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Old 15-03-2012, 07:43   #1
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iPad question

Can an iPad be used as a car GPS without it being connected to a 3G or 4G service? This would make it more useful in remote areas where there might not be any cellular connection. I would also not be racking up data downloads which would be charged to my account.

In other words, is there enough memory in an iPad to store all of the roads and points of interest in the US?

I am thinking of buying an iPad instead of a car GPS but did not want it to have to be connected to a cellular network for it to work.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:25   #2
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Re: iPad question

Yes and no. If you have an iPad with 3G/4G capability, it has a built in GPS. However, many of the apps that you'd use this with require a connection for the base maps. For example, TeleNav is a popular car navigation app, but you'll need a connection to the TeleNav server to get it to work. The iPad Maps app that comes standard will also do street navigation, but again you won't get the base map without a connection.

The Navionics app on the other hand, does work for on-the-water navigation without a 3G/4G/WiFi signal if you have local charts stored on you iPads internal memory.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:46   #3
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Re: iPad question

I bought the ELF gps dongle and it works great. No need for any 3G 4G signal whatsoever. There are many driving apps that have the maps preloaded you just need the gps signal, enter the elf. My iPad 2 is only wifi and with the elf works as a great chart plotter driving aid anywhere in the world. Been playing with it at work and it was working at 40,0000 ft 600 miles off the east coast of the US. It works best if you get either the extension or the Bluetooth version so it can have a clear view of the sky.

Enjoy

BTW I use the jeppesen plan 2 nav. It's free and the charts are pretty reasonable
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:34   #4
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Re: iPad question

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Originally Posted by svHannabel View Post
...
The Navionics app on the other hand, does work for on-the-water navigation without a 3G/4G/WiFi signal if you have local charts stored on you iPads internal memory.
Had a guest aboard a couple of years ago with an iPad running Navionics. Way cool. We tested it out on a run in Belize from Tobacco Caye to Glover's Reef atoll, worked great (definitely no connection of any kind on that route).
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:08   #5
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Re: iPad question

FIRST! BUY A WATERPROOF SLEEVE FOR THE IPAD REI stores have them for $20 bucks. A gallon size zip lock bag will also work. Put 1 tsp of rice wrapped in an empty tea-bag (or a desiccant pouch if you have one around) in with the ipad or you will corrode the plugs and switches very quickly. (my son repairs ipads so we rescued mine - but you should be careful with salt spray...)

I have INavX on my ipad. It has gps installed.

You download the charts you need while connected to wifi and then they are available while offline. We tested it against the RayMoron chart plotter on Ceil and it works great. I downloaded charts for St Maarten and Barts last year before I left Calif on vacation and the charts were really nice to have (you pay for non-usa charts of course).

Nice thing is you can carry the ipad anywhere on the boat and still see your boat/course, yes even in the loo.

The instrument view on iNavX is better than the $700 extension display we installed last year...

Building a course is easy, you can set anchor and proximity alarms as well. If you use the ipad for music while sailing and have anchor alarm or proximity alarms you can't help but hear it on your stereo speakers.

I use a separate app for ais which of course requires at least a wifi connection (if out of cell range) to an ais receiver (we use an vhf/ais dongle to the laptop (displays on openCPN) and then hook the iPad over bluetooth/wifi to the ais signal). This is a much better display than the ais display on the raymarine as it displays the ship data much more quickly (and it's touch sensitive so selecting a vessel is much faster and easier.

We sail primarily west coast between Catalina and San Diego and also SF Bay so marine traffic is a critical issue at all times - ais is killer (though we are in fog much of the time here so we also keep radar on - you wouldn't believe how fast and quiet a container ship moves in the fog).

One other thing that is very cool is if you download grib files for your sailing area you can overlay the wind data on your chart screen. the gribs of course are time sensitive but will usually have 5 days of forecasts included. You can page through the grib display in 3 hour 'pages' (while showing your chart at same time) so you can at least get a heads up on where the wind might be changing speed and direction.

Grib files are available from grib.us for free.

fyi - you can do all this stuff on the iphone as well-and you only pay for the app once - they share the app license.
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:36   #6
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Re: iPad question

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Originally Posted by Clipper4730 View Post
I bought the ELF gps dongle and it works great. No need for any 3G 4G signal whatsoever.
You don't need a signal for the internal gps to work.. The model that has 3G+ has the built in gps chip. The WIFI only model does not. For a bit more you can get the 3G+ w/gps and never activate the service if it suits you. It's handy to have that option in case it's needed though. I leave my service off unless needed, which is rare. When needed, sub for a month and immediately cancel. When the 30 days or bandwidth cap runs out you are not rebilled.
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:42   #7
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Re: iPad question

Here's a screen shot of the iNavX instrument and a chart (from their site). The image is the iphone display - ipad is larger.Chart:

Instruments:

forecast view with grib display:
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