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Old 17-07-2011, 16:05   #1
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Navigating with Smartphone , PDA , etc.

Lets leave out ipads and iphones as there is already plenty of info.
What other devices have people adapted to display electronic charts?
Most devices read SD cards.So you connect an SD card to your PC and load it with NOAA charts and then you install the SD card in your device?What else needs to be done?
Has anyone adapted a car navigation unit to display marine charts?
I read that Amazons latest Kindle,for about $140,can display charts.But I havent seen the details.
I read that you can buy a used Palm Centro,for as little as $10 on ebay,and get it to display charts.
If you are using an adapted device,please comment if it had GPS or how you added it.Also,what nav program did you install,if any ,and how.
If you use a smartphone please comment if it works ok unconnected,without a contract or unlocked.
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Old 17-07-2011, 20:14   #2
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Re: Navigating with smartphone,PDA etc

I've been using a Treo or Centro for the last 9 years with every NOAA chart available on a single micro-SD card. It works with a Bluetooth GPS. I've navigated with it from Maine to Key West as a test in 2005. I often still use it in the dinghy.

I'm the author of the software. About 4,000 people purchased the version that Maptech once sold and another 1,000 purchased the version that ActiveCaptain sells. It even rotates the charts to keep a course up view as you turn. It implements waypoint and route navigation. This on a device that's about 20% the speed of current smartphones. There's also a version for older Windows Mobile v5.0+ Pro devices.
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Old 17-07-2011, 20:27   #3
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Re: Navigating with smartphone,PDA etc

Jeff,how much does the software cost?Your site refused to tell me,although it offered NOAA charts for $50.
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Old 17-07-2011, 21:13   #4
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Re: Navigating with smartphone,PDA etc

The Singapore Maritime Pilots (PSAM) use NavPak Pilot Pocket Edition on Smartphones and Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile or Pocket PC OS. Lately they are using HTC-HD2 phones, and iPaq Pocket PCs. They attach a Pilot Cable to the Pilot Port on the AIS and then to a Bluetooth transmitter by IOGEAR. Then they get GPS and AIS info on one cable. On some ships the AIS does not work so they use the internal GPS. It works fine on a cracked phone or one without service. They use ENC charts updated weekly so they need easy connectivity to their PC which the WM OS gives them. In addition to ENC charts, it will read BSB charts without conversion or clipping and scan-your-own TIFF charts. They draw an Overlay using NavPak Pro on a desktop and then overlay it on their charts in the Pocket Edition. PSAM spent years testing chart plotting software and determined that NavPak is the fastest and most reliable for their critical operations. At any given time there are 70 or more copies guiding ships in and out of Singapore and the Malacca Straits.
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Old 18-07-2011, 05:25   #5
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Re: Navigating with smartphone,PDA etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonam View Post
Jeff,how much does the software cost?Your site refused to tell me,although it offered NOAA charts for $50.

You can download the software for free with planning charts for the entire coast. Getting detailed harbor charts has a fee. The Penobscot Bay in Maine is part of the free version so you can see that the entire NOAA collection are available.
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Old 18-07-2011, 18:51   #6
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Re: Navigating with Smartphone, PDA, etc.

"Has anyone adapted a car navigation unit to display marine charts?
I read that Amazons latest Kindle,for about $140,can display charts."

Not really. Dedicated car navs almost invariably can't be loaded with anything except the maps sold by the maker--for roads. You'll find that Garmin and others who make a very few models that can take marine and other maps, advertise those units as "special" not just car navs. And if all you need is a tiny snippet of chart...sure, that'll work. With limited chart support.

As to the Kindle? Fuggedaboudit. E-book readers are designed with daylight-readable low-power inexpensive displays, and so far, that means they all (ALL) wink, blink, nod, and pause before screen refreshes. If you can load charts on it, don't expect them to scroll. Smartphone displays are meant to handle live video, as are tablet computers. E-readers are meant to show one static page, take a break, show the next.

Give it a few years, things will keep improving. For now, it's a matter of choosing your poison:
Small screen
Slow screen
Expensive screen
Dim screen

All of which may be fine, if you want a backup, or something dingy-pocket-portable.
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Old 19-07-2011, 00:49   #7
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Re: Navigating with Smartphone, PDA, etc.

Good post HS.I believe you are right about the e book readers.If they wont scroll it wont do.
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