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Old 05-11-2007, 17:25   #76
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My company just gave me one of these wonderful V100 laptops...I'll let ya know how well it does.

GETAC
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:44   #77
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I

Hope that is of some help.
A great help to me.

Thank you.
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Old 05-11-2007, 21:12   #78
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At least 20% of your actual battery useage will be saved plus the amount wasted won't become heat. You can't expect more than 90% efficency when converting DC to AC and then the same back again. You can buy auto adapters for any laptop. anywhere from $30 to $90 depending. Use Google to find an adapter for the laptop and avoide buying it direct from the vendor. Then add the 12 volt outlets aboard where required. You'll find a lot of electronics will work off these. 12 volt DC devices are handy.

There is no reason to make AC electricty from DC so you can turn it back into DC again. You may need different adapters for deifferent electronics so you need to make sure you get the correct one.

Laptops really do suck in the cockpit because the display isn't bright enough. It's why the real marine displasy cost so much. Use the laptop below deck! I made straps for mine so it would stay put on the chart table. I then ran a cable from the NMEA bus and attached it to the computer serial port (or use a serial to USB adapter). You can run 3 devices off any single NMEA output. I ran one to the autopilot, one to the radar display, and one to the computer. You could get fancy and run the computer output off another serial port and then have the computer navigate too. Normally I just upload the route direct to the GPS and avoid having to rely on multiple gadgets while underway. That works for both paper and electonic charting.

Has anyone actually measured the difference? Do the newer laptops run on lower voltages?

My Dell runs on about 20 volts. So I'm assuming that my DC to DC converter is doing the job as a switching supply, so basically it is similar to an inverter and computer wart except that it is in one box. So my guess is you might get a slight advantage, since it is all coupled together rather than separate.

John
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:20   #79
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I've used !2v DC to 18V DC converter for several years. Works grait.
I got it on ebay for under $20.
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:37   #80
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Does anyone know how much an actual desktop draws in power, ballpark?
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:52   #81
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Power up 3-5 amp, normal work 1-2.
It likes power. The new generation prosessor (less heat) will be much less.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:05   #82
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Does anyone know how much an actual desktop draws in power, ballpark?
There's no one answer to that. If you compare a desktop and a laptop using the same peripherals and the same CPU and chipset they will draw essentially the same power. There might be a slight edge to the desktop because it doesn't have to deal with battery charging. If you throw in the monitor in consideration the edge will go to the laptop since desktop monitors draw 2-3 times the power of a laptop screen.

In answer to your original question I have an AMD LX800 based machine that uses 9 watts but I could easily build a P4 based machine that is blazingly fast but uses 100-200 watts or more and cooks pizza.

Bob
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:29   #83
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How much electricity do computers use?
How much electricity does my computer use?

A typical desktop computer uses about 65 to 250 watts. Some computers use more. To find the figure for your particular computer you can contact the manufacturer ...
... With most devices you can look at the label to see how much energy they use, but that doesn't work so well with computers because the label gives the theoretical maximum, not the typical amount used. A computer whose label or power supply says 300 watts might only use about 70 watts when it's actually running, and only 100 even in peak times with serious number-crunching and all the drives spinning.
Here are the factors that affect energy use ...

Goto: How much electricity does my computer use?

See also an interesting article on improving Lap-Top performance & battery run time:
“Undervolting a laptop” ~ by Fredrik Andersson
Goto: Undervolting a laptop | NordicHardware
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Old 06-11-2007, 14:19   #84
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I'd be more impressed if he'd posted replies from Intel and AMD with their opinion on custom tweaking the voltage supplied to a CPU, and why it might or might not be a good idea.
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Old 06-11-2007, 18:15   #85
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After struggling for a decade to minimize power consumption and maximize portability of our onboard computers -- used primarily to administrate Project MARC [Medical Assistance to Remote Communities] in Vanuatu rather than for navigation and/or entertainment purposes -- we decided 6 months ago to buy the smallest Sony computer available, namely the VAIO-UX.

The UX is more a microcomputer than a laptop but has full-fledged I/O and networking capabilities, in addition to functioning as a camera/videorecorder. With minimally 30 Gb of disk storage (readily expandable with USB flash memory sticks up to 32 Gb), several hours of battery power, built-in WiFi (+ Bluetooth + WAS) and the ability to connect to keyboards, laser mice and all manner of displays we use the UX on our boat, in emailcafees, airports or cars, as well as at home.

