Recommended Posts

On 2/3/2018 at 12:56 AM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Define 'decent monitor'. I've got an Eyoyo 12" HDMI monitor plugged into one of my Pi's. It's natively 12V and comes with a VESA standard wall mount bracket. Also comes in 15" and 17" versions plus smaller ones.

Frankly I'd rather have my Macbook Pro with its retina display screen but the power draw is probably more than 3X the Pi/12V screen combo.

There are many, many ways to skin this cat, the way you choose depends on what you're trying to achieve WRT visibility, power, features, ability to 'roll your own' etc etc. I'm a semi-retired software person who spent a lot of time screwing with datalogging and display software on a big ship. I like playing with stuff.

FKT

An older Macbook Pro draws over 5 amps at 120v.   My family has three of them, and they would pop a 15 amp breaker on the house if all three of them plugged in the same circuit.   They would go 'we are only plugging in three laptops in the room and the lights go out!'   I read the tiny, tiny, tiny writing on the power supply and saw that it was 5.5 amps.    No f-ing wonder.

I would hate to see what it would draw at 12v.   Probably start melting the insulation on your typical boat wiring.

- Stumbling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5.5 amps at 120 volts would be 55  amps at 12 volts. The problem is that it's not a direct relationship due to the transformer losses. My old HP brick says 2.4 amps at 120 volts input but only 4.5 amps output at 19 volts. I would assume the Macbook brick has a similar much lower output number. 

If you can feed these things at their native voltage, or closer to it you can waste a lot less power. 12 volts to 120 volts through an inverter and then back to 12  or so via the power brick is a very inefficient way to use your boat's battery. Out of a wall outlet at home, it's less of an issue.

Most computer power supplies don't use the full output rating of the brick ether and maximum consumption numbers are a bit of a wag due to how hard the various components are working. Average draw is probably a pretty small fraction of the maximum unless you are a super user doing high end graphics processing or modeling.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do people really navigate with their phone? How can you have a general view of the area on such a small screen?

May be I am a luddite but I've only done navigation with either paper chart alone or paper chart + open CPN or paper chart + plotter.

TBH in strong tidal streams the solution that works best for me is to compute my heading by hand drawing vectors on the paper chart, it might exist but I've never had in my hands a satisfactory gizmo doing it for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, olaf hart said:

At that level of power consumption, you could use a small regulated 12 v power supply just to be safe, don’t want the whole thing to crap out mid ocean...

This is a sample of one, but I got brave and tried to find the voltage range of the MINIX box I'm testing:

It starts and runs at 9.6V, but drops out somewhere below that.

I took the power supply up to 15.3V, and it was running fine, and the current drain dropped a little (as we would expect from a switching regulator).  There was no smoke.  I don't want to take it any higher than that, but this suggests that a direct battery connection is probably safe enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

5.5 amps at 120 volts would be 55  amps at 12 volts. The problem is that it's not a direct relationship due to the transformer losses. My old HP brick says 2.4 amps at 120 volts input but only 4.5 amps output at 19 volts. I would assume the Macbook brick has a similar much lower output number. 

If you can feed these things at their native voltage, or closer to it you can waste a lot less power. 12 volts to 120 volts through an inverter and then back to 12  or so via the power brick is a very inefficient way to use your boat's battery. Out of a wall outlet at home, it's less of an issue.

Most computer power supplies don't use the full output rating of the brick ether and maximum consumption numbers are a bit of a wag due to how hard the various components are working. Average draw is probably a pretty small fraction of the maximum unless you are a super user doing high end graphics processing or modeling.  

It can also get pretty high if you use it unplugged and then plug it in to charge the battery. Depending on the battery and charging implementation, it may be much higher draw than when the laptop is plugged in and running full tilt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you are right about battery charging. That slipped my mind and it can definitely skew the numbers up towards the max output rating. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

An older Macbook Pro draws over 5 amps at 120v.   My family has three of them, and they would pop a 15 amp breaker on the house if all three of them plugged in the same circuit.   They would go 'we are only plugging in three laptops in the room and the lights go out!'   I read the tiny, tiny, tiny writing on the power supply and saw that it was 5.5 amps.    No f-ing wonder.

I would hate to see what it would draw at 12v.   Probably start melting the insulation on your typical boat wiring.

- Stumbling

Can't find my spare Apple power supply ATM but IIRC it was 60 watts. The Raspberry Pi draws a lot less.

I think you've got dodgy house wiring though as I routinely have 3 Macbooks, a refrigerator, a microwave and a bunch of other stuff including an electric jug plugged into the same circuit.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:huh: My old macbook on an inverter draws about 4 or 5 amps DC.   Too much for continuous use.  The MacMini is 12V native, but they haven't updated it in years and it's not clear whether they're ever going to.  A tablet at the chart table seems to be just about right.  But this thread is starting to make me discontented with that! 

BTW, the little Garmin EchoMap CHIRP 44cv unit is on sale for $280.  I might have to give in and actually buy something new.

Crepe!  The through-hull transducer for it is $450 :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Do people really navigate with their phone? How can you have a general view of the area on such a small screen?

May be I am a luddite but I've only done navigation with either paper chart alone or paper chart + open CPN or paper chart + plotter.

TBH in strong tidal streams the solution that works best for me is to compute my heading by hand drawing vectors on the paper chart, it might exist but I've never had in my hands a satisfactory gizmo doing it for me.

Yes. My iPhone is my primary navigation.

I'm in a charter fleet, and change boats. Not wanting to learn plotter after plotter after plotter, I learned my iPhone. (Before large iPhones, I used an iPad Mini with the same programs. I meant to buy a new phone and a new Mini, and never got around to the Mini because I never needed it. This is good, because the Mini had a display problem in bright sunlight.)

That all said, more than 90% of my sailing is on Puget Sound, and I used full sized paper charts for years until I felt I knew the waters. (There should be air quote marks around "knew", because salt water can surprise people who have sailed on it for forty years.)

I depend on my phone primarily as a repository for my danger bearings and to back up what I see.

I have not found an electronic program that lets one compute CTS properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Can't find my spare Apple power supply ATM but IIRC it was 60 watts. The Raspberry Pi draws a lot less.

I think you've got dodgy house wiring though as I routinely have 3 Macbooks, a refrigerator, a microwave and a bunch of other stuff including an electric jug plugged into the same circuit.

FKT

I do not discount the dodginess, but it is in the breakers.   Housing code here demands that so-called learning breakers have to be used in a house panel.   They are designed to sense fluctuations in the current, and trip on those that are 'exceptional'.    I had no problems in other older houses with a classic breaker.   I could just go and buy the old breakers, but if an electrician sees those in the panel, they are suppose to change them out per the code.

Still, the 85w Apple power supply draws over 5 amps, which does not take much to add up in a house circuit with TV, game consoles, lights and ceiling fans sharing the current.

Pardon the thread drift.

- Stumbling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jammer Six said:

 

I have not found an electronic program that lets one compute CTS properly.

So do you just guestimate? 

