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Old 01-10-2016, 13:20   #1
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MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Im looking at doing an openCPN system and was wondering if the MintBox Mini would work or if its going to be underpowered. I like that it could run on 12v easily, fanless, comes configured with Linux, etc.
Here are the specs.
A4-6400 Proc, 4gb ram, 64gb ssd

They released a new version which ups the specs a bit, and I could wait for it.
A10-6700 Proc, 8gb ram, R6 video, 128gb ssd

My plan is to use this as my primary nav unit with a dell touchscreen display and then use the systems already on the boat as secondary.

Thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2016, 13:29   #2
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

42Krogen...
Both are more than powerful enough. The new one is, well, newer and faster. In my opinion both are also too expensive, but you a) save the time installing and configuring Mint on them and b) support it's further development, which is definitely not bad.

Pavel
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:02   #3
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by nohal View Post
42Krogen...
Both are more than powerful enough. The new one is, well, newer and faster. In my opinion both are also too expensive, but you a) save the time installing and configuring Mint on them and b) support it's further development, which is definitely not bad.

Pavel
Thanks, for me it's the simplicity and time savings plus that case has a nice aftermarket heat sync, easy to run as 12v etc.
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:28   #4
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Pricey.

Not IP rated.

Touch screens / Linux Mint ?+-

Pros: unregulated 12V supply.

One salt water drip will wipe out your navs and make you USD 300 lighter.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 01-10-2016, 14:39   #5
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

...and it sure is cute.

Dave
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Old 01-10-2016, 15:21   #6
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Pricey.

Not IP rated.

Touch screens / Linux Mint ?+-

Pros: unregulated 12V supply.

One salt water drip will wipe out your navs and make you USD 300 lighter.

Cheers,
b.
That's a little extreme, phones, tv, etc aren't ip rated either and I'd be in serious trouble if it got submerged...

Happy to take suggestions on a better box, and in fairness I was going to buy the barebones case from them and install my own os so it doesn't have to be mint, many distros are fine with touch screens (I don't know if mint is or not)

AC
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Old 01-10-2016, 18:13   #7
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post

That's a little extreme, phones, tv, etc aren't ip rated either and I'd be in serious trouble if it got submerged...

Happy to take suggestions on a better box, and in fairness I was going to buy the barebones case from them and install my own os so it doesn't have to be mint, many distros are fine with touch screens (I don't know if mint is or not)

AC
But a Garmin 72 (a very basic gps unit worth some USD100 or thereabouts) is IPX7 rated. And so is a Vesper AIS wireless combo. And an SH2150 radio. And so is ... nearly every piece of quality marine electronic equipment.

Why do you think marine equipment makers are so stupid to waterproof their hardware? Waterproofing is extra cost after all.

You do not have to be submerged. All it takes is a leak traveling along your VHF coax. Pssssssst ... and the rest is silence.

I can only speak from my own experience: sailing small boats and crewing/driving on the big ones: LEAKS, DRIPS AND SMALL ACCIDENTS (coffee spills) abound.

If you are building nav systems for BOATS, build around waterproof, or waterproofed, components.

b.
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Old 01-10-2016, 18:31   #8
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Very fair,
But to be clear I'll have a GPS chart plotter, radar, radio with AIS, AIS transceiver, paper charts, iPad with navtronics, and some handheld stuff as a backup. And the computer will be mounted in the pilot house of a pretty decent size boat.

I'm all ears if you know of any waterproofed smaller computers that aren't a laptop, or are you suggesting against opencpn?
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Old 01-10-2016, 18:41   #9
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
Very fair,
But to be clear I'll have a GPS chart plotter, radar, radio with AIS, AIS transceiver, paper charts, iPad with navtronics, and some handheld stuff as a backup. And the computer will be mounted in the pilot house of a pretty decent size boat.

I'm all ears if you know of any waterproofed smaller computers that aren't a laptop, or are you suggesting against opencpn?
What does OpenCpn and waterproofing have in common?

Xperia Z3?

