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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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69sail

Chart-Plotter vs. Tablet for navigation...

54 posts in this topic

OK...I'm old fashioned so it took me years to get past GPS coordinates/paper charts to a laptop with chart-plotting software. So maybe I'm the wrong guy to pose this question.

 

But, am I missing something here? With the advances of tablet technology, (and that a chart plotter can be mounted in the cockpit) why would anyone buy a dedicated chartplotter?

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Maybe because chart plotters are designed for salt water environments and tablets like the iPad aren't even warranted against water damage from a spilled soda.

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Hardwired at the helm for AIS/MOB issues for sure. Tablet would be cool though, unless you have a navigator that wont part with his laptop.

 

Would everone on the crew know how to use the PC software on the tablet in an emergency? If you have a crewmembers that sleep a lot, the tablet could get fumbled and fall overboard in a sleepy haze.

 

Funny Ive been wondering the same thing. Interested to see what others think.

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Maybe because chart plotters are designed for salt water environments and tablets like the iPad aren't even warranted against water damage from a spilled soda.

 

When I was researching it, this was a big factor, though Griffon makes a great case for 'hardening' a tablet.

 

Plus the ability now for most terminals to interface with NMEA. It can be done with a tablet, but there's a lot of hokey pokey that needs to be done to make it work.

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Maybe because chart plotters are designed for salt water environments and tablets like the iPad aren't even warranted against water damage from a spilled soda.

 

Yep thats a given...(although my "car stereo" has performed flawlessly for 15 years in a salt-water environment).

 

My question goes to the technology...

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Hardwired at the helm for AIS/MOB issues for sure. Tablet would be cool though, unless you have a navigator that wont part with his laptop.

 

Would everone on the crew know how to use the PC software on the tablet in an emergency? If you have a crewmembers that sleep a lot, the tablet could get fumbled and fall overboard in a sleepy haze.

 

Funny Ive been wondering the same thing. Interested to see what others think.

 

Part of my question has to do with the ease of use of the iPad interface...especially for those unfamiliar with the boat.

 

I assume one would permanently mount it (down below) so it would be secure.

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

 

 

oh yeah and STFU newbie and all that other SA welcome stuff involving pictures of attractive women to the original poster.

Everyone is slacking off in here, only 3 posts and all.... :-)

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

 

i am thinking of getting the smaller one as a remote display for expedition

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The owner of http://www.marware.com/ - is a sailor I did foredeck for him for years in SF. I keep telling him that they need to develop a water tight mountable system for the ipad so the sailors can start integrating systems and using the Ipad as a repeater in the cockpit. All of his stuff is designed in house and his approach to product quality is either its 100% the best possible material and design or its not worth making and selling.

 

If there are enough sailors into the idea I'm sure he could be talked into looking into ideas in how to make a water proof case and mount system for the Ipad.

 

Super super cool guy who I'm sure wishes he could sail his J/24 more. LOL

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

 

i am thinking of getting the smaller one as a remote display for expedition

I see used toughbooks available on ebay, usually ex. police or other first responder equipment for more reasonable money but typically slower processors due to being older. If tough is the requirement and not high power that might be a good option. But again I am a subject to my vision of the world where money is a big constraint and that may not be a concern here. In which case my commentary is not very relevant :-)

 

One could also perhaps buy one of the eeetablets(cheap) and pot the whole board in epoxy??

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

 

 

oh yeah and STFU newbie and all that other SA welcome stuff involving pictures of attractive women to the original poster.

Everyone is slacking off in here, only 3 posts and all.... :-)

 

Oops...guilty as charged. I get the pictures of attractive women and all (I am frantically searching) but what (he asks stupidly)does "STFU newbie and all that other welcome stuff" involve?

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tongue.giftongue.gif

1330375382[/url]' post='3602354']
1330374141[/url]' post='3602321']
1330374009[/url]' post='3602317']
1330373864[/url]' post='3602315']
1330372636[/url]' post='3602296']

There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

 

 

oh yeah and STFU newbie and all that other SA welcome stuff involving pictures of attractive women to the original poster.

