Which lap top is best for navigation

G

Guest

Guest
So which one will either interface or usb
What about battery life or power connection on the boat
screen visibility is it good or bad
a must have list of spec re sdram h/drive pcu and so on
Which system works well now and should be up to date for a few years yet
Finaly what not to get ,which realy is the main worry.
Mick
 

boatone

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Joined
29 Jul 2001
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Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
Any decent laptop shouuld be fine - I use a Sony Vaio FX101 but have also used an IBM Thinkpad. Get an invertor ( I have a MasterVolt 250watt unit) and then you can use the regular AC charger/mains cable just like ashore. Dont bother with trying to charge from a 12/24 volt supply - charger will cost damn near as much as an invertor and be specific to the laptop wheras invertor will let you run other low power gear off 240volts. My unit is enough to run a scanner and printer as well as the laptop!

TonyR
boatone@boatsontheweb.com
 

Stemar

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Joined
12 Sep 2001
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20,879
Location
Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
Check the minimum spec for the software you'll be using, but if that's not too exotic, I'd think about a reasonable second hand one. It'd be lot cheaper if it takes flying or swimming lessons!
 

jfkal

Active member
Joined
17 Aug 2001
Messages
1,480
Location
Singapore
The sea "eats" Laptopsd and Notebooks. So get a used one and be prepared to replace. Most Navigation software needs NMEA input so the serial or v.24 9 pin port is essential plus the printer port since some software uses dongles for copy protection.
 

colin_jones

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Joined
17 Nov 2001
Messages
264
Location
Lyme Regis, Dorset
If you only go out when your G & T is in no danger of spillage, there are no golden rules. However, last year, at night, we shepherded out of the nasty Gironde a very worried skipper and a wife who was literally screaming in fear because their navigation laptop had jumped its HDD and was dead. It is not the first instance.

A military spec PC will stand the strain, but your bank balance might not share it. There are 'ruggedised' marine professional PC look-alikes, but these are also expensive.

My own laptops give me a huge amount of winter planning pleasure and info when we are in harbour. If there are any ripples on the water, they stay bedded down in their protective cases.

If you do go down this route and require email, just check that your particular fone and ISP will talk to the PC. All is not automatic here. If you are going abroad, it is a real nightmare.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by colin_jones on Mon Jan 14 09:21:59 2002 (server time).</FONT></P>
 
G

Guest

Guest
I use a laptop P111400 with only 32 ram using Tsunamis99's excellent software, with Garmin 12XL GPS
interfaced through Com1. I use an inverter to power the PC, and keep it obviously inside the cabin.
I have an outside helm (Broom aft deck helm) and if I use this helm I position the PC on the side cabinet
so I can see it through the doorway. I'm currently looking for a monitor for the outside helm, which
I can interface with the PC inside. Even in force5-6 the PC has always stayed on the non slip rubber mat
on either the chart table or the cabinet.

cneighbour
 

Trevor_swfyc

New member
Joined
19 Jan 2002
Messages
706
Location
Crouch
I have two laptops both running Navmaster one is used on the boat, this being the oldest and probably only worth £300 now, so its loss / demise would not be the end of the world. It is a 4 year old Pico 12 inch TFT screen, CD drive must have, hard drive must have, 3.5 Floppy drive must have. Ports 9 pin serial & 15 pin printer serial port for "dongle".
The only problem I have encountered is that outside you cannot see the screen in anything but total cloud cover. This will as far as I know will be true with all Laptops ?
Its use in the boat, strapped down has given good results but a word of caution here if sailing alone its easy to get carried away and spend longer than is safe below, so get the system connected and running before lifting anchor.
Navmaster uses ARCS charts when in Burnham Marina it proved accurate to the point of being not only on the correct pontoon but on the right side of it.
Details about Navmaster including free trial CD are available on their web site pcmaritime.co.uk
Hope this info is of use!
 
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