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Might get a tablet for rocketry software and flight computer apps

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agrippo

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Any recommendations for a tablet that will run Rocksim and handle the apps for flight computers such as Featherweight, Missileworks, G-Wiz etc.? It seems like it would be a lot easier to plug stuff into a lightweight tablet then lugging my 17" laptop all over the place.

Thanks,

Andrew
 

markkoelsch

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Maybe, maybe not. Do all of you devices connect to the computer via usb? If so, you are ok. Essentially none of them have a rs232 port anymore.

A 17" laptop is a lot of laptop. Have you considered a smaller laptop? You can find some really nice deals of excellent quality refurbished stuff. If you want more info on that shoot me a pm or email Andrew- I am in IT for a living.
 

agrippo

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Hi Mark, any idea which tablets would be proper to run the rocketry related software we use? Everything I have hooks up to USB, I'm thinking I can use a mini USB to USB converter cable to connect the hardware.
 

scsager

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Word of caution... Rocsim is windows or mac. Vast majority of inexpensive tablets are ANDROID.
Another issue may be lack of GPS on most inexpensive tablets, which may limit their usefulness with GPS trackers.
 

agrippo

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Why would you need GPS on a tablet? I don't have it on my laptop and I can track my Telemetrum just fine.
 

cerving

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Why would you need GPS on a tablet? I don't have it on my laptop and I can track my Telemetrum just fine.
To use with Rocket Locator... shows your location vs. the rocket's on a map. The author just added map caching, so you don't need Internet access at the launch site to use it anymore.
 

markkoelsch

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Hi Mark, any idea which tablets would be proper to run the rocketry related software we use? Everything I have hooks up to USB, I'm thinking I can use a mini USB to USB converter cable to connect the hardware.
Andrew, I am not sure about cheap tablets running Windows. There are some smaller inexpensive laptop type deals. I will see if I can find it and send a link your way.
 

H_Rocket

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Not sure what your budget is, however if you can lay your hands on a Microsoft Surface 3 (not the Surface 3 Pro) - you can have a fairly nice tablet running Windows 10 for around $500. With an Atom processor, it's not real powerful though.
 

markkoelsch

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Al is likely right. Found this on newegg. A Surface Pro 3, Atom processor, 128 GB SSD, and a 10.8" screen for $440. Very solid machine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA27M3UA2353&ignorebbr=1

This next one was something I was thinking about to throw in the launch containers. At $200 it is not a powerhouse, but would likely do everything you need for hauling to a launch etc. Rocksim is not that heavy of a program unless you are running Rocksim Pro and a 1000 iterations of a flight for the FAA.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nextbook-Flexx-11.6-2-in-1-Tablet-2-64GB-Intel-Quad-Core-Windows-10/47055697?action=product_interest&action_type=title&item_id=47055697&placement_id=irs-2-m2&strategy=PWVUB&visitor_id&category=&client_guid=8be4947f-97bb-4d22-b336-7961fb9f64ea&customer_id_enc&config_id=2&parent_item_id=46664255&parent_anchor_item_id=46664255&guid=55579dd0-06a3-4c8d-b997-7bce32306a7d&bucket_id=irsbucketdefault&beacon_version=1.0.1&findingMethod=p13n

One other, not new option. I bought one of these for my son, and it is a really nice laptop. Windows 7, and refurbished. Still a good value as these were really well built laptops.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8XK41M7420
 
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H_Rocket

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One other, not new option. I bought one of these for my son, and it is a really nice laptop. Windows 7, and refurbished. Still a good value as these were really well built laptops.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8XK41M7420
I bought hundreds of those for about $1500 apiece. Drop in 8GB and a SSD - it's a regular powerhouse. Not the lightest thing though. I'm replacing them with Ultrabook class machines. I still have about 250 in service.
 
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dixontj93060

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I bought hundreds of those for about $1500 apiece. Drop in 8GB and a SSD - it's a regular powerhouse. Not the lightest thing though. I'm replacing them with Ultrabook class machines. I still have about 250 in service.
+1. I took Al's advice from another thread along with a Newegg July 4th special and purchased two of these for $149 each. Then upgraded to Win10, 16Gb RAM and SSD drives for both. All in, just over $300 each. Now my wife and I have durable screamer platforms for our hobby needs. These things can take being thrown in the trunk to go to a rocket launch, or in the case of my wife, to a quilt retreat.
 

agrippo

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Thanks for the help guys.

I was at Best Buy yesterday and was looking at a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2S - www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-galaxy-tab-s2-8-32gb-black/5234641.p?id=bb5234641&skuId=5234641. The price is right at $350.

While I was there I had forgotten about Rocksim needing to be windows or mac based so using Rocksim might be out of the picture. Does anyone know if the typical flight computer software we use would work with the Android OS?

I had considered getting a small laptop for using in the field but I was trying to get away from using anything that was windows or mac based if that is possible. I'm so used to toting around the laptop I have, I just can't justify in my mind getting another one.

