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Old 24-03-2016, 14:03   #1
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"VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

Hi!

Trying to evaluate the best way to view what is going on on the PC inside the boat, from the helm.

In effect, I need to view and control the navigation laptop from the helm on a tablet.

It is not pure remote desktop I want, rather a screen duplicator and on-screen keyboard and mouse movements converted to the tablets touchscreen.

I tried a few and read a few reviews online. Still not satisfied so why not ask the sailing community?

The ones I tried, I could control the mouse and type using the tablets on screen keyboard (the one that pops up when you click in fields).

The reason for all this is to be able to use some licensed charting software I got running on the PC only. And a Hewlett-Packard EliteBook is not waterproof...at all So won't bring it out to the helm.

I haven't given this track up, another way, perhaps more common a few years back, would be to have a water proof display + water proof keyboard and mouse, but I think simpler is better so not really an option, and want to avoid cabling at all cost.

Perhaps better if it can all be done via bluetooth? Perhaps dumb to employ the tablet's wifi, as I might want to be able to receive AIS wifi data over that NIC.

As a side note, I work with IT, but using a Sony XPeria Z2 to do this is not part of my daily routines at the medium sized corporation...

Cheers
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Old 24-03-2016, 14:26   #2
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

What OS on the downstairs machine?


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Old 24-03-2016, 14:54   #3
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

While it took some trial and error I have managed to get opencpn on my win7 laptop to be displayed on my iPad using VNC with no modem or wifi.. (Uses ad hoc networks) While i have stumbled upon some ability to control the computer from the iPad, I prefer to control it from the laptop and mouse. I'm pretty sure there is a greater control capacity thru the viewer, but I haven't pursued it. There are viewing issues such as the laptop screen is wider than the iPad screen, where to place the dashboard, etc.

I have found this to be a great solution, I can go below and redraw a route in seconds and have it at the helm instantly. Great for entering anchorages and the like. When enroute it sits on the table next to the helm where I can monitor SOG, COG and bearing to mark, etc.I have redrawn my route to accommodate wind conditions on the fly.

I get ais thru the vhf, use an old garmin gps to feed coordinates to the distress functions on the vhf, and ssb as well at to opencpn. All this replaces the current chart plotter function. And for $220 I bought a complete backup system I throw in the oven when storms are in the area...
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Old 24-03-2016, 16:15   #4
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

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Originally Posted by AedanC View Post
What OS on the downstairs machine?


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I got a Windows 7 image with all drivers, backed it up using Acronis, booted from USB stick.

Couldn't get Tsunamis 99 to run in Windows 7 or Windows 10, so I will go back to the fresh install image and try XP mode. I got Tsunamis 99 to run in XP mode, however XP mode keeps crashing, but I did a lot of experimenting at first so like I said, time to go back to the fresh image and try again, now that I know it is XP mode I need.

Tried compatibility mode etc, no go.

The other chart software I got works fine with either Win 7 or 10.

Not sure if I want to go through the trouble of running XP mode under Windows 10, heard it's possible but not straight out of the box.

Once I get all software to run smoothly I will make another Acronis image.

Cheers
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Old 25-03-2016, 03:04   #5
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

At work I use VNC, NoMachine and Windows Remote Desktop on a daily basis. They all work fine but the one with the best user experience is WRD. It comes for free with Windows 7 Pro and probably some later versions of Windows too. It only works with Windows at both ends though.


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Old 25-03-2016, 04:01   #6
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

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Originally Posted by AedanC View Post
At work I use VNC, NoMachine and Windows Remote Desktop on a daily basis. They all work fine but the one with the best user experience is WRD. It comes for free with Windows 7 Pro and probably some later versions of Windows too. It only works with Windows at both ends though.


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Hi!

Thing with RDP is that you don't get touchscreen an touch keyboard and on an iOS / Android devices, like you write.

Let me do some testing and return here with a table.

