Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-07-2005, 08:32   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
There are two issues that annoy me with computers.
1: You can't just turn on and turn off, like a dedicated device can. You have to wait for power up, windows to load and programme to load.
2: there is always some little "talking" issue with computers and a periphial device. And it is alway's some wierd problem that only the computer geeks with the milk bottle glasses and trousers up to high, are required to fix.

I was talking to a guy from Navman last Friday. I suggested an idea to him and it seems that they are already onto it. I said how I love big LCD screens, and that apart from a few features, the major cost difference with models, is in the size of the display, of which he aggreed. So I said, why not make a black box version of your systems. Then they could each or all, be connected into an LCD monitor for the display. Just think, display can be updated if it majorly fails. Unit could be updated if it fails or due to upgrading, with a lower cost. without having to replace the expensive display.
Anyway's, it seems this idea is being developed. Just what exactly, I am not sure, but it will be interesting to see.
__________________

__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2005, 00:43   #17
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Quote:
Alan Wheeler once whispered in the wind:
only the computer geeks with the milk bottle glasses and trousers up to high, are required to fix.
Hey!! Watch it, Wheels. My glasses are only as thick as Coca~Cola bottles!

(just joking around, of course)

Your modular approach would indeed be great for marine use. I'd love to see that happen. For now, I'm stuck with the laptop since there aren't really any other solutions that will be as cost-effective.

Sean
__________________

__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2005, 02:06   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 253
Good topic yall, and a lot of usefull information. My wife and I were just making a move on bringing a computer aboard, and this helped. A question. What do yall do for internet?


Jsta_Rebel
__________________
Jsta_Rebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2005, 03:48   #19
Senior Cruiser
 
Starbuck's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 827
Lord, Jack, the thread-drift.

The horror… the horror…
__________________
s/y Elizabeth— Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." — G. K. Chesterfield
Starbuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2005, 02:15   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
new option? (contains thread drift)

I have run across some Panasonic products that might be right for the cruising application. Based around one of their ToughBook notebooks computers, Panasonic has a PDRC that is a monitor and keyboard. All are "ruggedized."
__________________
Mark W. Preston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2005, 09:20   #21
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
Panasonic PDRC Toughbook
ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/Panasoni...s/s_TBPDRC.pdf
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2005, 12:45   #22
Registered User
 
sv_makai's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Currently, cruise is over and back in Solomons MD, USA
Boat: Voyage/Maxim 380 - Makai
Posts: 543
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to sv_makai
Followup

I commented previously about adding a 12 desktop to our boat sometime in the future. We the future is here. Though laptops are convienent, inexpensive, and compact their repairabiltiy in out of the way places is tough.

Our primary computer a Dell just had the key board fail. Luckily were able to borrow a USB board to type on while trying to get a replacement. No luck so far in Venezuela, the local computer people think maybe 5-6 weeks, maybe...

Our secondary had a hard drive failure, can't get one of those either here. SHipping in from the US is expensive and there is a possibility of the stuff disappearing in the mail once in country.

There difficulty arises from the fact notebook hardware is specialized where a desk uses a frame an is more flexible in the componets that can be installed. Desktop are more prevalent outside the US making it easier to get replacement parts.

We have family coming to visit us in Bonaire in OCt and we will see if they can carry a 12 volt desktop machine in for me to install.

We will keep the notebooks but move to the desktop as the primary.
__________________
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
The hunt for the next boat begins.
http://www.sv-makai.com
sv_makai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2005, 17:09   #23
Registered User
 
Strygaldwir's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Deale, Maryland
Boat: SeaView - Privilege 37
Posts: 1,020
Images: 5
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.

Keith
__________________
Strygaldwir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2005, 19:07   #24
Registered User
 
sv_makai's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Currently, cruise is over and back in Solomons MD, USA
Boat: Voyage/Maxim 380 - Makai
Posts: 543
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to sv_makai
12 volt

The desktop machines we are looking to add are 12 volt power supplied models. Not 110 units with an inverter. The 12 models have a lower watt usage due to the effiecency of using 12 direct rather an invertor (up to 20% loss). Desk tops machines are usaully stepped down internally from 110 to 12-18 volts. This means that using an inverter gives loses in 2 directions.

Using a 12 volt machine also excludes the need for a UPS as the systems are usually powered directly from the house bank. If that goes, oh well (or oh -ell)

Be eliminating the the 110 invertor we also remove a point of failure. In fact we lost our invertor in PR and it took 8 months to get it repiared in Trinidad. The inverted 110 desktop would have left us without a primary computer.

We still will carry our laptops as we like to roam and we are adding a complete wireless network with repaters to ensure internet where avaalible. but that is another story.
__________________
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
The hunt for the next boat begins.
http://www.sv-makai.com
sv_makai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-08-2005, 02:16   #25
Registered User
 
Strygaldwir's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Deale, Maryland
Boat: SeaView - Privilege 37
Posts: 1,020
Images: 5
There are several 12volt form factor power supplies. They seem to be rated up to around 150 watts. If you don't have one of the "high" end gamer video cards and as I said, several fans and lots of NEON, VFD and such 150 watts is more than enough. As stated, they are more efficeint with less endemic system loss.

My wife said to mention how much she likes making our own DVD's and being able to do the editing. Our laptop is not a good vehicle for that application.

