I am using a desktop in my boat. I have a laptop
for "backup" Some of the things I have found:
o You REALLY need a UPS. You will lose power occasionally. minimize your disruptions.
o There are DC power supplies available. They tend to be lower wattage rated units, but if you have a relatively bareboned system (no, don't use 12 fans, 4 harddrives, two DVD-roms, etc) they may be adequate. You'll defintely save a little on an inverter
, and you probably won't need a UPS.
o It is REALLY nice having all the adapters readily available. I am running Raymarine equipment
and have their HSB2 to PC adapter that uses PCMCIA, but their Seatalk
adapter uses a DB9. Grrrrr... In the days of USB try finding laptops with DB9 seriel adapters.
o Instead of installing a Stereo, DVD
player and TV, I have them all going through my PC. Works great, I have a wireless Blue Tooth keyboard and mouse (Logitech diNovo) I can control volume, selection a host of things from many places on the boat.
o My laptop was in the way on my nav station. I am building the desktop into one of the cabinets, the monitor is mounted on a cabinet near the nav station and the keyboard is wireless. Viola neat nav station. Also, one does not have to worry as much about the elements, you know, spilled drinks, flying food
... We don't get much water
aboard when we are sailing, or when it is raining, so I am not certain that is a big a consideration as me spilling stuff!
o My laptop was having so many cables
attach to it, it was rapidly become not a lap top! Power cable, PCMCIA interface to HSB, Serial
cable, I was thinking of adding an external keyboard and mouse. It was getting so the laptop was no longer portable.
o Darn I hate when I spill coffee on my keyboard. My laptop's Esc and space bar keys are still sticking! See above, adding external keyboard. Having the laptop out just makes it a target for water
and misc. food!!
o I installed a wireless adapter in the boat. it means when we are sitting someplace calm, I can take the laptop and use it as, well, a laptop. Great when we are connected to shore power
. I am typing this in the cockpit
now! Still have to worry about spilling my "Wild Betty" on it though.
o Power consumption
is definately greater!!! But, I just turn the stuff off that I am not using when I don't have the power! What a unique idea!
o My laptop is rated at 75 watts, the desktop uses 180 watts when I am playing the stereo. I don't have my finale monitor yet, so I can't give figures on it yet.
o I get to pick my configuration. I build my on desktops, so I picked just what I wanted in it. That means I use it for pretty much everything I am accostomed.
Well time to go refill my drink, Good luck.