Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-02-2007, 05:43   #16
Registered User
 
Sunspot Baby's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Prout Manta 38' Catamaran - Sunspot Baby
Posts: 1,521
Images: 14
I ahd to repace a mother board in a Dell laptop because some water got on the keyboard. Should have fixed my deadlights earlier.

Have also had one external hard drive failure where I lost many of my photos for cruise #3.

We use the laptop as our stereo, DVD player, portable email machine, attaching to Skymate for email and weather, and chart plotter with CAPN software.

George
__________________

__________________
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
Sunspot Baby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 07:51   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Galveston
Boat: C&C 27
Posts: 724
Try Coffee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspot Baby
I ahd to repace a mother board in a Dell laptop because some water got on the keyboard. Should have fixed my deadlights earlier.

George
George,
What kind of water, salt or fresh? When someone calls to let us know they have spilled a soft drink on their laptop our hardware guys jokes that they should wash off the sugar with coffee. In any case, I had heard of people baking their electronics to dry them out. Obviously it will not work with a split motherboard but I have tried it on cell phones and my old D505 and it worked with those. Another plus for the laptop. You can't get a desktop in most ovens.

pv
__________________

__________________
Pura Vida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 14:26   #18
Registered User
 
Sunspot Baby's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Prout Manta 38' Catamaran - Sunspot Baby
Posts: 1,521
Images: 14
Fresh water dripping from deadlights. When I found it, didn't look like much but no telling how much went inside.

I pulled the battery pack and the hardrive, turned it upside down to dry. I was reluctant to dissasemble further but in retrospect had little to lose by trying. After reassembly, it worked for a couple of days before sudden terminal death.

The good news is that the Admiral regained confidence that we could navigate without chart plotter and fancy software.

George
__________________
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
Sunspot Baby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 15:38   #19
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,056
George-
There are usually other smaller batteries (one or two) inside a laptop to protect the BIOS and other settings if the main battery is dead or being swapped out. That means there is also usually some small current flowing IN the laptop, even when the main battery is pulled out. Add water, and the thing self-destructs. Even fresh water.

The trick is to disassemble, remove ALL batteries, then do a fresh water rinse (unless you're sure it was really "sweet" water that got into it, who knows what washed off the decks) followed by an alcohol (isopropanol, cheap rubbing alcohol with nothing else in it) rinse, which helps to pull out any residual moisture as it mixes with the alcohol and evaporates away faster.

Then a good 48-hour air dry in a warm place, and you reinstall the batteries and cross your fingers.

Thor Heyrdahl (sp?) mentioned in Kon-Tiki how they did this to their radio gear after their crash landing across the reefs, and the process still works as well as anything else, even on more modern gear. (A world without cable TV or Fedex all not so long ago. Wow.)
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 16:02   #20
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
To add another bit to Hellosailor's advice (good advice), you can use silica gel as well. I put my cell phone in a bag with silica gel after it gave up the ghost from a soggy dingy ride this summer.

This was an expensive unlocked Treo, so I was VERY interested in getting it back. Anyway, after doing all the Hellosailor suggested, it still wasn't quite working right. Seemed to be water in the switches. So, I bagged it up with the silica gel and after a week or so... presto... it worked again.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 16:05   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 223
Northerncat said it very well but left off three additional important factors for me.
1) The hard drive in the laptop is designed to take shock and movement without destroying the information.
2) In places where you have to use an internet cafe you can always take your laptop rather then having to use the cafe equipment. Means all your information, web sites, etc. is at hand and you reduce the security risk...some cafe pc's are setup to automatically remember form information, store cookies, etc.

Some marina's using WLAN have a weak signal and it's attenuated inside the boat. Often I must use the laptop in the cockpit.
__________________
Kapena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 16:59   #22
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
We were planning on having a huge external , portable Hard drive mounted on foam.

Not that Multi's move around that much.

I don't do Marina's

Dave
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 17:17   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 66
I don't think I'll ever buy another desktop computer...whether I'm still living on a boat or not.

Whatever you choose for a computer, I'd agree with Cat Man Do above. An external hard drive is a very important piece of equipment. I view the photos of our trip as one of the most valuable things we carry and I will not risk losing them. We carry one 120 gb drive, but since the price has gone down, I'll plan on buying two more around that same size. Then I'll ship the old one, full of photos, website backups, music, etc home for safekeeping. I'll probably do that once a year because I think it's worth it.
__________________
"I may not have an expensive watch, but I've got the time"
Margie and Drew
--Sailing and travel blog Get Lost On Purpose
getlostonpurpose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 04:28   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 223
Catmando...You can always plug your monitor into a laptop. You planning on living aboard or cruising? You don't seem worried about electrical consumption, portability, then the marina statement... leaves out shore power and WLAN. The pc maybe a good choice for you but it offers nothing a laptop doesn't have and doesn't address the issues of portability, efficiency, space and ruggedness...critical parameters for the cruiser. Even if you are a weekender taking the laptop home to work on charts, update software from the web, plan routes and other boat items is a real help. Without the marina you won't have internet access so you'll have to go somewhere for that...either home or a cafe. In both cases you won't be gathering information for the boat on the computer that you need it on. It's going to be sitting on the boat. If you want to plan a route at home, again the computer you need the information on will be on the boat.