I don't think the eggfinder would help me much as it seems pretty limited in range, I often fly a lot higher then it's reported effective altitude and recover rockets several miles away from the pad.
 

dixontj93060

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Thanks for the help guys.

I was at Best Buy yesterday and was looking at a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2S - www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-galaxy-tab-s2-8-32gb-black/5234641.p?id=bb5234641&skuId=5234641. The price is right at $350.

While I was there I had forgotten about Rocksim needing to be windows or mac based so using Rocksim might be out of the picture. Does anyone know if the typical flight computer software we use would work with the Android OS?

I had considered getting a small laptop for using in the field but I was trying to get away from using anything that was windows or mac based if that is possible. I'm so used to toting around the laptop I have, I just can't justify in my mind getting another one.

I don't think the eggfinder would help me much as it seems pretty limited in range, I often fly a lot higher then it's reported effective altitude and recover rockets several miles away from the pad.
I believe this is what posters were trying to explain. Android operating systems will limit your access to most commonly used programs. Normally I use a Mac for work, but I have a Win-based PC specific to my hobby needs. I have a core set of programs that I use regularly for design and development:

1) Rocksim
2) FinSim
3) The Laminator
4) Burnsim
5) ProPEP

Beyond that for flight analysis and tracking:

1) DataCap (PerfectFlite)
2) mDACs (Missleworks)
3) MarsaConnect (MarsaSystems)
4) FIP (Featherweight)
5) BeeLine Programmer (BigRedBee TX and GPS

Majority of the above are Windows only. A few support Mac OS. None that I know support any of the various Android OS's.
 

Buckeye

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Word of caution... Rocsim is windows or mac. Vast majority of inexpensive tablets are ANDROID.
Agreed. I went through the same thought process earlier this year. I realized that I needed a "real" computer with OS, hard drive, and hardware ports for my hobby needs. I was mainly concerned with hookups to my Perfectflite, Marsa, and BRB. I ended up buying the cheapest new HP laptop available at the time. However, it is rather slow and Win10 consumes about all the memory! If I had to do it again, I would get a more powerful refurb, as others suggested.

Edit: Looks like you made a decision. Good luck with your purchase!
 

ksaves2

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I'll jump into this fray:

I got a Chinese Cube I6 that is out of production that is dual boot to Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4.4 AND has an onboard GPS
Also a Tiny Deal dual boot Windows 10 (which I hate as an OS) and Android 5.1 AND an onboard GPS. It too is OOP.

First off the onboard GPS sucks the battery and is only visible in Android. I had to hunt the internet for a program called com0com: http://com0com.sourceforge.net/ and GNSS data interface: http://support.black-it.eu/en/products/gnss data interface/index.htm

I had to use those two programs to get the GPS visible on the "Winblows" side. PITA to setup but got it to work.

The memory access on the Android side on both of them is limited, 4gb on one 8 on the other. I can store enough maps for GPS rocket locator ok but it's memory is limited to 4gb on the Cube. Works ok and all that.

On the Winblows side the memory is much more liberal and I can use a 64Gb MicroSD on the Cube and 128Gb on the Tiny Deal.

I use a variety of tracking programs both 900Mhz ISM and on the Ham Band. All my rocket programming apps, Rocksim, Burnsim a variety of deployment device programmers work.

Lack of onboard GPS is really no big deal I've found out. Just pair a cheap GPS dongle and SHAZAM! You have your base station position. I've used one with a Winbook TW801 that is Windows 8.1
and doesn't have an onboard GPS. Works fine.

You won't find dual boot products in the US as there is a manufacturers conspiracy to keep them out. You'll have to order online from China and take a risk. Cost me $50.00 to send a defective device back but they did send me a new one that works. I see some on ebay but someone bought 'em from China and had'em shipped. If you find a dual boot tablet that HAS a GPS post a link.

Also, count on running it off an external battery as these devices suck juice fast. Not an issue as there are a mess of external batteries one can get for a decent cost.

Don't expect to read the screen in the sunlight. You need to get and apply a matte screen protector and paint the inside of an appropriate sized cardboard box with flat black paint. Leave one of the flaps attached so you can position it to further cut the glare. You need to get as deep a box as you can handle so it gets out of the glare. You only using inside your car/vehicle, you can forego this. If using outside for tracking, it's essential and required.
You CANNOT see the screens on these things in the sunlight period without cutting the glare.

You want as big a screen as you can handle. If using for tracking you need to use one that is comfortable to carry one-handed in your box but not so small you can't read the screen. Even with a box, there will be some glare.
I look like a kook once my rocket disappears and I got my head buried in the box looking at the screen. Once the rocket is coming down, I know what direction to take a peek and see if I can get a visual.
If no visual, navigate to the last known position and a new position is picked up to the final resting place.

Ummm, another thing. All three of those devices cost a couple of hundred less than an Apple Iphone.

I like the options the dual boot devices offer me and they were cheap. Unfortunately not available anymore with the onboard GPS. Only thing Android I like for rocketry is GPS Rocket Locator now. That program is just simply "DYNOMITE" for tracking a rocket on a map with offline capability.

Kurt
 
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