On board PC

Issues related to boat specifications or performance

On board PC

Postby Dex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:42 pm

Hi all,

First post here and the brand new owner of a '73 36. I haven'teven taken delivery yet but already planning a few bits and pieces..

I am a bit techie so thinking about the following:

    IP cameras for engine room monitoring, back up cam and security while we are not on board. 12 volt and rugged.
    4G router for getting online., hidden away. 12volt.
    iPad Pro for Navionics, viewing IP cams etc. Already have this.
    Onboard PC, maybe Mac mini. For everything from Nav to acting as a media server for the kids Diesney movies and the odd tune!


The boat is in lovely shape and very original so i intend hiding all the kit away to preserve the look. Has anyone done any of the above and if so any recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

Dex
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Postby JoMeKe » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:31 pm

Dex,

We didn't go quite as far as you, but took a similar approach. We use a MacBook Pro and iPad on board for navigation, logs, music, movies, manuals, guidebooks, technical articles, etc. I installed a local wifi router that I connected to an AIS receiver and a dedicated AIS VHF antenna, so I can receive AIS data on both the laptop and tablet wirelessly. The receiver and router are mounted under the helm, out of sight. I have loved the setup and prefer the laptop approach to a dedicated chart plotter approach. I know it is personal preference and many will disagree, but it has worked very well for us.
Ken Bowles
NW Explorations
Bellingham/Seattle, WA
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Postby Tom H » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:12 pm

Interesting that you could connect your AIS to your computer. Would really like to hear more on what your setup is and also your opinion on whether or not a NMEA 2000 system could be hooked into a computer. I have a new Garmin 741xs with HD radar installed on the bridge and would like to have the radar display in the saloon but I am hesitant to spend another $850 to make this happen. If I can accomplish this with my laptop, which I run as a backup GPS chart plotter, that would be great. Would rather spend the money on an AIS.
Best regards
Tom Hansen
1976 42' GBC #482
"Schatzi"
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Postby JoMeKe » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:10 pm

Tom,

I suspect it has as much to do with the nav software you are running on your laptop. I run MacENC on my Mac and its companion app, iNavX, on my iPad and phone. Each has the capability of overlaying AIS from whatever source you can get to it. My wireless router is a ShipModul Miniplex-2Wi (http://www.shipmodul.com/en/index.html). I believe they have upgraded their model line since I bought and now offer the 3Wi. My AIS receiver is a Comnav that I picked up used from someone who upgraded to a transceiver and I had Morad Electronics (http://www.morad.com) here in Seattle build a dedicated AIS-specific VHF antenna.

Hope that helps.
Ken Bowles

NW Explorations

Bellingham/Seattle, WA
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Postby Smone » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:38 am

I have a new Garmin 741xs with HD radar installed on the bridge and would like to have the radar display in the saloon but I am hesitant to spend another $850 to make this happen. If I can accomplish this with my laptop, which I run as a backup GPS chart plotter, that would be great.


OpenCPN might be able to overlay your GARMIN radar picture.

https://opencpn.org/index.html

OpenCPN Radar Overlay Plugin
The plugin overlays the radar picture on OpenCPN and works with modern Garmin (Ethernet capable) xHD radar scanners only.

https://opencpn.org/OpenCPN/plugins/gXradar.html
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Postby brianpistay » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:07 pm

Has anyone used the OpenCPN for nav software? I am looking at downloading it and would like feed back as to if its worth it or not.

Thank you!
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Postby Smone » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:59 pm

I've been using it. For me it was enough and even has some nice plugins available. :)
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Re: On board PC

Postby f. Lee » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:30 pm

We have been using it for the last two years on our GB Alaskan 14-49A.
There are some occasional bugs but, nothing big that you would notice.
We are now running Version 4.8.2 which has radar and AIS overlays on it.
Everything seems to work as advertised.

Capt. Lee
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Re: On board PC

Postby Imaginethat » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:34 pm

I'm using OpenCPN as well for the past 3 years, running on an android tablet. The built in GPS works just fine, so only have a USB charging cable to plug in, and easy portability from main helm to flybridge. The latest version of OpenCPN seems to be much more stable. US charts are free, and it has a chart downloader, tides, currents, routing, pretty much everything a costly chart plotting system has and it's free! The only problem with using a tablet is that it doesn't have serial or USB to be able to send NMEA to an autopilot (yet to be installed).

I haven't thought yet about an AIS receiver, but like the idea of hooking one up to a wifi router.
1974 GB 36 Classic #467 "Imagine That"
Bellingham, WA
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Re: On board PC

Postby drewc228 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:53 pm

Another thought is to add a Raspberry PI-based OpenPlotter system (http://www.sailoog.com) that runs OpenCPN natively and provides full WiFi-based NMEA 183 and NMEA 2000 multiplexer capability -- including AIS. I run mine with a Vesper AIS transceiver (highly recommended) on the NMEA2000 bus, which is sent via Wifi to all OpenCPN clients (iPads, laptops, etc.)
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