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Old 18-05-2011, 19:39   #16
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

Sorry to hear that. How bad? Just cosmetic or is the screen itself damaged?

Mine looks slightly used but function is perfect.

Please do post if your search is succesful. I spent many hours on the net looking for a daylight monitor. Tried computer forums, boating forums, RV forums, audio/video forums, eBay. For anything new the cheapest, half decent quality screen I found was many hundreds for the smallest, over a thousand for one smaller than a laptop screen.
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Old 19-05-2011, 17:48   #17
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

The VDL02 I received had fatal flaws...deep scratches on the screen that were supposed to be on the screen protector, but it turned out that there was no screen protector installed.

Anyhow, before returning this monitor to the seller for refund, I did test it with the VGA output from a laptop and from a netbook...

The Panasonic display seemed to have limited color range and limited contrast...maybe just because it was a surplussed unit from a cop car with thousands of hours of use.

But, looking at the VDL02 specs, I see that color depth is only rated at 256K, which is pretty anemic by today's LED specs...

So, before I begin a new pursuit for one of these monitors in better condition, I have to ask if people are satisfied with display and color depth on these...

The Panasonic specs on these units are often in error...they specify video input to be RGB, when in fact it is conventional VGA, just as an example.

Any real experience would be helpful...
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Old 19-05-2011, 20:25   #18
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

Guess I got lucky. The screen I got from eBay was in very good condition, no scratches on the screen or dead pixels that I have noticed. Even the case was reasonable.

I haven't set it up on the boat yet as I am in the middle of a major refit but I did hook it up to a 12V battery and a 15' VGA extension cord from my home laptop. Open CPN installed with NOAA raster charts and a hockey puck GPS antennae.

The screen was bright, clear and totally visible even in direct sunlight with the screen angled directly into the sun. With the sun behind or to the side of the screen it was even better.

I don't see a problem if the screen only supports 256K colors since I'm not using it to display graphics, just a enough colors on a chart to tell land from water and distinguish the various aids and such. Maybe my standards are a bit low since I'm comparing this screen to previous tests with a standard laptop (visible not at all on deck even on a cloudy day) and another, supposedly daylight viewable screen that was almost visible under the dodger.

Not sure how well it would show the color, brightness and resolution but will be happy to try a photo if you want a look at how mine looks.
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Old 03-06-2011, 16:45   #19
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

I was wondering the other day having seen an advert for the Kindle E-book reader from Amazon, would it be possible to use one of these for a chart plotter display? They say it is viewable in sunlight and I imagine it must have a USB or Ethernet socket to load the E-books so could it be done? Don't know what software it uses, maybe Android, and it's only monochrome but how lovely if it could be made to work. Has anyone got one and can give it a try? There's no way I'm going to buy one on the off chance as the whole idea of an E-book leaves me cold.
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Old 03-06-2011, 17:20   #20
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

I have not found any inexpensive bright non-waterproof monitors either. 1000 nits is nice. The ones I have now are flush mounted 250 nit units which get washed out in bright light. Is there a way to dim the Panasonic Toughbook screen for night use?
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Old 03-06-2011, 19:44   #21
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

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I have not found any inexpensive bright non-waterproof monitors either. 1000 nits is nice. The ones I have now are flush mounted 250 nit units which get washed out in bright light. Is there a way to dim the Panasonic Toughbook screen for night use?
Yes, there is a dial on the bottom of the screen. Very easy.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:11   #22
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

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Originally Posted by tonyappuk View Post
I was wondering the other day having seen an advert for the Kindle E-book reader from Amazon, would it be possible to use one of these for a chart plotter display? They say it is viewable in sunlight and I imagine it must have a USB or Ethernet socket to load the E-books so could it be done? Don't know what software it uses, maybe Android, and it's only monochrome but how lovely if it could be made to work. Has anyone got one and can give it a try? There's no way I'm going to buy one on the off chance as the whole idea of an E-book leaves me cold.
Tony
Its possible but would need a lot of work building and integrating the needed libraries. It run a on a linux variant. Not sure how you would get a GPS signal into the unit nor how to store the charts as they are not in a ereader format. Theoretically it can be done. Would take a couple of months however to get it right.

