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post #21 of 30 Old 07-15-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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Is your Seatalk/NMEA converter the Raymarine 85001? They can be very flaky.
Yes, indeed it is. I suspect it as well. However when I took a nmea stream dump when my mac was directly connected to the E85001, it seemed to work ok (the trace was clean). So...I suspect the Serial/USB cable for now.

THe problem is that these are now out of production, and the Brookhouse Seatalk/NMEA mux's are ridiculously overpriced.

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post #22 of 30 Old 07-15-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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So...I suspect the Serial/USB cable for now.
I have had uniformly good experience with Keyspan converters. You get what you pay for.

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post #23 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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I have had uniformly good experience with Keyspan converters. You get what you pay for.
It was the cables. Swapped 'em out and my data stream has been rock solid for hours so far.

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post #24 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

"It was the cables."
Funny how some things never change. I've taken to carrying spares on any multi-day trip after two "newish" USB cables died as well. Don't recall that a serial cable ever just up and quit the same way though.
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post #25 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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"It was the cables."
Funny how some things never change. I've taken to carrying spares on any multi-day trip after two "newish" USB cables died as well. Don't recall that a serial cable ever just up and quit the same way though.
Once you work around the quirky drivers in SPP mode, Bluetooth does have the benefit of eliminating the issue of cable wear. I set up my nav system to transmit Bluetooth because I wanted my tablet free to roam anywhere on the boat, but this issue of cables going bad is one more reason it was worth the cost and effort using Bluetooth.


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post #26 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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Once you work around the quirky drivers in SPP mode, Bluetooth does have the benefit of eliminating the issue of cable wear. I set up my nav system to transmit Bluetooth because I wanted my tablet free to roam anywhere on the boat, but this issue of cables going bad is one more reason it was worth the cost and effort using Bluetooth.
Uh...my tablet *IS* free to roam. You still need a cable to connect the instruments to the repeater those are what were an issue for me Apparently I got cheap-o PL2303 chipset cables that are prone to odd behavior.

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post #27 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

I used to think BT would be an alternative to cables and it often is. Except when a BT driver craps out, or some piece of equipment has an older BT driver with issues. Nice when it works, or if you're buying all new equipment and can get BT in it.
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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...Nice when it works, or if you're buying all new equipment and can get BT in it.
After initial setup, it's very reliable.

A good industrial-strength serial-bluetooth converter can be found for about $50, and works great with legacy equipment that transmits NMEA0183. Then any laptop or tablet with SPP drivers can pick it up. That's what I have.


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Re: laptop choice

Recommendations on the converter?
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post #30 of 30 Old 07-16-2014
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Re: laptop choice

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Recommendations on the converter?
This company's prices seem to have gone up since I bought mine four years ago:

Their inexpensive model:

Bluetooth Serial Adapter RS232

Their industrial grade model. I recommend spending the extra money for this to make sure you've got the strongest possible signal (better antenna):

Serial to WiFi Adapter for connecting RS232 to networks

The model I have has been discontinued, but it's an earlier version of the industrial one shown here.


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