Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-05-2015, 23:12   #1
Registered User
 
Just us's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oxnard, CA
Boat: Young Sun cc 43
Posts: 24
MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

I just purchased a Raymarine a98 MFD and am considering options of placement. I am leaning towards securing the a98 in the Nav station and using its wifi to connect to the ipad at the helm and elsewhere. I am Interested to hear others experience with connectivity and reliability between the MFD and ipad. I have an early 80s Taiwanese thick fiberglass boat with teak overlayed decks and want to be sure the ipad will be reliable at the helm. Any feedback would be appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Just us is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 01:17   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 70
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

I've got a Simrad system with the 'go free' wireless on ours. I put the head unit (MFD) at the (flybridge)helm and use ipad/iphone when downstairs. I do 99.99% of my cruising in the flybridge so wanted the actual unit where I [mostly] am in case of reboot or other electronic hiccup. That said - the only reliability issues I've had have been with the Simrad unit locking up after a few hours use (known fault - I haven't gotten around to updating its firmware fix yet).
__________________

__________________
shufti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 01:49   #3
Moderator
 
nigel1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 5,184
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

I have the Raymarine e125 at the nav station. While I myself do not use ipad or android, my partner has a Samsung Galaxy and that connects by wifi to the e125 with no problem.

If you have not done so already, download the apps soonest, as Raymarine have mentioned that they might not always be free to download.
__________________
Nigel
Beneteau 473
Manchester, UK
nigel1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 05:24   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Innisfail, North Queensland, Australia
Boat: Lagoon 380 #241
Posts: 298
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

We have a a77 at the nav station & iPad at the helm. Thought long & hard about this but are really happy with the setup. See photos below.

I understand that this is not what others would do but here are our reasons why we did it this way:

1) The iPad is mounted on a Ram mount, which is under our bimini so there is no problem with daylight viewing.

2) Have only recently installed the a77. We have used the iPad for navigation since we brought the boat back with it on its initial 350nm delivery trip some 4.5 years ago. We have found the iPad with Navionics app to be nothing but accurate around our cruising grounds & easy to use. It has also been updated well over the past 4 years with new features & it is so affordable in comparison. In our opinion the iPad app is so much easier to use as a chart plotter than the a77. NOTE: I just worked out that the Navionics iPad app gives me much more information about a past "track" than the a77 eg total distance, top speed, average speed, total time etc. On the a77 all I can do is see the old track on the chart, no details.

The Navionics app also supplies Tide & Weather information when in 3G/4G range, which is most of the time for us.

3) The reason we got the a77 was to integrate the existing ST60+ instruments & Auto Pilot into the same network & be visible & controllable on the one screen. Also to add a depth transducer that allowed us to see the bottom better when anchoring around the Great Barrier Reefs. As well as to integrate an AIS transponder into the network & on the a77. And to give us redundancy as a chart plotter.

4) The iPad has a much larger, higher res screen & is easier to remove from the helm & store for security than the a77. We have a LifeProof water proof case & a 12 volt power source there.

5) It is relatively easy to switch between Navionics app & a77 via wifi for checking & redundancy. The Raymarine Remote Control app allows just about full control of the boat on the iPad at the helm.

Some cons:
1) The need for as powerful as possible 12 volt charger for the iPad in chart plotter mode. We have found a Belkin 2.4amp charger does the job.
2) The a77 provides its own wifi connection without the facility to connect to our boats wifi router. So to access the weather & tide info & internet from apps in the iPad you need to switch wifi connections. Come on Raymarine!

Hope this helps.

Dave



__________________
Seabreeze, Lagoon 380 #241
Innisfail, North Queensland, Australia ... Cruising the waters of the Great Barrier Reef
www.sea-breeze.com.au
gspeak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 05:26   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,061
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

The MFD is waterproof and sunlight readable. The iPad isn't. You won't have any signal blocking issues either way.
__________________
SailFastTri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 08:50   #6
Registered User
 
Just us's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oxnard, CA
Boat: Young Sun cc 43
Posts: 24
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

Thank you all for the input.
Gspeak (Dave), your reasons for putting your a77 in the nav station and iPad at the helm are the same reasons I am considering that set up. I too am thinking long and hard about it and am currently doing all my installations and need to decide. I am upgrading all my late 80s B&G electronics with primarily Raymarine electronics and integrating via seatalk. A few more questions:

1. Does your a77 not have tide and current info via GPS? I have only had Garmin chart plotters and they all have that information.

