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Old 20-11-2012, 23:02   #1
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How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Hi there,

I know there's a few threads about this already but I wanted to ask a few questions regarding iPads / PC's, navigation, autopilot, etc.

In terms of navigation I think iPads + PC's are already pretty amazing for the price. Charts are WAY cheaper, interacting with those charts is faster than plotters, etc.
Just on the navigation side the only real issues I can see are-
1. Waterproofing, just get a good case.
2. Glare, just turn the thing away from the Sun a little.

So, say navigation is there, that leaves a chartploter for me for the following.

Radar.

Really, that's the only thing I can think of.
So how far are we from being able to overlay radar on our iPads / openCPN?
Would be amazing to not price in a $3000 (plus another set of charts). Into the equation.

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Simon
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Old 20-11-2012, 23:12   #2
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The problem with progress is it is take two steps forward, and one step back. During Sandy, it was three steps backwards and one step forward. Technology gizmos are great when they work. Charts, and the way things have been for thousands of years, are constant. Reliable under duress. Batteries never fail on a chart.
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Old 21-11-2012, 09:36   #3
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

There are radar scanners that are designed for computer interface (using Ethernet). Simrad (Navico) has an open interface. Furuno also uses ethernet for the radar interface, but the format is proprietary.
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Old 21-11-2012, 10:06   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott
There are radar scanners that are designed for computer interface (using Ethernet). Simrad (Navico) has an open interface. Furuno also uses ethernet for the radar interface, but the format is proprietary.
From what I read, Simrad interface only open for some data. Other data reserved for those that get application approved. Application had to prove you were contributing to marketing the mfd.
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Old 21-11-2012, 10:43   #5
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Personally, I don't like touch screens out in open water. It's bad enough on the hard. I'll take keys or a mouse any day.

As for the charts, if you don't have them loaded up before hand your not going to get them offshore. My iPad is fun to play with below decks but I wouldn't rely on it in a pinch. And the WiFi reception sux as well.

Also, I prefer keeping my instruments independent from each other. What good is a big screen if it's broken down into small screens. Then if it fails you loose them all. We're just recreational vessels not research vessel$.
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Old 21-11-2012, 11:32   #6
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Personally, I don't like touch screens out in open water. It's bad enough on the hard. I'll take keys or a mouse any day.

As for the charts, if you don't have them loaded up before hand your not going to get them offshore. My iPad is fun to play with below decks but I wouldn't rely on it in a pinch. And the WiFi reception sux as well.

Also, I prefer keeping my instruments independent from each other. What good is a big screen if it's broken down into small screens. Then if it fails you loose them all. We're just recreational vessels not research vessel$.
I must agree here, yesterday for the first time I overlayed a chart with ge,well after about a thousand hours i got it right, this is no fault of the programmers but just my luddite ways. I do a lot of kayak fishing offshore and used a fishfinder for the first couple of years but the bloody things would all give up the ghost after about a years hard fishing. I do believe paper charts are here to stay imho.
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Old 21-11-2012, 11:54   #7
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Don't get me wrong, I believe in paper chart backup, as well as carrying at least the basic "old-school" navigation gear.

But that is a subject for a different discussion.
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Old 21-11-2012, 12:05   #8
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Personally, I don't like touch screens out in open water. It's bad enough on the hard. I'll take keys or a mouse any day.

As for the charts, if you don't have them loaded up before hand your not going to get them offshore. My iPad is fun to play with below decks but I wouldn't rely on it in a pinch. And the WiFi reception sux as well.

Also, I prefer keeping my instruments independent from each other. What good is a big screen if it's broken down into small screens. Then if it fails you loose them all. We're just recreational vessels not research vessel$.
One of the advantages of devices like the iPad is total independence.
It has its own GPS, battery supply, and maps.
Loading the maps is no great problem. A couple of hours at an Internet cafe will see the whole the Europe downloaled for about $70. After this you don't need any further Internet, or phone connection.
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Old 21-11-2012, 12:08   #9
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

PC, iPod and blackbox based navigation works fine so long as it stays inside or is covored and therefore remains completely dry. There are waterproof PC monitors and waterproof blackbox controllers available.
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Old 21-11-2012, 12:47   #10
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

My wife and I crossed the Atlantic this summer using an iPad, and 2 iPhones for navigation, GPS, AIS, weather, routing, and email through a sat phone. We have a Garmin GPS too, but literally never turned it on.

