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Old 27-12-2012, 09:14   #1
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TOUGHBOOK CF 18 FOR NAVIGATION

Has anyone used the Panasonic Toughbook CF 18 as backup for a chart plotter? Any experiences or advice?
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:45   #2
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Re: TOUGHBOOK CF 18 FOR NAVIGATION

Toughbooks used to be the thing on boats, in battles and on construction sites. I don't know if they are anymore, as the computing power required for programs like OpenCPN is actually quite modest, as is the storage required for charts. I would suggest either checking out netbooks (which are $200-$700 but are versatile enough, particularly in the "removable tablet half" form factor, that I would suggest that you could do back ups to thumb drives you keep in a baggie with dessicant, and you could buy more than one, ghost its contents, or have a USB back up drive aboard. It depends on your storage space and whether you want to take the netbook on deck (I wouldn't except in dry, light weather; I would have a small flatscreen on an armature so I could bungie a display in the companionway on a 29 footer and thus have an active view of my progress as needed).

There are many techniques to making any laptop more corrosion- and water-proof, along with common sense tactics, including perhaps making a SSD pico-ITX unit (you may need Google here!) and burying it in a cool cabinet, with only gold-plated connectors visible.

Now, if you are getting a Toughbook for peanuts, sure, but they command a premium for ruggedness that, with a bit of planning, is not necessarily required for a nav PC.
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:59   #3
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Re: TOUGHBOOK CF 18 FOR NAVIGATION

CF18s are cheap cheap nowadays and still just as tough in the case.
There was a very pretty one on U.S. fleabay a week or so back loaded with all charts, hi power gps, wifi etc, been re-coed. It was a boaties machine.

A base CF18 is cheap and parts are readily available. I am on the lookout for one now as I had another laptop die last week.

As long as it is dedicated more to charts and not a music and movie collection machine too I think all will be good.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:00   #4
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My tough book hardly saw service. Computing power was fine especially after turning off tons of backround windows stuff. Even with all the water proof stuff the USB port fell apart. For the Money an iPad is better or ssd cheap laptop.
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