Friday, November 11, 2011

Marine Instrument Display +WiFi

Application: iPhone, iPad iOS 4.3
Function: Instrument data display
Rating:**
Cost:$11.99 WiFi option, $3.99 no WiFi version


I am always looking for an inexpensive way to display data around the boat.  Hard wired multifunction displays are costly and difficult to wire and mount. Why not use your iPhone or iPad to display data where and when you need it. The folks at Veera Solutions has put together a nice little app called Marine Instrument Display+WiFi. There are two versions of this app the Marine Instrument Display only displays the devices GPS and compass data. MID+WiFi will displays all of the data listed below.

MID+WiFi can display position, speed and heading from your devices GPS, internal compass and locational services and many other variables if your onboard instruments are connected to WiFi.  MID+WiFi in WiFi mode can receive additonal NMEA0183 data over your ships WiFi network.  Using TCP/IP the data can be wirelessly sent to your device from an on board computer or WiFi multiplexer.

Features:
 Compass heading (mag/true) (HDG)
 Course over ground (COG)
 Speed over ground (SOG)
 Average SOG (ASOG)
 Maximum SOG (MSOG)
 Trip Distance (TRIP)
 Trip Time (TIME)
 Heeling (HLG)
 Position (POS)
* Apparent wind angle and speed (AWA, AWS)
* True wind angle and speed (TWA, TWS)
* Velocity made good (VMG)
* Boat speed (SPD)
* Depth (DPT)
* Sea temperature (SEA)
* Predicted Boat Speed (PSPD)
* Boat Speed to Predicted Boat Speed Ratio (SPR)
* = NMEA-WiFi bridge required

The app has the versatility to display three data pages with different font sizes. Three color modes for day and night are available (black/white, white/black, red/black)
Units can be changed to your desired preference kt / nm, mph / mi, km/h / km, m / ft, °C / °F

Selectable Data Fields
Selecting what data you want to display is as easy as tapping your finger on the screen. You can select the color mode by simply tapping on the value of any field to cycle through the color modes.  Just tap the title of any field to select the data to display.  The units can be set by tapping on the unit and cycling through the unit modes.

The angle of heel can be calibrated by tapping the unit degrees of the heeling (HLG). Value of any field can be reset by tapping and holding it for two seconds.

The different data pages can be reached by simply swiping left or right to reach the desired page. The app uses the locational services by default. This can be switched on or off by tapping the Position latitude and longitude coordinates. The WiFi mode is then enabled. You will have to supply the IP address and port in the settings screen. Just tap the POS indication do bring up the setting screen.

The application will run in the background mode for 30 minutes before turning off. Simply double tap the home button to kill the app.

The trip time only runs while moving which is calculated when the SOG is greater than zero.  The COG is only shown while moving and when the SOG is greater than zero.

I really liked the versatility of this app. It gives you complete control of what data you want to display and in what order.  The various pages give you options on how much data you want to display and in what sizes and units.  If your device has a GPS it will display the devices appropriate data. More data from your ships instruments can easily be added using the WiFi option from an on board computer or a WiFi multiplexer such as a Brookhouse iMux or similar device.

At $3.99 for the basic no WiFi and $11.99 for the WiFi version , the price is right for all the options supplied and the versatility of the app. I purchased it myself and look forward to using it while cruising and racing. NMEA Remote is a similar product but they charge $18.99 for their iPad version with similar functionality.

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