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Old 13-11-2009, 11:33   #1
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Laptop in Cockpit

Does anyone have any ingenius suggestions for how to mount a laptop in the cockpit?

I have a PC-based chartplotter and an old Panasonic Toughbook. I need to be able to see and to keep the thing out of the way when tacking/jibing.
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Old 13-11-2009, 11:52   #2
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Is it water proof???
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Old 13-11-2009, 12:02   #3
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Is it water proof???
I don't know about the "proof" part, but it is designed to be water and shock resistant. It's a "ruggedized" laptop like those used by journalists in war zones; it's got a good reputation.
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Old 13-11-2009, 12:18   #4
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Old 13-11-2009, 13:09   #5
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I keep my laptop down below and run a second monitor in the cockpit with a wireless mouse. I guess a wireless keyboard would work too, but I don't need it to run the software - MaxSea with AIS.
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Old 13-11-2009, 17:02   #6
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Remote touchscreen

Yep. I have a touchscreen at the helm which is wired up as a monitor repeater and mouse to the laptop at the chart table. I bought the 11" monitor on ebay for about $200 and took it out of its plastic case. I sealed into a case I made from aluminium 'c' section and a bit of plate for the back. I just sealed the edges of the screen to the aluminium section. It connects to the laptop with a video and USB extension lead and a 12v power lead. Its been through some pretty tough weather and works pretty well. Certainly better than spending the thousands needed for the dedicated units.
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Old 13-11-2009, 21:13   #7
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I have one of those ruggedized laptops. Would never keep it in the cockpit. I think that is asking for trouble. You might want to keep a backup below. You might need it.
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Old 13-11-2009, 21:51   #8
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I wanted a laptop in my cockpit, but I was afraid that it would fall off the cockpit table and break. There was only one thing I could do to solve this problem. I went out and purchased a catamaran to put under the printer so that it would not slide off the cockpit table. Although it worked really well, it's a very expensive way to safely mount the laptop in the cockpit.
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Old 13-11-2009, 22:13   #9
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From the many times I've been hailed on the VHF to provide navigation information to people who have lost there electronic navagation. I do hope that you keep paper charts to use as a backup.
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Old 13-11-2009, 23:35   #10
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We had two Toughbooks on board (one spare) always below unless taken to shore for internet access.
The key board failed on the primary one....seemed a result of salt.
But it did last 1 year on board and 4 years on shore.
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Old 14-11-2009, 00:12   #11
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We started 9 years ago with a standard, non-ruggedised Toshiba laptop which sat up in the (centre) cockpit on a piece of non-skid mat, between the companionway and a winch. It lasted 6 years before the display died. Its replacement has only lasted 2 years, now in for a new motherboard. Hard to say whats best, but the way performance/price ratios keep changing dramatically, buy cheap and throw it away.
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Old 16-11-2009, 05:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
I wanted a laptop in my cockpit, but I was afraid that it would fall off the cockpit table and break. There was only one thing I could do to solve this problem. I went out and purchased a catamaran to put under the printer so that it would not slide off the cockpit table. Although it worked really well, it's a very expensive way to safely mount the laptop in the cockpit.
Since you already had the laptop, you might just have purchased a sailing simulation and dispensed with the boat altogether.
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Old 16-11-2009, 05:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tackdriver View Post
Yep. I have a touchscreen at the helm which is wired up as a monitor repeater and mouse to the laptop at the chart table. I bought the 11" monitor on ebay for about $200 and took it out of its plastic case. I sealed into a case I made from aluminium 'c' section and a bit of plate for the back. I just sealed the edges of the screen to the aluminium section. It connects to the laptop with a video and USB extension lead and a 12v power lead. Its been through some pretty tough weather and works pretty well. Certainly better than spending the thousands needed for the dedicated units.
cheers
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Hi JMB,

Can you tell me what kind of monitor you bought? I have looked at quite a few but the $200 ones were not bright enough to see in the sunlight and the really bright ones I found started at USD$1500 and went up from there.

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Old 16-11-2009, 06:03   #14
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SNeuman, I note that your description now lists you as a "senior cruiser"...funny, you dont look that old! Hey, have you seen these? Mimo Monitors - Welcome I dont own one, and dont know how well they read in sunlight, but they work with only one USB connection...
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Old 16-11-2009, 10:07   #15
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Can you tell me what kind of monitor you bought? I have looked at quite a few but the $200 ones were not bright enough to see in the sunlight and the really bright ones I found started at USD$1500 and went up from there.
Skip,
yeah its not brilliant in direct sunlight, but it is viewable if you shade it with your hand. The really bright ones probably suck quite a bit of power, and are more expensive. I was going to put a sun shade on it but, actually the brightness is less of a problem than I first thought it would be. You can't see the image at all with sunglasses on.
I can't recall the exact brand, it was one of those generic Chinese ones.
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