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So...

i managed to pick up a 7” Lenovo 16 gig tablet new for silly money.

its downloading Navionics maps as I type this, comes with gps and wifi but no cell SIM card.

its the WLAN model, but has a slot for micro sd cards

i am thinking of just setting up the charts and leaving it on the boat, so no need to take the iPad aboard and I still have an iPhone and a Garmin plotter for backup.

the USB charger just runs at 1 amp, so will work fine with a plug in 12v charger.

any other things I could use it for?

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Our backup is Garmin BlueChart on the pad and phone. But Navionics on the Rayforshit sucks so badly the eThings are become our main nav tools

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45 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

 the eThings are become our main nav tools

Google translate isn't working so well either....

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Here's my 2 drachmas..

2 years ago I got a used Samsung galaxy tab active, waterproof and shockproof.  Wifi only version, used on ebay for 125 bux.  I got navionics for basic navigation, and sailgrib for routing.  Got an $8 go pro chest harness and adapted it with the industrial velcro, put the same velcro on the back of the tablet and have the tablet basically strapped on my chest.  I adapted the harness so I can flip it open when I need to look at it and secure it to my chest when I'm doing other stuff.  Screen is the best I've used so far in the daylight, of any tablet, phone or computer.  Total cost is less than $200.  If you want to connect to the boat instruments, you can do that with various wifi and bluetooth connections depending on your instruments.

I'm a racing offshore navigator and have used Expedition and other software on big ticket racing programs.  Expedition is great if you have the time and money to devote to it and stay fluent, but it is a beast to stay up on as far as keeping fluent with it's features.  Most of the time, except for very competitive offshore racing, I use the tablet on my chest because I can do almost everything I can do for basic navigation and routing as with Expedition, but I can be topside and more mobile with the little rugged android tablet for a lot less $.

I recently purchased the updated samsung galaxy tab active 2 with a bit more horsepower, because I'm doing a lot of racing offshore this coming summer and want somthing a bit more powerful plus have my old tab active as a backup.  The nice thing about the tab active is the batteries swap out.  Granted you need to get below and be careful when you swap out the battery, but it isn't too big a deal.  Generally I can get a good 20 hours or so per battery.  I did Ft Lauderdale to Key West with it and still had over 30% battery at the finish.

It's cool to actually be more of the on deck crew instead of being a potato in the nav station.  I like to sail, not just look at a screen.  Plus as nav/tactician, it's great to keep eyes out of the boat and have the screen as reference, right there on deck.  You can do that as well with Expedition and a rugged Windows tablet, but it costs a lot more.

This little low cost setup has totally changed the way I sail, for the better.  WAY better.

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3 hours ago, bgytr said:

 The nice thing about the tab active is the batteries swap out. 

What's your experience with replacement batteries?  With Samsung phones, my experience has been that it is almost impossible to find genuine (not knock-off) ones, or if you can find genuine ones they have sat on a shelf for X years and are shite out of the box.

On a separate topic, being an old ham radio hacker (analog), I don't get the crazy concern over the 12V thing in this thread (and perhaps I missed it).  Are today's digital electronics *so* sensitive that running a device spec'd for "12V" on 13.6V is going to nuke 'em?

And for Raz'r (I think it was Raz'r) who reversed the leads and cooked the minix, there's an old analog trick of putting a diode bridge in between the DC jack and the board you are powering.  No matter how you hook up the juice, the polarity is correct on the other side.  There is an attendant voltage drop, and it has to be sized for the current, and yada, yada, yada. . .

 

I do like the Tab Active approach, though. . .

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8 hours ago, bplipschitz said:

On a separate topic, being an old ham radio hacker (analog), I don't get the crazy concern over the 12V thing in this thread (and perhaps I missed it).  Are today's digital electronics *so* sensitive that running a device spec'd for "12V" on 13.6V is going to nuke 'em?

And for Raz'r (I think it was Raz'r) who reversed the leads and cooked the minix, there's an old analog trick of putting a diode bridge in between the DC jack and the board you are powering.  No matter how you hook up the juice, the polarity is correct on the other side.  There is an attendant voltage drop, and it has to be sized for the current, and yada, yada, yada. . .

Voltage sensitive?  Probably not so much, but on this consumer gear there aren't usually any specs that give an allowable voltage range.  So we won't know how far we can push it until we find out the hard way.  I am much more comfortable testing the minimum voltage range.  So far the "12V" computers I've tested can run at least up to +15V without smoking.

Diode bridge for polarity works well, but as you say there is there is a 2-diode voltage drop which may matter when the house battery is low.  You can cut the drop in half by just using a single diode in series with the power lead -- if you connect the power backwards the device won't fry, it just won't run.  For essentially zero drop, put a reverse-polarity diode across the power leads, with a fuse in front of it.  Connect the power backwards and the fuse blows, and the device sees less than a volt of reverse polarity, and only for a moment.

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18 minutes ago, valis said:

Diode bridge for polarity works well, but as you say there is there is a 2-diode voltage drop which may matter when the house battery is low.  You can cut the drop in half by just using a single diode in series with the power lead -- if you connect the power backwards the device won't fry, it just won't run.  For essentially zero drop, put a reverse-polarity diode across the power leads, with a fuse in front of it.  Connect the power backwards and the fuse blows, and the device sees less than a volt of reverse polarity, and only for a moment.

If the voltage drop / power dissipation are a problem and you don't want to blow fuses you might be interested in this method:

 

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58 minutes ago, valis said:

Voltage sensitive?  Probably not so much, but on this consumer gear there aren't usually any specs that give an allowable voltage range.  So we won't know how far we can push it until we find out the hard way.  I am much more comfortable testing the minimum voltage range.  So far the "12V" computers I've tested can run at least up to +15V without smoking.

