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Old 04-03-2011, 07:44   #16
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Re: Computer Onboard?

I'm doing a Masters degree with Open University, so I tend to take my netbook to work with me. Work is on a Commercial Diving boat. I also take it sailing with me.

I very carefully store it, when I need to get up to do some work, between the two sun lounger cushions I sit on. For longer periods of time (or heavy weather), I stuff it in my handbag and throw that into the quarter berth. That's worked fine for me so far. Touch wood.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:13   #17
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Re: Computer Onboard?

For what it is worth, we had heard so many warnings about laptops that I feel like I should weigh in with a non-careful approach.

We've had 3 laptops aboard in our 4 years of full-time living aboard in the BC/WA area. We keep them out on the chart table all of the time. We never put them in watertight containers/bags unless we are bringing them ashore in the dinghy.

One computer is 5 years old and is a Mac. One is 2 years old and is a cheap PC. The final is a new computer intended to replace the Mac (if it ever dies) and be a backup electronic charting computer.

All 3 are running strong.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:41   #18
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Re: Computer Onboard?

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Originally Posted by threeriversmari View Post
Batteries in laptops die quicker because most people just leave their computers plugged in all the time

...
This used to be the case with old NiCd batteries, but modern Li-ion batteries handle this just fine. The worst thing you can do to modern batteries is run them down to 100% discharge. Ideally, devices should be charged when they reach 80% discharged.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:01   #19
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Re: Computer

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It's mostly an experiment at this point, but I took the opposite tack and picked up a cheapy netbook for a couple hundred dollars. Disregarding the inconvenience of dead computers, I can kill a half-dozen of them for the price of one Toughbook.
I have an EEE 1000H that's lasted me forever, but my friend hasn't had as much luck and has gone through 2 of them pretty quick.

One nice things about the netbook is aside from being cheap, they have a very low power draw.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:40   #20
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Re: Computer Onboard?

There are a lot of used/refurbished Panasonic Toughbooks on the market. They make good boat computers. Police depts and armed forces lease them and when they come off lease, they hit the market in bulk numbers selling for pennies on the dollar compared to new. They are water"proof", shock resistant, have a sunlight readable display, and really live up to their name. I use one mounted under the dodger for nav software. The Dell mini is also a nice little (but fragile) unit as well. Can be opened up right IN a Ziploc bag. Both are kept in Ziplocks when not in use as someone mentioned above. Both with Jeppesen Sailcruiser and C-Map charts. A small inkjet printer is also really handy to print out the digital charts to have hard copies on deck when needed. I print out booklets of charts, blown up to whatever scale needed so I can see them. They are a handy size. These work out nicely as notepads as well to record log info.
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Old 05-03-2011, 15:24   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredko

This used to be the case with old NiCd batteries, but modern Li-ion batteries handle this just fine. The worst thing you can do to modern batteries is run them down to 100% discharge. Ideally, devices should be charged when they reach 80% discharged.
Li-Ion cells in modern laptops will last longest if kept cool at 50% charge. This is not really practical of course, but keep in mind that they have limited cycle life, the shallower the cycles the better, and storing them at 100% charge (i.e. Keeping it on the charger all the time) and storing them completely discharged are both bad for cell life.

It would be nice if laptop charging software allowed you to choose the float voltage, if kept plugged in almost all the time you could have it float at 3.7 volts and extend cell life, only charging all the way up to 4.2 volts (100%) if you needed max battery capacity available.
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Old 13-07-2011, 06:25   #22
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Re: Computer Onboard?

I have had two high quality new Fluke multimeters on board (comparable electronics to computers) and sequentially lost them both by failures. Not coincidental. I had assumed that it was a combination of two effects (1) humidity within the storage area (in turn affected by bilge water amounts and ventilation efficiency (assuming thru deck leakage is minimal))
(2) Batteries. Even though the units are turned off, tracking can still occur across tight tolerance tracks on modern electronics which will accelerate the electrolysis process. (even though there were not huge signs of oxidation)
If this is the case, one suggestion may be to remove the batteries when not in use and store wisely.
Unless there are better suggestions?
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Old 13-07-2011, 06:38   #23
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Re: Computer Onboard?

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Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
Li-Ion cells in modern laptops will last longest if kept cool at 50% charge. This is not really practical of course, but keep in mind that they have limited cycle life, the shallower the cycles the better, and storing them at 100% charge (i.e. Keeping it on the charger all the time) and storing them completely discharged are both bad for cell life.

It would be nice if laptop charging software allowed you to choose the float voltage, if kept plugged in almost all the time you could have it float at 3.7 volts and extend cell life, only charging all the way up to 4.2 volts (100%) if you needed max battery capacity available.
This is exactly what all thinkpads do. You just preset limits to your battery, and it will not charge battery unless it's less than %. And while laptop is on power, it will not use his battery at all, so if you have 50% in your battery, it will stay at 50% until you start using it unplugged.
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Old 13-07-2011, 15:56   #24
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Thats a great feature, i had never heard of a computer having it.
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Old 18-07-2011, 08:11   #25
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Re: Computer Onboard?

My wife and I each have a macbook and for three years have left them on all the time and leave them out all the time in our boat. No problems so far.
Only time we turn them off is if we are going a shore for extended time.
We also have an iPad that we put in a 1 gal Ziplock if we are going in the dingy.
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Old 18-07-2011, 08:18   #26
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Re: Computer Onboard?

i have managed to get almost 2 yrs ou tof a netbook i was advised only lass 3 months,. an acer from wallysmart. i leave it out with a pillow over it at night. i throw it. i hose off deck forgetting the spray ges onto netook. a friend dropped some water on the mother gboard area-- it is still fine...kinda--it works--has a strange personality but it still works......before this ne i had a hp pavilions for 3 yrs and a dell from hell for waaay too long, and a compaq i cant use as has passwords in it i didnt make--was purchased brand new.... strange machine.

i do not have any home but this boat, so that might say how long has been in sea like conditions.
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