pjbharrison 10:52am, 7 June 2012
Just bought a Chinese Tablet PC for €121 and navionics software for tablet for €30.24.



Tablet is quite good itself and comes with an external GPS aerial. Ordered it on Wednesday and it arrived from Hong Kong on Monday by DHL. Postage was free!
Unlike iPad the Android tablet had USB ports HDMI, LAN port and has a slot to expand memory with Micro SD cards. The iPad does have a much better screen capacitive screen but the Android is more flexible. The iPad capacitive screen requires a touch from a finger to operate it so it can't be operated if it is in a protect cover. The Tablet I bought has a resistive screen so it can be operated through a protective cover or a stylus instead of a wet finger!

Downloaded Navionics UK and Holland from their website.

The tablet isn't on the Navionics approved tablets list but decided to try it anyway. Worked fine initially but then crashed. Navionics support were unwilling to help. Diagnosed it myself and found that there was an incompatibility problem with the version of Google Maps available for Android 4.0 and Navionics. So, reset Tablet to factory settings and reinstalled all my other apps except Google Maps. Reinstalled Navionics and it has worked fine for the last couple of days.

I'll post some photos soon.
NormanKlipspringer 6 years ago
I am tempted at this price. Keep us informed on how it works etc.
pjbharrison Posted 6 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 6 years ago
Hi Norman

UK price is 98 pounds sterling with free delivery by DHL
(I'm not on commission!)

2 car chargers, 1 for boat & 1 for car, cost €7.30

Keyboard and case available on ebay for 10 pounds stg

Hopefully the weather will improve soon and I'll get out to try it. Pity I didn't have it working last weekend as I made a trip to Peel in the Isle of Man. I hope to launch in Howth next week and sail to Skerries so I'll report back then.
Tablet is still useful in its own right as a mobile PC. Has flash 11 so can watch Tv, youtube, movies, music, surf the net etc. Has 16GB on board storage expandable to 48GB by Micro SD card.

Just bought a compass and map cover/sleeve in Aldi this afternoon for €2.99 that is a perfect fit for the tablet so its waterproof too now!
rothwell_neil 6 years ago
I have an ASUS 10" pad and love the navionics software on the big screen, (GPS built in). Used it again on Monday to escape from Mersey with John. I also like the fact that you can use USB, and additional memory cards unlike the iPad with the 'Stepford wives ' approach that Apple follow. can also use it to drive BBC iplayer at HD onto the TV with a $1.30 cable off ebay! The asus and samsung use the same screen and Apple buy the same screen off Samsung.
rothwell_neil 6 years ago
Paul sent you a flickr mail, what charger did you buy?
Raydock 6 years ago
Reading on Navionics website that navionics is not supposed to work with Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, otherwise known as 4.0
i think that is what the 4-0 is making reference to.
Hopefully it will be OK. I suppose you could use an older version of Android if it turns out to be problematic.
It's a great way of getting 10" screen nav for very reasonable.
pjbharrison 6 years ago
Finally got to launch boat today in Howth and used tablet and Navionics while sailing to Skerries (about 14 miles).
Chartplotter worked perfectly and used it to plot a route through channel inside islands. Very pleased with results.
I told Navionics that I found software worked fine on Android 4.0 if Google maps not installed but got no response from them
Slycat777 6 years ago
Very cool!
I'd thought of running something similar but ended up going down the laptop linux opencpn route.
Laptop has been a bit flakey so may change my mind again.

Can this tablet output to a standard pc lcd monitor?
pjbharrison Posted 6 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 6 years ago
Has a mini HDMI output which I used to connect to a 46" LCD TV via an adapter (99p). Played Star Wars through it and got a perfect picture.
You can get HDMI to VGA converters on E bay if your screen doesn't have a HDMI port.
The tablet will play movies etc to an external screen as it can be configured through its media player to do so but I don't think it will work with Navionics etc. I'll give it a try and get back to you.
Neil has some experience with tablets too and he may be better able to advise.

What Linux OS are you running? I found Ubuntu 10.10 the most stable and user friendly. It's system requirements aren't too high either so it'll run happily on an older laptop.
Laptop power requirements are much higher than a tablet, especially when connected to an external screen.
Slycat777 6 years ago
Running latest Ubuntu. Works well.
Its an old small Dell so has a pretty small power drain and connects to a 12v lcd.

As my longest sails are around 6 hours from base (and then back to shore power) power isnt a big concern just yet!
Slycat777 6 years ago
Does this tablet take 12v as standard?

My linux laptop/screen combo was giving me all kinds of grief over the weekend!
pjbharrison 6 years ago
Yes, I got 2 car chargers for 7.30 Euros.


The chargers supply the required 5V 200mA. I got a 3 socket cigar lighter adapter from Tesco and hard wired it onto my boats panel so I can run tablet, charge phone etc.. You can just about see it in one of the pics in my photostream.

