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Old 12-20-2012, 05:44 AM
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Default Ipad/Tablet as a MFD Display?

Has anyone out there, used an ipad or similar tablet on their boat as a display? We're trying to figure out on our new build if it's worth the extra $ to put an 8-9" screen on the tower or if we should just use an ipad (or similar) which could link through bluetooth to the units downstairs. Just wondering if there are people out there that have done it and what kind of experience they've had (visibility in sunlight, wear and tear, ect).

Thanks.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:01 AM
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The sunlight on the tower would certainly be an issue. But it is certainly doable. All of the big MFD's are moving in this direction, Raymarine is already doing it. You could put one of these mounts up there https://www.lifejacketcase.com/ We'll be carrying these in January.

With how seldom most towers are used I think this is a great option. You could use it elsewhere around the boat when not in the tower.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:10 AM
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Thanks YachtJim, that was the setup we were thinking about....at the end of the day with everything we're putting into the boat, if it makes sense we'll do it, we don't want to do it just to cheap out. The tower doesn't get used all that often so that's why we're considering it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:02 PM
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I think you'd be much happier with a networked MFD on the tower. An itoy will be a hassle. And when you sell the boat, will the buyer expect there to be a device on the tower? Will you have to buy one to put there in order to sell the boat? Wouldn't it be much more convenient to do that now and actually have it there when you need it. Besides, seeing the screen will be a problem. Try it out before you make any decision.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:59 PM
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I have tried using my iPad with navigation apps on the boat for sea temp charts. It is almost unreadable on a bright day even at the helm of an express under the hardtop. On the tower under the small sunshade it would be utterly useless.

I looked into finding a tablet with a sunlight viewable display. Guess what -- the main customer is the government for military applications and they cost more than a typical small screen marine MFD!
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:24 AM
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I used my iPad in the tower last summer. Never again! Visibility was horrendous and if I had sunglasses on I couldn't even see the screen. Not to mention the lack of a sounder and sea surface temps. My first winter project will be to install a display up there.
Do yourself a favor and have them install a display up there while all the work is being done on your boat.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:13 AM
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That is awesome.
I plan on using that in my pilothouse next to a RayE97.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtjim View Post
The sunlight on the tower would certainly be an issue. But it is certainly doable. All of the big MFD's are moving in this direction, Raymarine is already doing it. You could put one of these mounts up there https://www.lifejacketcase.com/ We'll be carrying these in January.

With how seldom most towers are used I think this is a great option. You could use it elsewhere around the boat when not in the tower.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:44 AM
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I have been using my ipad for years with no issues and it brings a lot to the table. As far as viewing in sunlight, I am in S Florida...pretty sunny. I have a furuno FF that is about the same brightness and my Raymarine chartplotter is about the same brightness as the ipad. I have used my ipad in costa rica, bahamas, hawaii without any issues. I do use an antiglare screen. I put the screen on full brightness....the best app is navionics hd....very clear and bright. Its pretty cool to have internet and all the apps available....would be even cooler to have the wireless sync to your raymarine plotter or Furuno while having it in a waterproof case...people on my boat love to see where we are, the bottom, speed, etc etc I would give it a try, if it doesnt fit your needs go with a secondary mfd. Good luck, enjoy!!!
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK XLR8 View Post
I have been using my ipad for years with no issues and it brings a lot to the table. As far as viewing in sunlight, I am in S Florida...pretty sunny. I have a furuno FF that is about the same brightness and my Raymarine chartplotter is about the same brightness as the ipad. I have used my ipad in costa rica, bahamas, hawaii without any issues. I do use an antiglare screen. I put the screen on full brightness....the best app is navionics hd....very clear and bright. Its pretty cool to have internet and all the apps available....would be even cooler to have the wireless sync to your raymarine plotter or Furuno while having it in a waterproof case...people on my boat love to see where we are, the bottom, speed, etc etc I would give it a try, if it doesnt fit your needs go with a secondary mfd. Good luck, enjoy!!!
What kind of anti-glare screen do you have? Every i-Pad I've seen sucks outdoors as described by other posters, especially when you can't keep moving it around for best visibility.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:38 AM
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Its the antiglare screen that is on my lifejacket case, tekra marnot ag
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:39 PM
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Will the iPad wifi work with a new raymarine unit to get Internet?
Or will it need to be in range?
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:02 AM
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Youll need to be in cell range to get inet.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:14 AM
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You might need to be in cell range for Internet but if you're using Internet for Nav, I believe you can add this product and not need Internet for Navionics to work as it's a GPS receiver.

http://bad-elf.com/products/be-gps-1000/

List of Apps it works with, in lieu of Internet, is pretty extensive.

"The Bad Elf GPS provides location data to any and all apps that use Apple’s iOS Core Location framework. However, not all apps can run without Internet access, so we’ve created a list of apps that work well on devices without 3G cellular connectivity like the iPod touch and Wi-Fi iPad."

http://bad-elf.com/compatible-apps/
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:25 AM
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You could pretty much buy a brand new 7" android tablet with a built-in stand alone gps chip for the price of that bad elf.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the feedback guys, please keep it coming!
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:59 PM
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Navico (Lowrance/Simrad) just came out with "GoFree" which is wireless router that connects via ethernet to their MFDs. Much better wifi signal than the Raymarine stuff that's built into the units. it's a $200 add on and will work with their Simrad NSS (Touchscreen,) and Lowrance HDS TouchScreens. It will also work with both ipad, iphone and Android. Still- these other guys who suggest a second station are probably right. For about $1000 after rebates, you can buy a 7" NSS for that second station that would be much better than the ipad because of durability, etc. You would also get the benefit of the backup GPS antenna and Sounder module on your network that comes included in a NSS7 if something were to happen to your primary devices.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:06 PM
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The dollars make the decision a little tougher....we're committed to Furuno TZ, originally we were hoping to do 2 tz 14's at the helm and a navnet 3d on the tower to save money, however, the integration between the 3d and tz is problematic (basically the 3d takes over the system). So long story short, we're looking at close to 4k for the tz 9" on the tower vs. $800 or so for an ipad with case
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:02 AM
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still looking for an app that will receive data from a fishfinder transducer to display on the ipad, soon I hope!
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK XLR8 View Post
still looking for an app that will receive data from a fishfinder transducer to display on the ipad, soon I hope!
this is all i could find. http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2012/...t-The-Helm.asp
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:21 PM
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This past summer I tried using the iPad in my boat. While direct sunlight is an issue I found the bigger issue is heat. The iPad literally shut down and I couldn't restart it until I was home hours later. If you are in a hot situation most of the time I'm not certain an iPad is a good choice.
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