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Old 23-05-2012, 07:07   #1
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Navigation Devices ?

I recently returned to the US and have found the proliferation of GPS devices staggering. I'm looking for something extremely low power that can run OpenCPN (or similar) and hopefully do a few other things than just navigate.

I need to view raster and other world wide charts (so no navionics, ecn's etc). I'm not a fan of iOS and I'd like to find some older generation of device that would be cheaper than the cutting edge. I'm open to phones, tablets, netbooks, or any good ideas (but my budget is < $200).

Any suggestions of something I should look at?
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Old 23-05-2012, 07:43   #2
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Re: Navigation devices?

Most any laptop will run OpenCPN, that's what it is designed to do. Which laptop depends on your definition of extremely low power. Can you put a number on that, say Watts or Amps?

Unless you want to buy a mother board and the other bits to build your own probably the lowest power will be a fairly recent model netbook. You could find a used HP Mini series netbook on eBay for under $200.
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Old 23-05-2012, 08:51   #3
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Look for a mobile device with an ARM processor.

An older processor does not necessarily mean it draws less power. With a greater emphasis on preserving mobile devices batteries, newer processors and smarter operating systems can actually be better at saving power. Or in other words, provide more processing power for the amount of power drawn.

See this thread about running OpenCpn on an ARM processor...
OpenCPN Runs on Embedded ARM
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Old 23-05-2012, 15:37   #4
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Re: Navigation Devices?

I just saw a youtube video of a VIA product that is coming out soon (July'ish). It is an Android based motherboard for $49. Peak power was 25 watts and idle was in the single digits. I beleive there is an Android variant of OpenCPN in the works? Sounds like a potential DIY option.
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Old 23-05-2012, 18:16   #5
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Re: Navigation Devices?

EEE netbooks. 50-100 USD s/h.

b.
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Old 23-05-2012, 22:21   #6
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
EEE netbooks. 50-100 USD s/h.

b.

Really? If you have a source for them at that price please let me know. I want to buy one.
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Old 24-05-2012, 06:34   #7
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
EEE netbooks. 50-100 USD s/h.

b.
Quick google search found them here Discount netbooks | netbook | Cheap netbooks


But, specs say they run on Windows CE. Searched the OpenCPN forums and found a couple of questions about compatibility with Windows CE but no answer. So has anyone run OpenCPN on CE?
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Old 24-05-2012, 06:49   #8
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Quote:
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Really? If you have a source for them at that price please let me know. I want to buy one.
ebay

b.
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Old 24-05-2012, 09:37   #9
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Thanks for all the advice. I am looking for a mobile device. I currently own the followingnd

N800 - Nokia running Maemo (*nix)
ASUS EEE -- running ubuntu (my favorate laptop) (OpenCPN)
Toshiba Quosimo -- ubuntu/windows xp (mostly for watching movies)

The N800 will run all day long and can view grib files, tides, etc, but it has limits and the SW is waaay unsupported these days. The ARM processor is great and really low power. The EEE computer is great and I wouldn't mind having a second, but I'm looking for something a little less power hungry and mostly just for viewing (not typing, etc.).

The VIA product sounds interesting too. Are there any other specific devices that people can recommend?

Thanks again for the ideas!
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Old 24-05-2012, 13:12   #10
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Couple more things...

The VIA sounds really cool. I found the info here APC About

Also to the other poster wondering about OpenCPN on Win CE, I would suggest just reformatting the netbook to Linux and forget Windows.

And for me, maybe for now just getting another netbook is the best quick fix.
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Old 24-05-2012, 18:18   #11
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
ebay

b.
Rats! I thought you might know a guy who has a cousin who was selling them from the back of a lost container crate. I'll have to keep an eye out for a used one from Ebay. This past week I installed Puppy Linux on an ancient Pentium II Laptop with 64 Meg Ram. Spent several days compiling OpenCPN and it works...but is so slow and unresponsive that it's not very usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
But, specs say they run on Windows CE. Searched the OpenCPN forums and found a couple of questions about compatibility with Windows CE but no answer. So has anyone run OpenCPN on CE?
Quote:
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Also to the other poster wondering about OpenCPN on Win CE, I would suggest just reformatting the netbook to Linux and forget Windows.
That's what is nice about the ASUS EEE products that b mentioned, most of them come with full strength windows which can then be wiped with an alternate OS if desired. Be careful about those CE netbooks. I was looking at them and the cheapest ones come with "Windows CE on a Chip". They may not be so easily changed to another O.S.

cas
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Old 25-05-2012, 10:31   #12
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Not quite clear why one would give up on Windows and place Linux on a formerly Windows netbook?

OpenCPN as well as plenty of goodies work perfectly well on Windows.

b.
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Old 25-05-2012, 12:16   #13
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Not quite clear why one would give up on Windows and place Linux on a formerly Windows netbook?

OpenCPN as well as plenty of goodies work perfectly well on Windows.

b.
Agree. Especially if you dedicate a netbook and don't install lots of extraneous programs, games and such and keep it off line.
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Old 25-05-2012, 12:31   #14
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Not quite clear why one would give up on Windows and place Linux on a formerly Windows netbook?

OpenCPN as well as plenty of goodies work perfectly well on Windows.

b.

Because the netbooks under discussion run "Windows CE" which is a variant of windows designed for embedded devices (such as phones, netbooks, etc), sort of a "Windows Lite". Something that works on "regular" windows might not work in a Win CE environment. One of Eric's questions was inquiring about user experience with Windows CE as his reading has apparently turned up some potential problems.

I, personally, have not tried OpenCPN with Win CE. The only reason I tried linux on my old pentium labtop is because it was running Windows 98 and was not powerful enough to run a more modern version of windows. The Puppy linux I mentioned is a customized version of the Linux kernel for older machines with small amounts of memory. So I had hopes it might be usable for OpenCPN. But it turned out to be too slow.

But the best reason of all...maintaining freedom of choice in your O.S.

cas
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Old 25-05-2012, 12:32   #15
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Re: Navigation Devices?

Alix 3D3- CPU: 500 MHz AMD Geode LX800 , x86 compatible , power consuption below 5W . Runs directly from a house battery. The price with a case below $150.
Runs OpenCPN under Linux.
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