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handsetsmallMobiletide is a Java program designed to run on your phone without need to connect to the phone network (GSM) or the internet (GPRS) – just as well !

It has a database of worldwide locations and can display a tidal curve for any location without you having to reference tide tables or do any standard port calculations.

The makers list a broad range of mobile phones that are supported, but basically any phone that runs a Symbian or Windows Mobile should suffice since they will then support internet connections and also Java software.

Mobiletide is synchronised to the moon’s daily cycle of 24hrs 50mins and 28 seconds. On average across a Lunar day (month) this is how much the tide moves on by each day. Working to an average tidal progression means that Mobiletide will remain accurate over a longer period of time, so in 5 days, 5 months or 5 years mobiletide will still be showing the correct tide. It does mean that throughout a month Mobiletide will fluctuate in and out slightly, however it will remain within 0-30mins for the majority of the time.

There are other influences on sea levels that affect exact tide times and these should be taken into account e.g. Strong on / off shore winds; Changing volume of river flows; Atmospheric pressure

Due to the variable nature of tides mobiletide is only intended as a guide to tide times. If you do have internet connection however, then the makers claim that Mobiletide has direct links to the most respected swell, wind and weather WAP sites around the world, providing the whole detailed picture.


Connect to the Internet with dongle or a phone?

Instead of connecting your phone to your laptop, you can more easily connect a dongle. These little devices are amazing bits of technology when you consider that simply plugging them in and waiting a few minutes gets you connected to mobile broadband far quicker and easier than either configuring your phone or indeed connecting your PC, router and ADSL modem to a wired connection.

In my experience the maximum speed you can expect to connect to the internet using a dongle is about 2Mb/sec if you happen to be in a 3G area. While cruising along the coast or sitting in most marinas I would anticipate speeds of around 1Mb/sec.


Ovation MC930
Make Ovation MC930D
Max speed achieved 440k/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 318k/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 348k/sec
Huawei E169G
Make Huawei E169G
Max speed achieved 2.6Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 1.6Mb/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 1.0Mb/sec
Option Icon 225
Make Option Icon 225
Max speed achieved 1.3Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 650k/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 320k/sec
Huawei E170
Make Huawei E170
Max speed achieved 2.1Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 2Mb/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 964k/sec
Huawei E172
Make Huawei E172
Max speed achieved 1.9Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 1.3Mb/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 890k/sec

So the installation is easy and the speeds are fine for down loading email, GRIB files, and even browsing the web – the real problem is the cost. Prices in the UK are coming down – you can get access for £10/month and you can get roaming across Europe for £10/day – elsewhere the prices are many times higher…well the Telecoms companies are so poor aren’t they?


Symbian based smartphones and EAP-TTLS PAP

A number of people have written asking about errors connecting their brand new Nokia smartphones to their University WLAN.

If your University uses Eduroam then it will use a type of EAP (Extended access protocol) called EAP-TTLS PAP. other types of EAP are EAP-PEAP and EAP-MSCHAPv2 .

This is a problem with Symbian S60 phones including Nokia – they dont support the EAP-TTLS PAP protocol.

Another reason that I decided to get a Windows Mobile 6 Pro phone.

There is even a petition to try and force Nokia to support this protocol..


Connecting a Smartphone (WM6) to Vista

Test Rig:
Laptop: Acer 5022WLMi + Windows Vista Ultimate
Phone: Samsung i780 + Windows Mobile6 Pro


Start with checking that your Bluetooth connection is the latest version.

This is critical if you are running Windows Vista on your laptop, but not as important if you are running Windows XP. If you are running Windows XP then click here for advice on how to deal with XP as opposed to Vista.

The Acer laptop I use does not have built in Bluetooth, and I am running Windows Vista, so the first step was to buy a Bluetooth dongle. The one I selected was the Anycom USB200, which I bought on Amazon.
This dongle has:
o USB 2.0
o Data transmission up to 3Mb/s
o Class 2 (20 m / 66 feet range)
o Vista approved drivers

Follow the instructions and install the drivers and then the dongle.
o DO NOT believe any prompts from VISTA to “connect your hardware”
o FINISH the drivers install first – then REBOOT the laptop – then ATTACH the dongle.

This is critical if your are using Vista – if you are using XP the install will work normally…
– remember software first – then reboot – then attach the dongle

In the Bluetooth settings on the Samsung i780, you will see a dialogue box with 4 tabs (Devices-Mode-COM ports-FTP) – all phones/PDA’s with Bluetooth will have similar options – somewhere! – even if they are running Symbian rather than Windows Mobile6.
– Set Bluetooth ON
– make the device VISIBLE to others
FTP – Tick all the following boxes
o Bluetooth authentication
o File transfer authentication
o Able to write
o Shared folder = \My Documents

Now select Internet Sharing and you will see two drop down boxes:
o PC Connection – Set this to “Bluetooth PAN”
o Internet connection – Set this to the internet connection from your mobile supplier. So for example, this setting is set to “Orange Internet” on my phone.

Now select “Connect” and you should be given a confirmation that the process has succeeded..

“Device setup finished. On the PC connect Bluetooth PAN”

So this is showing that you “connect” the phone to a PAN (personal area network) first before connecting the laptop to the phone….

Assuming your Bluetooth dongle is installed and setup correctly on your laptop, you should see the Bluetooth icon in your task bar.

Right click on the icon and select “Join a Personal Area Network”

You should see a box that displays your phone as an icon and also confirmation that it is acting as…
o Network Access Point
o Bluetooth NAP Service

….Click on Connect

You should now see the network icon in you task bar jump into life …
– hover over the icon and it should display the name of the network (PAN) it is connected to and show that access is “local and internet”

Launch your browser or email client – you should be able to access the internet at about 1Mb/s

… in the London area this may even exceed 2Mb/sec – that’s higher than some people get on their wired broadband after contention with everyone else sharing the line!…but for our purposes I am assuming you are in a less well served marina or along the coast somewhere.

While you are browsing the phone can still receive calls and SMS text messages and will operate as normal. I have found that certain operations disrupt internet sharing such as having an alarm set in my diary which goes off – this seems to stop the phone doing anything until the alarm is cleared.

If you are going to browse the internet for a while – say 15 mins or more I would advise plugging the phone power charger in to keep the batteries topped up – Bluetooth is very draining on the phone’s battery.


Which phone for your boat?

If you havn’t bought a phone yet then I highly recommend that you buy a phone using Windows Mobile6 Professional – sorry for those that have already got a phone with a previous version

My minimum spec list for a good smart phone is:

1. Bluetooth
2. 3G
3. WM6 Professional (version 6 or later )
4. WiFi
5. GPS
6. Touchscreen (for experimenting with maps and GPS!)

For a list of phones that have this spec click here. (0ver 50 models in the UK at the present time…)

Strictly speaking :

  • Windows Mobile for Pocket PC is now Windows Mobile 6 Classic
  • Windows Mobile for Pocket PC Phone Edition is now Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • Windows Mobile for Smartphone is now Windows Mobile Standard

So my test rig phone – the Samsung i780 – is a “Pocket PC” rather than a smartphone, according to Microsoft …