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laptop in CC

Old 07-29-2005, 01:39 PM
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Default laptop in CC

The thread below on the audio plugs for IPOD's got me thinking. I was needing a new laptop anyway and I had no desire to buy the video hookup accessory for my navnet system. I already have a Ipod hooked into my aux input of my Clarion system. Why not clean up the install on my boat a bit and add one of those aux stereo input jacks and use it to output sound from my laptop DVD player also.

My question is this. I know I can theoretically ditch the Ipod and just use I-tunes on the laptop to play my audio if I wanted. I probably won't do this but it is an option. The theory being that I can control the I tunes interface easier underway than the Ipod's click wheel. Has anyone come up with a decent mount for a laptop in their CC? I had envisioned a flat suction cup attachable type tray that would offer some venting and water protection. A closing lid would be even better when weather makes it necessary. A little foam around the edges and bottom to give the unit some cusion and I think that is all that would be needed. I can place the case on top of my console and flip/remove the lid whenever I want to open the laptop and view its screen. Computer/Audio/Video all available in one small secure package.
Old 07-29-2005, 02:54 PM
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Default RE: laptop in CC

Why not make a long but good selected playlist for the IPOD and just
let it play randomly the entire time you are out? Thats what I do.
Just set it up once and let it fly with no user input needed.

Or do you want to WATCH DVD's while on the water?

JP
Old 07-29-2005, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

I personaly think your crazy taking a laptop on a CC boat ;?

Moisture and laptops to not mix! Unless you have one of the (very expensive) ruggedized laptops that is both shock / water proof, its not a good idea.
Old 07-29-2005, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

If you decide to take the laptop on the boat, use a shower cap from a hotel and wrap it around the topside of the machine. Maybe it will help a little……….
Old 07-29-2005, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Bailey Boat - 7/29/2005 6:21 PM If you decide to take the laptop on the boat, use a shower cap from a hotel and wrap it around the topside of the machine. Maybe it will help a little……….
And looks good too ! I agree, it's bad idea, but here's a couple of links : http://www.ram-mount.com/laptopcomp.htm : http://www.jottodesk.com/Comersus/store/comersus_listCategoriesAndProducts.asp?idCategory= 2&status=
Old 07-29-2005, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Not planning on keeping it out in all weather conditions mind you, just when conditions allow. My primary purpose in the idea was to watch DVD's on board and have the laptop's cartography capability. The idea behind the case was to ruggedize it more than the standard case allows. That is why I was asking if anyone had ever tried it or had a protective solution.

Salty air would be my biggest concern.
Old 07-29-2005, 07:18 PM
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You’re right, I see the salt air having its way with the internal electronics. How are the “ruggedized” models different??????? Wouldn’t there have to be air flow inside to keep “things” cool ????????
Old 07-30-2005, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Screens get tough to read in sunlight. I think you're risking a lot of hardware $'s and possibly data by taking your laptop. As far as controlling your ipod, you can get a little wireless remote that works great. If you really want to watch movies - stay home. Just kidding - if you really want to watch movies you can get a 7" portable DVD for under $150 and not have to worry about it. Plus it takes up a lot less space.

Steve
Old 07-30-2005, 04:01 AM
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Default RE: laptop in CC

Did you say you have NavNet? Is it the 10.4" colour displays? If so and your main objective is to watch DVD's then buy the NTSC/PAL interface kit for the NavNet and a Clarion DVD player (car stereo type). If Clarion do not make one then there are other makes that do. It's a neat compact installation to watch DVD's, plays CD's, MP3 etc

John
Old 07-30-2005, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Trophy1903CC - 7/29/2005 4:22 PM

I personaly think your crazy taking a laptop on a CC boat ;?

Moisture and laptops to not mix! Unless you have one of the (very expensive) ruggedized laptops that is both shock / water proof, its not a good idea.
I agree. And if the moisture doesn't do it in, the vibration will in short order.
Old 07-30-2005, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

I use a laptop on my CC, and for that matter even on a 14 footer!! Both applications use integration with new Furuno electronics.

I do, however, use a ruggedized Panasonic Toughbook CF-72. It features a magnesium case, very hi-bright screen, gel-mounted hard drive and the boards are entirely conformal coated. This model is only the "businessmans" toughbook. Their other models that cops use are full ruggedized - I have seen a car driven repeatedly over one without a problem. You can spill a beer on the keyboards too.

I bought an older CC that I am restoring to pristine. Reason I bought this model was the console design, offering huge space for electronics (and specifically, a laptop). In a couple of months this will all be teak, but here is a shot of it shortly after buying the boat (before my new Navnet). Pictures do not show the screen brightness very well.