Everyone is slacking off in here, only 3 posts and all.... :-)

 

Oops...guilty as charged. I get the pictures of attractive women and all (I am frantically searching) but what (he asks stupidly)does "STFU newbie and all that other welcome stuff" involve?

 

Finally, a newbie post that is definitely not a sock puppet...tongue.gif

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STFU= Shut the F@ck Up. Said in good natured jest except for the times we mean it. Feel free to make the photos a priority... :D

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There is a water proof tablet on the market now. Can't recall what brand but when I saw the add I thought wow that might have potential on a boat as a repeater.

 

Panasonic Toughpad

 

Those are very cool but expensive. If you buy one of the toughpads or toughbooks the money savings go out the window and the advantage over a purpose built chartplotter seems to evaporate, unless saving cash is not the goal?

 

 

oh yeah and STFU newbie and all that other SA welcome stuff involving pictures of attractive women to the original poster.

Everyone is slacking off in here, only 3 posts and all.... :-)

 

Oops...guilty as charged. I get the pictures of attractive women and all (I am frantically searching) but what (he asks stupidly)does "STFU newbie and all that other welcome stuff" involve?

 

 

apologies for Jimbo. At only 563 posts, he's still a little wet behind the ears

 

The official line is

 

Fuck off Newb, HTFU and show us your wife's/girlfriend's tits

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And the most practical reason your charter plotter can be interfaced with your other stuff. Always good to have back up systems, use both.

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How is daylight visibility with tablets?

I like the tactility of the buttons on a chartplotter- I can tweak and fiddle without losing situational awareness, and nobody will screw it up by touching the screen. The ability to run split screens, with depth integrated etc. is a nice feature.

Also, since it is JUST a chartplotter, the spawn don't whine about not being able to use it to play games, watch videos, whatever.

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How is daylight visibility with tablets?

I like the tactility of the buttons on a chartplotter- I can tweak and fiddle without losing situational awareness, and nobody will screw it up by touching the screen. The ability to run split screens, with depth integrated etc. is a nice feature.

Also, since it is JUST a chartplotter, the spawn don't whine about not being able to use it to play games, watch videos, whatever.

 

 

Daylight visibility varies - the ipad is not really very good in this regard.

 

apparently, the toughpad is pretty good - maybe that's one reason why it's expensive.

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Slight Hijack,

 

Why does anyone want to navigate while in the cockpit while cruising?? Sure, I understand wanting a tablet or something like it running tactical software for racing, I do that all the times. But I can't think of a single time when I wanted my navigation information in the cockpit with me when I'm on a cruise.

 

Heck, I know I'm probably weird here, but I don't even turn the darn GPS, chart plotter or iPad on unless I'm lost or can't see or I'm giving it to someone to show 'em how it works. Those events only occur about once every three or four months, tops; and it gets REALLY foggy in SF Bay (it's why we have a compass). I know there are folks who live in very foggy places. OK, I get that, when it's foggy and you don't have someone who can stay below and give you up-to-the-second updates on your position, then maybe you need something in the cockpit. But the rest of the time, what gives? Are people really sailing their boats around staring at the chart plotter to see where they are instead of looking out over the bow?? Or is this just a toy to play with while you're bored on a long passage?

 

Ok, Hijack off for now. I guess the sailors who explored the world hundred of years ago just got lucky, not having RADAR, GPS and chart plotters to guild them. Oh, and a fridge to keep the beer cold :)

 

BV

 

PS: when Stan Honey first invented the ETAK car navigator folks would drive into the backs of the car in front of them while looking at the navigator and were surprised. "Hey, that car wasn't on the map!" I think there's something sort of like that going on here.

