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Old 17-01-2017, 23:53   #1
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OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Good day,
I am looking for some advice. I want to purchase an Android Tablet such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 or the Nexus 9 for the primary purpose of running OpenCPN with both CM93 and Google charts. I am attempting to determine if this is a straightforward plug & play operation. It looks like both tablets ship with Android 5.0 lollipop but can be upgraded to v6.0 Marshmallow, and the Nexus can be upgraded to v7.1 Nougat, if I understand correctly. Both seem to have internal GPS sensors and at least 2GB of RAM. However, only the Samsung has a microSD slot.
I am currently cruising in Indonesia and my PC that ran OpenCPN has crashed beyond repair, at least beyond repair here in Indonesia. I need a replacement and I have just been taught an expensive lesson that iPads don’t run OpenCPN and Navionics “maps” are a poor substitute to CM93 “charts”.
I have been to the Google Play Store and see that OpenCPN is offered. CM93 charts are supported. “Network (TCP/UDP) GPS device support.” Presumably means the tablets internal GPS will work to some extent.
Some concerns I have:
• Is the OpenCPN installation a simple plug & play operation or does it require one to be a programmer?
• The Nexus 9 has no microSD slot but is this an issue with regards to installing the CM93 charts?
• Does the internal GPS provide adequate data for OpenCPN or are other hardware / software required?
• Any other issues that I may not have taken into account?

I understand that the Android/tablet version of OpenCPN does not offer all the functionality of the PC version but presumably, it is adequate for navigation?

Any advice would be most appreciated and finally, a big “Thank you so much” to all the programmers involved in OpenCPN. The community has created a phenomenal program that is highly cherished and irreplaceable .

Tim
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Old 18-01-2017, 00:01   #2
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

One data point from one user and great fan of OpenCPN --

In my opinion, it doesn't work that well on tablets. O needs more screen real estate than that. I have used it on a 10" Sony waterproof Z2 tablet, and it's pretty hard to see anything or manipulate the controls.

If I were you, I would replace the PC, which surely will not be more expensive than a new tablet. O runs on Linux in case you don't want to buy (or rent) a new copy of Windows, but you should also be able to transfer the license over to the new PC.

I do use tablet navigation systems which do work OK. I use INavX on an ancient IPad which works well. I don't know why you don't like the Navionics charts (maybe paying for them?) -- they are fine.

Be cautious about using CM93 charts as your only cartography. They are way out of date by now.
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Old 18-01-2017, 00:30   #3
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Dockhead,
Thanks for your input. I am a big fan of OpenCPN. The program has gotten me halfway around the World quite well. I primarily use CM93 charts in international waters which have proven very accurate. Two exceptions; the Vava’u group in Tonga where the chart information was correct but offset by a few hundred feet and the Komodo region of Indonesia where the offset was closer to a third of a mile. Otherwise the CM93 charts have been great. When there is any doubt, I download Google charts as KAP files to supplement the data. The CM93 charts display the same as higher end ECDIS charts, giving me a warm and fuzzy even though they are somewhat dated as you say.
I purchased an iPad to run OpenCPM when my PC crashed as I mentioned. After all, OpenCPN offers an Apple download on their webpage. I incorrectly assumed the software would run on an iPad. When it became apparent that it wouldn’t, I began looking for other options. I downloaded SeaIQ on reports that it would rum my CM93 charts but apparently that option was terminated a year or so ago.
I then paid for and downloaded a package of Navionics charts. The chart plotter supplied is quite basic and will not meet my needs. The map display is lacking on a great deal of information when compared to other vector based charts as well as the ability to customize data displayed. The route and waypoint functions don’t seem to allow numerical input.
So, as a solution, I purchased iNavX that looks to be a better chart plotter. The thinking being that I could run the Navionics charts in iNavX. As it turns out, you can only run Navionics charts in iNavX if you buy them through iNavX..
This has been an expensive voyage of futility. I am now done with Apple. I just want my OpenCPN with CM93 charts back.
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Old 18-01-2017, 00:52   #4
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Have a look at flytomap FLYTOMAP | Cartography For Your Mobile. We use it on Ipads and android devices. I think we paid $28 for all of the world maps. We have changed devices and they have assisted to reload the system onto new tablets. We find it to be quite satisfactory as a support to our charplotter. I tried using opencpn on my android phone. The cm93 maps are a huge file and the operation was clunky and often failed to work or dropped out.
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Old 18-01-2017, 02:02   #5
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVMargarita View Post
• Is the OpenCPN installation a simple plug & play operation or does it require one to be a programmer?
Installation is simple, just the same as any other app. Sometimes android calls the sd card by a different name when you try to locate the charts but that's easily resolved
Quote:
• The Nexus 9 has no microSD slot but is this an issue with regards to installing the CM93 charts?
Yes, the charts are huge, you really do need an external card for them.

Quote:
• Does the internal GPS provide adequate data for OpenCPN or are other hardware / software required?
• Any other issues that I may not have taken into account?
Internal is fine on my xperia.

I would disagree with dockhead, I use an xperia in the cockpit all the time and while not perfect it works OK. But he's got a bigger boat than me with huge screen down below
You can pick up xperia's ex display quite cheap on ebay if you can get it delivered, great tablets onboard, bright screen and water resistant.

For cruising it's great not having anything shiney left in the cockpit so having a mobile display up top is such a bonus. And as you say, google maps as kaps are just a godsend when you end up in areas with no reliable charts, or no charts at all.