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Old 04-06-2011, 12:39   #23
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

Sailias
I was not thinking of trying to load opencpn on it, merely to use it as a display. If I had one I would take it to bits and see what the input arrangements to the screen are but I don't want to gamble 110 on one.
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Old 04-06-2011, 15:49   #24
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

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Originally Posted by tonyappuk View Post
I was wondering the other day having seen an advert for the Kindle E-book reader from Amazon, would it be possible to use one of these for a chart plotter display? They say it is viewable in sunlight and I imagine it must have a USB or Ethernet socket to load the E-books so could it be done? Don't know what software it uses, maybe Android, and it's only monochrome but how lovely if it could be made to work. Has anyone got one and can give it a try? There's no way I'm going to buy one on the off chance as the whole idea of an E-book leaves me cold.
Tony
Kindle downloads ebooks via a cellular phone connection. It's built in to the Kindle and Amazon pays for the connection. There's no USB port.

The Kindle display is easily viewable in direct sunlight. You might take a look at the Barnes and Noble Nook. They have a color model. If it uses the same display technology there might be a possibility there. I don't know what the Nook uses for downloading books, so I don't know if there are any ports that are accessible.

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Old 05-06-2011, 07:48   #25
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

The Barnes and Noble Nook has a USB connection for power and loading books. I haven't used the USB connection for anything but power yet so I can't personally verify how it works.

The good news is that the Nook has been hacked so it should be possible to get it to do almost anything.

Pixel Qi has daylight readable displays that can replace the one in a netbook or laptop. About 250 USB. Some assembly required.

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Old 05-06-2011, 07:55   #26
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

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Kindle downloads ebooks via a cellular phone connection. It's built in to the Kindle and Amazon pays for the connection. There's no USB port.
I was mistaken about the USB port. I checked with a friend who has a Kindle and learned there is a USB port.

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Old 05-06-2011, 08:30   #27
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

Karl, you should be aware that high-brightness monitors DIM AS THEY AGE. Which is one reason why they get dumped on eBay, and probably one reason why you were disappointed.

Bottom line, they may have a 5-year useful life. If there's a conventional fluorescent backlit in them, you may be able to have it replaced to regain brightness. Everything, even LEDs, dims as it ages.

Daylight readable thousand-nit displays? AFAIK there's no reliable cheap source for them. Not even in cell-phone sized displays, really. The waterproof status will just be icing on the cake, most of the daylight-readable stuff is designed for utility linemen and others who have to be out even in the wet, so the equipment often is "outdoor resistant".

The stuff that's daylight-readable AND affordable, is usually limited to a very slow refresh rate, so you see it in some chartplotters, ebook readers...but that technology can't refresh a screen quickly enough for general computer monitor purposes. Yet.
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Old 08-06-2011, 16:42   #28
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

I just tried out my "new" HP TC 1100 netbook as a pilot house plotter. This is an older slate PC with detachable full keyboard. I mounted it to the overhead with a piece of lexan and hinge so it can be removed easily/ hinge up and out of the way when not using. There are special latches on the slate (monitor) for the keyboard that are readily adapted for the mounting. The units sell on ebay for $120 to $180 for the faster CPU's. Mine is a 9oo MH with 528 MB mem but you can upgrade to 2 GB mem. Comes with normal harddrive and the normal addons for a laptop including card reader. Benifit of going this route is that the unit makes a good all-purpose netbook rather than just a monitor.
Brightness is less than a specialized police/military rugged laptop (my main unit down below is an Itronix) but in bright sunlight last weekend on my 38ft ketch it was easy to read albeit with my reading glasses! Screen size is 10 inch. I found it impossible to find a cheap but small monitor - there is no way I could use a standard smallest retail monito in my pilot house (hard dodger), and I couldn't see taking the risk of damage likely on a sailboat of a new PC or monitor.
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Old 08-06-2011, 17:01   #29
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Re: Need: Cheap, Daylight-Viewable Monitor

BTW: Most TFT displays meant for desktop use are running on 19V (which you could get from an inverter). But there also some models that are running on 12V ~ 13V so no inverter would be needed.

So if the Monitor does not has to be waterproofed it's a cheap alternative.
But there is one point you should take care of: The monitors have almost no magnetic shielding. So do not place them close to the compass ...!

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Old 08-06-2011, 17:59   #30
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Re: Need Cheap, Daylight-Viewable monitor...

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Originally Posted by dacust View Post
A daylight viewable is defined different by different manufacturers, but most put it at about 1000 NITs. The Samsung you link to has 250 NITs. Doesn't qualify as daylight viewable.

FYI: Sunlight viewable is usually defined as 1500-1800.

-dan
Thanks for that useful information. I had not equated NITS with cd/m2 measures. So you have given me something to look for in the future.

I see another source lists daylight viewable as >1000, and viewable in shade as 500. I.e. broad agreement, with 'more the merrier' often applying.
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