2. Have you ever had an issue with the iPad and a77 not communicating, freezing up, etc? I plan to load navionics (I prefer their charts as well) onto my a98 and then use the iPad via raycontrol so to have radar, ais overlays, and split screen depth and chart on the iPad. Given this, I will need reliability. Also, I assume there is a setting on the iPad to prevent it from going into sleep mode?

3. My helm station is exposed to full sun. Do you anticipate glare issues with the iPad? In my ignorance I assumed Apple made their iPads glare free. If not, is there a setting, specific iPad, or cover that will assist with this? Also, are you happy with your LifeProof water proof case?

Thank you again for the assistance. By the way, this arrangement is an afterthought for me or I too would have purchased the smaller and less expensive a78


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Just us is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 09:32   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: FRance
Boat: Beneteau 49
Posts: 40
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

I just bought the latest ipad and use the Navionics software, It works fine , but the ipad image is not readable in the sun.
__________________
Princessoftides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 09:48   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Los Angeles Harbor
Posts: 118
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

Wifi is great and works well.... Until it doesn't. Raymarine is built to a much higher standard of reliability, hardware, and waterproof screens than an iPad. I love Navionics and their maps, I use them in my pad as a backup system. For me, a hardwired system at the helm, designed for a salt laden environment is the only way to go.
__________________
Rough Magic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 10:26   #9
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 861
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just us View Post
I just purchased a Raymarine a98 MFD and am considering options of placement. I am leaning towards securing the a98 in the Nav station and using its wifi to connect to the ipad at the helm and elsewhere. I am Interested to hear others experience with connectivity and reliability between the MFD and ipad. I have an early 80s Taiwanese thick fiberglass boat with teak overlayed decks and want to be sure the ipad will be reliable at the helm. Any feedback would be appreciated.
We upgraded our MFD last year (B&G Zeus Touch + 4G radar + GoFree WiFi) and initially installed it at the lower helm [which is also the nav station...]

Like Dave, we decided to use a waterproofed iPad at the cockpit steering station for many of the same reasons. We are cruising the inland waters of the 'Inside Passage' of Alaska and Canada for the next couple of years, and don't mind having the iPad in a waterproof case attached to a RAM mount on the binnacle under the bimini.

However, before we go offshore, our current plans are to install a [much more waterproof and always readable] MFD in the cockpit.

The WiFi via GoFree [which is also connected to our primary WiFi router] is very reliable [but we have an all fiberglass boat... YMMV on a metal boat...] We are typically pushing [maxing] the WiFi bandwidth to multiple [3-5] iOS devices because we typically have both chart plotter [with AIS overlay] and 4G radar screens showing simultaneously [in a split screen view...]

Some trade-offs for our current set-up [iPad outside] include:

Cons:
~Wiring it to 12VDC charging [the wiring is not built-in like an MFD so there is always that cord dangling around- and its connections aren't waterproof...]
~iPad screens seem to vary as to which orientation is best viewed with polarizing sunglasses... [we have 3 iPads and 2 iPhones and each is different...]

Pros: [iPad]
~Easy to move an iPad to the 'ideal' location
~Easy to remove for security [once the MFD is outside, it will be permanently installed, but we will have to remember to remove the keyed Navionics SD Card whenever the boat is unattended lest we loose our charts and upgrade capability...]
~Much cheaper and can be used for many things compared to a 2nd MFD

Have fun experimenting, and let us know what works for you!

Cheers!
__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 12:12   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Boat: lagoon 410 S2
Posts: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Bliss-Schip
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

I agree with all of the above. we have the raymarine e7 which allows thru the internal wifi to view and control the navionics software from the ipad, with the exception that you have to accept a change in course from the main unit while using using the autopilot.


the only thing that I would add is that 12v is not sufficient to maintain a charge while using the ipad for long periods of time. I solved this by installing a 110v outlet and using the ipad charger via the inverter. the other problem is that the ipad will shut down if the ipad gets too hot.
__________________
Bliss-Schip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 16:38   #11
Registered User
 
Just us's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oxnard, CA
Boat: Young Sun cc 43
Posts: 24
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

Thank you all for the ideas! I actually began this forum fairly confident in placing the MFD in the Nav station and the ipad at the Helm. I am now leaning the other way. My reasons in order of concern:

1. Glare on the ipad. My helm station is in the open and the ipad would have full exposure of sun and elements. I was surprised that the ipad was not glare proof. Does anyone know of a glare resistant ipad screen cover?

2. Ipad shutting down when hot. Have others had this experience? Mine would not only be on for long periods but potentially in direct sun light.

3. Any wifi/communication error. Like anything in wifi world it sounds like there are times the communication can fail. This can be because of not upgrading software, and then that can be a pain if on a longer voyage.