Don't get me wrong, I find electronic aids really useful, Especially AIS and radar but I wouldn't feel comfortable relying on a phone which at the end is not designed for this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

I do not discount the dodginess, but it is in the breakers.   Housing code here demands that so-called learning breakers have to be used in a house panel.   They are designed to sense fluctuations in the current, and trip on those that are 'exceptional'.    I had no problems in other older houses with a classic breaker.   I could just go and buy the old breakers, but if an electrician sees those in the panel, they are suppose to change them out per the code.

Still, the 85w Apple power supply draws over 5 amps, which does not take much to add up in a house circuit with TV, game consoles, lights and ceiling fans sharing the current.

Pardon the thread drift.

- Stumbling

????????  85/110 (assuming you've a 110V supply) is 0.772 amps. I cannot see how you can get 5 amps draw off of an 85 watt power supply.

85 watts is still a lot more than I'd want to be drawing continuously off of my 12V boat supply though. The Raspberry Pi draws a nominal 3 amps @ 5V from a high powered USB supply. That's more like it. I wired in a bunch of the 4.8A Blue Sea ones around the boat. The SBC that Valis is talking about probably draws similar, it's up-thread I think.

Last time I looked at those USB powered screens the drivers were somewhere between dodgy & nonexistent for linux systems. I won't run Windows on anything I might depend on keeping working. OK I'm prejudiced, OK it's not rational I don't care. I've had too much grief in the past thanks to MS software to use it if I have another choice.

FWIW my current test system - a chartplotter Pi hooked to another Pi running gpsd and a USB GPS puck - is using about 2% of CPU and has been up continuously for over 60 days now (including OpenCPN uptime). It's a Pi 3B with wifi as well as hard-wired ethernet port. I suppose I could plug the GPS puck into the chartplotter Pi and cut out one machine but I like a bit of redundancy and I'm only playing ATM. I have another I'm getting ready to install to act as a terminal server for the echosounder transducer.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Panoramix said:

So do you just guestimate? 

Don't get me wrong, I find electronic aids really useful, Especially AIS and radar but I wouldn't feel comfortable relying on a phone which at the end is not designed for this. 

Yes. The currents here aren't that strong-- 2 knots during a spring tide at the very most, and there's a few places like Agate Passage that you just avoid if you're worried about it. The distances are usually less than 6 knots cross sound, say ten or fifteen port to port, and so it's not hard to guess at it, particularly after you've done it twenty or thirty times.

As far as design, I haven't seen any electronics including dedicated plotters that are designed to allow a CTS calculation. So the fact that a phone isn't designed for the calculation doesn't mean much-- none of the electronics are designed for a CTS calculation. And you'd think that would be one of the things electronics would excel at, but none of them even do it, much less excel at it.

Our modern phones do things better than dedicated computers that took up entire rooms back in the eighties did. A Casio watch has more processing power than anti-air missile silos in the sixties had. I'll take my phone over a two year old Navionics system or a five year old Garmin any day of the week. At least the charts on my phone will be up to date.

If I were where you are, I'd probably stick to paper. I did stick to paper last summer around Vancouver Island, so there you go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Do people really navigate with their phone? How can you have a general view of the area on such a small screen?

May be I am a luddite but I've only done navigation with either paper chart alone or paper chart + open CPN or paper chart + plotter.

TBH in strong tidal streams the solution that works best for me is to compute my heading by hand drawing vectors on the paper chart, it might exist but I've never had in my hands a satisfactory gizmo doing it for me.

Ipads and phones are handy...and fragile, they seem to always have a low battery and are hard to see in sunlight 

when I turn off my ipad...to save power..i am also turning off the gps .  When you repower it takes time to re log into  the gps signal and you have lost your track.

if you need  a full time , always on , chart plotter best to go with a fixed unit .

none of them seem to last very long 

go cheap and bright screen 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My phone and iPad mini last about nine hours when they're on and running SeaIQ. Plug them into the house bank and they'll run all night and be charged up the next morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never timed it ,..my ipad is good for one approach .

perhaps 1.5 hrs...full screen brightness, cellualr data on 

for normal navigation i have full time chart plotter and only use the iapd for weather data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a phone because I have one anyway for phone calls and I have an iPad because it is old and someone gave it to me for free. In both cases they work vastly better using my Wi-Fi broadcast of GPS and AIS data than they would on their own. I can't see why you would NOT have these devices nav-capable if you own them. OTOH they are not remotely as tough as even the cheapest real marine plotters, so I sure as hell wouldn't rely on them 100% either.

YMMV

yak.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Do people really navigate with their phone? How can you have a general view of the area on such a small screen?

May be I am a luddite but I've only done navigation with either paper chart alone or paper chart + open CPN or paper chart + plotter.

TBH in strong tidal streams the solution that works best for me is to compute my heading by hand drawing vectors on the paper chart, it might exist but I've never had in my hands a satisfactory gizmo doing it for me.

For day racing, I actually navigate with my watch.   I have a Garmin Tactix, which is a discontinued model.   I can get speed over the ground, range and bearing to marks, estimates for time to get to the mark and time to the end of the route, plus will give me the range and bearing to the next mark after the current one.   If it is a point to point racing course, I gen up charts from Google Earth and chart plugins and print those out.   I get the ranges and bearings from Garmin's apps and cut and paste them into spreadsheets for printing out.   I juggle between jib/spinnaker trimming, managing crew maneuvers as the 'Sailing Master' and finally navigation/tactics.   Having it on my wrist is very handy.

The newer Garmin smart phones, like the Quatix (sailing model,) lack the navigation options that the older Tactix model has built in.   I do not care to have to learn another programming language to emulate what the tactix has built in.   I have looked at the app store for Garmin and all of the racing/nav apps cannot handle more than 5 or six waypoints and do not use the built in waypoints.  I think they are trying to force people to go to their handheld GPS models.

When the battery was fresh, it would run for 16 hrs with the GPS on high accuracy.   After having it for 2 1/2 years, I am getting ready to send it in to Garmin for a battery replacement.   I wish I could find a way to charge it on the water for longer races.   I have a 20,000mAh battery pack that I can charge my phone and tablet multiple times, but it just does not put out the current to charge the watch.

I also use the watch for hiking and running.    It also has modes for Aviation, geocaching, fishing, Military and 'Jumpmaster.'   Nice to know if I am late to the boat, I can navigate a HALO jump from 35,000 feet to the yacht club!

I am planning on doing a Everglades Challenge in the near future and will probably have to get a couple of Garmin 78sc's to have the coverage for a multi-day trip, unless I get trixie and build a Mr. Gibbs instrument package with a raspberry pi and some home made tablets with extra large batteries.

- Stumbling

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stumblingthunder said:

I have looked at the app store for Garmin and all of the racing/nav apps cannot handle more than 5 or six waypoints and do not use the built in waypoints.  I think they are trying to force people to go to their handheld GPS models.

