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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics > ipad as instrumentation...
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Thread: ipad as instrumentation... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-10-2014 01:07 AM
randyrhines
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Just downloaded Navionics for my iPad 4 and some maps , this is the nicest nav app I have found way better than isailor or Navx
01-12-2014 08:40 PM
Minnewaska
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
....But I do have a Win 8.1 tablet that will do everything an Ipad will. ......
While I am a fan of my iPad, I suppose I should have said that the tablet is the single greatest advancement, etc....... I do give Apple the credit for mainstreaming this new world, although, there are many follow on competitors.

That said, I really like the integration between my iPad and iPhone. The later is often in my pocket aboard and I've often used it to peek at Charts and Tides, rather walk over to the chartplotter. I'll tell you a secret. I go below to use the head and my wife takes the helm in tight quarters and my iPhone sits on the counter showing me where she is going. Its nice that almost all apps I buy for the iPad are free to install on my iPhone.

I also like the reverse integration of my iPhone text messages being delivered to my iPad. I've often been reading at night and see a text pop up from the kids. This stuff just happens, no effort to synch.
01-12-2014 06:10 PM
Stumble
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
What iPad software do you use to display the AIS targets on a chart?
INavX
01-12-2014 05:37 PM
TakeFive
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
TakeFive,

Take a look at the iMux. It takes NEMA strings and pushes them over wifi on board, so you can connect ais, chartplotters, autopilots, ect to an ipad. I think mine cost about $150.
What iPad software do you use to display the AIS targets on a chart?
01-12-2014 04:51 PM
Stumble
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

TakeFive,

Take a look at the iMux. It takes NEMA strings and pushes them over wifi on board, so you can connect ais, chartplotters, autopilots, ect to an ipad. I think mine cost about $150.
01-12-2014 01:30 PM
jackdale
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post

On the other hand, I think its the greatest single advancement in marine electronics I've ever seen.
Most know that I am a paper chart kind of guy. But I do have a Win 8.1 tablet that will do everything an Ipad will. My Asus Vivo Tab Smart cost less that my wife's Ipad Air.

Laptop based navigation is in many standards that I teach. I also have most lessons and some presentations on PowerPoint.

The tablet stays below. I use a Tree Frog Pad to keep it in place on a nav table.
01-12-2014 11:47 AM
Minnewaska
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

I do not think the iPad is a great primary device, but inside one of the newer hard and waterproof cases, its not bad.

On the other hand, I think its the greatest single advancement in marine electronics I've ever seen. It is nav, entertainment, communication, research, safety all in one: gps, anchor alarms, real time weather, email, charting, music, movies, marine databases, manuals, internet access, skype, etc. Really incredible that all of this requires virtually zero instruction to use, IMO. I can't imagine being underway without it.

Different strokes for different folks, if other solutions work better for other people, more power to them.
01-12-2014 11:25 AM
TakeFive
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Screen brightness is an issue on the iPad, although, I am able to manage it quite easily under the bimini. I do not, however, use the iPad (or iPhone often) as a primary. I also use Charts and Tides for the nav app, which I find much simpler and more user friendly than the Garmin Blue-whatever too. It bailed me out of a tough spot once, when my chartplotter failed and the paper chart detail for my location was so small, I couldn't read it.
That's the thing about SailNet. It covers everything from dinghies to trailer sailors to large bluewater sailboats. We all tend to comment based on our personal experience, and advice might be irrelevant for others with very different vessels and/or sailing objectives.

I'd expect any 54 footer to have a rather substantial permanently mounted turnkey navigation system that is fully weatherproof. In my 25 footer, I want something small and portable that can be removed from the cockpit and stowed down below (for security reasons as much as anything). I don't have room for a nav pod at my pedestal because it will obstruct getting around the wheel.

I've heard good things about Charts and Tides, but all the iPod and Android apps suffer from one deficiency - they do not display vessels picked up on my AIS system. My river has a lot of commercial traffic, and the AIS can tell me whether I have time to cross the channel. This opens up the whole width of the river for me, instead of sailing down a narrow sliver outside the channel. Many others sail my river without AIS, but the AIS makes it a lot safer.

So while my system is definitely not turnkey, it takes advantage of the fact that PCs can take NMEA through a serial port (or USB-serial converter) so PC software generally is written to display AIS. I went the extra step of making is wireless using Bluetooth transmitters on my nav equipment, which makes a portable tablet a really nice way to display it.

If anyone knows of iPad or Andriod software that will display AIS data that comes in through Bluetooth, please let me know. I'd like to try it. (I've found software that takes in GPS data through Bluetooth, but not AIS.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Note that Windows8 handles internal GPS a little differently, and needs some add-on software to emulate a COM port for use with most navigation software.
This statement above is over my head and I suspect it is what Apple products specifically compete against. Apple focuses on plug and play. I've downloaded roughly 100 apps by now and have never once read an instruction on how to install or run any of them. I appreciate that some want to get into it deeper, but not me.
I understand the desire for plug and play functionality. The statement I made is widely considered to be a workaround for a temporary issue that Microsoft will fix in an upcoming update of Windows 8. More importantly, it only applies to "traditional" Windows desktop programs - the apps designed to run in Win8's modern tablet interface see the GPS seamlessly. Over time, I suspect that marine navigation apps will appear that work seamlessly with the GPS. There are already apps for auto, hiking, etc., but marine navigation is a more specialized market.
01-12-2014 08:48 AM
Minnewaska
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
......Note that Windows8 handles internal GPS a little differently, and needs some add-on software to emulate a COM port for use with most navigation software.
Screen brightness is an issue on the iPad, although, I am able to manage it quite easily under the bimini. I do not, however, use the iPad (or iPhone often) as a primary. I also use Charts and Tides for the nav app, which I find much simpler and more user friendly than the Garmin Blue-whatever too. It bailed me out of a tough spot once, when my chartplotter failed and the paper chart detail for my location was so small, I couldn't read it.

This statement above is over my head and I suspect it is what Apple products specifically compete against. Apple focuses on plug and play. I've downloaded roughly 100 apps by now and have never once read an instruction on how to install or run any of them. I appreciate that some want to get into it deeper, but not me.
01-12-2014 02:42 AM
TakeFive
Re: ipad as instrumentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Sunlight is an issue. Be sure to go into Settings and increase brightness to max.
I saw the Lenovo Miix 2 8" Windows 8.1 tablet at Best Buy today. Brightest tablet I've seen, and brighter than my daylight-viewable Netbook that I've used in my cockpit for 3 years. It was the last day at $50 off, so I bought it on the spot, but won't open it for a few days to make sure buyers remorse doesn't set in first. (I hate returning opened merchandise, so I want to be sure I'll keep it before I open it.)

I have Bluecharts on an iPad, but never really got to like it. The screen isn't bright enough for daylight, and I prefer the look of NOAA's RNC charts over Garmin's vector charts.

I really like OpenCPN and have used it on my netbook to display GPS location and AIS targets, so I plan to run that on the Miix. My netbook had 1024x600 resolution and I ran OpenCPN in two side-by-side windows. It will be really nice to have the tablet in portrait mode, so I'll have 1280 vertical pixels to see things ahead and behind me.

The Miix is one of the few Win8 tablets that has a built-in GPS, so that will make it a free-standing navigation device when I'm away from the boat. (When on the boat, GPS and AIS transmit to the computer via Bluetooth, so I don't need the internal GPS.)

Note that Windows8 handles internal GPS a little differently, and needs some add-on software to emulate a COM port for use with most navigation software.
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