Table of Contents

This manual applies to Mapix Version 1.06

Mapix ©1990-2012 Hyperdyne, Inc. and ©2013-2016 Ramrod Technology, Inc.
Mapix is a trademark of Ramrod Technology, Inc.

The most current version of this manual can always be viewed on our web site.
A compact version of this manual is built-in to Mapix and can be viewed by tapping "Users Manual" on the Main screen. .

Terms of Use

Preface

Introduction to Mapix

Concepts

Chart View

Navigation

Main Menu

Navigation Menu

Way Points Menu

Routes Menu

Overlays

Bread Crumbs

Manage Charts Menu

Find a Chart

Options Menu

Toolbar

Man Overboard!

How To ...

Taking Mapix for a Test Drive

Using Demo Mode

Power Usage

Requirements

Hints & Tricks

Notes

Technical Support

History

Index


Preface


Introduction

Mapix is a GPS Chart Plotter and Navigation tool for small boaters. Its primary functions are to display your current position on a nautical chart (map) and provide a graphical navigation tool to guide you towards a desired destination.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let's take a look at a typical Mapix screen


Your Current Coordinates (latitude and longtude) are shown at the top of the screen.

Some Way Points (stored locations) are shown as dark blue markers, along with their names. You can create, modify and delete Way Points to suit your needs.

A typical Route is shown as a series of connected Way Points. The Route shown has been selected for navigation. Like Way Points, you can create, modify and delete Routes to suit your needs.

Your Current Position is depicted as a bright green marker. If you are moving, a green arrowhead is drawn to show the direction you are moving.

Your Current Speed in MPH or knots is displayed at the top of the screen.

The Next Way Point along the Route is indicated by an enclosing circle.

The Path to the Next Waypoint is shown as a bright green strobe.

At the top-right of the screen, Steering Guidance is displayed. The arrow indicates the direction you must steer to get to the next way point. The distance to that Way Point is also shown.

A Toolbar can be displayed along the bottom of the chart for quick access to common operations.

You can also get more detailed Nav Info as show in the second figure by tapping on the screen.


Concepts

Charts
Mapix uses raster images (pictures like your camera might take) to display charts. Ramrod Technology provides all charts free of charge on our web site. Most of the charts are derived from NOAA's "Raster Navigation Charts" (RNC). Important Note: These charts are for REFERENCE PURPOSES only and should not be relied upon for navigation. The charts are identified by a "Chart Number" (a string of digits possibly including a decimal point). Examples of chart numbers are "411" and "11428.4". These numbers correspond to NOAA Chart Numbers. Charts are downloaded into your device via the Internet. See
How to Download a Chart for instructions for doing so.

Coordinates
Coordinates (also called "Positions" and "Locations") in Mapix are latitude and longitude. Coordinates are displayed either as (1) decimal degrees, or (2) as degrees and decimal minutes, depending on option setting
Show Decimal Degrees. Coordinates can be entered as either. See the Notes at the end of this document

Geocoding
"Geocoding" is the process of determining a set of parameters to allow a point in an image (e.g. a chart) to be related to latitude and longitude. Mapix charts are geocoded using reference data in the NOAA RNCs from which they were generated.

Way Points
A "Way Point" is a location that you can place on a map for future reference. You can also use a Way Point as a desired destination for your trip or as an intermediate point along a route of multiple Way Points.

Routes
A "Route" is an ordered collection of Way Points representing a path to travel along to reach a desired destination.

Overlays
An "Overlay" is an amalgamation of all currently existing Way Points and Routes. Overlays are essentially "libraries" of Way Points and Routes and can be saved and recalled from the
Overlays menu.

Bread Crumbs
"Bread Crumbs" are on-chart depictions of previous locations along your current voyage and are useful to see where you've been. Bread Crumbs are visually depicted as small gray dots.

Marked Position
Several functions in Mapix require a position as input. As an alternative to entering latitude and longitude in numerical form, you can "mark" a position by tapping on the Chart.

Heading
The "Heading" is the direction in which your boat is moving, as measured clockwise from True North.

True North
"True North" is the direction of a line from your current position to the geographic North Pole. This is the "North" that Mapix and the GPS system uses. "True North" is distinguished from "Magnetic North" that might be read by a handheld compass. Magnetic North differs by a few degrees that varies from year-to-year.

True Bearing
The "True Bearing" is the direction from your current position to a specified Way Point as measured clockwise from True North.

Relative Bearing (or simply "Bearing")
The "Relative Bearing" is the direction from your current position to a specified Way Point relative to your current heading. This is the direction in which you must steer, relative to your current heading, to reach your Way Point.


Getting Help

There are 3 sources for Help in Mapix:
  1. The Users Manual
    The definitive source for Help is the Mapix Users Manual, available on-line at
    http://mapix.us/mapix/manual

  2. Built-in Users Manual
    Mapix includes an abridged version of the Users Manual that can be viewed off-line, from within Mapix. This manual is available from the Main Menu.

  3. Context-sensitive Help
    All screens in Mapix include context-sensitive help specific to each screen. To access context-sensitive help from full-screen activities, tap the [Menu] button and select "Help". From popup windows, just tap the "Help" button.


Chart View

The Chart View is the main graphical screen of Mapix and displays an image of a nautical chart, optionally along with navigation information.
To display, select Chart View from the
Main Menu
A typical Chart View screen (with the Toolbar expanded) is shown in the first figure below.

