Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

What's on your mind? Anything generic goes here.

Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby walldog on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:05 pm

Downloaded App. Purchased Charts. Downloaded a few charts. Downloaded Active Captain data. Will be connecting router later today. May need software update for Garmin 5212 wifi??

Now to see how it works
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby walldog on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:16 pm

Nice app, but the interface to our Garmin 5212 is not ready for primetime yet.
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby baz on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:05 pm

Herb: do you have a link to the wi-fi router device as I couldn't see any ref to it on Garmin site nor via the Application's User manual. When you say not ready for prime time what's the specific issue and how did you find out about the issue? Thanks
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby ActiveCaptain on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:36 pm

I'm happy to answer some questions about BlueChart Mobile. I was one of the testers and have been using it for quite a few months in a variety of testing and real underway uses.

I have a full suite of Garmin MFD, radar, AIS, etc devices and was a tester for the network connectivity piece too. There have been some odd postings on other forums guessing about how it all works. It's really quite simple.

I'm not totally sure what Garmin is doing with their "router" product showing on their BlueChart Mobile page. It's a Ubiquiti PicoStation-M2 with a bunch of settings to make it talk to the regular Garmin network. You basically plug the Ethernet port into an open Garmin network port on an MFD or GMS-10 and it puts the network data on WiFi. Part of the issue is filtering out radar and fishfinder data which swamps most normal routers without filtering. The -M2 has this filtering and enough CPU power to keep up with the high output of those radar/sonar devices. You can't just get your own router and connect it without a lot of documentation from Garmin - their hardware uses static IP addressing and the router needs to be setup perfectly. I believe this will all be worked out over time to make it much easier.

The thing that's really cool about this product is that it already is a huge advancement in chart quality, weather capabilities, and user-interface. Building a route on BCM is the most elegant interface I've ever used. The ability to pre-download charts or grab them as you want them is elegant. Everything about it was quite well designed.

...and it's only version 1.0.

(And I didn't even say anything about ActiveCaptain!)
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby baz on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:23 pm

ActiveCaptain: I'm assuming the Wi-Fi device (i.e., the "router") is shown here -- https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=129410. Is this correct ? If so, it has a 5 to 8 week 'order processing time', whatever that means!

This device (Marine Wi-Fi Adapter Kit) also contains a Software update SD card... what's this all about I wonder ?
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby ActiveCaptain on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:31 pm

baz wrote:ActiveCaptain: I'm assuming the Wi-Fi device (i.e., the "router") is shown here -- https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=129410. Is this correct ? If so, it has a 5 to 8 week 'order processing time', whatever that means!

Yeah - that's it. I'm not sure why they're selling it that way. I think this will take a few days to settle out. I'd like to find out if the config things I have are confidential. If not, anyone can get the Ubiquiti and just make it work immediately.

I'm looking for a better solution too. From my understanding, all it needs is a static IP hardware block which a hardware firewall should be able to implement. I'm hoping to find a nice, cheap $30 gizmo that'll do it. If I turn off my radar and sonar, my normal Netgear router will put my Garmin network on WiFi and allow routes, etc to move back and forth to BCM. But turn on the radar and it literally crashes the Netgear router because there's so much data.
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby baz on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:42 pm

On my iPad 2 (latest model - 1) I have the App installed with PNW charts loaded and I'm logged into ActiveCaptain. I'm under the impression that if I tap any ActiveCaptain icon such as a diamond "i" icon I should get ActiveCaptain details. However, nothing happens... weird to say the least.

See below...

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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby ActiveCaptain on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:53 pm

baz wrote:On my iPad 2 (latest model - 1) I have the App installed with PNW carts loaded and logged into ActiveCaptain. I'm under the impression that if I tap an ActiveCaptain icon such as a diamond "i" icon I should get ActiveCaptain details. However, nothing happens... weird to say the least.

ActiveCaptain markers aren't diamond i's. They're red, green, blue, and yellow/orange markers like like the website. You have to log into ActiveCaptain and download the bulk data once. All of ActiveCaptain is held offline on the iPad so no internet connection is needed to view any of it. It automatically synchronizes as data changes from users worldwide. The technology behind it is really nice.

