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Old 22-07-2009, 14:43   #16
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It's a replacement keyboard, some of them came with it. Instead of the gaps between the keys, it has a rubber overlay over the whole thing. It's been a couple of years since I swapped one out, but I think it can be swapped out using a screwdriver set.
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Old 25-07-2009, 02:41   #17
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So if a new Chart plotter can cost around three grand and you can get a tough cpu for around $600 what are the draw backs? The way I look at it, if you buy a $600 cpu and a $300 dollar Ais transiever (instead of a pricey radar - not that Ais can replace radar) and $100 plotter software, you have just about done what a lot of cruising boats spend $10,000 dollars on. Am I crazy or have I just invented the wheel?
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Old 25-07-2009, 13:12   #18
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I use a toughbook cf28 for Nav with Maptech Chart Navigator Pro, with a NASA AIS engine as well, all works very well. Also a Wi Fi dongle so it will overlay Grib weather files .

I looked at CF18 first but did not like the flippable screen.
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Old 25-07-2009, 20:36   #19
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I bought a very cheap standard laptop off ebay and viewed it as disposable. It was on a cat so it won't get wet . However, I discovered there is a bigger danger for a laptop - my own dumbness! I dropped it a few days into a 5 week cruise in Tasmania (I hadn't zipped up the carry bag when I thought I had). Functionality zero. Now replaced it with the very robust cf28 off ebay. Ex-military, refurbished, works great and love the touch screen. A bit slow but I can live with that, as it hasn't missed a beat.
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Old 25-07-2009, 22:10   #20
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The CF-18 is a nice and very rugged unit but the ones found on ebay may be a little rough. They are also a bit small for some folks to use as a regular computer and do not come with an internal DVD. Try Craigslist in your area as I have seen some nice ones on the at better prices than ebay and you can see before you buy. I have owned CF-25, CF-17 and M-34 and CF-28 over the past dozen years and loved them all. Currently I use a CF-29 as a backup charplotter / computer / DVD player / etc. on my boat. As rough as I am on a computer, the extra cost of the toughbook is well worth it. The price of the 29 has come down recently and although much larger and heavier than the 18 is worth a look.
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Old 25-07-2009, 23:01   #21
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I use a Hammerhead tablet, and it works for me. They are supposed to be submersible, can be dropped on concrete and are a reasonable size. The keyboard is an onscreen display that uses a stylus to enter keystrokes ( there is supposed to be a handwriting program but I have not bothered with it).
The good points: CHEAP, rugged, 12 volt and portable
Not so good points: Batteries are expensive if you want to run it as a portable
Programs have to installed via ethernet connection (there are no accesable drives), or use a usb cd rom player
The screen can be hard to see in bright sunlight
Stylus is a pain in the *** because I keep losing it.

Anyhow there are a couple for sale on eBay if anyone wants to take a look:

Lot of 2 Walkabout Hammerhead XRT Touch Screen Tablets on eBay.ca (item 120438654989 end time 21-Aug-09 14:39:34 EDT)
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Old 16-08-2009, 12:16   #22
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I just got one with the OEM GPS pre installed and so far I am pretty psyched. I have downloaded Open CPN and a ton of free charts from NOAA. I am thinking of getting an AIS receiver. I try no to be too reliant on gizmos. But man is this thing cool! Woo Woo!
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Old 16-08-2009, 12:42   #23
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Thumbs up Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorgal View Post
We just bought a used Itronix GoBook III on ebay. This thing is tough and even has a GPS antenna. These computers are made for military, police, etc. use. I also got a docking station that we plan to permanently mount on the flybridge that the computer snaps into and then can be removed when not in use on the flybridge. We are planning to load our navigation software and other things onto the computer.

