Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-10-2009, 03:52   #1
Registered User
 
bewitched's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 885
Images: 3
Navigation by I-phone?

What I would like for Christmas is a relatively inexpensive mobile platform (think I-Phone) on which I have my charting software etc. When I arrive on the boat it connects wirelessly to my instruments (think TacTick) and my GPS antenna. I would still have my wind, speed, depth transducers, but they would not require a dedicated 'master' instrument, but would connect directly to my Christmas present.

Oh, and it's also a phone, an MP3 player, a camera, a word processor etc.

Actually, I would like two - one on deck, one at the chart table.

How far are we away from this? What needs to happen to get there? Opinions?
__________________

__________________
bewitched is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 05:54   #2
Registered User
 
Fishspearit's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 576
You can already navigate with your mobile phone. ActiveCaptain - Mobile Phones Series

It will probably be a while before you can interface your instruments onto the phone, that would be one less piece of equipment for the electronic manufacturers to sell you.
__________________

__________________
Fishspearit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 10:34   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: the golden state
Boat: pilot cutter
Posts: 289
There is probably no way that the makers of the proprietary navigation networks currently sold to boaters are going to allow 3rd parties such as Apple to hone in on their data stream. What they would do is instead offer you another piece of expensive equipment that allows you to wirelessly access your nav network with a handheld device onboard, which I believe that they already offer.
__________________
Not Sure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 10:38   #4
Registered User
 
speciald@ocens.'s Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat - Carib, Chesapeake
Boat: 58 Taswell AS
Posts: 1,139
I guess you don't intend to go offshore. The digital signals even with an amplifier are limited to less than 10 miles.
__________________
speciald@ocens. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 11:18   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 210
I looked into this a bit. I'm not sure about hooking the phone up to your various instruments. I was thinking of using my LG Incite but it seemed like after buying all the software, maps, etc., you might as well just buy a decent GPS. The charting software looked very basic compared to some of the newer GPS systems I've seen. Also, after losing my last phone overboard I kind of like the idea of waterproof and attached GPS systems.
__________________
jm21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 11:25   #6
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
check the app store

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Sure View Post
There is probably no way that the makers of the proprietary navigation networks currently sold to boaters are going to allow 3rd parties such as Apple to hone in on their data stream.
Navionics has already done so. I've got the entire US West Coast on my iphone. I use it mostly for planning purposes, especially in terms of tides and currents. It's nice to have that in my pocket when I'm away from the boat, especially when I'm in my office supposedly working on other things.

And the GPS feature works even when you don't have a phone link.

I tend not to use the iphone for navigation on the boat because it doesn't integrate with such things as radar or AIS. However, it's nice to have in the dink if I've forgotten to bring a handheld GPS along.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 20:06   #7
Registered User
 
bewitched's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 885
Images: 3
I think I may have pointed this thread in the wrong direction with the I-phone reference. I don't want to use a phone for navigation.

What I was thinking was taking a typical PC/Laptop based system (that is interfaced by wire to Instruments, Course Computer, AIS, GPS etc) and making it wireless (& therefore mobile). The device would be more like a tablet PC, but utilise the I-Phone-like touchscreen technology. It would be both the 'brains' of the system and the display medium.

The aim is to eliminate the need for multi-unit systems that comprise; course computer, master instruments, repeater displays, Seatalk to NMEA interface units etc, etc, etc. eliminate all that wiring, which is the cause of the majority of system failures and replace it with a single device. The mobile device can be where you need it, at the chart table or at home for passage planning, at the helm when sailing.

Sure, if it makes phone calls, sends emails, takes photos, updates your blog as well, all the better.
__________________
bewitched is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2009, 10:32   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13
Personally, I like having several devices (some even redundant) instead of one totally integrated device. At least then if I have a failure on one device I don't have to immediately fall back to paper and a stopwatch to get home safely.

As a side note, I've successfully navigated my 34' sportfisher from Juneau, Alaska to Bellingham, WA using only the Navionics apps for iPhone. It all came about because it was a one-time re-location cruise, and I couldn't justify spending the $300 or so for C-Map charts for the Furuno on board. I bought the paper charts, planned the trip, then noticed the Navionics apps in the AppStore and did truly apprectiate not needing to carry rolls of paper charts to the diner when planning the trip with my crew.

