Chart Plotters

Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Shaun » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:59 pm

G'day,
Have been following this thread with interest, as I too am looking for a chartplotter/or HH GPS.

Am looking into the iPad option, Mike does it matter what ipad it is, iPad, iPad2, ipad3 etc?

So you can get a iPad2 for under$400, then the $20 Navionics App from iTunes, then where do you DL the free charts from?

A few more ?'s,

Does the iPad have a built in GPS?(so you dont need to be within phone? network coverage?), so it shows your boats position on a chart on the screen?

Does it also show speed & lat' & long'? & other standard GPS functions?

In your photo of the iPad on your storm board....what is the electrical instrument on its right?
http://s67.beta.photobucket.com/user/Mi ... 0020665343

When you log into the TH site while onboard, do you have a roaming internet card or something?, or is it connected to your mobile account & its included bandwidth?

An iPad might suit, or a combo unit would also be nice as I dont have a (reliable)depth sounder.

Sorry about the 100 Q's,

cheers
Shaun
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Camden Haven River,
Mid Nth Coast, NSW

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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby RodM » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:27 pm

This is a good discussion! I've been looking at power use of different Units.

It appears that on average a 5-6 inch diagonal screen Chartplotter uses 0.7-0.75 Amps, while the same size chartplotter/sounder combo uses 1.25-1.5 Amps. An $80.00 digital Hummingbird 650 depth sounder uses 0.06 Amps. I know that fishers want to see fish, details of bombies etc, and be able to find a location and drift over it time after time, but I'm just happy knowing how deep the water is... Also, a Combo Unit can show chart, sounder or both. Coming into port or when anchoring etc is the very time when you want both chart and sounder - which means a split screen and small size chart.

IPad - You get Navionics charts when you buy the software on ITunes. I have an idea early ipad (1?) only had gps in the version with phone/sim included, not sure about later models. Once loaded, Navionics, Tide charts etc don't need phone reception to work, but AIS & Weather Apps do! I'd go for an IPad with Sim connection - but also think about which carrier you'll go with, as most the cheapies have dodgey rural/coastal reception. You can improve reception with a patch lead and external antenna, but it starts to get fiddley - ok for email at anchor, no good when sailing.

In the end, the Chartplotter/Sounder decision is probably more about what you're used to / comfortable with than about technical specifications and the characteristics of different models...

Rod M
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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Phillip » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:06 pm

Mmmmmmm!

Well I thought I would go "that" way [IPad] or maybe "that" way [chartplotter] a few days ago and then the new Whitworths catalogue came out and now it's a new ball game!
:?

Firstly I rejected the IPad as:
1. There are a lot of areas around Australia without phone coverage and
2. I've just brought a new laptop!

Given that the best display is 480x640 pixels in the 5" screens [which are still really bloody small],
I decided to go with a Garmin product. Garmin being the least in price for a known brand.

Now that Whitworths have brought out their new catalogue I find that there is only $20 difference between the stand alone chartplotter and a combo unit!

So this will cost me $950 [$850 for the Garmin Combo 556s & $100 for the G2 Vision card on e-bay].

I think I will add the Ram mount as well [$60] so there goes my thousand bucks.

Oh, and another 100 bucks for three charts to cover Tasmania and the Mainland.

Now all I have to do is get it by the SWMBO!

Comments anyone?
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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Miker » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:14 pm

Shaun,

I've not had any experience really with anything else but the iPad, so I'm rather biased toward it.

The app is on the iTunes store, it is $40.99 for the Australia/New Zealand version, a little more for Australasia, which is what I have. When you install the app, you need to be connected via Wi-Fi or 3G. Once it's installed you download maps via the app itself. You simply click download, then select the area of map you want to download, really simple. Once you own the app, all maps are free.

I have an iPad one, 3G Wi-Fi 60gigabyte, with built in GPS reciever. The Navionics works without phone reception, as does the built in Googlemaps. However, to access any web or email services, you need to be within 3G range. I have a Telstra pre-paid sim card, which is $20 per month, although if you don't use it within the month, it expires.

The Navionics App does give you all you need to know where you are, shows your speed in a choice of Km, Miles, or NM. You can also save your track, as well as set waypoints etc and it does show your boat in the center of the screen. When you touch the boat icon, it gives you your position.

Drawbacks, you can't connect to your GPS radio transciever, and it can be hard to see in the sun. You must also keep power up to it which is easy if you have a ciggie lighter adapter, which I have to charge iPad, blackberry etc. The power draw is minimal.

The gadget on the right of the iPad is the sounder/fish finder. It has the standard transom mount transducer, that is simply epoxy glued into the hull just forward of the main bulkhead.

