Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-11-2013, 15:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Another thread on safety, some useful info.

I wondered if I could use my smartphone GPS to obtain Lat/Long position data, thinking that it could double as a handheld GPS in the ditch bag to give a position we could call in on the handheld VHF set. I wasn't sure if the GPS would still work offshore with no cellular connection so I asked the question of some geeks on another yachting forum in the UK.

Well the good news is that our Samsung Galaxy Note2 android phones' built in GPSs do work and a freebie App called GPS Test obtained free via Playstore and installed on each phone displays Lat/Long position coordinates clearly and also the satellites used data. I also tested this feature with the phone set in 'Airplane mode' which cuts down on it's battery consumption. We do not have a handheld GPS so this is a very useful feature on our phones (we have 2 note2's) which we can now use if we ever need to abandon ship and make sure that we remember to include one at least of our smartphones with the handheld VHF in our ditch bag ready to go... WE have a waterproof ditch bag and both cellphones and VHF have separate waterproof cases.
__________________

__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:05   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 449
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

If you have a phone or device with GPS chipset/function built in, it does not need cellular towers/signal/sim for GPS functionality to work. The GPS works anywhere where GPS satellite signal can be received.

BTW, "airplane" mode kills GPS and other functionality, at least on Apple iOS devices, see: iOS: Understanding airplane mode
__________________

__________________
Richard_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:13   #3
Registered User
 
Randy's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego
Boat: Searunner 31
Posts: 639
I like it thanks!
__________________
Randy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:21   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_W View Post
If you have a phone or device with GPS chipset/function built in, it it does not need cellular towers/signal/sim for GPS functionality. GPS works anywhere where GPS satellite signal can be received.

BTW, "airplane" mode kills GPS and other functionality, at least on Apple idevices, see: iOS: Understanding airplane mode
Well once again I am glad I dumped Apple and the hated Iphone in favour of Samsung and android.

Our Galaxy note 2s work fine and first fix time as displayed on the 'GPS Test' app was just a couple of minutes.

AIrplane mode did not kill the GPS on my phone when I tried it and the 'GPS Test' App clearly showed all the satellites listened to and their signal/noise ratios.

When I got the advice initially I was told by a UK geek that there are two kinds of chipsets that can be fitted in cellphones one of which needs an initial location to find a fix and the other which does it regardless of location, worldwide It probably follows that Apple bought cheap and once again SAmsung shows their superiority but that might just be my general hatred of rotten Apples showing. anyway it is free and easily tested as I found
__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:28   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Just tested it again and it went to first fix in airplane mode in just 57 seconds, eat your core out Apple!
__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:42   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 449
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
Just tested it again and it went to first fix in airplane mode in just 57 seconds, eat your core out Apple!
Huh ... what this has to to with Apple or quality of the product?

The airplane mode is just an automated way to switch the multiple services off. One familiar with the device settings menu can do switch any combination of any services on or off manually ... and keep them this way.

Good you tested it, and you know the GPS works in airplane mode on your device. Could be a nasty surprise.
__________________
Richard_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:49   #7
Registered User
 
Randy's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego
Boat: Searunner 31
Posts: 639
It will allow my phone to work as a good backup GPS it seems.
__________________
Randy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:56   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_W View Post
Huh ... what this has to to with Apple or quality of the product?

The airplane mode is just an automated way to switch the multiple services off. One familiar with the device settings menu can do switch any combination of any services on or off manually ... and keep them this way.

Good you tested it, and you know the GPS works in airplane mode on your device. Could be a nasty surprise.
sorry, but I have unhappy history with Apple such that my final sign in password after so many resets that I lost count, as well as patience, became APPLESUCK5 as they insisted on some uppercase characters and at least one numeral. I Paid $800 to ditch our Iphone 4s's and also dump Sprint and it was worth all of that but it still didn't recover all my contacts and stored emails that Apple systems lost, wiped out somewhere in the 'cloud' between my laptop and the phone.
__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 16:56   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Sandpiper 565
Posts: 2,941
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

