Changing TV and Electronics-- Using Tablet for TV and Navigation?

pjb13

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Nov 19, 2019
15
Hunter 420 Alameda
We just bought a 2001 Hunter 420 and brought it from LA to SF. The chart plotter and TV system are original and I'm looking to upgrade. For the trip up, we used an iPad with iNavX for charts and AIS, and PredictWind for route planning and weather forecasting. It was an awesome combination. we noticed the old TV doesn't get any signal and accessing it to add a DVD or anything is a challenge. So I am thinking that for TV and Navigation I will buy a 12" tablet (either IpadPro or Google Pixel laptop/tablet. I am thinking I'll cover the hole where the TV was but allow power to connect from there and add a mount to allow the tablet to be removed and then moved to the cockpit for navigation. I currently use Verizon for voice and unlimited data which I could do on the iPad with current SW. We use YouTube TV at home and for rental properties and can use it there for all channels. At the dock the marina Wifi would not work as well as the data from cellular and with cellular when we are on the coast of Ca we get the weather updates, mail, etc. so having cellular is likely needed,

For travel we have Google Fi phone and if we got the Pixel tablet/laptop we would get Android OS, same apps as Ipad, note sure about cellular but great wifi. We also get google home functions (have nest protect on boat for CO2/fire). Both options at low end at $600 and high end $1200.
No wiring...
The current chart plotter is acceptable and linked to the autopilot and radar so we would keep that rather than upgrading then entire system.
Thoughts?
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
That should work. :beer: I sleep out on my boat as often as I can. I have the unlimited data plan with Verizon and I have no problem watching Netflix on my smartphone while at anchor. I also have Navonix, Windy and the NOAA app on my phone for navigation and planning. No problems as long as I'm within 2 miles of shore. I have a hand-held GPS for when I drift a bit too far from a cell tower (typically in the middle of the Pamlico Sound). My next phone will be one of those larger tablet sized phones... :thumbup:

I don't do any "real" passage making so as a coastal cruiser I find my phone with some sort of back-up is sufficient. Sounds like you have a solid plan
 
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JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I like it, I just bought a used 2018 Samsung Galaxy Tab 8 - Verizon model for $50. I added my existing Navionnics app and a Unicorn Beetle case so it is better protected. I'm working on a better mount for the cockpit right now.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
So will the new wave of boat upgrades include cell phone boosting antennae on the tops of our masts? :biggrin:

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Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
It looks like the metal replacement part is only $8

 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
One down side I see of the one I posted is that it requires 120V AC power. So the trick will be to find one that is battery operated or use an inverter.

Amazon had a lot to choose from so I think this is a doable route if you choose to go that way.
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Cool, didn't know I needed one:) I was googling around and noted there are ones specific for RV and boats, boats are pretty sporty, a bit less then a boat buck.
 

Sailm8

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Feb 21, 2008
1,719
Hunter 29.5 Punta Gorda
For the difference in price, I think i would try it with one of those cheapo inverters. After all you are only using it for a few hours at a time.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
For the difference in price, I think i would try it with one of those cheapo inverters. After all you are only using it for a few hours at a time.
That is true if you are watching TV but if you are using Navonics on your phone or tablet while underway and have it on all of the time... that might be a larger draw. It might still be well within tolerance ranges of your electric system and worth looking at. A simple solar panel might be able to keep up with the additional current draw.

But you are correct, for the difference in price you might just want to add another battery to your bank instead.... :biggrin:
 

pjb13

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Nov 19, 2019
15
Hunter 420 Alameda
And I decided to buy this tablet, which has cellular (and can use extender) rugged and best water proof and good for media viewing. $688. Could easily get cheaper one but expect to use this with navigation for a while so cellular and weather are considerations, along with android for running inavx, navionics, and windy and predict wind.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro SM-T547 Tablet 10.1" 4 GB RAM 64 GB Storage Android 9.0 Pie 4G Black SMT547UZKAXAA
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
I just read the description. That looks like a great choice. I'll have to add it to my wish list. :biggrin:
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
I think that tablet has a traditional phono jack so a simple antennae like this would work for that..... very simple and no extra installation needed.

