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Old 13-02-2018, 09:54   #16
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I use the charts and tides app on my I-pad as a back-up chart plotter. It shows the Active captain info (which I find very helpful) I used Ram mounts to mount at the helm. Two things:I am not happy with the battery time I get from my 32 gig Ipad, but I am installing a USB port at the helm this year.
The real problem is that several times it has overheated and I needed to put it out of the sun below to cool off. I could see this being a problem if it is your only chartplotter.
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Old 13-02-2018, 09:57   #17
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I cruised 2,000 miles of southern Alaska last summer (2017) using an ipad (w/GPS chip) and Navionics. It was often out of cell service and yet more accurate than chart plotters on a couple other boats. I did not need an external gps. Simple is good.

I used a mount on the binnacle guard, or propped it up on the seat, or held it in my hand.

There is a version of OPEN CPN for Macintosh. I used that on a laptop, sometimes down below at the nave station, sometimes in the cockpit. It too is a wonderful, accurate, and easy-enough to use program. I had a GPS puck attached to my laptop.

I liked having the two entirely separate system confirming my location, which they always did. If they had disagreed, I would have trusted the iPad and Navionics. One friend had a disagreement between Navionics and his very expensive chart plotter while running between rocks a day south of Rocky Pass. That was the wrong choice.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:13   #18
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Steady, I use a simple iPad 2017 32 gig, the cellular version. I works very well for my use with iNavX. I carry all USA charts both coasts and all US territories, downloaded free from NOAA and purchased charts for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. I have only used it 90 miles off shore but that is well beyond cell phone range. Sunlight visibility is better in landscape than portrait orientation. I have a soft bimini and don’t have any problem with visibility. I usually put the screen to sleep when I’m not actively using it and the battery life is more than adequate. Recharging by lightning port from 12 volt or inverter is no problem.

The 2017 has the same outside dimensions as my older iPad2 had but the LifeProof case doesn’t fit because the screen size is larger. LifeProof still doesn’t have a case for this model. Before you buy check whatever case manufacture your prefer to be sure they have a case for your iPad model.
Good info! Good to know. Thanks for the tip about the case not fitting.

I read your other comments too. Thanks for adding them all to this FAQ discussion.

You asked if I am using Procreate. No, not yet. I am impressed by what I have seen, as it appears to replace Photoshop on the iPad Pro demos I have watched. I hope to use it in the future with the Apple Pencil, as I love to draw and do not like to do so with my current rig (my current stylus on my current ipad is too crude/broad tip stylus) and my Wacom type large pad that I attach to my MacbookPro is in a box, since I have been using my iPad for 90 percent of the time I am on the net reading, writing, etc. I do use an external Bluetooth keyboard with my current iPad, as I type faster that way. . I also want to get LumaFusion for video editing in the future. Years ago (prior to HD video) I spent $5,000 on a dedicated PC "editing workstation" for video editing, and just a couple of years later literally threw it away (obsoleted by the introduction of HD video cams etc.). I would like to use a simple (but robust) app like LumaFusion to do some simple videos in the future.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:14   #19
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Our boat has Raymarine MFDs (E80&E120Classic, upgrading this spring to Axiom9&12PRO) but I do use my iPad Air with Navionics for close-in work such as anchoring with the SonarCharts. Haven't gotten a waterproof case yet

(SnowLizard made one I liked that was easy to insert/remove with an extra battery and solar panel charging, but not for the Air... I keep checking their site).

You definitely need to keep the iPad plugged in to power, and make sure the charger is Apple-compatible for the full charging rate of the iPad.

There can be times that the display is hard to read in bright sunlight - one thing the old Raymarine display do extremely well was/is daylight visibility.

