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Old 08-03-2015, 16:05   #1
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Tablet Navigation?

We have a large Simrad plotter/radar at the helm, and a laptop at the nav station running OpenCPN, but would like to also have a tablet to use for backup navigation or to occasionally use in the dinghy to find our way back to the boat on foggy nights. My question for those who regularly use a tablet for a similar purpose is which tablet and which charting program should we get? We have vector charts on the Simrad plotter and hate them so want to use raster charts and we'd prefer to have a tablet with a built in GPS unless someone has a compelling reason why using a separate bluetooth GPS puck would be better. If you recommend an iPad, I'd like to keep costs down so would probably buy a used one on eBay but don't know which generation iPad to go for, 2, 3, 4?

Can anyone out there get us "pointed in the right direction" on this subject? To anyone who can, many thanks in advance!
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Old 08-03-2015, 16:16   #2
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

I use mxmariner on a Samsung Galaxy Tab. The charts are based on NOAA raster charts and the app imports and exports gpx files so you can get your waypoints and routes. Keep in mind that if you do use it for dinghy navigation, Maine evenings tend to be rather damp, so you'll need to keep it in a ziploc bag. Our tablet is 8" so it fits perfectly.
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Old 08-03-2015, 16:37   #3
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

To enable using OpenCPN on an android tablet see the instructions here: Building on Motorola Xoom | Official OpenCPN Homepage

Lots of posts regarding this alternative can be found by either searching the internet with your favourite search engine or by searching the CF OpenCPN forum.

Questions, problems? Just ask for help. I'm the 'developer' of the instructions, not a developer of OpenCPN.
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Old 08-03-2015, 17:10   #4
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

I use the Navionics app for the Iphone and put the app on my ipad as well. It's cheaper that way and I can use it on either platform.

Much easier carrying the iphone in the dinghy.
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Old 08-03-2015, 17:18   #5
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

We have and love Navionics on IPhone and IPad.
You need to be aware that only the IPads with built in GPS are of any use as you do not need cell tower reception.
Chris
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Old 08-03-2015, 17:31   #6
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
We have and love Navionics on IPhone and IPad.

You need to be aware that only the IPads with built in GPS are of any use as you do not need cell tower reception.

Chris

My Wifi only Ipad works just fine with a bluetooth GPS


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 08-03-2015, 17:52   #7
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Why not a windows tablet and OpenCPN?

Or an obsolete ToughBook with daylight viz screen?
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:18   #8
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

I like to have triple redundancy on my bluewater trips. First is the chartplotter, second is my Ipad with iNavX with Theyr Weather and Tides and 4d Weather, and the third are paper charts.

The iPad can be purchased but it must be an Ipad2 with GSM. I just bought another one on ebay used, with 32gb at $220. The iNavx cost $39 and then I purchased one of the extensive map databases. As well, I would recommend a cigarette style extension cord around 10 feet to enable you to use it at the helm non-stop (the connection will not be waterproof but you can rig some big zip lock bags to stop all but a dump of water from stopping the unit) Last, I purchased a Life proof Nuud case. This is completely waterproof and I can attest that it works as I have had that unit on deck and it was entirely under water a number of times.

The GSM is the Ipad that says Verizon or ATT . You dont need a contract, only the unit as then you will be able to see your location in the middle of nowhere.

Now for the disadvantage - 1) when the screen gets wet, to tap on a screen does not always go as planned 2) in a bouncing boat, trying to create a waypoint or other fine insertion using the screen is difficult 3) unless you have a good stand and mount for the ipad (a suction mount does not work in heavy seas) then your Ipad will be seen skipping across the deck a time or two.

As far as navigation goes, the main disadvantage is lack of connection to the autopilot. Yes, there are ways to make this happen, but in practicality at this time no. The advantage is that the navigation is as good as the software data. I have, when the chartplotter failed, used my Ipad to bring us into very difficult channels at night with success just using the iPad.
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:25   #9
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

I have a Gen1 iPad with no SIM. I bought both the bad elf plug-in and the XGPS150 and it works fine.

The advantage of the XGPS is that it does not need to plug into either the lightning or gen1 iPad plug (bad elf makes both plug in types now) and can be separately powered.

