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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2004
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GPS & Computer

This may sound stupid but what is the difference between the GPS Map and a
Chart Plotter? Do you need both?

I''m not signing this because it could be a real dumb question and I don''t want anyone to know who I am.

Yea sure
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2004
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I would highly recommend a Panasonic Toughbook. I purchased a used one over 6 years ago, and it just won''t die. There aren''t as many bells and whistles as newer laptops(I can''t play DVD''s, only one serial port...), but for reliability they can''t be beat IMO. I use it constantly for navigating, Winlink email, digital pictures...I can''t say enough good things about it. It was pretty pricey even used, but well worth the extra dollars. Another great feature to have is a docking station to attach the GPS, Ham/SSB radio, DC power supply...which then gives one the ability to remove the laptop at a seconds notice without having to unhook all the connections.
Fair winds,
Jim
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2004
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I''ll second the sentiment on the Panasonic Toughbook. Got mine on a closeout a few years ago. The only caveat is that they have some sort of draw against their battery even when turned off. Have to recharge mine about every other week.

Also, I was able to get a 12V adapter for mine, so I don''t need to run an inverter to power the unit off boat power. A side benefit is being able to run mapping software in my car on road trips.

Another advantage over a chart plotter is having an honest to gosh Intel based PC that you can run software on. Handy for email and such...
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2004
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GPS & Computer

How about a tablet pc like the Xplore IX104. It runs tablet windows xp so you should be able to use software like Maptech Ocean Navigator and use standard BSB charts. You can get a plug in usb GPS unit (like the earthmate) so you can keep your Garmin as a backup. The display on this unit is daylight readable (unlike most laptops)and the best part of the IX104 is it is submergable. I use an IPaq with a Navman sleeve right now in my cockpit which I am very satisfied with, but should it break I''ll replace it with something like the Xplore unit.
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Old 01-02-2005
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GPS & Computer

RE: Clean air circulation for computer

I work as an IT professional. Years ago, I was employed for a local computer company. We had one firm who had many systems in a chemical plant, where there were lots of corrosive things in the air. We devised a rather simple, but very effective system. It extended life on the systems from a few months to several years.

I''m not sure if/how this could be retrofitted to a boat environment, but here''s the basics:

Get one of the air-compressor quick couplers, and drill a hole in the side of the case then mount this. Connect an air source (in our case, one of the plant air compressors). We then reversed all the fans, so they blow OUT of the system, instead of sucking into it. This provides a positive clean air flow into the case, so it doesn''t breathe the outside air.

Like I said, I''m not sure if/how this could be fitted into a boating environment, but maybe some crafty sailor out there can come up with something.

And on the note of Dell computers, they do seem to have their own (or maybe more than normal) share of manufacture/configuration products, but once you get a good unit, they stand up very well. We have a fleet of about 30 laptops, and over 300 desktops in our company, and have great success. Of course, they come in the door and immediately receive our standard ''image'' of installation, so no config problems for us.

Happy sailing
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2005
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Whoa !!!!!!

Be wary of blowing compressed air into a computer or other electronic device. Plant compressed air in a chemical plant usually is further routinely conditioned by removal of water (vapor, mists and aerosols) by the usage of either a refrigeration desiccant air dryer to obtain reduced ''dew point'' / humidity content. Otherwise, compressed air is saturated with water vapor and the moisture will/can condense on those surfaces that have a themal difference.

If the compressor is a ''flooded (oil) screw'' compressor and does not include oil mist and vapor removal equipment, you also risk also coating the internals of your computer, etc. with oil !!!
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Old 01-02-2005
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Corbin39sailor

Now you have REALLY done it!!! One more gizmo to consider!! I''ve spent the last 6 months researching GPS/Chartplotters. I finally made my decision and was about to make my purchase and you show up.

Actually, the tablet pc sounds GREAT. If it runs a wide array of nav software and can interface with a gps, it will be perfect for my uses.

Do you know which navigational software it runs? Can a remote gps antenna be utilized? What about interfacing a depth sounder? etc. etc.

Tell us more!!!

Roger
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Old 01-03-2005
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And where would said compressor get salt free air to compress on a boat anyway?

Oscar,
C-42 #76 Lady Kay
Chesapeake/Fort Lauderdale
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2005
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Ok, both good points. That''s why I threw the idea out with the point that I didn''t know how it would adapt to the boating environment. Guess we leave it up to someone else for a better solution....
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  #20  
Old 01-04-2005
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Roger, it may stall your product choice a little longer but I''d recommend you read the thread posted on the SSCA''s BB:

http://ssca.org/sscabb/index.php?action=vthread&forum=7&topic=452

I think there are clearly better options than the Tablet PC mentioned, when you consider the task of adding incremental add-on peripherals while wondering if your unique needs as a boater are going to be accommdated by the unique product design intended for other applications.

In the above thread, there are references to PC products that have no fans nor hard drives running, and also to products designed specifically for long-term use on boats, offering little current draw and the cost and replacement-of-peripherals benefits of a desk top. Lots of choices, it would seem, requiring a clear eye on what your needs are when using a PC aboard your boat.

I doubt I will ever again buy a laptop as my primary onboard PC tool, altho'' I''ll probably always have an old laptop aboard since it''s both portable and provides redundancy.

Jack
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