Blue Weave Red Weave    Position (green)  Way Point (blue)
     

Using Chart View


Navigation

The most useful feature of Mapix is Navigation. When enables, Navigation will graphically guide you to either a selected Way Point (Way Point Nav mode), or to the next Way Point along a Route (Route Nav mode), depending on the Navigation mode you selected. The first and second screens below show part of the chart view display when navigating to a Way Point and Route, respectively.

To enable Navigation, select "Navigate" form the Main Menu.

Way Points are depicted as dark blue markers. The "target" waypoint is the Way Point towards which you are currently navigating. A bright green strobe is drawn showing the path to the target Way Point (Way Point Nav Mode). In Route Nav mode, the Route is depicted as a series of drab green line segments connecting the Way Points that comprise the Route.

When navigating along a Route, the target Way Point will automatically advance to the next Way Point when you reach a given Way Point. You are considered to have "reached" a Way Point when you approach it to within a specified minimum distance called the "Navigation Tolerance". The Navigation Tolerance is depicted as a drab green circle around the Way Point. The Navigation Tolerance can be set using the Options Menu. Note: When a very tight (low) Navigation Tolerance is specified, the circle may be too small to be visible. In such cases Mapix slightly enlarges the circle (but not the Tolerance) so as to be visible.

Did you miss a Way Point? You can turn around and drive back to it, or, more conveniently, double-tap on the Chart View screen and tap "Skip To Next Way Point". You can also back-track to a previous Way Point by selecting "Back To Previous Way Point".

At the top-right of the Chart View screen, graphical steering guidance is displayed, as shown in the third figure above. The green arrow represents the direction you must steer relative to your current heading to most directly approach the target Way Point. The distance to that Way Point is also displayed. In the example shown, you would steer 10° LEFT to drive towards the the Way Point, and then drive 1.34 miles to reach it. Note that if you are not moving (speed less than 1 MPH), your heading is not known, and the green arrow is replaced by a green circle. Also, note that there may be some jitter in the direction, if you are moving very slowly due to the nature of GPS.

Need more detail? Double-tap on the Chart View and tap "Show Nav Info". This will display more detailed navigation info as shown in the fourth figure above. Note that the "ETA" displayed is only an estimate: It is the Estimated Time of Arrival at the next Way Point if you're heading directly towards it at you current speed. If you're heading in the wrong direction, your ETA is, well, who knows?


Main Menu

The main Mapix menu screen is shown below.

The selections are

Chart View
This item causes the
Chart View to be displayed.

Navigate
This item displays the Navigation Menu . From that menu you can turn Navigation on or off, and selection navigation to a Waypoint or along Route.

Way Points
This item displays the Way Points Menu. From that menu, you can add, delete, edit or list Way Points, or recenter the map on a desired Way Point or your current GPS position.

Routes
This item displays the Routes Menu. From that menu, you can add, delete, edit or list Routes.

Overlays
This item displays the Overlays Menu. From that menu, you can save, load, delete or list Overlays.

Bread Crumbs
This item displays the Bread Crumbs screen. From that screen, you can enable dropping and display of Bread Crumbs and change settings for Bread Crumbs.

Manage Charts
This item displays the Manage Charts Menu. From that menu, you can select a chart to view, list available (previously downloaded) charts, download a new chart, delete a chart, or clear the currently selected chart.

Options
This item displays the Options Menu. Using that screen, you can select various options that control the appearance and operation of Mapix.

Nautical Calculator (in Government Version Only)
This item brings up the Nautical Calculator. The Nautical Calculator contains a variety of tool useful for navigation using a Sextant.

Users Manual
This item brings up an abridged of this document.

Status
This item brings up the Status screen that displays the current operational parameters used by Mapix. This screen is most useful for diagnosis and troubleshooting.

Advanced
This command line tool is used for technical support purposes and is intended for use under the direction of Ramrod Tech support personnel.


Navigation Menu

The Navigation Menu is used to enable and control Navigation as described in section Navigation above.

Navigation Off
This item turns Navigation OFF.

Navigation to Way Point
This item enables navigation to a given way Point. You will be prompted to select the desired Way Point.

Navigation along Route
This item enables navigation to along a given Route You will be prompted to select the desired Route.

Navigation along Route (Reverse)
This item is identical to the item above except that the Route is navigated in the reverse diection (last Way Point to first).

Note: When navgation along a Route is first selected, Mapix will choose the closest Way Point to begin navigation.


Way Points Menu

Add Current
This item will add a waypoint at your current GPS coordinates. You will be prompted to enter a name for the Way Point. This function will only work if you have a current GPS fix. See
Way Point names in section Notes.

Add Marked
This item will add a waypoint at the currently marked position. You will be prompted to enter a name for the Way Point. See Way Point names in section Notes. This function will only work if you have a currently marked position.

Add Lat-Lon
This item will add a waypoint at an arbitary position. You will be prompted to enter a name, latitude and longitude for the Way Point. See the Notes at the end of this document about entering coordinates, and Way Point names.

Edit
This item allows you to edit a Way Point. You can modify its name, latitude and longitude. You will be prompted to select a Way Point from a list. See the Notes at the end of this document about entering coordinates, and Way Point names.

Delete
This item allows you to permanently delete a Way Point. You will be prompted to select a Way Point from a list.
Mapix will not allow you to delete a Way Point that is currently in use in a Route. To do so you must first either delete the Route containing the Way Point, or delete the Way Point from the Route.

Delete All
This item allows you to permanently delete all Way Points.
Mapix will not allow you to delete any Way Point that is currently in use in any Route. To do so you must first either delete the Route(s) containing the Way Point, or delete the Way Point from the Route(s).