I also find navigating by watch to be ideal.  So much so that I wrote one for the Garmin vivoactiveHR that handles about 50 waypoints easily.  You pick them using caltopo.com (which has marine charts and sat photos, so it is easy to pick up government mark locations).  The default waypoints cover the clubs in my region (PNW): https://caltopo.com/m/GRU6

Garmin doesn't expose access to the built in waypoints to ConnectIQ apps, that is why you don't see apps that can use them.  It is a little frustrating as an app developer.

This is my app: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/88a169bd-e109-4a9f-b090-0ca5d94a7b8c

vivoactiveHR has been discontinued, but I haven't had time to port it to the vivoactive3.  The source code is freely available if anyone wants to do it, I'd be happy to help as much as I can.  Every Garmin watch has a different screen resolution and set of hard buttons, which makes it difficult to build a nice UI that works across all of them.

There are situations where it doesn't work as well as a graphical plotter though.  It isn't that useful for cruising and it also isn't great for W/L racing that is going to temporarily set marks instead of gov't marks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the convenience of the watch, especially if you are in an area you know well. 

But by navigation, I mean Also sailing somewhere you might not know that well. For the bit when you assess your options, I would struggle on a small screen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a Samsung TabE Lite Android device and put the port of OpenCPN on it. It worked absolutely great but I loathe anything "google" and I sold it within two weeks of buying it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Garmin Fenix 3 series of watches and now Fenix 5 (The Quantix just has a blue band )are wonders of navagition power that hold 1000 waypoints 

The Fenix Tactic and Quantix all run the same software which is now ver 8.9 

https://forums.garmin.com/forum/on-the-trail/wrist-worn/fenix-3/1313097-fenix-3-tactix-bravo-quatix-3-software-version-8-9

 

You can configure 4 navigation screens with 4 data fields for 16 pretty slick pieces of information while I only use it for trail running in the dark it has never left me down on a dark stormy night 

But even with all its features like Project waypoint it’s pretty much my last choice on the boat  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/25/2018 at 8:59 PM, Panoramix said:

Do people really navigate with their phone? How can you have a general view of the area on such a small screen?

May be I am a luddite but I've only done navigation with either paper chart alone or paper chart + open CPN or paper chart + plotter.

TBH in strong tidal streams the solution that works best for me is to compute my heading by hand drawing vectors on the paper chart, it might exist but I've never had in my hands a satisfactory gizmo doing it for me.

Electronic charts stunt your knowledge of geography .  

No data on electronic charts...the names of islands, headlands, reefs, shoreline features are missing ....

i find that people using a chart plotter don't know where they are...only the postion of that the little boat incon 

paper chart navigation is always best 

 

IMG_8175.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Electronic charts stunt your knowledge of geography .  

No data on electronic charts...the names of islands, headlands, reefs, shoreline features are missing ....

i find that people using a chart plotter don't know where they are...only the postion of that the little boat incon 

paper chart navigation is always best 

I kind of agree if you're talking about vector charts, although there is usually some degree of configurability that may let you see names, etc, more easily.  For getting the big picture I prefer raster charts, or better yet (as you say) paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Electronic charts stunt your knowledge of geography .  

No data on electronic charts...the names of islands, headlands, reefs, shoreline features are missing ....

i find that people using a chart plotter don't know where they are...only the postion of that the little boat incon 

paper chart navigation is always best 

 

 

This is pure BS. Try to go to settings or whatever it is called on the units you use.

I use vector charts with OpenCPN, with Raymarine units, with Android. Some different software and chart data - in all I get names, reefs shorelines. The advantage with vector charts is that you can decide yourself how much data you want to be displayed. Sometimes it is preferable to turn off details to get a clear view, sometimes it is good to get all details.

chart.JPG.6849c372a1a0f7912e1d64dde7f4310c.JPG

or, another chart supplier and another software

chart2.JPG.a63f8ffed30f3c22915ca2768eaf4db9.JPG

Of course, electronic devices requires the user to know how to use it.

//J

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/24/2018 at 3:18 PM, valis said:

Expedition is running in demo mode on the Minix.  The demo won't let me connect to my NMEA source (the NavMonPc IP server), so I have requested a replacement license to let me try it out under load.  I see no reason why it won't work, but will report back with my results.

I got my Exp license updated (Thanks, Eric Steinberg @ Farallon Electronics!), and it's running well on the Minix.  I did more careful power measurements on the Minix + USB monitor, and running NavMonPc + OpenCPN (no radio stuff) it draws about 0.55A @ 12.8V.  That's 13.2 Ah / 24h, which is good.  Expedition shouldn't burn any extra, it's pretty careful with the CPU cycles.

BTW, that Minix costs $199.  The extra 128G micro-SD card cost $40.  So far I'm only using 3G on that card, and I've got a lot of stuff loaded.  OpenCPN is free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, valis said:

I kind of agree if you're talking about vector charts, although there is usually some degree of configurability that may let you see names, etc, more easily.  For getting the big picture I prefer raster charts, or better yet (as you say) paper.

What is the name of that tall mountain ? That penisula ? cliff faces ?  Breakers ? Topography 

when MRCC or VTS speaks to you they state .....one mile south of Rio Rio

paper charts are data rich 

You dont need to scroll and zoom with paper, just use your eyes. 

since paper is so expensive,  I no longer carry updated charts ...

i like paper, the correct sheet is always on the chart table 

P1090892.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Panoramix said:

I can see the convenience of the watch, especially if you are in an area you know well. 

But by navigation, I mean Also sailing somewhere you might not know that well. For the bit when you assess your options, I would struggle on a small screen. 

I might use my phone for a quick double-check while in an area that I'm mostly familiar with, but I don't use it to navigate in places that are totally new to me or that are tricky.

I also have a wind app which shows me the wind in my particular spot, which I like to use.

 

5 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Electronic charts stunt your knowledge of geography .  

No data on electronic charts...the names of islands, headlands, reefs, shoreline features are missing ....

i find that people using a chart plotter don't know where they are...only the postion of that the little boat incon 

paper chart navigation is always best 

 

IMG_8175.png

Depending on the style of electronic charts you're using, too much information is the problem. The plotter becomes so cluttered that I have to dial the settings back a little.

If you want to navigate exclusively by paper charts, that's your business but failing to update your charts because "paper is expensive" seems pretty foolish to me. Which would you say is more expensive-  paper or repairing/replacing your vessel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I might use my phone for a quick double-check while in an area that I'm mostly familiar with, but I don't use it to navigate in places that are totally new to me or that are tricky.

I also have a wind app which shows me the wind in my particular spot, which I like to use.

 

Depending on the style of electronic charts you're using, too much information is the problem. The plotter becomes so cluttered that I have to dial the settings back a little.

If you want to navigate exclusively by paper charts, that's your business but failing to update your charts because "paper is expensive" seems pretty foolish to me. Which would you say is more expensive-  paper or repairing/replacing your vessel?

Well..the screen is too small.....all the data cant be displayed  electroncally or else it turns into mumbo jumbo 

as a result you cant look ahead or plan . 

