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Qastor

4. Qastor Online

The following topics can be viewed in this chapter:

When the Communication Setup and Transit Setup have been completed the voyage can be started.
Qastor will automatically start in Navigation mode.
The navigation screen consists of two components:

Left) The Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC).
Right) The Instrument Panel

1. Electronic navigation chart (ENC)

1.1 Navigating the chart

There are a number of ways to change the scale, location and orientation of the chart.

Scale

Zooming in and out can be done in a number of ways:

  • Using the mouse wheel or scroll areas on a touch pad
  • Using a pinch gesture on a touch screen
  • Selecting a range from the range pull down menu 
  • Adding zoom buttons to a toolbar and clicking the  to zoom in or the  to zoom out
  • Selecting "Zoom Mode" from the View menu and selecting a zoom box.
Location

The location of the chart can be changed in a number of ways:

  • Dragging the chart by clicking the left mouse button and moving
  • Clicking in the edge of the chart after the mouse arrow has changed into an arrow showing the direction to move
  • Using the arrow keys on your keyboard

During navigation Qastor will keep your vessel in the screen.
There are several modes for this which can be selected using the "Chart - Center" pull-down button or the Mariner Settings (see View Settings below):

Orientation

The orientation of the chart can be changed using the "Chart Orientation" pull-down button or the Mariner Settings (see View Settings below):

View Settings

The settings above can all be changed in the "View Settings" page of the Mariner Settings.
This page can be opened by:

  • Selecting “View“ on the menu bar and selecting “Display Settings”
  • Clicking the "Display Settings" button in the toolbar 

The following dialog will appear:

Set the chart scale:

  • Fixed - The chart will not change scale during sailing.

Scale - Determine which area will be visible around the chart center by entering a scale. Or enter a Chart range below which calculates the matching scale.
Chart range - Enter a range to determine which area will be visible around the chart center. Or enter a Scale above which calculates the matching range.

All the chart objects have a particular scale at which they become visible when the scale increases, and disappear when the scale decreases.
However, every chart has a compilation scale value.
This value is the scale at which all objects on the chart are visible.

  • Linked to vessel speed - Depending on the vessel speed the chart will change scale.

Chart time range - Enter a time interval. The chart will scale to the maximum range the vessel can cover in this time, at the current speed.
Auto zoom timeout - By default the program checks every 5 seconds whether the scale needs updating. If the speed change is larger than 5% it will apply a new scale.

This feature is developed for cases where Qastor is used mainly to track the vessels of a fleet. It allows Qastor to zoom in automatically at lower speeds (during approaching and mooring operations) and to zoom out automatically at higher speeds (while sailing at open sea). This option prevents an operator from having to regulate the zoom levels manually for every condition.

  • Zoom to next waypoint - Change the scale so the selected next waypoint(s) will fit in the navigation screen.

       Next waypoint to zoom to - Select a waypoint from the drop down list. Make sure a Route with waypoints is selected first.

Auto zoom timeout - By default the program checks every 5 seconds whether the scale needs updating.
If, for example, you have zoomed in on your vessel, the scale will return to the selected waypoint-related scale after 5 seconds.

Set the chart center by selecting one of the “Center” options:

  • Fixed Center with a latitude and longitude - The vessel will always be on the screen, only when the vessel leaves the screen will the screen be updated.
  • Vessel Centered - The vessel will always be in the center of the navigation screen.
  • Off Center - Select a spot in the navigation screen with the mouse pointer, right-click there and select 'Set Off Center Position'.
    The vessel will be will be shown in that part of the screen all the time.
  • Forward Looking with view percentage - Similar to Vessel Centered, with the exception that the vessel is placed on the chart edge, opposite the heading the vessel is facing.
    This ensures the greater part of the chart area displays the area in front of the vessel.
  • Backward Looking with view percentage - The opposite of Forward Looking. Can best be used during backward maneuvering.

Set the chart orientation by selecting one of the “Orientation” options:

  • Fixed Orientation - An angle can be entered in order to give the chart a fixed rotation.
  • Head Up - This selection rotates the chart in such a way that the bow of the vessel is always pointing to the top of the screen.
    The vessel heading is used to determine the rotation.
  • Route Up - The heading of the selected route is used as the orientation of the chart.

Select “OK” to apply and close the dialog.

Undo/Redo

To return to your previous view (only useful in Planning mode) the undo and redo buttons could be added to a toolbar.
Click undo   to return to the previous view and redo  to go back to the next.

