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Old 25-09-2011, 12:33   #1
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iPad for a Chartplotter

Has anyone used an IPAD for navigation? I've heard talk around the marina that combined with the free or low cost chart programs the IPADs work great. Plus, they can be used for music, internet, vidoes, etc. I suppose they can't interface with radar or depth sounders?

What are the pros and cons?
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Old 25-09-2011, 13:19   #2
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Re: IPAD for a Chartplotter

iPads have been discussed in many threads on Cruisers Forum. So a search of posts could helpful. iPads can be interfaced to all sorts of NMEA data instruments ..

iMux - The Brookhouse NMEA 0183 Wifi multiplexer

Or check out DigitalYacht as they have a couple of WiFi/iPad compatible devices (AIS receiver, multiplexer).

iPad 3G has a built in independent GPS receiver. There are many marine navigation apps in the Apple iTunes app store with different functions. All can be used in parallel.

The cons are they are hard to read in direct sunlight, without some protective case they are not weather proof, battery life is reduced when using the built in GPS receiver.
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Old 25-09-2011, 13:27   #3
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Re: IPAD for a Chartplotter

YUP! Check my avatar
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Old 25-09-2011, 13:45   #4
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Re: IPAD for a Chartplotter

Quote:
Originally Posted by GPSNavX View Post
iPads have been discussed in many threads on Cruisers Forum. So a search of posts could helpful. iPads can be interfaced to all sorts of NMEA data instruments ..

iMux - The Brookhouse NMEA 0183 Wifi multiplexer

Or check out DigitalYacht as they have a couple of WiFi/iPad compatible devices (AIS receiver, multiplexer).

iPad 3G has a built in independent GPS receiver. There are many marine navigation apps in the Apple iTunes app store with different functions. All can be used in parallel.

The cons are they are hard to read in direct sunlight, without some protective case they are not weather proof, battery life is reduced when using the built in GPS receiver.

I checked out the Brookhouse iMux, the cost is $349 plus $49 shipping. That adds substantially to the total cost. However, I would need only the iPad and the charts to get started. Then, add the iMux later to get AIS. I am just trying to compare the total cost and features with off the shelf Garmin.

I'll search the forum as you suggested.

Thanks,
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Old 28-09-2011, 09:36   #5
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1. I am using the iPad for planning and sea navigation, on the application iNavx. The charts are bought through a subscription with X-Traverse, and then downloaded directly to the iPad. But the best thing is actually the price of the charts (Navionics), I bought the whole of South Amarica + The Caribbean for 40US$, all of the USA for 35US$ and all of the Mediterranean for 60US$. On top of that the application/subscription (10US$/year) gives me direct access to tides/current tables and import of grib files (need to be connected to i-net for import of a 7 day gribfile).
2. In addition I use it for landnavigation with Navfree USA, Navfree Itally, no internet connection needed, maps are all there, and the iPad will tell you where you are with the independant GPS.
3. The iPad charger runs on 110 and 220 volt, a converter from 12 volt will do the trick.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:18   #6
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Re: iPad for a Chartplotter

I'm just starting to research iPad for navigation, so this thread is helpful. Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:46   #7
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Quote:
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I'm just starting to research iPad for navigation, so this thread is helpful. Thanks!
Enjoy, remember you want the 3G model with independant GPS, or you can buy the add-on gps http://bad-elf.com/products/gps/ . You might consider finding an iPad1 if you got no need for the camerafunction.
Yell if you run into a waterproff stand, that incorporate access for the charger/dock connection. I am writing this while my iPad is in a zip-lock plasticbag, works fine incl touch-screen and finger zoom, but not really looking professional LOL.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:26   #8
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Re: iPad for a Chartplotter

Thanks Selene. I LOVE gadgets, and this one looks like it would do the trick for what I need. I think I'll just go ahead and get the 3G. Also, (I'm too lazy to search), but I'll bet that, either wirelessly or using a cable, the iPad could interface with my autohelm to "steer a course"?? Will it automatically go around other boats, rocks and islands while I'm napping? hahahaha...

I owned motor boats 20 years ago before all this new electronic stuff was invented, so I'm on a big "electronics" learning curve in addition to my "learning to sail" curve - WOW, I must love a challenge...

Thanks again for the good advice. I'll let you know about that waterproof thingy. Don't worry about your plastic bag looking professional - the iPad waterproof cases I've seen are between $79 and $380!!! You could buy a boating accessory with the money you're saving.
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Old 10-10-2011, 15:01   #9
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I have not gone that far, i am sure it will not communicate with my autohelm which is a Cetec Benmar haha. But I understand it will hook with most electronic gadgets,
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Old 10-10-2011, 15:04   #10
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Re: iPad for a Chartplotter

Both AIS and Autopilot can be interfaced to iPad..

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Old 10-10-2011, 16:30   #11
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Re: iPad for a Chartplotter

I use Navionics on my I-phone and I am very happy with it.

Link to Navionics Mobile

Simple and effective.

I think the program is only $10 for the entire US map set.

I use an armband sleeve and wrap it around the binnacle to keep it steady, stable and mostly water resistant.

I use it on the Chesapeake Bay regularly.

Thus far the charting has been very accurate and dependable.

Keep in mind, they caution the user that the software is "...not to be used for navigation ..." The standard CYA clause.

I have several images of Tracks and waypoints posted on my blog.
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Old 10-10-2011, 16:48   #12
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Re: iPad for a Chartplotter

While you could, I think a windows tablet would be much better. A lot more choices for programs you could use to navigate and a lot more you can do with it. I've used iPad's, android tablets and windows tablets. I'd say the Android and iPad are quite similar and ultimately can do about the same - the advantage I see to the android tablet we have vs. an ipad is the connectivity options (usb, memory card..etc - cost too). Then there's the windows tablet which runs full Windows 7 (I'm actually running a preview of windows 8) and allows you to run any windows programs, so its a full fledged PC in a tablet case. A little heavier than an ipad or android tablet, but I think the advantages are far better.

With the ipad (or android) you are limited by the applications that are made for them, vs all the programs that are available already for windows, plus with USB ports, far more devices available as well.

Just something to think about. Everyone always seems to lean towards the iPad first, but there are a lot of other options and while the iPad isn't a bad option, it isn't always the best.
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