1578527286811.png
 
Dec 25, 2000
5,103
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Our 1991 boat came with a cassette player and a tube tv with built in vhs player. Still have it and am happy as a clam. TV died a few years ago and replaced it with same from a thrift store for $12. Added a DVD player, which works great. Fam got me a 178C Sounder back in 2005 and it still meets our navigation needs. Son got me an iPod several years ago and does a wonderful job at playing tunes. I suppose there are lots of toys out there, but our boat is about as close to nirvana as one can get.
 
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Jan 4, 2015
16
macgregor 26m lake tahoe and Santa Cruz
I think that tablet has a traditional phono jack so a simple antennae like this would work for that..... very simple and no extra installation needed.

View attachment 173753
My friend’s comments: Cell phone boosters can work, but they are much better in a fixed location where you have rf shielding that is causing the loss of coverage. The booster is a bidirectional rf amplifier. It works by amplifying the cell phone tower signal picked up on the "outside" (mast top) antenna and retransmitting it on the small "inside" (cabin) antenna near your phone. When your cell phone transmits, another amplifier goes the opposite direction and sends your signal "outside". This is an inherently unstable situation. If the "inside" and "outside" antennas can "see" each other, the system will go into feedback oscillation. The cell phone companies hate these things. It might work well if you had a steel or aluminum boat. To make it work with your boat would probably require getting the inside antenna so that it cannot transmit in the direction of the outside antenna. Some interesting copper mesh or foil with a good ground might do it. I know this subject because I have used these systems in television equipment rooms where the shielding was pretty much 100%
 
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Jan 4, 2015
16
macgregor 26m lake tahoe and Santa Cruz
I think that tablet has a traditional phono jack so a simple antennae like this would work for that..... very simple and no extra installation needed.

View attachment 173753
Our 1991 boat came with a cassette player and a tube tv with built in vhs player. Still have it and am happy as a clam. TV died a few years ago and replaced it with same from a thrift store for $12. Added a DVD player, which works great. Fam got me a 178C Sounder back in 2005 and it still meets our navigation needs. Son got me an iPad several years ago and does a wonderful job at playing tunes. I suppose there are lots of toys out there, but our boat is about as close to nirvana as one can get.
I bought a smart DVD player with WiFi to add to old tv and I went to swap the old CD player. I unscrewed the 4 screws front panel in but could not get it out, or the CD player or figure out how to accesss the tv to add dvd. Decided it was a much bigger project and I’d need to read manual... suggestions? I bought on sale the west marine Bluetooth media player which has usb chargers as I need more given that I have none unless I use the 110 outlets and since we just got the boat we have not figured out why half don’t work.
 

pjb13

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Nov 19, 2019
15
Hunter 420 Alameda
Update: I got my Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro and installed Inavx and predict wind. I compared the GPS data to my iPad using only wifi connection. First thing I noticed was my altitude was way off! 500 on ipad 100 on Samsung. Checked compass for calibration as that was off. So I took to another sea level location with no wifi and could not see location in maps or inavx. Read articles including article below and then learned the difference between GPS and Glonass and that almost all devices say they have GPS but they don't actuallyy connect to satellites! They triangulate. Samsung support said GPS won't work without wifi and or cellular--Non-starter. But the article below contradicted it.
So I am returning it...Then I read that the big winner which has GPS that actually talks to satellites in the Nexus 9. Back to drawing board.



1579123613314.png
Called Samsung and was told gps
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I'm surprised about that, I think I'm in good shape with a true GPS chip because I bought a used/refurb 2018 Galaxy Tab A that was originally a Verizon tablet that allowed cell phone data connection. I've used it as a big GPS in my car and it does a good job tracking me on local and interstate roads, just as well as my stand alone GPS and cell phone.