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Old 14-08-2015, 13:59   #46
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Originally Posted by PHerzfeld View Post
I'm curious, what do you do when you're 30 miles offshore without a cell signal or wifi connection to be had and your iPad has no positional reference?
Many/most iPad's have a GPS. You do *NOT* need to be connected to any wifi or cellular network for the iPad to establish position. This is true of iPad air with 4G / LTE capability. It may be that iPads with wifi only do not have GPS. This would make sense as the GPS module is often integrated in the same module as the cell modem. Before purchasing any tablet to be used for navigation, it's important to establish that it does in fact have a hardware GPS reciever. Many do, but not all. Many appear to by using wifi or cell to establish location.
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Old 14-08-2015, 14:01   #47
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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I'm curious, what do you do when you're 30 miles offshore without a cell signal or wifi connection to be had and your iPad has no positional reference?
The cellular iPad model has a built in GPS antenna, which works independent of the cellular network. It works two thousand miles out.
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Old 14-08-2015, 14:18   #48
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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The cellular iPad model has a built in GPS antenna, which works independent of the cellular network. It works two thousand miles out.
The GPS included with the IPAD is a cellular enhanced GPS. Although it is a true GPS, it takes a long time to lock on if you are out of cell range (not an issue if the unit is left on).

Hmm Last time I checked, I couldn't buy anywhere near 3 IPADS for the price I spent on my $700 B&G Zeus2.
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Old 14-08-2015, 14:41   #49
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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I'm curious, what do you do when you're 30 miles offshore without a cell signal or wifi connection to be had and your iPad has no positional reference?
iPads with the 3G chipset include a true GPS. iNavX downloads and stores maps, and does not need a constant internet connection to work. With a WiFi interface to instrumentation, they do just fine as chart-plotters excepting their dimness in full sun and lack of physical buttons.

I use an iPad for route planning at home and in the cabin, and then transfer the routes to the chart-plotter/autopilot for execution. I don't find the iPad to be particularly useful for real-time navigation because it's not mounted, but I do use it as an instrument remote and chart-plotter remote when I'm not seated at the helm and on autopilot.

A built-in chart-plotter is necessary IMHO. Touch screens are handy but are not a replacement for physical buttons that you can use by feel. It's one simple click to take manual control of my autopilot--I'd hate to have to find a button for that on an touch-screen for example.

The user interface for iNavX is far from ideal--I'm constantly accidentally going back to the chart selection screen because they've mis-used the back screen button. I also find it perplexing that I frequently have to re-download charts that I've already downloaded.

Garmin's Blue Chart has a much better user interface than iNavX, but it is expensive for charts that aren't any better than the government charts you get free with iNavX. It's tiled chart downloader is interesting because you don't have to waste space on charts you don't need. It only interfaces with Garmin Chart-plotters, which is why I don't use it now that I'm on a B&G chart-plotter.

SeaNavUS also has a nice interface, they too charge for charts that are just NOAA vector data. The interface also doesn't present using the same symbology and colors as NOAA charts, so there's some interpretation you have to do. Also, if you receive an update, you have to re-download your maps, and in this case that means going to the area on the base map (Google Maps) and browsing around while it starts downloading the chart data. It all works fine until you don't have a network connection offshore.

None of the other chart-plotter apps on the iPad that I've used are worth a damn. and the rest of them download their maps in real time, which is ridiculous for an off-shore device.

When I'm in port, I use Google Earth a lot for trip planning because it's easy to calculate distances without creating a bunch of waypoints and routes.

The NMEA instruments app for iPhone and iPad is very useful. It's a little app that gives you digital instrumentation via your WiFi interface right on your phone. I use it when I'm away from the helm or when trimming to see if my trimming changes are making any difference.
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Old 14-08-2015, 14:46   #50
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
The GPS included with the IPAD is a cellular enhanced GPS. Although it is a true GPS, it takes a long time to lock on if you are out of cell range (not an issue if the unit is left on).

