Way Point File Conversion

If you plan on upgrading your GPS chart plotter from one manufacturer to another, be prepared to manually enter all your waypoints or use a software to convert file extensions.  One example is Northstar, they use a .DAT extension. I recently upgraded a customer’s Northstar 6000i to the Garmin 7212 With close to 400 waypoints manual entering them with 100% accuracy would be daunting to say the least.

What I did was use the GPS Visualizer free downloadable software from the web  with the help of Garmin Mapsource software. The key is to load the Northstar’s waypoints on a compact flash and then upload to GPS Visualizer select output format to GPX file so the Garmin unit will read it, then send to an SD card. The Mapsource software has the bonus of verification.  Send back to SD card and load to Garmin.

There are other software programs capable of this, or so they claim. Remember to double-check your numbers to make sure of accuracy.