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Old 11-02-2012, 19:54   #16
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Re: Best Computer Configuration for Optimal Use of Open CPN

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Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
I've made a search on the forum to see what will be the best computer configuration for an optimal use of OpenCpn.
Do you intend to take 1 or 2 hour daysails?
Do you intend to sail 8 hours or longer continuously?

If the former, any laptop will do. If you are going long distances, then your power options are critical. Laptops can be very lean while on battery, but many won't go longer than 2 hours. Most importantly, you don't want to have even a back up plotter run out of battery power on a long trip.

Inverters to your laptop can pose problems. While there are power options available in Windows, many laptops think that when they are plugged in, it's full power, not a boats battery. So the laptop runs very bright, and all cores run at high speed, much more CPU power than OpenCPN requires.

So the "optimal" solution in my opinion is a computer that can run directly on 12V, actually with flexibility up to 14V. There are "carputers" and some dedicated desktops that may be able to accept this, though I haven't tested it myself.

As others have stated, OpenCPN doesn't need much processing speed or ram. You might consider booting from an alternative hard drive, because the motion of a boat could cause a drive crash. SSD drives, or even USB thumb drives can boot laptops and would be able to store all your maps and even some other apps. Quiter, less power draw, and no drive heads crashing into the platters as your bow crashes through a wave. Then again, these devices, and the computer itself, are still susceptible to voltage spikes.
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Old 11-02-2012, 21:59   #17
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Re: Best Computer Configuration for Optimal Use of Open CPN

that's right. Good point Dave777... OPCN runs great portably from a usb stick or an SD card in her new 2.6Beta fashions....also, via PuppyLinux where she lives totally on your computer ram chips, so if your hdd does crash, why not have these too. I've yet to check for diff in power consumption but less moving parts.....I'm thinking though that "standby" mode might be a problem running on a usb stick through usbwakeup troubles that are common but I haven't given it a proper test yet....
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:10   #18
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Re: Best Computer Configuration for Optimal Use of Open CPN

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Originally Posted by HappySeagull View Post
that's right. Good point Dave777... OPCN runs great portably from a usb stick or an SD card in her new 2.6Beta fashions....also, via PuppyLinux where she lives totally on your computer ram chips, so if your hdd does crash, why not have these too. I've yet to check for diff in power consumption but less moving parts.....I'm thinking though that "standby" mode might be a problem running on a usb stick through usbwakeup troubles that are common but I haven't given it a proper test yet....
When I ran it on my netbook with 6 hr battery life tested, the major power draw was the bluetooth gps dongle. Connecting it to a 12V dc power supply and building a gps bus with a USB connection to the laptop with the garmin as the talker (12v DC connected) is probably the least power intensive mode when run out of RAM. Have not tested the RAM part on the putter as I toasted the keyboard......they dont like coffee in the morning as I do....


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Old 12-02-2012, 12:39   #19
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Re: Best Computer Configuration for Optimal Use of Open CPN

yet another good report per Netbooks - It's their little processor and small screen and a voltage requirement near to 12 volt. Sure saves a lot of power. I have to use an adapter for a dell420 -waste there.It's a small computer but it's processor is more powerful and gets wasteful/warm, beyond what's needed.

WLAN eats a little too. and I mostly remember to turn the WLAN off on the boat. ..I think we are more sensitive up here where nights are so long and days are too dark for solar.
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