Personally I would have laptop as backup as well, though I run a raspberry pi mini computer down below which sends out gps & ais plus engine temperature data and other stuff over wifi to the xperia, but that is getting not full on programming but more technical than a tablet.



PS - Have you seen this site for google earth KAPs?
https://www.venturefarther.com

Really handy if you don't have ge2kap to hand.
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Old 18-01-2017, 02:15   #6
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Installation is simple, just the same as any other app. Sometimes android calls the sd card by a different name when you try to locate the charts but that's easily resolved

Yes, the charts are huge, you really do need an external card for them.

Internal is fine on my xperia.


Which version of CM93 is that showing on the screen?
I've never seen before this.

Gerhard
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Old 18-01-2017, 02:27   #7
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarCode View Post
Which version of CM93 is that showing on the screen?
I've never seen before this.

Gerhard
It's google earth images turned into KAP files , extremely useful
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Old 18-01-2017, 02:57   #8
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
It's google earth images turned into KAP files , extremely useful
Ah, yes. So does cm93 works or not with Android? Want to see a proof.

Gerhard
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Old 18-01-2017, 02:59   #9
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarCode View Post
Ah, yes. So does cm93 works or not with Android? Want to see a proof.

Gerhard
it works.
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Old 18-01-2017, 03:14   #10
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Se proof of working CM93 on Android - Old Samsung GT-S7710 and Android 4.1.2

The GPS was currently not turned on so no GPS fix but it works great even on this old device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarCode View Post
Ah, yes. So does cm93 works or not with Android? Want to see a proof.

Gerhard
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Old 18-01-2017, 03:35   #11
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by petter5 View Post
Se proof of working CM93 on Android - Old Samsung GT-S7710 and Android 4.1.2

The GPS was currently not turned on so no GPS fix but it works great even on this old device.
Thank you, that's what I want to see. Due to the very small screen I guess it is even with a slightly larger tablet screen not ususable for navigation. But that is of course the same for any other system for smart-phones or tablets.

Gerhard
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Old 18-01-2017, 03:53   #12
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Even the small screen is useful as an aid, not for cruising of course, but I has successfully used it several times and found it useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarCode View Post
Thank you, that's what I want to see. Due to the very small screen I guess it is even with a slightly larger tablet screen not unusable for navigation. But that is of course the same for any other system for smart-phones or tablets.

Gerhard
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Old 18-01-2017, 03:54   #13
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Well, there are integrated stand alone plotters with 5" screens.
Up to the user to decide if ok for the purpose.
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Old 18-01-2017, 04:04   #14
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVMargarita View Post
Dockhead,
Thanks for your input. I am a big fan of OpenCPN. The program has gotten me halfway around the World quite well. I primarily use CM93 charts in international waters which have proven very accurate. Two exceptions; the Vava’u group in Tonga where the chart information was correct but offset by a few hundred feet and the Komodo region of Indonesia where the offset was closer to a third of a mile. Otherwise the CM93 charts have been great. When there is any doubt, I download Google charts as KAP files to supplement the data. The CM93 charts display the same as higher end ECDIS charts, giving me a warm and fuzzy even though they are somewhat dated as you say.
I purchased an iPad to run OpenCPM when my PC crashed as I mentioned. After all, OpenCPN offers an Apple download on their webpage. I incorrectly assumed the software would run on an iPad. When it became apparent that it wouldn’t, I began looking for other options. I downloaded SeaIQ on reports that it would rum my CM93 charts but apparently that option was terminated a year or so ago.
I then paid for and downloaded a package of Navionics charts. The chart plotter supplied is quite basic and will not meet my needs. The map display is lacking on a great deal of information when compared to other vector based charts as well as the ability to customize data displayed. The route and waypoint functions don’t seem to allow numerical input.
So, as a solution, I purchased iNavX that looks to be a better chart plotter. The thinking being that I could run the Navionics charts in iNavX. As it turns out, you can only run Navionics charts in iNavX if you buy them through iNavX..
This has been an expensive voyage of futility. I am now done with Apple. I just want my OpenCPN with CM93 charts back.
I feel your pain, brother.

I hate Apple products and use them rarely.

Navionics cartography has, by and large, the same level of detail as the CM93 charts, as Navionics and C-Map were arch-competitors selling into similar markets. In some areas one is better than the other, but in general they are roughly comparable.

We've had a separate discussion recently about how important or unimportant it is, to have up-to-date charts. In remote areas where the basic data is hardly ever updated anyway, it matters far less, than it does in complex waters in a lot of civilization (like European waters, especially a place like the North Sea). Still worthwhile being very careful, using old charts.
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Old 18-01-2017, 06:04   #15
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Re: OpenCPN w/CM93 charts on a tablet

Thanks everyone for all the input and advice. I am not sure if anyone here has tried this with an Android tablet but It sounds to me like OpenCPN will download and install normally without issues. It sounds like the CM93 charts will work with maybe some tweaking, in the worst-case scenario.
I understand the concern of several that the screen is too small on a tablet but I think I can deal with that under the circumstances.
Conachair, please forgive my computer ignorance. You mentioned that I would need the microSD card because the CM93 folder is quite large. In fact, it is quite large at 1.6 GB. The thing is, I am leaning towards the Nexus 9 with no SD slot. So, I am wondering if I were willing to sacrifice 1.6GB of the 32GB flash memory, will it work to install the CM93 on the devices memory or do the charts have to run from the SD card? And if they will run from the devices memory, I presume they can be loaded via the USB cable from a Windows based laptop?
Thanks for the heads up on www.venturefarther.com. I hadn’t heard of it before and it looks interesting.
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