Diode bridge for polarity works well, but as you say there is there is a 2-diode voltage drop which may matter when the house battery is low.  You can cut the drop in half by just using a single diode in series with the power lead -- if you connect the power backwards the device won't fry, it just won't run.  For essentially zero drop, put a reverse-polarity diode across the power leads, with a fuse in front of it.  Connect the power backwards and the fuse blows, and the device sees less than a volt of reverse polarity, and only for a moment

I've got an Intel NUC as an onboard Pc running directly off the 12vdc supply. The first unit I used was 12vdc rated and it would refuse to start if the input voltage exceeded about 13 volts. The next model I tried was input rated 19 volts but is happy as Larry running on the 12 volt (ish) supply. Because I'm a cheap skate, I only use second hand units but I notice the specs on some newer NUC models do actually have on input rated supply specifation of 12 to 19 vdc.

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On 2/1/2018 at 3:03 PM, Alan H said:

I can do those things, and mostly do, in fact do those things.  Location services is off on my iphone, unless I need it to figure out how to get somewhere and I need to use the maps app.  I don't get advertising directly from Google, either. But I get advertising from Yahoo.  I get phone calls from organizations which seem to know what my online shopping preferences are.   You know what burns me?  Not that I can turn those things off, but that I HAVE to turn those things off to prevent private companies from gathering that much intensely personal information about me.  98% of consumers never bother.  Like my pastor....I explained to Greg that apple google knows the exact route that his 6 year old nephew takes to walk to school, and doesn't that creep him out?  He didn't get it.  His response was that he didn't care if these companies learned a lot about him because it made shopping easier.  That's a direct quote "It makes shopping easier".  I don't know how to respond to that much utter disregard for his own personal privacy.

Because you know, if Google has the data, the Feds can subpoena that.   How would Greg feel about the GOVERNMENT having all that information?

Like everyone, I have my "line", too. I have a friend who doesn't have a credit card for this exact reason.  She pays cash everywhere she goes. I was blown away when I discovered that the Medical School coffeehouse at my University won't take cash..you HAVE to use a credit card.   I still use credit cards.   So I'm not a complete luddite.

Run AdBlock and Ghostery on the iOS devices. Update the lists and kill the trackers regularly. Don't use F*Book. Don't use any Google apps. Turn off location services to any app that doesn't have any business knowing it - I only allow it on Maps and on iNavX and iSailor when they're actively being used. I have not received a targeted listing, or even an ad, in a long, long time. Some sites bitch about it. Fine, I simply don't use them anymore. All I want now is a version of Little Snitch for iOS, and my life would be complete ;-)

As far as I know, Apple doesn't share data with anyone, which pisses off law enforcement. That is a very good sign. They make enough money off the hardware that they don't need to do so. It's the external apps that you need to watch.

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All good advice.  I have ghostery on my home PC. I deleted my facebook account.  I use Duck-Duck Go for searches.  Now I'm deep-sixing my yahoo mail and starting another e-mai which uses end-to-end encryption and the servers are in Switzerland.   This is a PITFA  because I have to change everything over from boat insurance to health insurance to my Dr's office contact to 'FF'ing PayPal..

And I utterly refuse to purchase anything from Amazon.com ever again.  Jeff Bezos can bite it.

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I'm seriously sad that the Mozilla cell phone didn't make it. Even better would be a Mozilla handheld tablet.

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On 4/19/2018 at 1:31 PM, bplipschitz said:

What's your experience with replacement batteries?  With Samsung phones, my experience has been that it is almost impossible to find genuine (not knock-off) ones, or if you can find genuine ones they have sat on a shelf for X years and are shite out of the box.

On a separate topic, being an old ham radio hacker (analog), I don't get the crazy concern over the 12V thing in this thread (and perhaps I missed it).  Are today's digital electronics *so* sensitive that running a device spec'd for "12V" on 13.6V is going to nuke 'em?

And for Raz'r (I think it was Raz'r) who reversed the leads and cooked the minix, there's an old analog trick of putting a diode bridge in between the DC jack and the board you are powering.  No matter how you hook up the juice, the polarity is correct on the other side.  There is an attendant voltage drop, and it has to be sized for the current, and yada, yada, yada. . .

 

I do like the Tab Active approach, though. . .

Ya I did have a hard time finding spare batteries.  I ended up calling Samsung customer support and they pointed me to a website that sold a 3 pack of batteries which I bought.  Fortunately the tab active and active2 use the same batteries so I have 5 batteries which should get me through a Bermuda race with no trouble.

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9 hours ago, bgytr said:

Ya I did have a hard time finding spare batteries.  I ended up calling Samsung customer support and they pointed me to a website that sold a 3 pack of batteries which I bought.  Fortunately the tab active and active2 use the same batteries so I have 5 batteries which should get me through a Bermuda race with no trouble.

Good to know -- thanks.

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On 4/20/2018 at 1:35 PM, Alan H said:

I'm seriously sad that the Mozilla cell phone didn't make it. Even better would be a Mozilla handheld tablet.

Mozilla I trust. Anything Android, NFW. Google has lost control of its ecosystem, and really has no incentive to enforce security aspects of it, as it would just hurt its business model.

The scary thing is that if there had been a Moz device it would probably have been low-bid by Huawei or ZTE. Go ahead and trace their ownership.

I'm not paranoid, just careful.

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On 1/29/2018 at 1:28 PM, olaf hart said:

Navionics in iPad 

Does Navionics in iPad mean that you always need a phone network data connection?  Or is it that you put Navionics on the iPad and it functions as a chart plotter, independent of phone network because the iPad has a GPS and talks to the satellites to get your position?  Or do you simply download Navionics charts to the iPad for a particular area and then you have access to them, like a paper chart, for simple visual reference but without GPS, I.e., not like a mounted/dedicated plotter?

Sorry for the silly questions - just trying to get an idea how it works/how well it works.  

Example: I have Navionics on my iPhone.  It requires access to phone data network.  For local short-distance sailing in summer/good weather, to check my position, I’ll simply turn on Navionics occasionally —only occasionally b/c it burns through the phone data really fast, of course, and phone battery power too.  

How does Navionics work on iPad, as for a phone, meaning you need a data plan for the iPad? Or can you simply use it as an electronic chart, I.e., just for visual reference, instead of a paper chart?  Or?