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Slight Hijack,

 

Why does anyone want to navigate while in the cockpit while cruising?? Sure, I understand wanting a tablet or something like it running tactical software for racing, I do that all the times. But I can't think of a single time when I wanted my navigation information in the cockpit with me when I'm on a cruise.

 

Heck, I know I'm probably weird here, but I don't even turn the darn GPS, chart plotter or iPad on unless I'm lost or can't see or I'm giving it to someone to show 'em how it works. Those events only occur about once every three or four months, tops; and it gets REALLY foggy in SF Bay (it's why we have a compass). I know there are folks who live in very foggy places. OK, I get that, when it's foggy and you don't have someone who can stay below and give you up-to-the-second updates on your position, then maybe you need something in the cockpit. But the rest of the time, what gives? Are people really sailing their boats around staring at the chart plotter to see where they are instead of looking out over the bow?? Or is this just a toy to play with while you're bored on a long passage?

 

Ok, Hijack off for now. I guess the sailors who explored the world hundred of years ago just got lucky, not having RADAR, GPS and chart plotters to guild them. Oh, and a fridge to keep the beer cold :)

 

BV

 

PS: when Stan Honey first invented the ETAK car navigator folks would drive into the backs of the car in front of them while looking at the navigator and were surprised. "Hey, that car wasn't on the map!" I think there's something sort of like that going on here.

 

 

You have a point, but it's way overstated.

 

Entering strange ports, particularly tight twisty ones, can be difficult at night or in the fog--particularly when currents and winds are strong. I've been in situations where it was difficult to distinguish between flashing red buoys and brake lights on cars in the background--and that can play tricks on your mind at 2 am. Do I turn at this flashy thing? -- or head straight toward that other flashy thing.... IN THE SAFEWAY PARKING LOT!! I don't have a plotter in the cockpit, but there have been times when I wished I did.

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Slight Hijack,

 

Why does anyone want to navigate while in the cockpit while cruising?? Sure, I understand wanting a tablet or something like it running tactical software for racing, I do that all the times. But I can't think of a single time when I wanted my navigation information in the cockpit with me when I'm on a cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

if you're sailing in well-known waters with good depth, no obstructions, no hazards, etc., then sailing blind is fine.

 

Me, I like to know where the shallows are before I hit them, not after. I also like getting near instant feedback on changes to sail trim, weight transfer, etc., even when cruising.

 

 

 

 

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Has anybody tried reading a tablet in direct sunlight?

It worked for Moses.

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I don't know much but I have lots of opinions...

 

When we were looking for a GPS for Imagine we were lucky enough to be in West Marine when the Garmin rep was there. The latest models were all touchscreen and I was a little resistant to the change from real buttons. I was surprised he wasn't pushing the latest and greatest as he shared that the touch screens can tend to get messy from fingerprints and more importantly to me, the possibility of hitting a wrong virtual button as the boat bobs is much greater than hitting a wrong real button. We went with an older model.

 

But having said all that, I wouldn't mind having a tablet at the helm just as a wireless display.

 

 

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Whisper,

 

OK, I'm overblown on this topic. But I have bumped into sailors who won't go cruising until they've bought thousands and thousands of dollars of electronics. So, they sit at the dock and dream about going someplace. Hey, if you can afford it and want the toys I'm all for it. However, in no way should anyone think a cockpit mounted chart plotter is a mandatory piece of safety equipment. Gimme a break! But, sadly, there are folks who believe this. That is a tragedy, over blown or not.

 

Beau

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Has anybody tried reading a tablet in direct sunlight?

It worked for Moses.

 

yeahwell, Carved stone doesn't wash out in direct sunlight like the electronic versions do...

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Has anybody tried reading a tablet in direct sunlight?

It worked for Moses.

 

yeahwell, Carved stone doesn't wash out in direct sunlight like the electronic versions do...

 

Can you get a RAM mount for granite?

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Can you get a RAM mount for granite?

 

Which raises an interesting question--a RAM mount for the iPad (with the inherent risk of being fouled by the mainsheet) or holding it in your hand (with the inherent risk of being dropped overboard)?