4. 12v charger not being enough to keep ipad fully charged when running multiple functions. Mine would be showing all navigation information.

Placing the ipad at the helm saved multiple other problems including: mounting the MFD at the helm, running cables to the MFD through my cockpit floor, security/theft, so if anyone still thinks that given my situation that mounting the ipad at the helm is a good idea please let me know.

Thank you!
__________________
Just us is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 16:56   #12
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 861
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just us View Post
Thank you all for the ideas! I actually began this forum fairly confident in placing the MFD in the Nav station and the ipad at the Helm. I am now leaning the other way. My reasons in order of concern:

1. Glare on the ipad. My helm station is in the open and the ipad would have full exposure of sun and elements. I was surprised that the ipad was not glare proof. Does anyone know of a glare resistant ipad screen cover?

2. Ipad shutting down when hot. Have others had this experience? Mine would not only be on for long periods but potentially in direct sun light.

3. Any wifi/communication error. Like anything in wifi world it sounds like there are times the communication can fail. This can be because of not upgrading software, and then that can be a pain if on a longer voyage.

4. 12v charger not being enough to keep ipad fully charged when running multiple functions. Mine would be showing all navigation information.

Placing the ipad at the helm saved multiple other problems including: mounting the MFD at the helm, running cables to the MFD through my cockpit floor, security/theft, so if anyone still thinks that given my situation that mounting the ipad at the helm is a good idea please let me know.

Thank you!
RE: iPad Overheating: Good point that Bliss brought-up. I had forgotten about the overheat issue, and yes, I have had it happen even in Alaska- when in direct sun. That alone may be enough to make you change your iPad location.

RE: 12VDC charger keeping up. You need a USB charger capable of outputting at least 2 amps per port and it will keep up fine. Many of the USB adapters are rated lower [often 1 amp] That is inadequate.

See this article for more details.

Cheers!
__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 18:15   #13
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

My two cents: put the Raymarine "marine grade" unit at the helm where you need something when the chips are down. You can't steer the boat from the nav station. You can still bring the iPad up to the helm and put it in a holder. You can also take it down to the nav desk when you want.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 18:42   #14
Registered User
 
Reefmagnet's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: puɐןsuǝǝnb 'ʎɐʞɔɐɯ
Boat: Nantucket Island 33
Posts: 2,735
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

I've got a Zeus 7 and GoFree ready to install. Initially the plan was to install the MFD at the helm, but for reasons of cable routing, security and exposure to weather I've opted to install at the nav station and use tablets as repeaters. The ideal solution would be to use a "rugged" tablet like a Toughpad which is weatherproof and outdoor viewable, but these types of tablets also have "cons" compared to standard tablets as well - of which cost is a major one! In our case, we have a recently retired iPad in a lifeproof case dedicated to the job of being the helm repeater (mounted on a RAM mount) and there is also a spare 7" tablet on board (with it's own nav software as well) + the missus and I both have tablets so there's no shortage of spares on board!

Tablets turned up to full brightness and run continuously off of a 2.4 amp supply have adequate brightness in anything other than direct sunlight as long as you can adjust the screen orientation for glare. Aside from the known issue of iPad shut down when overheated the other concern I have is the tendency for tablet touch screens not to work too well with wet or gloved fingers.

I should note that for long distance cruising, an MFD at the helm, especially if it is fixed in position, is probably wasted as little time is actually spent sitting there. On the other hand when day hopping and entering tight anchorages etc, the MFD at the helm is perfect. So it's all a compromise.
__________________
Reefmagnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-05-2015, 18:53   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bellingham
Boat: Nordic 44
Posts: 90
Re: MFD in the Nav station and ipad at the helm?

Just us,
One more thing, and it may be "just us" but our iPad at the helm running Naviomics goes to a very slow refresh rate under 2.5 knots. Essentially freezing while navigating to a mooring or slip in a new area at night or picking your way through a narrow channel. In those conditions one crew is stationed at the nav station for confirmation. Supposedly an external GPS processor such as bad elf will cure this.
We have 5.000 km above latitude 48 in the last two years with iPad at the helm. It needs more hardening and I am seriously considering a smaller lower end MFD for the helm. Still can't be comfortable with
all that money in the cockpit.

Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
japarker11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
helm, Ipad

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station? BigBeakie Multihull Sailboats 45 22-11-2014 20:12
ipad 3 as nav station PopPopEd Marine Electronics 6 15-02-2013 05:48
Raymarine C120 at Helm and Nav Station thomaswaier Marine Electronics 4 10-10-2009 19:16
Which Plotter to Use at Nav Station with C-120 at Helm? cbcat Navigation 6 28-08-2009 15:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:26.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.