Go To Way Point
This item allows you to recenter the Chart View on a specified Way Point. You will be prompted to select the Way Point on which you want to recenter.
Note that if option "Track Current Position" is enabled, it will be turned OFF so that the view will not snap back to the position of the next GPS fix.

Go To Position
This item allows you to recenter the Chart View on your current GPS position.

Go To Mark
This item allows you to recenter the Chart View on the currently marked position. See How to Mark a position .

List
This item allows you to list all Way Points. You can tap on any listed Way Point to get additional information about that Way Point, including any Route(s) in which it is used.


Routes Menu



New
This item creates a new, empty Route. Use "Edit" to add Way Points. See
Notes: Route Names for legal Route names.

Edit
This item allows you to add, delete or change the order of Way Points included in the selected Route. When selected, you will be prompted for a Route to edit. The second figure above shows a typical Edit Route screen. Tap "Save" when you are satisfied with your changes.

Delete
This item permanently deletes a Route. When selected, you will be prompted for a Route to delete. You will also be asked for confirmation of the deletion. The deleted Route will be removed but Way Points included in the Route will not be touched.

Delete All
This item permanently deletes all Routes. You will also be asked for confirmation of the deletion. All Routes will be removed but Way Points included in any Routes will not be touched.

List
This item allows you to list all Routes.

More...
This item allows you to access more Route functions, including renaming or duplicating any Route.


Overlays Menu

Overlays are amalgamations of all existing Way Points and Routes.


Save Overlay
This item saves an overlay. You will be prompted for a name for the saved Overlay. Note: The names cannot duplicate any existing Overlay. If a duplicate exists, you will receive a warning.

Load Overlay
This item loads an existing Overlay. Way Points and Routes in the overlay will discard and replace any existing Way Points and Routes with the same name(s).

Delete Overlay
This item deletes an Overlay. You will be asked for confirmation.

List Overlays
This item lists existing Overlays. To see details about any Overlay file, tap on its name.


Bread Crumbs

Bread Crumbs are visual depictions of positions along you current voyage. They are depicted as gray dots as show in the figure below-right.
Mapix can retain up to a maximum of 1000 Bread Crumbs. If this limit is exceeded, Mapix will discard Bread Crumbs over this limit starting with the oldest.


Show Bread Crumbs
Checking this item causes Bread Crumbs to be displayed in Chart View.

Drop Bread Crumbs
Checking this item causes Mapix to drop Bread Crumbs. If unchecked, Bread Crumbs will not be dropped, but existing Bread Crumbs will be retained.

Drop Every
This item specifies the distance (in yards) between dropped Bread Crumbs.

Display Last
This item specifies the maximum age (in hours) of Bread Crumbs to be displayed, i.e., Bread Crumbs older than this time will not be displayed.
Enter 0 to display all Bread Crumbs, regardless of age.

Keep For
This item specifies the maximum age (in hours) that Mapix will retain Bread Crumbs. Bread Crumbs older than this time will be permanently discarded.
Enter 0 to indefinitely retain Bread Crumbs.

Clear All Bread Crumbs
Tapping this button will permanently discard all existing Bread Crumbs.


Manage Charts Menu



Select Chart
This item allows you to select the chart you wish to view in
Chart View. You will be prompted to select the chart, then tap "Select". The chart will be opened and prepared for display.

List Charts
This item allows you to list all available charts (that you've downloaded). You can get additional details about any chart by selecting it and tapping "Details". This information is intended for troubleshootng and support purposes. Tap "Done" to dismiss the list.

Download Chart
This item allows you to download a chart to your device from our web site. You will be prompted to enter the Chart Number of the chart you wish to download, as shown in the second figure above. To see a list of available charts, visit our chart repository. After downloading, you must select the chart (as described above) to view it. Please allow any download to complete before attempting any other operations in Mapix.

Delete Chart
This item allows you to permanently delete a chart from your device. You will be asked for confirmation of the deletion. Once deleted, you will need to download it again to use it.

Clear Current Chart
This item allows you to "clear" the currently selected chart. This does not delete the chart but merely de-selects it. To subsequently view it, you must "Select Chart" as described above.

Find a Chart
This item allows you to find a chart that includes a specific location. See Find a Chart below.


Find a Chart

The Find Chart screen allows you to find a chart that includes a specific location. You can search for charts that include

  1. Your current GPS position
    You must currently have a valid GPS fix to use this. To get a valid fix, select
    Chart View and wait for a valid fix.
  2. A position you have marked
    You must have marked a position to use this.
  3. A specified Lat-Lon
    You must know the latitude and longitude of the location for which you want to locate a chart.
When you select one of the above and tap "Find", you will be presented with a list of all charts containing the requested position as shown in the second figure above. Selecting a chart on the list will display details about that chart and whether you have previously downloaded that chart. This chart will be displayed as the default chart for download as described above under Download Chart above. You can also simply tap the "Download" button to commence the download.

Note that this function locates charts that are only estimated to be appropriate for the specified location. This is because a few charts are not rectangular in shape or geographic coverage and the location might reside in the marginal areas or off the edge of the chart.


Options Menu

The "Options" menu is available from most screens by tapping the [Menu] on your device, and then selection "Set Options". This menu can also be displayed by tapping "O" on the Toolbar on the Chart View screen.


The following option are available on the "Options" menu

Show Way Points
When enabled, this option will cause Way Points to be displayed on the chart in Chart View. If not enabled, Way Points will not be displayed. This option can also be toggled by tapping "W" on the Toolbar .

