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Thread: Mini Boat Install

  1. #1
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    Mini Boat Install

    Hello all.......on

    I just found that there is a boat forum on this site, so after a couple of faulty posts, I think I found the right one. Here goes:

    We live on our 37' sailboat ("Duet", thus the aboard-duet handle) in the harbor here on Catalina Island off Southern CA. I have just joined the Mac community after going thru 3 laptop PCs. (they all worked fine in the marine environment, they just got old and out of date.

    Here is the new "set":

    - Intel mini 1.83 Core2Duo/Bluetooth keyboard & Mouse/Leopard
    - 37" Visio HDTV Display
    - P-1900 Carnetix Power Supply
    - KVH C-3 DirecTV Mobile antenna & Receiver
    - XM Radio
    - 4 group-27 Deep-cycle 12v Batteries w/110W solar panel
    - Honda 3Kv generator
    - 1000W Inverter/50A battery charger

    As you can see, the boat is more than just a vehicle for us. We live on her 24/7/365, and the salon is our "living room", so you could say the mini is our HTPC as well as my business comuter. All the above are on board now, but not married together. I just joined this forum today, but I anticipate asking you all for some answers to some questions that are unique to a 'marine' installation.

    I would really like to hear any and all comments, opinions, ideas, etc.

    Thanks

    Dave

  2. #2
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    Another member on the group recently had a bad experience w/ salt mist and his motherboard. It might have been because of an immersion (though he sez no) or the 'helpful' cleaning it got later on, but contamination in any environment is a potential hazard, and it's worth planning for, especially in as dynamic an environment as a boat.

    Will the 37" display be the monitor? Does it need A/C, or can it be run without the inverter? Seems like that's a big potential source of efficiency gain.
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairboy View Post
    Another member on the group recently had a bad experience w/ salt mist and his motherboard. It might have been because of an immersion (though he sez no) or the 'helpful' cleaning it got later on, but contamination in any environment is a potential hazard, and it's worth planning for, especially in as dynamic an environment as a boat.

    Will the 37" display be the monitor? Does it need A/C, or can it be run without the inverter? Seems like that's a big potential source of efficiency gain.
    In my experience, which is somewhat limited, you can limit or avoid failures by keeping your boat computer with the instrument panel or in some other secluded location on the boat.


    * I haven't tried it yet, but I hear this mac sailing software is great. http://macenc.com/

    * If you are looking for a tweaking project, you might want to consider using one of your secondary p1900 voltage outputs for cell phone charger or something like that.

    * You probably have already planned this, but you will want to get the mac mini power cable kit.


    Let us know when you get your project finished. We would love to see some photos.

  4. #4
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    i work on yachts 80ft+ and regularly install computers you gotta take into consideration how stable is your electronic environment is do you go dead ship if so you may what to install a power supply inverter and a batt to supply the computer w/ power for at least 30mins in case of dead ship also if you are goin the mac route with you routing software you might want to look into an older powerbook to run the program in case of an outage you will still have your maps and i have taken into consideration your solar panels you kno as much as i the ocean in freakin crazy and you never kno what might happen out there and maps are you friend esp cuz your craft is not huge in size

  5. #5
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    I'm also a liveaboard. I have a couple of laptops w/3g and a good size monitor for watching movies.
    This is the same as most any home... nothing special. However...
    I have a growing list of things that could be connected that would make life easier/less expensive aboard.
    -engine functions, data logging, PM scheduling
    -thermostat and timers for heating and a/c
    -control lights, and machinery from the computer
    -monitor low and house voltage systems for consumption optimization

    I have ordered a Fusion Brain for testing and will see what happens.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by partgypsy View Post
    I'm also a liveaboard. I have a couple of laptops w/3g and a good size monitor for watching movies.
    This is the same as most any home... nothing special. However...
    I have a growing list of things that could be connected that would make life easier/less expensive aboard.
    -engine functions, data logging, PM scheduling
    -thermostat and timers for heating and a/c
    -control lights, and machinery from the computer
    -monitor low and house voltage systems for consumption optimization

    I have ordered a Fusion Brain for testing and will see what happens.
    I think you might be one of the first people to put a fusion brain on a boat. We would love to see how the installation goes.

  7. #7
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    Yes... it started out a couple of years ago while I was working on a NMEA2000 setup for a customer. I started looking into translaters for the NMEA2000 data to something I could push to a PC and also a way to convert analogue sensor data to display on a NMEA display. Lots of blind alleys have brought me to look at the computer as the single display point and to "pull" all data from various sources. From what I understand, NMEA2000 (and NMEA1083) from any device is not proprietary and one only needs certification only on NMEA hardware. It's all canbus and 1083 in particular runs on J1939 which has been used on autos, trucks and other equipment for decades. now all i have to do is figure out what I just said...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by partgypsy View Post
    now all i have to do is figure out what I just said...

    Well, when you figure it out, please let the community know. There are a lot of other people working on similar projects.

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