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I'm using a tablet for a chart plotter and this is what I think:

 

I bought because it was a cheaper option, I'm not disillusioned that it's better.

 

I keep it inside the boat - mounted, On port tack I can see it from the helm but not on starboard.

 

It's not waterproof but inside the boat - if that's an issue I have other things to worry about.

 

I use for my log because I don't have one, annoying that I can't easily see if from the cotpit but not the end of the world to have to step forward to look at it.

 

Nope in daylight its as good as tits on a bull, but that doesnt matter inside the boat.

 

On minimum brightness it's very hard to see the screen to do anything during the day, even inside the boat with your hand over it but at night it's still to bright and I put a sun hat over it to keep my night vision. I'd cheack this on one you want to buy.

 

At $300 instead of $1000 I think it is great, And I kind of like the fact that it's not in your face the whole time you are sailing but is handy enough to bee seen when you want it.

 

Screens in front of me don't help my sailing, I can't cheak the time without loseing 1/2 a knot!

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I'm just starting down this road. Our boat came with a Chartplotter mounted at the nav, but I'm not sure I'll use it much if at all.

 

Our primary GPS/electronic chart device is an iPAD with iAIS and iNAVx. The iPAD lives in a waterproof pouch, although next month Scanstrut will have a new waterproof, protective, fully functional case for the iPAD. With that set up and for less than $1k we can get our electronic charting, GPS info, any instrument data with NMEA output (speed, depth, temp, etc.). And it is all very portable. It is in effect a repeater that you can carry with you. Of course, my wife & I both already have iPhones, so we have all the same apps and maps loaded on the phones as backups. And we have Garmin 76cx handheld as a backup to the backups. And paper charts.

 

I have no idea why someone would spend the money on a chartplotter. JMHO. Nevermind the iPad has a million other uses that a chartplotter doesn't have.

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Has anybody tried reading a tablet in direct sunlight?

It worked for Moses.

 

you'll be here all week

 

try the veal

 

 

BV, you hit it. I wonder how many people on this board actually sail where they need a chartplotter. Most stay in familiar waters within site of land and are very familiar with the local navigational marks. In fact, I would consider radar to be a more useful tool than a chart plotter for sailing in familiar waters. But even then, if you don't have radar and it's too foggy, then you just don't go sailing. Nobody HAS to sail ;)

 

For us, we will be moving the boat to unfamiliar waters with plans to do some extensive sailing. A chartplotter (iPad/iNav) will be a nice supplement to paper charts and the v1.0 Eyeball.

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Slight Hijack,

 

Why does anyone want to navigate while in the cockpit while cruising?? Sure, I understand wanting a tablet or something like it running tactical software for racing, I do that all the times. But I can't think of a single time when I wanted my navigation information in the cockpit with me when I'm on a cruise.

 

Heck, I know I'm probably weird here, but I don't even turn the darn GPS, chart plotter or iPad on unless I'm lost or can't see or I'm giving it to someone to show 'em how it works. Those events only occur about once every three or four months, tops; and it gets REALLY foggy in SF Bay (it's why we have a compass). I know there are folks who live in very foggy places. OK, I get that, when it's foggy and you don't have someone who can stay below and give you up-to-the-second updates on your position, then maybe you need something in the cockpit. But the rest of the time, what gives? Are people really sailing their boats around staring at the chart plotter to see where they are instead of looking out over the bow?? Or is this just a toy to play with while you're bored on a long passage?

 

+1

 

I have an ipad, essentially for fun because I had land based uses. Only got a plotter a few years ago. It swings so I can get to where I can see it from on deck, but I generally don't use it in good weather.

 

I've always liked the much faster zoom function built into my eyes when using a paper chart, but when my eyes get to the point where i need glasses going on and off and the plotters get faster, I know there will be a crossover- I just hope it is in time.