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Does Navionics in iPad mean that you always need a phone network data connection?  Or is it that you put Navionics on the iPad and it functions as a chart plotter, independent of phone network because the iPad has a GPS and talks to the satellites to get your position?  Or do you simply download Navionics charts to the iPad for a particular area and then you have access to them, like a paper chart, for simple visual reference but without GPS, I.e., not like a mounted/dedicated plotter?

Sorry for the silly questions - just trying to get an idea how it works/how well it works.  

Example: I have Navionics on my iPhone.  It requires access to phone data network.  For local short-distance sailing in summer/good weather, to check my position, I’ll simply turn on Navionics occasionally —only occasionally b/c it burns through the phone data really fast, of course, and phone battery power too.  

How does Navionics work on iPad, as for a phone, meaning you need a data plan for the iPad? Or can you simply use it as an electronic chart, I.e., just for visual reference, instead of a paper chart?  Or?

Navionics on my Android phone does not need a data connection, as long as you download the relevant charts first.

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Some iPads have GPS capability, some do not.

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Just download the maps on Navionics and your IPad or android is a stand alone plotter.

you need a GPS model, and it helps to have occasional wifi to upgrade the maps.

lately the navionics has been trying to get me permanently on line, I just ignore it. It seems to be since Garmin bought them out.

a few weeks ago I picked up a new Lenovo 7” tablet without a phone function but with an onboard GPS for $40 on sale, added navionics for $20, have a dedicated plotter for the boat for peanuts.

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4 hours ago, DavidC59 said:

Some iPads have GPS capability, some do not.

The ones that have GPS are the ones with cellular support.  You need those models, but don’t need to have it registered with a provider or anything. 

We use an iPad 2 mini with navionics in the cockpit and as a backup.  It is cheap and works pretty well, except when it overheats from being in the sun. We have a Lifeproof case on it to keep it waterproof. I only turn it on when needed since the battery doesn’t last more than 8–10 hours with the GPS on, and it’s easy to sail for longer than that. 

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4 hours ago, Alex W said:

The ones that have GPS are the ones with cellular support.  You need those models, but don’t need to have it registered with a provider or anything. 

We use an iPad 2 mini with navionics in the cockpit and as a backup.  It is cheap and works pretty well, except when it overheats from being in the sun. We have a Lifeproof case on it to keep it waterproof. I only turn it on when needed since the battery doesn’t last more than 8–10 hours with the GPS on, and it’s easy to sail for longer than that. 

It's also really easy to charge from a cigarette-lighter type socket with a 12V-to-USB adapter - we got ours when a local bank was tossing them into the crowd during our July 4th parade 2 years ago ;-)

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On 5/27/2018 at 9:55 AM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Does Navionics in iPad mean that you always need a phone network data connection?  Or is it that you put Navionics on the iPad and it functions as a chart plotter, independent of phone network because the iPad has a GPS and talks to the satellites to get your position?  Or do you simply download Navionics charts to the iPad for a particular area and then you have access to them, like a paper chart, for simple visual reference but without GPS, I.e., not like a mounted/dedicated plotter?

Sorry for the silly questions - just trying to get an idea how it works/how well it works.  

Example: I have Navionics on my iPhone.  It requires access to phone data network.  For local short-distance sailing in summer/good weather, to check my position, I’ll simply turn on Navionics occasionally —only occasionally b/c it burns through the phone data really fast, of course, and phone battery power too.  

How does Navionics work on iPad, as for a phone, meaning you need a data plan for the iPad? Or can you simply use it as an electronic chart, I.e., just for visual reference, instead of a paper chart?  Or?

My iPad does not have GPS, but I am feeding it GPS and AIS info from my nav system via WiFi. So far it works great :)

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FYI - WINDOWS 10 WARNING -

I am fighting with Windows 10 for work and a couple home computers. I cannot possibly imagine a worse OS to use on a boat. For a nav computer, use ANYTHING else - really!

( I added another old laptop to my collection, so right now I have one XP and one Mint)

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9 hours ago, rattus32 said:

It's also really easy to charge from a cigarette-lighter type socket with a 12V-to-USB adapter 

You can’t charge an iPad and keep it waterproof at the same time. 

This and overheating in the sun are major issues for using it as a primary nav device. 

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7 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

FYI - WINDOWS 10 WARNING -

I am fighting with Windows 10 for work and a couple home computers. I cannot possibly imagine a worse OS to use on a boat. For a nav computer, use ANYTHING else - really!

( I added another old laptop to my collection, so right now I have one XP and one Mint)

FIFY.

FKT

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On 1/30/2018 at 7:25 AM, Alan H said:

OK, so 90% of what I'm going to write is probably old hat news to most of you guys, but what the hey.................etc.
What' your setup?

I have an EeePC 10" netbook runnung XP which I bought new in 2010 for AU$396 as a dedicated nav computer. I chose the EeePC mainly because it uses a 7.2v battery so is quite happy to be recharged from the 12v house supply. Just to be safe and to protect against any unforseen spikes in the house supply from the OB charging system I also bought a Asus DC adapter which will accept 10v to 18v input for a 12v 3amp output. That cost about $100. As the EeePC isn't equipped with a GPS receiver I also bought a  Gosget Sirf Star III USB GPS receiver which cost about $60. I also bought 10 minature optical mice (or is that mouses) with the retractable cables at $3 each. So the all up cost was just under $600.

I run SeaClearII  which, fortunately for me because I too am cheap, is available as a free download.

http://www.sping.com/seaclear/

SeaClear comes with an included chart calibrating utility so charts can be scanned and calibrated for use. I sail on Moreton Bay (Aust) and the state govt has produced an A4 sized book of "chartlets" for the local inshore waters. As the book is wire bound it is easy to wind the wire out and then scan all the charts on an A4 scanner. It's a bit of work but once you get into a rythm it's something that can be done while watching TV. If he charts are branded CC6 (Creative  Commons) you can get them commercially scanned onto a stick or disc. The beauty of having e-charts that I have scanned myself is that what I see on the screen is identical to my paper charts. If my Enav fails then when I pull out the paper charts I am looking at exactly the same thing that was on the screen. Touch wood it hasn't yet failed, and I first started using it Aug 8th 2010. In that time I have logged and recorded about 4500 nm round Moreton Bay. 

