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  1. #1
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    GPS Capability - Well Out Of Range of Cell Service

    I am possibly going to fullfil a life long dream and cross the Atlantic Ocean on a boat (albeit a very big one). I will be well out of range of any cell phone or practical wifi service.

    Will the GPS in my 3Gs work as a standalone GPS and allow me to accurately track our location, speed, and direction during the crossing?

    Any app particulary suited for standalone GPS service with already stored international (Atlantic Ocean + Western Europe) maps?

    There is internet & wifi service available aboard but at no reasonable price as usage is charged on a per minute basis (0.65/minute); rendering internet access unusable.

  2. #2
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    Maps are not needed to determine your position on the earth. You can plot the geographical coordinates on a paper map. There is no visible difference between the ocean charts anywhere on earth so watching a spot on a blue background is meaningless at the scale of the phone's screen.
    Last edited by efparri; 03-05-2011 at 05:39 PM.
    Earl F. Parrish

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by efparri View Post
    Maps are not needed to determine your position on the earth. You can plot the geographically coordinates on a paper map.
    Thank you for that excellent advice. I think I understand what you are suggesting because years ago I had some experience figuring out how not to get lost when I could see nothing but water, and a few times not even that. I navigated by plotting Loran C TDs since that was the only data the equipment displayed. When I bought a Loran that displayed actual lat and long coordinates, instead of TDs, I was thrilled. When I finally installed one that plotted a course between two waypoints and spoon fed the course with a real time cross track error so I could see my drift I was in heaven. Sat Nav (Transit?) had its advantages when out of Loran range but the 40 minutes or so it took its feeble electronic brain to calculate an electronic fix meant the fix was as much as ten to 15 nm old. Obviously you missed my point.

    I would like to take advantage of the convenience of my iPhone and not carry rolled up paper charts aboard a cruise ship. Therefore, I am hoping there is an app that will show a graphical representation of the major and minor land masses in and around the North Atlantic including the Azores, France, and the British isles, all places we will be if we take the trip. It would also be nice to have land maps available, with some minimal degree of detail, for those same locations.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
    Thank you for that excellent advice. I think I understand what you are suggesting because years ago I had some experience figuring out how not to get lost when I could see nothing but water, and a few times not even that. I navigated by plotting Loran C TDs since that was the only data the equipment displayed. When I bought a Loran that displayed actual lat and long coordinates, instead of TDs, I was thrilled. When I finally installed one that plotted a course between two waypoints and spoon fed the course with a real time cross track error so I could see my drift I was in heaven. Sat Nav (Transit?) had its advantages when out of Loran range but the 40 minutes or so it took its feeble electronic brain to calculate an electronic fix meant the fix was as much as ten to 15 nm old. Obviously you missed my point.

    I would like to take advantage of the convenience of my iPhone and not carry rolled up paper charts aboard a cruise ship. Therefore, I am hoping there is an app that will show a graphical representation of the major and minor land masses in and around the North Atlantic including the Azores, France, and the British isles, all places we will be if we take the trip. It would also be nice to have land maps available, with some minimal degree of detail, for those same locations.
    What good is a postage stamp sized map in the middle of an ocean which is thousands of miles wide? If you zoom out to see land masses. the location spot is useless.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
    I am possibly going to fullfil a life long dream and cross the Atlantic Ocean on a boat (albeit a very big one). I will be well out of range of any cell phone or practical wifi service.

    Will the GPS in my 3Gs work as a standalone GPS and allow me to accurately track our location, speed, and direction during the crossing?

    Any app particulary suited for standalone GPS service with already stored international (Atlantic Ocean + Western Europe) maps?

    There is internet & wifi service available aboard but at no reasonable price as usage is charged on a per minute basis (0.65/minute); rendering internet access unusable.
    Yes, the 3GS will work as a standalone GPS. I know of no stored GPS application that would cover all your areas of interest.

    An expensive solution would be to buy standalone GPS apps for each country involved. For example, you could Purchase Navigon apps for North America, the UK and Germany etc. etc. However, you would have to check to see if each country displayed it's island possessions.

    I regret this unsolicited advice, but you could use a Garmin GPS and install the Garmin world map to achieve your objective.

    I read with interest your comments on Loran C. I used to be a Loran A user

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMul View Post

    I used to be a Loran A user

    Gary
    Wow. Am I correct that it was necessary to use an oscilloscope to measure the TDs? Loran A was developed only a year or so before I was born but using it certainly predates me so I have no direct experience with it. Some time ago I talked with a guy that was an USAF navigator on a what I think he said was a KC-97 Stratotanker in the early 1950s. He said he had to manually tune each slave and measure the TD on a scope. That old technology fascinates me. Its ironic because I look back at the first Loran C I used with a simple two line LCD display showing two easily selectable TDs as being archaic and awkward to use. This was in fact ultra high tech compared to counting etched markings on the face of a scope. BTW, I have slides somewhere of an old Loran A site on San Salvador in the Bahamas. Thirty years ago I was a partner with a group of guys in a 54' sport fisherman. When it was my turn to have the boat I sometimes drove it over there to go diving. On one trip, well out of site of anything but water, the chain suddenly went down and left me with just a compass. One of my original mentors when I first learned to navigate told me "The prudent navigator never relies on a single source to navigate by." (his exact words). He was adamant about always using a dead reckoning course in parallel with the almost mindless Loran. It was very good advice. Sorry for waxing so nostalgic.

