kent_island_sailor

New nav gear thread - least power used

Recommended Posts

I love my OpenCPN and nice big laptop display, but it is somewhat of a power hog. I am looking for something else to use when I can't spare the amps and so far it looks like Aqua Map on an iPad will win the day for a big enough screen - 9.7 inches - and low power draw.

Any other ideas out there for relatively low budget efficiency? My other two ideas are getting s Chromebook and reformatting it for Linux and a Raspberry-PI creation. I love the Raspberries, but that scheme keeps running aground on the "WTF do I use for a display" reef.

* anyone have a Chromebook that can run off a USB cable? I have the nice 4.8 amp BlueSea USB outlets :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'vde been very happy with a Microsoft Surface.  Very low power, lots of battery life.  I use a car adapter to power it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jamhass said:

I'vde been very happy with a Microsoft Surface.  Very low power, lots of battery life.  I use a car adapter to power it.

What are you running on the Surface for navigation?

Share this post


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

I love my OpenCPN and nice big laptop display, but it is somewhat of a power hog. I am looking for something else to use when I can't spare the amps and so far it looks like Aqua Map on an iPad will win the day for a big enough screen - 9.7 inches - and low power draw.

Any other ideas out there for relatively low budget efficiency? My other two ideas are getting s Chromebook and reformatting it for Linux and a Raspberry-PI creation. I love the Raspberries, but that scheme keeps running aground on the "WTF do I use for a display" reef.

* anyone have a Chromebook that can run off a USB cable? I have the nice 4.8 amp BlueSea USB outlets :D

Is it going to be in a cabin or exposed on a weather deck?

If below decks then a Pi and an Eyoyo screen works fine. I've got OpenCPN running on that combo.

Weather deck, I've got a Simrad 9" chartplotter right in front of the wheel where I can see it easily.

I simply could NOT find a decent solution to the waterproof mouse/trackball, low voltage waterproof touch-screen with daylight visibility combination at any reasonable price.

WRT tablets, same problem - not waterproof, high power draw using the internal GPS. Put them in a waterproof sleeve then you need a decent battery pack in there as well - and there's at least a chance they'll overheat and shut down/kill off the power hog app. Guess how I found out that little issue....

Having said that Navionics on an iPad or Android tablet is really, really nice - if you can deal with the other issues.

But I gave up & bought the Simrad plotter. I was tired of beating my head on the wall when I just wanted to go sailing.

FKT

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is for below decks. I have a plotter at the helm that is low draw, waterproof, and daylight bright. It is kind of limited and the screen is small, but when the SHTF it is right there where I can see it while I steer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

This is for below decks. I have a plotter at the helm that is low draw, waterproof, and daylight bright. It is kind of limited and the screen is small, but when the SHTF it is right there where I can see it while I steer.

OK, then a Raspberry Pi and a 12V HDMI screen will work fine. In fact I'm fitting an 18" HDMI screen on the fwd bulkhead of my boat as a big chartplotter display ATM. Bonus, I can connect my laptop or whatever to it via the HDMI cable and the Pi is networked so I can export the display anyway. Logitec wireless k/board & mouse.

I think I have 5 Pi's doing various jobs, not all on the boat. Though one is mounted with a 7" touch screen and I currently use it to display depth data - NMEA0183 into a matchbox sized terminal server then ethernet to the Pi and Node Red processing to a Web page. Entertaining but I'll probably buy a Digital Yacht IKommunicate box soon & replace some of this. I spent a lot of paid time playing with data acquisition & display systems.

EDIT: The Blue Seas USB outlets aren't *really* 4.8A each IME. A Pi doesn't really like running off of one - I keep getting the lightning bolt indicator of insufficient power. I've a bunch of cheap 12V-5V 3A USB dongle things I bought off of eBay. Those do provide sufficient power.

Then the new Pi 4 came out with USB-C and none of the micro-USB power supplies I have fit any more, so I've bought a bunch more including some that supposedly are good for 5A. But I've not wired any of those up yet so......

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the idea of messing with a Raspberry and I am sure I will be buying one for ham/SSB stuff if for no other reason (Navtex, PSK31, FT8, HF-DSC, etc). For a real low power nav setup though, I am not seeing it come in much under 2 amps. I could be wrong, but the display is looking to be 1 to 1.5 amps right there plus the Pi. 

An iPad should come in under an amp on the charger, right? I already have NMEA over Wifi, so all I would need would be the actual iPad, Aqua Map, and a RAM mount.

