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Old 03-10-2010, 19:37   #1
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Cockpit Monitor ?

So, I'm thinking that running down to the plotting table to look at the PC ia getting to be a pain.... not as much as a paper-chart pain, but a pain nonetheless!

So I was thinking that a second monitor at the helm would be nice, and a touch-screen one that controlled the PC; NICER! (More Nice for you purists)

All the fancy waterproof ones were STOOOPID (yup 3 "O's") expensive. I see all the time... the soccer moms toting the rug-rats around watching TV in the headrest of the SUV, and got to thinking THAT is my solution. A quick eBay search turned up dozens like this one.

To those more Geeky than I...... Would that work? Now before all the "its not waterproof, marine rated, yadadada" flames start, Yes I know its limitations, but at $100US? Who cares if it lasts a year? I'll have a cover made and take it below when not underway.

WHAT SAY YOU?
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Old 03-10-2010, 19:43   #2
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Would that work?
The problem with those little monitors is they have no capability of communicating with a computer - their interface with the world is "Audio Out" for headphones, maybe DVD in, sometimes they fan out to bigger monitors, but they won't do what you want them to.
I keep paper charts in a transparent map case in the cockpit - saves a lot of running below to check the computer...

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Old 03-10-2010, 20:02   #3
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According to listing it gives full "mouse" control of the PC via the touch screen.

My worry is the length of cabling as I want to be able to easily disconnect to being below when not underway
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Old 03-10-2010, 20:31   #4
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Sounds like a great idea! As for how far you can transmit VGA depends on the quality of the cabling used and on having a proper video card/driver. I had a 30 ft vga cable to connect a monitor in a separate room once. The image was slightly distorted for it.
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Old 03-10-2010, 20:34   #5
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Hmmm - it does say it connects with PCs with the implication you can control the PC from it with optional touch screen functions. If it works, it would be a great leap forward; cautious me would want to see it on someone other boat first.
According to Alibaba (import site) they would cost the importer around $100.
For cabling, perhaps have a dedicated cable that stays put wherever the monitor is?

Michael
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Old 03-10-2010, 23:10   #6
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Another thing to consider is the brightness - the one you linked to says brightness = 400 - which I'm assuming is 400cd/m2. Which is good for inside use, but would be difficult to see if outside on a bright day - you're need to have at least 800cd/m2 for that. And that unfortunately comes at a cost premium
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:03   #7
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I picked up one a little larger, different make, but similar for down at the nav station because I wanted the laptop located in a secure location. I wanted a low power, dc powered monitor. With it I have touch screen control for the computer and also use a wireless keyboard and mouse.

It all works fine, but the resolution leaves something to be desired. It really wants to be 640X480, although it will do 1024X768, and that is how I have it set up, it isn't great. So, overall, I like mine and it does what it says, but the resolution leaves something to be desired. When the charting program is running, it is adequate.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:11   #8
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It always seemed to me that the best cockpit monitor was the person behind the wheel.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bewitched View Post
Another thing to consider is the brightness - the one you linked to says brightness = 400 - which I'm assuming is 400cd/m2. Which is good for inside use, but would be difficult to see if outside on a bright day - you're need to have at least 800cd/m2 for that. And that unfortunately comes at a cost premium
Yep.

And 800 is for "daylight viewable". For "sunlight viewable" you need more than that.

Many sites will say a screen is daylight viewable at 300-400 nits (same as cd/m2), but they are talking about a room with an uncovered window.

On one site I see marine displays for sale with the following ratings:
  • Pilot House 250-300
  • Daylight 700-800
  • Sunlight 1100-1150
  • Super-Sunlight 1450-1600
Source --> http://www.highseastechnology.com/files/35888217.pdf

And due to the way manufacturers like to rate things, I'd go up at least one level from what they recommend. A 300 in a pilot house might be fine if your pilot house has dark wood and all side/rear windows have black-out shades. In a sailboat at a nav desk, with no direct sunlight hitting the nav station (not just the screen, but anywhere in the nav station) it would probably work just fine.

From my research a few years ago, I think I remember deciding 1000+ for daylight, and 1500+ for sunlight (compensating for manufacturer optimism).

For my boat, with 360 degree large windows (sides and rear tinted), I figured I need the daylight in the cabin and sunlight on the flybridge.

Really, you have to see a screen in actual conditions, like with bright sunlight directly on the screen, to really know how it performs. THEN, the technology used makes a difference, too.

The technology has changed since I last researched, so I can't advise there. But, considering the cost, when I get ready to get a display for my boat, you can bet that before I buy I will make sure I can view that model, or one with as close to the same technology/nits as possible, in actual conditions. The difference between daylight and sunlight can almost double the price.

-dan
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Old 17-10-2010, 04:59   #10
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My solution to the running down to the PC problem: I use my iPod running the iNavx app. It communicates with the PC at the navigation table via wireless. The PC transmits the GPS and AIS data to the iPod through Franson GPSgate. You can load free NOAA and other charts onto the iPod.

You can get waterproof mounts for the iPod and plug it into a cigarette light to keep it charged at the helm.

One problem was iNavx app doesn't have CPA/TCPA alarm for the AIS. Solved that by buying a bluetooth speaker and send the PC's audio to it. So when the navigation program on the PC detects a possible AIS collision it plays the warning sound on the bluetooth speaker. Just have to put the speaker somewhere in the cockpit to protect it.
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Old 17-10-2010, 06:40   #11
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I'm sort of doing the same thing with my iPhone, but it stands alone (doesn't interface with the computer) maybe I need to buy an iPad.... Dammit!
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Old 18-10-2010, 03:09   #12
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Actually George the iNavX app that I run on my iPod does run on the iPhone and iPad. But it is a bit pricey, ~$75. You also need a tcp/ip server program on the PC to send the GPS and AIS data to the iPxx. I use Franson GPSGate but I believe Costal Explorer also works. If you have an iPad or iPhone with GPS builtin then you only need the AIS data.
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