I'm typing this message on the computer right now, at it works great. I don't remember the exact numbers, but these computers can withstand temperature extremes and rain.
So far the GOBOOKIII is the best one can get computing ease of repair & used parts/ price. I upgrade mine to 750GB hard drive as I carry an extended library of data for repair, & got the "glowing keyboard", It take the tossing very good so far.
I think you got the best choice for that application.
wrench
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Old 16-08-2009, 20:43   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metricwrench View Post
So far the GOBOOKIII is the best one can get computing ease of repair & used parts/ price. I upgrade mine to 750GB hard drive as I carry an extended library of data for repair, & got the "glowing keyboard", It take the tossing very good so far.
I think you got the best choice for that application.
wrench
Nope sorry not as cool as my new toughbook.
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Old 16-08-2009, 21:03   #25
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Nope sorry not as cool as my new toughbook.
The Itronix is rated to withstand 4" of water/hr, may be a CF28-29&30 can do it too. I used a CF72 for 2 years before the Itronix & still work good but the screen on the Itronix is far superior.
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Old 17-08-2009, 19:46   #26
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My cf18 has a ray gun attached to it and it can travel at the speed of light. What exactly does water/hr mean? Do you mean you can submerge the thing for an hour? That is crazy! I really hope no part above my boot stripe stay under water for an hour. And if it does my laptop will be the least of my worries!
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Old 17-08-2009, 20:08   #27
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laptop discusion DO NOT DISTURB

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Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
My cf18 has a ray gun attached to it and it can travel at the speed of light. What exactly does water/hr mean? Do you mean you can submerge the thing for an hour? That is crazy! I really hope no part above my boot stripe stay under water for an hour. And if it does my laptop will be the least of my worries!
OUPSSSSSS we got a problem, I always tought that a sailor would know lot more then me about water!!!!!! in any case (4" of water/hr) translate to the amount of rain falling in 1 hr).
A ray gun is nice if laser, it could probably be use to record the speed of the wind to find out if it worth to go sailing. Mine got an oscilloscope software with USB adapter to find electric problems in boats & service manual for Volvo Penta, Yammar marine, Perkins marine, mercruiser, & keep boater & sailor going.
wrench
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Old 26-04-2010, 09:34   #28
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I'm unashamed to be a toughbook fan!

I've been telling my wife I read this forum for entertainment as well as information... thanks guys you have made my point. Now, Scotty isn't beaming anyone anywhere so back to the topic...

I've gone toughbook to the CF-29 tune and just ordered a CF-30. When the going gets wet and bumpy I can bring mine from the nav table to the companionway without worry. Everything is sealed and it has 8 hour plus battery life with the second battery in place and then I can hot swap another battery for another 6 hours. The GPS is internal and there are no external cables or plugs to allow ingress of water.

The single concept I had a big problem with is unless a computer is sealed from the elements salt air will corrode significant parts. Just think of the salt in the air that is cooling all the hot bits! I destroyed two not cheep regular laptops in six weeks a few years back when things got tough and wet which suddenly made the reliability and price of the toughbooks look like a much better deal.

I'm now at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef and since early February it has been raining almost every day and often several times a day. When the rain hits the toughbook I bring it below when I next go up but if my phone get's left up top I break speed records to get it safe from a few drops of the wet stuff, and the reason it's there is because i can use the CF-29 in the sun or with my lit keyboard at night and it's always a pleasure.

I think very highly of these gems. The only negative about them is they a so heavy that they don't come close to floating even with my floating strap. So, when I throw it at someone and they duck it will go straight to the bottom. Hence I'll keep the CF-29 just in case! ... If I could only work out hot to connect the phaser to the starboard USB port then I could lose the four kilos the old CF-29 weighs!
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Old 26-04-2010, 10:02   #29
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Still got mine. I do have one major complaint though and I guess it's not really with toughbook per se. I ordered a Lindh Dc to dc power supply and when I plug it into my West Marine 12 volt outlet the connection is shoddy to say the least. I've got to work a way around it before we set off.
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Old 09-05-2010, 17:11   #30
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All laptops, even the toughbook, will be obsolete in 3-5 years given the constant advances in processor technology. Unless you periodically replace the mobo and processor-- hard to do in a sealed unit--it may be more cost effective to buy a regular laptop, which costs about 1/3 of the price of a toughbook.

My Sony Vaio with the 16" screen has been a great boat computer. I use it to run Rose Point, watch movies, surf the web (when in range) etc. etc. When it dies or becomes obsolete I will buy another.
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