Side note, the GPS works great without a cell signal. At one point I wanted to record the GPS track and load it to a near-real-time blog with a map. I gave up, however, when I discovered that all of the GPS tracking or recording apps available at the time did require cell or WiFi service to continue recording more than a few hours.

After reading the whole thread and realizing you're not just talking about iPhone.... have you looked at any of the GlassBridge installations? It would be very easy to do one with a suitably sized tablet or laptop PC that would then be portable when you left the bridge.

-Case
__________________
Boating is not a matter of life or death... it's much more important than that!
CanCanCase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2009, 10:56   #9
Registered User
 
Solitude's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Coast, BC , Canada
Boat: Cascade
Posts: 595
I read in 48 North that there is an I phone app that measures wind strength by volume on the microphone. The harder the blow the greater the noise and a higher reading. It doesn't sound very acurate to me.

It would be neet to see how accurate it was.
__________________
Go outside and PLAY!
Solitude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2009, 10:58   #10
Registered User
 
sabray's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wash DC
Boat: PETERSON 44
Posts: 3,169
navionics apps are neat but. I got rained on a bit a few weeks ago phone was in the pouch supposedly it got wet enough to fry it. $200 for a replacement. Then last weekend it hopped out of its belt case and became a fish phone. $500. $700 for the month plus the service charge. The company I work for did not buy insurance. Ouch. Point though I wouldn't rely on it being there especially how moisture sensitive they seem. If you are boating with one consider insuring it.
__________________
sabray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2009, 08:12   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
navionics apps are neat but. I got rained on a bit a few weeks ago phone was in the pouch supposedly it got wet enough to fry it. $200 for a replacement. Then last weekend it hopped out of its belt case and became a fish phone. $500. $700 for the month plus the service charge. The company I work for did not buy insurance. Ouch. Point though I wouldn't rely on it being there especially how moisture sensitive they seem. If you are boating with one consider insuring it.
Agreed. The OtterBox Defender cases are pretty good for spray... I don't think they're 100% waterproof, but I've tried and tested both of mine to be 100% 16oz-mocha-proof... My iPhone doesn't go near the marina unless it's in its OtterBox. My helm is completely inside the cabin, so I don't worry about it going overboard so much while underway, but stuff does happen.

Anyone with small children or who lives/works/exists near water really ought to have insurance on their phones anyway. (Oh, and the Apple iPhone warranty covers water damage now too!)

-Case
__________________
Boating is not a matter of life or death... it's much more important than that!
CanCanCase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2009, 23:19   #12
Registered User
 
Blongsea's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Australia East Coast
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 440
Posts: 36
What a bummer, but...

What a bummer that such a fine elegant tool is sensitive to common everyday H20! HELLO APPLE!!!!

The iPhone with just three buttons and near seamless touch-screen design SHOULD bloody well be water resistant to at least six feet. Why not?

I have a Fujifilm camera with lots of buttons and a memory compartment and a battery compartment and at a very low price it is WATER SAFE even under the surface within limits.

I love navigating at sea with my excellent iPhone but I have a wish list:

1) Make the darn thing 100% water safe to at least six feet / 2 meter under.

2) Please include a IR-transmitter so clever people can develop apps for controlling all sorts of devices TV, DVD and so on. Even some printers can use IR so this would be a really useful addition. And easily water safe as well...

