Support

Window Frozen

CAPN window appears frozen

Problem: After starting up the CAPN program, at some point, the main CAPN window appears to be frozen and no longer responds to mouse clicks or the keyboard.

There is probably a warning dialog box that has appeared behind the main CAPN window and it is waiting for a response. Minimize the CAPN window by clicking on the negative “-“ sign in the upper right corner of the windows title bar. You should see a dialog box with a warning message “Your magnetic variation file is out-of-date”. To continue using the CAPN, click on ‘OK’. The CAPN program will now respond. Using an out-of-date file will result in a few minutes in error between true and magnetic compass calculations. To permanently correct this problem, see the topic “Magnetic Variation” below in this Support Section.

Magnetic Variation

Warning Messages

NOAA produces magnetic variation files every 5 years: 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, etc.
The NOAA World Magnetic Model File provides coefficients to correct Magnetic to True Compass Headings and vice versa.

Problem: When starting up the CAPN program, there is a dialog box with a warning message of “The magnetic variation file is missing” or “The magnetic variation file is out-of-date”.  These messages indicate that your magnetic variation file, wmm.dat, is missing or not current.

Go to the Download Page and download the latest magnetic variation file ‘wmm.dat’ and install according to instructions.

Charts

Chart Loader Issue

Problem: When trying to load the charts supplied with The CAPN program, an error message appears: “Wrong DVD inserted into the selected DVDE Drive!  Please try again”.  And you know that you have the correct DVD region inserted but the program will not recognize it. This problem occurred when the new version of the CAPN program was developed which did not recognize the old Chart Loader Program. 

There is an updated chart loading software that is available for free on our Download Page along with installation instructions. We strongly recommend that you install this new chart loading software and use it to install all the CAPN chart regions.

GPS

Why can't The CAPN find my GPS or AIS

Problem: The CAPN can’t find my GPS or AIS?

The CAPN uses COM ports in order to collect GPS or AIS data from the GPS or AIS receiver(s). If you try to let The CAPN find your GPS/AIS and The CAPN reports that it cannot find the GPS/AIS then this is likely caused by one of three possibilities:

  1. The GPS/AIS does not have an assigned COM port by Windows.
  2. The GPS/AIS receiver is not transmitting data to the computer because:
    • The receiver is not receiving data (e.g. no GPS fix or no AIS signals being received, therefore no data is being sent to the computer for The CAPN to detect)
    • The receiver is not set up to output data to the computer (this may be caused by internal settings on the receiver)
    • The receiver is not transmitting data in the NMEA 0183 format
  3. Another software application is using the COM port assigned to the GPS/AIS

General

Mad Mouse Fix

Problem: My mouse cursor jumps randomly around on my screen and I cannot control it.

This is a somewhat common issue which affects many users often called “mad mouse”, “magic mouse”, and others names. It is not a problem caused by The CAPN, but actually Windows mistakenly reading the signals from your GPS as inputs from your mouse.

If you have a GPS receiver which can power up or down (e.g. chart plotters or hand held GPS units):

  1. Start with your computer off.
  2. Connect the GPS to your computer.
  3. Turn on the power for your GPS unit.
  4. Start your computer.
  5. Wait until the mouse starts jumping.
  6. Turn off the power to the GPS (i.e. shut down your GPS) but leave the GPS connected to the computer.
    a. OPTIONAL – If there is a serial-to-USB adapter cable between your GPS serial port and the computer, you may disconnect the GPS from the serial-to-USB adapter cable. In all cases, leave the USB connector plugged in to your computer.
  7. For Windows XP or Windows 2000:
    a. Click Start
    b. Right-click on My Computer
  8. For Windows Vista:
    a. Click Start
    b. Right-click on Computer
  9. Click Properties, a new window will open called “System Properties”
  10. Click on the Hardware tab
  11. Click the button labeled Device Manager, this will open a new window
  12. A list of devices will appear.
  13. Click on the “+” symbol to the left of “Mice and other pointing devices”
  14. You should see listed a “Microsoft Serial Ballpoint”
  15. Right-click “Microsoft Serial Ballpoint”
  16. Click Disable
  17. This will mark that device with a red X, and it should not bother you again.
  18. Now you can close the Device Manager window.
  19. Shut down your computer.
  20. Reconnect the GPS (if disconnected)
  21. Turn the power on for the GPS.
  22. Start your computer.
  23. You should have a stable mouse now.

If you have a GPS receiver which can NOT power up or down (e.g. “hockey puck” type GPS receivers):

These are the keyboard equivalents to the above steps and can be performed while the mouse is randomly jumping around the screen.

  1. Start with your computer off.
  2. Connect the GPS to your computer.
  3. Start your computer.
  4. Wait until the mouse starts jumping.
  5. Press and release the Windows key (it has the Windows logo on it, typically to the left of the spacebar on the bottom row between the “Ctrl” button and the “Alt” button.
  6. Press the Down arrow key
  7. For Windows XP or Windows 2000: a. Use down arrow and right arrow keys to navigate to highlight My Computer
  8. For Windows Vista: a. Use down arrow and right arrow keys to navigate to highlight Computer
  9. Press the Menu key (it is typically to the right of the spacebar on the bottom row between the “Ctrl” button and the “Alt” button)
  10. Use the arrow keys to highlight Properties
  11. Press the Enter key, a new window will open called “System Properties”
  12. Use the arrow keys to highlight the Hardware tab
  13. Press the Tab key to highlight the Device Manager button
  14. Press the Enter key, this will open a new window
  15. Press Tab, this will highlight the top item in the list (generally the name of your computer)
  16. Use the down arrow to highlight “Mice and other pointing devices”
  17. Press the right arrow key
  18. You should see listed a “Microsoft Serial Ballpoint”
  19. Use down arrow to select “Microsoft Serial Ballpoint”
  20. Press the Menu key (right of spacebar)
  21. Use down arrow to select Disable
  22. Press Enter
  23. Press the Windows key
  24. Use the arrow keys to select Shut Down to restart your computer
  25. Reconnect the GPS
  26. Start your computer
  27. You should have a stable mouse now.
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