  7. #7
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    Your 3GS will work as a stand alone gps. Take a look at motion x gps apps will allow you to download maps and store them the iPhone. When I have done this I usually take several measurements a day ( breakfast, just after the bridge's noon report and just before cocktail hour) .

    There is a motion gps drive app which may work in Europe .

    Bon voyage

  8. #8
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    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I just want to say this thread is awesome.
    Oceans fascinate me.
    Oceans in dark night with no visible lights for tens of thousand of kilometers fascinate me even more.

    There is something very thrilling about having a piece of technology in middle of an ocean showing your position. Geography in general is sweetest subject to talk about.

    Please take a video with your 3GS of the ocean during the night please please?

  9. #9
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    I second motion x gps, i use it to save my fishing spots and find me treestands in the dark. It allows you to save and download the maps so you can store and use them when you have no service.

    My only gripe with the iPhone from android with this is I used to be able to turn on airplane mode and kill all service so my battery does bot get eaten up looking for a signal. But with iPhone the airplane mode also kills the gps. You can turn off the data but not the cell service with keeps trying to connect.

    The gsm version you can just remove the sim card but not with the new verizon phone. I have heard you can enable the wifi mode after in airplane and gps will work wether connected or not but my gps is very inaccurate web I try this.

  10. #10
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    GPS does not work in Airplane Mode, even if Wi-Fi is enabled.

    PRL Interpretations
    XFF's AlphaTag software
    Cellular and PCS License Maps
    Quote Originally Posted by gpatrick900
    I am a little confused. My Verizon phone was able to roam on GSM because they used TDMA. Tell it was shutdown. The phone recognizes it as Analog. If PCS has TDMA, It could be technically be used on GSM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tabla View Post
    Y'know, I'm used to hysterical 14-year-old ******** on the internet, but this is exceptional. Never before in human history have so many nerds hyperventilated so publicly over so little.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmbrjd View Post
    I second motion x gps, i use it to save my fishing spots and find me treestands in the dark. It allows you to save and download the maps so you can store and use them when you have no service.

    My only gripe with the iPhone from android with this is I used to be able to turn on airplane mode and kill all service so my battery does bot get eaten up looking for a signal. But with iPhone the airplane mode also kills the gps. You can turn off the data but not the cell service with keeps trying to connect.

    The gsm version you can just remove the sim card but not with the new verizon phone. I have heard you can enable the wifi mode after in airplane and gps will work wether connected or not but my gps is very inaccurate web I try this.

    What I did to "conserve battery was to pop the sim card on my 3GS . GPS still worked phone radio off and of course I turned off wifi when it wasn't needed. Not as necessary to do on the iPhone 4 I learned in December.

  12. #12
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    Can't do that on the cdma version.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhoXS View Post
    Wow. Am I correct that it was necessary to use an oscilloscope to measure the TDs? Loran A was developed only a year or so before I was born but using it certainly predates me so I have no direct experience with it. Some time ago I talked with a guy that was an USAF navigator on a what I think he said was a KC-97 Stratotanker in the early 1950s. He said he had to manually tune each slave and measure the TD on a scope. That old technology fascinates me. Its ironic because I look back at the first Loran C I used with a simple two line LCD display showing two easily selectable TDs as being archaic and awkward to use. This was in fact ultra high tech compared to counting etched markings on the face of a scope. BTW, I have slides somewhere of an old Loran A site on San Salvador in the Bahamas. Thirty years ago I was a partner with a group of guys in a 54' sport fisherman. When it was my turn to have the boat I sometimes drove it over there to go diving. On one trip, well out of site of anything but water, the chain suddenly went down and left me with just a compass. One of my original mentors when I first learned to navigate told me "The prudent navigator never relies on a single source to navigate by." (his exact words). He was adamant about always using a dead reckoning course in parallel with the almost mindless Loran. It was very good advice. Sorry for waxing so nostalgic.
    Yes, an oscilloscope was used. Still, for the time, Loran A was a quick open ocean fix device, though not very accurate. Your prescient mentor could have added that there is only one navigation system that does not lie: astro.

    Cheers, Gary

  14. #14
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    The way GPS is architected and implemented on the iPhone, it inherently relies on the baseband for processing, so it's impossible to retain GPS functionality with the baseband powered down. Thus, Airplane Mode = no GPS!

  15. #15
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    If you're on a cruise ship, there should be WiFi available (for a price!). With that, your GPS and Google Maps, you'd have your map.

    And/or... just load up the right Google Maps at the zoom level you want, and hopefully it caches enough.

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