I use navionics on phones and iPads.
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:35   #10
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
My Wifi only Ipad works just fine with a bluetooth GPS


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Yes but the OP said he preferred not to have that setup.
Chris
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:51   #11
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swammy View Post
I like to have triple redundancy on my bluewater trips. First is the chartplotter, second is my Ipad with iNavX with Theyr Weather and Tides and 4d Weather, and the third are paper charts.

The iPad can be purchased but it must be an Ipad2 with GSM. I just bought another one on ebay used, with 32gb at $220. The iNavx cost $39 and then I purchased one of the extensive map databases. As well, I would recommend a cigarette style extension cord around 10 feet to enable you to use it at the helm non-stop (the connection will not be waterproof but you can rig some big zip lock bags to stop all but a dump of water from stopping the unit) Last, I purchased a Life proof Nuud case. This is completely waterproof and I can attest that it works as I have had that unit on deck and it was entirely under water a number of times.

The GSM is the Ipad that says Verizon or ATT . You dont need a contract, only the unit as then you will be able to see your location in the middle of nowhere.

Now for the disadvantage - 1) when the screen gets wet, to tap on a screen does not always go as planned 2) in a bouncing boat, trying to create a waypoint or other fine insertion using the screen is difficult 3) unless you have a good stand and mount for the ipad (a suction mount does not work in heavy seas) then your Ipad will be seen skipping across the deck a time or two.

As far as navigation goes, the main disadvantage is lack of connection to the autopilot. Yes, there are ways to make this happen, but in practicality at this time no. The advantage is that the navigation is as good as the software data. I have, when the chartplotter failed, used my Ipad to bring us into very difficult channels at night with success just using the iPad.
It works great until the battery runs down! I found this out using an IPlod and INavX entering Poole Harbor -- a rather complicated harbor -- at night without a regular plotter working at the helm -- and the battery ran out Oh, fun!

I use this device -- by the way, an IPlod I, not II -- as backup navigation, and it works ok. INavX will take and display all manner of data off your network via a Navico GoFree module -- without any fiddling -- bravo.

If you want more serious backup navigation, and the ability to use raster charts, think about OpenCPN on whatever platform you can get it work on.
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:59   #12
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
Yes but the OP said he preferred not to have that setup.
Chris
I think A64 and I are just clearing up the misinformation posted by Gecko in case any other (non OP) people are lurking.

For a modest cost the iPad/phone is a good solution but I agree with k9medic that using a pad/tablet etc in a dinghy is a PITA...

I make the case for the iPhone. I use mine all the time when visiting/crewing other boats. Also for those traveling far and wide the iPhone street mapping is awesome. It's given me turn by turn directions in every place I have been to ever (mumbai, delhi, Philippines etc...)

My iPhone is my swiss army knife.

If you have an android machine or prefer windows based tablet, peace out. Some folks want 5-6-7 inch screens on their phones. Different courses for horses. Whatever that means...
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Old 08-03-2015, 19:20   #13
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Consider how quick, consistent and powerful the GPS or "Location Service" is on whatever devices you're considering. My Sony XPeria tablet takes forever and forever to locate satellites and get a fix -- but it is theoretically waterproof. My Samsung Trend phone knows exactly where it is in about 10 seconds, but won't survive a dunking.

Maybe the point here is that some devices need an external boost, others don't. Some are better around water, others aren't.
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Old 08-03-2015, 20:27   #14
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

[QUOTE=Ex-Calif;1769358]I think A64 and I are just clearing up the misinformation posted by Gecko in case any other (non OP) people are lurking.

Ex Calif and A64 what you are posting about add ons etc is correct and helpful
to some but what I posted is fact not misinformation.You want to use an IPad stand alone what I said is what you need .
Chris
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Old 08-03-2015, 20:34   #15
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Re: Tablet Navigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
We have and love Navionics on IPhone and IPad.
You need to be aware that only the IPads with built in GPS are of any use as you do not need cell tower reception.
Chris
This is not true.

In the context of "stand alone" iPad you are correct.

So maybe not misinformation but misleading (to some).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post

Ex Calif and A64 what you are posting about add ons etc is correct and helpful
to some but what I posted is fact not misinformation.You want to use an IPad stand alone what I said is what you need .
Chris
My kid "abandoned" his Gen1. By buying a $99 bluetooth GPS I have complete functionality.

Someone may be reading and think they have to have a Gen2+ or SIM enabled IPad to get nav on iPad.

Peace brother...
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