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Old 01-28-2023, 07:04 AM   #1
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iPad GPS Reception

In addition to MFDs, we use a pair of 12.9Ē iPads to run Navionics and AquaMap. The iPads occasionally freeze when they lose their GPS signal, most problematically when we were leaving Crystal River in the middle of the night (donít ask).

Iíve thought of trying to tether the iPads to our Vesper WiFi system, which already has an external GPS antenna, but Vesper says I may need a software update and they werenít sure it would work anyway. Iím supposing this would be better done via Bluetooth vs WiFi but thatís strictly a guess. Our onboard Furuno WiFi network will link to the iPads for monitoring purposes but wonít share its GPS signalóaccording to Furuno.

I know Garmin has the GLO 2 GPS receiver but Iím wondering what others use to improve/maintain reception and how well it works. Also, how greatly does a canvas Bimini affect the performance of these GPS enhancers?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-28-2023, 07:19 AM   #2
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Are you sure you are losing your gps / satellite signal? The little triangle in the top right corner goes away? The only time I can remember losing gps is inside a commercial aircraft. And then it is when I am not sitting near a window. Never on the boat or my home. Inside or out. Sounds more like a memory issue with the iPad which might cause the software to lock up. Not doubting you but I find it odd.
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Old 01-28-2023, 07:19 AM   #3
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We use our Vesper Cortex to send navigation information (everything that's on the NMEA2000 buss; speed,depth ,course, heading,position, AIS, etc) via wifi to our Ipad charting program (we use SEAiq) and have never had a problem with it. Our last boat we did the exact thing but it was a Vesper XB8000.
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Old 01-28-2023, 07:27 AM   #4
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Not sure about the vesper, but I can say all of our non gps equipped iPads connect to our Lowrance network using the Lowrance go free wireless. Simply connect to the wireless network , then in the navigation app select external gps. We use port 10110 for the apps to connect all of the n2k data, depth, speed, heading, AIS etc. Our chartplotters and network are 8 years old and predate built in wifi on the MFDís hence the use of the go free wifi.

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Old 01-28-2023, 07:38 AM   #5
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Maybe it's the model of the iPad. I run a Samsung 12" tablet inside my pilothouse. I've been from 26 degrees North to 48 degrees North without reception issues. This isnít about one manufacturer's product versus another. My point would be to contact the manufacturer and see if that particular model or batch had a GPS module with issues. To me, using a GPS position from an external source would cause me to be concerned if I couldn't shut the internal one down or atleast have the tablet software or the navigation software displaying which position source it was using.

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Old 01-28-2023, 08:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies—this is obviously not my strong suit. To respond to a few issues raised:

—Both iPads are Gen 4 and have hundreds of unused GB but both will periodically freeze. We had the same issue with earlier gen iPads.

—I’ll check with Apple about a bad GPS batch; I assumed this might have something to do with maintaining an unobstructed view of the sky.

—I’ve heard of others having this issue and solving it with the Garmin GLO2 but wanted to see what other options may exist.

—I haven’t given up on connecting to the Vesper system. Great to know that might be a solution! I’ll be back on the boat next week and able to push on this a bit more.
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Old 01-28-2023, 09:34 AM   #7
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I have used several iPads over the last dozen or so years with Navionics, Aquamap, Google Maps, etc. and have never lost a gps signal except while traveling in metal hull airplanes and ferries.

So I doubt whether your problem is the gps signal.

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Old 01-28-2023, 09:49 AM   #8
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Are you sure it’s the GPS and not the whole app itself freezing? I also have a 12.9” iPad Pro that I use as a secondary MFD and I’ve never had this happen. For you to have had it happen on two different iPads in bizarre. I assume your OS and apps are all updated to the latest version. Have you tried turning off background processing? It could be there is some other app running in the background that is periodically hogging the processor. You can see which apps have been running in the background in your battery settings. You can also switch to low power mode to temporarily suspend background processing while you are navigating.
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Old 01-28-2023, 10:49 AM   #9
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Itís been a while, probably a year or two but Iíve read that there was a known issue with the embedded gps receiver in the cell chip of the earlier generations of iPad pro that would periodically freeze the screen for a few seconds. Not sure if itís fixed in newer one.
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Old 01-28-2023, 12:13 PM   #10
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This thread from 2019 identifies the problem but no solutions.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250402643
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Old 01-28-2023, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99 View Post
In addition to MFDs, we use a pair of 12.9Ē iPads to run Navionics and AquaMap. The iPads occasionally freeze when they lose their GPS signal, most problematically when we were leaving Crystal River in the middle of the night (donít ask).

