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Old 17-03-2011, 12:03   #1
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LED Monitors and Power Consumption

I often watch a movie at night and until recently did this on a laptop screen. I recently purchased a much larger 22 inch LCD monitor with LED backlighting. I was expecting a good deal more power draw and have been pleasantly surprised that using the large monitor (which has is a much larger brighter higher resolution display than the laptop) and driving the screen with a netbook the power consumption is actually slightly lower than the laptop alone.

I chose a 22 inch Samsung BX2231 monitor it has a great picture, low power consumption and can accept both a 12v and 14v input which should make it ideal for powering directly from the 12v boat supply (I am still running it on a small inverter as I have not rigged up the direct 12v supply yet)

The actual power consumption of everything needed to watch a movie, when playing a movie downloaded on to the internal hard drive of a netbook (netbook powered from 12v)with external speakers (usb powered) and running the monitor from an inverter is 2.8A. Which I think is excellent. This should go down a further 0.3-0.5 A when I get the monitor running directly from 12V.

For a comparison the old laptop with a 15 inch screen (an IBM T60P running from 12v) with external speakers when playing a movie downloader on to the internal hard drive was slightly more at 3.1A. (I have never measured the netbook playing a movie on its own screen as it is too small to be watchable)

Playing the movies from an external hard drive increases the power consumption by about 0.4A and playing from a DVD about 0.6A (so its worth putting the movie on the hard drive if you want the lowest consumption.

So don’t be afraid lots of power consumption with a larger monitor. The new LED screens do deliver low power consumption particularly when powered from an energy efficient computer such as a netbook
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Old 22-04-2011, 23:52   #2
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Re: LED monitors and power consumption

Update I have connected the boat battery directly to the monitor.
The monitor itself now only consumes 0.98A

The total power watching a movie on the screen with the netbook powered from 12v (netbook screen off). Including USB external speakers is 2.1 to 2.2A @ 12.5V.
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Old 23-04-2011, 10:07   #3
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Re: LED Monitors and Power Consumption

Thank you for these real life figures. I have recently purchases an ASUS eeePC netbook I am using as an OpenCPN "plotter" with a GPS USB "puck". Works a charm. With it, I bought a 2 TB (yes, 2,000 gigs) backup drive for $99. At that price, I too would not bother with DVDs.

I have a pilothouse, and ideally I would like to feed plotter information to a smallish (15 inch) monitor I can drop down on an armature from the roof so I can see charts and radar imagery, and I would like a second 22 inch monitor in the saloon for "movie night" when the amps made via sun and wind allow a treat. I would also like to see this monitor accept the plotter and radar input so that the entire crew can discuss where to go and how to get there, review photography, record videos for later transmission, etc.

My only concern with these monitors is that they might corrode in salt air faster than "marinized" components. Have you or would you open them up to use conformal spray on the circuit boards or various anti-corrosives on the connectors/sockets?
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Old 23-04-2011, 13:41   #4
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Re: LED Monitors and Power Consumption

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Thank you for these real life figures. I have recently purchases an ASUS eeePC netbook I am using as an OpenCPN "plotter" with a GPS USB "puck". Works a charm. With it, I bought a 2 TB (yes, 2,000 gigs) backup drive for $99. At that price, I too would not bother with DVDs.

I have a pilothouse, and ideally I would like to feed plotter information to a smallish (15 inch) monitor I can drop down on an armature from the roof so I can see charts and radar imagery, and I would like a second 22 inch monitor in the saloon for "movie night" when the amps made via sun and wind allow a treat. I would also like to see this monitor accept the plotter and radar input so that the entire crew can discuss where to go and how to get there, review photography, record videos for later transmission, etc.

My only concern with these monitors is that they might corrode in salt air faster than "marinized" components. Have you or would you open them up to use conformal spray on the circuit boards or various anti-corrosives on the connectors/sockets?
I use mine for movies mostly below decks, but it should work well as chartplotter in a pilothouse, not quite daylight readable, but they are becoming much brighter.
I have had several laptops on board and they usually die from normal wear and tear plus a few more knocks and bumps which in inevitable on a yacht. With a bit of care I have not found corrosion to be much of a problem and I don’t think the monitor will be different from the laptop in this regard.
My current laptop is about 6 years old, but it about due for replacement.
My wife’s netbook has low power consumption and its cheap enough that damage is not such a concern. I think this is an ideal solution, maybe with a separate keyboard if you have salty hands.
Certainly power consumption even with a large monitor is not the problem it once was if you choose the components carefully
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Old 25-04-2011, 06:03   #5
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Re: LED Monitors and Power Consumption

Looking at the specs online of course htey say nowhere that it readily accepts 12v. How did you find this out and how did you connect it on your vessel? I have been dealing with this problem and I am looking into the upcoming development of USB powered monitors, however the brightness of a proper monitor would be best. Thanks for your post!
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Old 25-04-2011, 06:56   #6
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Re: LED Monitors and Power Consumption

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Originally Posted by Velocir View Post
Looking at the specs online of course htey say nowhere that it readily accepts 12v. How did you find this out and how did you connect it on your vessel? I have been dealing with this problem and I am looking into the upcoming development of USB powered monitors, however the brightness of a proper monitor would be best. Thanks for your post!
The specs on the monitors are a bit vague. Often they will sell them in different countries with different power configurations.
The solution is to go into the shop and look at the back of the monitor. You want one with a "brick" with a 12V output. The Samsung I got can accept a 12V or !4v brick so it is ideal to use with a direct feed from the boat batteries.

If you get one that accepts a 12v brick only you really need to reduce the boat voltage with some electronics especially when charging. Some people report success without doing this, but its risky.
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