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Old 28-06-2015, 02:19   #1
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Mini Computers

One of these looks perfect for an onboard computer system.

Amazon.com: Intel NUC NUC5PPYH, 4K Support via HDMI, Intel HD Graphics, SATA3 for 2.5-Inch HDD/SSD BOXNUC5PPYH: Computers & Accessories

This has a 2.5" hard drive bay -- interesting, would the hard drive out of my ruined Sony Vaio Z fit in here, or does it have proprietary connectors? Hmm.

This needs 12v power, so easy to supply through a dropper.

Tiny; would fit in my boat's laptop drawer.
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Old 28-06-2015, 02:44   #2
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Re: Mini Computers

I use Gigabyte's brix aboard (GIGABYTE - Desktop PC - Mini-PC Barebone - GB-BXi7-5500 (rev. 1.0)) and am very happy with the power drain and performance. I've got it loaded with a big SSD drive and 16Gb of memory so it is a powerful and fast machine.
The 2.5" hard drive that you have probably uses a SATA connector and in that case it would fit.
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Old 01-07-2015, 14:12   #3
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Re: Mini Computers

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I use Gigabyte's brix aboard (GIGABYTE - Desktop PC - Mini-PC Barebone - GB-BXi7-5500 (rev. 1.0)) and am very happy with the power drain and performance. I've got it loaded with a big SSD drive and 16Gb of memory so it is a powerful and fast machine.
The 2.5" hard drive that you have probably uses a SATA connector and in that case it would fit.
Zanshin,

Have you hooked it up on your NMEA network?

I am thinking on setting one up at my nav station and run RAYTECH on it including showing radar but not sure if the graphic card is fast enough to handle the radar?

Steen
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Old 01-07-2015, 14:37   #4
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Re: Mini Computers

This is a mini computer:-



Not practical for a boat the size of mine.
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Old 01-07-2015, 15:10   #5
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Re: Mini Computers

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This is a mini computer:-



Not practical for a boat the size of mine.
My exact thoughts when I saw this thread, was wondering how big the boat was!
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Old 01-07-2015, 15:26   #6
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Re: Mini Computers

We're installing an all-in-one computer in the pilothouse of the new boat (around 19") as a nav computer. NMEA will be multiplexed and feed into the computer with a Vesper AIS 850.

The computer will also feed hdmi into a second monitor in the salon for watching movies down below.

Matt
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Old 01-07-2015, 15:47   #7
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Re: Mini Computers

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Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
We're installing an all-in-one computer in the pilothouse of the new boat (around 19") as a nav computer. NMEA will be multiplexed and feed into the computer with a Vesper AIS 850.

The computer will also feed hdmi into a second monitor in the salon for watching movies down below.

Matt
If it's primary nav, I would not recommend sharing it with entertainment functions.
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Old 01-07-2015, 17:12   #8
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Re: Mini Computers

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If it's primary nav, I would not recommend sharing it with entertainment functions.
Nowadays, there is no primary nav. We have multiple computers, tablets and phones that can all receive the data via wifi or usb.

Heck, we watched movies on our Raymarine chart plotter in the cockpit.

Matt
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Old 01-07-2015, 18:14   #9
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Re: Mini Computers

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
One of these looks perfect for an onboard computer system.

(...)
Where we are (EU), units like this sell at 250 EUR. If you want to slip in your HD, check our a unit from ASUS as it has a dock/slot ready for just this purpose.

Still, at 250 freedom chips, you get a "computer" without a monitor and with a moving HD ... why not spend 200 units on a 11 inch netbook with no movable parts, screen and its own UPS???

And do not fool yourself 12 Volts means 12 Volts: these units take regulated 12 Volts and they may become unstable at less than that and burn at more than that. Your buy, your risk.

So, to sum up, my advice, get a decent no-HD netbook and keep it inside your nav table as a "perfect onboard computer". Bonus: you can take it to the cafe bar onshore too.

PS Yes. Nobody's perfect. ;-)
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:00   #10
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Re: Mini Computers

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Where we are (EU), units like this sell at 250 EUR. If you want to slip in your HD, check our a unit from ASUS as it has a dock/slot ready for just this purpose.

Still, at 250 freedom chips, you get a "computer" without a monitor and with a moving HD ... why not spend 200 units on a 11 inch netbook with no movable parts, screen and its own UPS???

