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Old 29-09-2019, 05:37   #61
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

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This is a very good point, and probably not really off topic, because it's important when deciding on apps.

For me, it would require extra hardware. On board we already have a laptop or two, a tablet, at least two cell phones. All have WiFi capability, and the phones have cellular data available (in range.)

To set up an internet-connected WiFi LAN network on board, I'd need a router capable of both cellular and external WiFi. And a SIM card and service plan for the router. Of course, once everything's connected to that (MFD, AIS, NMEA 2000, etc.) it would be relatively simple to enable different internet connections, and all devices would get all the data (internal and external) over one network.

Or, app designers could simply allow me to select which network my phone or tablet is connected to has AIS or NMEA data, and which has internet.
Not so easy as you think. Raymarine and B&G allow only peer to peer adhoc wifi with the chartplotter as master when you want to mirror their screen on a tablet. A regular wifi network is not accepted by their apps.
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Old 29-09-2019, 15:18   #62
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

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Not so easy as you think. Raymarine and B&G allow only peer to peer adhoc wifi with the chartplotter as master when you want to mirror their screen on a tablet. A regular wifi network is not accepted by their apps.
Well, that's disappointing. But good to know, thanks!
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Old 02-10-2019, 15:25   #63
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

looking to buy an iPad and wondering if I need one with GPS or if I should buy a separate GPS? I've read that the GPS in the iPad only works if you have cell service which I would not expect off shore
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Old 02-10-2019, 15:47   #64
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

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looking to buy an iPad and wondering if I need one with GPS or if I should buy a separate GPS? I've read that the GPS in the iPad only works if you have cell service which I would not expect off shore


I currently run an iPad gen 2 with a Garmin Bluetooth gps on several apps including Navionics. It works well. You donít need cell network, but I hotspot my phone when thereís reception to update things. The iPad is power thirsty though. Even plugged in to power it only lasts a day. Newer iPads may be less thirsty.
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Old 02-10-2019, 19:13   #65
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

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looking to buy an iPad and wondering if I need one with GPS or if I should buy a separate GPS? I've read that the GPS in the iPad only works if you have cell service which I would not expect off shore
That's correct. The cellular models include the GPS, but you don't need to buy a SIM or have cellular service for it to work. However, it's (1) not necessary and (2) very power-hungry if you have the internal GPS running. Better by far to use the external GPS that you already have, either on your instruments or through your AIS, either of which can be transmitted over Wifi along with all your other data (including AIS), and then the ipad knows exactly where it is and everyone else too. So you don't need an ipad with cellular at all.
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Old 02-10-2019, 19:32   #66
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

Tillsbury, I kinda disagree. If you have an iPad as a secondary/backup device, it should have it's own GPS. For that, you need to purchase the Cell version of the iPad. As you correctly stated, you do not need cell coverage, it's just that the cell data chipset includes the GPS funcitonality, otherwise you don't get GPS functionality. Most GPSs with wifi function will mirror the info off the screen, so it's useless as a backup GPS/plotter/alt charts. If you get an iPad for boat usage and as a backup device, do yourself a favor and get the Cellular Data version (with no chip, don't worry about that) so you get a GPS chipset. Otherwise it's just a nice mirroring device only.
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Old 02-10-2019, 19:46   #67
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

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Tillsbury, I kinda disagree. If you have an iPad as a secondary/backup device, it should have it's own GPS. For that, you need to purchase the Cell version of the iPad. As you correctly stated, you do not need cell coverage, it's just that the cell data chipset includes the GPS funcitonality, otherwise you don't get GPS functionality. Most GPSs with wifi function will mirror the info off the screen, so it's useless as a backup GPS/plotter/alt charts. If you get an iPad for boat usage and as a backup device, do yourself a favor and get the Cellular Data version (with no chip, don't worry about that) so you get a GPS chipset. Otherwise it's just a nice mirroring device only.
Ok, it wouldn’t be useful as a gps backup, but since most boats have two gps units already (instrument and gps) then it is a useful backup of the mfd (or vice versa). If the case of complete instrument/network failure, then you can instruct the iPad to receive gps data from your phone (at least you can with SEAiq, not sure about navionics). And of course in the final disaster analysis you can run the whole thing from your phone which should be configured ready to go. So there is a substantial amount of redundancy even without using gps within the iPad. IMHO the extraordinarily tiny additional security of having a fourth gps source there is not worth the additional cost nor battery life hit that it takes.

An iPad without a gps isn’t “just a nice mirroring device”. I use it as my primary device. The mfd is just there as backup. If the mfd failed the iPad wouldn’t miss a beat (in fact on most passages I don’t even switch it on). “Mirroring” the mfd is a gimmick that’s way poorer in its implementation than it should be.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:52   #68
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Re: Any good alternatives to Navionics

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Tillsbury, I kinda disagree. If you have an iPad as a secondary/backup device, it should have it's own GPS. For that, you need to purchase the Cell version of the iPad. As you correctly stated, you do not need cell coverage, it's just that the cell data chipset includes the GPS funcitonality, otherwise you don't get GPS functionality. Most GPSs with wifi function will mirror the info off the screen, so it's useless as a backup GPS/plotter/alt charts. If you get an iPad for boat usage and as a backup device, do yourself a favor and get the Cellular Data version (with no chip, don't worry about that) so you get a GPS chipset. Otherwise it's just a nice mirroring device only.
We have two iPads with cell connectivity capability, one has an activated SIM card installed in the slot and one doesn't. One is a back up for the other. Both have iNavX and for our recent crossing from Mexico to French Polynesia, it was our primary way finding tool using Navionics charts. We have C-Map on the cockpit Furuno chart plotter, and a Panasonic Toughbook with C-Map plus OpenCPN. And we have paper charts. We used the iPad about 90% of the time because it uses less power than the chart plotter and much less than the Toughbook. We switched it off between logging our position every 30 minutes.

Both iPads are in Lifeproof cases and for the crossing they were on the hav table. They are often in the cockpit in a holder clamped to the binnacle. Daylight visibility under a bimini is good, and they mirror the AIS data from the Vesper XB8000. I would not hesitate to buy another one and may have to as one of them is getting a bit long in the tooth. Despite many warnings from other sailors that they are not "marinized", they are reasonably rugged and reasonably weatherproof in a Lifeproof case. They are not as rugged nor weather proof as the Furuno but cost significantly less, use less power and can be moved around the boat to convenient locations
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