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Old 04-01-2015, 03:23   #31
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

Thank you for your hint to the Hamlet device. It's really cheap for only 50 Dinars at Amazon. I will order one.
Greetings from Cap Marina Monastir.
Gerhard
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:46   #32
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

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Thank you for your hint to the Hamlet device. It's really cheap for only 50 Dinars at Amazon. I will order one.
Greetings from Cap Marina Monastir.
Gerhard
Greetings Gerhard -- we did not get a chance to meet you last year. maybe this year but probably in feb as had 2 screws put in my shoulder a couple of weeks ago so recovery will be a while.
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:18   #33
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

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Greetings Gerhard -- we did not get a chance to meet you last year. maybe this year but probably in feb as had 2 screws put in my shoulder a couple of weeks ago so recovery will be a while.
Actually I'm some days in Germany but will be back in February. Good health to you.
A friend in Monastir sends me this picture of his boat in Monastir yesterday, brrr...
Gerhard
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Old 05-01-2015, 17:33   #34
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

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FWIW, the Acer Switch 10, 64 GB with 1280x800 resolution dropped by $40 on Amazon today, so I have ordered it to try it out...
I am canceling the Amazon order because I found the same machine (except only 32 GB) from Microsoft Store Online for only $229. I have a Miix2 8" with 32 GB of storage, and I've been able to manage around its limitations, so I am confident that I can work around the Switch's space limitations similarly (with a 32 or 64 GB SD card permanently inserted).

The local brick-and-mortar Microsoft Store had the 64 GB version on display, so I was able to try it out this evening. It is a really nice machine for the price. It's about a bright as my Miix2, but larger at 10.1", and the magnetically attached keyboard is very nicely implemented. Based on that experience, I ordered the 32 GB version online for $229.

Things will always get better and cheaper in the future, so you'll always save money by waiting. But it's not a bad time to buy if you are interested in a tablet now.

Another reminder: The Switch does NOT have an internal GPS. (My Miix2 does.) I can do without it, because I have a GPS that transmits to the tablet by Bluetooth.
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Old 22-01-2015, 14:01   #35
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

A couple months ago I got the 64gb ASUS T200TA off Amazon for $459. My girlfriend has an iPad and I had an ASUS T100 before some creep broke out my car window and ripped it off... anyway I got another ASUS because I wanted the USB and HDMI ports that many tablets lacked. I also knew the keyboard on the transformers were pretty good, I get about 10 hrs battery life, and the T200 can hold a drive in the keyboard. I wanted a Windows machine because of work and open source software such as OpenCPN and Audacity. Although the T100 was very good to me, it lacked screen real estate, a second camera, and GPS. The 12"x8" T200 has proven to be an improvement on all those fronts, although the GPS chip may not be as helpful as I expected. There are plenty of reviews, so I won't repeat them and will focus more on my use on the boat.

I installed OpenCPN 4.0 and it is working fine. Following the instructions in the online help to get setting tweaked to the windows tablet made the driving experience smoother. I also downloaded GeolocationTCP and configured OpenCPN to get the GPS signal through it. GeolocationTCP worked flawlessly, displaying my coordinated accurately whether on WiFi or satellite... but despite help from the writer of GeolocatorTCP Petr and RhythmDoctor, I just couldn't get a feeling that my onboard GPS chip was supplying a reliable signal to OpenCPN. I could not find a way to control whether the signal came from router SSID broadcasts or from satellites. And it seemed I needed WiFi turned on, but not connected to a network, in order for the onboard GPS to work. I had a BU353-S4 dongle and installed the Win 8 compatible driver... go to the USGlobalsat web site and make sure you download the right driver.

Using the external receiver on the T200TA, my OpenCPN tracking is working great. Zooming and changing scale is seemless whether using keyboard or tablet. The two finger touchscreen zoom is a little touchy and I'm still adjusting to the sensitivity. The extra screen real estate is very helpfull. Although some criticize the almost 1" wide margin around the tablet screen, I like it... I'm able to hold the tablet in my hands and avoid touching the active portion of the touch screen by mistake. I only have NOAA raster charts loaded at this point. I also got a micro HDMI cable for my 24" monitor, mostly for movies, but the T200's 11.5" diag tablet and adequate built in speakers have reduced my use of the big screen.

So far I'd say the T200TA with OpenCPN 4.0 is a good package...
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Old 08-02-2015, 15:35   #36
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

@RhythmDoctor - I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Miix 2 8", largely based on your positive comments. Here it is a year after you first got this tablet, is this still the best "bang for the bug" tablet for OpenCPN? Like yourself, I'm looking for internal GPS, bright display, and compatibility with OpenCPN. Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2015, 19:53   #37
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

One other question for anyone with the Miix 2 8", about how long is battery life running OpenCPN and internal GPS)?
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Old 08-02-2015, 21:06   #38
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

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One other question for anyone with the Miix 2 8", about how long is battery life running OpenCPN and internal GPS)?
Not sure about battery life, I think I've gone maybe 4-5 hrs befor it died.