Share this post


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

I'vde been very happy with a Microsoft Surface.  Very low power, lots of battery life.  I use a car adapter to power it.

Interesting that you find that. I only used them in the office, so I don't know what the power draw was, but the battery life was terrible and the reliability was not great. It was a shame because the screen was pretty good and I liked the form factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Anomaly2 said:

What are you running on the Surface for navigation?

Been using an older copy of Coastal Explorer.  Works fine for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

Interesting that you find that. I only used them in the office, so I don't know what the power draw was, but the battery life was terrible and the reliability was not great. It was a shame because the screen was pretty good and I liked the form factor.

Mine is an older Surface Pro 3, Intel I5, 256GB.  So far, so good.  Only issue to date has been the keyboard, had to replace it once. 

Share this post


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

Mine is an older Surface Pro 3, Intel I5, 256GB.  So far, so good.  Only issue to date has been the keyboard, had to replace it once. 

I think that's what we were running, possibly with slightly less memory.  Hope yours keeps ticking.

Share this post


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

I love the idea of messing with a Raspberry and I am sure I will be buying one for ham/SSB stuff if for no other reason (Navtex, PSK31, FT8, HF-DSC, etc). For a real low power nav setup though, I am not seeing it come in much under 2 amps. I could be wrong, but the display is looking to be 1 to 1.5 amps right there plus the Pi. 

An iPad should come in under an amp on the charger, right? I already have NMEA over Wifi, so all I would need would be the actual iPad, Aqua Map, and a RAM mount.

Yeah those figures for the display are about right IME. My big 18" screen draws 5A at 12V. That's OK because I just switch it off when I'm not looking at it.

I've been meaning to use the Simrad wifi to the Samsung tablet running Navionix to see if that reduces the power consumption (rather than use the internal tablet GPS).

But really, below decks you can do anything you like and experiment as much as you like with no regard for the weather.

It's quite handy having a tablet you can wander about with.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apart from the iPads, we just have a cheap Lenovo tablet  with an inbuilt GPS dedicated to Navionics, use it most of the time and it’s been reliable.

IIRC it cost me $Aus44 new...

Also have a Garmin plotter down below, mainly just use it for the anchor watch these days.

The Lenovo’s power use is pretty negligible, the screen brightness is not great.

If we have a navigational challenge, like our recent trip down the Great Sandy Straits, just fire up an iPad in a waterproof case for a couple of hours.

I suspect the future is just using our normal tablets and an app, and forgetting about dedicated onboard nav systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use my Standard-Horizon plotter very often. Probably 90% of the time I am looking at the computer. The 10% of the time I do need it I REALLY need it. It is daylight readable, right at the helm, dims as far as I need for night work, and can have water pouring over it while I operate it with wet hands no problem. It will not suddenly want an update or try and sell me something. I still see a place for real marine hardware.

Share this post


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

Apart from the iPads, we just have a cheap Lenovo tablet  with an inbuilt GPS dedicated to Navionics, use it most of the time and it’s been reliable.

IIRC it cost me $Aus44 new...

Also have a Garmin plotter down below, mainly just use it for the anchor watch these days.

The Lenovo’s power use is pretty negligible, the screen brightness is not great.

If we have a navigational challenge, like our recent trip down the Great Sandy Straits, just fire up an iPad in a waterproof case for a couple of hours.

I suspect the future is just using our normal tablets and an app, and forgetting about dedicated onboard nav systems.

Ok now tell me this - how do you get your depth sounder data to your tablet, or do you just have a dedicated waterproof marine electronic box that displays it?

Because, if the latter, you're still stuck with a NMEA0183 or NMEA2K backbone of some sort.

This is another issue I couldn't get around without going to a fair amount of hassle. I know how to wire up a terminal server that spits out data over wifi (in fact my sounder xducer feeds into one then ethernet to the Pi) but now I've got yet another box and stuff unique to my boat.

My Simrad plotter has ethernet and NMEA2K inputs but I think the ethernet is only for radar data not general NMEA0183 over IP which would make life easier. Hence my tentative decision to get an iKommunicate black box.