I have tried using OpenCPN but found it to be a bit "clunky" and I could never get comfortable with it.

I'll post some screen shots after work tonight.

Cheers etc.

 

 

 

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It took me awhile to get used to OpenCPN, but now I really like it. SeaClear has a very limited feature set in comparison.

OTOH it works, is very easy to learn, and runs on really old hardware using Windows 95 or 98 just fine.

 

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We navigated from Australia to Mexico (via Indian Ocean/Atlantic/Panama Canal not the shorter way across the Pacific) with:

- 10" Google Nexus tablet running Navionics software and charts (built in GPS in tablet)

- low power Intel NUC desktop + 21" monitor running Open CPN software and slightly pirated CMAP charts + Google Satellite images. Garmin 72 handheld fed GPS data to the computer

It helped that we were a catamaran so going inside to look at the big monitor was just a step away from the cockpit.

The tablet was ok to read under the bimini but direct tropical sun washed it out too much.

I'd so something very similar again if doing offshore sailing. Navionics high res (tablet) charts were cheap - about $60 for an ocean.

https://dbe2w38xsulyl.cloudfront.net/contentmanager/content/Mobile_coverages_EN.pdf

Compare that with $200 for a region for a chartplotter.

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@Zonker Did you have a few paper charts as backup or did you go fully electronic?

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We lucked out and had paper charts for the whole world (almost). A very rich guy's mega yacht was going into refit for 3-4 years. The captain didn't want to spend the next 4 years correcting all the paper charts for the world. So he sold them on craigslist locally cheaply and was going to buy all new ones when the refit was done. We sold off the ones we didn't need (like Korea and Japan and Antarctica) before we left.

I had a stack of paper about 1.4m high of BA charts (unfolded). It was very, very heavy so we only took folios for an ocean at a time, and when one of us flew back to visit home, we would visit my parent's garage and get the next stack. Each time we would have suitcase half full of very heavy paper.

Next time I'd have a very minimal paper chart collection.

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45 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Next time I'd have a very minimal paper chart collection.

Yes, the day your electronics give up on you, if you choose well your harbour you can come in with limited information. 

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Well find me a sailing yacht with a few redundant GPS/chart plotting systems, that has been hit by lightning, and lost all electronic charting capability.

Including a tablet you can put in the oven during lightning storms. 

 

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As an aside, i did not think it necessary to specify that the oven be off and cool when telling a young friend to use the oven as a Faraday cage.  It turned out to be necessary. Adjust your curriculum accordingly.

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15 hours ago, Zonker said:

We lucked out and had paper charts for the whole world (almost). A very rich guy's mega yacht was going into refit for 3-4 years. The captain didn't want to spend the next 4 years correcting all the paper charts for the world. So he sold them on craigslist locally cheaply and was going to buy all new ones when the refit was done. We sold off the ones we didn't need (like Korea and Japan and Antarctica) before we left.

I had a stack of paper about 1.4m high of BA charts (unfolded). It was very, very heavy so we only took folios for an ocean at a time, and when one of us flew back to visit home, we would visit my parent's garage and get the next stack. Each time we would have suitcase half full of very heavy paper.

Next time I'd have a very minimal paper chart collection.

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but did you also have a sextant to use with the paper charts?

I do enjoy reading about how you handled certain tasks while circumnavigating. Very informative.

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9 hours ago, Zonker said:

Well find me a sailing yacht with a few redundant GPS/chart plotting systems, that has been hit by lightning, and lost all electronic charting capability.

Including a tablet you can put in the oven during lightning storms. 

 

I've never heard of it but I can imagine that with a bit of "luck" you can end up with no electricity. Stuff like a flooded bilge or the load balancer deciding that it had enough, batteries destroyed by an accidental deep discharge.

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On 5/27/2018 at 9:23 PM, Alex W said:

The ones that have GPS are the ones with cellular support.  You need those models, but don’t need to have it registered with a provider or anything. 

We use an iPad 2 mini with navionics in the cockpit and as a backup.  It is cheap and works pretty well, except when it overheats from being in the sun. We have a Lifeproof case on it to keep it waterproof. I only turn it on when needed since the battery doesn’t last more than 8–10 hours with the GPS on, and it’s easy to sail for longer than that. 

Not entirely true.  I have an old Samsung tablet that has GPS and no phone service.  Download the maps (navionics or google maps, depending upon what you're using it for), turn the GPS on, and it works a charm.  Battery also seems to last a lot longer with WiFi turned off, even with GPS on (which is the opposite of what I have experienced with phones).

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When I said “the ones” I specifically meant iPads.  It is true of all iPads  

I also used a Nexus 7 as a nav tablet at one point because it was really cheap, had a gps chip, and ran navionics. 

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8 minutes ago, Alex W said:

I also used a Nexus 7 as a nav tablet at one point because it was really cheap, had a gps chip, and ran navionics. 

I still use and love my Nexus 7. I dread the day it goes the way of all silicon.

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I was (finally) recently forced to upgrade my aging smartphone.  Verizon offered me a Galaxy tab E for $50 so I took it.

I had a complete shopping list for a Raspberry Pi setup but in a few minutes, I had this thing running OpenCPN with all the charts.  It has GPS but I can also use my bluetooth DUAL GPS puck with it and a bluetooth keyboard.  The screen is a little smaller than I'd like, but that's about the only sacrifice I made.

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Got both my old laptops going at once.  The lower right of the lefthand laptop is the AIS 'radar" display. This is a power hungry setup for sure, but it is actually nice to see local and zoomed out displays. I might actually run this way this weekend and see how I like it. The lefthand laptop is reading the UDP over wife and right one is plugged into the serial cable.