3) BIGGER & BETTER battery that can be charged like my water resistant Phillips toothbrush using non-contact magnetic induction.
__________________
Blongsea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2009, 13:59   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blongsea View Post
What a bummer that such a fine elegant tool is sensitive to common everyday H20! HELLO APPLE!!!!
Can you show me a cellular phone commonly available in North America that isn't sensitive to water? I doubt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blongsea View Post
The iPhone with just three buttons and near seamless touch-screen design SHOULD bloody well be water resistant to at least six feet. Why not?
Because all electronics (even your MARINE ELECTRONICS) aren't water resistant unless specific expense and bulk is added to the device. The marine market is so tiny a niche - remember, Apple makes millions of CONSUMER ELECTRONIC devices... they are NOT in the business of building waterproof devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blongsea View Post
I have a Fujifilm camera with lots of buttons and a memory compartment and a battery compartment and at a very low price it is WATER SAFE even under the surface within limits.
And it's much bulkier than an iPhone and doesn't do nearly as much with as much style, slickness and sophistication...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blongsea View Post
1) Make the darn thing 100% water safe to at least six feet / 2 meter under.
If it were, it wouldn't be nearly as streamlined, compact, light or stylish. Again, it's a CONSUMER ELECTRONIC device, not ever intended for the marine environment. Ever seen a laptop that's been "ruggedized" or "marine-ized"? They're not nearly as pretty to look at as a MacBook Air (or even my HP NetBook) and they're typically thousands of dollars more expensive for the waterproofing treatment. Never mind the added weight and bulk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blongsea View Post
Please include a IR-transmitter so clever people can develop apps for controlling all sorts of devices TV, DVD and so on. Even some printers can use IR so this would be a really useful addition. And easily water safe as well...
IR is outdated (obsolete) technology. No handset makers are using it anymore (even Palm dropped IR after the Treo 650 or 700)... I control my TV, DVD, BluRay, iPod, print to laser or inkjet, etc. via Bluetooth or WiFi - both of which the iPhone can already do. Clever people have already developed apps to control a myriad of devices with the iPhone... I suggest you surf the app store to check out the thousands of apps available to do almost everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blongsea View Post
BIGGER & BETTER battery that can be charged like my water resistant Phillips toothbrush using non-contact magnetic induction.
non-contact mag induction causes too much short range radio interference to be practical in a cellular or WiFi setting. While the charging mechanism could be sheilded to prevent this, it would combine with the bigger battery you're requesting to make the sleek and stylish iPhone just another brick that doesn't quite fit in your pocket - requiring a plastic belt clip to carry conveniently. As far as "better battery"... it's about the best battery I've seen in a small electronic device. What complaints do you have with yours? Mine lasts a full day and then some...which is plenty considering my kids watch movies and I was using the TomTom app to navigate a 400 mile road trip... Try running your Furuno chart plotter on a battery no larger than a quarter...not gonna happen!

It should also be (again) noted that an iPhone has a factory warranty that DOES cover water damage, and additional extensions for that warranty can be purchased to repair or replace your broken or water-damaged iPhone. I'd much rather pay $79 when I get a new phone and rest assured that it's covered than have to shell out $5 per month (over a 24-month contract, that's $120...) on a different brand handset.

It's easy to write a "wish list" of features we want the iPhone to have. Until someone can show me a comparable device that includes these wish-list items, I still say the iPhone is the best thing out there and that it's changing the cellular phone industry permanently and for the better!

-Case
__________________
Boating is not a matter of life or death... it's much more important than that!
CanCanCase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2009, 14:51   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
I have seen an iPhone with navigation software that somebody brought aboard my boat. I have no idea the name of the software but it worked. I would not trust it though for anything except as an interesting novelty item.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2009, 15:03   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I have seen an iPhone with navigation software that somebody brought aboard my boat. I have no idea the name of the software but it worked. I would not trust it though for anything except as an interesting novelty item.
With the obvious foundation of common sense, local knowledge and paper charts, I don't see any reason why an iPhone can't be considered as reliable as any other compact electronic chart plotter... I've used mine as a backup to my Furuno NavNet for extensive cruising through SE Alaska, BC Canada and now the Eastern Pacific and the various apps available are proving just as reliable as a Garmin handheld.

I've actually found several inaccuracies in 2 Windows computer based systems that don't appear in the iPhone - due mostly to the way charts are stitched together in most Windows applications. As the charts running on my Furuno plotter are Navionics Gold, the Furuno and iPhone run identical and side-by-side.

Especially if you have a need for a cell phone, iPod, game device, eMail, etc. it's great to have things converged and so conveniently packaged.

-Case
__________________

__________________
Boating is not a matter of life or death... it's much more important than that!
CanCanCase is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
navigation, phone

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Navigation aid for PDA, Mobile phone or Laptop peakvisiontv Navigation 1 22-02-2008 11:45
phone calling uncle_fred Off Topic Forum 0 21-12-2006 06:55
12v main to cell phone/sat phone/VHF recharge sneuman Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 04-01-2006 09:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:00.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.