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Old 20-05-2014, 21:18   #121
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

I've had the boat out about 6 times so far this year, with the new Miix2 8" tablet as my primary navigation tool. So I thought I'd post some comments. However, note that my comments are specific to my own sailing situation:
  • Small (25') pocket cruiser
  • Daysail in dry weather, protected river with flat water. In other words, dry cockpit
  • The Miix2 tablet is my primary navigation device, right in the cockpit with me. It is mounted to my pedestal using a RAM mount.
  • The previous three seasons, I used a Netbook to do the same thing, so many of my comments will compare the tablet with the prior Netbook
Overall, the tablet works great. There are several things that I like even better than I thought I would.
  • The tablet is less bulky than my prior Netbook. It is easier to maneuver around in my cockpit, which is already tight with a wheel on a little 25' boat.
  • I often sit astride the wheel on the windward side. I tack frequently because I am in a river, so I switch sides a lot. The small tablet is great for this, because I can loosen the RAM mount, turn it to the other side, and tighten it, all with one hand and in about 5 seconds. With the Netbook it was a 2-handed job because of the bulk and weight.
  • Because of shipping traffic, I get a lot of AIS alarms. It is SO MUCH NICER tapping the "Acknowledge" button on the screen instead of having to figure out where the cursor is and slide around on a trackpad to tap "Acknowledge".
  • I don't really like the "Tablet Mode" on the current beta version. The button icons are bigger than I need and take up too much screen space. I don't have real big fingers, so I can tap precisely enough with the original size icons. I have an inexpensive stylus (bought 5 for $5 on Amazon) that I keep in my drink holder if I need even more precise tapping.
  • The screen is daylight viewable in my opinion. Several days were full daylight, and I left the bimini top down. When in bright daylight the screen does not seem bright, but it is definitely viewable to me. Reviews still indicate that the Miix2 8" model has about the brightest screen out there.
  • There are reflections from the high gloss screen, but I've always been able to ignore them. I have ordered matte finish screen protectors to see if it knocks down the reflections. If the protector interferes with touch sensitivity, I'll do fine without it.
  • The battery drained to about 40% in 4 hours of continuous use with screen always on at full brightness and Bluetooth running. (I have a Chartplotter Power setting that keeps everything on constantly.) This is plenty for daysailing, and for long cruises I'll plug a USB charger into the 12v socket at my helm.
  • On my Netbook I could not use polarized sunglasses, because the polarization was 45 degree angle, so the sunglasses knocked down the brightness by 50%. With the Miix2 8", the polarization is such that when using it in landscape orientation the sunglasses have no effect on the screen brightness. So on sunny days I use the Miix2 in landscape orientation, with two instances of OpenCPN running side by size at different zoom levels. I'm really getting to like being able to use sunglasses. On cloudy days I orient the tablet in portrait mode.
  • Even as sturdy as the RAM mount is, I am afraid that at some point the bracket might get caught by my clothing as I move around the cockpit, opening the spring-loaded bracket and dropping the tablet to the sole. So I supplemented it with a small piece (1.5"x0.75") of industrial strength Velcro on the back of the tablet. It is more secure with this in place, yet can still be removed.
Here is a picture of the tablet in my cockpit. Note that I am sitting astride the wheel, and the RAM mount is turned so I can view it from where I am:




Here is a picture or my prior Netbook in the cockpit. I installed an additional mounting point in my cabin so the Netbook is always there as a backup or for general computing use:


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Old 25-05-2014, 20:45   #122
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

I went sailing today and have a couple of updates about my Miix2 8" that I use in my cockpit.

The matte finish screen protector that I mentioned in my prior post worked perfectly. It completely eliminated the reflection and glare from the screen, making it much more legible in sunlight. There was no perceptible reduction in the touch sensitivity. Click here to see the screen protectors that I bought.