 

nav.jpg

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Maybe it's just me but this thread makes my head hurt.  I though the whole idea of going off on a boat was got get away from all the electronic crap.  If you want to navigate on the cheap, get a compass a, paper chart, a Garmin etrex (for $89 on Amazon) and a pair of binoculars. 

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5 hours ago, HookEm said:

Maybe it's just me but this thread makes my head hurt.  I though the whole idea of going off on a boat was got get away from all the electronic crap.  If you want to navigate on the cheap, get a compass a, paper chart, a Garmin etrex (for $89 on Amazon) and a pair of binoculars. 

"E-Nav" is the very first word in the title of this thread.  If you're not interested in it, that could be a useful clue.

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On 6/12/2018 at 4:26 PM, SailNDive said:

If you have cell capability you have an internal GPS, fyi, so Navionics will follow you perfectly

I was shopping around for e-nav options, and wanted a tablet or something else portable. I have an old ipad 2 that was not longer working and would freeze every time I turned it on. So I was going to sell that, to buy the new. But I noticed the old ipad is one of the models with a gps reciever. So I tried a different route and did a factory restart on it to clear out all the old crap and only installed an eNav program. It was a free version that is crappy, but it tracked us just fine on a test, and the ipad ran without issue. 

So now I am looking to upgrade to some real e-nav software. I am looking for something simple but reliable - doesn't need to overlay any additional information. just tell me where i am with accurate charts. Think Navionics is the way to go?

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I’ve been using Aquamap for the 3 months on my iPad. Quite impressed with features and stability, as well as the active captain overlay. $19 I believe.

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31 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

I was shopping around for e-nav options, and wanted a tablet or something else portable. I have an old ipad 2 that was not longer working and would freeze every time I turned it on. So I was going to sell that, to buy the new. But I noticed the old ipad is one of the models with a gps reciever. So I tried a different route and did a factory restart on it to clear out all the old crap and only installed an eNav program. It was a free version that is crappy, but it tracked us just fine on a test, and the ipad ran without issue. 

So now I am looking to upgrade to some real e-nav software. I am looking for something simple but reliable - doesn't need to overlay any additional information. just tell me where i am with accurate charts. Think Navionics is the way to go?

I have an old iPad2 and I run Transas iSailor on it. It runs smoothly and without glitches. The software is free but you pay a one time cost for charts. They aren't terribly expensive. You receive free chart updates when they are released.

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8 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Navionics on I-devices is about 100x better than iNavX. Too bad it will not take AIS data :angry:

my iphone app is inavx

i haven't looked at navionics in many years, but i didn't like it so much when i did. i might look at it again though...

one of the things that i miss in inavx is a project waypoint function

does navionics have a project waypoint function?

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On 6/11/2018 at 7:57 AM, Ajax said:

 

I had a complete shopping list for a Raspberry Pi setup but in a few minutes, I had this thing running OpenCPN with all the charts.  It has GPS but I can also use my bluetooth DUAL GPS puck with it and a bluetooth keyboard.  The screen is a little smaller than I'd like, but that's about the only sacrifice I made.

Eh?  Open CPN on linux?   I dinnae know this.  And here I was going to run in on MS Vista. Seriously. Vista.

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18 minutes ago, Alan H said:

Eh?  Open CPN on linux?   I dinnae know this.  And here I was going to run in on MS Vista. Seriously. Vista.

Yep. Well, Android.  I've finished setting up my Samsung Tab E.  Installed the charts and OpenCPN, connected a little Bluetooth keyboard. Works just like on any other laptop. I tested it with the internal GPS and with my DUAL XGPS150 puck.

The only downside is the screen size but for $50, how loudly can I complain?

Link to all the downloads. Look at all the supported Linux versions: https://opencpn.org/OpenCPN/info/downloadopencpn.html

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Nope, Android is Google and Google is Evil.  I would erase the Android OS off of a midi-sized tablet and replace with Debian or something, if I was dropdead sure it would work and wouldn't be a royal PITA to pull off, but all the sites I've read about doing that are daunting.

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They're ALL evil.  But how much harm can be done when away from shore with no connection to the world except GPS?

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Reviving this instead of starting a new thread.

I winter project I'd like to tackle is an OpenCPN system at the Nav station.  I don't want to use a laptop.  I want to install a small behind-the-panel computer with a small monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse/pad.

In addition to Navigation, I would use it to view radar and AIS using the OpenCPN plugins so need the I/O to do that.  It would integrate with my N2K system (http://www.yachtd.com/products/) with B&G Tritons and sensors.  I would also want the computer to run an autopilot application and perhaps a racing app.

So I need a mini computer with display outputs (thinking HDMI).  I'm thinking Bluetooth for keyboard and mouse.  12V power and USB ports for connection to N2K and autopilot computer.  I'm leaning towards a machine that comes with Windows just for price and ease of use.  I'm not a fan but don't want to dink around with learning Linux or something and then run into support of apps issues.

This seems to tick all the boxes.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MXPSK8P/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A384FG4JDQB7Q&psc=1 .  Any suggestions for better or same but cheaper?  What am I forgetting?

41A91Rx3jWL.jpg

Any suggestions on monitors?  12V.  I've seen some that run on USB power.  Any experience with those.  Looking for a screen size of  9-14" (I think).

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Linnux is pretty easy to deal with. Also note "small screen" is not something you really want after a big screen. Working with my 15" (14"? can't recall) laptop screen has so totally spoiled me I would never want to go back.

YMMV

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I would be concerned about performance and screen draw times. I know people are running with similar spec machines, but even web browsing is marginal on Windows 10 with such a low spec machine.  It would be better with Linux since it can be setup with less overhead but the setup is more involved of course and you may not be able to get all the plugins you need.  Let us know how it runs on this box if you get it.

This machine is a bit cheaper and has better specs:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D77W8CZ/ref=psdc_13896591011_t2_B01MXPSK8P 

It has a significantly more powerful processor running at a faster clock speed. Also available with 6GB of RAM and a 64GB flash drive for similar price to the one you linked in your post.

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Upthread you can see the computer I bought - similar, had a couple more USB ports I believe, and there are monitors that run on USB power.  Works out well and can take a 12v unregulated supply. I've not integrated with the B&G yet.

