Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-08-2006, 11:38   #1
Registered User
 
Doghouse's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hampton Roads, va
Boat: Catalina 387 - Magical Dreamer
Posts: 176
Images: 1
Computer Designed for boats - interest?

I have been toying around with the idea of building a computer designed for the use on boats. The design points being water resistant, low power consumption, and low cost.

This is not an off the shelf solution, I would be custom designing them, and wanted to get a little input on some of my ideas, and find out if there is interest in purchasing such a computer.

1. able to use pcmcia cellular cards
2. able to be hooked up to TV or DVI.
3. built in? or external GPS
4. user expandable with off the shelf parts.

So what do you think?
__________________

__________________
Doghouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 11:58   #2
Registered User
 
Sunspot Baby's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Prout Manta 38' Catamaran - Sunspot Baby
Posts: 1,521
Images: 14
I have considered something other than a laptop. My thoughts thus far:
1. Cube type box easy to install tucked away in some dead space but not impossible to get to.
2. 12 v powered. Power saver; hibernates when not active for X amount of time (ala laptop).
3. Wireless peripheries like flat screen display, mouse, keyboard and printer.
4. Dedicated “mouse” type GPS sensor.
5. Tons of RAM and ROM.
6. External Wi-Fi antenna at mast head.
7. External DVD read/write drive easily accessible.
8. External speakers so my computer is also my stereo/MP3 player.

Except for being water resistant, I think most of these could be had with off the shelf components.
__________________

__________________
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
Sunspot Baby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 13:12   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
You can make a good PC cube with off the shelf stuff. worth using solid state drives, as they are less power hungry, and massive heat sinks rather than lots of fans. you can already get 12vDC systems and boards.

personally I am happy with a laptop at the moment cause it enables me to take it home and do passage planning at home!
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 13:44   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 27
I have zillions of things bookmarked "just in case" I might need them some day.
This is one of them : http://www.islandtimepc.com/index.html

I am not computer literate at all, so don't know how this measures up to what you are thinking of.


liz
__________________
lancs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 13:57   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
Not very impressed. They are using normal hard drives (and small ones at that), whereas they should at least be using 2.5" drives due to the better capability to absorb movement.
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 14:58   #6
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
A few days ago I was getting some upgrade parts for my desktop and was talking with one of our local PC repair folks that do a number of repairs for PCs on boats. He said they get 3 or 4 a month, so I figure that's a pretty fair sample.

He said that the biggest problem they've seen for marine PCs is inadequate ventilation leading to over-heating. He said that people tend to stick them in out of the way, tight places with closed panels and sometimes even stuff things around them. PC gets too hot and things break. So, it sounds like the best fix for that one is education about location.

I asked him about corrosion and he said that he's never seen significant corrosion even on the PCs used in boats. That the machine seems to build up enough internal heat to keep things dry. Of course, he cautioned that unless they are specially built for it, they should not be kept out in the cockpit!

In terms of power efficiency, he has been recommending that people buy regular components, using the current BTX motherboards for their improved circulation, be careful about buying efficient components and then underclock the processor. AMD's Cool & Quiet technology also gives the ability to let the PC choke itself down when less is needed and than ramp it back up when more is needed.

There's also this little calculator which can give some ideas about power consumption given a system configuration. I've used it several times with good success.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp

ID
__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2006, 15:33   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: South Georgia, USA
Posts: 26
I would use a Mac mini, just 6.5 X 2 inches in size. Comes with wireless wifi, blue tooth, wireless mouse and key broad. Will fit anywhere. Add a montior and GPSNavx- you are ready to go.
__________________

__________________
Golden Isles is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
computers

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scanned Charts on the computer... GreatKetch Navigation 41 30-03-2007 08:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.