1.2 Presentation Settings

The presentation of the ENC can be changed to some extent to accommodate a clear, non-distracting view of the chart.
These setting can be changed in the Mariner Settings, which is opened by:

  • Selecting “Chart” on the menu bar and then “Mariner Settings”
  • Clicking the "Mariner Settings" button in the menu 

The following dialog will appear:

In this dialog the type and amount of information can be selected.

  • Select one of the available view classes, the range goes from “Base” to “Standard” to “Other”.
    • “Base” - The view class with the least information displayed.
    • "Standard" - Displays most of the information.
    • “Other” - Displays all available information.
  • Select one of the available presentation libraries. The options are: 
    • Simplified - Abstract icons and presentation (IHO S-52 Standard)
    • Traditional - More realisting icons and presentation (IHO S-52 Standard)
    • Modern - Same as traditional, but many icons are filled with appropriate colors (non-standard)
  • Set the Icon Scale in order to increase or decrease the sizes of the symbols.
  • With the option “Use SCAMIN Attribute” enabled objects with a SCAMIN value will disappear when zoomed out to a certain scale.
1.3 Depth Presentation

Select “Depth Presentation” from the left pane to change the way depths are presented in the chart.

The following dialog will appear:

The areas with water are divided into safe and unsafe water, separated by a thick grey line.
The unsafe / shallow water is colored dark blue and the safe / deep water is colored light blue.
There is also a distinction visible between very shallow, shallow, deep and very deep.
This is represented by four different colors, going from dark blue to light blue.

Select if and which depth soundings must be displayed by enabling the options “Show shallow soundings” and “Show deep soundings”.
Depth soundings are objects in an ENC and must be available in the chart in order to be displayed.

By enabling the option “Show depth areas in two shades” the distinction between very shallow, shallow, deep and very deep will be replaced by shallow and deep.
This will be represented by only two different colors.

With the option “Show depth contours” enabled depth contours will be made visible. The value of the depth contour can be shown by enabling "Depth contour labels".
Contours are objects in the ENC and must be available in the chart in order to be displayed.

In case of depth areas in four shades, the depth contour for the distinction between very shallow and shallow and the distinction between deep and very can be changed.
Enter a value for the shallow and the deep contour.
Qastor is able to adjust the electronic chart to vessel dimensions. The location of the safety contour depends on the vessel draught (see STEP 4).
The safety contour will also be influenced by the amount of under keel clearance.

The position of the safety contour can be defined in three different ways:

  • Under keel clearance defined as a percentage of the vessel draught.
  • Under keel clearance defined as an absolute value in meters under the vessel's keel.
  • Safety depth defined as an absolute value for the safety contour.

The recommended setup for the Depth Presentation:

  • Show shallow soundings: on
  • Show deep soundings: optional
  • Show depth areas in 2 shades: off
  • Show depth contours: off
  • Depth contour labels: off

The value of the shallow contour should be linked to the vessel draught (Mariner Settings Dialog->General->Vessel Preferences).
The value of the deep contour should be linked to the safety contour.

The safety contour is the vessel draught + under keel clearance.

This will result in 3 depth colors:

  • Very light blue - Safe water
  • Light blue - Between draught and safety depth
  • Dark blue - Unsafe water

Note that if the shallow and deep contour have been linked, there is no need to go to this page after initial configuration.

1.4 Palette

There are different palettes available for different kinds of light conditions. Select “Palette” from the left pane to change these.

The following dialog will appear:

Select one of the available palettes from the pull-down menu.
The following palettes are available:

  • Day Bright
  • Dusk
  • Night

The brightness of the navigation chart can be changed by entering a percentage. 0% is no brightness, 100% is full brightness.
For an extensive explanation please consult the online Help.

To change the palette quickly, use Ctrl+N (custom Night palette) or Ctrl+B (Day Bright), or the optional palette button .

1.5 The instrument panel

The instrument panel, on the right side of the window, displays the received and updated navigation information online.

By double clicking on the gauges the instruments can present their information in an analogue or a numerical way:

Analogue instrument panel.


Numerical instrument panel.

1) Heading of the vessel. (HDG)
When a route is selected the red marker marks the bearing
of the legline.



2) Rate Of Turn (ROT).

3) The horizontal line (red or green) is the distance to the
next waypoint or DAT (Distance Along Track).
The vertical line is the offline distance or XTE (Crosstrack Error).







4) Course Over Ground (COG).


5) Speed Over Ground (SOG) in knots. It turns red if the vessel
is running aft.

6) Height of the applied tide.





7) Route information and environmental data.

It is possible to remove the instrument panel totally and replace the information with small semi transparent numerical gauges.