Hmm Last time I checked, I couldn't buy anywhere near 3 IPADS for the price I spent on my $700 B&G Zeus2.
Define "a long time to lock on". Time to first fix from a cold start is a minimum of 35 seconds regardless of the brand of GPS receiver. That's the time it takes to acquire ephemeris data from the satellite constellation. That time is defined by the GPS system, not the receiver. My iPad gets it's first fix in just over 35 seconds with the cell modem and wifi turned off, i.e. not using assisted GPS. That said, I agree with others here that an iPad is not really a good primary navigation tool. As a convenience and a backup, it (or another similar tablet running Android) is very nice. But it's not intended or built for the long term marine environment. Unfortunately, it seems our choices among equipment that *is* purpose designed for the marine environment has a number of other problems, which is the main point of this thread.
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Old 14-08-2015, 15:41   #51
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Did they ever fix that problem where you could only get depth in meters if you chose to display distance in KM? .
One the smaller 5xx or similar series, yes. However, it took 3 separate attempts to find a solution and only then by accidentally finding that the menu options had been changed from the operators manual to somewhere completely different. So I now have depths in meters and distance in NM. However, I did spend last summer doing some interesting speed / time / distance calculations in odd units, something I could have done without sailing one of the most crowded waters in the world.

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Old 14-08-2015, 15:54   #52
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Nothing but problems with Navico, wouldn't touch it again on a bet.
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Old 14-08-2015, 16:05   #53
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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I heard through the grapevine that Garmin has terrible service as well. In one case they refused to repair a Radar because it was off warranty and no longer made, yet its till sold by WM and Amazon. They advised the customer to simply purchase a new unit.

This combined with the lack of chart choices is why I went with B&G.
Garmin UK replaced a 4 year old chart plotter free of charge when it developed a blue screen of death display despite being well out of warranty, so very pleased with their service.

Updating a Garmin chart required a few e mails to them as the process described on their web site is less than clear but we got there in the end.



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Old 14-08-2015, 16:06   #54
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

So much has changed in marine electronics. Most for the worse.

My first chart plotter said "Raytheon" - it truly was military grade. Today's Raymarine was rescued from bancruptcy by Flir for chump change ($24 million plus paying off debt). I don't think there's any Raytheon left in Raymarine.

Navico is a financial rollup by a Swedish private equity company. I've yet to see a rollup of marine equipment companies work. They bought two of the great names in marine equipment Simrad(Robertson) autpilots and B&G sailing instruments. Private equity companies care about EBITDA and...err, EBITDA. It shows.

Which leaves Garmin as the likely victor. They have the money to do it right. The place is run by engineers. They also lead in general aviation where standards are much higher than boats.

I've had Garmin on my last two boats and had zero problems. Rock solid. Installation was easy with none of the network issues that still seem normal with other systems. They also keep improving the software - and the updates are available for free download from the internet. No need to call support. The recent update included lots for sailors. I don't miss B&G anymore.

As to the charts. I can't comment on the Baltic but the charts for the entire US and Bahamas cost $120. I find them the most consistently legible of any of the electronic charts. I find the type on many chartplotters almost impossible to read at some zoom levels. For redundancy, I also run Navionics on an Ipad but find more chart errors there than on the Garmin charts. Increasingly, i'm running Garmin's excellent Ipad app that also has Active Captain instead of Navionics.

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Old 14-08-2015, 16:50   #55
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
In some areas, Garmin may be fine, but in others is it lacking and others are (much) better.

...If only cruising the US and Bahamas, I'd say Garmin is pretty good, as they use the Explorer charts for the Bahamas.

….Garmin want's to own and control the whole pie. The other guys (Navico, Ray, Furuno) are happy to sell you the hardware, and let you buy your content (charts) from whomever you choose.

...but at least the chartplotters generally seem a bit clunky
Garmin is also horrible in Central America (although I don't know about Mexico).

CMap also licenses Explorer charts for the Bahamas and has the advantage of additionally licensing the Wavy Lines charts there too.

To be clear, the "other guys" don't let you buy your charts from whomever you choose - they usually license their cartography formats to one or two companies that sell charts. There really isn't much competition there, and the prices are still very high.