The best thing about the iPad & iPhones is that we used them everyday before we bought the boat and continue to use them everyday after the crossing. More a "marine" device that is some serious value.
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Old 21-11-2012, 12:48   #11
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Devices like the IPad are very vulnerable to moisture. I suspect one splash and they are dead.
However for a lot a cruising sailors there has been an explosion on these devices. In my case both myself and wife have iPads and I phones, each with marine maps.
Once the battery expires will buy another couple of devices , each with their own maps and GPS.
One or two of these systems could taken out salt water, but that still leaves plenty of options, even without considering the chart plotters and HH GPS units.

Waterproof covers are available. It's not hard set up a redundant system based on these devices.
Because they cheap and versatile multiple units are practical. The old model of a single, robust, waterproof chartplotter system, is replaced with multiple, cheaper systems each with its own independent GPS, charts, and battery supply.

I suspect future history will show the benefit of these low cost devices with good marine maps and GPS.
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Old 21-11-2012, 15:56   #12
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

iPad or Tablet...

I use a Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the cockpit with a special protective cover, taking complete command of my laptop where all my various programs and charts are stored,safely situated down below in the cabin. I use TeamViewer to maintain the wi-fi or LAN connection between the two.

This way,I can run ALL the Android apps as well as ALL my Windows based programs from the same (tab) screen. All my charts are located on a pendrive inserted in a USB adapter on my Tablet where I also have a backup navigation program named OruxMaps. Otherwise I can also use OpenCPN.

Tore
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Old 22-11-2012, 10:06   #13
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I don't beleive that IPad based devices will displace MFDs to any great extent. Custom MFD are waterproof and designed for the environment. iPads are designed for your sitting room. Then you have reliability issues( which will get worse as the price point moves down ).

Secondly there is no incentive for the mainstream leisure radar company's to sidestep their own MFD systems. So all radar by the big four are in effect proprietary.

This still leaves issue like sunlight readable. Connector reliability and difficult in recharging.

The last thing I need is a iPad low battery power down ( with the usual 2-4 minutes reposed up delay) while in a situation where I really need it.


They will develop as secondary display devices for non essential tasks.

The exact same thing was said about laptops replacing dedicated systems, nope, remained a minority activity.

The MFD off a reasonably comphrensive electronics suite is not by far the dearest item anyway.

Dave
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Old 27-12-2012, 12:08   #14
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

This is a debate that has been going on for at least a couple of years, and will probably continue for many more.

We have both a Raymarine RL70C and a Garmin 440S chartplotters, but we navigate mostly with an iPad and iNav-X. The Raymarine charts cost over $700 for all the US east coast, and new charts for the Garmin are $175. The iPad charts are free. So now the RL70 is just a radar display, and the Garmin is just a fishfinder.

Waterproofing is a red herring. We have left our iPad out in lite rain with no ill effects. I am sure it would be ruined if we ever dropped it overboard, but then our two chartplotters don't claim to be waterproof either. If the iPad was in a location where it was subject to a lot of salt spay, we would put it in a sandwich bag.

Charging is also a non issue. We use a 12V charger that we plug into a "cigarette" outlet, but we could have used the 120V AC charger plugged into the inverter.

Sunlight viewability is another "red herring" We can't see our iPad or either of our chartplotters if sun is directly on the screens, but our iPad is on a swivel RAM mount, so can be easily turned away from the sun. Of course, the iPad screen is turned up to max brightness. We can't change the brightness of either of our chartplotters.

I could go on about the variety of nav software, instead of being stuck with just one, about the ability to connect various manufactures instrumentation, weather censors, depthsounders, AIS, etc, etc, but I am sure you get the idea. And then lets not forget the internet and email.

If I was to equip a boat today, I would specify no chartplotters, instead three iPads, one for navigation, one for instrumentation, and one for internet, set up so any one would be a backup of any other.

So the bottom line is that I think that there will probably always be a small nich market for traditional chartplotters, but most will be replaced by Apple, Android, and Blackberry Pads.
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Old 27-12-2012, 12:52   #15
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Re: How far are we away from 100% iPad / PC navigation?

Depends where you are.

In Canada, paper charts and publications are still required unless you have an ECDIS (or 2) with ENC's on board and have passed the training.



Chartplotters, iPads, tablets, and Smartphones are not sufficient.

The exception is for those with local knowledge.

This is not really enforced but, in case of an incident, most likely will a factor.

I am not sure about US rules, but would appreciate a knowledgeable response.

I do have OpenCPN on a netbook, a Garmin 76CX and a Android phone with Navionics. But I still use paper.
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