iPhone and iPad apps are great, and they both have clear bright screens. They make good onboard navigation devices for smaller boats, or repeaters on larger boats.
Avia Sail makes this a valid option onboard. The app we recommend is iNavX available from the Apple iPhone App store.
iNavX is an excellent iPhone/iPad navigation package. With an external GPS source it can also be used with the iPod Touch (no built-in GPS) as an accurate chart plotter even when well beyond cell range.
Avia Sail provides the following NMEA 0183 data to iNavX through a local (to the boat) Wi-Fi connection:
Only the first of these can be generated by the iPhone, and only if it is a 3Gs model with GPS chip. So Avia Sail together with iNavX make a great team!
First you need a network. If you have only one or two PCs on board we recommend an Ad Hoc network which requires no router, just a wireless network adapter, built-in on most computers or available on a USB stick for about $30. We recommend setting up the network on the same computer as the Avia Sail Master or Standalone version. If you already have an onboard wireless network you can skip this step.
Avia Sail has a built in TCP/IP server which serves the above data in NMEA 0183 streaming format to iNavX and other programs which can connect that way. The settings are found in the Avia Sail setup dialog under Shared Data. Just check on the Enable TCP/IP checkbox, and record the IP and port. You can change the port if you want to, but the default port 50101 is normally unused for other purposes.
Setting up the iPhone
Make sure Avia Sail is running in Master, Standalone or Demo mode and is
configured as above.
Note: You can't configure the TCP/IP server in demo mode, but you can do it in master mode then switch modes.
First go to the iPhone (or iPad or iPod) settings menu , WIFI settings, and connect to the network you created. Once successfully connected, start iNavX (which we assume you have already purchased from the app store and installed). Scroll down the start page until you see Settings, tap it, then tap TCP/IP NMEA client.
Enter the host IP you recorded from Avia Sail and the port number. Turn on Reconnect Upon Unlock and then tap the LINK on button. If the link is successful it will stay on. Go to the Instruments panel and verify that data is present.
You are now ready to use iNavX with Avia Sail.
Don't have Avia Sail? Get it at www.aviasail.com