Onboard Laptop - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-28-2003
PBzeer's Avatar
Wandering Aimlessly
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cruising
Posts: 20,045
Thanks: 0
Thanked 81 Times in 78 Posts
Rep Power: 14
PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about
Onboard Laptop

Looking for info on what to get in a laptop to use onboard. Specifically, in regards to ports to interface w/nav electronics. It seems I''ve seen some references in that regard and would like to double check. Also, any other hardware that might not be standard. Thanks.

Fair winds,
John
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 11-30-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 155
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
mcain is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

Laptops could use a serial port and a PCMCIA slot (or two). Modern laptops seem to be leaving off the serial port, in favor of USB ports. There are separate USB-Serial adapters, by Belden and others, that seem to work OK. Raymarine has a PCMCIA adapter to their instruments. Most others use a serial port.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 12-01-2003
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 56
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
pblais is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

If you want to use it a lot on board. I suggest you find a direct 12 volt adapter and avoid using an inverter plus an A/C converter to power the laptop. My boat has plenty of 12 volt sockets and I found a converter on the Web.

You''ll use less power overall. Going 12 Volt batter to 12 volt computer is more efficent than making 120 volt power then making DC power again. Sames goes for cell phone chargers. The one for your car is the way to go unless you want a real A/C adapter when plugged in at the dock.

The new article today by Don Casey on inverters is a good explination of why this is and how much it matters.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 12-02-2003
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 42
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
rads is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

I am using a Dell Laptop with Maptech Software (Offshore Navigator) Connected to a Garmin handhel GPS using Garmin''s serial connection. This is very simple to set up ( I am not overly computer literate, if I can do it anyone can). You must use Garmin''s own connector a few wires to solder. Interfaces with the computer and lets you know your exact location on the chart. I use it with the computer battery ( I carry a back up fully charged), I recharge off the AC when I am shore sied connected to AC. I also have a DC adapter that I can run the computer off of through cigarette lighter plug. I basically use my laptop when navigating a port that I am not familiar with and to plot courses to waypoints.
Hope this helps. If you need any more info e-mail me privately
Mark
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 01-05-2004
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,371
Thanks: 1
Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 11
capttb is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

This company will configure Garmin receiver with whatever connections you require. I ordered some with serial connection and PS/2 for power to connect to Panasonic Toughbooks used as MDT''s on Fire Engines. They also make an adapter for USB. Most notebooks today are going towards no "legacy" ports (serial, etc) in favor of all USB.
http://www.navtechgps.com/supply/gps16.asp
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 01-06-2004
mikehoyt's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 675
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
mikehoyt is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

A few points.

1. Most laptops have a 12V power adaptor available as an accessory (extra cost). Buy it.

2. Buy a second battery for when the first runs out. Not cheap but very useful.

3. Ensure batteries are Lithium Ion or you will have very limited battery time. Also the N MH batteries die much earlier.

4. Get a laptop with very good connectivity. Should have at the very least 1 serial port, 1 USB port and 1 PCMCIA slot. In addition you want a built in Network card and a built in modem for when you stay in areas that offer high speed internet or telephone access.

5. Buy your Nav software before you decide on a Laptop. Then get a laptop that meets the requirement of your software. ALL COMPUTERS SHOULD BE BOUGHT THIS WAY. This also includes determining which Operating System the computer uses. Most of the software is Old and works best with older versions of Windows.

6. Get a DVD reader and a CDRW in the laptop. This will give you the freedom to watch movies as well as to back up your data.

7. Check the warranties and reviews for the laptops. The marine environment is not friendly with all the salt, moisture and banging around. Suggest a touch pad over the "accu-point" for a mouse pointer.

Hope this helps

Mike
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 01-06-2004
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,120
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 13
WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

Mike, that''s the best single list of ''key characteristics of a laptop on a boat'' I''ve seen. Thank you.

FWIW I was - as they say here in our winter location of England - Gob Smacked when I started reading computer reviews written by buyers/users in prep for buying our new laptop. The Sunday supplements, TV ads and mail adverts had their way with me, and I''d come to the conclusion that a Dell was perhaps the ''smart buy'', and certainly in the running.

Then I read the comments of Dell buyers, because my son warned me to do it just like Mike warned all of us. Whooo-hee! When I finally came up with some ''return in 30 days'' stats, I was sufficiently scared to look at other choices.

The point of this isn''t to slam Dell but to reinforce that last point about researching user comments on the Web - including their comments on service after the sale. It''s very educational, in a kinda painful sorta way...

Jack
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 01-06-2004
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
h37skipper is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

My solution was to purchase a Toshiba laptop off of E-Bay. I knew only enough to make sure it had both serial and USB ports and a CD drive. I knew I could add memory(and have). The one shortcoming is the disk, you need a lot to store many charts. My solution will be to load them from the CD-ROM as I need them and delete the unused ones.

This will be my only electronic charting system. I have a Garmin eTrex on the laptop and a Garmin 12XL at the helm. When in use the laptop will be plugged into 12V even though it does have a battery. I have The Cap''n software and will buy a waterproof Pelican case to protect it all.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 01-07-2004
mikehoyt's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 675
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
mikehoyt is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

As I said earlier ... SOFTWARE FIRST .. HARDWARE SECOND

If you feel that you really do need to have a laptop connected to your systems then be sure you know which software you are using and then get all the hardware that works with it.

Case in point. I played with my Magellan 315 handheld GPS witha data cable (you can actually make your own). The troubleshooting tips in Capn Voyager showed that it was communicating with the laptop properly but Capn Voyager did not recognize it.

The solution. Buy Capn Voyager or whatever. Then determine which GPS units it works with and what Operating Systems, ports, etc... are needed. Then buy a laptop that supports this and a GPS that does as well.

Be warned that used laptops are used because somebody thinks they are no longer worth using. Refurbished laptops are refurbished because somebody thinks it was not working properly. That should tell you something.

Personally I can''t see playing with a laptop while sailing other than for interest and email. Mine was used primarily to watch movies when at dock with the family in the rain.

Regards

Mike
Systems Analyst
(and computer vendor)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 01-07-2004
AJS AJS is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 44
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
AJS is on a distinguished road
Onboard Laptop

Mike,

Don''t forget how useful ''HAL'' and ''Mainframe'' were for tabulating race results during your tenure as race captain. We really have to do something about your habit of storing the printer in the anchor locker though. I''m sure it wasn''t designed for that!
AJS
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Washer/Dryer onboard reid5009 Living Aboard 6 06-17-2007 10:09 PM
Crew role wanted onboard active racer/cruiser Stuart_French Crew Wanted/Available 3 03-20-2005 03:18 AM
Crew role wanted onboard active racer/cruiser Stuart_French Crew Wanted/Available 0 11-24-2004 02:28 AM
QUESTION ABOUT LAPTOP SETUP FOR TV SHOOT JapaneseTV Gear & Maintenance 1 10-27-2004 09:05 AM
Laptop for Cruising Software pirateofcapeann Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 6 11-11-2003 09:24 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:00 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.