And do not fool yourself 12 Volts means 12 Volts: these units take regulated 12 Volts and they may become unstable at less than that and burn at more than that. Your buy, your risk.

So, to sum up, my advice, get a decent no-HD netbook and keep it inside your nav table as a "perfect onboard computer". Bonus: you can take it to the cafe bar onshore too.

PS Yes. Nobody's perfect. ;-)
b.
Well, the notebook was what I always used, but it got destroyed in my knockdown in the North Sea.

I of course will always have a notebook on board (and probably a spare, now, after this experience), but I think for nav and onboard computer functions I'm going to go to something permanently mounted out of the way. It will also free up space on my nav station so I can do chart work more easily.

Ironically, my boat has a dedicated laptop drawer with tilted bottom -- designed so that you can open the drawer and use the laptop without taking it out. The dog's danglies in 2001, I'm sure, when my boat was built, but unfortunately it was made for 10" screen laptops from 2001, not modern ones. So I think I'm going to mount the mini-computer in there, out of the way and out of harm's way, too.

Edit: Concerning power supplies, all the mini comps I've looked at need either 19v or 12v. My boat is 24 volts, so in any case a regulated power supply is needed. I happen to have regulated power supplies for both 19v and 12v, so this is not a problem.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:32   #11
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Re: Mini Computers

The NavAssist Marine-PC uses low power (>15W), has a wide Voltage tolerance (8 - 19VDC), provides 4, pluggable, Marine I/O ports with combinations of NMEA2000, NMEA0183, SeaTalk or SeaTalk Legacy protocols available. It is meant to provide an ideal OpenCPN platform. See CF Vendors; NeptunesGear or NavAssist Marine Computers Web sites for details.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:25   #12
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Re: Mini Computers

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The NavAssist Marine-PC uses low power (>15W), has a wide Voltage tolerance (8 - 19VDC), provides 4, pluggable, Marine I/O ports with combinations of NMEA2000, NMEA0183, SeaTalk or SeaTalk Legacy protocols available. It is meant to provide an ideal OpenCPN platform. See CF Vendors; NeptunesGear or NavAssist Marine Computers Web sites for details.
That device looks quite convenient, with marine-specific interfaces already installed, but it doesn't look like a good value at the prices quoted.

I think the Intel or Gigabyte versions look like the most effective choice. I already have N2K to USB and 0183 to USB adapters, so I don't really need the marine specific interfaces.

The Gigabyte Brix even comes with a VESA mount so you can mount it behind your monitor. That would give great advantages in accessibility, cable routing, and cooling, although of course that would it vulnerable to seawater down the companionway, which is what my laptop was killed by.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:56   #13
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Re: Mini Computers

dockhead-
While you're considering, don't forget that hard drives aren't all the same. A netbook may have little or no hard drive internally, and even a USB3 external drive is dog slow compared to an internal one. SATA3 will run on SATA2 systems--but not at full speed. SATA drives usually do have "standard" connections but even then, some need jumpers to work on other SATA-level systems.
Given that a boat is always in motion and that hard drives, even the best ones, really aren't designed to operate while in motion...you might want to consider a solid state drive (SSD) or a hybrid drive for the new system. Prices have gotten better, reliability is better, power consumption is way lower...and the speed is *ing incredible. You turn the computer on, or wake it, and the damn thing can be fully operational in five seconds. Try doing THAT with a spinning hard drive.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:00   #14
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Re: Mini Computers

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
dockhead-
While you're considering, don't forget that hard drives aren't all the same. A netbook may have little or no hard drive internally, and even a USB3 external drive is dog slow compared to an internal one. SATA3 will run on SATA2 systems--but not at full speed. SATA drives usually do have "standard" connections but even then, some need jumpers to work on other SATA-level systems.
Given that a boat is always in motion and that hard drives, even the best ones, really aren't designed to operate while in motion...you might want to consider a solid state drive (SSD) or a hybrid drive for the new system. Prices have gotten better, reliability is better, power consumption is way lower...and the speed is *ing incredible. You turn the computer on, or wake it, and the damn thing can be fully operational in five seconds. Try doing THAT with a spinning hard drive.
Indeed. I have been using SSD drives in my laptops already for many years. Wouldn't use anything else for an application like this.

These mini comps are barebones systems, so you choose your own hard drive. I have a 256 gig SSD drive from my killed laptop which I would like to try to use, as I mentioned in the original post.
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