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Old 31-08-2013, 10:15   #1

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tampa to New York
Boat: Morgan 33 OutIsland, Magic and 33' offshore scott design "Cutting Edge"
Posts: 1,594
Integrating boat computing into one unit

Ive been toying with linux operating systems and opencpn lately and ran across linux airware software used for autopilot software. Just toying with the idea but.. how about integrating a raspberry pi or similiar to take over the chartplotter and autopilot chores. The airware os takes care of a lot of the sensor input and servo output duties. Past my skillset right now but it seems like a person with the right systems knowledge could put together something with more computing power for a fraction of the price considering the price of the autopilot computers and chartplotters. Thinking maybe battery charging/recording, security system, internet connectivity when local etc... could also be integrated. What a project that would make!!
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Old 31-08-2013, 12:20   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lake Ont
Posts: 8,553
Re: Integrating boat computing into one unit

(A guy with two 33 ft boats is concerned about price? )

What you're proposing is entirely reasonable; in fact just about avery modern networked marine system based around a MFD or chartplotter is essentially just that - a system with one main "handler" and a number of sensors and displays all working together.

I have a couple of Raspberry Pi's - I think they're pretty amazing, and make great platforms for testing and experiments, but I personally would want something more powerful and robust as the main brain of a reliable system for offshore.

You also have to think about redundancy and independence in the marine environment. You don't want to have one point of failure that would completely cripple the boat.

But, yeah, I do think it would be a really interesting project. I have an old eee running Linux dedicated to boat experiments as well as a host for OpenCPN.
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