As for being foolish ...im no fool...two separate up to date electronic chart systems,  plus up to date pilots 

Outdated paper charts are several  admirality folios    , plus perhaps one hundred nationally produced paper charts.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jaramaz said:

This is pure BS. Try to go to settings or whatever it is called on the units you use.

.....

Of course, electronic devices requires the user to know how to use it.

//J

That's true but if you have the right paper chart on the chart table, if you have a doubt, you just look at it and it will tell you what you need to know. On an electronic navigation system, that's not always the case as you might have to fiddle the controls. I must admit that there are exceptions to this, I've once used openCPN on a proper PC monitor (it was a raspberry linked to the monitor) and it was nice to use. It probably doesn't help that I like to use a physical string on the map to look at distances, transits and directions. Probably I would be told off by LB15 but it is super quick and sometimes very adequate (the kind of navigation where you concentrate on being sure that you know that you aren't where you shouldn't be rather than on pinpointing precisely where you are)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

That's true but if you have the right paper chart on the chart table, if you have a doubt, you just look at it and it will tell you what you need to know. On an electronic navigation system, that's not always the case as you might have to fiddle the controls. I must admit that there are exceptions to this, I've once used openCPN on a proper PC monitor (it was a raspberry linked to the monitor) and it was nice to use. It probably doesn't help that I like to use a physical string on the map to look at distances, transits and directions. Probably I would be told off by LB15 but it is super quick and sometimes very adequate (the kind of navigation where you concentrate on being sure that you know that you aren't where you shouldn't be rather than on pinpointing precisely where you are)

Electronic charts are good for   quick reference . If you are navigating  close inshore, beware

 gps and electronic charts have significant errors.  Everytime In run the narrow channel into Olbia my plotter has me on the outside of the channel... outside the bouys ...even though I am in the middle of the bouy chain 

the  bouys in the channel between Albania and Corfu have been mislabeled for years.

in the central ionion there are small inshore islands on the electronic chart that do not exist

the lighthouse of Trizonia is charted on the wrong side of the harbour entrance

the lighthouse on the north side of the Island of Krk is misplotted by half a mile  

i can think of dozens of significant errors on common elctronic chart systems 

many times with electronic charts there is no data inside a harbour

navionics is particularly bad , Cmap is better, Transas is correct 

i never find mistakes on paper 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Cmap 

P1090894.jpg

The thing is, nobody's forcing you to use a shittiest version of electronic charts and it's disingenuous to argue that electronic charts are worse than paper based on the shitty version you chose above. My plotter, and yours, are easily capable of displaying raster charts with all the benefits of echarts: automatic location and plotting via gps, scalable zoom without the need to dig out the glasses, look-ahead well beyond the boundaries of the paper equivalent, frequent updates at low or no cost, AIS AtoN display, radar and AIS overlay of traffic, etc., etc. Yes, they require power and you'd be foolish to throw away your paper backup charts but the echart vendors don't require that you send in your paper charts as a precondition of sale. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, valis said:

I got my Exp license updated (Thanks, Eric Steinberg @ Farallon Electronics!), and it's running well on the Minix.  I did more careful power measurements on the Minix + USB monitor, and running NavMonPc + OpenCPN (no radio stuff) it draws about 0.55A @ 12.8V.  That's 13.2 Ah / 24h, which is good.  Expedition shouldn't burn any extra, it's pretty careful with the CPU cycles.

BTW, that Minix costs $199.  The extra 128G micro-SD card cost $40.  So far I'm only using 3G on that card, and I've got a lot of stuff loaded.  OpenCPN is free.

ok, so here's what I'm going to build and test out:

The Minix, the AoC USB3.0 powered monitor. Thought I would add a GPS puck(got recommendations?) and what the hell, an antenna splitter and an SDR Dongle for AIS.

Then I'd run Open CPN for Nav, and Bluewater Racing for Routing (see if I like it, there's always Expedition).  I'll play with various weather sources as well.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Raz'r, or others. I was just looking at Open CPN and I used to be able to connect live AIS data for San Fran, but the internet source that did work isn't working. (At work, so I can't look it up at the moment.) A friend recently bought a boat in San Fran to live on during his layovers and sail occasionally. I'm helping him sort the C&C 36 and set up some nav aids.

THanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, lasal said:

Hey Raz'r, or others. I was just looking at Open CPN and I used to be able to connect live AIS data for San Fran, but the internet source that did work isn't working. (At work, so I can't look it up at the moment.) A friend recently bought a boat in San Fran to live on during his layovers and sail occasionally. I'm helping him sort the C&C 36 and set up some nav aids.

THanks.

I’ve not done it yet, but will update as I learn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Cmap 

P1090894.jpg

As Istream pointed out, there are more detailed vector charts available, if such are needed

chart_ibizia.JPG.473b8fc278d2cfd6754f9d4d162e0616.JPG

But, as you should know, charts are for describing the waters outside harbours. If you need harbour descriptions go to publications specialised in such.

//J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

I’ve not done it yet, but will update as I learn

Thanks, I'll look at it again tonight also. It is a cool feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charts are packaged with electronics..  b and g is  Cmap, navionics.

this is  only a warning to readers.

i have , in addition to the b and g plotter grade charts , transas  tx-97 vector charts on computer 

 

http://www.transas.com/products/TX-97

http://www.transas.com/products/leisure/pilot_PRO

anyone contemplating global navigation would be wise to install the transas system

i have never found fault with  Transas chart data , presentation  or coverage 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Jaramaz said:

As Istream pointed out, there are more detailed vector charts available, if such are needed

chart_ibizia.JPG.473b8fc278d2cfd6754f9d4d162e0616.JPG

But, as you should know, charts are for describing the waters outside harbours. If you need harbour descriptions go to publications specialised in such.

//J

I have paper, and pilots.   Lack of electronic chart detail defeats the utility of a chart plotter 

 

transas

 

IMG_8181.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

I have paper, and pilots.   Lack of electronic chart detail defeats the utility of a chart plotter

transas

this is wonderful, you complain about lack of detail in general in "electronic charts"  where your example is outdated cmap data. Then you put on "transas" which gives about the same info as any other modern data on the specific harbour you have selected.
That has about nothing to do with a "chart plotter".   One does not use a chart plotter in a harbour - and not the usual paper sea charts either. If one need specific info then one has to use pilots etc.

At best, slug, you are confused.  You should be able to distinguish between "electronic charts", raster charts and paper charts. And, of course, pilot info.

Interesting enough, at the same time Ajax is complaining about too much detail in vector charts.

Both of you should learn how to use a chart plotter as well as other modern equipment as pads/tablets, smart phones and lap tops. These things are tools, nothing else. Each requires some basic knowledge, just as any other tool. Paper charts are also tools, also these requires some competence.

