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Old 14-07-2018, 17:17   #16
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GrowleyMonster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44 Ofshore
Posts: 2,913
Re: Galaxy Tab S3 - GPS.....

I currently own FOUR Samsung Note 3 phones. Have owned a Note 4, didn't like it, but not because of the GPS. Also owned a Tab 2 7" and it worked great, but the Note 3 is a little more convenient. The GPS seems to be every bit as accurate as a standalone dedicated GPS. I have a couple of BU353 pucks that I use with my Linux laptops and there is zero difference in performance between them and my Note3 phones. I run OCPN on the phones, rather than use them as GPS units for the laptop.

The phone GPS doens't work well inside a steel vessel, though it is okay right in a window. Well, same with the USB puck but you can always mount it topside. On a wood or fiberglass yacht, a Samsung tablet properly set up and with charging power available is a perfectly cromulent solution. And you can even use it to make phone calls. Can't do that with most GPS machines!

Only caveat other than the power issue and the antenna placement issue is redundancy. If GPS is your only means of determining position at sea, you really need at least two devices and two separate means of providing them with power. So many boats don't even carry paper charts anymore (I don't) that even the fallback option of keeping a simple DR track is out.

But because you might want to use your phone to do other things, I would lean more toward a "real" GPS for everyday use and keep the phone configured and loaded with charts for a backup. NOT because the GPS chip isn't as good... it is.

The BU353 USB GPS pucks are pretty cheap. They play nicely with Linux, and just need a driver to work on WinDOHs. Probably works on Mac, too.

Of course, the cool thing about using your phone is you can stick it in a ziplock bag and use it in the cockpit, no wires needed and completely portable, until the battery dies. An external battery in the baggie with the phone and you are good to go all day long. If it dies, pop down below and get your backup.
1979 Bruce Roberts Offshore 44, BRUTE FORCE
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