Android apps, gps, RaceBox, and StartLine

Bluetooth GPS Receivers

In this article, I will explain why you might want an external GPS receiver, what the various Android drivers do, and why I picked Bluetooth GPS Provider as my preferred app. Finally, I will explain all of the Preferences in Bluetooth GPS Provider, something you will not find anywhere else.

View Article

GPS NMEA Plugin for Android

This article shows how to modify an Android application that uses internal GPS and external nmea data and add gps over nmea. It also explains how to take that app and use it. The secret is using the plug in feature of Bluetooth GPS Provider and adding their Plugin code to the build stack of the Android app along with some simple changes to the target app.

View Article

Phone or Tablet On Board

Using phones and tablets for marine applications is very attractive. Applications are a fraction of the cost of dedicated marine products that seem to perform the same function. But the marine environment is very difficult and there are problems with both phone and tablet applications. There are many articles on the Internet showing you which 10 apps are the best. This is not one of those articles.

View Article

Race Committee Timer with sound

RC Timer is an Android app for Race Committees to use in starting sail boat races. It is free and was created as a thank you for all the hard work that Race Committees to to allow the rest of us to race. This article gives a little color on the app and a detailed description on how to use it including the sound feature that seems to give people trouble.

View Article

Rock Box Blue -- First Look

The new Rock Box is an impressive product. The waterproof case, O-ring sealed looks solid and well made. There is more to this product than just the start function as I will explain below.

View Article

SSH and FTP from your phone to embedded processor

Using free android apps, you can use your phone when there is no wifi network to log onto your embedded processor such as the StartLine RaceBox. You can also transfer files to your phone and then send them via email to anyone. This is great on a boat where there is typically no wi-fi network.

View Article

StartLine Video Series

This page links a series of video clips on using StartLine. There is an overview that covers how I use StartLine as well as detailed videos on the main pages. More pages will be added by request of users.

View Article

Starting Apps

I had intended to review both iRegatta and BC Racer. Both are excellent well done apps for smart phones and tablets.

After testing both, I decided not to review the programs themselves, but to talk about limitations on this class of device. Perhaps you can overcome these limitations but after reading this you will at least you will know what they are.

View Article

Custom Marine Display

I have been looking for a display that will work in a marine environment that I can write arbitrary text to. I signed up for a Earl Backpack Tablet but it looks like it is vapor ware so I got my $300 back. I next considered using the TackTick Remote as the manual says that it can display 6 custom sentences. I bought it but could not get it to work. After a month of trying to get an answer Raymarine said that it would not work due to a software change and that their solution was to change the manual so that it would no longer say it works. Sucks. My next attempt was to look for a company that made a NMEA-0183 display and see if it could display custom $P nmea sentences...

View Article

Race Committee Timer

Race Committee Timer, RCTimer, is an Android application designed for race committees to do starts for sailing regattas. The timer can be set to a count down time, for example 5 minutes. It can also be set to a specific start time, for example 12:30. A sequence can be set so that multiple fleets can be timed in rotation, for example a start every 15 minutes. The timer can be started or stopped and minutes can be added. There is a reference page with signal flags and a lock button. The latest feature is that the app will now talk or sound a horn blast. Sounds can be programmed to occur at any count down time and anything can be said. A simple text file defines what is said or when the horns are sounded. The app is free. A version without sound is on the Google Play store under RCTimer.

View Article

StartLine RaceBox Video Page

Introduction videos to the StartLine RaceBox. There is an introduction of about 6 minutes, a longer video that includes a demonstration of some of the features including how to download log files over WiFi. There is also a link to the Bluetooth GPS Provider article.

View Article

No More StartLine on Google Play

The racing app StartLine was developed to be the best racing app available for Android. Users said it was the best thing short of Expedition. But most people found it too complicated and it never had a broad following. For those that did use it, they found success. The highest level success was a 3rd place in the Cowes race week J109 class. I personally use it along with the RaceBox in my club racing where this season I won all three series plus the TI race. Success is not just the app but the crew and the boat but I could not have done it without the app.

But the app is old and specifically it is targeted at a minimum Android SKD level of 11. This allows it to work on the older tablets I and users feel comfortable having in the marine environment. Now Google says any app that is not at SKD level 26 cannot post on the Google Play Store.

View Article

StartLine Racing on Android

NEW StartLine4 now has a Pebble app? Just search StartLine in the Pebble app store.
NEW StartLine5 will now interaface to onboard instruments over Blutooth using the
L-36.com Race Box that can be easioly built with $100 to 200 in parts depending on how fancy you want to get. Contact me for details. You don't even need to know how to solder!

StartLine is a very powerful racing app, second only to Expedition. Unlike Expedition, it is free. However, I limit the number users because along with the app comes a huge amount of support both to get the full potential out of the app but also to help users improve users race results. Users must agree to contribute to the StartLine community by providing feedback on results or actually participating in the ongoing development which may just be to ask for new features. You must be serious about racing and commit to put in the time to learn the app. It will improve your race results as it has for the other users. It is a small community but already has a podium finish in a prestigious regatta. Read this somewhat outdated manual below and let me know if you are interested in joining the StartLine team.

View Article

NOTICE: Some pages have affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read website Cookie, Privacy, and Disclamers by clicking HERE. To contact me click HERE. For my YouTube page click HERE