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iPad

Discussion of radars, GPS, autopilots, stereos and TV's. Also iPad and other mobile navigation devices.
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rjr
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iPad

Postby rjr » November 30th, 2019, 11:28 am

Who uses an iPad for navigation? What chart software do you use? How do load software? Does iPad connect to auto pilot? Plz answer any other questions I didn't know to ask :-D ! Thanx.

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Re: iPad

Postby Tireless » November 30th, 2019, 5:45 pm

I have been using an iPad as my primary navigational tool for years. You can purchase the Navionics software from the App Store for about $75, the last time I looked and it will download on your wifi. Once the program is downloaded you will have access to all the charts in North America. You only download the charts in the area where you travel in or expect to, so you don't chew up your memory.

If you don't have an iPad, you will require the iPad that has wifi and 4G capability so you have the GPS module (this is the more expensive unit). You do NOT need to purchase a service plan through a local carrier as it is not needed, it plots without it. Once you have downloaded the charts you want while on wifi thats all you need. The GPS module in the iPad will plot your location on the chart. Zoom in and out with the touch of two fingers. I repeat you do NOT need to purchase a plan from a local carrier for this to work. Stores may tell you that you need this.

I find this extremely easy to use, its very accurate and the chart detail is the same as you would see on a Raymarine or other similar product. It allows you to plot your own course with the touch of a finger as well as it will also auto plot for you as well. The iPad can also link to some of the newer chart plotters. I like it because I can plot courses while at home or on the dock, mostly during the winter months.

Unless something has changed you cannot link your iPad with your autopilot, however, I believe there is a sonar device that will work with it through bluetooth. Your charts are always up too date so there is no need to keep purchasing a new chip every few years, $$$$. I pay a minimal yearly fee for this and it is very much worth it. If you have ever travelled the small craft route through Georgian Bay you will know what I mean. I use my Raymarine E80 for my autopilot, depth and the radar. I prefer the iPad to using my E80 for navigating and normally use the E80 for overall mapping.

A lot of Captains up here use iPads with great success. It is an inexpensive upgrade to a larger screen or outdated equipment.

Hope this helps, if you have any other questions please fire away.

Greg
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Re: iPad

Postby darrenlife » November 30th, 2019, 6:23 pm

Greg is spot on, I also use Navionics as my primary. I also have a newer Garmin that I use as a redundant chart plotter that I can pair with Active Captain on my iPad.
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Re: iPad

Postby rjr » November 30th, 2019, 8:55 pm

Thanx Greg - great info. What is the "minimal yearly fee" for?
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Re: iPad

Postby Tireless » December 1st, 2019, 2:59 pm

The annual subscription is $29.99 plus taxes Canadian. Your app will tell you when it is due. This ensures that your charts are always up to date daily, Sonar Chart and Community Edits. It allows you to use the dock to dock autorouting feature. It entitles you to more data on the application which is up to date as well. For further details of advance features refer to the application itself. Well worth the money. Compare the cost of a 12" iPad Pro to a 12" screened chart plotter of any make.

Another great feature of the iPad is when you are on wifi you can use the satellite overlay and weather features. When you are away from wifi just use your cell phone as a hot spot for these features, but as stated before your chart plotter works on its own.

I attach my iPad to the dash of my boat with a product made by Sea Sucker. Heavy duty pump action suction cups that stick to any flat surface and the back of the iPad.

They only issue I have with the iPad, which can happen on any touch screen device, is when I am in ruff conditions on Georgian Bay and you try to touch the screen to zoom in/out can be difficult. I always use a backup and I use paper charts as well in the event I loose my place.
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Re: iPad

Postby bud37 » December 1st, 2019, 4:26 pm

Tireless....I have been following along here, as I like this idea. I have a couple new Garmin chartplotters, how does the navionics version from the app compare. Have you ever noticed any being off east/ west .

Years back an ill advised apple update wiped my old app away. I agree about up to date charts , but on the route plotting do you follow right on the app line or use the markers above anything ? Those rocks can be real close to the markers.... :-O

Good thread... :down:
"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Safe travels with light winds and calm seas.....
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Re: iPad

Postby ColRon » December 2nd, 2019, 10:09 am

I, too, use an iPad running Navionics as a second chart plotter operating in conjunction with my E-80. The access it provides to Active Captain is worth it alone. The iPad I use, however, only has wireless capability, so I had to purchase a Bad Elf GPS unit to attach to the iPad. It is actually more accurate than the GPS contained within the cell service capable iPad. The Bad Elf unit uses only satellite signals and is used quite a bit in private aviation, while the iPad GPS uses primarily wireless and cell signals (same as the iPhone) to assist in determining location. The Bad Elf unit runs around $100 usd.
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Re: iPad

Postby Tireless » December 2nd, 2019, 3:01 pm

bud37

I find the graphics on the iPad, running the Navionics app, to be better than my Ray E80. The graphics are so clear and sharp and with great colour. It is extremely accurate when plotting, as good as the Ray product if not better. Like any GPS device, it is used in combination with your own visual on markers. I also rely on paper charts no matter what I use. I use the route that I created as a guide only. The route is only as good as they guy that created it. :-D

I have travelled the small craft routes in the Georgian Bay area many, many times from Port Severn to the North Channel and I have not had any plotting issues, what so ever. When using the autoroute option, I always check the route before I use it and pay attention as I go.

You can autoroute, manually create routes or save a route from the tracking feature while underway. I have dozens of routes saved that I can pull up with the touch of a finger.

Some times you may want to time your arrival at a lock or a bridge. If you are tracking a saved route the software will tell you the arrival time at your current speed, so you can increase or decrease speed to arrive at your destination at the right time. It will also calculate your fuel consumption for the trip.

The software has an easy view toggle as well, which makes the markers bigger and for us older folks.

I have seen guys use the Bad Elf and it is a great option, if you don't have the GPS right in the unit. As too whether the Bad Elf is more accurate than the GPS in the iPad, not sure, but they run off the same principles, satellites. Never compared them side by side.

The only issue with a Bad Elf from what I recall, is that it plugs into the same port as your charging cord. So unless they have fixed this, you can't charge the iPad with the Bad Elf plugged in. ColRon, have the newer Bad Elf models worked around this problem? Using the iPad as a chartplotter uses a lot of power, so I have mine plugged into a DC, USB port on the dashboard when ever I am using it on long runs.

Hope this helps.

Greg
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Re: iPad

Postby ColRon » December 2nd, 2019, 3:28 pm

Greg, Bad Elf has addressed the charging issue. The unit does plug into the lighting connector on your iPad, but has it own connector where you can connect it to a usb charging port so that it provides iPad/iPhone charging through the Bad Elf unit itself. I forget the connector type, mini usb maybe, but it a very common type connector, same a normally found on the android phones. If you buy one new it comes with the charging cord that about a meter long (3 feet).

I know what you mean about the iPads power consumption when running the chart plotter. It won’t last very long without being connected to a charging source. I, too, always run it with it connected to a charging source.

The only thing about the Navionics autorouting is that it is limited to 100 waypoints. For myself, where my travels are on the Tennessee River, with Autorouting trying to follow the channel line, 100 waypoints might get me 15 miles. If you had a lot of open water, I sure it would work great.
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Re: iPad

Postby Tireless » December 2nd, 2019, 6:17 pm

ColRon, thanks for the update on the Bad Elf, fixing that was a big deal. I know what you mean about the 100 waypoints. The only way around the restriction is create more than one route.

I have a friend that needs a Bad Elf and didn't buy one because of the charging issue, I will advise him, Thanks, good to know.

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