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Old 12-07-2008, 00:18   #1
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Steering station monitor for Maxsea

Ok so I'm a cheap skate but there are times when I need a monitor at the steering station. Soooooo, it came to me in a flash of whatever that with all the brains out there we should be able to sort a solution. I run Maxsea and have that on the nav station monitor now how can I get the same information up to the steering station without spending next years beer budget doing it. This years is already spoken for thank you!
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:20   #2
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Seems like I am always trying to be proven wrong and my advice ain't worth two hens drowning in mud with pigs in a pig stay. Do you know how much beer I had to buy my friends to get my boat almost completed, Lets just say we could have drank beer for many years to come. I never heard of your navigation system, I will tell you this, when I set my auto pilot, it always stays within a few degrees of were I am going and gets me there. I have a spare one just like it, just in case that one fails.

I think you are going to have to spend some money and buy an updated navigation system to take you where you want to go. I am sure there are some gurus in here that may tell you how to do what you want to do, but it will be complicated. I am into new navigation equipment and I will only skip a few drinks getting that. If you can't afford that, than you should stay closer to shore.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:02   #3
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Quote:
I run Maxsea and have that on the Nav station monitor now how can I get the same information up to the steering station without spending next years beer budget doing it.
Making a display that can handle the weather, water, and brightness is what marine display terminals are all about. At about 15 inches I will say they get expensive. Anything else won't hold up or won't be bright enough to see. To get around that you need a whole different method becuase there are no cheap marine display terminals.

This is a cheap alternative and I think also the cheapest alternative.

Place the an ordinary laptop computer down below in a safe location running what ever chart software you own. Run NMEA IN / OUT wires to the helm from the laptop also add a set of 12 volt wires too with a circuit breaker / fuse. Then connect a basic GPS to the helm and load routes to it from the laptop then send the GPS signal from the GPS to the laptop. A small GPS display is cheap and reads well in bright light. With an active route it will compute all sorts of numerical data about speed, direction course cross track, ETA and many more. You don't need the image of the chart at this point if you have made a plan. If you need a new plan then go below and make one with all your tools and resources available. The GPS is now the primary display and you could turn off the computer or leave it on to save your track.

Planning routes with a chart plotter is quite helpful and a large screen display is most helpful. Laptop computers do that job well below deck but the display is poor in daylight and they are not made for cockpit use. Fitting the task with the device in this way works well. This way is not expensive and if you add a redundant GPS it's very reliable. Most GPS displays are weather tight and readable.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:08   #4
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The technology is changing constantly, and the balance shifts back and forth between the merits of a chartplotter based vs computer-based navigation system. Until someone makes a 10" water-proof sunlight readable display for less than the cost of a chartplotter, the greatest advantages of a computer-based system (free charts, fancier software) are nolo-contendre.
This is not a new debate, but it may be worth a new string somewhere else.
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Old 12-07-2008, 13:56   #5
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The best inexpensive setups I've seen involve an office grade monitor on an arm that allows the monitor to be swung into the companion way when needed. This requires some shading from a dodger or bimini. It won't be readable with direct sunlight on it.

Bob Stewart
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Old 12-07-2008, 16:29   #6
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maxsea

Have you looked at some of the auto monitors which have USB for touch screen. These are new on the market. You will have to provide some protection for the screen but this is something I have thought about but not yet done due to other things needing done first!!
Regards Bill Goodward
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Old 12-07-2008, 17:18   #7
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Buy a cheap flatscreen monitor and a wireless mouse. Set your laptop to two monitors, get a monitor extension cord from Radio Shack, plug the mouse controller into an USB port , Velcro the monitor to a bulkhead, and then you can run Maxsea from your cockpit while the laptop stays safely below. Most monitors run on 12 volts so you can run it off 110v through the brick or wire it directly to 12v dc. Should cost you less than $200 all up. I did this last year so that I could see AIS while in the cockpit and it worked great.
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Old 12-07-2008, 17:59   #8
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All the major manufacturers display AIS on their networked chart plotters.
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Old 12-07-2008, 18:00   #9
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2nd Monitor comes closer

Thanks all for the advice and special thanks to Speciald@oceans and Bill Good. You two seem to have grasped the exact problem and the ideas are very good. Now how can we combine the two into a workable solution? Does anyone have or know about the new auto monitors? How do they connect and what software drivers do they use? To make life easier here is our computer setup:

Apple Mini Mac loads of RAM et al running Windoze XP native
Mac PowerBook 17" also with Winblows XP native (as a back up)
Optical mouse (not a good idea on a boat from experience)
20" Monitor at Nav station
2 X Ray marine GPS units
The usual wind, depth, speed inputs
Raymarine 8000 autopilot hard wired to the system provides headings etc.

What you lads have come up with is a good idea that I am sure a lot of boats could take good advantage of. I hate going into a place I have never been, usually with loads of twists and turns in the route, and having to keep ducking down to see where I am or when to turn. Oh, and why is the bl**dy water suddenly looking so shallow. Thanks again and can we continue developing this together?
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Old 13-07-2008, 06:23   #10
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Putting the monitor in the cockpit is easy. You can get a $10 A/B switch to change from the output from your mini-mac from one monitor to another. There are no drivers involved unless you've gone with a touch screen.

The only advantage that an auto monitor has is that you should be able to assume it will run off of 12 volts. Most office monitors do not use a 12 volt power brick anymore so you have to work at finding the 12 volt models.

The only difficult problem to overcome is figuring out how to inexpensively weatherproof a standard monitor so that it will survive in the cockpit.

Bob Stewart
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Old 13-07-2008, 23:49   #11
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Listen to Paul, He is one of the Gurus here for sure.
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Old 14-07-2008, 03:08   #12
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LCD MONITOR

Well I ordered a Lilliput car monitor from the USA today. Got the info from car buffs who are finding a need to use the laptops in cars. I will report after testing it.

regards Bill goodward
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Old 14-07-2008, 14:52   #13
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I'm not buying another "sunlight readable" monitor until I can take it out in the sunlight and try to read it.
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Old 14-07-2008, 15:12   #14
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Quote:
Does anyone have or know about the new auto monitors?
Auto monitors are maybe slightly better than conventional LCD monitors but not much. As noted the key is they run on 12 volts but not much else is different.

Getting the brightness level you need is the hard part. When you add weather resistance to the list of requirements I think you find quickly enough there is a reason marine terminals cost what they do - no other application needs this type of performance.

They would not cost so much if they could be mass produced like office LCD panels are made. They are not and they never will reach those levels of production until the two are the same.
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