 

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Forget the horrible Atom chipset. For the cheapest and slowest laptops. Modern mobile chipsets draw very little power and they can be found in these types of Intel boxes:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Description=intel nuc i3&Submit=ENE

Core i3 will be fine for you. Get a SSD; makes them fly. I used a Core i5 intel NUC, ran Lightroom, Autocad, Rhino and other high performance software.

Get the biggest LED monitor you can power for charting. I used a 21" Samsung one, about 1A @ 12V

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 8:42 PM, olaf hart said:

So...

i managed to pick up a 7” Lenovo 16 gig tablet new for silly money.

its downloading Navionics maps as I type this, comes with gps and wifi but no cell SIM card.

its the WLAN model, but has a slot for micro sd cards

i am thinking of just setting up the charts and leaving it on the boat, so no need to take the iPad aboard and I still have an iPhone and a Garmin plotter for backup.

the USB charger just runs at 1 amp, so will work fine with a plug in 12v charger.

any other things I could use it for?

Olaf

You are Tasmania, buy the paper charts if you leave the Channel or East Coast

Seriously, digital mapping is rubbish on the north and west coasts in a lot of places.

And don't forget the spots where all the satelites get on one side of the sip and the gps can't triangulate.

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Already have charts of Bass Strait, East Coast and NSW.

And a Garmin plotter as well

Agree, never rely on electronic nav alone.

impressed with the Defiance restoration Lydia, where was it launched? Doesn’t look like round here.

we had a Tartan 30 in the PNW for a couple of years, they were good years for S&S half pounders.

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15 hours ago, Passport111 said:

Any suggestions on monitors?  12V.  I've seen some that run on USB power.  Any experience with those.

trouble...

i sailed on a boat that had a USB monitor - both power and video came over the same USB cable.

you need a driver for a USB monitor, and I think the troubles were mostly due to driver conflicts, but I never figured it out for sure

get a regular display.

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Thanks for the great feedback.  Yes the redraw speed was something I was worried about.  I've not looked at specs for this sort of thing in quite a while so need to catch up.  

I do hate the idea of Windows 10 especially for its size and apparent constant want/need to connect to the web.  I'm not opposed to Linux but don't want to spend tons of time trying to get things to work.  Especially if all the plugins for Radar, AIS, etc. already exist for Windows.  I need to investigate OpenCPN some more; I've never used it.

It seems pretty straight forward that I would have all the GPS and AIS data I need by connecting my N2K network which has both.  Is this naive?  

Regarding the monitor, I'm easily sold on going bigger.  I guess I was just thinking in terms of relative size at the Nav station but I think a 16"-18" would be fine.

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I've only used openCPN on a linux box (apart on my home desktop) and I would think that it is easier and more stable as openCPN was originally a linux software.

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For what it's worth, I've been playing with several of these solutions on Gemini, so I'll share some thoughts and experiences.

First, I've had great luck playing with a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and OpenPlotter. I like that OpenPlotter has quite active development right now, and does a really good job integrating to my networks.  I'm using a CAN-USB interface to hook up to my N2K network, and also picking up a few pieces of data that aren't on N2K from a USB-RS422 interface from NMEA 0183.  One nice advantage to this is that I can leave the Raspberry Pi running 24x7 and its draw is completely negligible. I can also run OpenCPN on it drawing no more power, and save all of my tracks.  I run the Pi headless. http://www.sailoog.com/openplotter

For the CAN-USB interface, there are a ton of options out there right now. I'm using a homegrown one with a Teensy 3.2, a CAN transceiver chip, and some miscellaneous resistors and capacitors. Works just fine for me. Mine is built to this schematic, minus the extra USB interface: https://github.com/ttlappalainen/NMEA2000/blob/master/Examples/TeensyActisenseListenerSender/Documents/Teensy_Actisense_listener_sender_schematics.pdf But it's not opto-isolated, so to do it right, I should probably either buy the one offered by the OpenPlotter folks, or find an isolated CAN-USB stick on fleabay. In my current application, I interface to the N2K network in "receive only" - I'm not sending data back to the network. That's a possible future development.

A nice upgrade for this might be adding a real SSD to the Pi and using that for all of my data storage next year, rather than the MicroSD and USB stick solution I'm using today. Hmmm...

When I need to, I just use my laptop and VNC to look at the plotter - can also view on my phone/tablet using VNC apps.

I really want to get rid of the laptop, though - it draws too much power, is old, and I am growing to rather dislike it. If I were to do it right now, I'd get one of these for web browsing, managing the OpenPlotter, or even running OpenCPN directly: https://www.geekbuying.com/item/Beelink-S2-Gemini-Lake-N5000-8GB-128GB-Windows-10-Mini-PC-398011.html

Beelink-S2-Gemini-Lake-N4100-8GB-64GB-Wi

Monitors, I've found, are a very individual decision. I haven't made my mind up. I'm wavering between an inexpensive 21/22" LED "desktop" monitor (and I'll look around to find one that has a good DC input which I can hook into a voltage converter from the boat's 12v panel) or possibly a USB-powered display something like this: ASUS MB169B

619xF9RVZ8L._SL1000_.jpg

Overall, I really like having the Pi do my interface, multiplexing, OpenCPN, etc etc since it can run 24x7, sits on my boat's ethernet, N2K and NMEA0183 networks, and uses almost no power. YMMV, batteries not included.

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Great info.  I just pulled the trigger on a MiniX and a USB powered monitor.  I thought about a Pi at first but was worried it would be too much tinkering.  I'd like to get back into that but I just worry I don't have the time so want something that mostly works out of the box.

I'm using the same logic regarding Linux. Perhaps I didn't look into it far enough and everything would work fine, but at a glance it seemed the most OpenCPN options were supported with Windows.

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1 hour ago, Passport111 said:

Great info.  I just pulled the trigger on a MiniX and a USB powered monitor.  I thought about a Pi at first but was worried it would be too much tinkering.  I'd like to get back into that but I just worry I don't have the time so want something that mostly works out of the box.