You can set the screen to stay on all the time once it is on charge.

What was up with the laptop?
Slycat777 6 years ago
Turns out it was low battery power causing all my symptoms.

Either battery just needed a good charge or the battery is dying.

Is there a quick/easy (read cheap) test I can perform to work out if my battery is in poor shape?
pjbharrison 6 years ago
Neil is the best man to ask.
I think he already did a post on checking batteries
rothwell_neil 6 years ago
Few points in this thread.
Navionics works well on ice cream sandwich Android 4. Mine also works with google maps installed.
Mini HDMI to 15 pin VGA screen drivers work well at £2.50 off ebay. HOWEVER depends on tablet as to when can use, the Asus and Samsung will drive the screen at all times on all programs. The tablet that Paul has will only drive the screen when using program such as the video player which has an option to output to screen.

Batteries on Laptops have a finite life and there is no way of recovering them. Once a lithium goes it is gone and will deteriorate rapidly. If once fully charged it won't hold a charge or runs down quickly then have to get a new one off ebay. I have not had any problems with non OEM batteries off ebay.
Slycat777 6 years ago
Oh, should have been specific.

I run my laptop and monitor of my 12v marine battery. It was the marine battery that was low on charge causing the issues!

So its my regular old 12v battery I'd like to 'check' to see if its dying or not.
rothwell_neil 6 years ago
Easiest way is to check the voltage. Fully charged should be 13V and this will settle to about 12.8V and stay at that for a long time. You lose a couple of percent of the charge every week so need to charge a lead acid every few months or use a top up like a solar panel.

Assume that it is an 85Amph battery you should expect to get ca70% of this without damaging the battery, quoted capacity is never what you actually can used as a deep discharge will ruin the battery.

Easiest way of testing is to use a car head lamp bulb. Put this across the battery so one element is lit up, full beam or dip will do. This will draw 5Amps and then just measure the time for the battery to drop in voltage to no lower than 11.6volts. It is normally linear so if you plot this and start at 12.8V, after 2 hours you have used 10Amps and it is down to 12.5V then it should be down to 11.6volts after 8 hours giving a usable capacity of 40Ahr. That will be OK, I expect to get 65Amps out of my good 85Amph battery. If it is down to 12V after an hour or two then it is technically knackered. easy to then test the condition by simply measuring the voltage. I found a great cig lighter volt meter on ebay, like this one but for £2. As i use 12v cig lighter sockets to power most devices this is ideal to measure condition of battery. If you never let it drop below 11.6V you will extend the life of the battery.


pjbharrison Posted 5 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 5 years ago
Just an update on this tablet chartplotter.

March 2013 used it from Portrush NI to Lymington. Great chartplotter and for watching movies, email etc.

May 2013 used for trip from Milford Haven to Skerries.
BIG BONUS was that chartplotter kept working during night when we lost engine and all electrical power.

Used for watching Netflix while on treadmill over winter and for playing Bridge.

The resistive screen is nowhere near as nice as a capacitive screen model but at the price and with it's great functionality I reckon it was a great investment.
A264 Clytie 5 years ago
Very interesting. I haven't bought any electronics yet, does any one know if there is an updated version simply because the world seems to move on so quickly these days.
pjbharrison Posted 5 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 5 years ago
Many tablets claim to have GPS but not many do actually have a GPS chip, they rely on Wifi, so it's important to check thoroughly.
Samsung and Nexus do have GPS chips but they're a bit dearer than the Chinese models.

Neil Rothwell has tried a number of models and may be better able to advise on current machines.


rothwell_neil Posted 5 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 5 years ago
We have continued to test tablets and the quality and performance of these just gets better and better. Paul is right you need to check as even big reputable companies can mislead. the Kindle fire has a wireless enabled GPS which means NO GPS and useless if not in wireless range and still useless then for navigation.

Don't rule out older ones as I have an Asus transformer 101 that is still a great performer and is over 2 years old, check reviews as the later Transformer had a poor GPS. That has a 1G processor and is on Android 3. A nice tablet and good for navigation and most things. Not as fast as the latest processors and the 4.1 and above is a better software. BUT there are some bargains out there secondhand.

As for the results of our testing, still love the Samsung tab3 8" as a great compromise between 7 and 10 inch, National Grid use the tab3 7" for all their field guys as best as in all the tests all 145 field guys picked this one, simply liked the shape and way it fitted a pocket and could be used in full sun. LG 7 and HTC 7 close second and the Nexus 7 a great tablet. The Samsung and the Nexus are very good as they have very bright screens and I can vouch that the Samsung worked well in full sun in the cockpit in Croatia. (should be OK in the Irish Sea then.)

Aldi Medion and the Tesco Hudl perform well and both have GPS and very well priced. Think you get the Hudl for £60 with club card.
Groups Beta