Cheers
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Old 25-03-2016, 09:21   #7
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

Not sure if it will help with the touchscreen, but I switched to Remote Desktop Manager Free. One interface for various connection types.
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Old 25-03-2016, 10:13   #8
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

I use Splashtop Streamer (Splashtop - Top-Performing Remote Desktop and Remote Support --free for personal use) over the boat's Wi-Fi network. The nav station computer is an HP laptop running Win 10, and the cockpit controller is an Android tablet (Nexus 7). OpenCPN runs on the laptop and can be controlled on the Android using Splashtop.
Franson GPSGate provides port replication for the NMEA stream to run multiple applications on the computer and also serves NMEA 0183 over TCP for other apps on the Android (e.g. iRegatta, Sailtracker, ...). As an alternative, OpenCPN can also serve TCP....
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Old 25-03-2016, 11:46   #9
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

I'd like to do the same thing running OpenCPN on a Windows 10 laptop in the Nav area below and viewing the screen in the cockpit on my iPad. I can control the PC from the cockpit with my wireless mouse so I only need to see the display on the iPad not control the PC. Any ideas on how to do this?
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Old 25-03-2016, 13:03   #10
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tugwit View Post
I use Splashtop Streamer (Splashtop - Top-Performing Remote Desktop and Remote Support --free for personal use) over the boat's Wi-Fi network. The nav station computer is an HP laptop running Win 10, and the cockpit controller is an Android tablet (Nexus 7). OpenCPN runs on the laptop and can be controlled on the Android using Splashtop....
I have almost exactly the same setup except I will be using an iPad instead of a Nexut 7 tablet. Can someone point me to where I find out how to set up a WiFi network on my boat without Internet so I can use Splashtop? Thanks a bunch
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Old 25-03-2016, 13:44   #11
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

I have experimented with various remote desktops and I did not find any set up that I was comfortable with.

In effect, I gave up on remote desktop and opted for running the nav software directly on the tablet.

Not writing this to stop you in your undertaking; just suggesting there are other alternatives to remote desktop that may (and may not) be good for you, depending on your aspirations and limitations.

Cheers,
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Old 25-03-2016, 14:30   #12
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

Splashtop works good, no need to give up. I use it to run MaxSea from my iPad so that I can also use the AIS, Radar etc. which isn't possible on navigation apps.
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Old 25-03-2016, 17:45   #13
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

Hi,

I use Splashtop which is awesome if you set up a VPN from your phone or tablet. But costs a fee if you want to use accross the internet. Really simple and good to use though worth a look in.

Grant
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Old 25-03-2016, 23:35   #14
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

Splashtop supports iPhones and iPads in addition to Android pads...just download the appropriate software.
Both devices (the nav station PC and the iThing) have to be connected to the same (local) Wi-Fi network to communicate. To create a local area network (LAN) on your boat, get a Wi-Fi router that runs on 12 VDC and configure it. See, for example: Home networking explained, part 5: Setting up a home router - CNET for configuration details.
Several home routers work on 12VDC. I bought an old Linksys WRT54 from e-bay for about $20. Typically, they are home routers that have a "wall wart" to convert 120VAC to 12VDC--just cut off the wall wart and connect the wires to your 12 VDC system (through an appropriate circuit breaker, of course). I use a dedicated circuit for the nav computer and router, and a switch to turn off the router when not needed. The router is not waterproof, of course, and resides in a cabinet in the salon. It provides fine coverage throughout the boat.
An internet connection is not needed, but if you wish, the router can be connected to a wireless bridge/router such as a Ubiquiti Bullet with an external antenna. With this device, you can connect to a shoreside Wi-Fi hotspot that provides an internet connection. With your inside router, you can share that connection with multiple devices on the boat. There are several articles on the internet that describe how to set this up--just search for "Wi-Fi on a boat". I found particularly helpful http://www.boatinghowto.com/f3/artic...46/index7.html .
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Old 26-03-2016, 08:13   #15
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Re: "VNC" style viewer/control of PC using tablet

A router is not required. A virtual AP can be created and the other device connected to this. Available from Win7 onwards and in Android. I cannot say for i-Things as I have none.

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