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Old 08-03-2015, 15:06   #16
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by Popeye70 View Post
What about the new Raspberry Pi 2? Microsoft has confirmed that they will release a version of Windows 10 for this platform. It has HDMI and 4 USB ports for sensors etc (temp/hum, GPS, 4G dongle, camera).


--
Sent from the restaurant at the end of the universe, probably using a PC, an iPhone or an iPad.
That may be an alternative once this is out in the market. But currently its not.

Problem with going headless is the same, so better attach to a monitor
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Old 08-03-2015, 17:23   #17
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

Rabbi, I went to the site and the review of this windows stick. I think you are onto something and I would like to ask if you would post a video or at least a set of pictures of all the pieces working together on a boat when you are ready. I understand your concept, but it is difficult to follow all the pieces of what it will look like and function just by this description.

Push forward on this as it looks like you are the pointy end of the proverbial spear on your concept.
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Old 08-03-2015, 17:44   #18
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

As mentioned I returned the stick. This particular stick runs too hot, but I think this is the start of a new development. Just look how many small android sticks and devices have popped up recently. It's just a matter of a few months
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:18   #19
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

If you're interested in a Windows tablet, this thread is a good start:

Recommend a Windows tablet for OpenCPN

It also has several links to other threads that discuss Windows tablets.

Also, the User Manual has a number of suggestions for configuring Winodows tablets for OpenCPN:

Touch Screens and Tablets | Official OpenCPN Homepage
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Old 08-03-2015, 18:50   #20
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

Rhythm and Rabbi, I went to the link that you provided for open cpn. As I read, I was saying in my head "workaround" and "complex" Possibly due to the type of sailing that I do, I am often in inclement conditions and I need a bulletproof simple system. I would be concerned about some line of code breaking at inopportune times.

What I find with my ios based applications is that the hardware in ios is durable, but the software is not yet in its time. For example, I use iNavX. I like the software, but it is not an intuitive and easy to get around program. Others use the word klunky. I think that the company that my $39 bucks went to along with X Traverse is a small company that is trying, but is not in prime time yet. So I need a simple and problem free system.

What I sense with Rabbi is that he wants to stretch it even further to his additional data points including his dept gauge, speed, radar, ais etc. At this time, I wish him well but it will not as well be ready for the common person to use problem free. He will be fixing stuff all the time. Like me at my house. Always fixing the audaciousness of technology at inopportune times.
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Old 08-03-2015, 19:04   #21
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by Swammy View Post
Rhythm and Rabbi, I went to the link that you provided for open cpn. As I read, I was saying in my head "workaround" and "complex"
Not sure what you're referring to. The instructions were mostly focused on getting an internal GPS to work. If you don't have that, then you just install OpenCPN and run it like on any other PC. There really are no workarounds that are absolutely required. As with any hardware, there are tweaks that you can do to fully optimize it with your specific setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swammy View Post
What I sense with Rabbi is that he wants to stretch it even further to his additional data points including his dept gauge, speed, radar, ais etc. At this time, I wish him well but it will not as well be ready for the common person to use problem free. He will be fixing stuff all the time.
I've had GPS and AIS going in wirelessly for four years without a single failure. I'm adding compass, depth, and DSC this year and expect similar reliability. Yes, it takes some effort to set up initially, but after that I've found it to be completely reliable. I agree with you that it is up to the installer/user whether he wants to "climb the learning curve" to set it up.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:36   #22
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by Swammy View Post
Rhythm and Rabbi, I went to the link that you provided for open cpn. As I read, I was saying in my head "workaround" and "complex" Possibly due to the type of sailing that I do, I am often in inclement conditions and I need a bulletproof simple system. I would be concerned about some line of code breaking at inopportune times.
I share your concerns.
If you follow the thread from the top you will see it is not my intention to follow this install guide for the same reasons, plus it simply can't do the windows things that i need.
I was looking for experience with a particular windows mini computer. I want to keep it straight and simple. Opencpn on windows is simple and fully stable. I had it running on a fixed installation touch-pc with AiS and all instrument data on my last boat. Not a single issue in 2 years.

Simplicity and lower risk of failure are also the reasons why I abandoned the idea of a mini pc without a dedicated monitor. Without the monitor there is always the risk of being unable to access via VNC or remote desktop.

The tablet I will use instead has an even lower power consumption than the stick, runs way cooler and has a (broken but fully usable) screen. Primary way of accessing it will still be the android tablet via VNC or remote desktop but if this fails there is still a screen in the tablet.