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I have a small chartplotter (CP180) mounted under the dodger that I find handy. I sail in an area that is pretty new to me and is much shallower than what I'm used to. It's very reassuring to get a quick check of position when you are showing 8 feet. It lives outside and has a screen you can see in daylight. The small ones like mine don't cost anymore than an Ipad and get the job done. My kids never want to play with the plotter which is an added bonus IMHO. I have paper charts aboard and use them as well as an Iphone, Furuno GPS and a handheld. I use them all and all work fine. I can see getting an Ipad to take advantage of the myriad possibilities they offer but it is not a priority for me. I think that the Ipad/plotter choice is heavily dependant upon the plotter you are considering and the functionality you want. I can't see myself coughing up 5 grand for a plotter over a Ipad but 500 bucks may change the equation if I only wanted have a navigation system.

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Can you interact with an iPad with gloves on? My impression is you need to touch the screen with skin (or a suitable stylus). On top of that there are the issues of power and the question if a touch interface is the most appropriate for a bumpy environment. While the Raymarine 740s plotter was touch screen only, the new e7 and the Simrad NSS7 have both a touch interface and simple buttons/dials.

 

Beyond that, I think we are moving into a very different instrument environment at fast clip. With sensors putting out NMEA signals and interface boxes like the one from DMK, it seems like some very different instrumentation solutions are coming up very quickly, one in which tablets and other off the shelf hardware will play a larger role.

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Beyond that, I think we are moving into a very different instrument environment at fast clip. With sensors putting out NMEA signals and interface boxes like the one from DMK, it seems like some very different instrumentation solutions are coming up very quickly, one in which tablets and other off the shelf hardware will play a larger role.

 

Thanks to all for digging deeper into my question...

 

What Jon brings up, in addition to the other factors, all explored here, ultimately plays into why I am noodling on this;

 

I too barely use my radar/laptop/GPS due to local sailing waters. Even in unfamiliar waters, after having used paper charts for 40 years, I find the electronics distracting (especially in the cockpit) I like the eyeball thing (with the occasional reference back to the instruments). Except for the odd bad weather-harbor entering scenario...I just find these things sit unused.

 

And as Jon accurately states the technology is moving so fast that every time I think I should replace electronics...my head spins from the latest and greatest product introduction. Once you get on that band-wagon, it seems hard to get off...so I havent gotten on except for the basics.

 

Hence my considering a iPad (tablet) type solution.

 

Still trying to upload girlfriend's pictures...

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Fujitsu showcased a new waterproof tablet at CES this year, the "Arrows" ->

 

There are also several companies now which are - AFAICT - sort of "infusing" your phone with a waterproof coating for about $60. I don't see why a tablet couldn't be done as well.

 

http://www.liquipel.com/

 

http://www.hzoinside.com/

 

Disclaimer: No experience or affiliation with the above products, use at yer own risk, may cause pregnancy on 1000-day sea voyages, blah blah blah...

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Has anybody tried reading a tablet in direct sunlight?

It worked for Moses.

 

yeahwell, Carved stone doesn't wash out in direct sunlight like the electronic versions do...

iPad screen is polarized and works acceptably in bright sun, but in only one orientation. Can't remember which.

 

Very easy to get the entire NMEA feed on it by wifi from the laptop in the nav station.

 

Will not work with gloves, except those specifically designed for touch screens. Those do not work well for trimming a spinnaker, however.

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Pantech recently released a waterproof tablet which I don't think has been mentioned on this thread yet. In the US, you can pick it up from AT&T for $300 with a 2 year service commitment.

 

I recall an SA thread not too long ago which discussed using a tablet as an on deck repeater for a nav station laptop but I can't find it. Any help? I race and would love to view laptop performance data on deck via an android phone and/or tablet. I basically need a remote desktop app for android that can function over an adhoc network and isn't reliant on a router or internet access. Anyone doing this presently?

