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Old 09-04-2014, 22:23   #1
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Hello, I just bought my first boat. Steel Hull 36, Boden germain, and im about to start sailing arround Withsunday islands, in Airlie Beach, Australia. I have and old GPS but i would like to get a tablet for sailing. I don t have much money cause i have short budget. Someone can recomend me some modest tablet that could run the sowftware and charts? Thanks! I m thinking in one with android operator. Ipad i think is more expensive...
Any advise would be really helpfull.

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Old 10-04-2014, 01:11   #2
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It would be better to purchase one with win 8.1 or Linux unless you are experimental and a willing and knowledgeable programmer....Then you'll be able to run opencpn and plugins without too much trouble. There are those who are running opencpn on other OS.

There are many in this forum who are very helpful and knowledgeable and they will probably chime in. Welcome. We hope you will become a part of this community.

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Old 13-04-2014, 18:43   #3
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Does anyone have any experience with the Fujitsu Waterproof Q584 windows 8.1.
looks like its under $900 and comes with an optional GPS.

seems like the perfect tablet for OpenCPN...
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Old 14-04-2014, 01:24   #4
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My understanding is that Android will run the Navioinics Ap, and that Navionics charts are fairly well regarded in Australia, though I have no personal experience of this.

Do you have an Android phone?

My opinion is that an entry level chart plotter with up to date charts will be a much more user friendly option. I have mine wired to a cigarette lighter plug and plug it in as needed.

The additional cost is not huge and it does require some wiring but it is proper marine kit. Have a look at Whitworths online or your local chandler.
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Old 14-04-2014, 01:53   #5
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You'll need to decide whether you want to use the tablet as a chart plotter (therefore must be waterproof) or just for route planning. If the latter, I'd consider a Nexus 10 (the Nexus 7 is cheaper but a bit small for running navigation apps) plus the Navionics Android app. Total cost I'd guess of around AUS$600.

As a previous poster has suggested, you can connect it to the boat 12V system using a simple car socket adapter and the supplied USB to micro USB cable.

I also have a long charging cable, so I could use the Nexus 10 in the cockpit if necessary (though I would only consider that in an emergency). Hope this helps.
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Old 14-04-2014, 02:14   #6
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And in case you want to have AIS or Autopilot functions then OpenCPN is your friend.

Australian charts: Australian OpenCPN users might start to ask AHO about their official charts for OpenCPN, specially how they want to bundle and price those.
There is some discussion and a little push from user side might help...

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Old 14-04-2014, 03:14   #7
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We use the Nexus 7 with Navionics, we have 2 aboard. They work fine and have GPS of course but are not waterproof so keep them below if its a bit rough. We really like them, we have 2 full on chart plotters but rarely use them. Cost around $200 plus change when they are on sale.
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Old 14-04-2014, 07:40   #8
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I have used older Fujitsu Stylistics Tablets (I'm on my third one) Paid about USD$150 on Ebay, for each one. You need to add a gps ($30 or $100 for a used Garmin). The are rugged but not very waterproof. On Deck I put them in a plastic envelope. Mostly I kept them in the companionway or belowdeck. I always keep a Garmin76 on deck with the current route.

Charts are expensive in Australia, I think, so Navionics on and android device might be cheapest. The one big negative with this is the screen won't be bright. The Fujitsu Stylistic systems that I bought all had a screen that was brighter in direct sunlight than in the shade!
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Old 14-04-2014, 23:31   #9
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Is $360 all up in the budget?

I use a 10" Lenovo Android tablet running the Navionics app and think it's a great combination. Lenovo stopped selling Android tablets a year or so ago, but there are still plenty of new ones on eBay for under $300 delivered. The Navionics app is $60 and that's all you need.

If you choose a different tablet, make sure it has inbuilt GPS. If it's a common brand it will probably be compatible with Navionics. A 3G connection to a mobile network is not needed for Navionics once you have downloaded it.

You could go cheaper, by using an Android phone, and then the Navionics app is much cheaper as well, but I would find the small screen too restrictive.

If you have a laptop, a better solution is OpenCPN with downloaded CM93 charts - all free.

The original post says you have a GPS - I assume this does not have charts. My warning is that you should not rely on electronic charting, particularly the non robust tablets, so get paper charts. Also, the book 100 Magic Miles is the bible for Whitsundays.

Similar questions have been raised here many times, so try doing a search.
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Old 15-04-2014, 09:16   #10
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Originally Posted by hogHunter View Post
We use a gallon size ziploc bag for waterproofing and it works great! Just change the bag if you see a hole in it or if the plastic gets scratched and is hard to see through. Works like a charm for us!
This doesn't cause heat problems with the tablet?
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Old 15-04-2014, 09:23   #11

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Originally Posted by Phantoms View Post
This doesn't cause heat problems with the tablet?
Not at all. We never had any problem with overheating. Works wonderfully! We bought a mount and jerry rigged it to fit at the helm and just snapped in the tablet inside a bag. We've sailed thousands of miles like this!
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Old 15-04-2014, 21:02   #12
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I have an ASUS Vivo Tab Smart with OpenCPN, Canadian raster charts and some NOAA vector and raster charts.

It stays below. I prefer to use the Mark I eyeball on deck. I do not like "driving by video screen."

Of course, my main charts are paper.
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Old 16-04-2014, 05:44   #13
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We use a Pantech Element (water proof amd has gps) you dont need a subscription to att to have it work fine. Costs aroumd $100 on ebay. It is only 8" last weekend we were comparing it with our Raymarine color E80 w gold chips and the Navionics Hd on the tablet blows the Raymarinen out of the water.....
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Old 19-04-2014, 05:38   #14
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I have a Miix2 8" Win8 tablet running OpenCPN. It has a GPS built in, but you need to run the Geolocation TCP utility to have OpenCPN access it. Search this forum for "Miix2" to find numerous comments that I have posted on it: : Lenovo IdeaTab Miix2 8-Inch 32 GB Tablet : Tablet Computers : Computers & Accessories

If conditions get wet, I put it in this waterproof pouch: Travelon Luggage Waterproof E-Reader Pouch, Clear/Black, One Size: Clothing
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Old 24-04-2014, 08:02   #15
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This may be the Broadcom Bluetooth driver for Lenovo that RhythmDr had trouble with it use and Opencpn.

RhythmDr has several good posts about using Bluetooth for AIS and GPS and Bdcat has an ongoing thread about it here:

Some Bluetooth Concepts - RD States:
Apparently the transmitting device needs to present itself to the host as a serial device (as opposed to earpiece, stereo headphones, etc.). SPP is the acronym for Serial Port Profile, and there are other acronyms for the other profiles. Since the vast majority of people want headsets or headphones, most drivers support those things, but may not support more arcane things like serial emulation. Since my transmitter is a serial device, it's pretty clear that it would want to convert back to serial emulation at the computer end, so things have worked pretty well. I'm not sure if the other devices do the same thing, or perhaps want to emulate a WiFi network or other type of communications device.
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