Label Way Points
When enabled, this option will cause the names of Way Points to be displayed to the right of each Way Point. If not enabled, only a Way Point marker will be displayed. This option has no effect unless option "Show Way Points" (above) is enabled.

Track Current Position
When enabled, this option will cause Mapix to continuously recenter the chart in Chart View so as to keep your current position near the center of the displayed chart. This option can also be toggled by tapping "T" on the
Toolbar .

Show Steering Arrow
When enabled, Mapix will display a Steering Arrow, and distance to next Way Point in Chart View during Navigation.

Show Speedometer
When enabled, Mapix will display a Speedometer at top-center of the screen in Chart View mode. The speed will be displayed in either MPH or knots depending on the option "Speed in Knots" below.

Show Toolbar
When enabled, Mapix will display the Toolbar along the bottom of Chart View. Click on "►" or "◄" on the Toolbar to expand or collapse the Toolbar.

Show Bread Crumbs
When enabled, Mapix will display Bread Crumbs in Chart View in accordance with the Bread Crumbs Settings. This option can also be toggled by tapping "B" on the Toolbar .

Drop Bread Crumbs
When enabled, Mapix will drop Bread Crumbs in accordance with the Bread Crumbs Settings.

Use Chart Names
Various Mapix functions list available charts loaded on your device. When checked, this option will cause Mapix to display the chart by name (it's description), e.g., "Cape Cod Bay". If unchecked, the chart number will be displayed, e.g., "13246.1".

Sounds
Mapix emits a sound when events of note take place, e.g. errors. This option enables/disables those sounds. There is probably no good reason to turn off sounds, unless you frequently drive your boat through a library.

Show Decimal Degrees
Mapix can display positons either in standard Degree/Minute format, (e.g., 77°15.0'W) or as signed decimal degrees (e.g., -77.25000°). Select this option to display decimal degrees.

Speed in Knots
Speed is normally displayed in Miles Per Hour (MPH). When checked, this option causes speed to be displayed in Knots.

Show Marked Position
When checked, this option causes the coordinates of the currently marked position to be displayed at the top-right of the Chart View screen, prefixed by the letter "M".

Demo Mode
This option enables and disables "Demo Mode". Demo Mode allows GPS fixes to be simulated for training and familiarization. See section Demo Mode.

Text/Marker Size
These radio buttons control the size of text and markers displayed on the ChartView screen,

Navigation Tolerance
The value entered here is the minimum distance that you have to approach a Way Point (during navigation) to be considered to have "reached" a given waypoint. See Navigation Tolerance in section Navigation.


Toolbar

The Mapix Toolbar is optionally displayed along the bottom of the Chart View screen to provide quick access to common activities. The Toolbar is only visible if option "Show Toolbar" is enabled on the "Options Menu" .
A typical expanded Toolbar is shown below.

Collapse/Expand Button
The first button collapses or expands the Toolbar so you can get it out of your way when you're not using it. This button is labeled in white.

Toggle (Option) Buttons
Some Toolbar buttons (T,W,B) are "toggles" that enable/disable options. These are:

Options that are currently "on" (enabled) are labeled in bright green such as the "T" and "W" on the figure above. Options that are currently "off" (disabled) are labeled in pale blue such as the "B" on the figure above.

Function Buttons
Some Toolbar buttons (O,N,P,?) activate activities in Mapix. These buttons are:

Function buttons are labeled in white.


Man Overboard

Mapix features a "Man Overboard" function to mark and navigate to a location where someone has gone overboard.

To mark a "Man Overboard" position, double-tap on the Chart View screen, then tap "MAN OVERBOARD!". Do this as quickly as possible after the event so that the position is accurate, especially if you are moving fast.
Note: You must be receiving valid GPS fixes to mark a man overboard.

After the position is marked, Mapix will automatically

  1. Add a Way Point at that position labeled "! MAN OVERBOARD !". This waypoint will blink RED/YELLOW to distinguish it from other Way Points (which are blue).
  2. Enable the Steering Guidance arrow at top-right of Chart View
  3. Enter Navigation mode set to navigate to the marked position. You can thereafter use the Steering Guidance to rescue the unfortunate soul.

Important! After tapping "MAN OVERBOARD!", Do Not tap it again or the position will be re-marked at the current (probably wrong) position.

When the rescue is complete, you can simply delete the "! MAN OVERBOARD !" Way Point using the Way Points Menu. You may also want to reset the Navigation Mode as desired using the Navigation Menu.


How To ...

How to get help
All screens in Mapix include context-sensitive help specific to each screen. To access context-sensitive help from full-screen activities, tap the [Menu] button and select "Help". From popup windows, just tap the "Help" button.

How to download a chart
From the Main screen, tap "Manage Charts"⇒"Download Chart". Enter the Chart Number of the chart you wish to download. To see a list of available charts, visit
our chart repository. Alternatively, use Mapix's "Find a Chart" function ("Manage Charts"⇒"Find a Chart").

How to view a chart
From the Main screen, tap "Chart View".
To Zoom In or Zoom Out at any point in Chart View, double-tap on the screen and select either "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out".
If you see a "red weave" background, no chart has been selected: see "How to select a chart" below.

How to select a chart
From the Main screen, tap "Manage Charts"⇒"Select Chart". Pick the desired chart and tap "Select". If no charts are listed, you must download at least one chart as described in "How to download a chart" above.

How to mark a Position
To mark a position on chart, tap "Chart View" from the Main screen. After the chart is displayed, mark a location by tapping at a point on the chart. A black crosshair symbol will appear at the location. A marked position can be used for visual reference, for
setting a Way Point for navigation, and other purposes.