I have also had iPad/iPhones shut down due to excessive temperature after the sun beat down on the display for too long. If you can keep it shaded for visibilty you may be all right, but when the sun is low enough to get past the bimini and still strong enough to heat things up, you may have to shut the device off, put it in a shady spot and do without until it cools down. Doesn't appear to do any lasting damage, but I haven't had it happen too often.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:17   #20
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

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Originally Posted by JohnEasley View Post
We sold the iPad with the boat so I can't be really specific. Best recollection: We dedicated the iPad to navigation so it only had a small handful of apps other than the basic load. Garmin BlueChart (with the incredibly useful ActiveCaptain) and Navionics+ plus a couple of small apps. The Garmin charts encompassed all of Florida and Georgia and the western Bahamas. The ActiveCaptain data is something like a 100 mb download. The Navionics charts covered Florida out past Dry Tortugas, plus inland waterways and lakes, and the western Bahamas. As I recall, we were only using about half of the 16 gb memory.
Thanks for adding that info too.
Since I have not yet downloaded nav apps and charts to an iPad, I was not sure how much space they may take.

I would most likely want the USA Coastal charts. But I would like to be able to have the flexibility to add charts for other areas when I get to crew on a boat far from the USA.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:19   #21
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
Oh, and I'm using iNavX. Currently have Navionics for all of Canada loaded; it uses just over 2G.
Thanks for adding your several comments and tips. Helpful to know that stuff. I like the idea of a USB power port on a nav pod or bulkhead mounted. I think boats of the future will have that feature, just as cars added them.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:24   #22
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

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Originally Posted by KRMS View Post
We are in Europe and have the large iPad (cellular but with no sim in it) with the Navionics chart app on it. It works well even in tight rocky anchorages. Last year we sailed round Britain and used the Antares large scale charts and were able to get into some incredible places. We have a plotter at the wheel so the iPad is an auxiliary system and we havenít bothered with a waterproof case (keeping it down below of tucked well under the canopy away from any rain/spray). One annoying thing is that because the Navionics software is different for iPhones to iPads weíve ended up buying it for both. Useful to have it on a phone when meeting people who want to tell you where a great mooring is. This even more annoying as the chart plotter also has Navionics charts so we are buying them three times. The automatic routing on the Navionics software is great. Very easy to get estimates of passage lengths when planning.
Thanks for your response with details too.
Good points about the need to buy charts for each device.
I will look into Navionics and others more deeply in the future.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:26   #23
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I have a wifi only ipad Air 2 that I use with iNavX. I get the GPS over Wifi from my Vesper 800 AIS. It works well.

I originally tried Navionics for the navigation app. At the time, about a year ago, it was not able to accept GPS position over Wifi. I was able to return it and get the iNavX.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:29   #24
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaqun View Post
I use the charts and tides app on my I-pad as a back-up chart plotter. It shows the Active captain info (which I find very helpful) I used Ram mounts to mount at the helm. Two things:I am not happy with the battery time I get from my 32 gig Ipad, but I am installing a USB port at the helm this year.
The real problem is that several times it has overheated and I needed to put it out of the sun below to cool off. I could see this being a problem if it is your only chartplotter.
Thanks for adding your experience using the ipad. That leads me to ask another FAQ question, for anyone to answer below:

_________

FAQ 11 How is the Battery Life if Using iPad in Cockpit during Day and with GPS use or External Bluetooth GPS?
Do you see a serious drop in battery life if using the iPad for GPS assist nav apps? Does using the Bluetooth GPS device cause your iPad to have much shorter battery life while using the nav app?

Anyone feel free to answer this question.

_________

I generally get very long time use (many hours, but never counted) using my iPad daily (and I bought it new in Jan 2014). But, when I turn on Bluetooth, the battery goes down much more quickly. So, I wonder if using an iPad for navigation in the cockpit WITH Bluetooth turned on for accessing the separate GPS (Garmin GLO or similar) would also cause the battery life to be much shorter, along with probably having the brightness turned up high to see during the daylight use (most typical).

This is why I wonder about the advantages of the built-in GPS chip (rather than the use of a separate GPS bluetooth device).

