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Old 31-03-2022, 08:50   #1
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Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

Hello Everyone,

We are looking to purchase a new I Pad to run Navionics as a back up for our Raymarine Axium chart plotter. We would appreciate any input regarding what everyone has and their experience, pro and cons of different models. We do not need a cell plan, just GPS. We are new to costal/ocean navigation and sailing. We will be traveling north on the east coast of FL starting in May.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 31-03-2022, 08:53   #2
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

One thing that I will offer is that when using iPad and iPhones while flying, I have found their screen dim and hard to read in sunlight and I have also had them overheat when sun is shining on them through the plexiglass of the cockpit. I don't know what other's experience is.
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Old 31-03-2022, 08:59   #3
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

Other than the normal things you will hear about the screens being hard to read in the sun. My only opinion/experience is the GPS is more accurate using an external GPS like the bad elf.

I would purchase a lower priced wifi only iPad and use an external GPS. Of course there is the argument that it is one more piece in the puzzle to have problems with. But you do also get some additional features on some of the external GPS units.

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Old 01-04-2022, 05:00   #4
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

I have the same setup. I'd recommend the entry level iPad with an external GPS. I've used a Dual SkyPro GPS via bluetooth and now get the info through my AIS WiFi.

As mentioned by others, the iPads are not always easy to read, need to be kept charged and dim the screen even further when getting hot. I'm currently using the iPad as an occasional info source with Aquamap and as an emergency backup.

Having said all that, if you want to go the cheap route, then a cell phone serves the same emergency backup purpose.

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Old 01-04-2022, 06:38   #5
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

When you say iPad do you mean the actual brand or using the term generically like "Kleenex" when you mean "facial tissue"? I use Android phones and tablets and Linux computers. Never was a fan of Apple or Microsoft. There's probably a hundred different brands of Android tablets and many of them can be had with built in GPS. Almost all are considerable less expensive than even a basic iPad. On most, and iPad as well, you need the get the cellular version to get GPS. Most have the two functions on the same chip because if it has cellular it's required by the FCC to have GPS to interface with the 911 system. You don't need to activate the cellular part unless you want it to also act as a phone or have it's own cellular data connection. I use the hotspot on my phone when I need to connect the tablet which is infrequent.
I'm currently using a Dragontouch Max10 tablet I got on Amazon for $160. It has GPS and is bright enough under my bimini top. Running Navionics, Aquamap, and Opencpn (not all at the same time). None of the regular iPad or android tablets are waterproof, so whatever model you choose get a good water resistant case and screen protector. My first tablet was a pretty decent Toshiba, it got splashed once and died. For that reason I consider them as disposable and buy the cheapest I can find that will do the job. There are also "rugged" tablets out there that are waterproof but they're even pricier than a high end iPad.
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Old 01-04-2022, 07:23   #6
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

The last time I checked, NAVIONICS did not get all the data from the Ray wifi. If that is the case, you will need to buy a NMEA2k to wifi adapter.

Making that investment will bring wind, depth, AIS to the iPad, making it an effective second mFD
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Old 01-04-2022, 07:34   #7
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

Last summer on the Chessy I used a Samsung tablet (with GPS) and downloaded the free ARGO app, had it next to the chartplotter (not my boat, I forget if it was Garmin or Ray) on the helm pedestal. The Argo app on the Tablet was accurate and I concluded would be a decent back-up to the mounted chartplotter. As with any handheld, glare and ability to re-charge are always a consideration. Good luck.
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Old 01-04-2022, 11:10   #8
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

I'm partial to Apple hardware. Over the years I've had the occasional spill and they've managed to shrug it off. Even my first-gen iPhone ended up catching a bit of saltwater once and was largely unaffected. I still put my iPad in a waterproof case though.

Have a plan for shade. You wouldn't leave your binoculars sitting in the sun, so why do it with a tablet?

Between the iPad models I don't have strong preferences. The cellular models are required if you want GPS, of course. An external GPS may help with battery, but it's one more device to worry about. In normal use I'd just pull from the boat's GPS.

If you're planning to load massive amounts of movies and photos you might care about the storage capacity. If you're planning to mount it somewhere, cut out a piece of cardboard the same size and do some test-fits to see what feels comfortable. The larger models (12-13") are nice for working with down below, but can be unwieldy in the cockpit (particularly if not mounted).

Look for a NMEA to wifi adapter so you can get boat data to the iPad. Raymarine /might/ talk to Navionics, but my observation is that it's not a "real" NMEA stream that other apps can make use of. You can even get GPS data that way, but if your intent is to use the pad as a backup then you'll want GPS hardware in the tablet as well.

Use "site:cruisersforum.com tablet" or some variation to search the forums; this topic has been hashed out many times over.
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Old 01-04-2022, 17:40   #9
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

If this is just for backup, you could use an iPhone rather than an iPad.

I tend to do my planning on an iPad then sync the waypoints etc across to my iPhone.
This all happens automagically if they’re on the same login.

The iPhone is much more convenient underway as it can live in your pocket and only be pulled out when needed.

Obviously the screen’s not as big but it works well enough.
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Old 03-04-2022, 07:50   #10
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

I've been navigating primarily with an iPad as my chartplotter for going on 8 years now. Vastly cheaper than any of the dedicated chartplotters, and useful for other things (like watching movies down below on a rainy day, etc...).


For the plotting app, I run iNavX as the charting app, and have it integrated with my boat's instrumentation via wifi. I use a Vesper XB-8000 AIS transponder to feed AIS, and all my instrument data, to the iPad. It connects to my NMEA-2000 network, and adapts all the sensors to a 0183 stream to send out over the wifi. It also adapts my Furuno heading sensor (which does 0183 only) into the N2K network. Great piece of kit.
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Old 03-04-2022, 09:57   #11
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Re: Looking for Advice Regarding a New I Pad to Use in Conjunction with Axium

I've also been using an iPad for the last few years, currently an iPad 6 cellular model. I use iNavx and iSailor, mostly the latter which also runs on my iPhone. I also use a stand alone Garmin GPS unit that connects to it.

The biggest problem I've had is overheating when in the sun. Setting it up like a chart plotter at the helm has not worked for me because it inevitably overheats and shuts down. Power is also an issue; with full-time location working, it uses it up fast.I mostly sail where I know the waters in the Chesapeake so I don't really need it all the time, it's more a matter of frequently checking. So my practice has been to shove it under a cushion when not in active use.

This year I plan to run OpenCPN on my MacBook Pro and connect the iPad via wifi.
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