To fine-tune a marked position, tap the [Menu] button from withing Chart View (with the mark visible) and select "Move Marked Position". A pop-up window will appear and let you nudge the position by a few pixels in any direction (N/S/E/W). Tap "X" to close this window.

How to set a Way Point
Way Points can be set either (1) at your current location, (2) at a location you've marked on a chart, or (3) at a custom Latitude and Longitude. To set a Way Point, tap "Way Points" from the Main screen. Next, tap one of

How to mark a Man Overboard position
To mark a "Man Overboard", double-tap on the Chart View screen, then tap "MAN OVERBOARD". Do this as quickly as possible after the event so that the position is accurate, especially if you are moving fast. This position will be processed as described in
Man Overboard

How to create a Route
From the Main screen, tap "Routes"⇒"New". Enter a name for the new Route and tap "Ok". This will create a new, empty Route. (Before populating the Route, you must have some pre-existing Way Points. See "How to Set a Way Point" above if you need to add some). Next, tap "Edit" from the Routes Menu. Select the Route you just created. You will be presented with the "Edit Route" screen. Tap "Add" to add a Way Point into the new Route. Select a Way Point when prompted. You will be returned to the "Edit Route" screen and the Way Point you just added should be listed. Continue adding Way Points with the "Add" button. To re-order Way Points along the Route, select the Way Point on the "Edit Route" and tap "Up" or "Down" to move the Way Point.

How to navigate to a Way Point
From the Main screen, tap "Navigate". You can also tap [Menu] from within Chart View and tap "Navigate". Next, tap "Navigate to Way Point" and select the Way Point to which you desire to navigate. You will automatically be re-directed to the "Chart View" screen. Your current location and the desired waypoint will be connected with a bright green strobe. At the top-left of the screen, a green arrow will indicate the direction in which to steer to reach the Way Point. The distance to the Way Point will also be displayed. Try to keep the arrow at the "12 o'clock" position to steer directly towards your Way Point.
If the arrow is not shown, it is probably invalid because (1) Your GPS position is not known yet, (2) You are not moving. See
Navigation below for more details.
Please read the warning in section Notes below.

How to navigate along a route

From the Main screen, tap "Navigate". You can also tap [Menu] from within Chart View and tap "Navigate". Next, tap "Navigate along Route" or "Navigate along Route (Reverse)". Next, tap the Route along which you desire to navigate. You will automatically be re-directed to the "Chart View" screen. The selected Route will be displayed as a series on segments drawn in drab green connecting the Way Points along the Route. The next Way Point along the Route will have a drab green circle around it. Your current location and the next waypoint will be connected with a bright green strobe. When you reach the next Way Point, the bright green nav strobe will automatically switch to the next Way Point along the Route.

If you "miss" a Way Point, and want to skip to the next one, double-tap on the Chart View and tap "Skip To Next Way Point". Tapping "Back To Previous Way Point" causes navigation to switch to the previous Way Point.

You are considered to have "reached" a Way Point when you approach within a minimum distance from the Way Point, say, 300 yards. The minimum distance (the "Navigation Tolerance") is set as described in section "Options" The tolerance is graphically depicted as the size of the drab green circle drawn around the next Way Point.
Please read the warning in section Notes below.

How to set Mapix options
From the "Main Menu", tap "Options". From Chart View, Tap [Menu]⇒"Set Options". Available options are described in section
"Options"


Take Mapix for a Test Drive

This section provides "cookbook-style" instructions for exercising many of the core features of Mapix. Note that these are intentionally very brief and do not substitute for reading through this User Manual, particularly the Introduction and Concepts sections.

It's probably best to take your Test Drive on your kitchen table so you don't have to pay attention to driving your boat at the same time.

Basic Android Usage
You will need to know some basic Android usage to follow the instructions in this section. Make sure you know where the "[Menu]" and "[Back]" buttons are on your device. The locations and appearance of these buttons vary depending on the model of your device. The [Menu] button is typically at the lower-left of your device, below the screen proper, and looks like a little stack of pancakes. The [Back] button is typically at the lower-right of your device and looks like a backward-looping arrow.

The [Menu] button is used to call up a menu specific to a given screen. Some screens have a menu, some don't.

The [Back] button is used to return to the previous screen from any screen in Mapix. Tapping the [Back] repeatedly will always get you back to the Main Menu. Tapping [Back] on the Main Menu will cause Mapix to exit (you will be asked for confirmation).

When You First Start Mapix...

The first time you start Mapix, you will not yet have loaded any charts. To get you started, Mapix includes a built-in "Base" chart. This chart is a large-area chart covering the entire lower 48 states (called the "United States Base Map"). While not detailed enough for any serious navigation, it will allow you to try various features and also be useful to download your first "real" chart (more on that below). This chart will automatically be loaded and displayed on startup.

To get to the Mapix "Main Menu", tap the [Back] button. The "Main Menu" is the starting point for all functions in Mapix.

Preparing for your Test Drive
Before continuing, let's set some Mapix options to "nice" values. From the "Main Menu", tap "Options". Make sure all the options are checked except "Demo Mode", "Track Current Position", "Speed in Knots", "Drop Bread Crumbs" and "Show Bread Crumbs". Then tap "Ok". While on the Options screen, this is a good time to tap "Help" to get a glimpse of all the various options and what they do.