 

Edit: found the thread

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Pantech recently released a waterproof tablet which I don't think has been mentioned on this thread yet. In the US, you can pick it up from AT&T for $300 with a 2 year service commitment.

 

I recall an SA thread not too long ago which discussed using a tablet as an on deck repeater for a nav station laptop but I can't find it. Any help? I race and would love to view laptop performance data on deck via an android phone and/or tablet. I basically need a remote desktop app for android that can function over an adhoc network and isn't reliant on a router or internet access. Anyone doing this presently?

 

Edit: found the thread

 

 

pretty sure i saw a review of the pantech that said it has poor daylight visibility.

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Pantech recently released a waterproof tablet which I don't think has been mentioned on this thread yet. In the US, you can pick it up from AT&T for $300 with a 2 year service commitment.

 

I recall an SA thread not too long ago which discussed using a tablet as an on deck repeater for a nav station laptop but I can't find it. Any help? I race and would love to view laptop performance data on deck via an android phone and/or tablet. I basically need a remote desktop app for android that can function over an adhoc network and isn't reliant on a router or internet access. Anyone doing this presently?

 

Edit: found the thread

 

I found a review of Android apps for remotely controlling a PC here: PC World

 

The review is dated 5/18/2011 so there is probably more and improved PC remote control apps out there.

 

I've gone the iPad route using a device called a Digi Connect Wi-SP connected to my existing Brookhouse MUX. The Wi-SP is a serial to wireless converter. Every device on the boat's NMEA network can be displayed on the iPad. Running iNavX on the iPad, as well as iRegatta. Alternatively, I can plug in my laptop to the Brookhouse MUX's USB port and with the PC setup to run an adhoc network, control the PC with the iPad using an app called Splashtop on the iPad. No router needed in either case.

 

The iPad is mounted under the dodger using a Ram mount. To date, viewing in sunlight with the iPad under the dodger has not been an issue.

 

Splashtop on iPad showing Coastal Explorer running on PC:

IMG_0030PNG2.png

 

iNavX with AIS targets and wind display:

IMG_0027.png

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Pantech recently released a waterproof tablet which I don't think has been mentioned on this thread yet. In the US, you can pick it up from AT&T for $300 with a 2 year service commitment.

 

I recall an SA thread not too long ago which discussed using a tablet as an on deck repeater for a nav station laptop but I can't find it. Any help? I race and would love to view laptop performance data on deck via an android phone and/or tablet. I basically need a remote desktop app for android that can function over an adhoc network and isn't reliant on a router or internet access. Anyone doing this presently?

 

Edit: found the thread

 

I found a review of Android apps for remotely controlling a PC here: PC World

 

The review is dated 5/18/2011 so there is probably more and improved PC remote control apps out there.

 

I've gone the iPad route using a device called a Digi Connect Wi-SP connected to my existing Brookhouse MUX. The Wi-SP is a serial to wireless converter. Every device on the boat's NMEA network can be displayed on the iPad. Running iNavX on the iPad, as well as iRegatta. Alternatively, I can plug in my laptop to the Brookhouse MUX's USB port and with the PC setup to run an adhoc network, control the PC with the iPad using an app called Splashtop on the iPad. No router needed in either case.

 

The iPad is mounted under the dodger using a Ram mount. To date, viewing in sunlight with the iPad under the dodger has not been an issue.

 

Splashtop on iPad showing Coastal Explorer running on PC:

IMG_0030PNG2.png

 

iNavX with AIS targets and wind display:

IMG_0027.png

 

Great info, thank you very much. I've been playing around with Splashtop but need to spend some more time on it this weekend. Thanks!

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OK...I'm old fashioned so it took me years to get past GPS coordinates/paper charts to a laptop with chart-plotting software. So maybe I'm the wrong guy to pose this question.

 

But, am I missing something here? With the advances of tablet technology, (and that a chart plotter can be mounted in the cockpit) why would anyone buy a dedicated chartplotter?

