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Old 06-11-2012, 08:33   #16
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

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Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
I bought one of these two, one problem is they burn 50W on full bright.
True, the screen does suck power. I think that may be the nature of current technology; more power for more bright.

I did test it on lower brightness settings and could still see the screen quite well even in direct light and power draw dropped a lot. Could also run it on 12V direct instead of using the 19V supply I bought.

There is a power button right on the screen and I just plan to switch off the display except when needed, like ICW in crowded harbors or other areas with multiple channels and markers, etc. Once out of the harbor on in a long straight channel, shut it down. Leave the computer running and it would just take seconds to get the display back up.
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:15   #17
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

I found most daylight viewable plotters are not daylight viewable at all and most plotters seem to work fine if they are viewed in the shade of the dodger.

What I do not like about plotters and laptops equally I want something that I can keep in my pocket and view any place of the boat. Handheld GPS units with charts are very fine but they do not overlay AIS (hard to guess why actually).

Bueno, drift.

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Old 06-11-2012, 13:16   #18
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

BTW to the OP: look at prices of 12V to PC power sources. Last time I was building a systems they were very dear. We used an ambulance one.

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Old 06-11-2012, 13:22   #19
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

"I found most daylight viewable plotters are not daylight viewable at all and most plotters seem to work fine if they are viewed in the shade of the dodger."
Finally, a reason to have a dodger. I may have to rethink my Luddite views about dodgers being another piece of crap to trip and stumble around.<G>

Matthew, you miss one very important reason to use an SSD instead of a hard drive. Hopefully you are just watching movies while not under way. Hard drives are sepcificaly NOT supposed to be used while in motion. Moved around, yes. Used while in motion, no. It takes a surprisingly small g-force to damage one and while self-parking heads and internal g-force sensors have become common, they are still just a kludge.

If you want to use a "hard" drive or other rotating spindle while under way, like for mavigating, an SSD will never be damaged because the bot bounced around. A hard drive will continually either be damaged, or interrupted as the heads park and repark.

So who cares if you need a second drive? That's what USB3 is for.
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:59   #20
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

My EeeBox computer and USB-powered screen draw under 2A @ 12V. When I add my USB hub that's powering the satphone and a quad RS232/USB mux, then the current drain is a little over 2A. All off-the shelf, including the 12V-to-18V adapter. Here's a link to my blog entry on this system: VALIS BLOG

When compared to a small netbook, the power and performance are similar (the EeeBox may have more memory and bigger drives). Where the netbook has an advantage is this: the netbook has a built-in battery. This means if the power glitches because someone flipper a breaker, etc, the computer doesn't crash -- at not least until the netbook battery goes dead. If this could be an issue, it might be a good idea to run a dedicated, protected, power line to the house batteries.
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:03   #21
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

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(...) If you want to use a "hard" drive or other rotating spindle while under way, like for mavigating, an SSD will never be damaged because the bot bounced around. A hard drive will continually either be damaged, or interrupted as the heads park and repark.

So who cares if you need a second drive? That's what USB3 is for.
OK. But none of our HDs onboard broke ever too! Maybe the Gs in a prancing boat are not up to make any damage (a cruising sailing boat, not a powerboat going 20+ kts)?

And systems can be run of USB flash memory too, which (?) I believe resolves issues with either HD or SD failures.

?

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Old 06-11-2012, 14:31   #22
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

FWIW, VALIS has had some sort of computer with hard drive running during all five of our HAwaii round-trips, as well as during our many coastal excursions. We've never had a hard disc failure.

For that matter, many of the iPods have small HD drives, and they sure get bounced around. A different style of HDD perhaps? I'm not saying that HDDs can't be damaged by shock, but perhaps the forces encountered on a boat aren't so bad. My Furuno chartplotter has a HDD, and so far it's been OK.
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Old 06-11-2012, 15:41   #23
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
BTW to the OP: look at prices of 12V to PC power sources. Last time I was building a systems they were very dear. We used an ambulance one.

b.
The power supply issue seems to be resolved. They price is not so bad now, about $55 USD for a wide voltage pico power supply.

PicoPSU-120-WI-25 12-25V DC-DC ATX power supply
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Old 06-11-2012, 16:51   #24
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

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Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
The power supply issue seems to be resolved. They price is not so bad now, about $55 USD for a wide voltage pico power supply.

PicoPSU-120-WI-25 12-25V DC-DC ATX power supply

We went with the one that has a little wider voltage range (6-24) ...

M3-ATX, intelligent ATX automotive power supply, 12/24V - power your PC in a car

....for a little more money and it is also more powerful, but we didn't need that with the motherboard and other items in the computer. If some one wanted to power a mini-desktop with a more powerful processor it would also be good.

Like the others have said so far we haven't had a problem with the 2 1/2 inch HD.

I came in right at $550 on the computer and monitor. It is the computer I use on both boats and at home so feel I would of spent at least that much for a new computer and it wouldn't of had features this one has such as the serial ports and the 'run on 12 volt' deal.

Someone could buy a fairly low power (3-4 amp) mini-desktop used for very little and just add the 12 volt power supply to it for under $75 and have a cheap ships computer that would run directly on 12 volts and draw less than most laptops and have a lot of power,

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Old 06-11-2012, 17:22   #25
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

Anyone using a raspberry pi yet?
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:14   #26
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

Sumner
Thanks for your post. I have been wanting to get away from the laptop.
After looking at your site I bought a complete mini ITX system today. Motherboard, laptop HD,1gig ram all working $40 on craigslist. Just ordered a 12v power supply.
I have a dvd and everything else I need to finish. WIFI will be next.
Thanks you have a great site
Tim
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:43   #27
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

Sumner,
thank you for doing the ground work research etc. Definitely doing this instead of the laptop.
I would not recommend using moving parts. My hard drive died in less then 10 months. This time I am gong with solid state.
Also, for < 100$ you can get a resistive touch kit with USB adapter, to add to cabin monitor. Helps interact with nav software while under way. Not a good idea for outside as it creates touch issues when dew sets in.

Also for those handy with electronics, not afraid to use solder iron, there are many ways to implement free/cheap, AIS receiver. This would perfectly work with PC you built.
AIS (Automatic Identification System)
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:52   #28
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

I built a computer with a mini-ITX board several years ago that worked out for me. About a year ago, I built a pico-ITX ARTIGO computer for running ham radio digital communications that have worked out good so far. The power supply for the ARTIGO is 12v.
I've heard a few people I work with who built their own computers with SSD for their main drive and they say that alone speeds things up considerably. I'm considering putting a computer together with a SSD to speed things up.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:28   #29
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Re: 12 Volt Boat Computer

Hello, I got the aforementioned 12V pico car power supply for my NVIDIA ITX. Very pleased with it, running on an SSD it boots ubuntu in a mere 20 secs or so, super stable, OpenCPN heaven!

The advantage of my NVIDIA mboard is that it only has 1.5 ghz (low power consumption) but plays HD vids thanks to the nvidia vdpau hardware accel
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Old 16-11-2012, 12:10   #30
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I'm thinking about something like the fit-PC3 from Compulab. 12v, HDMI out @1080p, 4gb ram, etc. I'd type more, but I'm using my tablet :-)

http://WWW.fit-pc.co
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