Getting Your First "Real" Chart
There are a number of ways to get your first detailed map for any desired location. These include

  1. Selecting a chart from our Visual Catalog
    This is probably the easiest method, but is best used on your home computer with a mouse because it is difficult to click accurately on a typical mobile device screen. You select a chart from a graphical display of all available charts using any Internet-connected web browser.
  2. Selecting a chart by chart number
    This method is used if you're very familiar with NOAA nautical charts and chart numbers
  3. Selecting Your location from the Base Map.
    This method is best if you are not currently at the desired location so you can't use GPS.
  4. Using your current GPS coordinates
    This method is best, and most accurate, if you are at the desired location and can use GPS.
Selecting a Chart From The Visual Catalog
  1. To see the Visual Catalog, view http://mapix.us/mapix/viscat.html using the web browser on your home computer. You will see a map depicting all available charts. Each chart is shown as a thin, red rectangle with a small purple "tag" at the top-left corner.
  2. Shift and zoom the map to the area in which you are interested. (To zoom, use your mouse wheel or the "+/-" buttons at the lower right).
  3. Hover over the desired chart's tag with your mouse to see the Chart Number and Description. You can also click on the tag to see the info in a pop-up window.
  4. Note the Chart Number displayed.
  5. From Mapix on your mobile device, go to the Main Menu, tap "Manage Charts"⇒"Download Chart".
  6. Enter the Chart Number noted above.
  7. Tap "Download" to download that chart.
Selecting a Chart By Number
  1. To see a list of available charts, visit our chart repository.
  2. From the Main Menu, tap "Manage Charts"⇒"Download Chart".
  3. Enter the Chart Number.
  4. Tap "Download" to download that chart.

Selecting a Chart Using the Base Map

  1. Position the Base Chart to include the location for which you want a chart.
    Drag the chart to shift the view. Double-tap to Zoom in or out.
  2. Tap on the chart at the desired location. A small black crosshair will appear at that location. Try to be as accurate as possible.
  3. Tap [Back] then "Manage Charts"⇒"Find a Chart".
  4. Select "Marked Position" and then tap "Find". You will be presented with a list of charts including the marked location.
  5. Skip to step 4. below.

Selecting a Chart Using Your GPS coordinates

  1. With the Base Map displayed, wait for a GPS fix. This will be indicated by a small, blinking green square at the top-left of the chart.
  2. Tap [Back] then "Manage Charts"⇒"Find a Chart".
  3. Select "Current Position" and then tap "Find". You will be presented with a list of charts including the location.
  4. Tap on any of the listed charts to see more detail about it.
  5. When you've found a chart you like, Tap "Done"⇒"Download Chart". The chart you selected will show as the candidate for download
  6. Tap "Download" to download that chart.

Playing with a Chart
After you've dowloaded a chart, you need to select it for viewing. Tap [Back]⇒"Manage Charts"⇒"Select Chart". You should see the chart you just downloaded. Tap on that chart name. It will take several seconds to prepare the chart for viewing, but you should shortly see the chart in Chart View.

To zoom in or out, double-tap on the chart and tap "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out" as shown in the figure at right. Most charts have 3 levels of zoom.

To shift your view of the chart, press on the chart and drag your finger in the direction you want to shift the chart without lifting your finger. When you do lift your finger, the chart will be redisplayed position at the new location.

If your chart includes your current position, and you have a valid GPS fix, you can see your current position plotted by going to "Main"⇒"Way Points"⇒"Go To Position". Your current position will be shown as a small, bright green circle. If it's off the edge of the chart, you need to use a different chart.

To change any options from the Chart View, tap [Menu]⇒ "Set Options".

To get to the Main Menu, tap [Back]

To return to the Chart View from the Main Menu, tap "Chart View".

"Marking" a Position
Several functions in Mapix require that a position be "marked", including a function that we will use shortly. Marking a position is very simple. From the Chart View, just tap on the chart at the position to be marked. The marked position will be indicated by a small black crosshair. The coordinates will be displayed numerically at the top-right of Chart View prefixed by the letter "M".

To fine-tune a marked position, tap the [Menu] button from withing Chart View (with the mark visible) and select "Move Marked Position". A pop-up window will appear and let you nudge the position a smidge in any direction (N/S/E/W). Tap "X" to close this window.

Adding Way Points
"Way Points" are locations on the chart the you wish to remember for future reference, as a goal for navigation, or as a node along a Route along which you want to navigate. Adding a Way Point is easy. The simplest way is to place a Way Point at a location marked as described above. Let's place one now...

  1. Bring up Chart View and position the chart to show a location at which you want to place a Way Point. A nice choice might be the entrance of the harbor or channel or dock you use to begin a voyage. The figure at right shows the Way Points of a sample Route starting at Ramrod Channel.
  2. Tap on the chart at the desired position to mark it, as described above.
  3. Tap [Back] and then Way Points⇒Add Marked.
  4. When prompted, enter a name for the Way Point. Let's enter "WP1" for now. Then tap "Ok".
  5. Tap [Back] then "Chart View". You should see a small, dark blue circle at the Way Point you just created.

If your new Way Point is not visible, go to the "Main Menu"⇒"Way Points"⇒"Go To Way Point" and select "WP1".

There are several other Way Point functions on the Way Points menu, but let's leave them for a future exercise.

Now that you've got the hang of it, let's add 3 or 4 more Way Points using the same process. Name them "WP2", "WP3", etc. Try to place them at points along a hypothetical route along which you might want to travel in the future. We'll use these create a Route below.

Creating Routes
Routes are paths along which you want to navigate. A Route is an ordered list of Way Points. We'll use the Way Points we just created to create our first Route.

