I just recently setup a micro computer for OpenCPN
here is what I went with. Feel free to google
any of these things I included part numbers. This setup was overkill it cost around $600 not counting Operating system. I did a lot of deal hunting collecting parts
for about 2 months when I saw something I needed on sale
ZOTAC IONITX-F-E Intel Atom 330 (1.6GHz, dual-core) NVIDIA ION Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
Why this motherboard?
I went mini ITX for the size I chose this particular motherboard for a couple reasons:
- No Fan heat sink (less moving parts)
- multiple monitor capability (DVI,D-Sub,HDMI, and VGA outputs)
- On board Graphics chipset was hoping would help load charts faster ( NVIDIA GeForce 9400)
- 4gb Ram capability
- A Ton of USB ports
- ATOM processor has lots of horsepower in a very small low energy package
In retrospect this MB was overkill I could have gotten away with a cheaper one but at least this will allow me to use it for other things down the road.
OCZ Agility Series OCZSSD2-1AGT60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Why This Hard Drive?
- Solid State Drive (again no moving parts)
- Very fast boot up
- 60G was plenty for an operating system, OpenCPN, and all my charts along with drivers
No regrets on this HD I love it but would shop around for a good deal I got this brand because it was on sale
and had a decent rebate I think any SSD will do but I would not go any lower than 60G if using Windows had I installed Linux
I would have been able to get away with a 30G for much cheaper.
OCZ SLI-Ready Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory
Why this RAM?
Nothing Special here feel free to shop around for a good deal on RAM. I got what was on sale and I could have easily gotten away with 2G of ram 4G is definitely overkill.
M3-ATX-HV, 95w output, 6v to 34v wide input Intelligent Automotive DC-DC Car PC Power Supply
Why this Power Supply?
- No moving parts
- A ton of settings through dip switches
I love this little thing but I needed a 20pin power extender cable in my case to get it to fit. Though it is tiny it was pressing against one of my RAM chips and I wasn't comfortable with that. I was able to relocate it within the case to a spot I felt it fit better. This little thing has a ton of great settings to turn off and on at certain times after the ignition is turned on or off and much more.
M350 Universal enclosure mini-ITX BLACK case
Why this case?
Nothing particular here any case would have worked but this one is not to expensive is easy to mount, small, and has great air flow for cooling
Shark. Model SHK840 8" Touch Screen LCD
Why this Monitor
- Cost, these are very inexpensive
- VGA hookup is easy, USB hookup for Touchscreen is easy
In retrospect I should have gone with the 10” for $50 more but I was afraid it would take up to much space. I was wrong the 8” is nice but 10” would have been great. These are available from several on line vendors they are cheap
made in china
but for my purpose was perfect. I have had 2 (without touchscreens) in my car for 2 years now and have not had any issues. I do not have glare issues in my cabin
so this was fine for my purposes and the touchscreen works great with OpenCPN
BU-353: GlobalSat BU-353 WaterProof USB GPS Receiver (SiRF Star III)
Gotta have this! This GPS
was easy to setup but I guess any would do. It would not be a very good nav computer without one of these
Windows 7 Ultimate OS
Why this OS?
I only went with Windows 7 because I had an extra Win7 Key. Had I not had a key I would have gone Linux
and still may. I can throw a computer together in 5 minutes but I am a horrible programmer so I tend to lean towards windows more than I should I still may put in Linux it would have had an even faster boot up time and taken up much less HD space.
Other Hardware and Software:
jWIN Bluetooth Adapter JB-TH10159010301
any bluetooth dongle will do here. They are about 10-20 dollars and give you the ability to hook up a plethora of wireless devices including extra keyboard and mouse when needed
4 Port USB Hub
again the ability to plug
in any number of things including an keyboard and mouse have this run to the navigation
table I can also charge the iphone
and any other USB chargeable items
Great little Iphone
app it runs five bucks and gives the ability to use your iphones computer and touchscreen to control your computers
mouse cursor and type. This needs a wireless network to work
so can't really use it at sea unless you set up as an adhoc server on the computer but was great for setting the system up instead of using a bulky keyboard or the useless Windows7 touchscreen keyboard.
little 80w Power Supply that u can run on AC I only used this when I was setting the system up at home but if you wish to go AC instead of DC this thing is perfect
as much as I wanted to stay away from any moving parts
the setup got a little to hot for me it was probably fine but adding this small fan helped air flow and does not draw much power at all so was worth it for the much cooler running temperature.
Now with the Motherboard I used I can easily run a DVI cable to the flybridge should I ever choose to invest in an exterior LCD. I also ran an HDMI cable to my 19” LCD TV so when I have the generator
kicking and I want to view OpenCPN on the TV for chart plotting I can. Also should I choose to use a portable external HD I have a media center ready to go.
This setup with CPU and 8” touchscreen LCD runs only 30- 40 watts at 0.42 amps according to the KillaWatt meter I hooked it up to.
Sorry for such a long winded first post hope it helps point some of you in the right direction.