Originally Posted by Opie91
...Are most people still using ATOM motherboards or have some moved on to faster processors?
Should I consider any other hard drive other than a solid state one?
Thanks for any input
I built one....
...using an ....
... atom based motherboard and I'm very happy with it overall. If you go this route
you will be using quite a bit less elect. than about any laptop (we have two of those that also go on the boat).
[SIZE=2][COLOR=black]The computer alone in idle mode with the monitor
on has a combined draw of 1.8 amps and about 2.2 amps when the hard disk is being accessed. When the router and Bullet 2HP radio
(for WiFi) are turned on the amps go to about 2.4 amps without the hard disk being accessed and about 2.8 with it, so max. wattage is about 33 1/2 watts.
[SIZE=2]It is using a 2 1/2 160 gig hard disk that would normally go in a laptop and I've had no[SIZE=2] problems with it. I've [SIZE=2]been using the comput[SIZE=2]er for about 2 years now with no problems and I'm typ[SIZE=2]ing this on [SIZE=2]it now [SIZE=2]at home. I [SIZE=2]take it from boat to boat and also it is the computer I use at home. [SIZE=2]I do a lot of wo[SIZE=2]rk on our web site and this way I have all the files I need no matter where I'm at. At home it is running [SIZE=2]on an old 12 volt car battery
with a charger
on it. On the road to the one boat I'll use a laptop. I back my work up on a USB hard drive.
[SIZE=2]I like the fact [SIZE=2]that is has items you can't find in a laptop like a lot of [SIZE=2]USB ports
and the s[SIZE=2]erial ports
that make it easier to use with SeaClear II and OpenCPN [SIZE=2]and interfacing them with a handheld Garmin
and with a VHF
(no need for a USB/Serial interface). I have a full size keyboard and a 16 inch monitor
(10 watts) that I use on the Endeavour and a smaller (10 watt) monitor I use on the Mac. I use the 16 inch at home, but could use a larger monitor if I wanted.
[SIZE=2][SIZE=2]The only drawback i[SIZE=2]s that it [SIZE=2]is not as fast as most other computers
. I don't really notice that unless I'm trying to run a USB TV adapter and Netflix other than that I'm happy. One of the du[SIZE=2]al core
motherboards would be faster and not [SIZE=2]use too much more elect. and I might go that way in a year or so. [SIZE=2]Right now for the video we just [SIZE=2]use Ruth's lapto[SIZE=2]p and a Lind DC to DC converter that helps with the power usage, but still it draws a lot more than this computer.
We use the computer on the boat as our chartplotter and transfer waypoints to the Garmin Map 76S via a serial cable that is always hooked up. That allows us to modify a route very quickly and send the new waypoints to the Garmin in the cockpit in seconds. I've also made a cheap...
...cockpit sunlight display that I've used at home, but not on the boat yet.
[SIZE=2]The other option is that you can usethe power supply...
[SIZE=2]...that I'm using in a de[SIZE=2]s[SIZE=2]ktop machine with a faster ATX motherboard as it will p[SIZE=2]lug int[SIZE=2]o [SIZE=2]one of those motherboards. the power supply will allow you to directly wi[SIZE=2]re into a 12 v[SIZE=2]olt system and will work on 6 volts to 24 volts so you don't have to worry about low [SIZE=2]voltages and charging
volta[SIZE=2]ges. See link below for power supply info.
[SIZE=2]You can find the whole build here with parts
and prices at the time of the build.....
Compurer-Chart Plotter-Navigation Index
[SIZE=2]If one is interested in minimal power [SIZE=2]requirements this is a viable way to go. You can also buy a computer [SIZE=2]put together from a few different sources such as IslandTime PC if [SIZE=2]one doesn't want to tackl[SIZE=2]e the job,