Best portable GPS Chartplotter

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by JosephT, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 856
    Likes: 106, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 218
    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    Any input would be appreciated. I'm currently looking at a Garmin GPSMap 78sc.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003I86PJG

    The screen is a bit small, but it's got a lot of features and some nice accessory add-on maps for various regions.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1,854
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 896
    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    Garmin make very good products and have for decades.
     
  3. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
    Posts: 946
    Likes: 45, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 274
    Location: Newport News VA

    sdowney717 Senior Member

    Simple, use an app for your smart phone. And you can buy waterproof cases for Samsung phones, sealed with glass on front.
    Or android tablet which will have larger screen.
    I have several running including OpenCPN which has the charts on the phone.
    Here are some I have installed.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.opencpn.opencpn_free&hl=en
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skiracer.nautical_astore_lite&hl=en
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.marinetraffic.iais&hl=en
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.marineways.android&hl=en
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tsinc.smartchart&hl=en

    Here is realtime NOAA sea state info. Advantage of an android device, you can get lots of data and many apps to view the data. Not locked to Garmin etc...
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sherpaoutdoorapp.noaaweatherbuoys&hl=en
     
  4. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 856
    Likes: 106, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 218
    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    Thanks for the additional info on phone apps sdowney717. I'm all set with the phone apps. I do offshore sailing where true GPS satellite (vs 4G signal) is needed. I've seen some phone apps claim to be GPS, but they are not. As soon as you're out of line of site/range from the cell tower you're out of luck.

    I've used fixed mounted Garmin chart plotters & SeaPro software, but was looking for a portable unit I could bring with me as an emergency backup. I'm not seeing much out there beyond the GPSMap 78sc. It's got some good features. I would like a unit that's about 3 to 4x larger though with a bigger screen & more battery space, yet offering the same functionality.

    I'll keep searching. Thanks again!
     
  5. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
    Posts: 946
    Likes: 45, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 274
    Location: Newport News VA

    sdowney717 Senior Member

    Interesting you say the phone NAV apps dont use GPS?

    What I think is happening, those android apps must have 4G data connection to download maps.
    If you used opencpn on the phone, then you would put the maps on the phone, on an SD card or written to phone memory by way of connecting with usb to a PC,
    and the app would then already have the maps to use.

    There is an app that displays satellite GPS data.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eclipsim.gpsstatus2&hl=en

    So what to think, does the phone you use have a gps receiver?
    My phone, S4, displays it connecting to the satellites.

    I get notifications if I have the LOC (gps) button off on the phone to turn it on, as many apps use the data.

    Here is a forum for opencpn on android, you could ask the developer.
    http://bigdumboat.com/aocpn/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=4
     
  6. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
    Posts: 946
    Likes: 45, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 274
    Location: Newport News VA

    sdowney717 Senior Member

  7. FMS
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 611
    Likes: 22, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 227
    Location: united states

    FMS Senior Member

    All smartphones and tablets with cellular built in have a GPS chip.

    The thing is choosing the app that will load charts from a micro sd card or save charts in the phone's storage reliably.
     
  8. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 856
    Likes: 106, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 218
    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    Thanks for the additional feedback guys. I have an iPhone6S Plus (larger screen) and an iPad. I have reviewed the Navionics product in the past, but was not aware it would work outside of 3G/4G cell tower range. I will look into this further.

    If you can recommend any other apps besides Navionics please share those and I'll have a look!
     
  9. the brain
    Joined: Sep 2016
    Posts: 360
    Likes: 0, Points: 16, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: AL

    the brain Senior Member

    Couple ?s on android G3 tablet used as a boats GPS and chartplotter

    Which mapping/chartplotting SW to down load? mainly near Florida.