Check out the video I shot a couple of weeks ago:
http://youtu.be/zUZceLjMQmw

That shows some live BCM in action and includes a display showing some ActiveCaptain markers in real use.
Last edited by ActiveCaptain on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby ActiveCaptain on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:55 pm

OK, ignore that! Although the video has some interesting things in it.

Just tap on one of those colored icons. It'll bring up a radial menu. Select the item you want info on and all the data will be displayed.


ALSO - looking closely at your updated screen shot - you're in Measure Mode! Get out of that. It's using the taps to set the ruler. It isn't seeing taps on the icons...
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby baz on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:58 pm

Tapping on any of the ActiveCaptain colored icons produces nothing... :( ...and of course I've d/l all 50 MB of the ActiveCaptain data... ;)

[Edit]

OK... I rebooted the iPad and now it's working as you described... sometimes things just need a little coaxing along... :D

...Oh, and yes I understand that I was in "Measure mode", and the reboot took me out of that mode so things worked as you described. Thanks... it's a learning curve for me...
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby ActiveCaptain on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:15 am

baz wrote:it's a learning curve for me...

I think all of those modal displays are a bit subdued. They need to stand out a little bit more. I've done that exact same thing and almost put my fist through the screen because it was annoying me.

I really like the measure tool. I just used it tonight when we pulled into Cumberland Island to drop anchor. I like picking out a spot to anchor and swinging the ruler around to get distances. Then I plant the boat inside the first circle and know all the surrounding distances. It's really a nice implementation of measuring that provides other uses.
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby cotemar on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:28 pm

A Nice upgrade would be to use e-mail or and SD memory card to move routes between devices instead of buying a Garmin Marine Wi-Fi Adapter Kit $199.

I put all my routes and waypoints in my Garmin GPSMAP 5208 using and SD memory card.
I should be able to put those same routes and waypoints in my BlueChart Mobile device using the same SD memory card?
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby ActiveCaptain on Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:34 pm

My vision is that all routes should be in the "cloud" and accessible anywhere by any software/hardware. Garmin probably won't ever do an interface to Raymarine. But I will. And of course, the routes are available on the website too for others to share and use as templates.

I'm working on this now. All products that use our data will have to share route storage too. It'll be my job to make the translations to the legacy hardware. That's part of the design of the Companion - to talk to non-supported hardware/software over network, NMEA, or a memory card if needed. That job might require some special hardware like Chetco or DMK. No one is tying all that together yet.

When I create a route, moving it from one product to another should be easy and not user-hostile like it is today.
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby baz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:16 pm

I notice that Garmin has a built-in User Feedback via Email for reporting issues/errors etc. I cannot find a similar feature for reporting ActiveCaptain issues/errors! Am I just not seeing it somewhere I wonder? I ask as I've already found a few minor inaccuracies for my home port marina... ;)

For example, the boat launcher has a 7500# capacity whereas the ActiveCaptain info shows this to be 7200#. This boat launcher can accommodate 10feet to 26feet long boats and up to 9feet wide. The Port of Edmonds also has a 50-ton capacity Travel lift (max 15.5 feet wide and up to 60 feet long) and a well organized boat yard. Even though ActiveCaptain provides a URL for the marina this is useless unless one has an internet connection while on the water.
Last edited by baz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Garmin Bluechart Mobile App - Where are you?

Postby baz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:19 pm

cotemar wrote:A Nice upgrade would be to use e-mail or and SD memory card to move routes between devices instead of buying a Garmin Marine Wi-Fi Adapter Kit $199.

I put all my routes and waypoints in my Garmin GPSMAP 5208 using and SD memory card.
I should be able to put those same routes and waypoints in my BlueChart Mobile device using the same SD memory card?


I concur and is something I suggested earlier in this thread.

I do like ActiveCaptain's suggestion for keeping route data in the 'Cloud'. This however, presumes one has access to the internet when on the boat, which has to be problematic for many. As long as I'm within Cell coverage I can access the internet, but having Wi-Fi access to the internet is not always possible.
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