Combined with a little portable 6" photo-printer, we can produce text or image documents "on the spot" and immediately print them out for any team member, patient, government official, local chief or mother with baby who needs one.
When charging up + operating, the UX draws about 1.5 Amp at 12 V dc.

We finally feel that we have found a sustainable solution for our cruising PC needs. The main drawback is that the 4.5" touch screen (native resolution 1024x600) w. slide-out keyboard takes good eyes and a bit of getting used to for an old salt. I am still looking for a DVD-player with 8"-10" LCD screen and SVGA input plus a minimum resolution of 1024x600. Alternatively, some of the newer heads-up displays used by gamers are now getting close in resolution and should eventually make for an ideal, go-anywhere microcomputer display as well.

Just to some easily accessible specs and images of the UX, I am providing a link to a commercial TigerDirect webpage. Note, however, that the model shown there is no longer being sold by them. Also, for the record, I would like to state that neither my wife nor I have any commerciaol interest or association with Sony or TigerDirect.

Sony VAIO UX230P UMPC - Intel Centrino Core Solo U1300 1.06GHz, Bluetooth, Wireless WAN, 802.11abg Wireless, 512MB DDR2, 30GB HDD, 4.5" WSVGA, Windows XP Professional SP2 VGN-UX230P at TigerDirect.com

Have fun!

Flying Dutchman
SV Rivendel II (currently dryberthed in Port Vila, Vanuatu)
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Old 06-11-2007, 18:59   #86
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My son just bought a Panasonic Toughbook off Ebay.

There are some pretty good ones. Some have touch screens, wireless networking, GPS, bluetooth... Price is pretty good on the order of $400 - $500 for a pretty decent processor. Might be worth a look.
I agree. I use a Toughbook at work and it does work fine even when it sits in the rain. When the company I work for started using them there was some doubt amongst some if it would hold up in the weather or not so I opened up the thing and dumped a whole coffee pot of water over it. Shook it off, the thing still works years later.
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Old 06-11-2007, 23:33   #87
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The XO is pretty light weight hardware and runs a special light weight version of the Linux OS. To the best of my knowledge, none of the navigation software runs on Linux. There is software that available for Linux that runs Windows programs but they tend to be real resources hogs. I doubt that the XO could be configured to satisfactorily support onboard navigation requirements.
I don't know how it works, but there is a program called "Chartplotter"

Rikard & Henrik Bjorkman's ChartPlotter

It runs in Java, which means it can run under most operating systems.

There is another option out there called GPSDrive

GpsDrive - a free car (bike, ship, plane) navigation system

It would probably be slightly more efficent in linux than a java program. I can't test either of these out as I don't have a gps device which I can hook up to a computer, my point is that there are programs for linux which, while they may not be as user friendly or pretty as most windows programs, they are available.

I might be a little bit defensive about linux, but I use it on my laptop. I still use windows on my home desktop, but mostly because I'm into computer games, which linux doesn't generally do well with, and my family knows how to use windows and has no interest in learning how to deal with something new. As for my laptop, linux really is more efficient on it and other than a few computer games, I've not found anything that I could do on a windows computer that I couldn't do on it with just a bit of searching for the right program(99% of the time free) or just fidgeting with something to get it to work. I understand some people don't want to have to fidget with computers, but I personally like it and I get a sense of accomplishment when I get something to work on my own.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:29   #88
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I'd be more impressed if he'd posted replies from Intel and AMD with their opinion on custom tweaking the voltage supplied to a CPU, and why it might or might not be a good idea.
Excellent point (about “Undervolting a laptop” ~ by Fredrik Andersson)!
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:17   #89
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Forgot to mention that the Sony Vaio UX handheld microcomputer described in my previous post runs Windows XP, Vista or any other fullblown OS one would like to use, and thus can be made compatible with pretty much all available navuigation and/or entertainment software.

Although MAP prices can be a bit steep one regularly finds VAIO UX models being sold by internet-based discount stores at or below the 1,000 US $ mark.

Moreover, when equipped with GPS software such as Garmin Bluechart and a simple USB (or bluetooth-enabled) GPS sensor, the VAIO UX becomes a handheld color GPS plotter with a brilliant, high resolution screen. These capabilities greatly helped offset our initial purchase price considerations.

Have fun,

Flying Dutchman
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Old 12-01-2008, 14:06   #90
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New question related to this ... what wifi solutions are available for liveboards (specifically in San Diego) who are in a marina without any high speed connection options (no cable modem or DSL available). Are there any wifi cards that work? Note -- we're total MAC folks (not PC). Thanks for letting me jump on this thread!
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