Tap [Back] to get to the Main Menu, then tap "Routes"⇒"New". You will be prompted to enter a name for the Route. Let's name it "My Route". This will create an empty Route of that name. Now we must add Way Points to that Route.

From the Routes Menu, tap "Edit" and then select "My Route". You will now be taken to the "Edit Route" screen. Tap "Add" then select "WP1". The Way Point will be added to the Route. Repeat this process for "WP2", "WP3", etc.. When you are done, tap "Save" to save the changes to the new Route. To check your results, tap on "Routes"⇒"List". Tap on "My Route" when prompted. You will now see a list of the Way Points you just added to the Route.

Navigating
To activate Navigation from the Main Menu, tap "Navigate". From Chart View, tap [Menu]⇒"Navigate". In either case, you will be asked how you want to navigate, either (1) to a Way Point or (2) along a Route. Note that to navigate, you must be receiving valid GPS fixes (indicated by a small blinking green square at the top-left of the Chart View). You may need to step outside if you're not.

First, let's select "Navigate to Way Point". Select the Way Point "WP1" you created earlier. You will be taken to the Chart View screen. To make things easier, re-enable option "Track Current Position" on the Options Menu. (Tap [Menu]⇒"Set Options", check "Track Current Position" and then tap "Ok"). You will see a bright green strobe from your current position to "WP1". You will also see the distance to that Way Point in green at the top-right corner of Chart View.

To see the full function of Navigation, you need to be moving. It's now time to go outside and to take a walk down your street. Navigation engages at 1 MPH (a leisurely pace), so you should have no problem achieving it. You could also drive around in you car but Please, let someone else drive. We don't want your User Experience ruined by getting wrapped around a telephone pole.

As you travel, you will see a small triangular arrow attached to your current location showing the direction of travel. You will also see a "Steering Guidance" arrow at the top-right. This shows the direction in which you must travel, relative to your current direct of travel, to most directly reach the Way Point. For example, if you're walking towards a point to the LEFT of the Way Point, the steering guidance arrow will point to the RIGHT, telling you you must steer more to the right. If you keep the arrow at the 12 o'clock position, you're doing good and heading directly towards the Way Point.

Now let's try navigating along a Route. Tap [Menu], then "Navigate"⇒"Navigate along Route". Select the Route "My Route" that you created earlier. You will see the Way Points you added to "My Route" connected by drab green lines. Mapix will select the closest Way Point along the Route to begin navigation. That Way Point will be enclosed in a drab green circle depicting how close you must approach that Way Point to be considered to have reached it. (This distance is set as "Navigation Tolerance" on the Options Menu ). The green strobe will now connect your current position to that Way Point. As soon as you reach the Way Point, Mapix will automatically switch to the next Way Point along the Route.

In Chart View, you can double-tap on the chart, and manually advance to the next Way Point, or go back to the preious one. You can get more detailed navgation info by selecting "Show Nav Info".

To see Route navigation work in real-time (without going to sea), we'll use the built-in GPS Simulator in Mapix. (This is described in "Using Demo Mode" below). Perform the following steps:

  1. Disable Option "Track Current Position" to keep the chart from shifting while you're setting things up.
  2. While viewing your selected chart, tap near Way Point "WP1" that you added earlier. A small black crosshair will appear at that location.
  3. Tap [Menu] then "Set Options".
  4. Check option "Demo Mode", then "Ok". You will be taken to the "Demo Control" screen.
  5. Tap "Set at Marked Position". This will cause your simulated voyage to begin at the position marked in step (1) above.
  6. Re-enable Option "Track Current Position".
  7. Tap "Ok" to begin navigating. A moving bright green icon will appears showing the current simulated position.
  8. To "drive" towards the next way point, you'll probably have to change your simulated heading (and optionally speed). To do this, double-tap on Chart View and select "Demo Control".
  9. Change heading by pressing and dragging the strobe on the compass dial. To change speed, darg the Speed slider.
  10. Tap "Ok" to commence traveling at the new heading and speed. You can always change these again by double-tapping on Chart View and again selecting "Demo Control".

To end the simulation, tap "End" on the Demo Control screen. You will then resume navigation using real GPS fixes.

This concludes our Test Drive. Mapix has lots of other functions and options, but unfortunately, you're going to have to read this full manual to learn about them (but you already did that, right? <grin>)

Happy Boating!


Using Demo Mode

About Demo Mode
Mapix has a feature called "Demo Mode" for training, familiarization and demonstration. In Demo mode, your device's GPS is not used. Instead, simulated GPS fixes are generated based on a user-specified starting point, speed and heading. This feature is very handy for familiarization without actually going to sea. You can, for example, see the Navigation features work in real time. When Demo Mode is active, a watermark reading "DEMO MODE" is painted across the center of the chart.

Selecting a Starting Point
Before starting Demo Mode, you will need to select a starting point for the simulation (if you don't, the simulation will start at Ramrod Key, FL which probably won't be useful for you). To set your starting point, select your favorite chart for viewing. In Chart View, tap some place on the chart
to mark a position. Next, enter Demo Mode by checking option "Demo Mode" on the Options Menu. You will be taken to the "Demo Control" screen. Tap "Set at Marked Position" to use the marked position as the starting point for your simulated voyage.

Selecting Speed and Heading
On the Demo Control screen, you can also selected a heading and speed for the simulation. To select a heading, press somewhere on the compass dial, and drag the strobe to the desired heading. (Note: the compass dial represent the heading relative to True North, with North at the top of the dial). To select a speed, drag the Speed slider until the desired speed is displayed. When you are satisfied with the settings, tap "Done".