As I said I've found the tablet works really well if the battery life, lack of water proofness and possible shutdown due to overheating (in Tasmania!!! Give me a break) issues aren't of concern to you. It's really nice to be able to walk around with the tablet in hand. Next time I'm out I'll try slaving it to the Simrad wifi and see how that affects battery life. Depends if the wifi uses less power than the tablet GPS.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

All our instruments are stand alone, no networking

Depth is a Ray unit in the cockpit

We managed to overheat the Ipads a few times in the PNW, waterproof covers the main culprit

Helps to have a few options like a couple of tablets and Iphones all loaded up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My cheap 2" round depthfinder has a function to be a master or slave display. I got curious and set it to master and the extra wire puts out standard NMEA depth data :D

So far I have run it to the plotter at the helm - thanks S-H for so many NMEA inputs - but once I get a multiplexer worked out I'll have it below and on wifi.

I might use this:

http://www.yakbitz.com/YakMUX.aspx

I use their NMEA to WiFi bridge right now and it works fine.

 

Share this post


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

My cheap 2" round depthfinder has a function to be a master or slave display. I got curious and set it to master and the extra wire puts out standard NMEA depth data :D

So far I have run it to the plotter at the helm - thanks S-H for so many NMEA inputs - but once I get a multiplexer worked out I'll have it below and on wifi.

I might use this:

http://www.yakbitz.com/YakMUX.aspx

I use their NMEA to WiFi bridge right now and it works fine.

 

The one I'm referring to is:

https://ikommunicate.com/

It does what the Yakker box does but considerably more (and $$$ more too). My Simrad plotter has no NMEA0183 port so if I want to feed it data my options are NMEA2000 or possibly ethernet but the documentation isn't clear on whether that'll read any NMEA strings or really only radar. I'd be happy if I could feed it NMEA strings over ethernet, I can do that pretty much in my sleep.

The Yakker box looks like a good way to go for a simple multiplexer but the IKommunicate box can serve multiple data 'consumers'. It's doing a similar job to some of the kit we put together for ships systems back in the late 1990's. I'm pretty appalled at how far behind the curve consumer level marine electronics actually is.

FKT

Share this post


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

Ok now tell me this - how do you get your depth sounder data to your tablet, or do you just have a dedicated waterproof marine electronic box that displays it?

Because, if the latter, you're still stuck with a NMEA0183 or NMEA2K backbone of some sort.

Nothing wrong with a NMEA2000 backbone.  My boat has a plotter, but it is below decks so I rarely use it.  In the cockpit we use an iPad (overheating is a problem) or my phone as a backup.  They get data off of NMEA2000 backbone using a very low power Yacht Devices YDWG-02.

I bought a standalone GPS receiver for the NMEA2000 network so that I can get GPS data even when the plotter is turned off.  4 NMEA2000 instrument displays, wind, depth, boat speed, GPS, and WiFi consume under an amp.  My autopilot and plotter are on their own power circuits and are only turned on when needed.

Share this post


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

Nothing wrong with a NMEA2000 backbone.  My boat has a plotter, but it is below decks so I rarely use it.  In the cockpit we use an iPad (overheating is a problem) or my phone as a backup.  They get data off of NMEA2000 backbone using a very low power Yacht Devices YDWG-02.

I bought a standalone GPS receiver for the NMEA2000 network so that I can get GPS data even when the plotter is turned off.  4 NMEA2000 instrument displays, wind, depth, boat speed, GPS, and WiFi consume under an amp.  My autopilot and plotter are on their own power circuits and are only turned on when needed.

We do similar, the H5k instruments including GPS and GFD are pretty low power, with the Zeus 12" plotter as needed (2A). Wifi to whatever you want with NMEA 0183 from the Zeus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

0.0 Amps. Takes a little practice. 

nav.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've learned that it is important to read past the headlines......

"NOAA will still provide access to paper chart products based on ENC data, either through third-party vendors or through the NOAA Custom Chart system (now in prototype phase). The online NOAA Custom Chart (NCC) application lets users create their own paper charts with NOAA ENC data. The user can define the scale and size of custom-made nautical charts, then download them in a special PDF format."

Paper charts will still be available for the foreseeable future.

I've been stuck on a boat trying to outrun a gale into Eureka when we found we had no proper electronic or paper charts for this approach, nor inside the harbor. This vessel was having some electrical problems later traced to threads stripping off the attachments on the buss bar d/t electrolysis that was causing problems all over the boat. I would not have trusted ENC 100% for this approach in the dark with rising wind & swell into a harbour none of us had ever seen. As the navigator my stress level would have been greatly reduced with a proper set of paper charts - even if I had had the proper version in ENC.

Electronics are great, but I still think any skipper is derelict if he doesnt have some reasonably updated paper chart aboard - and the knowledge/practice to put it to practical use.