My laptop runs Seatty, fugawi, yotrep, airmail, wtides and mapsource and is the computer I'm writing this on...in a marina, on an end tie 400 meters from the internet gateway. At sea it runs my ssb and pactor modem so I get email, weather fax and send position reports. I also run it as a chart plotter but only at the nav station when displaying grib files, planning routes and sending position reports. I have 2 dedicated chart plotters as primary units. I watch video's, record cd's, store pictures, do engineering analysis and design, even make my local and international phone calls on it (skype). I move it to the nav station when sailing, into my berth when I want to watch a movie lying down, into the cockpit on nice days when I want to work outside, or carry it to an internet cafe in Tonga or Aitutaki. I'm writing this from my salon but I could also be writing this from the trampoline. Laptops are great for boat use.
__________________
Kapena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 04:59   #25
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
I know bugger all about 'puter's but the reason we were thinking desktop was

1] no shortage of room on 50 ft cat

2] under the impression that it was easier to upgrade and replace part's

3] I was under the impression that most of the bit's use 12 volt or less anyway. Tell me why it will use more than a laptop

4] Never liked the screen's on laptop's

5] Never liked the keyboard's on laptop's

6] the computer I use now was made of bit's that cost $300 and a couple of throwaway boxes, 17 inch screen, kickarse speakers and printer. I doubt I would have the same result with a laptop.

7] Power is an issue, but not as much as on a sailing boat, I hope.

8] This will be my home, so don't feel i'll need to take it anywhere.

9] I've only had a computer for a few mth's, so don't feel the need to have one. it's really on my nice to have list, not my essential list.

10] my 100 litre freezer and 250-300L fridge is on my list of essential thing's and i'll sacrifice the 'puter in a heartbeat to have it

I could be going about this all wrong, but if I can get a laptop for a couple of hundred with a full size keyboard and a decent screen, i'll probably go that way.

Dave
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 06:26   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cairns australia
Boat: now floating easy37
Posts: 636
Images: 41
you can get a laptop for about 700$
yes they do use more power than a laptop as a laptop is obviously designed to minimise power usage as opposed to a desktop that can throw power around, everything on a laptop is desigend to use less power
as for keyboards get a usb one, i have never liked the laptops keyboards either
you can still upgrade desktops but there is less reason than say in the late 90's
sean
__________________
northerncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 06:31   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cairns australia
Boat: now floating easy37
Posts: 636
Images: 41
as for kick arse speakers buy a car cdmp3 player with an aux in plug and you can have these to most laptops come witha 15inch lcd which is equivalent in size to a 17inch crt
__________________
northerncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 06:38   #28
Registered User
 
Doghouse's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hampton Roads, va
Boat: Catalina 387 - Magical Dreamer
Posts: 176
Images: 1
Here is an interesting solution I have been working on...

MAC MINI dual boot to run xp on one side hooked up to a large LCD TV. Using USB tv tuner to HD and SD tv, MP3 files played on tv speakers for music, and MAC MINI has dvd player built in for movies.

Full entertainment system not just a computer. Has bluetooth and wifi built in.
__________________
Doghouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 08:14   #29
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do

5] Never liked the keyboard's on laptop's

6] the computer I use now was made of bit's that cost $300 and a couple of throwaway boxes, 17 inch screen, kickarse speakers and printer. I doubt I would have the same result with a laptop.
As already said, just plug in a "normal" keyboard (and I suggest also a mouse!). The screen is easy to "fix" - just plug in your 17 inch screen. Why two screens?? - well it saves so much scrolling and clicking around it is unbelievable (I would never go back) - even before yer get onto using Word at the same time as surfing on the 'net.

Having said all that, no reason to change whilst the box still works of course. For most it's only a tool not a hobby / work.
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007, 09:15   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 223
A PC will still require the power supply. The voltages are regulated, the requirements are 3.3, 5, +12, -12 volts.
Anything you add to a PC can just as easily be added to a laptop. Plug in monitors, speakers, keyboards, mouse, printers, exactly like the PC. A docking station makes it even easier. Without internet you won't be able to upgrade some electronics...garmin for example but also some raymarine and others. I concur about the smaller keyboards on the smaller laptops and I hate the track pads and always use a mouse. I don't use a plug in keyboard as I have the larger laptop.

Buy a used laptop...but get a good one. A good laptop refurbished can easily be found for $300. Google "used laptop". A serial port makes it easy to connect to the NMEA on the boat but you can always do it through a usb port. Many new laptops don't come with serial ports. Make sure it has a few usb ports. Power is a function of clock speed so keep the speed of the computer down to reasonable levels. You don't need a superfast computer but not a dog either. It should have a dvd drive that can burn cd's and I highly recommend it NOT have an internal wlan card. They don't work as well as the plugin cards. Make sure the laptop has a couple of PCMIA slots. Some new laptops (cheap) don't have any. I bought one of these (as backup) thinking I wouldn't need the plugin slot as it had an internal WLAN....see the dilemma here?

Software....chartplotter, weather fax (ssb), weather grib files to overlay on the charts (email or sailmail), charts for most places, tide programs....all free. I do recommend Fugawi rather then the free stuff as it's very cheaply priced but will save you on it's ability to use many different electronic charts...including the free stuff. The charts alone will save you hundreds...thousands in my case as I'm cruising. Even make full size paper charts cheaply off your electronic charts at the local print shop. Every piece of electronic equipment is connected to the laptop with one connection...2 wires of the nmea bus. Even free diagnostic programs when you suspect your depth sounder or autpilot isn't working properly. I could write an entire novel about the free stuff.
__________________

__________________
Kapena is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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
My first post - I have a feeling it might not be my last Jolly Roger Monohull Sailboats 25 03-12-2006 01:57
Top Boats Awards GordMay Monohull Sailboats 2 08-11-2003 20:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:21.


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.