//J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jaramaz, Slug is a moron. He only anchors a cruising sailboat in 15 meters of water or more for over night. Strict rule he claimed. He spews stupid shit as a mater of course. He plots his shit course on toilet paper with a turd ruler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Jaramaz said:

this is wonderful, you complain about lack of detail in general in "electronic charts"  where your example is outdated cmap data. Then you put on "transas" which gives about the same info as any other modern data on the specific harbour you have selected.
That has about nothing to do with a "chart plotter".   One does not use a chart plotter in a harbour - and not the usual paper sea charts either. If one need specific info then one has to use pilots etc.

At best, slug, you are confused.  You should be able to distinguish between "electronic charts", raster charts and paper charts. And, of course, pilot info.

Interesting enough, at the same time Ajax is complaining about too much detail in vector charts.

Both of you should learn how to use a chart plotter as well as other modern equipment as pads/tablets, smart phones and lap tops. These things are tools, nothing else. Each requires some basic knowledge, just as any other tool. Paper charts are also tools, also these requires some competence.

//J

Wait, you mean I shouldn’t use a sextant to navigate SF Bay?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, lasal said:

Hey Raz'r, or others. I was just looking at Open CPN and I used to be able to connect live AIS data for San Fran, but the internet source that did work isn't working. (At work, so I can't look it up at the moment.) A friend recently bought a boat in San Fran to live on during his layovers and sail occasionally. I'm helping him sort the C&C 36 and set up some nav aids.

THanks.

If you want some canned NMEA data for testing (including AIS), I have a zip file of my captured data from our 2012 Pacific Cup race start on the NavMonPc download page: http://www.navmonpc.com/Downloads/Pac Cup 2012 Start.zip

You can use the OpenCPN VDR plugin to play it back, or use the NavMonPc playback feature, and connect your nav program to the NMPC server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, valis said:

If you want some canned NMEA data for testing (including AIS), I have a zip file of my captured data from our 2012 Pacific Cup race start on the NavMonPc download page: http://www.navmonpc.com/Downloads/Pac Cup 2012 Start.zip

You can use the OpenCPN VDR plugin to play it back, or use the NavMonPc playback feature, and connect your nav program to the NMPC server.

Thanks very much, Valis I'll do that. I'm not sure what NMEA data ultimately we'll use in OpenCPN, if any, but having a testing method is a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds good to me!  I've been thinking of picking up a tablet, wsterproofing it and hanging it over the compass in the cockpit.

 

Only thing I'll say is don't be surprised if your $16 battery shits the bed within a month.  In my experience, you get what you pay for with batteries but I guess $16 is a reasonable gamble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2018 at 1:42 PM, Jaramaz said:

this is wonderful, you complain about lack of detail in general in "electronic charts"  where your example is outdated cmap data. Then you put on "transas" which gives about the same info as any other modern data on the specific harbour you have selected.
That has about nothing to do with a "chart plotter".   One does not use a chart plotter in a harbour - and not the usual paper sea charts either. If one need specific info then one has to use pilots etc.

At best, slug, you are confused.  You should be able to distinguish between "electronic charts", raster charts and paper charts. And, of course, pilot info.

Interesting enough, at the same time Ajax is complaining about too much detail in vector charts.

Both of you should learn how to use a chart plotter as well as other modern equipment as pads/tablets, smart phones and lap tops. These things are tools, nothing else. Each requires some basic knowledge, just as any other tool. Paper charts are also tools, also these requires some competence.

//J

Sorry if it sounded like I was "complaining."  I have no problem adjusting the plotter to get what I want. I was only trying to illustrate that the right charts and systems are packed with information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allrighty

Got the little MiniX - loaded Open CPN, a GPS puck, the USB powered screen, a memory dongle, a USB hub (cause I'm using more than 4 ports), a USB keyboard and thumb-mouse. I boat a SDR dongle and antenna splitter so I can get AIS to Open CPN.

Running Blue-Water Racing as my routing program.

Pulls just over an amp, at 12v DC, with all the gizmos running.

Now the embarrassing part. Putting together a 12v DC supply as I want to avoid inverter losses on the boat, and I bricked the MINIX by reversing the polarity. Oops.

The guys at the company(in Hong Kong) are totally cool and are shipping me a new one. the onboard fuse I blew is not user-maintainable (if you want to keep your warranty that is)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Allrighty

Got the little MiniX - loaded Open CPN, a GPS puck, the USB powered screen, a memory dongle, a USB hub (cause I'm using more than 4 ports), a USB keyboard and thumb-mouse. I boat a SDR dongle and antenna splitter so I can get AIS to Open CPN.

Running Blue-Water Racing as my routing program.

Pulls just over an amp, at 12v DC, with all the gizmos running.

Now the embarrassing part. Putting together a 12v DC supply as I want to avoid inverter losses on the boat, and I bricked the MINIX by reversing the polarity. Oops.

The guys at the company(in Hong Kong) are totally cool and are shipping me a new one. the onboard fuse I blew is not user-maintainable (if you want to keep your warranty that is)

 

I re-read the thread and couldn't find where you said which MiniX you were choosing. Which did you settle on?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear about the polarity swap!  Yes, which Minix do you have, and how does it do with SDR and the rest of the programs running? CPU %?

Perhaps you like the thumb-mouse-stick (I did get pretty good with one many years ago), but on my little navstation chart table I much prefer a trackball.  I got a wireless keyboard with built-in trackball and that worked great.  One less cable to deal with...  I also got a USB speaker-bar for alarms, etc, and plugged that into the USB hub.  (The MINIX has a speaker jack and HDMI audio, so perhaps that simplifies things.) My setup was pre-MINIX, but the fanless computer and USB hub were all secured underneath the chart table, and the only visible cable was for the USB monitor.  I carried a spare keyboard since that was somewhat exposed to abuse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... The MiniX Z83-4 wants 12v 3a.  I'm having trouble finding a turn-key, DC/DC power supply that will deliver a regulated 3amps.  They all want to step up or down, not simply regulate 12v to 12v.

Well...I found this one which kind of gets you there:  https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Waterproof-Converter-Adjustable-Transformer/dp/B014IJM6CS/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1520961022&sr=1-4&keywords=drok+buck+converter

Valis, what do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did a test sail to check out all the wiring work. It all works and the WiFi was getting info out to the I-devices. OpenCPN was superb as usual and the CP-180 was good enough for the $100 I paid for it. The screen is small but very bright and crisp. It did have an issue with CPA alarms for ships one hour away though :unsure:

OTOH - I decided I really don't like iNavX at ALL. On the iPad it was OK but very awkward to use compared to Navionics. On my phone it just plain sucked :( Not sure what to do, Navionics doesn't take WiFi data. Maybe iNavX gets better if I pay the $$$ to get Navionics charts for it I already paid for once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Hmm... The MiniX Z83-4 wants 12v 3a.  I'm having trouble finding a turn-key, DC/DC power supply that will deliver a regulated 3amps.  They all want to step up or down, not simply regulate 12v to 12v.

Well...I found this one which kind of gets you there:  https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Waterproof-Converter-Adjustable-Transformer/dp/B014IJM6CS/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1520961022&sr=1-4&keywords=drok+buck+converter

Valis, what do you think?

