Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-12-2013, 07:54   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Boat: Beneteau Moorings 38
Posts: 74
Advice On My Hardware Choices

So I'm looking to build a system to run OpenCPN on my boat and I've been looking around at possibilities for my hardware. I'm looking to make something that will be relatively easy to install and set up (not looking to build my own computer) and something that will be as reliable as possible. I'm planning on having the computer be dedicated to only navigation and other boat stuff so there will (hopefully) be less chance to mess things up. I'm planning on running Linux, probably either Ubuntu or Xinutop, I haven't decided yet. Here's what I'm thinking so far.

Computer:
Products - T1 Fanless Eco PC - Aleutia
This is my first choice. It's a little pricey but it really seems like it's built with all the right stuff in mind (robust, low power consumption, etc). If I go this route I was wondering what configuration would be the best? Like what's the difference between the SSD mSATA? How much storage space do I realistically need? RAM? If I got the wifi, could I use it to broadcast NMEA data to other devices like an iPad? Are there other reasons wifi would be useful? How many serial ports should I get?

Monitor:
Majestic LED150U Ultra Slim LED TV
Again, first choice and a little pricey. I like it's low power consumption and that it's made with marine applications in mind (but I don't know if that means much in the real world). Like I said, I plan for this to be part of a dedicated nav system, so all the extra stuff that this thing can do would be neat, but it's not really important to me. I'd mount the monitor above the nav station on one of these: Majestic Swing Arm TV Bracket
so it could be swung out so that you could see it from the cockpit (not from the helm though).

Other stuff:
I've already got a transducer in place that has a NMEA 2000 connection (had it put in when the boat was hauled for a bottom job, anticipating this project) but from what I could tell, OCPN doesn't work with NMEA 2000, right? If I used something like this: Maretron NMEA 2000 Gateway NMEA 2000 for only $236.10 !
I should be able to use any NMEA 2000 instruments or displays and have it all tie in with my computer, right? Would it be better to use a NMEA 2000 GPS or USB or does it matter? To start off with I'm just going to try and get GPS and my transducer working, but eventually I'd like to have some weather instruments, another display of some sort in the cockpit, and maybe more.

Sorry for such a mass of questions and thanks so much for your help!
__________________

__________________
Toubab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 04:53   #2
Registered User
 
rgleason's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: 1981 Bristol 32 Sloop
Posts: 9,407
You should post a link to this post on the marine 12 volt thread. It will reach opencpn users involved in your question. Also read that thread. Much info.
__________________

__________________
rgleason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 07:26   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Port Vila, Vanuatu
Boat: Van der Stadt Samoa 48
Posts: 127
Re: Advice on my hardware choices

Are there anybody out there that have found an inexpensive waterproof touchscreen that can be used in the cockpit.
__________________
Taarnskov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 12:25   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Boat: Beneteau Moorings 38
Posts: 74
Re: Advice on my hardware choices

Could you please ask about that in this thread 12vdc Marine Computers or start a new one?
I'm trying to avoid having pages and pages of information to go through to find what I need.
__________________
Toubab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 15:24   #5
Registered User
 
jkindredpdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35'
Posts: 1,047
Images: 5
Re: Advice on my hardware choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taarnskov View Post
Are there anybody out there that have found an inexpensive waterproof touchscreen that can be used in the cockpit.
Can't say waterproof, but they use these in a pretty harsh factory environment where I currently work. LCD Touch Screen Monitor - Monoprice.com From 15" @ $165 to 22' @ $299.
__________________
http://www.sednahr35.blogspot.com/ Jim K.
jkindredpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 15:35   #6
Registered User
 
jkindredpdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35'
Posts: 1,047
Images: 5
Re: Advice on my hardware choices

Toubab: I don't know how miserly you want to be with your power, but I have an ACER Aspire One w/ 1.3Ghz That cost less than $300 a couple years ago. There's an ASUS Transformer T100 that is running $350.
__________________
http://www.sednahr35.blogspot.com/ Jim K.
jkindredpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 22:07   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Boat: Beneteau Moorings 38
Posts: 74
Re: Advice on my hardware choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
Toubab: I don't know how miserly you want to be with your power, but I have an ACER Aspire One w/ 1.3Ghz That cost less than $300 a couple years ago. There's an ASUS Transformer T100 that is running $350.
Power consumption is a very big concern for me. My boat is really power hungry right now, which I'm working on correcting, but I have a pretty small space for a house battery and no way to change that without a lot of work.

