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Interesting Homebuilt Marine Chart Plotter
ben2go
I saw this sometime back and found it interesting. Just thought I'd share it with everyone interested in chart plotters. It's a very interesting way to do things.

Duckworks - Building a home made Chart Plotter
Nicholson58
Looks like a fun project. I am working at putting together a PC based GPS system as one of several back-ups for our boat. We will want more durable equipment but I am also concerned about power consumption. I have heard that the "One World PC OLPC" is a low power, waterproof PC that has made it onto a lot of boats. Is this suitable for running SeaClear or other GPS software? Is its memory or available hardware & ports too limited? I looked up the features and it has no hard drive but three USB ports would enable external hard drive and CD-DVD reader. We are equipped on board with 24 VDC batteries and a 24 to 12VDC regulated power supply for the instruments. The engine charge controler may run up to 28.5 volts but the instruments see only regulated 12.
Ken in Regina
Can you still buy those things? If memory serves, they ran (run?) Redhat Linux. That's a version of Unix. I don't know if there is a lot of navigation software, marine or otherwise, available for Linux. Does SeaClear have a Linux version?

...ken...
ben2go
I don't know of anyone that puts out any GPS software for Linux/Unix.However,with WineHQ,Linux will run windows programs. WineHQ - Run Windows applications on Linux, BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X

Also check the Sea Clear Yahoo group. seaclear_mapping : Seaclear GPS Navigation User Group
Nicholson58
One Laptop per Child (OLPC): Laptop Hardware > Specs

I should have included the link to the specifications. It sort of looks like a nicely packaged mini. Here is also a WIKI link OLPC XO-1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You were correct - Linux red hat fedora OS and SeaClear does not run on Linux - darn. I did find at WIKI a reference that stated,
Quote:
Steve Jobs had offered Mac OS X free of charge for use in the laptop, but according to Seymour Papert, a professor emeritus at MIT who is one of the initiative's founders, the designers wanted an operating system that can be tinkered with: “We declined because it’s not open source.” Therefore Linux was chosen. However, after a deal with Microsoft, the laptop will now be offered with Windows XP along with an open source alternative.
If I can find a machine with Windows XP, I might be in business. Here is the discussion. Windows XP on OLPC XO Laptop Now Official It may be official but i don't see any GOOGLE links to buy it, just a lot of dscussion about how bad it is. I think I'm getting the message.

Here is an E-Bay link to buy used but probably with Linux.

olpc xo items - Get great deals on Computers Networking, Books items on eBay.com!
Ken in Regina
You could buy one and install an OEM version of Windows XP on it. The only issue would be whether you can get all the drivers it needs. Running any version of Windows on a 433MHz processor will be frustrating if you are used to anything with more power. Win/XP has a larger footprint (disk storage requirement) than Linux so you might have to install programs to run from SD card or USB thumb drive, making things even slower.

The suggestion of using Wine (Windows emulator) to run a Windows navigation program is probably a more useful approach as long as Wine will allow good passthrough support for a USB-connected GPS receiver.

All of the options present many opportunities to learn a lot.

...ken...
ben2go
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina

The suggestion of using Wine (Windows emulator) to run a Windows navigation program is probably a more useful approach as long as Wine will allow good passthrough support for a USB-connected GPS receiver.



...ken...

That would be my concern as well.
Nicholson58
The WINDOWS XP version of the machine has a larger flash drive to accommodate a dumbed-down OS. The Microsoft claim is that it does "everything". The geek reviews are far less enthusiastic. It might still be able to run SeaClear & additional space might be made if the Office Suit of stuff, Outlook and other overhead is removed. The attraction is extremely low power consumption and nearly waterproof design, however, if it is no longer made or supported its practical value is low.
Nicholson58
I poked around a bit and found Digital Charts where I bought a DVD with seaclear and all 2272 NOAA charts in one neat package for 19.95. I bought the BU-353 on line for 34.00. They also have other raster chart packages available so I also added in St. Lawrence and Eastern Canada. This runs well on my desk top & I also installed Open CPN. Both run from the same stored chart library.

Based on storage needs and other interesting possibilities I will build up a Nano bare-bones kit. The carefully selected Kit will not need a fan. I will install a 130 gig solid state flash drive. The back plane allows for LAN and several USB sockets and a line out to the monitor. The standard set-up uses a 110 to 12 VDC wall wart for power so it is ready as is for 12 volt from the boat. I found that an LED 17" monitor will use 10 watts. Same plan as the original writer above - open it up and power directly from 12 volts as well. I will mount the computor which is about the size of an external hard drive behind the nav station wall and port the on-off switch, USB and monitor jacks to a convenient spot on the nav panel. There will be a USB powered DVD/CD burner so that when not in use it is removed and stored. Rubber roll-up keyboard and mouse are also unplugged when not needed. The monitor will have a wall mount and the ability to be moved around the cabin for playing movies.
Ken in Regina
Sounds like a pretty sweet setup. Pictures to share here when it's done??

...ken...
ben2go
Yes, please share.
CptnRMChair
PolarView (Polar Navy - Marine Navigation Software) will run on your Linux box natively. Will support vector charts too, in addition to raster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58
One Laptop per Child (OLPC): Laptop Hardware > Specs

I should have included the link to the specifications. It sort of looks like a nicely packaged mini. Here is also a WIKI link OLPC XO-1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You were correct - Linux red hat fedora OS and SeaClear does not run on Linux - darn. I did find at WIKI a reference that stated,
mckat
There are a growing number of GPS programs on Linux. They aren't as polished as the programs on Windows or OS X, but they are not bad- considering the lack of software a few years ago, Linux software is moving forward very quickly. There are solutions possible with Linux that are difficult or impossible on Windows because Windows software rarely interoperates as flexibly.
mckat
There is a great free program called VirtualBox, which was developed mostly by Sun but which is now owned by Oracle, that allows you to run Linux inside of a virtual machine running on Windows or OS X, and vice versa.

So, people who want to use Linux every once in a while but don't want to commit a whole hard drive or partition to it can download the free virtual box and either set up a single or several specialized virtual machines that they can run whenever they need them. There are even sites that offer pre-configured "virtual appliances" that already have collections of software pre-installed and configured to do various things. The performance of virtual box on newer hardware is quite good, at least 80 or 90% of native speed. It even supports basic 3D acceleration, USB, etc.

And its free, even on Windows. I know for a fact that many GIS tools are now being made available in this "virtual appliance" way.
mckat
If you go to eBay you can find HP "thin clients" like the t5720 that already contain everything you need in a nice prebuilt package, and also they have a solid state hard drive that's upgradable. The only drawback is that they are slow. But the power consumption is very low and they can be picked up for very little. I've seen them as little as $50, but perhaps less now as more people know about them. They range from about the size of a large internal CDROM to around 10 x 10 x 3 inches for the t5720/30. For me the t5720 was a great deal, I paid around $100 for mine with a power supply. It doesn't have a fan, and it runs well without one. Input voltage is 12v. It has the VESA mounting holes so it can be mounted on the back of a monitor to make a nice 1 piece computer. (but I don't know if 12v monitors are easy to find??) You can get internal IDE flash disks from Transcend that will take it to around 4 or 6 GB solid state. It's also possible to install a Hitachi mini drive in them, with a little work. You want to be careful with solid state hard drives though in that they have a limited number of writes possible. In practice this means a number of things need to be changed on Linux, google linux noatime flash for more on the subject.
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