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Old 11-04-2019, 05:40   #1
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Experiences using OCPN on tablets

I was looking to get some feedback on experiences for those using OCPN on tablets, be they Android or Windows based, has anyone actually found a tablet that will run a Linux distro? Do all of the plugins work on the Android version or would some compiling need to be done to get them there? Presumably the Windows tablet would run the normal Windows builds of everything. Is anyone using a tablet mounting the charts from a network share? For the Windows tablet, does everything work through the touch interface or do you need a mouse to navigate around? What cases do you use to waterproof them? How do you find the daylight readability of the tablet you are using?

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Old 11-04-2019, 07:15   #2
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

Aside from the size issues, I've not had any difficulties running OpenCPN on both my tablets (Samsung Tab 3 and Samsung Note 12 pro) or my phones (Samsung Note 4 and Pixel 3XL). I also run the Windows version on home desktop and boat laptop (used for voyage planning/updating not navigation).

The only plugins I run are the world mag model and the chart downloader, again, no issues.

I do not keep my charts in a network share, each device has it's own charts.

My tablets are not protected, both phones are in Otter Boxes.

Daylight readability is poor - don't forget tablets and phone don't meet the marine standards like your MFD.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:32   #3
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

PJHoffnet, I've been looking for a cheap tablet to run Open CPN as a backup chart plotter. One of the tablets I'm considering is the Samsung Tab 3. Have you found this tablet to be adequate for OCPN? Would you go with the same tablet today if you were looking for a new one?

Sorry for the thread hijack!
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:08   #4
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

I run OpenCpn on a Linx Windows 10 tablet. Works well.
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Old 11-04-2019, 17:53   #5
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

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Originally Posted by AedanC View Post
I run OpenCpn on a Linx Windows 10 tablet. Works well.
Which tablet and which distro were you able to get working? Iíve been trying to find info to do this but havenít found much.
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Old 11-04-2019, 18:37   #6
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
PJHoffnet, I've been looking for a cheap tablet to run Open CPN as a backup chart plotter. One of the tablets I'm considering is the Samsung Tab 3. Have you found this tablet to be adequate for OCPN? Would you go with the same tablet today if you were looking for a new one?

Sorry for the thread hijack!
The Tab 3 handles it with ease - again, size is something you have to tweak in the settings so you can see what you want to see. I haven't been in the market for a new tablet in several years, so I can't say I'm up to date on what might be a better tablet to use.
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Old 11-04-2019, 23:34   #7
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

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Originally Posted by svspirited View Post
Which tablet and which distro were you able to get working? Iíve been trying to find info to do this but havenít found much.


The brand of tablet is Linx (not to be confused with Linux). I canít remember the exact model and Iím away from the boat at the moment but I think it was something like 20x64. The distro is Microsoft Windows 10, Tablet version, is that what you meant?
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:26   #8
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

I use a cheap Best Buy Windows 10 tablet I bought for $140 three years ago. At the time I was looking for a tablet to use at the helm and was looking for one that worked with my polarized sunglasses and had a bright screen. Because it was so cheap, I was expecting to buy a better one the next season. But, it has worked so well that I've been using it for 3 years. I can see in under my Bimini, it always works, and I put a baggy over it in the rain. I use a Ram mount.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:11   #9
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S or something or other. It's a Windows 10 tablet. Very very slick. Still despite the processing power (fast than android units and way faster than a Pi), it's still not that quick when scrolling, with a decent amount of detail. Can't beat a decent laptop when comes to portable speed.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:21   #10
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

I use OpenCPN on a Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet. It is durable, spraywater tight, sunlight capable and has a built-in GPS. The AIS info i get from a Bluetooth AIS. Expensive, but if price is an obstacle buy a refurbished unit.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:28   #11
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

I use opencpn with oesenc plugin and charts on a galaxy Tab A (2016 model). A bit laggy sometimes while zooming in and out, but works flawless otherwise.
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Old 14-04-2019, 12:19   #12
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

Thanks for all of the responses. I ended up finding a refurb Surface Pro 3 that I am going to try loading Linux and Gnome as it looks like it has the best touch interface of all the window managers I have researched. I'll see how it goes and I'll try and compare performance with Linux vs Windows 10 which is currently installed on it. I'll post my findings when I have enough information.
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Old 21-04-2019, 09:56   #13
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Re: Experiences using OCPN on tablets

As promised I have spent some time with both Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.0.4 running Gnome on my Surface Pro 3. All in the Windows experience is better and totally useable with the touch interface. On Linux there are some issues, all of which relate to touch screen usability. On Windows it runs just like it would on a Windows desktop, the icons are a bit small but useable and performance seems just fine, though I did get a BSOD that I suspect was GL driven but I am not all that knowledgable about Windows so I really don't know.

On Linux it required a bit of fiddling around to get everything working correctly. I was surprised to see that I could run the install without any keyboard or mouse devices attached and everything worked with the Touch interface right out of the box, I did the minimal install option to keep as much space for charts as possible.

Once Linux was installed the first issue I encountered was that the wifi would keep going into power saver mode, this took a while to track down how to fix but using iwconfig to turn the power saver feature off did the trick and updating the config made it persist.

The second issue was trying to type the various commands into the terminal, doing so from the on screen keyboard was a horrible experience so given I didn't have a keyboard the next thing I did was install openssh server so I could log in from my laptop and do all the command line fun and text editing.

Once that was done I was able to pull down the OCPN packages and get them installed and up and running. However, the OCPN interface did not like touch commands so I had to shut it down and update opencpn.conf manually to turn on the touch interface settings. Once that was done it more or less worked as it should.

The fourth issue is that there appears to be no way for Wayland to understand any sort of emulation for a right click or single mouse click for things like making routes or changing boat location. Gestures do not zoom in or out so you have to tap on the buttons, not a big deal but a bit of a nuisance. Clicking on menus works fine, interacting with the various settings works fine, mostly everything else seems to work ok. Integration with an email client was no problem and fetching GRIB files worked. I have not tried loading any plugins yet so no idea what that will be like.

I would also note that using the high contrast mode on Wayland made the touch interface much easier to use as all of the icons and buttons increase in size.

I have tried using X11 instead of Wayland to make use of something like Touchegg but that did not go so well and I can't install KDE and Plasma without a keyboard so there may be a solution there that I am currently unable to test. Overall I would say Linux in this case is just not good enough, at least not on a Surface tablet but I think once gestures are better baked into the newer Display managers it may actually be a perfect system to replace a number of displays.
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