I don't think the DROK unit does what you want.  It appears to be an adjustable buck converter, and they say "the input should be at least 3V higher than output".  You need a boost/buck.  There is one brand that is well-regarded, and it works for me.  Unfortunately I can't remember the name, but let me work on that (gotta run now, coming back tonight).  FWIW, I ran my MINIX up to 15V and there wasn't any smoke...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, valis said:

I don't think the DROK unit does what you want.  It appears to be an adjustable buck converter, and they say "the input should be at least 3V higher than output".  You need a boost/buck.  There is one brand that is well-regarded, and it works for me.  Unfortunately I can't remember the name, but let me work on that (gotta run now, coming back tonight).  FWIW, I ran my MINIX up to 15V and there wasn't any smoke...

I came across these a while back, sounds like in the ballpark. https://www.powerstream.com/dc2.htm

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I swapped the AC ->48VDC power supply on my Ubiquiti Toughswitch for a SMAKN 12VDC->48VDC converter and it works great. No noise (sonic or electronic), runs cool, meets specs. Turns out they make a 12VDC 10A regulated supply too:

https://www.amazon.com/voltage-regulator-automatic-step-down-converter/dp/B019DFKN1I/ref=sr_1_32?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1520973831&sr=1-32&keywords=smakn+12v+to+12v

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ishmael said:

I came across these a while back, sounds like in the ballpark. https://www.powerstream.com/dc2.htm

 

Those look nice, and the "isolated buck-boost" one has a great input voltage range of 10 - 30V.  But it's way more power than needed for the Minix system, and costs damn near what the computer itself costs.  It is sort of amusing that the tiny computers we are using (Minix, Raspberry Pi, etc) have become the least-expensive part of the system.

The company I was thinking of is "Lind Electronics".  Here is an adaptor of theirs that might be appropriate: https://lindelectronics.com/product/vb1285-1169/  It costs $50.  The input range is only 11-16 volts, but that's probably fine.  Of course the Minix itself can likely handle that range, but getting a guarantee of that is unlikely.  I don't know if Lind is really any better than the cheaper stuff, but they were recommended and mine has worked well.  My battery bank is big and pretty stable, so I'm not stressing things very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, valis said:

Those look nice, and the "isolated buck-boost" one has a great input voltage range of 10 - 30V.  But it's way more power than needed for the Minix system, and costs damn near what the computer itself costs.  It is sort of amusing that the tiny computers we are using (Minix, Raspberry Pi, etc) have become the least-expensive part of the system.

The company I was thinking of is "Lind Electronics".  Here is an adaptor of theirs that might be appropriate: https://lindelectronics.com/product/vb1285-1169/  It costs $50.  The input range is only 11-16 volts, but that's probably fine.  Of course the Minix itself can likely handle that range, but getting a guarantee of that is unlikely.  I don't know if Lind is really any better than the cheaper stuff, but they were recommended and mine has worked well.  My battery bank is big and pretty stable, so I'm not stressing things very much.

I was looking for something to boost the voltage to my Espar so it would start without the engine running. It just doesn't want to start below 14V. It's old and feeble so I feel some sympathy and I hate crawling out into the morning rain to fire up the diesel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I was looking for something to boost the voltage to my Espar so it would start without the engine running. It just doesn't want to start below 14V. It's old and feeble so I feel some sympathy and I hate crawling out into the morning rain to fire up the diesel.

Ish, are you sure it isn't a case voltage drop from corroded connections?  14V starting voltage sucks big-time.  My Espar starts fine at 12.x V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, valis said:

Ish, are you sure it isn't a case voltage drop from corroded connections?  14V starting voltage sucks big-time.  My Espar starts fine at 12.x V.

I replaced all the cables from the batteries to the unit with oversize so 3% drop, I have to check the connections at the controller again but I'm doubtful. I took it home and rebuilt it a few years ago and it worked well for a couple of years and now it's problematic again. Cleaning off the glow plug helped a lot, as did running it flat-out on kerosene for an hour. The poor thing is 22 years old and still running more or less. That's 148 in people years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

allright - here's the BoM at the moment.  Remember - the idea is to have a full PacCup solution at generic prices. It needs Charting, Routing, AIS and the ability to receive weather fax.

 

Computer: MiniX Neo Z83-4 MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro, Intel Cherry Trail Fanless Mini PC Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) [Intel X5-Z8350/4GB/32GB/Dual-Band Wi-Fi/Gigabit Ethernet/Dual Output/4K]. Sold Directly by MINIX Technology Limited.

Display: AOC e1759Fwu 17-Inch Ultra Slim 1600x900 Res, 220cd/m2 Brightness USB 3.0-Powered Portable LED 

Keyboard: Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Touch TV Keyboard with Easy Media Control and Built-In Touchpad

Mouse, same brand, shares 1 USB dongle so only takes 1 port: Logitech 910-001799 Wireless Trackball M570

USB hub because all these things need more than 4 USB ports(Display, keyboard/mouse, Memory, SDR Radio, GPS): Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Data Hub for Macbook, Mac Pro / mini, iMac, Surface Pro, XPS, Notebook PC, USB Flash Drives, Mobile HDD, and More

Radio splitter so I can take the VHF signal from 1 input, and output to both the VHF and the PC (and a AM//FM radio if I choose to): Glomex RA201 12V VHF/AIS/Radio Splitter

Software Defined Radio Dongle: RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only)

Adaptor to connect the splitter to the dongle: DHT Electronics 2pcs RF coaxial coax adapter SMA male to BNC female

USB GPS: USB GPS Receiver Antenna Gmouse For Car Marine Laptop PC Navigation

12v power supply:  Fully Regulated voltage stabaliser 12 / 24 volt cigarette lighter power lead LED LCD TV Sat Nav Television and it's compatible cord:PHC RC-x2555C1 DC Barrel Plug Converter, 2.1mm x 5.5mm to 2.5mm x 5.5mm, 3" cord

Cable to connect the 12v power supply to the computer, cause the computer has a bizarre 2.5mm x 5.5mm connection: PHC RC-x2555C1 DC Barrel Plug Converter, 2.1mm x 5.5mm to 2.5mm x 5.5mm, 3" cord

 

I've already got a little Sony shortwave receiver - which has an audio out - hopefully CPN can take audio-in (it can, but can it take this one?)

 

Due to my polarity FUBAR and frying out the fuse in the box, the testing will have to wait a bit....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

allright - here's the BoM at the moment.  Remember - the idea is to have a full PacCup solution at generic prices. It needs Charting, Routing, AIS and the ability to receive weather fax.

