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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Tablet PC for Display
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Thread: Tablet PC for Display Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-11-2007 10:11 PM
sailingdog Wiseleyb-

1) GPSNavX is the older program and not quite as capable as MacENC, which is designed to handle the NOAA free ENC vector-based charts, along with basically everything that GPSNavX did.

2) Their software works just fine, and you can just download the NOAA ENC charts. They even have a link to the NOAA ENC downloads page on their website, on the compatibility page. I'd go with MacENC btw...since it is a more capable package.

3) If your more comfortable on the Mac, use the Mac... if not, use the PC.

4) You will need a USB-to-serial adapter to get the NMEA 0183 data feed off of the Radar...but the program (MacENC) should read it.

An easy way to get the use of the same software on deck is to get an older Fujitsu 4000 series tablet computer with a water-resistant housing they made for it. That way it can withstand the conditions.. and then just use a VNC client and run a VNC server package on the Mac... Essentially, you'll be using the tablet computer as a thin-client to your Mac, which stays nice and safe down below in the cabin. Most Macs have 802.11g WiFi, and so does the Fujitsu tablet...so you can connect them together as a network, wirelessly.

Any questions about this, let me know via pm.
02-11-2007 07:12 PM
wiseleyb
Bit confused on Mac options

First - I have a Mac OSX (Intel) laptop, an Win XP Laptop and a "beater" Linux Laptop - since I'm a programmer. I like the Mac best and it seems like the Mac is pretty well supported.

I'm returning to sailing after a 9 year break and am outfitting a new boat...

So - reading all this great information - I'm confused on a few things:

1) What's the difference between GPSNavX and MacEnc?

2) I can't figure out if these come with the charts I need or if I need to order MapTech charts like these

3) Is doing this stuff on a Mac just a headache? Should I just go with the PC?

4) I do mostly single-handed sailing and use radar alarms to get some sleep while off shore. Can I hook this into my mac (i.e. the radar display)? Or is that still PC only?

Since it would be nice to have this stuff on deck what are the best options for a basic chart/radar display on deck? I don't need a huge screen or anything, and reusing any software would be a huge plus. Can I get data off a system like this onto a laptop (to record where I went, etc.)? Suggestions?
01-23-2007 10:40 AM
sailingdog Some of the Raymarine displays can also be used as a PC display IIRC.
01-23-2007 10:37 AM
camaraderie Stan ...I'm with you on that...I have a Ray Chartplotter Radar at my helm and don't use my PC for navigation. I was just inquiring about the toughbook because it has been my experience that even well protected PC's are unsuitable for helm use due to the screen getting washed out in bright daylight and I wondered if any had gone to the more viewable screens used in marine electronics as I DO like to sit up top at anchor and often can't see my screen.
01-23-2007 10:25 AM
christyleigh
'Marine' hardware for marine duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
My PC screen is completely unreadable in bright sunlight. Are the Toughbooks different or is that why the Raymarine screens are so expensive (other than the "marine" part! ????
Cam - While I fully agree the 'marine' name tag is $$ abused there is a big difference when it comes to use at the helm. I don't remember what the 'standard #' is that is stamped on 'outside' electronics cases but it keeps the water out of the cases and connections. When I self delivered my NC from Annapolis to RI I picked up a stand alone Raymarine chartplotter to have at the helm (paper also of course). I simply tied it to a stay at the helm and ran the DC through a protected window. Going up L.I. Sound against the wind into steep tide/opposing wind generated waves at 6 kts it was raining salt water from the rigging for 6 hours. I wished the sunlight viewable little screen had windshield wipers because I had to keep wiping off the salt water to see it. That was over a year ago with no problems. Try that with a PC screen
01-22-2007 06:19 PM
dmann12
Tablet

I have a Walkabout Hammerhead Tablet with stylus and it is guaranteed to be able to take a 4 foot fall without any harm done. The advertising even shows a pick-up truck running over it and it still works. I have all the NOAA charts of US waters on it and SeaClear Nav software. It takes my GPS NMEA input also.

Granted it is monochrome and very heavy for a 9 inch tablet, but it works fine.
01-22-2007 05:42 AM
sailingdog Magnus-

It depends... If you're running Windows XP under the BootCamp option as an alternate operating system on the Mac, with its own partition on the hard drive, yes it should probably work. Switching between Mac OS and Windows XP would require rebooting the machine each time though. You could also try running it via Parallels workstation, and have Windows XP running as a "virtual machine" within Mac OSX, which is going to be slower, but has the advantage of not requiring the machine be re-booted to get to the Raymarine software. The major difference between the two setups, besides the reboot, is whether the device drivers for the Raymarine will be compatible with the OS running... Under BootCamp, I don't think it will really be an issue, since you'll effectively be using a Windows XP/Intel machine....under Parallels, I doubt the drivers will be recognized...
01-21-2007 09:18 PM
magnusmurphy
Mac with Raymarine

Raymarine claims their software is not compatible with the Mac OS. However, I know that the new Mac laptops use Intel chips and can run the windows OS> I have no experience with Mac, but because of years of frustration with pcs at work and home, I'm considering trying a Mac. It would be great if it could also be used on board - where I'm looking at the R Eseries.

Does anyone know if that will be compatible with the Raymarine E-series plotter and RNS software?

M Murphy
01-21-2007 07:11 PM
Maine Sail
Why I don't use a computer..

Why I don't use a computer for navigation is easy they crash and are far more un-reliable on a boat than a plotter! My Garmin & Raymarine plotters have never once let me down. Since I started using a dedicated chartplotter I've logged over 33,000 nm and except for one lightning strike they have been as reliable as a sextant for me. My laptops on the other hand have not been so good. I was running the Captain software and had nothing but problems with my laptop... Plus I like having a display at my helm. In 25 foot vis Maine fog you can't be running back and forth to the nav station!!!

P.S.

The stylus on most tablets are propietary and cost about $30.00 to $70.00 to replace. In reference to an above post about Fujitsu tablets being more reliable they are slightly more reliable tnah HP's but less so than the IBM's. My wife uses Fujitsu tablets in her practice and she's on her third in 16 months. I went through two HP's in about 9 months & I now use an IBM. So I'd say they are about equal in terms of reliability. When you try and build a unit to the lightest weight specs they break and fail. A boat is a much more harsh environment than a medical office so I still say stay away from tablets.

You can buy a Garmin plotter with all US waters pre-loaded for $500.00 clams. Even the cheapest laptop pc is $599.00 plus the software & external GPS receiver.. Boat stuff is NOT always more expensive it's just USUALLY more expensive. A plotter is much more durable than a laptop on a boat period even if it's a tough book. Oh yean and none of the tablets we own is daylight visible even under the bimini when compared to either my back up Garmin or my Raymarine C-80.....

01-21-2007 04:16 PM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
I suppose you could put a conventional flat screen on the binnacle and then shroud it like an early radar display, stick your face in the hole to read it. But I'm impressed with the new Palm Treo's. 320x320 screen is almost 1/2 VGA, fairly crisp and bright, bluetooth, and not ultra-expensive. If there was a way to pull everything together belowdecks and then pipe it up to Treo's on deck via BlueTooth...that might be a nice multiple display system.
That is certainly a decent alternative, because you can in essence stash such a device inside your foulies in a Ziploc bag, activate as needed and simply connect via Bluetooth to the "main" nav station PC for an update without going below.
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