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Old 03-02-2012, 15:31   #1
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iphone as positional instrument pod?

Seems to me we are getting ripped off these days.

Any modern smartphone has a compass, gyros, accelerometers, gps, and can serve as a wifi hotspot or connect to a PC server program. Complete instrument pod for $200 with low power requirements and a remote touch screen display as well.

Why is Raymarine charging $800 for a sealed box that only speaks an antiquated serial protocol?

Thinking about writing a little program to let an phone 4 serve as NMEA or SeaTalk device... anyone heard of it being done before I spend the weekend on it?
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:46   #2
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

And don't forget the smartphone is also overpriced!
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Old 03-02-2012, 16:40   #3
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

AuroraGH,

Iphone and Ipad are hard to see in the direct sun.
The displays on Raymarine and Garmin are direct sun viewable and also talk to a radar which is important to most.
There is no iphone, Ipad to radar links at this time

Helm Station
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Old 03-02-2012, 16:46   #4
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Anybody want to chance their life to a Smart phone ??? not this child never happen!! I don't even trust Plotters just my 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 03-02-2012, 16:56   #5
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
AuroraGH,

Iphone and Ipad are hard to see in the direct sun.
The displays on Raymarine and Garmin are direct sun viewable and also talk to a radar which is important to most.
There is no iphone, Ipad to radar links at this time

Helm Station
I think you've misunderstood. I refer to overpriced sensor parts like this: Raymarine Marine Electronics - Smart Heading Sensor

An iphone with its sensors mounted in a fixed position on the boat could replace that and provide secondary GPS plus networking and secondary telemetry display besides, not to mention additional autopilot controls.

After my coastal voyage from Seattle to San Diego with all new gear, I'm pretty disappointed in what passes for "acceptable" in marine electronics. Looking to cook up alternatives with cheaper off the rack parts and it seems that the amount of telemetry in a modern phone is pretty amazing and in some cases better, all cases cheaper, than what is on the "marine" market.
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:00   #6
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

The actual price of a iphone is actually closer to $800. It's only when purchased as part of a cell phone plan that the price comes down to something like $200.

Simple solution that I've come up with is a less expensive Android phone ($135) and VNC remote desktop to the netbook connected to my Nexus network. I now have an effective wireless Multicontrol instrument.
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:03   #7
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Bob and Connie: I too like marine gear and paper charts too, but I think the argument has merit. You can buy two, three, or four smart phones and/or tablets for the cost of one decent chart plotter, and the non-marine stuff is very useful for other things. Many people already have and use these devices for other things, and they have proven to be amazingly durable. Frankly, I think in general consumer grade electronics are much better built than marine products, which have much less testing, much smaller r&d departments, etc. For example, my daughter dropped a smart phone with an already cracked screen into the toilet, fished it out, dried it overnight, and was using it the next day. I don't know how many times I've dropped my phone onto hard surfaces, had the battery fly out, and sometimes have had to tape the thing back together, but they always seem to work. Today's consumer electronics are pretty durable.
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:04   #8
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

AuroraGH,

No doubt the iphone & ipad are amazing and I use them myself aboard all the time, but they are not water proof and just one or two salt water spashes will kill one fast.

They are great back ups or inside nav stations, but not recommended outside.

As you can see from my previous post that I am not talking out my ACE.

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Old 03-02-2012, 17:15   #9
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Folks have been sailing the oceans of our world for a long time without electronics !! SAFELY !! smart phones are fine to PLAY with but if you learn to navigate without electronics you will never be LOST no matter what happens, I mean what if the Gov has to shut down GPS all of the plotters now on board even my vessel will be worthless !! I think those of us who still like to do things the hard way LOL will still know where we are !! just my 2 cents !! Bob and Connie
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:16   #10
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

I have an Iphone w/Navex installed. Use it all the time - I love it!
Also have the app that shows where the ships are, which way & how fast they're going, Drag Queen anchor watch works great, weather & tides - all kinds of goodies!
I have to agree about the overprice of so called marine electronics. I used to have a wheelhouse full of them when I was commercial fishing - about $50k worth. Now I'm keeping it simple - Iphone, gps, radar, vhf and of course the same compass, sextant & chronometer I've had for 40 years!
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoduck
I have an Iphone w/Navex installed. Use it all the time - I love it!
Also have the app that shows where the ships are, which way & how fast they're going, Drag Queen anchor watch works great, weather & tides - all kinds of goodies!
I have to agree about the overprice of so called marine electronics. I used to have a wheelhouse full of them when I was commercial fishing - about $50k worth. Now I'm keeping it simple - Iphone, gps, radar, vhf and of course the same compass, sextant & chronometer I've had for 40 years!
What is the name of the app that shows where ships are.
Thank you...
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:28   #12
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
they are not water proof and just one or two salt water spashes will kill one fast.
Not really a problem either. Turn Your iPhone Into an Underwater Camera With a RainBallet Case - The Next Web

$40

But I think you still think I'm going to use it as a phone. I'm not. I'm gonna bolt it to the boat and teach it how to spit seatalk telemetry and avoid those overpriced black boxes. I'll mount it by the companionway as an autopilot buddy.

I guess I should mention that I write software for the things and I have a shoebox full of them, all models. Sacrificing one to use as a compass/second GPS, heel angle indicator/autopilot course adjustor is no big deal for me. Mostly, I'm trying to avoid giving Raymarine any more money.
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:50   #13
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

I have an Android Smartphone with Navionics charts installed. I would use it after

I lose my paper charts, hbc, plotter, etc.
I lose my radar
I lose my chartplotter
I lose my netbook with OpenCPN and BU-353
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Old 03-02-2012, 17:51   #14
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjmin View Post
What is the name of the app that shows where ships are.
Thank you...
Marine traffic - but there may be delays in the posting of information. Read the disclaimer on their web site.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:31   #15
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Re: iphone as positional instrument pod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjmin View Post
What is the name of the app that shows where ships are.
Thank you...
Howdy Ben!
It's called - SHIP FINDER
I cant remember if it's free or not.
Fair winds,
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