Electronics or paper or what have you - THE PRUDENT NAVIGATOR NEVER RELIES ON A SINGLE METHOD OF NAVIGATION!!!!

Even with great electronics you still need to maintain situational awareness, and paper helps a lot with that.

I've got several more 1st hand stories of navigation problems caused by a skipper having his head in the electronics instead of looking around and using common sense.

To the OP - I think it is a waste of money to get more electronics just because they draw less amps unless and until you have a basic competency with paper/watch/compass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ there are a mile or two of threads in here debating that. 

I have Timezero as a backup to a Simrad plotter. You get three installs and I put one on my Surface.  It works fine but got pretty hot left running plugged in with all sleep functions off.  This was in night view with the display turned down.  Might just be that plotter program.  Some friends of ours have used a Samsung tablet and open cnp exclusively since it came out, all the way around.  I have a Yacht Systems wifi N2K that was pretty cheep for data but I don't use it after adding the vesper AIS unit.  It has its own GPS and wifi so you could use it alone with n2k backbone minimum draw.  Regular PC's, TVs and flat screens draw a fair bit  of power.

Share this post


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

To the OP - I think it is a waste of money to get more electronics just because they draw less amps unless and until you have a basic competency with paper/watch/compass

>>

Paper charts will still be available for the foreseeable future.

I have done plenty of navigation with paper charts including celestial. I still have some plotting sheets someplace from approaching Bermuda. I can get around with with old fashioned gear if I have to. I even remember the rules for correcting a course outbound from a radio beacon and how to do running fixes. None of that stuff is going to help resolve AIS targets though. Besides for that, I like experimenting with this stuff.

As for paper charts, they will exist, but apparently they'll look like ENC charts, not RNC??? I really don't like this, I grew up on paper charts and use RNCs on OpenCPN too. In my mind the old school paper chart or electronic version of it translates directly into what I expect to see. I am sure the various chartbook companies will keep them going, but I will miss RNCs on the plotter for sure!

The intent of this thread though is to find a <1 amp substitute/supliment for my 3.5 amp computer ;)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2019 at 5:43 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

I love my OpenCPN and nice big laptop display, but it is somewhat of a power hog. I am looking for something else to use when I can't spare the amps and so far it looks like Aqua Map on an iPad will win the day for a big enough screen - 9.7 inches - and low power draw.

Any other ideas out there for relatively low budget efficiency? 

Easy solution! :-) :-). (I’m sure this will be a serious solution for many people...be very afraid!)
 

Seriously, though, since this is something I know very little about, having avoided upgrading electronics until I need too - I’m going to ask re: your possible solution of Aqua Map on an iPad, with screen big enough and low power draw.

Some iPads have GPS and some don’t, is that right? So has to be GPS type?  What’s the power draw, out of curiosity, <1A?

A0AD8F3B-638E-470E-8A93-C5345B683F6F.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Some iPads have GPS and some don’t, is that right? So has to be GPS type?  What’s the power draw, out of curiosity, <1A?

Not sure about the iPad, haven't checked it, but my smallish Samsung tablet can display the plot (Navionics) and maintain/recharge plugged into a 2.4A USB socket so yeah, less than an amp @ 12V I'd say.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have a Garmin 182 mounted on my boat after nearly 20 years of use. It's no longer our main CP (ipad and phone(s) are the go to), but we still turn it on when getting onboard and leave it on until we turn the batteries off when leaving the boat.

 

It's primarily an anchor watch device as well as secondary(third) CP these days. It's good at leaving a constant trail that paints your boats movement at anchor. As it's on all the time, a glance can tell you exactly how the anchor set is performing. Wind direction - speed changes, tidal flow, distance to anchor, it's all there at a glance, daylight or 3 am. It's easier to sleep when you can see many hours of swinging with no movement on the screen. 

 

This shot I saved years ago, I think shows we'd let out some rode. Dragging is easy to see: It leaves a 'falling leaf' pattern on the screen that when you see it, you know it's happening! 

 

The black and white screen uses a miserly 4W of power.  I hate to think when I replace it for a ship mounted CP I'll be giving up the miserly power and won't leave it on 24/7 as readily

1452029807_Anchortrack.thumb.jpg.5f6408c7f9aef9b2a1ba39252cad055e.jpg

Share this post


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

I have done plenty of navigation with paper charts including celestial. I still have some plotting sheets someplace from approaching Bermuda. I can get around with with old fashioned gear if I have to. I even remember the rules for correcting a course outbound from a radio beacon and how to do running fixes. None of that stuff is going to help resolve AIS targets though. Besides for that, I like experimenting with this stuff.

