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Old 05-24-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
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Hi All
It had to happen -someone asking about the iPad as a chartplotter... We are just looking at getting a chartplotter now -really like the touch screens on some of the new garmin units (gpsmap7000 series) but not the price. The iNavX Marine app for iPad also looks really good, and I reckon with a waterproof cover for it you have a pretty sweet solution for a chartplotter-multimedia (yech I hate that word!)-wifi (in marina) station all in one. Has anyone any experience with this yet?
Cheers. Dan
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by canuckiwis' date='25 May 2010 - 03:41 AM View Post

Hi All
It had to happen -someone asking about the iPad as a chartplotter... We are just looking at getting a chartplotter now -really like the touch screens on some of the new garmin units (gpsmap7000 series) but not the price. The iNavX Marine app for iPad also looks really good, and I reckon with a waterproof cover for it you have a pretty sweet solution for a chartplotter-multimedia (yech I hate that word!)-wifi (in marina) station all in one. Has anyone any experience with this yet?
Cheers. Dan
Dan

Check this tiny bit of info CHECK

What other parts of the world does iNavX Marine software cover ????? :- LINK

This one in particular :- CLICK HERE

Richard
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA' date='25 May 2010 - 01:11 PM View Post

Dan

Check this tiny bit of info CHECK

What other parts of the world does iNavX Marine software cover ????? :- LINK

This one in particular :- CLICK HERE

Richard
Hmm It all looks really good, but I think that the big drawback could be the whole line-of-sight thing. In the absence of an ability to put up an external aerial, it will be tough for the pad to 'see' any satellites when under the bimini/through a sail. hmmmm.....
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by canuckiwis' date='25 May 2010 - 12:05 AM View Post

In the absence of an ability to put up an external aerial, it will be tough for the pad to 'see' any satellites when under the bimini/through a sail. hmmmm.....
I have a little hockey-puck GPS attached to my laptop inside the boat. It has to "see" the satellites through the cabin top where the flying bridge is, with another layer of bimini above that, and it has no trouble finding and connecting to satellites and charting our progress. Our cruising speed is about 12 knots and I can't detect any differences in performance whether we're traveling in a no-wake zone at 4 to 5 knots or at our top speed of about 16 knots (with a tail wind!). I don't think you'd have to worry about satellite reception.

I have started using the Open CPN software, though only for a very short trip on the ICW (we are still relatively immobile; to change soon, I hope). It seems to work well for a work in progress without a lot of instructions available and lots of features yet to be introduced, but we don't really need very much for what we're doing. Coming down the ICW last Fall from New York to Florida I was using Fugawi charting software, and by the time we arrived in Florida I didn't want anything to do with it again. It was generally quite good, but it had ridiculous lapses in capability compared to the MapTech software I had been using.

I do want to emphasize that none of the charts we're using, and I download the most up to date charts regularly, are accurate enough to keep the boat from running into a rock or even a daymark in the ICW! Eyeball navigation is still a necessity to keep you off the rocks and shoals. At the speed our boat goes, I'm sure that a decent screen at the helm would be helpful, but we don't have a decent chartplotter and the computer stays in the cabin and we don't find that to be a handicap at all.

Out of curiosity, I just did an online comparison of a bunch of stuff that I'm considering buying. All prices in USD.

The cheapest iPad I found on line, with 16 Gb of storage, is $599.00

ASUS 1005PE-PU17 Netbook is less than $380.00, it has 1 Gb RAM, 250 Gb HD, Windows 7 Starter OS. Bluetooh and Wifi. I can see on the picture one USB port, which is all you need if you attach a powered Hub to it (which costs about $35 and has 4 USB ports. There are 7-port hubs, but I haven't priced them.) The hockey puck GPS is priced at somewhere between $40 and $70. The screen size is the same as the iPad, it has WiFi, you can add a MobiReader and use it as a book reader, and supposedly can run for 14 hours without recharging.

So, I can buy a Kindle for Peter, an ASUS for me, and spend about the same as for the iPad alone. Doesn't sound like much of a bargain to me.

