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Old 04-15-2007
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DC Flat panel setup

We use a SyncMaster system with a Tuner built in. The tuner isn't worth much outside the states because our only TV system option in US or Japan and NZ/Australia doesn't work. Even if you don't want TV make sure you get a LCD with AV inputs as well as a PC input. We hook our DVD player (Sony vertical) that runs off 10.5 volts so I added two diodes off our DC-DC regulated supply and all is good. Make sure you use a DC-DC stabilizer, I know others who don't use the monitor while charging and skip the voltage regulation. We also have a small DVD player that we can use in the cockpit, for KT doing Yoga/Aerobics, runs off 12 volts, and we can plug it into the big monitor if we want the size (and can stand the heat below).

Don't use the laptop as a DVD player, especially if it is your navigation computer. In the tropical climates it over heats and causes early failure. We had 5 boats lose their computers in one week in the heat of the Marshall Islands. Make sure you have good airflow, invest in a laptop cooling pad. Passive cooling is fine, a USB fan driven cooler is better but noisier.

Most chart tables have a small bulkhead between it and the saloon. I built a simple swivel that includes a stainless rod, drilled into a hole in the back of the chart table. It goes up to a small block with a slit, that is screwed into the mounting holes on the back of the TV (just match the screw threads which are usually metric). The bottom two bolts have wing nuts that tighten and hold the TV in place. This way I can pivot it toward the chart table for use with the computer, or to the saloon for the DVD player. You can also buy open frame LCD kits with the all controllers on the back from Earth LCD which you can mount in some nice wooden displays. I put mine in a metal picture frame and bolted it to the chart table bulkhead. click here for photo of the LCD mount (the picture frame LCD is in the lower left).

Don't forget a good car stereo (without a removable faceplace) with an Aux or MP3 headphone input and you've got a full "boat theater" system (Don't forget the IPOD).
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Chris Myles + KT Roddick


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