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Recommendation on Tablet to use for Navionics App?

Rikejr

.
Mar 18, 2021
2
Hunter 50AC Norfolk
My plotter is bad and I need a work around.... Anyone with a recommendation for a tablet to use temporarily? Looking at a Samsung
Dragon Touch K10 Tablet, 10 inch Android Tablet with 16 GB Quad Core Processor, 1280x800 IPS HD Display, Micro HDMI, GPS, FM, 5G WiFi
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,664
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Make sure it has an internal GPS. At least in the Apple line, this means getting a wifi and cellular model. The GPS chip is on the cell phone chip. The WiFi only models get location data from the wifi network. You do not need a cellular data plan, just have the capability.
 
Mar 20, 2015
2,202
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
I am using an old pantec waterproof model tablet. Works fine, but eventually it wont likely work with app updates, because the OS cant be updated anymore.

If it works on my old device, any modern model should work fine as long as the display is bright enough for sunlight viewing if needed. I am not sure of the status of waterproof housings currently, but they made them for a few tablets when i was shopping and it may be a consideration.

It interfaces via wifi to the nmea to wifi bridge. $69 usd. "Yakker" by yakbitz.com

Our Lowrance mark 4 depth/fish finder has an external gps antenna (much better than any internal tablet or phone gps) so it's gps and depth data is sent to the "yakker" which sends nmea data to the tablet and any other devices. Including our phone or even laptops with future open charting software.


I have navionics on both the tablet and my phone because they run on the same Google play account.
 
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  • Helpful
Likes: jssailem
May 27, 2004
1,690
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Rikejr, your Samsung tablet should work fine if you use the Aqua Maps program, as I do.
But I've never used the Navionics software, so I'm not sure how the interface will work.
 

NINEv2

.
Jul 21, 2020
88
Catalina 250 Black Hills
Rikejr, your Samsung tablet should work fine if you use the Aqua Maps program, as I do.
But I've never used the Navionics software, so I'm not sure how the interface will work.
I downloaded Navionics on 2 samsung devices and it works like a charm. Shouldn't have any issues.
 
  • Like
Likes: Leeward Rail
Jun 14, 2010
1,696
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
The WiFi only models get location data from the wifi network.
I'm sure you know what you meant, but that might not be fully understood by someone else. As a practical matter there are no nearby hotspots more than about 1 mile offshore, and even if you have a nearby one in range it is not usable for location services needed by a navigation app.
Bottom line, if you have an Apple device it must have the internal modem (which includes GPS as you noted above, no cell plan needed) or you can use it with an external Bluetooth GPS. The Bad Elf brand is a well known one that works. Internal modem is better - much more reliable and no fiddling with external devices and settings.
 
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Likes: NINEv2
Mar 20, 2015
2,202
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
Internal modem is better - much more reliable and no fiddling with external devices and settings.
Everything I have read said that internal units dont have decent antennae compared to internal units ?

I have definitely experienced slow fixes and less satellites with some devices not really designed as navigation devices.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
15,740
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
A recent development is the Coastal Explorer App for iOS units. The app is free. Uses NOAA maps. A full functional mapping system using the gps systems of the iPad and iPhone. Note the @dlochner is correct. To get accurate location you need the unit with internal GPS not just the location system using cell towers and WIFI.

I have used CE for several years. Originally designed for use on PC system running Windows.

Alternatively, OpenCPN is a great charting software for both Windows and AppleOS systems b
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,696
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
Everything I have read said that internal units dont have decent antennae compared to internal units ?

I have definitely experienced slow fixes and less satellites with some devices not really designed as navigation devices.
My experience is that internal modem is perfect, no reception issues at all, even in remote areas and 40+ miles offshore.
 
  • Like
Likes: tfox2069
Jun 14, 2010
1,696
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
A recent development is the Coastal Explorer App for iOS units. The app is free. Uses NOAA maps. A full functional mapping system using the gps systems of the iPad and iPhone. Note the @dlochner is correct. To get accurate location you need the unit with internal GPS not just the location system using cell towers and WIFI.

I have used CE for several years. Originally designed for use on PC system running Windows.

Alternatively, OpenCPN is a great charting software for both Windows and AppleOS systems b
Love Coastal Explorer, but since I started using Navionics on iOS I rarely use CE anymore. Mostly I use it for planning routes.
 
Mar 20, 2015
2,202
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
My experience is that internal modem is perfect, no reception issues at all, even in remote areas and 40+ miles offshore.
Are you using an iOS based apple product ?
If so, that may be the reason.

Being GPS, other than in a valley impeded by line of sight, or in a urban area with interference, reception would be the same wherever you take it (short of the poles)

2 different makes of android tablets or phones can have differing cell reception, nevermind gps which is really secondary on a non navigation device.
Ipads, being more expensive and better quality may have better antennas.

My next unit will definitely be an ipad.
I also find that iPads have nicer, purpose built waterproof cases.