As for paper charts, they will exist, but apparently they'll look like ENC charts, not RNC??? I really don't like this, I grew up on paper charts and use RNCs on OpenCPN too. In my mind the old school paper chart or electronic version of it translates directly into what I expect to see. I am sure the various chartbook companies will keep them going, but I will miss RNCs on the plotter for sure!

The intent of this thread though is to find a <1 amp substitute/supliment for my 3.5 amp computer ;)

 

No intention to derail the thread. I guess this is just my personal soapbox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Easy solution! :-) :-). (I’m sure this will be a serious solution for many people...be very afraid!)
 

Seriously, though, since this is something I know very little about, having avoided upgrading electronics until I need too - I’m going to ask re: your possible solution of Aqua Map on an iPad, with screen big enough and low power draw.

Some iPads have GPS and some don’t, is that right? So has to be GPS type?  What’s the power draw, out of curiosity, <1A?

 

I do not need a GPS enabled iPad. my NMEA>Wifi gateway exports the GPS and AIS data. If you don't have something like that, you need an iPad with a GPS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The WiFi only iPad doesn't have the built in GPS (you can use a Bluetooth GPS like Bad Elf, Garmin Glo etc. or receive the signal through a NMEA to WiFi gateway).

GPS chip is only on cellular enabled iPad (a cell plan is not required).

On Android devices you have to check the specs for each model, however it is almost always present in every Android devices. I have a Samsung Tab A and works well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple of old rugged phones, Casio Gz'one Commando 771's, that I use as navaids and also music players, can even read a book off of them etc...

Low power, waterproof, shock resistant, daylight viewable, portable, spare batteries still available online, and very cheap (~$25US @eBay). Somewhat of a "green" solution, even, by keeping still working but old gear out of the dirt.

Small screen, however, and old Android, so modern apps may not run on them. That said, you can find older apps which still work perfectly fine.

https://www.google.com/search?&amp;q=casio+g'zone+commando+c771

Share this post


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

I do not need a GPS enabled iPad. my NMEA>Wifi gateway exports the GPS and AIS data. If you don't have something like that, you need an iPad with a GPS.

The cost delta on a GPS/cell ready iPad is about $100-$120.  I think it is better to spend that money on the NMEA2000->WiFi gateway (about $200) once then to spend this on every tablet that you purchase.  Battery life is also a lot better on my iPad if I use WiFi GPS data from my boat instead of the built in iPad GPS.

If you don't care about the rest of your boat data (like AIS) you can also get a standalone WiFi or Bluetooth GPS receiver for the iPad for under $100 (probably under $50 now).  This can be powered by the boat and help your iPad get better battery life.  

Battery life is important since few (any?) iPad waterproof covers can maintain waterproofness while charging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have got it!

I just grabbed a Dell 3120 Chromebook 11, loaded it with Linux Mint, and set up OpenCPN on it. It has a nice 11" screen, runs fast so far, and power consumption is around 6 to 10 watts. Even better the things are really cheap now :D

For super low power use, and old iPhone got re-purposed to sit at the chart table and run Aqua-Map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

It has a nice 11' screen

Is that like a projector or something? :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

Is that like a projector or something? :lol:

11" - I got ELEVEN INCHES RIGHT HERE!!! Hanging out right on the (chart) table :D

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:
13 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

Is that like a projector or something? :lol:

11" - I got ELEVEN INCHES RIGHT HERE!!! Hanging out right on the (chart) table

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes you really need a dedicated plotter at the helm, most times no but sometimes it's invaluable.  O dark thirty with rain, fog and lottsa boats around it is a must have. 

We also use an iPad with Navionics in the center cockpit and it works fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Bryanjb said:

Sometimes you really need a dedicated plotter at the helm, most times no but sometimes it's invaluable.  O dark thirty with rain, fog and lottsa boats around it is a must have. 

We also use an iPad with Navionics in the center cockpit and it works fine.

I have a Standard-Horizon plotter at the helm for those times.  Workable with wet gloved hands and doesn't mind a soaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ANyone know of an old school GPS non-plotter unit I can put on a NMEA2000 network to hold the course?

ideally I want to run an iPad to set up courses, drop them to the gps unit over WiFi/NMEA2000, then drop off the iPad, and still navigate the waypoints.

Share this post


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

I think I have got it!