Other benefits of the iPad are that you can connect it via the headphone jack to most modern stereo systems, or to a dock to play your iTunes on the move. You can also watch movies if you download them before you travel, plus if you have the adapter, you can upload photos from your camera straight to photobucket, Facebook or Tophatyachts! You can also carry it around with you in the cockpit, or mount it like I have, or on a ram system.

I must admit, I fully planned to stop in to see you and Phillip last week on my way back from QLD, which meant I could have shown you, however I ran out of time.

You can also get the whole lot to work on an iPhone, but it's not as easy to use because it's smaller.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Michael
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Careel Bay, Pittwater
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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Wild Rose » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:47 am

Hi Phillip,

Before you buy the G2 Vision card check the Garmin web site. Garmin GAVE me the G2 V card free as a promotion. It was not easy to find as it was marked as a promotion for NZ not Aus.
Dave & Rosie
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Geelong Vic
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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby RodM » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:55 am

The 556s is a good way to go. Don't worry about screen size. The reason these types of plotters are so popular is that they do a good job. When cruising at night I find the 5 inch screen doesn't impact much on night vision, whereas an IPad screen size does.

Having used both, the IPad does a good job, but the chartplotter is the real deal... mount it in the cockpit and it's there for you rain or shine - though mine's shaded by the Dodger.

The Canadian G2 Vison source on Ebay is reliable plus an excellent price if Garmin won't provide it free. And... With your 556 you can also look at adding an AIS receiver for a mere $300 extra! (plus splitter) It never ends:)

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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Phillip » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:58 pm

Hi Rod,

Yes I agree with you on the 'add on's', where does it stop.

I'll refix the 556s using a Ram mount in the same place as my old chartplotter as I have a round fixed porthole where the original speed log was mounted, thus I can see it from the cockpit.

Also means I can see the plotter when I'm inside when navigating or out of the rain.

Dave, did you need any serial numbers to claim that freebie? :mrgreen:
Phillip.
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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Jeremy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:08 pm

Hey guys,

I may have been a bit confued in my last post between G2 and standard garmin preloaded, which is what I was refering to... anyway...

I think I think I can help clarify a couple of points..

Shaun, once you buy the app the australian data is downloaded. iPad/phone/android navionics charts do not need internet for maps or tide data. You must have a device capabable of getting a GPS signal without assistance from mobile towers (which is more difficult than you might think) for the chartplotting capability.

Also dont forget, for a cheaper option than an iPad, there are some android tables going very cheap. The only real difference is android doesnt have pinch to zoom.

Phil, the Garmin 556s (when bought from Whitworths) is preloaded with Australian charts. The g2 is a neat bit of programming where there are extra contour lines in the map, and these lines are 'joined' to give a nice vector 3d perspective (the Garmin rep told me this). I believe there is satellite view and also photos of different ports, (depending the make) included too. All of the nav marks and lead line locations are the same between preloaded and purchased charts. If you are set on the garmin, i would suggest getting the g2 chart after you have already had a good hands on experience with the in-built charts in the boat. Also the 556 is a good choice compared to the 551, the processor is faster not to mention the resolution. I have bench tested these two units side by side.

The Raymarine A65 sure looks nice though, touch screens are a lot of fun, though I am sure the novelty wears off...

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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Phillip » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:29 pm

Thanks Jeremy,

Your comments have confirmed my choice of the 556. I had a look at the 551 in
BCF [at Port Macquarie] but they don't deal in the 556, so I was unable to compare them.

I'll take on board your advice about the G2 but may order it anyway with Xmas coming the mail will be slow and I need to be ready by the first week in January 2013.

To date I've rebuilt the ice box and replaced the wiring fuse/switch board, the engine goes back in next week, the new 100W solar panel goes on next week and then I have to renew some seals under sheet tracks and stanchions etc. Then I'm good to go!
:D
Phillip.
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Re: Chart Plotters

Postby Shaun » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:34 pm

Miker wrote:

You can also get the whole lot to work on an iPhone, but it's not as easy to use because it's smaller.

Anyway, I hope this helps.


Thanks Mike, Rod & Jeremy you explanations have helped me a lot! :D

I am in need of a new mobile anyway, so will look into getting an iphone or similar that can run the Navionics program, im only really after something that I can have a quick look at after plotting lat & long' from GPS onto paper chart to just verify my rough position, to confirm I havent misread or miswritten a number when reading from the GPS. Im thinking if I find it useful, I could look into an iPad with the larger screen,

cheers
"Blue Moon" MkIII Junkette rig,
Camden Haven River,
Mid Nth Coast, NSW

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