It's mentioned in this thread but bears repeating

Don't try to run the miix on a cheap usb charger; they only put out 500ma and the miix consumes about 1 amp.

When the battery gets low (2%) my screen begins to blink. I turned the systen off and tried to turn it back on. It wouldn't power up, so I thought I had a defective unit. It took me a while but I finally noticed that I wasn't using the charger that came with the miix. I think RythmDoctor recomends a 12watt charger.
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Old 08-02-2015, 21:48   #39
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

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@RhythmDoctor - I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Miix 2 8", largely based on your positive comments. Here it is a year after you first got this tablet, is this still the best "bang for the bug" tablet for OpenCPN? Like yourself, I'm looking for internal GPS, bright display, and compatibility with OpenCPN. Thanks!
Since a year ago I bought a second Miix2 since I liked it so much, and I still like it a lot. Right after I bought the second one, the touchscreen went dead on the first unit, but was repaired by Lenovo under warranty very quickly.

The GPS is a little flaky. See my notes on the topic. I think it depends on where you put your hands, and if you're going to hold it (instead of mounting it) you may have to hold it "upside down" to get good reception. But Win8 senses the direction and adjusts the image accordingly.

I used the internal GPS on a friend's boat on a 5-day cruise, but that's really all the experience I have with it. My own boat outputs GPS and AIS via Bluetooth, so the Miix2 picks that up instead of turning on the internal GPS.

If you're using any tablet outside, definitely get a matte screen protector, unless your waterproof case provides that.

This winter I bought an Acer Switch 10 that I was considering using in the cockpit instead. It has the same resolution, but expanded over 10" (which I thought I would like better), and the screen is equally bright to the Miix2. But it has no GPS. I love the Switch for using around the house (where I frequently use the magnetic keyboard). But it's significantly heavier than the Miix2, and for that reason I think I'll stick with the Miix2 in the cockpit. The lighter weight means I can leave the RAM mount a little loose without it sagging. That, in turn, means I can pivot the display from side to side every time I tack without having to loosen it (which would require a second hand). So in my case, the extremely light weight of the Miix2 is a large benefit.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:02   #40
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

Great info, thank you very much.

I'll be using this in an inflatable RIB that we use for shallow water sonar surveys. I'm thinking that I'll use the tablet and OpenCPN strictly for navigation so that the tablet won't have any wires connected to it and can thus use a waterproof sleeve to protect it. But if it turns out that the tablet will need power anyways, I may just run GPS data via serial to USB to the tablet (along with 5 v from an external power source).

For an external power source I'm thinking I might use some low cost Lithium batteries which output 11.1 vdc. What are you using to power your Miix 2-8 on the boat?
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Old 11-02-2015, 17:00   #41
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

I've found another useful piece of software for touchscreens. It's called TouchMouse Pointer. When activated it uses a portion of the touchscreen as a track-pad with a cursor. This allows you to accurately move the cursor for waypoints or any other reason (like rollovers). Try it at TouchMousePointer - virtual touchpad (on-screen mouse).

It's free.
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Old 13-02-2015, 17:46   #42
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

My Levono Miix 2-8 arrived yesterday and today I installed Classic Shell, OpenCPN and GeolocationTCP. Biggest issue I'm seeing so far is the GPS. Even outdoors it keeps loosing a fix. It waits several minutes to initialize, then will remain connected for 15-30 seconds, then will loose its signal. Pretty frustrating. Any tips on how to improve GPS reception on this tablet?
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Old 13-02-2015, 18:32   #43
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

Were you holding the tablet, or did you set it down? As I mentioned before, it seems that holding the tablet can cause problems, presumably because your hand position can cover the antenna. Did you try altering the tablet's position and/or your hand position?

While cruising on my friend's boat, laying the tablet down (face-up) always led to the GPS keeping its fix. It only lost a fix when I tried to hold the tablet. On the last day of the cruise, I discovered that holding the tablet upside down led to the GPS maintaining a fix, presumably because my hands were no longer covering the antenna.
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Old 13-02-2015, 20:38   #44
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

Yes, I was holding the tablet which might have been part of the problem. I also tried using my cell phone's gps via bluetooth. I'm not very familiar with bluetooth and am having a hard time getting the two to connect automatically. But when it is connected, the gps data seems much more reliable and accurate.
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Old 14-02-2015, 08:15   #45
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Re: Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN

Be careful in inserting a micro SD card in the miix 2 8. Apparently I put it in wrong and it's stuck and crooked.
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