I'm using the same logic regarding Linux. Perhaps I didn't look into it far enough and everything would work fine, but at a glance it seemed the most OpenCPN options were supported with Windows.

I think you'll be happy with this approach.  My experience with Win10 is that once I get all the moving parts playing together nicely, it works very well -- as long as I don't connect to the internet.  Don't allow it to update itself unless you are ready to spend a couple of days making it stable again.  Most of the time the update goes seamlessly and you never really notice it, but you don't want to take the chance of it locking up while you are heading out to sea.  I do wish I knew a way to *stop* updates until I say OK.

I've found that my new computers (with native Win10) are more update-stable than my older ones that originally had Win7.x installed.  I've also found that even the latest RPi doesn't have the horsepower of even a lightweight MiniX or other small form-factor Windows machine.  I suppose it depends on how much you want to do concurrently.

Also, I've used my USB-powered monitor with a number of small Windows boat-computers.  It's caused me zero trouble, but I do wish I could dim my display a bit more for night use.

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1 hour ago, valis said:

I think you'll be happy with this approach.  My experience with Win10 is that once I get all the moving parts playing together nicely, it works very well -- as long as I don't connect to the internet.  Don't allow it to update itself unless you are ready to spend a couple of days making it stable again.  Most of the time the update goes seamlessly and you never really notice it, but you don't want to take the chance of it locking up while you are heading out to sea.  I do wish I knew a way to *stop* updates until I say OK.

I've found that my new computers (with native Win10) are more update-stable than my older ones that originally had Win7.x installed.  I've also found that even the latest RPi doesn't have the horsepower of even a lightweight MiniX or other small form-factor Windows machine.  I suppose it depends on how much you want to do concurrently.

Also, I've used my USB-powered monitor with a number of small Windows boat-computers.  It's caused me zero trouble, but I do wish I could dim my display a bit more for night use.

All really good points, Paul.

 

FWIW, that Raspberry Pi 3B+ is plenty powerful enough to handle sensor data (N2K interface, conversion, multiplexing, Signal K server) and run (headless) OpenCPN 24x7... I usually see CPU usage under 10% in this mode.

It's also definitely not the right choice for web browsing, photo or video editing, etc.

Everyone's needs are different, and there are lots of tools out there. Mix and match to find what's right for you!

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1 hour ago, Passport111 said:

Thanks!  Yes I will try to manage the updates carefully.  It will not connected to the internet normally. 

I had not considered the possible dimming issue.  I saw up-thread a SW app that may be helpful.  Or, perhaps having this could be handy.  https://www.amazon.com/3M-Privacy-Standard-Monitor-Reduces/dp/B00028ONIA

 

You can't be too careful with Windows 10. My wife's W10 computer had an 8-hour update that left the computer unworkable. I had to roll back the update to get it working again. That sort of bullshit could cost you a good day in a short weather window.

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

You can't be too careful with Windows 10. My wife's W10 computer had an 8-hour update that left the computer unworkable. I had to roll back the update to get it working again. That sort of bullshit could cost you a good day in a short weather window.

OpenPlotter running on my little RPi has not left me high and dry... yet...

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I am working on a e-nav system based on a RasPi 3B.  

I have the following components:

1. RasPi

2. This 10.1" touchscreen:  https://www.robotshop.com/ca/en/101-resistive-lcd-touch-screen-hdmi-interface.html

3. Logitech wireless keyboard/touchpad:  K400

4. USB3 2TB hard drive (more on why later)

5. GPS/AIS Receiver:  https://www.tindie.com/products/Quarkelec/qk-a026-wireless-aisgps-receiver/?pt=ac_prod_search

6. VHF Splitter:  https://ca.binnacle.com/p8348/Glomex-RA201-VHF/AM-FM/AIS-Splitter/product_info.html

7.  Power supply:  https://www.creatroninc.com/product/15-35v-3a-adjustable-step-down-regulator-with-display/

So, the primary purpose is to run OpenPlotter/OpenCPN.  All the data should move around properly with GPS/AIS data.  I can also share NMEA/Raymarine data as well.

The 2TB hard drive is so I can run a Plex server (www.plex.tv) to serve music all over the boat.

So far it works with a USB GPS, Plex, etc.  I haven't had the time to get the AIS/GPS installed yet, but next spring (our season is over) I will be working on it.

The unit draws less than half an amp when running, including the screen.  That's pretty good.

 

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If someone gave me a Windows machine, I'd sell it, use the money to buy a yellow dog, and shoot the dog. And I like dogs.

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1 hour ago, jacrider said:

I am working on a e-nav system based on a RasPi 3B.  

I have the following components:

7.  Power supply:  https://www.creatroninc.com/product/15-35v-3a-adjustable-step-down-regulator-with-display/

Cute power supply!  I don't see any EMI suppression though.  You might want to search for radio-freq noise, and perhaps add some small bypass capacitors and ferrites on the power in/out connections.  That waveform at the regulator output looks like it could create some noise.

switcher.jpg

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57 minutes ago, valis said:

Cute power supply!  I don't see any EMI suppression though.  You might want to search for radio-freq noise, and perhaps add some small bypass capacitors and ferrites on the power in/out connections.  That waveform at the regulator output looks like it could create some noise.

switcher.jpg

Yes, I will be adding some ferrites on the cables.   They are in the bag of parts...  Just need more time!

 

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Usually Linux is about 20% of the work Windows is to set up and keep running.

Go to https://www.linuxmint.com/

If you make a boot CD or boot USB, you can boot up and use it without even touching your hard drive and see if you like it.

Right now I have one Linux and one Windows XP nav laptop. The XP machine works well, but it NEVER EVER connects to the internet or does ANYTHING but navigation.

 

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You can boot off of USB and try it out. It is a bit slow, but you can use it that way too. If you want to install it for real, assuming there is room, you will be given the option of dual-boot with both operating systems installed.