A little closer in


Once a year around Memorial day I go back to Wisconsin to catch walleye. This year I made a custom box to house the laptop, gps, fishfinder. Here I sent home my new 10.4" Navnet 1933C screen and the BBFF1 to integrate with the PC on a 1971 14 foot boat. - Boy did I get the curious looks back there with this setup !!




The GP32 sends x,y data to the LS6100 fishfinder (or Navnet) and the PC. The fishfinder adds depth "z" to the GPS x,y so that when I drive around I am recording my own 3D bathymetry data. I use Nobeltec and another "secret" piece of GIS software both with their own serial NMEA inputs. Nobeltec on a PC blows any chartplotter away. On the other software, I can drive around on my own custom 3D maps.

Here is a NOAA chart from Lake Winnebago in WI.


Here is the same area with depth data made into a 3D geo-referenced surface. The more you drive over an area and record, the better the resolution gets.


And then, to really have fun, when I get home I can go and fly through my 3D bottom surface as a terrain after adding contours and depths labels - just like a video game!

Old 07-30-2005, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

That is what I am talking about. Good job ginmills.
Old 07-30-2005, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Ginmills: Do you have more pictures of the console? Especially about laptop... It looks very nice!
Old 07-30-2005, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Don't get salt water on that magnesium case. Salt + Mag = corrosion.









Never mind... it's on sweet water.
Old 07-30-2005, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

Well, it will look nice someday soon.........The pix above in the CC were a very temporary job to go out and collect data for 2 days during a vacation (and some nice eater size walleye ).


This console is very unique - more room than most big boats - and it has a center compartment that I think was designated as a VHF deal. This is an older Tiara/Pursuit 2200CC. I believe same console came on the 2500CC in those days (later 80's). Turned out my Toughbook laptop fit in there very well - main reason I went with this vs. the newer 2270CC - same hull, no euro transom, and for me, better console. Here is what it looked like before I started tearing it apart (from my sea trial). They really liked the smoked plexiglass back then....the side pods are supposed to be solid plexi over your gauges, not cut like this was.




So the idea was to use that center compartment for the PC. The existing plexi cover is hinged and nicely bent at the top to fit its glass mold. It has a little hatch lift to hold it upright. There is a thin solid fiberglass interior that was just about deep enough to tilt the PC screen back far enough - but I cut out the back and will re-glass for more depth.




I will probably get a similar clear cover made for the custom all teak dashboard I'm constructing. It should hold the water and elements out quite well. I will try to keep it in the flipped up position for keyboard access, better screen viz, etc. I will need to make some vents on the bottom of the cabinet - the laptop got hot with all those programs runnning and graghics crunching. Perhaps I will engineer a suspension system to aid the gel-mounted hard disk during a hard pounding out here with our sometimes 10 ft swells. So far I have just taken it easy when the PC is running.

The next problem to solve is that center section is also a perfect fit for flush mount of my 10" Furuno 1933C. That unit is too big to fit on the sides right now. Think I see the writing on the wall to make a new, similar console from scratch using this one as a mold. Can you imagine a pair of 10.4" Navnet units (fish, radar) flanking a laptop or tablet PC navigator/DVD/web in the middle? I can.

Or, another option is to use a little ruggedized PC box mounted inside the console that feeds a 10" Furuno screen via the video kit. Leo at Furuno told me this can be done. Then you can use Nobeltec displayed on the Navnet with a flexible roll-out keyboard on the dash......Nice. A chip in the Furuno unit would be a backup plotter. For an easier solution for you guys, I would look into ruggedized tablet PCs from Panasonic (toughbook), and now HP, and there are a few others. Mount on one of those cop car supports to deploy and swing in direction of interest.
Old 07-31-2005, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

They sell PC's the size of shoe boxes. I forget what format the mother boards are called, but I do know that now therer are a few companies that make em.

I was gonna put one together for my car last year, but ended up getting a boat and had to buy a lot of toys for her.

Old 08-01-2005, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: laptop in CC

An onboard PC would be a great addition to a boat. Most yachts have them and the allow the integration of many functions (navigation, system monitoring, email, etc). The problem is that on a small open boat you are sacrificing at least three critical issues: protection (as mentioned earlier - shock/vibration, proximity to water), display quality (PC displays are not typically bright enough for use outdoors), and input devices (keyboards & mouse/touchpad are not easily used on a moving boat). One alternative is to go with the black box approach (as mentioned) and a display made for marine use, but they are very expensive. I love the idea, and even have a PC mounted in my SUV (mapping, email, etc) but I just replaced it probably due to environmental issues (vibration and/or heat).

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