 

I'm just in the middle of installing a new ships PC at the nav station.

 

Running MaxSea on a 23" flastscreen that barely uses any power, sitting right next to a Furuno MFD8 that cost twice+ what the PC did...doesn't compare so well.

 

But...although the PC is designed to be on boats, I still think it's a less solid solution than the MFD. It's less idiot proof - you can't do ANYTHING with it but make it be an MFD, and nothing much can go wrong with it. It's a rock solid device designed to take a beating, and I can run it with the PC shut down if I want to (though the PC will be a chart server).

 

But it looks damned silly next to the giant monitor.

 

I wouldn't do a tablet for a lot of reasons. I like having important equipment screwed down, hard wired and with lots a batteries behind them for one. For two...drops, warranty issues, not a marine device, etc. etc.

 

The marine PC is really nice BTW, there's a guy in FL that uses laptop motherboards in small cases with custom power supplies to make a nice tight little PC with a lot of boat optimal features (like who even puts a DB9 port on a PC any more?? Well, if you want to talk to your SSB...) and plenty of USB ports while using up very low amounts of power because of the laptop motherboard & hardware. Costs...more than a generic PC, less than a lot of Marinized PC's out there with fewer features.

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Slight Hijack,

 

Why does anyone want to navigate while in the cockpit while cruising?? Sure, I understand wanting a tablet or something like it running tactical software for racing, I do that all the times. But I can't think of a single time when I wanted my navigation information in the cockpit with me when I'm on a cruise.

 

Heck, I know I'm probably weird here, but I don't even turn the darn GPS, chart plotter or iPad on unless I'm lost or can't see or I'm giving it to someone to show 'em how it works. Those events only occur about once every three or four months, tops; and it gets REALLY foggy in SF Bay (it's why we have a compass). I know there are folks who live in very foggy places. OK, I get that, when it's foggy and you don't have someone who can stay below and give you up-to-the-second updates on your position, then maybe you need something in the cockpit. But the rest of the time, what gives? Are people really sailing their boats around staring at the chart plotter to see where they are instead of looking out over the bow?? Or is this just a toy to play with while you're bored on a long passage?

 

Ok, Hijack off for now. I guess the sailors who explored the world hundred of years ago just got lucky, not having RADAR, GPS and chart plotters to guild them. Oh, and a fridge to keep the beer cold :)

 

BV

 

PS: when Stan Honey first invented the ETAK car navigator folks would drive into the backs of the car in front of them while looking at the navigator and were surprised. "Hey, that car wasn't on the map!" I think there's something sort of like that going on here.

 

 

The MFD 12 we have sitting in the cockpit rocks. Fog, night, traffic - all good to have. It's a lot easier to get information from someone sitting six feet away int he cockpit than someone down below at the nav station trying to do radar watch from down below. I'd rather them be able to keep an eye on the radar and an eye on the water with me.

 

Also I can see things and get information without leaving the helm - with a wireless USB mouse on the MFD I can control it from the helm if I want, though I sort of need to squint to see details.

 

Having good charts right there in front if you in strange waters is really helpful. Approaches, etc. it all is good. Hundreds of miles off shore? Maybe it's not so useful in the cockpit. But there is something to be said for being able to do a quick check of the charts with the flick of an eye when you are in new to you waters.

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Whisper,

 

OK, I'm overblown on this topic. But I have bumped into sailors who won't go cruising until they've bought thousands and thousands of dollars of electronics. So, they sit at the dock and dream about going someplace. Hey, if you can afford it and want the toys I'm all for it. However, in no way should anyone think a cockpit mounted chart plotter is a mandatory piece of safety equipment. Gimme a break! But, sadly, there are folks who believe this. That is a tragedy, over blown or not.

 

Beau

 

Of course it's not mandatory. We never had a chartplotter in the cockpit until I upgraded the boat two years ago, though I always kept a Garmin 76 series near me.