A few caveats with relying on smartphones for ditch-bag GPS

- smartphones have shorter battery life than most handheld GPSs
- you can use standard batteries on many handheld GPSs
- hand-held GPSs are usually more water-resistant than smart-phones*
- assuming you normally have GPS data from your nav instruments, your handheld GPS will already be in your ditch-bag (with fresh spare batteries), whereas in a ditch situation you'd have to remember to grab the phone

Just some comments. Of course, you can't place a call with the handheld GPS

* I have a SONY xperia go which alleges will survive 30 minutes immersion in up to 1 meter. Still, not exactly mil-spec
__________________
Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 17:01   #10
Registered User
 
Randy's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego
Boat: Searunner 31
Posts: 639
Yeah it'd need a little solar charger
__________________
Randy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 17:06   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 449
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
sorry, but I have unhappy history with Apple such that my final sign in password after so many resets that I lost count, as well as patience, became APPLESUCK5 as they insisted on some uppercase characters and at least one numeral. I Paid $800 to ditch our Iphone 4s's and also dump Sprint and it was worth all of that but it still didn't recover all my contacts and stored emails that Apple systems lost, wiped out somewhere in the 'cloud' between my laptop and the phone.
Sorry you perceived the best practice as a nuisance. That requirement happens to be a good password management ... much better than "password" or "12345" for a password.

I bet your contacts and calendars still reside in your iCloud account ... a matter of signing in and syncing them do your Mac laptop and then archiving/exporting them to your hard drive for import to a different device/system.

In any case, let's focus on GPS and phone as a GPS device rather than bashing of Apple or any other brand ...
__________________
Richard_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 17:08   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
A few caveats with relying on smartphones for ditch-bag GPS

- smartphones have shorter battery life than most handheld GPSs
- you can use standard batteries on many handheld GPSs
- hand-held GPSs are usually more water-resistant than smart-phones*
- assuming you already have GPS from other instruments, your handheld GPS will already be in your ditch-bag (with fresh spare batteries), whereas in a ditch situation you'd have to remember to grab the phone

Just some comments. Of course, you can't place a call with the handheld GPS

* I have a SONY xperia go which alleges will survive 30 minutes immersion in up to 1 meter. Still, not exactly mil-spec
I intend buying a battery pack thingy I saw somewhere that apparently recharges a cellphone to xtend it's charge life if it starts to go flat, but I get 48hrs routinely from mine anyway after a full charge WE have some aquapak waterproof cellphone bags to keep our phones and a similar one for the 'water resistant' handheld VHF in plus a 100% waterproof ditch bag for everything, that we have always put our essential stuff in whilst voyaging from our passports via car keys to wallets money and credit cards on the assumption we will at some stage get back to need them again
__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 17:21   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 449
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy View Post
Yeah it'd need a little solar charger
There are also these hand cranked chargers with USB port. Don't see much talk about using them on a boat. With so many idevices being used as GPS/NAV equipment these days the hand crank charger should be next to spare batteries in one's ditch bag ... me thinks.
__________________
Richard_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 18:02   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlantic ICW 29N/81W
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 36CC, now sold
Posts: 817
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_W View Post
Sorry you perceived the best practice as a nuisance. That requirement happens to be a good password management ... much better than "password" or "12345" for a password.

I bet your contacts and calendars still reside in your iCloud account ... a matter of signing in and syncing them do your Mac laptop and then archiving/exporting them to your hard drive for import to a different device/system.

In any case, let's focus on GPS and phone as a GPS device rather than bashing of Apple or any other brand ...
It was A Microsoft not a Mac laptop synced to the cloud, an Ipad and an iphone that refused to recognize my username or passwords that would allow access to the cloud,, this why I had to reset the password so many times I lost all will to live. OH and I do not use dumb passwords either which is why I gwt a tad peed off when Apple screwed up yet another good one by refusing to let me log in and of course you are not allowed to use the same password more than one time as it irritatingly kept telling me as it has it seems an infinite memory.

Anyway back to things boaty.....
__________________
Robin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2013, 20:18   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 6,707
Re: Another thread on safety, some useful info.

For 20 bucks or so, well worth stuffing in the grab bag:

wind up phone charger | eBay
__________________

__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
safety

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:32.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.