Handheld devices like smartphones and tablets have become useful tools on board voyaging boats. Not all these devices can be used for stand-alone navigation, however, as some models lack GPS units. Two new products that can improve iPad navigation, for example, are Bad Elf’s GPS-2200 Pro Bluetooth receiver and data-logger and LifeJacket, a fully submersible and mountable iPad housing.
Bad Elf GPS-2200 Pro: The Bad Elf company, which previously introduced a 30-pin GPS receiver for the iPad, has now introduced its next-generation GPS receiver and data-logger for iPad, iPod and iPhone. The new device can reportedly connect up to five devices at a time via Bluetooth and is said to be compatible will all location-based apps.
The device features an LCD screen with backlighting and provides location, speed, heading, altitude, and GPS status. When connected via Bluetooth to an iOS device Bad Elf claims a 16-hour battery life. Using the Bad Elf unit as a stand-alone device and with Bluetooth and the data-logger turned off is said to substantially improve battery life.
The data-logging function can store 100-plus hours of route information. The Bad Elf unit also has a “point of interest” (POI) function to mark significant places. When paired with an iOS device the data is available for use by that device.
For use on deck, the Bad Elf GPS-2200 Pro is splash resistant. Bad Elf has done extensive testing of their new GPS and lists a wide variety of compatible apps on their website.
LifeJacket waterproof iPad housing and mount: Global Navigation Authority LLC’s LifeJacket iPad housing is a waterproof case that is also shock resistant and drop resistant and fitted with a 3M anti-glare touch-screen that will accommodate all generations of iPads. There is also an optional aluminum mounting bracket that is adjustable for multi-position viewing.
When paired with the Bad Elf GPS-2200 Pro and an appropriate charting application such as MacENC this setup can offer a low-cost, reliable chart plotting solution or a backup to primary navigation electronics.