I've looked a bit at the ASUS EeeBoxes and they seem nice, but I've only been able to find one configuration with a SSD (Newegg.com - ASUS Eee Box Intel Atom 2GB DDR3 32GB SSD HDD Capacity Desktop PC Linux Ubuntu 12.04 EB1030-B003L). I don't know if 32 GB is enough but the really problem is the 40 WATT power supply!!! I'll end up spending all the money I save on diesel to run the genny!

Oh, and anything with an attached screen like a netbook isn't really going to work for me. I want to put all computer and other components away in a locker and just have the screen, keyboard, and mouse exposed.
__________________
Toubab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2013, 17:03   #8
CPO
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Soutport, NC
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 35
Posts: 32
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

This has also been posted at 12vdc Marine Computers


I’ve been searching, reading and thinking about a computer based navigation system to replace the current Raymarine chartplotter I have. I haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for in my search so far. So I decided to just list my criteria and see if anyone has a list of equipment/configuration already available. In a perfect world, I’m looking for a turnkey solution. Hopefully, someone has already invented this wheel. I’m also sure that there are others who are interested in this or a similar system.
  • Touchscreen (17 in or so) displaying chartplotter (opencpn), ais, and radar information at chart table. Radar can be left off the wish list if not feasible.
  • Weatherproof touchscreen (12in) displaying the same information at helm station. Helm station would also have separate wind, speed, depth and autohelm displays, but not integrated nor required to be addressed here.
  • Both touchscreens would be able to manipulate the displays. Connected either through Bluetooth or USB to the cpu. Both would be able to operate independent of one another (one screen displaying navigation information and the other showing a movie).
Some other information….I’m not technically expert, nor entirely clueless. I would want system compatibility, upgradeable – both hardware and software (I don’t care if its windows or unix based), powerful enough to also handle dvds and internet apps (streaming video, email, office apps, internet). I am looking for off the shelf equipment that’s plug and play and a roadmap on how to connect and configure this system.
I’ve seen similar systems described in other posts, but they have been entirely too technical for me. I don’t want to build a cpu, solder anything, take anything apart or build anything. Plug and play. Power consumption isn’t an issue. Price is….less expensive is better. Quality and reliability are required. Thanks in advance to all who respond.
__________________
CPO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 07:47   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Curacao
Boat: Peterson 44
Posts: 14
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

Toubab

Regarding power consumption, the computer is only one link in the chain. The monitor will use more power than the computer. There are also GPS, AIS, speed, wind , depth, etc, instruments. Add them all up and saving a few watts on the computer may not be worth the expense. The 40 watt rating on the ASUS computer is a maximum rating not a typical usage. I just measured the power draw on my 14 inch Lenovo E420 and it was about 1.7 amps (20 watts) sitting idle. This computer has both an SSD and a regular HDD. I would imagine a netbook computer would be less.

An SSD is the same size as a regular HDD and can be used to replace one. Buying a computer with an SSD in it is usually much more expensive than doing it yourself ( it is not difficult). You can get a 64GB SSD for about $70 and you get to keep the HDD as well. Put the HDD in a $15 USB enclosure and you can use it for extra storage.

I have Windows 7 with a few gigabytes of software on it and the operating system partition is about 24GB in size. SSD's need some free space and 32GB is more like 28GB after formatting. Go for at least a 64GB drive. For RAM 2GB is more than enough. Don't know about NMEA. The number of serial ports depends on what you want to plug in to it. You can always use serial to USB adapters.

You may want to consider a small (cheap!) netbook computer, stored safely below, and instead of a monitor use a tablet as a repeater. Using Splashtop or TeamViewer, via WiFi, you can control the main computer with the tablet. What is on the computer screen is duplicated on the tablet. The power used by a tablet will be a fraction of that of a monitor.

Also with a tablet you can get inexpensive software and charts that will work directly on the tablet. You can also play "Angry Birds" on long passages.
__________________
LewDel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 10:40   #10
Registered User
 
rgleason's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: 1981 Bristol 32 Sloop
Posts: 9,407
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

Turn the monitor off when not using. Set the Moniter timing to 5 or 10 minutes perhaps. Will make a big difference.
__________________
rgleason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 14:39   #11
Registered User
 
jkindredpdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35'
Posts: 1,047
Images: 5
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewDel View Post
Toubab

Regarding power consumption, the computer is only one link in the chain. The monitor will use more power than the computer. There are also GPS, AIS, speed, wind , depth, etc, instruments. Add them all up and saving a few watts on the computer may not be worth the expense... You can get a 64GB SSD for about $70 and you get to keep the HDD as well...

