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Does anyone have experience using an Apple computer (Mac Book Pro) partitioned and running XP for use as backup Nav (Nobeltech NVS)?

16 Replies

  • I'm assuming by partitioned, you mean BootCamp. I don't do it that way but I'll comment on what I have running on my Mac. Maybe that will provide some insight.

    I run a Windows chart plotter that I wrote myself on my Mac within a Windows 2000 virtual machine using the Parallels environment.

    I'm using a BU-353 USB GPS. I installed its Windows driver from within the Windows virtual machine and all is well with that. The chart plotter recognizes the GPS Serial port created by the driver and NMEA data is received flawlessly. The plotter operates, with only a few minor display issues, as it does on my PC Windows machines.

    I was unable to get the Mac Bluetooth interface to work with my Bluetooh GPS. The Bluetooth does work with OSX applications. I bought a USB Bluetooth dongle and plan to install its drivers from within the Windows virtual machine .. haven't gotten around to it.

    It's dangerous to make assumptions about the functionality of your intended configuration but I'd say it's worth trying.

    --- CHAS

  • Pete, as Chas says you'll have to try it to confirm, but I think you will have good luck with a virtualization environment (Chas mentions Parallels, but I prefer VMWare Fusion). In my experience, Windows XP runs extremely well in Fusion and more importantly serial interfaces for NMEA0183 and NMEA2000 work as well.

    I don't know if Nobeltec has a USB "dongle". If so you should confirm that the dongle works under virtualization; dongles can be fussy.

    If you have any problems, the other option is Boot Camp, which requires rebooting to change operating systems. *All* Windows software should work fine under Boot Camp.


  • Thanks for the insite. Yes, bootcamp was what I was intending to try. I'll let you know what comes out.

  • I use both Bootcamp and Parallels. I've used Parallels on my MacBook Pro to run a number of applications and I'm continually amazed at it's performance and flexibility. I haven't specifically run a navigation program, but I have run other programs that have various serial I/O devices, like the Maretron N2K analyzer.

    I also use Bootcamp on an iMac 20' to run a beta version of MaxSea Time Zero. I only use Bootcamp there because they've said the graphics performance under Parallels is not sufficient, but I'm not sure this is still an issue under Parallels 4.0 (haven't tried it yet).

    In any case they both work well, but of course Parallels is much more flexible since you don't have to reboot.

    When you're running Bootcamp, it's a Windows machine, just like any other so I don't see why there would be any problem using it as a backup machine. I'm told that many of the MaxSea developers do their work on MacBook Pro's under Bootcamp.

    Bootcamp is of course free so that may be a factor. If you're curious, you can download an evaluation copy of Parallels and try that solution as well.

  • I can confirm that Nobeltec VNS/Admiral works fine under VMWare Fusion, including the USB dongle (both the old and new one). Haven't tried bootcamp, but as Russ says when you run that it's really a Windows PC and not a Mac. All hardware and software will work as well on Apple hardware as on non-Apple hardware.

    Performance on a MBP with Fusion is excellent, including the graphics.

  • Pete,
    I'm in the process of setting up a Mac mini with DC/DC power supply running Windows 7 and Coastal Explorer 09. So far, from my research on several forums including the Apple Support Discussion Forum and the Coastal Explorer Beta Forum this is already being done by others with excellent results. Some people are using Boot Camp, even though Apple has not issued a W7 update, and some are using Fusion or Parallels. Regardless of which method used to run the PC software on the Mac all seem successful with no complaints. The new Windows 7 version of Boot Camp is expected to be out before the end of this month. I should have my Mac mini navigation system put together right after Christmas.

  • Hi if I run coastal explorer with boot camp what gps portable antenna do i have to get on that runs for windows or one for mac. I am using a macbook pro?

  • When you're running Windows under bootcamp, it's a PC, just like any other PC.

  • Alejandro, this $37 unit worked fine for me running CE under Boot Camp:

  • I've run seaPro with GPS under bootcamp and used the same install/partition with parallels.

    GPS worked straight away plus the vector charts re-drew very quickly. More than quick enough with parallels.

    Works a charm.

  • I'm running Windows 7/64 bit under Boot Camp and Parallels along with MaxSea Time Zero and Coastal Explorer 2009 and 2010. It all works. There are some minor problems under Parallels with route exporting in MSTZ (which is rarely used). In general, Boot Camp is the way to go to get full performance and compatibility anyway but it's nice to pop up a display in Parallels to get a screen shot or measure a distance, etc.

    We've also provided MaxSea Time Zero to a few people running Mac Mini's. In every case I've suggest that they install it under a Boot Camp partition and in all cases it has worked extremely well. Most everyone is installing it under W7 today.

  • Jeff, any idea why route exporting would be problematic under Parallels? I feel like the only issues I ever have with virtualization are with screen rendering. I'm surprised a file system operation would work differently under Parallels than under Boot Camp.


  • I don't have a good feel for why some things fail under Parallels - you really have to look for failures because there are so few. It feels like the display of the export dialog has some problem - there's probably some minor thing being done in the code that is a little different than normal. I contacted the developers of it so they can investigate it a little.

  • I have been running Nobeltec 10/VNS on a MacBook Pro using Parallels 5 with Windows XP for several years and have had no issues at all. I use a Nobeltec USB dongle and interface into a NMEA 2000 network (via USB) as well as being able to upload (and download) to a Raymarine E80. In addition, all of the Maretron software also works under Parallels 5 (using XP) as well.

  • We have rigged 6 or 7 boats with Mac mini's running XP via Boot Camp as backup chartplotters/radars using nobeltec or coastal explorer.This is a good low power low heat PC solution. Checkout H squared for mounting brackets. There are also other after market options out there like a kit for remoting the power button without hacking into interior cables.