* well maybe. Some Windows 10 installs have BIOS settings that make installing anything or booting off of USB impossible at worst and an involved procedure at best :angry:

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@Passport111 One speedbump you might encounter installing Linux could be storage space. It's only got 32gb of eMMC... but with a decent USB 3.0 flash stick, you can see how things perform. One option would be a real USB 3.0 SSD. See what works!

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Talk to me about AIS on phones and tablets. I had a chat with a commercial skipper who showed me his setup. It's got to be a web app, the phone doesn' thave a VHF receiver.

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1 hour ago, Alan H said:

Talk to me about AIS on phones and tablets. I had a chat with a commercial skipper who showed me his setup. It's got to be a web app, the phone doesn' thave a VHF receiver.

My phone displays AIS the same way my tablet does - I feed AIS info from the nav network through a wifi gateway along with the GPS info.

If you mean the various services like Marine Traffic where you are seeing internet derived data - this is NOT SAFE FOR NAVIGATION! I run a shore station that feeds Marine Traffic. There is a time delay involved and not seeing anything does NOT mean it isn't there, it just means for 1 of 100 reasons it didn't make it to a shore station and to the internet and to the traffic service and back to the internet and then to your phone.

For one example, if you run up the Chester River with AIS on, once you get too far around the bend from Kent Island I can no longer hear you and you vanish from the internet sites.

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

...- this is NOT SAFE FOR NAVIGATION! 

All that applies to all AIS. It will continue to be that way until and unless everyone has AIS and remembers to turn it on.

Since that will never be the case, AIS will never show the whole picture.

On iPhones and iPads, I like SeaIQ (which shows an AIS feed) for NOAA charts and iNavX for Canadian charts. I only use raster charts. I would probably go to SeaIQ across the board, but they don't have it together to run Canadian raster charts, while iNavX does. So I switch between apps. SeaIQ has the edge when it comes to annotation tools.

I use either an iPad or an iPhone for primary navigation with planning and hourly plots on paper.

There are only two reasons to use a system mounted to the boat: radar and bright sunlight.

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I bought a cheap ass reconnd Dell with XP..    125.

OpenCPN and all the charts I can download for zippie

usb hockey puck gps for 12.

 

one of the best nav setups I've had. even compared to built in instrument packages..

I can wifi connect to instruments on my boat(s) highpoint of this is the (S) since I can drag it from boat to boat.

bought an extra battery and get about 15 hours out of the pair. can probably direct connect to ships batteries if I felt like cuttin a power cord

 

I've found an AIS rec'v only module that connects usb and will pump data into OpenCPN for 59.

I've used some of the online AIS pages and apps, and have successfully deconflicted with approaching traffic over bridge to bridge radio contact. so until such time as I feel like dropping the coin on AIS I'll continue with that approach.

 

 

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On 10/8/2018 at 8:40 AM, Passport111 said:

Great info.  I just pulled the trigger on a MiniX and a USB powered monitor.  I thought about a Pi at first but was worried it would be too much tinkering.  I'd like to get back into that but I just worry I don't have the time so want something that mostly works out of the box.

I'm using the same logic regarding Linux. Perhaps I didn't look into it far enough and everything would work fine, but at a glance it seemed the most OpenCPN options were supported with Windows.

The Pi can be really easy to setup. You can download and flash an SD card that does the install easily or even buy an SD card installation media for a couple of versions of Pi ready linux that includes a GUI.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/

You can end up needing to poke a command line here and there, but it's no harder than finding where the heck microsoft decided to stick the setting you used to know the location of into some menu/bar/screen ten layers deep for no apparent reason than to make it harder.

On 10/7/2018 at 7:35 AM, RedRyder said:

For what it's worth, I've been playing with several of these solutions on Gemini, so I'll share some thoughts and experiences.

First, I've had great luck playing with a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and OpenPlotter. I like that OpenPlotter has quite active development right now, and does a really good job integrating to my networks.  I'm using a CAN-USB interface to hook up to my N2K network, and also picking up a few pieces of data that aren't on N2K from a USB-RS422 interface from NMEA 0183.  One nice advantage to this is that I can leave the Raspberry Pi running 24x7 and its draw is completely negligible. I can also run OpenCPN on it drawing no more power, and save all of my tracks.  I run the Pi headless. http://www.sailoog.com/openplotter

For the CAN-USB interface, there are a ton of options out there right now. I'm using a homegrown one with a Teensy 3.2, a CAN transceiver chip, and some miscellaneous resistors and capacitors. Works just fine for me. Mine is built to this schematic, minus the extra USB interface: https://github.com/ttlappalainen/NMEA2000/blob/master/Examples/TeensyActisenseListenerSender/Documents/Teensy_Actisense_listener_sender_schematics.pdf But it's not opto-isolated, so to do it right, I should probably either buy the one offered by the OpenPlotter folks, or find an isolated CAN-USB stick on fleabay. In my current application, I interface to the N2K network in "receive only" - I'm not sending data back to the network. That's a possible future development.

 Do you have a thread on this setup?  Openplotter is something I've been intrigued by.

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5 hours ago, sbman said:

The Pi can be really easy to setup. You can download and flash an SD card that does the install easily or even buy an SD card installation media for a couple of versions of Pi ready linux that includes a GUI.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/

You can end up needing to poke a command line here and there, but it's no harder than finding where the heck microsoft decided to stick the setting you used to know the location of into some menu/bar/screen ten layers deep for no apparent reason than to make it harder.

 Do you have a thread on this setup?  Openplotter is something I've been intrigued by.

I downloaded a couple of the OpenPlotter releases. One was buggy on my Pi 3B, the later alpha/beta build seems pretty solid.

There are 3 or 4 Pi computers floating about this place. They're nice compact little computers.

FKT

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18 hours ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

I've found an AIS rec'v only module that connects usb and will pump data into OpenCPN for 59.

Whoah, whoah whoah.....WHAT?

 

Elaborate, please.

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3 hours ago, Alan H said:

Whoah, whoah whoah.....WHAT?

 

Elaborate, please.

google is your friend ;)   there are several in that price point from various sources.. on my phone so I  can't be arsed to look it up for ya LOL

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