There are 4 different gauges that can be displayed at the same time.

Go to “View” on the menu bar and deselect “Instrument Panel”. The instrument panel disappears.
Go to “View” on the menu bar and select “Information Windows”. The following window will appear:

To change the settings of the windows select “Information Window Settings”.
The background color, text color and the transparency of the gauges can be adapted in this window.
Select “OK” when finished.
Select the windows that need to be displayed and select “OK”:

 

For an extensive explanation of the used abbreviations please consult the inline Help.

1.6 Route selection

Routes can be selected in the Transit Setup, or by clicking the "Open Route" button:
To use a route for navigation, it must be selected.
This can be done automatically, if chosen in File->Advanced Settings->Miscellaneous Settings, of manually using the "Select Route" button: 

The mouse pointer changes: select the imported route in the chart with the mouse pointer. The route is now highlighted.
Also visible are wheel over lines and radii in corners if they are defined.
It may be necessary to reverse the route using the "Reverse Route" button:
To clear all routes go to “Route” and select  “Erase”. All routes will be erased from the chart.

2. Planning Mode

In Planning Mode it is possible to plan routes, or to modify existing routes.
The center of the chart isn’t fixed to the vessel anymore so that the user is free to pan through the charts.

STEP 1) Select “Planning” from the pull down menu on the Toolbar:


STEP 2) Go to “Route” on the menu bar, select “Legline” and then  “Add”.
STEP 3) The mouse pointer is now changed.
STEP 4) Select a point in the electronic chart. A small circle will appear with a string attached to the mouse pointer.
STEP 5) Select another point in the chart. Another circle is visible with a line in between. This action can be repeated as long as necessary.
A route is now created:

The waypoints have numbers and the leglines have a heading and a planned speed.
The waypoints and the leglines can be edited.

STEP 6) To edit a waypoint go to “Route” on the menu bar, select “Waypoints” and then select  “Edit”.
STEP 7) The mouse pointer has changed now. Click on a waypoint that needs editing.
The following window will appear:

STEP 8) In the window the name of the waypoint can be changed and a remark can be entered.
STEP 9) A turning radius can be filled in as well as a distance to WOL (Wheel Over Line).
STEP 10) To finish select “OK”.

STEP 11) To edit a legline go to “Route” on the menu bar, select “Leglines” and then select  “Edit” .
STEP 12) The mouse pointer is now changed. Select the legline that needs editing. The following window will appear:

STEP 13) Select whether the legline is a great circle or a rhumb line.
STEP 14) Fill in the “Planned speed” and the “Cross track limit”.
STEP 15) Choose whether all leglines should have the same settings.
STEP 16) To finish select “OK”.

STEP 17) To remove a waypoint go to “Route” on the menu bar, select “Waypoint” and then  “Remove”.
                  By selecting a waypoint in the chart the waypoint will disappear.
STEP 18) To remove a legline go to “Route” on the menu bar, select “Legline” and then  “Remove”.
                  By selecting a legline in the chart the legline will disappear.
STEP 19) If the created route is finished go to “Route” and select  “Save”.
STEP 20) Enter a name for the route and press "Save" in order to finish.

Editing a large number of waypoints or leglines can be done using the "Route Properties" dialog:

For an extensive explanation please consult the online Help.

3. Docking Mode

During mooring operations the program can be switched to Docking Mode with the menu that is located on the right in the menu bar.
Docking mode is only useful if the navigation system is an accurate and stable system.

Select 'Docking':

The information in the Instrument Panel on the right changes and shows the lateral and longitudinal speed of the vessel:

 

When a navigation line for mooring purposes was defined in the chart, the program will show the distance of the bow and stern orthogonal to the quay in meters.
In the instrument panel the longitudinal speed and the lateral speed of the bow and stern are displayed.
The user can choose to display the speed in knots, m/s or cm/s. This can be chosen with the buttons at the top of the instrument panel.

For an extensive explanation please consult the online Help.

4. Offline

A recorded voyage can be replayed for analyzing or training purposes.
To do this follow the next steps:

STEP 1) Go to “File” on the menu bar and select “Transit Setup”.
STEP 2) Load the vessel that will be replayed.

STEP 3) Go to “File” on the menu bar and select “Replay Voyage”.

The following window will appear:

STEP 4) Select the file that is to be replayed with this button: 

STEP 5) Select or deselect “Lock View" which locks the user interface while replaying.
STEP 6) Select the replay speed. The speed can be set: "1X" corresponds with the original speed during the voyage.
STEP 7) Press the start button  to Replay the voyage.

For an extensive explanation please consult the online Help.

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