Cheers!

Keith
__________________
Strygaldwir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-08-2005, 13:50   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 367
Images: 11
How about these for a 12VDC replacement supply?

http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/ca...it.A/id.300/.f

I am still concerned about the additional current draw. 150 watts at 13 volts and 90% efficiency is nearly 13 amps. And this does not include the monitor. If you want to keep the PC on for a while, for charting or other uses, then those amps really add up. Is there a desktop form factor that is nearly as energy efficient as a laptop? What is the minimal desktop configuration and what is the current draw?

You could have a very basic frame with a minimal DC power supply and only a hard drive and basic video and USB interface. I would think you could get a 15" display that runs directly off of 12vdc. Any specific recomendations?

Woody
__________________
exposure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-08-2005, 14:57   #27
Registered User
 
Ryan's Avatar

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Beaufort, NC
Boat: Creekmore 40
Posts: 22
A system I installed...

I installed a PC based system into a larger vessel which works very nicely.

The PC is a 1GHz small form factor by shuttle, but any other brand would do. There is a dual output video card which drives two Elo 1566L waterproof touch screen LCDs. One of these has been outside for over a year. There is also a WiFi card with an external high gain antenna. This picks up signals in marinas much better than most laptops. For mouse/keyboard. there's a roll up type waterproof keyboard. because this computer is 100% for navigation, the keyboard is rarely used.
I think that this is an important point. Unless you are confident in your ability to fix any software issues that arise, you should never use your navigation PC for anything but navigation. Most of the onboard PC's I have to "Fix" are broken because the owners installed something new, either hardware or software, which conflicted with the computer.
For software, I installed Nobletec's Admiral w/Radar. Heading data comes from a KVH digital compass. Position data comes from dual GPS "smart" antennas. While this is certainly not a low budget system, it works very well. The radar overlay is a big help at night and in poor vis. Both monitors (one at each steering station) are set up to display the same thing, but they could be independant. Nobletec has very good support for Touch screens. The PC is installed inside with only the front accessable. If doing it again, I would put the front behind a piece of plexiglass (perspex). It's amazing where salt spray can get on a boat when it's rough. I would also put in a PC with a 12v power supply rather than depend on the inverter/shorepower/generator. On my own vessel, I have a laptop with Maptech. The laptop almost never comes out when sailing. It's just too risky. I think I prefer the built it approach.
__________________
Creekmore 40
Whale II
Ryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-08-2005, 16:34   #28
Registered User
 
sv_makai's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Currently, cruise is over and back in Solomons MD, USA
Boat: Voyage/Maxim 380 - Makai
Posts: 543
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to sv_makai
settings & power

We only use the laptop for route creation. It is then uploaded to the GPS/Chart plotter. The PC is turned back on when making land fall to review the route.

The rated power of a PC is usually with everything on. Power consumption can be reduced by setting the Hard drive to spin down after 2 minutes of use, Lower the screen lighting settings, turn off unused accessories, set the windows on non performance settings. All of these can dramtically reduce PC power consumption.

One of the machines we are looking into Xenarc MP and only has a 40 watt draw. Alot less than our current laptop.
__________________
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
The hunt for the next boat begins.
http://www.sv-makai.com
sv_makai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-08-2005, 23:55   #29
Registered User
 
Thermal's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Honolulu
Boat: S2 11.0C 36' Puka Wai
Posts: 157
Images: 1
I have been using one of these SFF (small form factor) desktops made by "Shuttle" on my boat for about a year and a half. The only I've had so far was some keys on the wireless keyboard died, but I had an identical keyboard on land that develoed the same problem. I now keep a small roll-up rubber keyboard around as a backup. I built a small shelf near my chart table and mounted the computer on it securely, and then built a new "door" for a nearby cabinet into which I mounted an 18" LCD monitor which runs straight off 12 volts through a power conditioner that takes out voltage spikes you could get from the alternator or other charging devices. Since I use this machine for work, it is packed with a power-hungry 2.4 ghz P4 processor, two large hard drives and 2gb of memory, so power consumption is horrendous, but since I usually use it with shore power, it hasn't been a problem, nor have I had any heat dissipation problems, despite living in the tropics. Cruising type applications would not need this kind of power, and there are processors available for these computers that have much lower power consumption. I've looked into 12v power supplies, but have not found any with sufficient output for my needs yet.
I now have three of these Shuttle computers (no not all on the boat) and they have been the most reliable computers I've owned. I've used laptops at work, but none of them have lasted more than a couple of years, even without the boat environment, and cost about twice as much as a desktop with the same performance.
There were several articles about using SFF desktops on a boat in one the magazines about 1-2 years ago, unfortunately, I cant remeber exactly when or which mag - I think it was Attitudes and Latitudes, but may have been Cruising World.
__________________

__________________
In theory, Practice and Theory are the same. In practice, they are not.
Thermal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
computers, desktop

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Island Packet 31 for Liveaboard / Offshore? Gray Monohull Sailboats 33 01-09-2013 07:26
Do Boats Have 'Souls' ? sail_the_stars General Sailing Forum 77 14-11-2010 15:25
is there a huge difference in price between... fujiwara takumi General Sailing Forum 10 26-08-2004 03:18
Changing the Boat's Name sjs General Sailing Forum 4 24-05-2004 08:15



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:48.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.