It is much more adaptable than an iPad, weighs a few ounces more than an iPad, and has its own keyboard separate from the virtual keyboard on the iPad. I like being able to type with the screen vertically in front of me. Try typing on the iPad.

You get a lot more for your money, IMO, with the netbook. Since I didn't look further than ASUS, I don't know if there are better deals out there. Could very well be.

Disclaimer. As much of a "new gadget" addict as I am, I like notebook computers and the separate keyboard, so the iPad doesn't appeal to me as much as it might to touch screen Blackberry or Palm users. I have a touch screen Palm, like it a lot, but to me it's still a phone and PDA, not a GPS and chartplotter.

I'm going shopping today for a lot of stuff for the boat. I'll try to stop in someplace to find out more about the netbook and look at the iPad.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JeanneP' date='25 May 2010 - 12:38 PM View Post

Disclaimer. As much of a "new gadget" addict as I am........
Being new gadget addicts doesn't make us bad people....

One of my newer toys is a Dell Mini 9, its supposedly a backup for when the main kit dies..... I have Open Office, Open CPN and Sailmail on it and have a GPS puck I can plug into it, I think its a BU-353.

Also a handy size when I have to go up the road to get some wifi....

Key board is a bit small but not often used... trackpad thingo is a pain... I invariably use a mouse...
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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We have a Nokia N810 (the newer model would be the Nokia N910 I think) which has Maemo Mapper on it. The Maemo software works with the free NOAA raster charts. In addition to my plotting our position on paper charts, we use this as our chart plotter. With it's built-in gps, it has worked great for us on the California coast. Don't know about elsewhere. I don't bother opening up a computer for chart plotting since this little tiny Nokia netbook works great for us--and hubby loves that it operates on a linux OS

The Nokia N810 can be bought used on Ebay for about $150 or so. New, the N900/910 model is much more because it has a phone in it too. We purchased the N810 used on Ebay, then hubby managed to damage it so we purchased another one used on Ebay. Seems a good source, but just make sure the screen doesn't get scratched as that quickly makes them useless as they're touch screens.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:13 PM   #7
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Look around on ebay and such for Panasonic Toughbooks. About the same form factor as a large netbook but solid, heavy, waterproof & ruggedised. I've been picking them up for around $500 each over here, with 1.5GB RAM and 60GB HDD. Stick Ubuntu Linux on them, gpsd, opencpn and navigate away.

I have wifi on board so I can have a second toughbook up in the cockpit and a third in my cabin. All of the GPSes are wired into the main toughbook at the nav station and the others connect to it over wifi.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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The small size, I would think, is the useful thing here. I stick the Nokia in my pocket and carry it around the boat. It runs wireless from our boat's linksys router. We also use bluetooth headset with the Nokia when David's up the mast--he puts it in his pocket puts on the headset and can talk to me down below. Small is good.

If you're not into small but need cheap--look at the emachines line of laptop/notebook computers. We just picked up a E525 w/2GB ram, 250 GB HDD 15.6" 16x9 screen and a whopping cheap $349.00. It is our "back up" laptop computer. You can get smaller ones with less capacity for under $200 if you look at the netbooks. The emachines are easy to load up linux on if desired.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:34 PM   #9
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Also, whether you have the iPhone or thinking about the iPad, don't miss Navimatics Charts&Tides app, now with ActiveCaptain. You sign up for the free ActiveCaptain account and get that incredible overlay on the Navimatics charts. Now you have access to all the millions of user-sourced info including actual reviews of anchorages! You can read my review of this cool new addition to the mobile chartplotter foray here: www.bwsailing.com.

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Originally Posted by canuckiwis' date='24 May 2010 - 11:41 PM View Post

Hi All It had to happen -someone asking about the iPad as a chartplotter... We are just looking at getting a chartplotter now -really like the touch screens on some of the new garmin units (gpsmap7000 series) but not the price. The iNavX Marine app for iPad also looks really good, and I reckon with a waterproof cover for it you have a pretty sweet solution for a chartplotter-multimedia (yech I hate that word!)-wifi (in marina) station all in one. Has anyone any experience with this yet? Cheers. Dan
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