    I'm starting w/ one andriod6 10" display, will expand w/ 2nd for radar

    how hard is it to interface a radar antenna to a tablet? I attach RDs wires.
    https://www.amazon.com/Simbans-Andro...rum-convert-20


    SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC UHS-I Card with Adapter, Grey/Red, Standard Packaging (SDSQUNC-032G-GN6MA


    edit I haven't used google page yet. for the above navigation DL soft wares do I have to signup w/ GP w/ credit card?
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Nate57
    Joined: Sep 2010
    Posts: 28
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Belize

    Nate57 Junior Member

    OpenCPN (free) is far and away superior to any of the common phone apps. It's as good as Nobeltec or Maxsea or any other that costs thousands IMO. Yes there is an add-on for radar interface (and many more). I might note that the GPS on most phones are only accurate to typically a few hundred feet and unreliable to boot. A typical USB GPS dongle to plug into your tablet or PC cost about $35 USD and accurate to within about 20 ft. The Garmins are more accurate still if you need it for certain work but I personally can't stand their user interface and tiny screen. A tablet or laptop, a GPS dongle and OpenCPN makes for a fairly reliable low cost plotter. Put the OpenCPN app on your phone for back-up. NOAA charts (unlike Navionics etc) are still free. If you haven't visited OpenCPN before check it out https://opencpn.org/
     
  11. the brain
    Joined: Sep 2016
    Posts: 360
    Likes: 0, Points: 16, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: AL

    the brain Senior Member

    yes I will DL you'r suggestion of openCPN also Navionics.
    I was planning on Navionics for its charts I hope either work w/out internet access? yes because I have charts saved.

    this is excellent advice, to me there's a big difference in acuristy like finding a spot I'd prefer to be as close as possiable.

    ?1.is openCPN dependant on Navionics and vis versa? I understand now how openCPN charts aren't detailed and the overlain Navionics charts are very detailed. anxious to see more overlays.

    I am very anxious to receive my first tablet android 6 (I have looked over a andriod6 phone seamed very nice for a phone I'm used to a LP so I'm not really expecting a full windows OS am expecting a decent 5MB camera/videoes display for chartplotting/w touch screen this #6 is high def.

    ?2.can I remove the sim card (standard size) and insert into tablet and use tablet as phone? no

    70% of time tablet will be located on helms bridge, I'm deviseing a plan to expand my dash for room for two tablets one for charting/plotting 2nd for raydar/depth finder.

    30% of time tablet will be used thoughtout vessel.

    ?3.will android playback TV recordings I've created w/ windows 7 media center (they are WTV. files?

    ?4.would like to know the details on using the tablet interfaced into say a Furumom raydar antenna.

    edit: the tablet has 16MB extremnal is 32MB ,

    ?5.how much storage is consumed by andriod6? I want to use it's video to capture clips of all my following shakedown runs
    for complete observations for improvements.

    edit2:is this true or false ? if you turn on a GPS inside a house the antenna will get confussed and then would require a reset? like should
    the GPS only be turned on outside?not so far

    http://www.furuno.com/special/en/wireless/radar/

    I answer a few of my own ?s
    Thanks STB
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017

  12. the brain
    Joined: Sep 2016
    Posts: 360
    Likes: 0, Points: 16, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: AL

    the brain Senior Member

    Please would like to know the details on using the tablet interfaced into say a Furumom raydar antenna.

    would like to interface basic sounder/depth finder like Ray marine dragonfly4 having both raydar/depth displayed split screen on 2nd tablet?

    Thanks TB
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Charlyipad
    Replies:
    19
    Views:
    983
  2. 5teve
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    1,072
  3. MrPopper
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    7,827
  4. vondoom
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    3,270
  5. oceancruiser
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    2,202
  6. oceancruiser
    Replies:
    34
    Views:
    10,557
  7. jamesgyore
    Replies:
    64
    Views:
    6,416
  8. Karl_T
    Replies:
    37
    Views:
    13,324
  9. ChrisN67
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    9,730
  10. challange
    Replies:
    17
    Views:
    3,613
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.