Ask PYS: Apps/Software

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Does PYS Offer Consulting Services?, on Aug 16, 2016 asked:

I have seen your YouTube videos of the boat show classes. Nice work! You are knowledgeable. Since I am in San Diego, I cannot come in and see you, but am wondering if you are available for hire as a consultant? My wife and I are having a 53 foot offshore sailing catamaran built that we plan to circumnavigate. I specified B&G over Raymarine, since I have heard from multiple sources that Raymarine’s quality was low over the past few years, but is now improving under FLIR. However, I hear B&G is still good quality, fewer repairs. In addition, B&G has a plant in Ensenada, Mexico which is 70 miles away. I am not an engineer, therefore my trade-off is to have less bells and whistles and/or “technical” systems in exchange for fewer repairs and quality construction since we are going to be in remote places and I don’t want to deal with repairs in or out of civilization. The builder will install the chosen system and space is available for any size. Can I hire you for your advice? -Bryan

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What does it Mean When Your Inverter is “Searching”? – Ken, on Jun 19, 2015 asked:

We took our boat to Kitimat last week and everything worked great. The only thing that happened, which I didn’t understand, was the inverter would say “searching” when it wasn’t being used? I would have to go to the remote and turn it off, and then back on to get it working again. Any idea of what is causing this? Also, with our Garmin GPSMap, are there any updates we should be doing? Are there updated charts we should be using? Everything is working well, just wondering about updates?

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Patrick – Laptop with Navigation vs. Chartplotter, on Nov 16, 2014 asked:

I have an older 26 ft. Campion Sport Cruiser and I am researching which chartplotter gives me the best bang for my money. I keep coming back to a hand held GPS (or mounted antenna) in combination with a cheap laptop with navigation software installed. For the cost of one of the new chartplotters I can get a much bigger screen, better resolution, more computing power, a multi-functioning machine that I can replace four or five times before I come close to matching the price of one of the new HD chartplotter/fishfinders that are mentioned in the latest Pacific Yachting issue. Why wouldn't I do this and spend the money saved on a new fishing rod and an electric downrigger?

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Larry – Linking iPad to Autohelm, on Oct 26, 2014 asked:

As you know I have a Catalina 36 and PYS updated my entire electrical system with proper fusing and wiring. Now I have an old Raymarine system with chartplotter, radar, autohelm etc. It is an RL70 and has an ST600R remote controller. Now the readout on this unit is black and white—probably 1998 vintage. I have been using the Navionics Charts app on my iPhone and find it easier to see where I am going than the big pedestal unit. I now have an iPad with a Navionics app for charts and tides with GPS and it is even easier to see and work with. I would like to know if it is possible to communicate the autohelm with the iPad Navionics where I can put in routes etc. If possible, what else do I need to purchase to achieve this?

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Terry, on May 08, 2013 asked:

I am wondering if the Bad Elf GPS Pro would be useful for coastal navigation to pair with my iPad 1? My iPad does not have a GPS chip in it.

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Michael, on Jun 05, 2012 asked:

I just recently bought the new retinal display iPad (my first apple product!). I want to make it a chart plotter to back up my old Garmin 2010. I've looked at a GPS receiver called Bad Elf that goes for $99 so I don't have to rely on data connections or WiFi. Now I'm looking at chart plotting software that resides on the unit, is good for our West Coast waters and does not need data or WiFi. Any suggestions?

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Steve, on May 14, 2012 asked:

I saw the presentation at the VBS and was impressed about the Navionics apps for 14.99. As of today, it looks like the iPad HD version is $50 or $60, while the iPhone version is still $15 and should work on my iPad 3. What would justify the differences? Do you think we generally need the iPad version?

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Duart, on Oct 07, 2011 asked:

I'm wondering if I can convert my old Raymarine GPS antenna to a USB connection for my PC. I'm checking one last time before I remove the whole thing and try to sell it, but some minor demolition will be required and I'd like to avoid that if I can. Any ideas welcome.

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Tom, on Aug 04, 2011 asked:

Can an iPad loaded with Navionics software be linked to a Raymarine autopilot system? We have a Raymarine autopilot - about 2007 - not sure of the model. We were thinking of getting a chartplotter but were recently impressed by a fellow boater's iPad/Navionics app. Is it possible to link the iPad to the autopilot?

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Dawn, on Jun 21, 2011 asked:

I'm looking for a way to attach my Mac laptop to my existing GPS so that I have a bigger screen for planning and record keeping purposes. It would have to be autopilot interactive. The only software I have found does not include Canadian waters. Any Mac friendly thoughts?

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