Iíve thought of trying to tether the iPads to our Vesper WiFi system, which already has an external GPS antenna, but Vesper says I may need a software update and they werenít sure it would work anyway. Iím supposing this would be better done via Bluetooth vs WiFi but thatís strictly a guess. Our onboard Furuno WiFi network will link to the iPads for monitoring purposes but wonít share its GPS signalóaccording to Furuno.

I know Garmin has the GLO 2 GPS receiver but Iím wondering what others use to improve/maintain reception and how well it works. Also, how greatly does a canvas Bimini affect the performance of these GPS enhancers?

Thanks in advance.
I've used an iPad with aquamaps and it seems to receive GPS and AIS from my vesper XB-8000 over wifi without a problem. The key for my install was to configure the Vesper in AP mode which is the default mode. I've tried to connect the vesper to my boat network in client mode in the past and it was a complete fail.

I picked up a Dual XGPS160 as backup and that connects via bluetooth. Sits up by the windshield inside the pilothouse and haven't had a problem with reception.

HtH
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Old 01-28-2023, 01:28 PM   #12
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I have exactly the same issue with my iPad using Navionics. The iPad works fine but it loses the gps position occasionally. The app works fine, it just doesn’t know where it is. It’s not the iPad freezing, it’s not the app freezing, it just seems to lose gps.
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Old 01-28-2023, 01:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99 View Post
Thanks for the quick repliesóthis is obviously not my strong suit. To respond to a few issues raised:

óBoth iPads are Gen 4 and have hundreds of unused GB but both will periodically freeze. We had the same issue with earlier gen iPads.

óIíll check with Apple about a bad GPS batch; I assumed this might have something to do with maintaining an unobstructed view of the sky.

óIíve heard of others having this issue and solving it with the Garmin GLO2 but wanted to see what other options may exist.

óI havenít given up on connecting to the Vesper system. Great to know that might be a solution! Iíll be back on the boat next week and able to push on this a bit more.
Next time it ďfreezesĒ look and see if the gps indicator triangle is on up in the top right hand corner. You will notice that it is on when you are using and the gps is working correctly.
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Old 01-28-2023, 01:32 PM   #14
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I should explain further that, when this happens, Navionics leaves the position at the last reported point, and reports a gps speed of 0.0 knots until the signal comes back.
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Old 01-28-2023, 02:17 PM   #15
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If you rely on IPad you need Bad Elf GPS for signal. Reliable and far better accuracy. Keep iPads out of the sun. They do not like high temps.
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Old 01-28-2023, 03:10 PM   #16
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Thanks, all. I talked to Apple and they said a clear view of the sky is essential for an iPadís GPS. Iím guessing the Bimini might be the culprit? When Iím at the boat next time Iíll try to connect to the Vesperís WiFi network; its antenna is on the radar arch and unobstructed. Failing that, I guess Iíll be in the market for a Bad Elf or something similar.

Appreciate all the good counsel.
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Old 01-28-2023, 03:12 PM   #17
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This problem with the iPad pros has been discussed ad nauseum on one of the Facebook pages that discusses navigating the AICW.

Itís noticed on the AICW as the clear path for good water is only plus or minus 25 feet in some spots. So you need to know where you are.

As mentioned above, the workaround is using an external GPS.

In the OP case, that means utilizing the wifi hook up to the Vesper unit.
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Old 01-28-2023, 04:36 PM   #18
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I didnt read anywhere which IOS Version you are running on your iPad? Sometimes people keep their iPads "offline" and just run their app's (like I do) but the issue with this is you miss important IOS upgrades from Apple. You probably thought of this already but thought I'd throw it out there.....
The issue I'm having is my iPad is of age where it will not upgrade the IOS any longer. It's time for me to buy a new iPad unfortunately.
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Old 01-29-2023, 08:31 AM   #19
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This is why I use my iPad for trip planning and the Garmin for navigation.
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Old 01-29-2023, 08:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tozz View Post
I've used an iPad with aquamaps and it seems to receive GPS and AIS from my vesper XB-8000 over wifi without a problem. The key for my install was to configure the Vesper in AP mode which is the default mode. I've tried to connect the vesper to my boat network in client mode in the past and it was a complete fail.
I use Aquamaps on iPads with their native GPS but get more accurate positioning with GPS over Wi-Fi from my Vesper XB8000. This is probably because the antenna is external and has an unrestricted view. The key to connecting the Vesper Wi-Fi to our boatís Wi-Fi network was to assign it a fixed IP address. Thereafter all my devices can access the Vesper GPS & NMEA 2000 data without being tied exclusively to the Vesper Wi-Fi.
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