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Navigating with GPS Vancouver Power Squadron
Vancouver Squadron
GPS Course manual

This course is not currently offered by Vancouver Squadron

This course is the first of a series of courses dealing with Electronic Navigation.

Covers the fundamentals of operating a GPS receiver, navigating with GPS, sources of error, selecting units and importance of chart datum. A demonstration of how to interface a GPS with a PC is included. The CD that comes with the course materials includes a GPS simulator.


Course Outline

The following is (approximately) a list of chapter and section headings in the course manual.

  1. Introduction
    • What is GPS?
    • Who can use GPS?
    • Aspects of Navigation
      • Why Electronic Navigation
      • The Challenge of Navigation
    • A Brief History of GPS
    • The Components of the GPS System, and How They Work Together
      • The Space Segment
      • The Operational Segment
      • The User Segment
    • How a GPS Knows Where You Are
    • How does the Satellite Kow the Exact Time?
    • Acquiring Position
  2. How to Use a GPS
    • Turning on Your GPS
    • The User Interface
      • Man Overboard
      • Looking Around
    • Simulator Mode
    • Basic Setup
      • Datum Settings
      • Distance Settings
      • Directional Settings
      • Latitude, Longitude and UTAM Format
      • Time Displays
    • Digital Displays and Course Deviation Indicator
    • The Main display
    • Zoom Capabilities
    • Satellite Transmissions
    • Features, Functions, and Capabilities of a GPS
    • Unit Sensitivity
    • Screen Displays
    • Standard Symbols
    • Icons You May Place on a Screen
    • The GPS as a Compass
    • Time and Distance for Two Legs of your Trip
    • Setting Alarms
    • Interfacing Your Unit to a PC or to a NMEA Device
    • Sun/Moon Data
    • Installing a GPS
  3. The Basics of GPS
    • Categories of GPS
    • The Hand-Held GPS
    • Fixed-Mount GPS Units
    • PDAs, Palm, Tablet PCs
    • Global Positioning
      • Navigational and Positional Capabilities
      • Converting GPS Positional Information to a Postion on a Chart
      • Charts
    • Waypoints
      • Setting a Pre-Trip Waypoint
      • Mark Present Position
      • Using a Chartplotter to Enter a Waypoint
      • Setting Waypoints Underway
      • Naming Waypoints
      • Projecting a Waypoint
      • Editing Wapoints
    • Routes
      • Grouping Waypoints into a Route
      • Activating a Route
      • Running a Route
    • Dangers while running a Route
    • GPS Screens
      • Customizing a Screen
      • The Highway Screen
      • The Compass Screen
      • Cross-Track Error
      • Data or Naviational Screens
      • The Mapping Screen
    • Heading Home
  4. Navigation
    • Navigation
    • GOTO
    • Time, Speed and ETA
    • The Navigation Screen
      • Using the Cross-Track Navigation Screen
      • Correcting for Cross-Track Error
    • Chartplotting Versus a GPS Display
    • "Bird Dogging "
    • Key Points to Remember
    • Summary
  5. Limits of Accuracy
    • Accuracy
    • Some Background
    • Selective Availability
    • DGPS and WAAS
    • Errors
    • Dilution of Precision (DOP)
  6. Other Uses for GPS
    • Measuring Current/Wind
    • Propeller Efficiency/Speed Curves
    • Setting Trim Tabs
    • Is your Prop Fouled?
    • Speed in River and Tidal Currents
    • Sailboat Tacking
    • Compass Heading
    • Sail Trim
    • Replacing Racing Instruments with a GPS
    • Tidal Waters and Leeway
    • Leeway Due to Wind and Current
    • Wind, Current, and Tide Determination
    • Use of Velocity Made Good Calculations
  • Appendix 1: Latitude and Longitude
  • Appendix 2: Buying a GPS
  • Appendix 3: Mapping/Chartplotters
  • appendix 4: Alphabet Soup - Acronyms
  • Appendix 5: Useful References
Courses
Introductory:
Boating Basics
Boating Essentials
Marine Radio Operation
Advanced:
Seamanship
Advanced Piloting
Junior Navigator
Navigator
Elective:
Boat and Engine Maintenance
Sailing
Navigating with GPS
Electronic Charting
RADAR for Pleasurecraft
Fundamentals of Weather
Global Weather
Extended Cruising

gps.html revised 20130610 PB