I do like the idea of having a USB charging port on the helm station (pedestal) or on the bulkhead of the cockpit, but I also wonder about keeping those protected from salt spray, rain, etc. I suppose there is a way, and compromises have to be made and solutions found.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:40   #25
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Dolson View Post
I cruised 2,000 miles of southern Alaska last summer (2017) using an ipad (w/GPS chip) and Navionics. It was often out of cell service and yet more accurate than chart plotters on a couple other boats. I did not need an external gps. Simple is good.

I used a mount on the binnacle guard, or propped it up on the seat, or held it in my hand.

There is a version of OPEN CPN for Macintosh. I used that on a laptop, sometimes down below at the nave station, sometimes in the cockpit. It too is a wonderful, accurate, and easy-enough to use program. I had a GPS puck attached to my laptop.

I liked having the two entirely separate system confirming my location, which they always did. If they had disagreed, I would have trusted the iPad and Navionics. One friend had a disagreement between Navionics and his very expensive chart plotter while running between rocks a day south of Rocky Pass. That was the wrong choice.
Thanks for adding your detailed comment.

Thanks for mentioning your cruise with it and the accuracy and use of cell gps. I also like the idea of a built-in GPS chip, assuming it does not draw as much power as a Bluetooth chip in the iPad (see my comment up above about FAQ11).

I also have a MacBook Pro, and have thought of having the nav software on it too. But, for now my primary interest is to have a device I can use in my hands or in a sleeve or case in the cockpit (not just down below). I would not want to use my MacBook Pro in a cockpit. And, if I am crewing for someone (as I intend to do), I want to travel light (smaller iPad) and not have to use the limited saloon table space etc. If I were on my own boat, I would probably use both as you have.

I will check into the OpenCPN for Mac later.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:48   #26
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

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Originally Posted by Redline452 View Post
Our boat has Raymarine MFDs (E80&E120Classic, upgrading this spring to Axiom9&12PRO) but I do use my iPad Air with Navionics for close-in work such as anchoring with the SonarCharts. Haven't gotten a waterproof case yet

(SnowLizard made one I liked that was easy to insert/remove with an extra battery and solar panel charging, but not for the Air... I keep checking their site).

You definitely need to keep the iPad plugged in to power, and make sure the charger is Apple-compatible for the full charging rate of the iPad.

There can be times that the display is hard to read in bright sunlight - one thing the old Raymarine display do extremely well was/is daylight visibility.

I have also had iPad/iPhones shut down due to excessive temperature after the sun beat down on the display for too long. If you can keep it shaded for visibilty you may be all right, but when the sun is low enough to get past the bimini and still strong enough to heat things up, you may have to shut the device off, put it in a shady spot and do without until it cools down. Doesn't appear to do any lasting damage, but I haven't had it happen too often.
Thanks for mentioning all you did.

As for the heat problem (due to iPad in sun), I understand. Good to know (as you have pointed out and others above you mentioned.

My idea is to have an easily removable piece of silver Mylar (or Reflectix cut to shape as a cover or sleeve) made to cover the iPad to block sun from it (to lower radiant heat absorption) if in hot sunny weather and IF the iPad is kept in an exposed position (rather than under a dodger) if it is turned on always. But, since I have not yet used one like that on on a boat as you have, I have nothing to show or try yet. Perhaps others will chime in with their solutions or ideas too.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:51   #27
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

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Originally Posted by rthompsona View Post
I have a wifi only ipad Air 2 that I use with iNavX. I get the GPS over Wifi from my Vesper 800 AIS. It works well.

I originally tried Navionics for the navigation app. At the time, about a year ago, it was not able to accept GPS position over Wifi. I was able to return it and get the iNavX.
Thanks for adding your experience too. Very helpful to know about that limitation of Navionics. I suppose we all have to check on the lastest limitations of apps, and sometimes those are not explicitly stated by manufacturers selling things or by users who don't encounter the problems. Of course things change and updates can change things, but it is good to know to check on it.
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Old 13-02-2018, 10:56   #28
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

FAQ 12. Has your iPad overheated and shut down while in constant use in the cockpit (possibly due to sun heating it)?