 

Now Radar, AIS, MARPA and all that - you shouldn't leave the dock without. Unless you keep a 50 lb sack of potatoes on the bow like Stickboy does...

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Has anybody tried reading a tablet in direct sunlight?

It worked for Moses.

 

you'll be here all week

 

try the veal

 

 

BV, you hit it. I wonder how many people on this board actually sail where they need a chartplotter. Most stay in familiar waters within site of land and are very familiar with the local navigational marks. In fact, I would consider radar to be a more useful tool than a chart plotter for sailing in familiar waters. But even then, if you don't have radar and it's too foggy, then you just don't go sailing. Nobody HAS to sail ;)

 

For us, we will be moving the boat to unfamiliar waters with plans to do some extensive sailing. A chartplotter (iPad/iNav) will be a nice supplement to paper charts and the v1.0 Eyeball.

 

We came into Seal Bay on Vinalhaven in Maine at mid/low tide, with a course carefully plotted amongst the rocks and channels. My comment at the time was that it felt more like a video game, but it was really easy to find out way through with careful attention paid to both looking out of the boat and what was on the chartplotter. Nasty rock in the middle totally covered at high tide to be avoided.

 

 

seal_bay_chart.jpg

 

 

I'm reasonably certain that this boat that came in the next day did NOT have a course carefully plotted amongst the rocks they were monitoring as they picked their way through. That strip of exposed bottom in front of them is that bar at the south end of David's Island.

 

boat_on_rock.jpg

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AIS and MARPA for the porta bote, too.

Yah, gives you something to tie the oars to.

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Nah, oars are secured with the clamp on the Fluke meter! Me thinks yer paxtorbating a little too much!

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Pantech recently released a waterproof tablet which I don't think has been mentioned on this thread yet. In the US, you can pick it up from AT&T for $300 with a 2 year service commitment.

 

I recall an SA thread not too long ago which discussed using a tablet as an on deck repeater for a nav station laptop but I can't find it. Any help? I race and would love to view laptop performance data on deck via an android phone and/or tablet. I basically need a remote desktop app for android that can function over an adhoc network and isn't reliant on a router or internet access. Anyone doing this presently?

 

Edit: found the thread

 

I found a review of Android apps for remotely controlling a PC here: PC World

 

The review is dated 5/18/2011 so there is probably more and improved PC remote control apps out there.

 

I've gone the iPad route using a device called a Digi Connect Wi-SP connected to my existing Brookhouse MUX. The Wi-SP is a serial to wireless converter. Every device on the boat's NMEA network can be displayed on the iPad. Running iNavX on the iPad, as well as iRegatta. Alternatively, I can plug in my laptop to the Brookhouse MUX's USB port and with the PC setup to run an adhoc network, control the PC with the iPad using an app called Splashtop on the iPad. No router needed in either case.

..snip...........

 

yes Splashtop seems to be pretty seamless and allows you to still use your PC whlle streaming data over Wifi to a tablet/iPhone etc.... The other "remote desktops" relying on Windows RDP, lock out the PC at the nav station while a remote device is connected.

Just for laughs I used Splashtop on an iPhone to display Expedition running on my PC and it was actually still quite visible. Frankly, for most coastal Nav, iNavx with a wifi bridge to NMEA has a great bang for the buck at the moment. No doubt developments will will continue at a rapid pace.

 

I must admit that Raymarine have pulled their finger out on the design of the new E7 MFD, by including a built in GPS, and WiFi broadcast for tablets etc...

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Nah, oars are secured with the clamp on the Fluke meter! Me thinks yer paxtorbating a little too much!

 

Hey my 15' cable for the Pactorbator arrived today, but I won't get to play with it until I return from the Great Schlep of 20121.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Wherein I take the whole family a trailer full of silver, china, turkish carpets, grandfather clocks and hope chests up and down the Eastern Seaboard distributing the few things we are keeping to family and a storage unit in Virgina over a two week period starting next Tuesday.

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