Btw: i restored the tablet to the factory settings, the result: a fresh win8.1 installation with all required drivers and not a single pre-installed app except MS Office. No bloatware, no chinese something, nothing. Just a plain win8.1.
Trekstor is a considered a cheapo brand here but they did a nice job with this tablet.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:23   #23
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
The tablet I use is a Trekstor Wintron 10.1, has 2GB Ram and a 32GB SSD HDD. It has two nice features: a dedicated 9V charge connector and a full sized USB port. No messing around with fragile micro USB plugs.
Power consumption is 0.5W idle and 4W at full throttle (screen off, battery fully charged). This is again measured at the mains side of the power plug.
I have to revise the power consumption, my power meter played tricks on me (OK my fault: RTFM).
The tablet consumes 1.1W in idle mode and 4W at full throttle with the screen turned off. With the screen at full brightness it consumes 5W idle and 8.5W maximum power.
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Old 10-03-2015, 13:47   #24
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
I have to revise the power consumption, my power meter played tricks on me (OK my fault: RTFM).
The tablet consumes 1.1W in idle mode and 4W at full throttle with the screen turned off. With the screen at full brightness it consumes 5W idle and 8.5W maximum power.
Here are some other tablet/netbook power readings that you may want to use for benchmarking:

OCPN for Android Proof of Concept and Teaser....

Note that the Miix2 8" tablet maxes out at 3W, even with screen at full brightness.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:57   #25
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
Note that the Miix2 8" tablet maxes out at 3W, even with screen at full brightness.
Could it be that these measurements are a bit off? There are too many 3.0w readings for my taste.
For example there must be a diff between low and full brightness. The diff between screen off and screen on full brightness is around 4W on the Trektsore windows tablet.


My guess is that you are not using the original charger and / or cable. Some charger / cable combinations are specially coded for certain devices. Typically a resistor between otherwised unused pins. Without these special cables the tablet takes around 500mA @ 5V to be in-line with maximum allowed for standard USB ports. Which could result in your 3W readings.
While running above these 3W the tablet silently sips some energy from the battery (even though it may still indicate it is charging!).

The same thing happens with my Asus Memopad (Android) on a standard USB cable. It uses more power than available from the standard USB cable, so it slowly runs down the battery. Charging also takes longer than on the original charger / cable combo.



BTW: I assume the MIIX is capable of connected standby? In that case in sleep mode all normal desktop apps are stopped, that is OpenCPN will not run in the background (only special apps like mail or calendar can wake the tablet). It cannot ring the bell in case an AIS target comes too close.

For that to work you have to switch off connected standby in the regedit:
change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Power\CSEnabled to 0

This will turn off the CS feature and at the same time re-enable the normal power settings you may know from older Windows versions (time to turn off screen, hdd, etc).


I will be at the boat in two or three weeks, and will check the power consumption at the battery monitor.
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Old 14-03-2015, 10:26   #26
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
Could it be that these measurements are a bit off? There are too many 3.0w readings for my taste.
For example there must be a diff between low and full brightness. The diff between screen off and screen on full brightness is around 4W on the Trektsore windows tablet.


My guess is that you are not using the original charger and / or cable. Some charger / cable combinations are specially coded for certain devices. Typically a resistor between otherwised unused pins. Without these special cables the tablet takes around 500mA @ 5V to be in-line with maximum allowed for standard USB ports. Which could result in your 3W readings.
While running above these 3W the tablet silently sips some energy from the battery (even though it may still indicate it is charging!)..
That's a good catch! I'm familiar with the fact that USB maxes out at 500mA@5v, and that high-speed charging cables shunt the data pins together to "tell" the device to charge at a faster rate.

I re-ran my test with a shunted fast-charge cable, and I did get higher power draw. With backlight at full brightness, it drew 5-6 watts. With adaptive brightness indoors (medium-low backlight) it drew about 4 watts. All of these were done with OpenCPN running a VDR recording in course-up mode, to test the effect of the frequent screen redraws. The test was also done with an Apple iPad charging cube, which is what I used before (but probably should not have - see next paragraph).

I then pulled out a typical USB data cable and plugged that into the charger, and power topped out at 3W, just like before. So the Miix2 does have a power regulator that senses what type of cable is attached. Interestingly, I then went to the shipping box and pulled out the USB cable that comes with the Miix2. (I have so many USB cables around that I don't usually bother to unwrap the USB cables that come with new tablets.) I tried that cable, and power also maxed out at 3W. So Lenovo supplies a standard data cable. Then I took out the Lenovo charger cube and used that instead of the Apple cube, power draw went back up to the same values I saw with the shunted cable. So Lenovo puts their shunt into the power cube to allow higher power draw using a normal data cable.