If so, report and if you have found a solution or issue, describe that too.

Reason: two members have mentioned their iPad got hot, with one mentioning it overheated to the point of shut down. If others are experiencing this, let's consider cause and solutions.
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Old 13-02-2018, 11:16   #29
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I have been using tablets or previously laptops for all electronic nav since I started with it. I use windows because I prefer the nav programs and charts available. I also use an android device as a backup because it is small, self contained and very cheap.
Over time I have found the following;

Memory size. make sure when you start out memory is no more than 50% full because system updates and software additions will eat into it. Actual size depends very much on the programs. Windows needs 64Gb but Android is OK with 16 as long as you only use it for nav.

On board tablet GPS works fine. Never had a problem with it BUT no backup. I like to have 2 sources of GPS position at all times (plus at least 1 non-gps)
Ideally these days you need to see AIS data on the nave screen. Bluetooth networking is reliable if you can get it that way but it is a major plus

Waterproofing. Fixed chart plotters are waterproof portables are not (at least sensibly priced ones are not). Good waterproof enclosure are available but make things awkward to use. I only take tablets above deck in good weather but have them arranged so I can see them from the companionway. If I had to regularly use one on deck I would want a second unit below deck because the deck on WILL at some point get trashed or go overboard. I have also found that mounting tablets vertically on a magnetic mount is way better than on the chart table. If you run things on a flat serfice they are much more prone to corrosion and damp creeping in through the vents. Also more likely to get thrown around the cabin.

A waterproof separate keyboard is a nice extra if you sail anywhere cool enough to want gloves on. Also because wet fingers often don't work touchscreens

You don't need super fast processors. Even the most basic machines will outperform a chart plotter which has about the same power as a basic small tablet.

Ports. Micro ports are very fragile and cables frequently fail. I like at lest 1 full size USB.

Data storage. Anything can crash, you need hard storage for charts and software if you are going to reload them. If you plan to cruise away from the nightly marina you will have no internet so will have to rely on on board backups. A portable hard drive or stick works well but need a USB port. Bluetooth is just to slow for charts. Also enables you to download stuff at an internet cafe and take it back to the boat.

With a little care I have found this to be a perfectly workable solution but you should have some redundancy. Hope this helps even though it is not directly on iPads. Choose whatever you are comfortable with. I find the price of iPad ridiculous when I can get a far superior business class 2 in 1 as a refurbished unit for under $400
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Old 13-02-2018, 11:22   #30
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I have an older iPad (3G - Retina display, internal GPS), so not what youíre considering. Similar size though, and Iíve used mine for a number of years.

I use it as a secondary to my main plotter, which is a simple handheld garmin (76CSx). Itís mounted in a waterproof case, via a ram mount, under the dodger. I run iNavx with Navionics charts. Just upgraded chartset to include all of Canada/USA. I also access tides/currents info via another app (eyetides), get weather when in data range. And I also use it to mirror my radar and chart table mounted Garmin (721) into the cockpit via wifi. And now I use it to monitor my batteries, linking to my Victron controller vis bluetooth. So my iPad is a very handy tool indeed!

I like the screen size and versatility. Negatives are the visibility in sunlight and power demands. It is hard to see in direct sun, so viewing under shade is best. Mine will also overheat and shut down if left in direct sun for a while.

The use of the GPS seems to take a lot of power, as does the screen intensity. If I turn the screen to the lowest usable level, and allow the pad to go to sleep when not actively in use, it will last through a day. But battery management is definitely required. I keep planning to buy a case which allows the unit to be plugged in while in use.

What elseÖ

You donít need to have a data plan, but activating the iPad might require one; at least this was the case with my wifeís iPhone.

I access Active Captain via Bluechart. I only use Bluechart for this purpose, and it is still working on my iPad. I also access Waterway Guide via their app (similar to AC).

Hope this helps...
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