Edit: i see from your other post that you are. I like ipads. You often get what you pay for, and the higher cost seems worth it.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2014
7,664
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Tablets and phones will never have location data at an extremely high level of accuracy. They are however good enough for most purposes. My iPhone and iPad will often put me in the backyard even when I'm in the house. Not a big deal, the location is 20 or so feet away. If you are navigating on a tablet or phone to that level fo accuracy, you might want to rethink your navigational practices.

Very precise GPS's can measure movements at the centimeter level. Take a look at the data being generated on the volcanoes in Hawai'i. Check the USGS data it is amazing.
 
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Likes: Leeward Rail
Oct 22, 2014
15,740
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@Captain Larry-DH I used CE on a Windows laptop. When acquiring a Mac Laptop I tried the dual booting method of getting Windows and CE on a Mac. When I found the native Mac iOS function of OpenCPN, it became my go to charting software.

CE for iPhone and iPad was reported out by Panbo. Coastal Explorer app for iPads & iPhones - Panbo

I loved the integrated functionality of tides and currents on the CE displays. Here in the PacificNW it is extremely helpful. CE also has digital Canadian mapping files. Costly but less so than buying the paper charts.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,180
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Very precise GPS's can measure movements at the centimeter level. Take a look at the data being generated on the volcanoes in Hawai'i. Check the USGS data it is amazing.
Only differential GPS will get you to centimeter accuracy. Pretty much all mobile devices with GPS use WAAS which will get you within a few meters. Most areas of the world that is more accurate than the charts. My Samsung S10 phone is at least as accurate as my Raymarine chart plotter and I've never had any issues with accuracy on my old Lenovo Tab 10 running Navionics. It's great having redundancy for navigation and Navionics is a cheap way to add it if you have an existing device.
 
Mar 20, 2015
2,202
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
If you are navigating on a tablet or phone to that level fo accuracy, you might
Totally.

My concern is based on situations where it took ages for my previous Galaxy note to acquire enough satellites for a position and to keep them.

At one point i decided to test it, using "GPS status and toolbox" against my old Garmin. The handheld showed strong signals where the Galaxy would show a weak one and occasionally lose lock on satellites in the same.location.

It could be suddenly off by as much as 400ft and occasionally, but rarely, miles. Most other times it was perfectly fine.

Turning the GPS on the phone, on and off, would sometimes seem to solve it. I assume on startup it was downloading new almanac data from the satellites, so maybe it was getting corrupted and that was why it seemed to help ?

It did consistently show a weaker signal that day compared to the old Garmin.
It's a data signal so if it gets the data it's obviously gonna do the same calculations as any other GPS.. But in this case the signal was far from reliable and evidently borderline.

Not something i wanted to count on. Not sure it it was some issue with the hardware drivers or the actual hardware.

Edit: i even removed the protective phone case, thinking it may have some metal particles and weakening the reception.


GPS reliability clearly wasnt a concern when they made it.

My current unit has mostly worked well, Originally it would occasionally drop into power save mode and disable gps, even when always plugged in. A 3rd party battery app solved that by effectively disabling the power save function.
Since i started using the nmea gps data from the lowrance 4 it has been fine.
Who knows. :oops:
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,180
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
@Rikejr I just wanted to point out the Dragon Touch tablet is not Samsung, it's a budget brand. It gets good reviews though so may be worth a try. I wouldn't want to use it as a primary navigation device though. My main concerns would be durability and screen legibility in daylight. The screen brightness doesn't seem to be as much of a problem as it used to be though, my tablet works fairly well in sunlight.

I have used a heavy duty zip-lock bag as a waterproof case for my tablet and had no problems in the rain. You can use the touch screen through the zip-lock bag quite easily however water drops do confuse it sometimes. My phone is waterproof on its own and it works great in any conditions although operating the touch screen underwater is a challenge ;)
 
  • Like
Likes: Leeward Rail
Feb 8, 2014
1,300
Columbia 36 Muskegon
My plotter is bad and I need a work around.... Anyone with a recommendation for a tablet to use temporarily? Looking at a Samsung
Dragon Touch K10 Tablet, 10 inch Android Tablet with 16 GB Quad Core Processor, 1280x800 IPS HD Display, Micro HDMI, GPS, FM, 5G WiFi
I use the Dragontouch K10. Was the only one I could find with built in GPS/cellular at a decent price, about $120 on Amazon as I recall. Works well for this app. Works well with Navionics and OpenCpn. Which ever you go with, be sure to get a good water resistant case for it. I don't think there is a tablet model that's water proof in itself and if there is, it will be very expensive.
 
Feb 3, 2015
296
Marlow Hunter 37 Reefpoint Marina Racine, WI
Make sure it has an internal GPS. At least in the Apple line, this means getting a wifi and cellular model. The GPS chip is on the cell phone chip. The WiFi only models get location data from the wifi network. You do not need a cellular data plan, just have the capability.
Or get an iPad wifi only and get a Bad Elf gps dongle which save $$ on the iPad. I started out that way and works fine. I ultimately upgraded my iPad to cellular for other reasons.