Also, I finally remembered to test the Miix2's internal GPS. I was out on the river, out of reach of any WiFi reception. I launched GeolocationTCP and also the Sensors app. Neither could get a fix for several minutes. Dave has mentioned that being in motion could make an initial fix difficult. However, I tested a different hypothesis. There's been some speculation on some of the tablet review sites about the materials of construction used in the Miix2 8". One site thinks that the back panel is aluminum, with a thin plastic stripe at the bottom to allow for antenna reception. It occurred to me that the problem getting a fix might be related to the orientation of the device, since radio reception could be hampered if the the antenna's view of the sky is obscured by aluminum case and electronic components. So I oriented the device with the glass facing the sky, and it immediately got a fix. After that initial fix, I was able to move the device back into its "dashboard" orientation (glass facing backwards toward my sitting at the helm), and GeolocationTCP continued to update GPS data every second for the next three hours.

I'll have to repeat this test next time I'm on the boat, but right now I think the difficulties that I've reported before have to do with the device's orientation. I've seen similar things before testing the GPS in the car and on the cockpit - when I lay the tablet flat the GPS starts working.



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Old 25-05-2014, 21:28   #123
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
I went sailing today and have a couple of updates about my Miix2 8" that I use in my cockpit.
I noticed that you are getting heading data.

My Asus Vivo Tab Smart will not provide heading data. I have used both Geolocation and Centrafuse Localizer. I am suspecting the sensor.
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Old 26-05-2014, 18:44   #124
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

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I noticed that you are getting heading data...
I didn't know enough about NMEA sentences to even realize it, but after Googling the syntax for GPRMC, I see that it does, in fact, show COG.

By the way, I have another Miix2 8" update after our daysail today. I launched Geolocation TCP today a few miles away from where I shut down the computer yesterday. When I launched the app, it did not get a fix immediately, so I immediately flipped the tablet to face the sky. It still DID NOT get a fix right away. I gave up on it (since I had to focus on sailing the boat), but when I checked it 3-5 minutes later, it has started getting GPS fixes. So it appears that you need to be patient getting an initial fix. I don't know if it would have been faster if I started the app up where it shut down yesterday - that test will have to wait for another day.

Overall, I like running O on this tablet more and more each time I use it. It really is a great ergonomic setup for fair weather sailing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 18:21   #125
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Rick,

Did you get a chance to look at the Miix2? Just curious about your thoughts about it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 22:54   #126
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Another update: Went sailing today, so I launched GeolocationTCP on the Miix2 8" tablet. Once again, it did not get a GPS fix immediately, but it did eventually get a fix. I was not watching close enough to tell exactly how long. The boat was moving, and it was a mile or so away from the point where I had last used it.

But these things are certain at this point, verified repeatedly:

  • The Miix2 8" model has a built-in GPS.
  • You do not need a WiFi connection for it to get a fix
  • The initial fix can take awhile, but once established it is reliable.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:42   #127
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

RD were you getting COG and SOG data from Geolocation TCP?
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:46   #128
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

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RD were you getting COG and SOG data from Geolocation TCP?
Since I wasn't using the data I didn't notice. (OpenCPN pulls that data from my boat's nav system via Bluetooth.) All I did was take a quick look at the NMEA stream to ensure it was updating at 1 Hz.

However, you can see in the screenshot above that previously I was getting both COG and SOG, and there is no reason to believe that the data was any different this time.
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Old 08-06-2014, 17:21   #129
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Today I had a chance to watch GeolocationTCP from the time it first started until it acquired its first fix. It took exactly 2 minutes. Was also showing SOG and COG.

If I needed a GPS in my tablet, I'd trust the Miix2 8" model. I will take it with me when I do charters and use it with the internal GPS as my chartplotter.
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Old 12-06-2014, 19:55   #130
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Ben has written article about Lenovo Mix2

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Lenovo Windows tablet, new MFD accessory or primary plotter?
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:37   #131
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

RhythmDoctor and all other users of O touch screen facilities.

The wiki page about "Touch Screens and Tablets" Touch Screens and Tablets | Official OpenCPN Homepage is for the moment very basic. Please feel free to document this feature, to help other users.
I can't possibly do it as I have no access to the hardware.
I can help you along, with the wiki details, if needed.

Thomas
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