I have Windows 7 with a few gigabytes of software on it and the operating system partition is about 24GB in size. SSD's need some free space and 32GB is more like 28GB after formatting. Go for at least a 64GB drive. For RAM 2GB is more than enough. Don't know about NMEA. The number of serial ports depends on what you want to plug in to it. You can always use serial


You may want to consider a small (cheap!) netbook computer, stored safely below, and instead of a monitor use a tablet as a repeater. Using Splashtop or TeamViewer, via WiFi, you can control the main computer with the tablet. What is on the computer screen is duplicated on the tablet. The power used by a tablet will be a fraction of that of a monitor.

Also with a tablet you can get inexpensive software and charts that will work directly on the tablet. You can also play "Angry Birds" on long passages.
Agreed. I'd get much more bang for the buck by changing to LED lighting than reducing computing consumption.

I consider my $300 netbook 4-12w draw to be acceptable considering I get 300G HD, 1.4Ghz, 6G ram, several ports, and loads of functionality (including wifi, gps, bluetooth, external ssd) and it'll run 6-12 hrs on battery. When I connect the $80 saloon mounted 20" LED monitor that draws 16w, I use a Logitech wireless keyboard/touch pad. When I can afford it, a tablet will be icing on the cake For now, the netbook spends 80% of it's time in the cockpit with me.
__________________
http://www.sednahr35.blogspot.com/ Jim K.
jkindredpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2013, 12:02   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Opie91's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: CT
Boat: C&C 34
Posts: 811
Re: Advice on my hardware choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
Can't say waterproof, but they use these in a pretty harsh factory environment where I currently work. LCD Touch Screen Monitor - Monoprice.com From 15" @ $165 to 22' @ $299.
Those look like a good deal. Vesa mount and 12vdc a big plus. Wish you could get them in a 16:9 format though.
__________________
Opie91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-12-2013, 20:51   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 571
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

FYI, Office Depot has the Asus Transformer T100 (32 GB) version on sale for $330. I've run O on a MSI netbook and been very happy with it, but it's about 6 years old, needs a new battery, and has a few mechanical things that are starting to show signs of wearing out. The T100 looks to be a good successor - basically a Windows 8.1 netbook with detachable screen that works as a full fledged 10" tablet.

My biggest reluctance is screen brightness for daylight viewing, which is outstanding on the MSI. I'm going to do some more research on it before opening it, so I can return it unopened if I decided to try to get another year out of the netbook.

If any of you have experience with the T100, or running O on any Win8 tablet, please share your experience.
__________________
RhythmDoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2013, 11:28   #14
Registered User
 
jkindredpdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35'
Posts: 1,047
Images: 5
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
FYI, Office Depot has the Asus Transformer T100 (32 GB) ... basically a Windows 8.1 netbook with detachable screen that works as a full fledged 10" tablet.

If any of you have experience with the T100, or running O on any Win8 tablet, please share your experience.
I also run OCPN on my net book and love it. struggling with the same decision, so let me know if you make the jump. From reviews and stats the T100 looks like a great value with nice features... more a detachable keyboard netbook for power and performance than a tablet. My resistance is mostly due to Win8. I know the point release fixed much, but I'm hoping for a quick follow like the awesome Win 7 after Vista.
__________________
http://www.sednahr35.blogspot.com/ Jim K.
jkindredpdx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2013, 14:54   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 571
Re: Advice On My Hardware Choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
...My resistance is mostly due to Win8. I know the point release fixed much, but I'm hoping for a quick follow like the awesome Win 7 after Vista.
A year ago I bought two desktop towers (yes, we are dinosaurs!) for my wife and son to use at home. They came with Windows 8. There's no touch screen on the monitors, so we do not get any of the benefits of Metro. Since we are using exclusively PC software on it, we installed Classic Shell on both. It makes Win 8 work just fine for people who are used to Win 7 and XP. Yes, the fancy Win7 Aero transparent title bars are gone, but as far as I'm concerned they were just wasted CPU/GPU cycles (which translates to wasted battery on a tablet).

I personally haven't used their computers much, but they haven't complained at all, and they're quick to complain if something is more difficult than they're used to.

So if your concerns about Win8 are because of the Metro interface, Classic Shell is a good workaround to avoid it. I'm actually looking forward to seeing how Metro's start screen works on the tablet, since it seems it would be better for low precision finger pointing. For OpenCPN, I'll have the keyboard/touchpad to fall back on, but hoping that it's at least nominally useful without the keyboard.

Note that all of this is subject to revision once I've actually gotten the new tablet and tried it out.
__________________

__________________
RhythmDoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hardware

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:29.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.