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  #21  
Old 01-20-2007
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My PC screen is completely unreadable in bright sunlight. Are the Toughbooks different or is that why the Raymarine screens are so expensive (other than the "marine" part! ????
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  #22  
Old 01-21-2007
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Most of the notebooks do not have trans-reflective daylight readable displays. I don't believe that trans-reflective daylight readable displays are standard on Toughbooks either.

The main reason ToughBooks are more expensive is that most are highly dust and water resistant... with certain models conforming to Mil-Spec dust/water intrusion standards.
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  #23  
Old 01-21-2007
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"I don't know why anyone would have a proprietary "marine" display aboard a boat "
Truly daylight-readable screens are damned expensive. Add a waterproof seal around them, and doubly-damned expensive. (You can blow out a conventional laptop screen just be spraying cleaner on it and letting it dribble into the bottom edge.)

I suppose you could put a conventional flat screen on the binnacle and then shroud it like an early radar display, stick your face in the hole to read it. But I'm impressed with the new Palm Treo's. 320x320 screen is almost 1/2 VGA, fairly crisp and bright, bluetooth, and not ultra-expensive. If there was a way to pull everything together belowdecks and then pipe it up to Treo's on deck via BlueTooth...that might be a nice multiple display system.
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Old 01-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
My PC screen is completely unreadable in bright sunlight. Are the Toughbooks different or is that why the Raymarine screens are so expensive (other than the "marine" part! ????
That would depend, although "marine" is a synonym for "multiply cost by three", in my experience. I don't know specifically if the Toughbooks are easy to read in the sun, but shade is easy to create and you usually don't stare hypnotically at the display while underway in any case.

I am sure that full-sunlight displays exist for police, fire and ambulance services as well as for the sort of field engineers that use tablet PCs. I guarantee that buying a decent display (or even a cheap one that can be put in an acrylic box) is less expensive than the proprietary "marine" ones.

An alternative to the binnacle mount is a screen (not the whole unit) that can be rotated on an armature into the companionway. I stuck an old handheld GPS onto a lamp gooseneck lashed to a grabrail this way on my tiller-steered boat, and with the hatch closed and one drop board down, it was pretty weatherproof. I would swing the unit out into my range of view, and simply push it back over the nav station when done. I mounted my fishfinder/depth display (set to "largest number display") on the edge of the nav station, and could simply look down to see my depth. Once an hour, I would check the horizon, snap on the old Autohelm 1000 tiller pilot and go below to record my log.

That was a system that worked for me, but then my idea is that the less electronics out in the weather (because you can't always have the bimini up), the better.
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Old 01-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
I suppose you could put a conventional flat screen on the binnacle and then shroud it like an early radar display, stick your face in the hole to read it. But I'm impressed with the new Palm Treo's. 320x320 screen is almost 1/2 VGA, fairly crisp and bright, bluetooth, and not ultra-expensive. If there was a way to pull everything together belowdecks and then pipe it up to Treo's on deck via BlueTooth...that might be a nice multiple display system.
That is certainly a decent alternative, because you can in essence stash such a device inside your foulies in a Ziploc bag, activate as needed and simply connect via Bluetooth to the "main" nav station PC for an update without going below.
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Old 01-21-2007
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Why I don't use a computer..

Why I don't use a computer for navigation is easy they crash and are far more un-reliable on a boat than a plotter! My Garmin & Raymarine plotters have never once let me down. Since I started using a dedicated chartplotter I've logged over 33,000 nm and except for one lightning strike they have been as reliable as a sextant for me. My laptops on the other hand have not been so good. I was running the Captain software and had nothing but problems with my laptop... Plus I like having a display at my helm. In 25 foot vis Maine fog you can't be running back and forth to the nav station!!!

P.S.

The stylus on most tablets are propietary and cost about $30.00 to $70.00 to replace. In reference to an above post about Fujitsu tablets being more reliable they are slightly more reliable tnah HP's but less so than the IBM's. My wife uses Fujitsu tablets in her practice and she's on her third in 16 months. I went through two HP's in about 9 months & I now use an IBM. So I'd say they are about equal in terms of reliability. When you try and build a unit to the lightest weight specs they break and fail. A boat is a much more harsh environment than a medical office so I still say stay away from tablets.

You can buy a Garmin plotter with all US waters pre-loaded for $500.00 clams. Even the cheapest laptop pc is $599.00 plus the software & external GPS receiver.. Boat stuff is NOT always more expensive it's just USUALLY more expensive. A plotter is much more durable than a laptop on a boat period even if it's a tough book. Oh yean and none of the tablets we own is daylight visible even under the bimini when compared to either my back up Garmin or my Raymarine C-80.....

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  #27  
Old 01-21-2007
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Mac with Raymarine

Raymarine claims their software is not compatible with the Mac OS. However, I know that the new Mac laptops use Intel chips and can run the windows OS> I have no experience with Mac, but because of years of frustration with pcs at work and home, I'm considering trying a Mac. It would be great if it could also be used on board - where I'm looking at the R Eseries.

Does anyone know if that will be compatible with the Raymarine E-series plotter and RNS software?

M Murphy
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  #28  
Old 01-22-2007
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Magnus-

It depends... If you're running Windows XP under the BootCamp option as an alternate operating system on the Mac, with its own partition on the hard drive, yes it should probably work. Switching between Mac OS and Windows XP would require rebooting the machine each time though. You could also try running it via Parallels workstation, and have Windows XP running as a "virtual machine" within Mac OSX, which is going to be slower, but has the advantage of not requiring the machine be re-booted to get to the Raymarine software. The major difference between the two setups, besides the reboot, is whether the device drivers for the Raymarine will be compatible with the OS running... Under BootCamp, I don't think it will really be an issue, since you'll effectively be using a Windows XP/Intel machine....under Parallels, I doubt the drivers will be recognized...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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  #29  
Old 01-22-2007
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Tablet

I have a Walkabout Hammerhead Tablet with stylus and it is guaranteed to be able to take a 4 foot fall without any harm done. The advertising even shows a pick-up truck running over it and it still works. I have all the NOAA charts of US waters on it and SeaClear Nav software. It takes my GPS NMEA input also.

Granted it is monochrome and very heavy for a 9 inch tablet, but it works fine.
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  #30  
Old 01-23-2007
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Wink 'Marine' hardware for marine duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
My PC screen is completely unreadable in bright sunlight. Are the Toughbooks different or is that why the Raymarine screens are so expensive (other than the "marine" part! ????
Cam - While I fully agree the 'marine' name tag is $$ abused there is a big difference when it comes to use at the helm. I don't remember what the 'standard #' is that is stamped on 'outside' electronics cases but it keeps the water out of the cases and connections. When I self delivered my NC from Annapolis to RI I picked up a stand alone Raymarine chartplotter to have at the helm (paper also of course). I simply tied it to a stay at the helm and ran the DC through a protected window. Going up L.I. Sound against the wind into steep tide/opposing wind generated waves at 6 kts it was raining salt water from the rigging for 6 hours. I wished the sunlight viewable little screen had windshield wipers because I had to keep wiping off the salt water to see it. That was over a year ago with no problems. Try that with a PC screen
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