Restarting the Simulation
To restart the Demo Mode simulation at the Initial Position, tap the "Restart" button. The settings will remain unchanged.

Starting and Ending Demo Mode
•To start Demo Mode, check option "Demo Mode" on the Options Menu.
•To return to the Demo Control screen from Chart View (to change speed or heading for example), double-tap on the chart and select "Demo Control" from the pop-up menu.
•To end Demo Mode and return to normal GPS operation, either (1) tap the "End" button on the Demo Control screen or (2) uncheck "Demo Mode" on the Options Menu.


Power Usage and Battery Life

While Mapix is dsplaying the Chart View, the GPS in your device is active. GPS eats a lot of power, so if you're planning on using Mapix continuously, it is advisable to obtain and connect an appropriate 12V DC power adapter for your device, so as not to drain your device's battery too quickly.

The GPS is only active when the "Chart View" screen is displayed, so one strategy is to only activate Chart View when navigation is needed.


Requirements

To install and use Mapix on your Android device, your Android device

Hints & Tricks

Use the correct "Track Current Position" option setting
Option "Track Current Position" on the
Options Menu causes Mapix to automatically keep your current position near the center of the chart in Chart View. This probably should be enabled while navigating so you can see where you are. On the other hand, if you are just perusing a chart, maybe to find some feature, this can be disconcerting because the chart will continuously snap back to the GPS position. Disable Track Current Position to prevent this.

Use Demo Mode for familiarization
In Demo Mode , a built-in GPS simulator is used instead of your devices GPS. This is very handy to try out Mapix without actually going to sea.

Interpret the Steering Arrow correctly
Some people are confused by the meaning of the Steering Arrow at the top right of Chart View during navigation. The arrow indicates how to steer relative to your current heading to most directly approach the next Way Point. It is NOT a compass direction indicator. In the figure below, the arrow is telling you to steer slightly to the left, NOT to steer North.

Use Short Way Point names
It is a good idea to keep Way Point names short. Long names may overlap each other or other features causing on-screen clutter, especially when zoomed out. For example, instead of naming a Way Point
"My Fishing Spot #1", try using just "Fish1".

Use the Toolbar in Chart View
The Toolbar is very handy to quickly perform common functions without leaving the Chart View screen.


Notes

Charts are Not "Official" Charts
The informaton displayed by Mapix is FOR REFERENCE ONLY. Responsible seamanship dictates the use of "Official" Charts. The charts displayed by Mapix are NOT considered official charts for a variety of reasons, both technical and legal.

Note that the Navigation functions in Mapix are totally unaware of any obstructions, like dry land, reefs, pilings or other obstructions, and should be used ONLY over open water known by you to be navigable! And obviously, if you're in a river or canal, Fuggedaboutit.

Charts
Charts used in Mapix are derived from NOAA's Raster Navigation Charts (RNCs). These can be downloaded into your device from our
web site. All downloaded charts are stored in a highly compressed format in your device's non-volatile storage. When you select a chart, it is decompressed into a directory on your device. It is this decompressed version that is actually used to paint the charts in Chart View. Only one chart can be selected at a time.

Way Point Names
Way Point names in Mapix must be UNIQUE. Names differing only by capitalization or size of embedded spaces are NOT considered unique. For example, Mapix considers all the following names as identical:
 "Home Port"
 "Home  Port"
 "HOME PORT"
Way Point names can be composed of up to 24 normal characters .
Note: It is best to keep Way Point names short so as to avoid on-screen clutter.

Route and Overlay Names
Route and Overlay names can be composed of up to 24 normal characters except of any of the following:
" $ % & \ ' * + : < > ? / \ |

Entering Coordinate Values as Text
Coordinates can be entered as either decimal degrees or whole degrees and decimal minutes. Decimal degrees are entered as a single number with a decimal point, for example, "77.206", while Degree/Minute values are entered as whole degrees and decimal minutes separated by a space, for example
"77 12.3". There is no need to specify a sign or compass indicator (e.g., N/S/E/W) because Mapix currently only operates in North America (N and W). All coordinates will automatically be adjusted to the northwestern quadrant (negative longitude and positive latitude).


Technical Support

We strive to make Mapix bug-free and useful. If you find a bug, discover inaccuracy in any chart, or just have a suggestion for improvement, please report it to us so that we can address it as soon as possible.

Support E-Mail: mapix@ramrodtechnology.com
It would be helpful to include a phone number in case we want to contact you.

Note: If our mail server incorrectly rejects your email as spam, just include "NOTSPAM" in the Subject line.


History

Mapix was originally developed by Hyperdyne (Ramrod Technology's predecessor) in the late 1980's as a powerful desktop GIS for system integrators. It was first commercially announced in 1990 in PC Magazine. Mapix has been used since by commercial and military customers worldwide.

Blast from the Past

In 2011, Hyperdyne ported a subset of the desktop Mapix to the Android platform, added the Navigation features, and posted over 2500 charts to our web site. In 2013, Hyperdyne relocated to Florida and is now doing business as Ramrod Technology, Inc.


Index

Back to top

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Concepts

Getting Help

Chart View

Navigation

Main Menu

Navigation Menu

Way Points Menu

Routes Menu

Overlays Menu

Bread Crumbs

Manage Charts Menu

Find a Chart

Options Menu

Toolbar

Man Overboard

How To ...

Take Mapix for a Test Drive

Using Demo Mode

Power Usage and Battery Life

Requirements

Hints & Tricks

Notes

Technical Support

History