position there is.

Select the "Connect at Startup" checkbox in the Preferences window to have the GPS panel automatically open when MacENC™ is started.

Select the "Disconnect when Closed" checkbox Preferences window to have the GPS disconnect from MacENC™ when the GPS panel is closed.

The GPS panel can be resized and all of the fields will be sized appropriately. This makes a useful GPS data repeater.

Select the menu item "Info..." on the "GPS" menu to display the model/version of the GPS. This only works for Magellan, Garmin and SiRF compatible GPSs.

Select the menu item "Anchor Alarm" to be notified if the position changes more than "Anchor Drag Distance" set in the Preferences window.

Select the menu item "Depth Alarm" to be notified if the depth range at the end of the velocity vector is less than the "Water Depth" set in the Preferences window.

Selecting "Simulate" on the "GPS" menu brings up the GPS Panel in a simulator mode. This allows those without a GPS connected to their Mac to gain all the same functionality as if they did (i.e. route simulation). A control drawer below the GPS Panel will allow speed, heading and position to be set. The simulator is also of use if your GPS fails. In that event, open the simulator and put in your approximate speed and heading to approximate your track.

Selecting "GPSNavX" on the "GPS" menu will allow MacENC™ to get position, speed and heading from the GPS that is connected to GPSNavX™. GPSNavX™ must be running and connected to a GPS before selecting this option.

Selecting "File.." on the "GPS" menu will read in the contents of a file just like it came from the serial port. The file must have properly formatted NMEA data in it.

"Transponder..." on the "GPS" menu will allow setting up a recipient list of email addresses (each address should be separated by a ,) which will receive a position report at the prescibed frequency. Note: this requires at least one email account that can send and receive be setup in the OS X Mail application.

True and Magnetic bearings
In the Preferences window, If the "Manual" checkbox is not selected magnetic Variation will come from the connected GPS If the GPS panel is opened (via menu item "Connect" menu "GPS") and a current position is transmitted from the connected GPS. Otherwise you can use the corresponding stepper buttons to change the variation value. To work with True bearings check the "True Bearings" menu item on the "View" menu.