• Bookmark Me
  • User Login Pane
       Keep me logged in.
    Helm HoundNOAA RNC & ENC Chart Instructions

    These are instructions for the Helm Hound NOAA RNC Charts Package.
    (For RNC (BSB/KAP) chart users with the provided SeaClear II software for Windows ®)
     - Macintosh Package Coming Soon -

    Certified NOAA Chart Distributer

    The DVD-Rom that we provide holds all NOAA RNC Charts separated by State.
    Free GPS enabled chart viewer included.


    Step 1:

    Insert the charts DVD into your DVD drive. If Autorun is enabled on your computer the Flash Install Menu will run and display. If the DVD does not Autorun, you can browse the charts DVD and run/execute the (NOAA-RNC.exe) file by double clicking on it - it will then display the Install Menu. Note - The Install Menu is a Flash Projector file for those of you that like to know these things.

    Install Menu Example

    About The Install Menu:

    The Install menu will show you 4 options:
    1. VIEW instructions (self explanatory and your actually looking at them right now!)
    2. INSTALL SeaClear II Chart Viewer (installs SeaClear II onto your computer)
    3. INSTALL NOAA RNC Files (optional - it is over 2GB's for a full charts install. You may choose fewer states to install to your hardrive which will require less space. (You may also view the NOAA Charts directly from the DVD so this option would be ignored)
    4. VISIT www.HelmHound.com (this link will take you to our - ahem... awesome website - requires internet connection)

    Step 2:
    Click the INSTALL SeaClear II Chart Viewer link. This will start the SeaClear Installer. Follow the prompts through. You can choose to install it anywhere on your drive, but we recommend just letting it install itself where it wants to (C:\Program Files\SeaClear). When SeaClear has completed it's installation you are done installing the chart viewer.

    Step 3:
    If you wish to install the NOAA Chart Files to you harddrive click the INSTALL NOAA RNC Files link next. By default, the files are copied to your hardrive into the (C:\NOAA-RNC-Charts) folder. You may choose where to install if you wish. During installation you can choose to do a full install or chose a specific state or multiple states. Your choice. If you want to install more charts later on, just run the chart installer again from the install menu and choose more states. The install program will show you which states are already installed. Depending on how many charts you chose to install it will take a while for the copying to complete. Let the program finish. You have now completed all the steps necessary to view your charts.


    How to run the SeaClear II Chart Viewer Application:

    Step 1:
    Run the SeaClear program on your computer. It is labeled "SeaClear II" in your programs menu. The executable file is called (SeaClear II.exe). If you do not have a GPS device attached to your computer and are viewing charts statically, then you may see a prompt that reads "Could Not Open Communication Port" - Ignore this by clicking "OK". This happens because SeaClear II is looking for a GPS device (since it is GPS Capable).

    Step 2:
    SeaClear should be running now. Quick Start - To view a chart, goto > File > Chart > Not Listed. This will then let you browse to your chart files whether you have installed them onto your hardrive or are going to view them from the DVD drive. Browse to the chart files (either browse to your DVD drive or browse to (C:\NOAA-RNC-Charts) - (default install directory). In this directory you will see the State Abreviations listed that you chose to install. For example, to open Alabama you will see the folder (AL_RNCs), open that folder to see the (BSB_ROOT) folder that exists in each of the State folders. You will then see folders inside that folder that are numbered. These are the NOAA chart numbers. Open the Chart number folder that you wish to view. You will then see a the numbered (*.KAP) file for the chart (eg. 411_1.KAP). Choose the KAP file then click open. You will then see the chart in the SeaClear viewer. You can zoom in and out and scroll the chart. Thats it! Those are the basics. There are other features in SeaClear like chart grouping that you can play around with. You can also experiment with the routes, positions, and tracking features if you have a GPS. If you have a GPS and are wanting to plot your course with it, continue reading...


    GPS and the SeaClear II Chart Viewer:

    The GPS must be capable of transmitting NMEA 0183 1.5 or higher messages. Most modern GPS units with PC communication will work.  Virtual serial ports, such as USB GPS units with serial drivers, are supported. Optionally other NMEA instruments may be connected. Depth, Compass and Wind is displayed if present. With AIS receiver connected targets are displayed on screen. On units capable of receiving NMEA waypoint and route data, uploading from the PC is supported.

    If you purchased the GPS + Chart package from Helm Hound you will have recieved a USB mouse puck type GPS. To install the GPS, Load the drivers before plugging in the GPS to a USB port on your computer. After driver installation is complete, plug in the GPS device and allow  your computer to install and ready the device. Take note of the COM port that your computer associates the GPS device to. If you do not know the COM port of your GPS device go to your computers "Device Manager". Look for the "Ports (COM & LPT)" section. Expand the section. You will see the "Prolific USB to Serial" COM port specified. In the image below you will see that the GPS is on COM port 3. Yours may differ.


    At this point the GPS is installed and ready to use. When you open the SeaClear application ignore any promt about it not being able to find a COM port. You need to tell SeaClear which COM port your GPS device is on. In the SeaClear application goto > Tools > Properties > then click on the "Comm" tab. You will see the following area in the Comm tab section:


    Previously we found that the GPS device was on COM port 3 using the device manager. Input the COM port number that your GPS device is on (usually COM 1 though 5 but may differ). With the "Tx/Rx 1" button chosen - input your COM port number for Com as in the above image. Leave everything else as is. You do not need to specify anything for the "Rx 2" & "Rx 3" options. No need to add any other information for your GPS device. SeaClear will now know where your GPS device is and will use it. You may want to exit SeaClear by going to > File > Exit to make sure that SeaClear writes your GPS COM port to memory. Upon re-opening of the SeaClear application you will not need to set the GPS COM port again (unless for some reason the COM port changes on your computer because of other hardware installations). Thats it... SeaClear is running with GPS enabled. Understand that a GPS device will take a moment to aquire satellites. When the GPS device is "hooked" you will see your current position and also start seeing GPS data in SeaClear.


    Safe and Happy Wakes to you all :) 

    The Helm Hound Crew


    Certified NOAA RNC Chart Distributer