 

Radio splitter so I can take the VHF signal from 1 input, and output to both the VHF and the PC (and a AM//FM radio if I choose to): Glomex RA201 12V VHF/AIS/Radio Splitter

Software Defined Radio Dongle: RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 RTL2832U 1PPM TCXO SMA Software Defined Radio (Dongle Only)

Adaptor to connect the splitter to the dongle: DHT Electronics 2pcs RF coaxial coax adapter SMA male to BNC female

USB GPS: USB GPS Receiver Antenna Gmouse For Car Marine Laptop PC Navigation

12v power supply:  Fully Regulated voltage stabaliser 12 / 24 volt cigarette lighter power lead LED LCD TV Sat Nav Television and it's compatible cord:PHC RC-x2555C1 DC Barrel Plug Converter, 2.1mm x 5.5mm to 2.5mm x 5.5mm, 3" cord

Cable to connect the 12v power supply to the computer, cause the computer has a bizarre 2.5mm x 5.5mm connection: PHC RC-x2555C1 DC Barrel Plug Converter, 2.1mm x 5.5mm to 2.5mm x 5.5mm, 3" cord

 

I've already got a little Sony shortwave receiver - which has an audio out - hopefully CPN can take audio-in (it can, but can it take this one?)

 

Due to my polarity FUBAR and frying out the fuse in the box, the testing will have to wait a bit....

 

Are you signed up for the 2018 Pac Cup?

The Glomex splitter looks good, if it does what it claims.  I would ask around.  If you're doing the Pac Cup, you need a spare VHF antenna (for when your mast falls down), so instead of the splitter you might mount the spare antenna to the pushpit rail or something.  The range won't be as good as a masthead or spreader-mount antenna, but it's certainly good enough.  Just don't try actually using one of those "emergency VHF antennas" (with the suction cup).  It works, barely, but about as well as a straightened-out paper clip.

I like SDRs, but I've only played with the more expensive DC-daylight ones, not the VHF only type.  Do your testing.

That BNC/SMA adaptor is fine, as long as you have everything strain-relieved.  When you stack an adaptor on the SMA connector you can put a lot of leverage on the SDR dongle, possibly damaging the SMA and/or USB connector-to-circuit board interface.  I've done it, and had to crack open the SDR plastic case and do some very fine soldering.

That 12V supply -- I can't find input voltage range or output current specs.  It could be fine, but do your testing or find one that has appropriate specs.

Power barrel connectors!!!  Why can't they standardize on two or three, rather than the dozens of variants???  It's not like they are really preventing you from plugging in a wrong voltage plug, since I've seen 5V and 12V systems use the exact same plug.  Oh well, I have a couple boxes full of old wall-warts, and I can usually find the right ones to make a Frankenstein's Monster or just a cable.

OCPN will do WEFAX from a sound card interface, but Win10 has changed the way some of the soundcard stuff works.  You may need to do some configuration changes or install some soundcard drivers / splitters / etc.  I got this to work (with SDRs) on two different Win10 computers, and one Win7 computer, and the details were different for each of them.  With your Sony radio and an audio interface, you might have to fight with signal levels, ground loops and hum, so be prepared.

Keep us posted! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the BoM.  I'm curious to hear how your choice of power supply works out. I didn't see any spec on the output amperage.

Valis- The Lind power supply you linked says output at 8.5 amps. The MiniX is looking for 3 amps. Will that hurt it, or does it only draw what it needs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ishmael said:

I replaced all the cables from the batteries to the unit with oversize so 3% drop, I have to check the connections at the controller again but I'm doubtful. I took it home and rebuilt it a few years ago and it worked well for a couple of years and now it's problematic again. Cleaning off the glow plug helped a lot, as did running it flat-out on kerosene for an hour. The poor thing is 22 years old and still running more or less. That's 148 in people years.

When I sold those things I always tried to get the customers to install a separate tank and use kerosene. Using cold diesel in the winter = gradual carbon buildup until it wouldn't run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Thanks for the BoM.  I'm curious to hear how your choice of power supply works out. I didn't see any spec on the output amperage.

Valis- The Lind power supply you linked says output at 8.5 amps. The MiniX is looking for 3 amps. Will that hurt it, or does it only draw what it needs?

That. My house bank can supply over 500 amps, but it usually doesn't ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, valis said:

Are you signed up for the 2018 Pac Cup?

The Glomex splitter looks good, if it does what it claims.  I would ask around.  If you're doing the Pac Cup, you need a spare VHF antenna (for when your mast falls down), so instead of the splitter you might mount the spare antenna to the pushpit rail or something.  The range won't be as good as a masthead or spreader-mount antenna, but it's certainly good enough.  Just don't try actually using one of those "emergency VHF antennas" (with the suction cup).  It works, barely, but about as well as a straightened-out paper clip.

I like SDRs, but I've only played with the more expensive DC-daylight ones, not the VHF only type.  Do your testing.

That BNC/SMA adaptor is fine, as long as you have everything strain-relieved.  When you stack an adaptor on the SMA connector you can put a lot of leverage on the SDR dongle, possibly damaging the SMA and/or USB connector-to-circuit board interface.  I've done it, and had to crack open the SDR plastic case and do some very fine soldering.

That 12V supply -- I can't find input voltage range or output current specs.  It could be fine, but do your testing or find one that has appropriate specs.

Power barrel connectors!!!  Why can't they standardize on two or three, rather than the dozens of variants???  It's not like they are really preventing you from plugging in a wrong voltage plug, since I've seen 5V and 12V systems use the exact same plug.  Oh well, I have a couple boxes full of old wall-warts, and I can usually find the right ones to make a Frankenstein's Monster or just a cable.

OCPN will do WEFAX from a sound card interface, but Win10 has changed the way some of the soundcard stuff works.  You may need to do some configuration changes or install some soundcard drivers / splitters / etc.  I got this to work (with SDRs) on two different Win10 computers, and one Win7 computer, and the details were different for each of them.  With your Sony radio and an audio interface, you might have to fight with signal levels, ground loops and hum, so be prepared.

Keep us posted! 

My experience with cheap $20 +/- SDRs has been variable at best. As an ADS-B receiver, I have got some pretty good results with ranges well over 60 miles. As a radio, so far it has significantly underperformed my "real" radios. One reason is there is no front end in the things, they seem easily overwhelmed by strong signals. OTOH for the little they cost it is amazing what they can do. Kind of like a dog reciting Shakespeare, sure the accent sucks but it is a miracle he can do it at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you need the Sony if you've got the SDR? Can't it get the wfax broadcasts as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, valis said:

Are you signed up for the 2018 Pac Cup?

The Glomex splitter looks good, if it does what it claims.  I would ask around.  If you're doing the Pac Cup, you need a spare VHF antenna (for when your mast falls down), so instead of the splitter you might mount the spare antenna to the pushpit rail or something.  The range won't be as good as a masthead or spreader-mount antenna, but it's certainly good enough.  Just don't try actually using one of those "emergency VHF antennas" (with the suction cup).  It works, barely, but about as well as a straightened-out paper clip.

I like SDRs, but I've only played with the more expensive DC-daylight ones, not the VHF only type.  Do your testing.

That BNC/SMA adaptor is fine, as long as you have everything strain-relieved.  When you stack an adaptor on the SMA connector you can put a lot of leverage on the SDR dongle, possibly damaging the SMA and/or USB connector-to-circuit board interface.  I've done it, and had to crack open the SDR plastic case and do some very fine soldering.