ALL chart plotters are clunky to anyone who has ever used a computer. This is their eventual downfall/evolution (depending on how the fat greedy bastards decide to play their endgame).

Using the newest, fanciest chart plotter available (pick your favorite brand) is like being back in 1992 using a computer. Some of them are like being back in 1982 using a computer. Some of the current production Furuno chart plotters are using Windows CE, which was released in 1996 - almost 20yrs ago!

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Old 14-08-2015, 17:05   #56
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Place your ipad in a Lifeproof case and it will be more waterproof, shock proof and more robust than your chartplotter. Lifeproof case is waterproof down to 1 meter.

For the price of one chartplotter, you can have the redundancy of three or four cellular gps capable ipads. No need to be on any network wifi or otherwise, since each is a stand alone unit. Just saying, there's more than one way to solve the problem. Under our bimini which is up all summer for shade, there's no issue with then screen brightness.

The only thing that can't be integrated on the ipad is wind speed and wind direction, we have raymarine taking care of those functions for us.
Ours is in a Lifeproof case. We still have problems under our bimini with visibility and glare. Not to mention usability outside at night in the rain, etc.

The current price of a GPS-enabled iPad in the US with enough memory to hold a modest amount cartography (middle model) is $730. I don't know where you shop, but this is about the same price as a chart plotter. If you don't want radar also, it is far less than many chart plotters. Since the iPad cannot do radar, it seems like your continual pushing on cost is far off base. Maybe you can do some actual research here?

Wind speed and direction is about the easiest thing to integrate on an iPad. We have that, depth, AIS, air temp and humidity, barometric pressure, rudder angle, pitch and roll, magnetic heading, and sea temperature integrated on ours. If we had sensors for the engine parameters and other things, they also would be integrated.

What cannot be integrated is radar and autopilot. When you speak of iPad as a solution, you are only talking about a simple chart plotter, and you ignore that you have integrated standalone systems for all the other bits. Then you try to make the case that the simple addition of a chart plotter to all of this is somehow complicated and the cause of all problems.

You simply don't understand what you are talking about here, and don't seem to know that. I would be very surprised if Dockhead is even in the same universe as you on this point of an iPad.

Why don't you take a stab at any of the questions I have asked you about your system before continually pushing it as a solution? Here is another: how does radar overlay work for you on your iPad? Maybe just answer that one, since you are conveniently ignoring all the others.

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Old 14-08-2015, 17:07   #57
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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The only thing that can't be integrated on the ipad is wind speed and wind direction, we have raymarine taking care of those functions for us.
What's the problem with wind speed and direction? INavX do this, and I bet other IPlod programs as well. One thing I can't complain about (as much as I would like to ) concerning IPads is display of data.
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:20   #58
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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SeaNavUS also has a nice interface, they too charge for charts that are just NOAA vector data. The interface also doesn't present using the same symbology and colors as NOAA charts, so there's some interpretation you have to do. Also, if you receive an update, you have to re-download your maps, and in this case that means going to the area on the base map (Google Maps) and browsing around while it starts downloading the chart data. It all works fine until you don't have a network connection offshore.

None of the other chart-plotter apps on the iPad that I've used are worth a damn. and the rest of them download their maps in real time, which is ridiculous for an off-shore device.
Have you looked around much for navigation apps? I don't know of ANY that download charts in real time. And while I haven't heard of SeaNavUS before, the other 5 navigation programs I have sound WAY better than what you describe for it. They certainly present the same symbology and colors as I am used to, and I don't need to re-download charts when the app is updated.

My favorite is SeaIQ, which is basically OpenCPN on iPad. It will use just about any chart, including ones you make yourself and CM93, download and overlay satellite photos when you do have a connection and store them locally, automatic download and overlay of grib files (or import your own), has Active Captain support, fantastic AIS support (better than our Vespar app), full instrumentation support, and much more. I can't begin to describe how much better this app is for our usage than all the others. And it is much cheaper than all the others (it is free if you only use US charts).

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Old 14-08-2015, 17:30   #59
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

I was not nearly as patient as Dockhead. My full suite of Simrad equipment lasted about 6 months before I removed it all and returned it to Navico for a refund for non-performance. Bug after bug after bug after bug. I reproduced, documented, and reported over 25, and they were unable to fix any of them in the 6 months I owned the equipment.

One thing I realized along the way is that the "Multi Function Display", or MFD, or "chart plotter" is a core part of the problem. And the even better thing that I finally realized is that I have absolutely no need or use for one. They are dead to me.

About 3 years ago I started using Coastal Explorer for all my charting, routing, and to drive my autopilot. From that point forward, all I ever used my MFD for was as a radar and fish finder display.

So in my new electronics setup, I have what I would call an integrated set of stand-alone devices, and it works really, really well.

- Coastal Explorer does all the charting, and supports one of the widest varieties of chart sources and manufacturers. I do all my planning, route creation, etc on it, and when under way it drives the auto pilot to follow my routes.

- All my instruments put data onto a combination of N2K and 0183, making the instrument data available to whoever wants to display or use it.

- The auto pilot gets nav info from CE, and instrument data from the network(s).

- My AIS tranceiver sends boat position reports to CE and two different radars

- There are two independent, stand alone radars, but they are linked to everything. AIS targets show on the radars, and when I lock onto a target with ARPA, that target shows up on my chart on Coastal Explorer.

- My fish finder is stand-alone, but networked so any other device can display my depth.

The only thing an MFD can do that this setup cannot is overlay the full radar return on my chart, but frankly I don't want that since it clutters up the chart. I prefer the clean icon and course/speed vector of the ARPA and AIS targets over an uncluttered chart.

Also, if you don't have an enclosed wheelhouse, which I know many do not, then finding a waterproof platform to run CE on can be a hassle, but a waterproof touch screen should do the trick....
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:58   #60
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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I was not nearly as patient as Dockhead. My full suite of Simrad equipment lasted about 6 months before I removed it all and returned it to Navico for a refund for non-performance. Bug after bug after bug after bug. I reproduced, documented, and reported over 25, and they were unable to fix any of them in the 6 months I owned the equipment.

One thing I realized along the way is that the "Multi Function Display", or MFD, or "chart plotter" is a core part of the problem. And the even better thing that I finally realized is that I have absolutely no need or use for one. They are dead to me.

About 3 years ago I started using Coastal Explorer for all my charting, routing, and to drive my autopilot. From that point forward, all I ever used my MFD for was as a radar and fish finder display.

So in my new electronics setup, I have what I would call an integrated set of stand-alone devices, and it works really, really well.

- Coastal Explorer does all the charting, and supports one of the widest varieties of chart sources and manufacturers. I do all my planning, route creation, etc on it, and when under way it drives the auto pilot to follow my routes.

- All my instruments put data onto a combination of N2K and 0183, making the instrument data available to whoever wants to display or use it.

- The auto pilot gets nav info from CE, and instrument data from the network(s).

- My AIS tranceiver sends boat position reports to CE and two different radars

- There are two independent, stand alone radars, but they are linked to everything. AIS targets show on the radars, and when I lock onto a target with ARPA, that target shows up on my chart on Coastal Explorer.

- My fish finder is stand-alone, but networked so any other device can display my depth.

The only thing an MFD can do that this setup cannot is overlay the full radar return on my chart, but frankly I don't want that since it clutters up the chart. I prefer the clean icon and course/speed vector of the ARPA and AIS targets over an uncluttered chart.

Also, if you don't have an enclosed wheelhouse, which I know many do not, then finding a waterproof platform to run CE on can be a hassle, but a waterproof touch screen should do the trick....
We also have CE and an external daylight-viewable waterproof touch screen and agree that this is a great system, with the exception of radar overlay. We have had it for the past 8 years or so. However, it is a very costly system compared to a chart plotter, and uses much more power - even more cost and power when you add a separate radar.

But your points are valid, with the exception that some chart plotters offer sailing features that CE doesn't - although you can get those with Expedition and other programs (again, much more $$$).

And to be clear, CE doesn't offer autopilot control - correct? If it does, then I have missed this and want to know.

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