I just grabbed a Dell 3120 Chromebook 11, loaded it with Linux Mint, and set up OpenCPN on it. It has a nice 11" screen, runs fast so far, and power consumption is around 6 to 10 watts. Even better the things are really cheap now :D

For super low power use, and old iPhone got re-purposed to sit at the chart table and run Aqua-Map.

Any issues running Linux? This sounds like a neat solution to your original question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Anomaly2 said:

Any issues running Linux? This sounds like a neat solution to your original question.

I just repurposed an old tower computer to run Linux and OpenCPN as a test, worked just fine. Easy, fast, free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Anomaly2 said:

Any issues running Linux? This sounds like a neat solution to your original question.

Getting Linux onto it takes some doing, but it all went according to plan except the sound. Apparently the Dell 3120 has a well known issue with the sound card on Linux. I don't need the sound for navigating, but I do want it for the radio functions. I can always use a USB plug in sound card if I have to. I found a fix I am going to try when I get home, but even if it fails I feel like I got a good deal at $40 or so and a USB sound card is about $10.

If you want to try this, carefully follow these directions: https://joshuawoehlke.com/galliumos-dell-chromebook-3120/

You do not have to install the Gallium distro, at the point you boot from USB it can be any distro on that USB. I like Mint because the Cinnamon desktop is very close to Windows 7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a surface and have the opposite of the other post it has hell of a time running time zero.  Might be able to trim down with setting but overall I was pretty dissatisfied.  Have to say with the wife and kid abusing them full time Cruising it's hard to beat a iPad, that's the same from lots of other boats they do seem to take alot of abuse and use little power.  For Android the Samsung ones have the same rep but have never owned one.  Some of the cases out there now make the options sort of unlimited.  I would have gotten a iPad but timezero didn't have a is option then, they do now.

Our friend had pretty good luck with his iPad just sticking it next to a speaker for HF stuff I think the patch cord was worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently installing a system, RPi based, running OpenCPN. It's using this 12" touchscreen monitor mounted overhead on a RAM ball mount (very adjustable - to include folding flat against the cabin top.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P9CVY47

I'm multiplexing several NMEA inputs through this -

yakbitz.com/YakMUX.aspx

I have true heading, depth, GPS, and AIS through an RTL-SDR device -

https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-RTL2832U-Software-Defined/dp/B011HVUEME

I have it working with AIS and GPS, and my instructions so far, if anyone wants. I don't have the true heading or depth hooked up, but those should be easy after figuring out AIS and GPS. I don't have the multiplexer going either, but I do have the company's NMEA-WiFi bridge device working on my own boat, and I'm liking it.

File attached. Sorry if its kinda crude.

rtl_sdr_ais

Share this post


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

I just repurposed an old tower computer to run Linux and OpenCPN as a test, worked just fine. Easy, fast, free.

Picturing you with the tower computer in the cockpit, balanced on the bridgedeck I suppose...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update - I did get the sound working, but it *still* does not play nice with FLDIGI. Even if that part never pans out, I got a nice 11" low power plotter for $40 B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, robert644 said:

I'm currently installing a system, RPi based, running OpenCPN. It's using this 12" touchscreen monitor mounted overhead on a RAM ball mount (very adjustable - to include folding flat against the cabin top.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P9CVY47

I'm multiplexing several NMEA inputs through this -

yakbitz.com/YakMUX.aspx

I have true heading, depth, GPS, and AIS through an RTL-SDR device -

https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-RTL2832U-Software-Defined/dp/B011HVUEME

I have it working with AIS and GPS, and my instructions so far, if anyone wants. I don't have the true heading or depth hooked up, but those should be easy after figuring out AIS and GPS. I don't have the multiplexer going either, but I do have the company's NMEA-WiFi bridge device working on my own boat, and I'm liking it.

File attached. Sorry if its kinda crude.

rtl_sdr_ais

I almost went the Pi way, but it seems more money and more electricity both. I probably will build a Pi setup at some point because I like to experiment. Do you have a power budget for this? I also have a Yakbitz NMEA>WiFi bridge and it works pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

friend had good luck with his iPad just sticking it next to a speaker for HF stuff I think the patch cord was worse.

BlackCat software, I think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I think it was that one. They did a 10 year circumnavigation with just a iPad and shortwave radio, said it worked fine for wx fax. After having to replace most of our electronics from getting zapped, I'm definitely in the kiss camp whenever possible. Day before I left the boat the backlight on our simrad ap44 died only a few months old pretty disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now