Obviously I am going to have to be more careful with what combinations of chargers and cables I use going forward. Some of my cables have shunts (and most don't), some of my power adapters have shunts (and some don't). The danger lies in using a cable and adapter, both with shunts, as two shunts in parallel could lead to a lower resistance that confuses the tablets' power regulation and damages the battery.

Ugh - my brain hurts!
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Old 14-03-2015, 12:03   #27
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

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Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
Obviously I am going to have to be more careful with what combinations of chargers and cables I use going forward. Some of my cables have shunts (and most don't), some of my power adapters have shunts (and some don't). The danger lies in using a cable and adapter, both with shunts, as two shunts in parallel could lead to a lower resistance that confuses the tablets' power regulation and damages the battery.

Ugh - my brain hurts!
I know...
It took me 2 days of trying every possible combination of every USB cable I could find at home (maybe 20+) to get my tablet to charge while in use with no luck. Weeks later I found the cable on the boat

I have started putting little sticky labels on the power adapters and cables as soon as they arrive.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:29   #28
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Re: OpenCPN on windows stick with android tablet

I always wanted to provide some feedback how my ideas actually worked out this summer. As already mentioned I did not choose the "windows on a stick" approach but used a windows tablet.

My onboard PC:
I used the windows 8.1 tablet that I mentioned earlier, a Trekstor Wintron 10.1. It has a 10" screen, full size USB, a dedicated charge cable, 3G wireless data, bluetooth, WIFI.
The tablet has been fixed to the panel at the navstation using velcro.
I bought a small step-down converter on ebay to get an efficient 9V power source for the tablet. The converter consumes around 0.3A @ 12.x Volt when the tablet is running OpenCPN (screen off, Wifi and 3G on, passive USB hub with raymarine & NMEA interfaces connected, and an external HDD in sleep mode). That increases by about 0.2-0.4A @ 12.x V when the screen is on depending on brightness.

My boat's electronics:
  • Raymarine ST60 instruments
  • Raymarine C80 classic chartplotter
  • OceanSat AIS transponder
  • Lowrance Link2 DSC VHF

How is it all wired up?
The AIS transponder has a NMEA input connected to the VHF's output. The transponder muxes the DSC information provided by the VHF into its own AIS datastream.
The Oceansat AIS sends its NMEA data (AIS and DSC) via serial port to the raymarine chartplotter.

The Oceansat also has a USB connector so that AIS & DSC data is available on the PC, too.
The raymarine instruments can't be directly connected, so I bought a seatalk<=>NMEA PC interface. The only problem I had was the mouse pointer moved like crazy, but thats a known problem for many serial connections. Resolution here

Software & config:
Setting up OpenCPN was easy. I only needed to configure the filter to remove duplicate position data (available on AIS datastream and on the raymarine datastream).
Of course I also installed the software to connect to the Inmarsat ISatphone and download emails & GRIB files via OnsatMail (free account with my inmarsat SIM). Used it a couple of times when outside cell coverage.


Result:
OpenCPN shows position, heading, bearing, all instrument data, AIS targets and (hopefully but untried) DSC distress calls.



All of this has not been complex. The connections betweend VHF, AIS and chartplotter were in place before so all I added was just the Raymarine connection.
The tablet has been running without any issues for our 3 month summer cruise. I keep the tablet running 24/7 but switch instruments and AIS on / off as required.

Why the tablet is on 24/7? Because it has many additional jobs now...

Add ons
  • Added an external harddrive with all our music and movies. No noticeable power consumption if the hdd is sleeping, but of course it adds a bit when its in use.
  • I connected the tablet's headphone jack to the stereo so we can listen to all our music.
  • The tablet is now also a WifI hotspot and all mobile devices onboard can share the tablet's 3G wireless data connection (a 20GB prepaid data SIM in italy was just 25 Euro).
  • I installed ServiIO DLNA streaming server. All mobile devices can now access the music and movies on the tablet's HDD via WiFi.
  • OpenCPN (on the windows tablet) now acts as NMEA server so mobile devices connected to the WiFi can read all the NMEA data. This allows another instance of OpenCpn (on my Android tablet) to not only see all instrument data but also AIS targets. This works like a charm but somehow we found that we simply don't use it with the windows tablet at the nav station and the chartplotter at the helm

Planned improvements
  • Any old smartphone should be able to use the NMEA data from the windows tablet and serve as a dedicated NMEA instrument (e.g. wind instrument in the slepping area on long passages). I haven't tried this yet so if anyone knows of NMEA display apps for android, let me know.
  • Radar (maybe next season)
  • Install NavMonPC for better instrument data charts
  • Autopilot control from openCPN (just needs configuring but I don't need it as the chartplotter has this already)
  • Maybe someone will pick up the MOB feature request so a person wearing a bluetooth headset will automatically trigger a MOB alert
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