Out at sea nothing is decent sized. It is an illusion.

b.
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Old 01-10-2016, 18:56   #10
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Sorry I'm still confused about what your point is.
Yes I agree it *could* get wet and of course anything can happen but mounted under the dash 6feet from any window with drip stoppers on every cable it seems like I have other far more likely things to go wrong, such as the drivetrain, autopilot pump, etc.
Agree the Sony is a step forward if waterproof is your primary concern, although it failed many home tests so nothing is perfect.

Let me know if you have a specific point of piece of advice as I genuinely want to learn from the experience of this group, otherwise I'll leave the theoretical worrying to you and replace an iPad, phone or even mintbox if and when I must.
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Old 01-10-2016, 20:43   #11
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Kroger

I am looked at a PC for backup nav.

Can you help me understand why you chose that platform over a Raspberry Pi?

Pi's are 1/3 the price and appear to have enough processor to support Opencpn, a browser, etc.

Thanks


Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 02-10-2016, 00:34   #12
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

The opengl graphics driver state on RPi is still in flux, so you can't yet use it seriously for opencpn.


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Old 02-10-2016, 07:07   #13
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Hi,
In addition to Rpi being not fully baked I plan on using this as my primary nav with two backups. By primary I mean this will be my setup for course routing and loading into the autopilot. (I'm also considering running plex on it for media)

If you are looking for a backup system and can do the course loading yourself then I'd suggest an iPad app (navtronics is the one we use) with a Bluetooth GPS.
I know there are a few hacks to have the iPad then talk nmea but I haven't looked into it.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:28   #14
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Krogen View Post
Sorry I'm still confused about what your point is.
Yes I agree it *could* get wet and of course anything can happen but mounted under the dash 6feet from any window with drip stoppers on every cable it seems like I have other far more likely things to go wrong, such as the drivetrain, autopilot pump, etc.
Agree the Sony is a step forward if waterproof is your primary concern, although it failed many home tests so nothing is perfect.

Let me know if you have a specific point of piece of advice as I genuinely want to learn from the experience of this group, otherwise I'll leave the theoretical worrying to you and replace an iPad, phone or even mintbox if and when I must.
Boss,

I am not making a point.

I am trying to shoot cupid arrows poisoned with mixture of doubt, indecision and know-how.

Look: you have mentioned a Dell touch screen.
Q1: Does Dell offer drivers for Linux (Mint)?
Q2: Do the drivers include touch capability?

Supported Operating Systems​

Browse the net for Linux and touch screens discussions. I have noticed some amount of frustration at some user forums.

The box: Make sure your Linux skills are up to the task. I have found many Windows / Mac users completely puzzled with setting up / updating and maintaining Linux distributions. No problem though, if you are a Linux man.

Think about the alternatives: for way less money you can plug a stick computer into any hdmi screen possibly getting all you want from such a system.

If you are planning on a touch monitor to be powered via the USB, make sure the box specifications provide enough power via their USB port. Otherwise all benefit of unregulated supply on the box is lost.

And are you sure you do want a touch screen for a nav application. My touch experience with nav apps has been negative this far. Think about boat movement at the dock vs. out at sea. Think about your hands at the dock vs. your hands when you pop inside after just having winched a sheet in the rain.

It does make a big difference.

Etc. Research.

Building boat systems and components since 2007. Started with laptop bases, moved on to netbook bases, last two we built around solid state devices netbooks and tablets. I played with Linux but fell back on Windows after some sour disappointments.

If you are a Linux 'genius' a box like this is for you. Re-think what I said about touch screens. Check all components compatibility before buying any piece.

Big hug,
b.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:54   #15
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Re: MintBox Mini and OpenCPN

Quote:
Originally Posted by merrimac View Post
The opengl graphics driver state on RPi is still in flux, so you can't yet use it seriously for opencpn.
Disagree,... a lot! , the Pi 3 is easily fast enough as a nav computer, not zippy fast like a modern laptop more more than enough IMHO. I've done many miles with it. And a waterproof xperia tablet in the cockpit fed from the pi, just a few years ago would have been a high end system but now drawing very little power and fast enough for what we do for not many dollars. Add the extremely powerful openplotter ontop of opencpn and you've a good system Also, switch off the monitor and the Pi power draw drops down even more, I just leave mine on all the time.
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