That 12V supply -- I can't find input voltage range or output current specs.  It could be fine, but do your testing or find one that has appropriate specs.

Power barrel connectors!!!  Why can't they standardize on two or three, rather than the dozens of variants???  It's not like they are really preventing you from plugging in a wrong voltage plug, since I've seen 5V and 12V systems use the exact same plug.  Oh well, I have a couple boxes full of old wall-warts, and I can usually find the right ones to make a Frankenstein's Monster or just a cable.

OCPN will do WEFAX from a sound card interface, but Win10 has changed the way some of the soundcard stuff works.  You may need to do some configuration changes or install some soundcard drivers / splitters / etc.  I got this to work (with SDRs) on two different Win10 computers, and one Win7 computer, and the details were different for each of them.  With your Sony radio and an audio interface, you might have to fight with signal levels, ground loops and hum, so be prepared.

Keep us posted! 

I have time. 2020....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

4 hours ago, Ajax said:

Valis- The Lind power supply you linked says output at 8.5 amps. The MiniX is looking for 3 amps. Will that hurt it, or does it only draw what it needs?

 Ajax, kent_island_sailor is right.  The computer (or any load) takes the amount of current it needs from the power supply (or battery).   Within reason, I would rather have a regulator that is capable of more current rather than less.  Way too much margin leads to high standby power drain, but a little margin is a good thing.

2 hours ago, IStream said:

Why do you need the Sony if you've got the SDR? Can't it get the wfax broadcasts as well?

The cheap $20 SDRs were originally designed for digital television reception, and only cover the (roughly) 50MHz - 1GHz region.  This can be used for AIS reception and decoding, but not for HF (3-30 MHz) weatherfax.  There is a $100 and up class of SDRs that have a much more flexible front-end (filters, mixers, amplifiers, etc) and more stable oscillators, and these usually cover 100kHz - 2GHz or so.  These are the ones we can use for WFAX.  I've tried "SDRplay", and "Funcube Dongle Pro +" wideband SDRs and they work pretty well.

None of these relatively inexpensive SDRs will have the dynamic range or interference rejection of a quality radio receiver / transceiver, but on a boat at sea we are less likely to experience strong local interference.

Here's an example of what the "SDRplay RSP1A" receiver can do.  I've got one running in Friday Harbor, connected to a dipole antenna and continuously monitoring the 20-meter ham band on the "FT8" digital frequency.  Over a 24-hour period I received all these stations:

p5aa946d534265_ft-820mfh.thumb.jpg.b52766ac92d566ff665960d51ec7ed6a.jpg

I especially like the one in Svalbard!  I just checked and yesterday I also picked up Bear Island (halfway between Norway and Svalbard).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raz'r, thanks for posting the BoM.  It looks like I have some homework to do. 

I just got a Vulcan 7 that I'll use in the cockpit but want to put together a system like yours for the Nav station. 

I don't have the Pac Cup requirements you do but would like to integrate the N2K data on my network (B&G Triton with Actisense bringing in KVH compass data) to open CPN running on a mini computer.  I use and like Blue Water as well.  I have a B&G radio with built in AIS reception.  I basically just want the GPS data, AIS, speed/performance and computing in a nice behind the scenes package.  

Looking forward to hearing how your system works out.  Pictures when you get to it would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Raz'r said:

AOC e1759Fwu 17-Inch Ultra Slim 1600x900 Res, 220cd/m2 Brightness USB 3.0-Powered Portable LED

The flimsy rounded back of this monitor makes it very difficult to mount.  Consider the flat backed https://www.amazon.com/AOC-e1759Fwu-1600x900-Brightness-3-0-Powered/dp/B06Y8SSQG5?th=1

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Passport111 said:

Raz'r, thanks for posting the BoM.  It looks like I have some homework to do. 

I just got a Vulcan 7 that I'll use in the cockpit but want to put together a system like yours for the Nav station. 

I don't have the Pac Cup requirements you do but would like to integrate the N2K data on my network (B&G Triton with Actisense bringing in KVH compass data) to open CPN running on a mini computer.  I use and like Blue Water as well.  I have a B&G radio with built in AIS reception.  I basically just want the GPS data, AIS, speed/performance and computing in a nice behind the scenes package.  

Looking forward to hearing how your system works out.  Pictures when you get to it would be great.

I'll keep posting. I'm about to switch from electric gizmos in the man cave to glass work on the actual boat (some core issues in the cockpit).

Waiting for a break in the weather so the boat can get her bottom job completed - we splash it and get it close to home.

Once the glass work is done, and some rigging updates, it will be sails on. 

Somewhere in there i'll mount all the electronics.

 

As to mounting the display - it has the universal mounting points pre-tapped into the back - so should be pretty easy to mount to a ram-arm or something like that but the BOM I put together was just one guy and his smart wife figuring it out. Over time I'm sure there will be better options for each of the individual pieces.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

As to mounting the display - it has the universal mounting points pre-tapped into the back - so should be pretty easy to mount to a ram-arm or something like that

Been there, done that.  It aint gonna hold.  And the connector needs mods to stay attached.

We had to build a cassette into which that AOC display sits (rubber cushioned). The cassette is mounted on a RAM arm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, WoobaGooba said:

Been there, done that.  It aint gonna hold.  And the connector needs mods to stay attached.

We had to build a cassette into which that AOC display sits (rubber cushioned). The cassette is mounted on a RAM arm

cool, thanks for the tip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Raz'r said:

cool, thanks for the tip

do you think the taps will pull out? I'm happy making a little carbon plate as an adaptor, just made one for the I14 actually - had to mount a flat ratchet block base-plate to a curved surface....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, WoobaGooba said:

Been there, done that.  It aint gonna hold.  And the connector needs mods to stay attached.

We had to build a cassette into which that AOC display sits (rubber cushioned). The cassette is mounted on a RAM arm

Please tell me abut that cassette.  I've used velcro, duct tape and bungee cords to hold my USB display, and would really like a good RAM arm solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Raz'r said:

do you think the taps will pull out? I'm happy making a little carbon plate as an adaptor, just made one for the I14 actually - had to mount a flat ratchet block base-plate to a curved surface....

The AOC rounded back is thin and very flexible.  We built a cassette into which the display slides.  It is supported on all four slides, rubber cushioned.  So far has held up for 1K offshore miles.  But it is considered expendable.  If the display fails, the laptop can still be pulled from its protected mount onto the nav station.

The flat backed version of this display would be A LOT easier to velcro to a panel which is then RAM mounted to the boat.

 

1 minute ago, valis said:

Please tell me abut that cassette.  I've used velcro, duct tape and bungee cords to hold my USB display, and would really like a good RAM arm solution.

 

IMG_3019.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that built from HDPE stock?  Some of the bits look too shiny for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, valis said:

Is that built from HDPE stock?  Some of the bits look too shiny for that.

1/2" ply and G10 (shiny bits).  It would be a lot easier to just velcro the flat backed version to a panel and RAM mount it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites